Ivari Insurance Review! We’ve Got the Inside Story! Find Out if They’re for YOU!
I’ll bet you’re checking out this Ivari insurance review to see if Ivari insurance is they’re the right company for you.
Is this a name you’re familiar with? Who are they, what do they do and how do you even pronounce their name?
…Just some of the questions that come up when you mention Ivari in conversation with people outside of the life insurance industry.
The funny thing is, this powerhouse of an insurer is connected to one of the best-known insurance companies in North America. Did you know Ivari (pronounced a-var-ee) was once Transamerica Life Canada? Yep…
…and it’s now owned by one of the biggest pension funds on the planet: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CCPIB).
Transamerica Life Canada was rebranded as Ivari in 2015.
If you haven’t heard of them, that’s a shame. With its head office in Toronto, Ivari is one of the top 15 life insurance companies in Canada.
So let’s dig into the meat of this Ivari insurance review now…
About Policy Architects
Before I go further, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is James Heidebrecht and I’m the founder of Policy Architects…
…AND an independent agent.
There are over 30 life insurance companies in Canada and obviously, they’re not all the same. Life insurance isn’t a one size fits all sort of deal.
Which means there are nuances between the different carriers in terms of products, service, underwriting.
We thoroughly research and review insurance companies, products and financial strategies in order to provide you with the best information to guide your buying decision.
Hmmm should I really take the advice of a life insurance agent?- you gotta be biased!
Everyone is biased if they're honest. To be frank though, my main goal is to get you covered by the best possible company for the least amount of money. That's the beauty of working with an independent agent.
Staying on top of current trends and developments is something every agent should do! It’s the best way to save you money.
For example, COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on most of us whether it’s kids staying home from school, small businesses struggling or vulnerable friends and family members.
If you’re wondering, can I still get life insurance during this COVID-19 pandemic?
Now back to our Ivari insurance review!...Ivari is one of the companies we work with which is why you need to read this to know if they're right for you!
Ivari Insurance Review: A Word Or Two
As I mentioned, Transamerica Life Canada morphed into Ivari Insurance when it was purchased by Wilton Re, a large reinsurance company…
…but here’s where it gets interesting. Wilton Re was acquired by the Canada Pension Plan investment board (CPPIB) in 2014 (not to be confused with Canada Protection Plan).
The CPPIB is one of the most well-respected pension funds worldwide and has assets under management in excess of $370 Billion. So, the financial roots of Ivari are very strong, which is good news for you.
In financial circles around the world, the CPP is renowned as a smart, sophisticated global investor… We have delegations coming from all over the world here to figure out how we do it, what are the elements that make this so successful in Canada.”
Wow...so if I buy an Ivari life insurance policy, it's like I'm investing in my own Canada Pension Plan, right?
Kind of, I guess....it's one of the hidden perks of going with Ivari. Of course you you need to do your due diligence so let's keep going!
Ivari Insurance Review:
Ivari is a privately owned corporation based in Toronto.
In business for more than 80 years, Ivari Canada has approximately 500 employees, assets of $10 billion under management and net revenue of $173 million in 2019. Not too shabby!
The good news doesn’t end there:
- Fitch Ratings has given an ‘A+’ Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) to Wilton Re and Ivari insurance in 2019.
- A.M. Best has confirmed the 2019 Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of ‘A+’ (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (ICR) of ‘A’ of Ivari (Toronto, Ontario, Canada).
As you can see, this company has solid financials and isn't going anywhere!
What Do Ivari Customers Think?
Ok, so a word of warning for people who rely too heavily on reviews online. People like to complain.
The sad part is they don’t share good experiences as often. So please bear this in mind when you check out the consumer reviews for ANY big life insurance company. It’s likely you will find a lot of people who are dissatisfied about something encounter.
Ivari insurance is rated 2.7 stars out of 5 based on 52 Google reviews. It’s hard to know how much stock to put in these reviews.
Unfortunately, it only takes a few one-star comments to sink your ship on Google. Ivari definitely has a few of those but they also have 5-star reviews as well.
All life insurance companies have some negative feedback. It’s normal for consumers to share mishaps rather than smooth dealings.
In fact, some of the bigger companies like Sun Life seem to be able to get around the system. They don’t appear to have any Google reviews viewable online.
“Very few people write reviews. It’s about 1.5 percent, or 15 people out of 1,000,…Should we be relying on these people if we’re part of the other 985?”
...so what about the Better Business Bureau?
Although Ivari Canada isn't officially accredited by the BBB, they have a rating of A+.
What Do Ivari Canada Employees Think?
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” -Richard Branson
If you believe there’s truth in what Richard Branson says, Ivari takes care of its employees pretty well. Indeed gives them 3.6 stars out of 5 and Glassdoor 4 out of 5.
Thanks for pointing that out to me. You're right people do like to complain online. Let's move forward!
OK! This is always my favourite part of a review. So what does Ivari have to offer?
Ivari Insurance Review: Products
Ivari Canada also has a whole range of life insurance products that include Term, Universal Life and Critical Illness insurance. They are also partnered with Specialty Life Insurance (SLi) who have a suite of simplified and guaranteed issue life insurance products!
Ivari Insurance isn’t all over the place like some insurers, they specialize. There are companies that offer everything under the sun from life insurance to travel insurance. To be quite honest this makes me nervous.
Can you really be a jack of all trades and do them all VERY well?
Anyway, this isn’t something you need to really worry about with Ivari because they don’t go too far afield with their offerings. They do a couple of things really well: Life Insurance & Critical Illness Insurance.
So let’s start with their life insurance offering right now!
Ivari: "Universal Life Insurance"
Universal Life (UL) is a form of permanent life insurance that covers you until the day you die. Because it has both an insurance and an investment component, It is known as cash value life insurance.
This is Ivari’s only permanent product and as a result of their focus and specialization, it has one of the best reputations in the Canadian marketplace.
Universal Life Insurance is very flexible and can be customized for many different situations including an Insured Retirement Plan (IRP). An IRP is a vehicle that can be used to transfer family & corporate wealth.
One such corporate life insurance strategy is known as an Immediate Financing Arrangement (IFA).
This approach can get very complicated so it’s really important to seek the advice of an independent insurance agent to make sure that Ivari UL is the right product for you.
Check Out the Deets!
- Single life
- First to die: joint life insurance
- Last to die: joint life insurance – premiums to first death
- Last to die: joint life insurance – premiums to last death
- Single Life – $25,000
- Joint (two lives) – $100,000
- $10 Million
- Term Rider – 10, 20, or 30-year term & Level cost of Term
- Critical Illness Rider – Term 10, 20 or Term to age 65
- Children’s Insurance Rider
- AD&D (Accidental death and dismemberment)
- Payor Waiver of Premiums
- Waiver of Premium
Ivari: "Term Life Insurance"
…and of course, we’ve got Term Insurance. It’s the best-known and most affordable type of life insurance after all.
It provides coverage for a specific period, hence the word “term”. I recommend Term to clients 90% of the time because it works well. Ivari offers term life insurance for 10, 20 or 30 year periods. All Ivari term insurance has the following features:
- Level & guaranteed premiums for the length of term
- Guaranteed renewable premiums beyond the original term
- Term 10 & 20 renewable to age 80
- Term select 30 renewable at policy year 30 with level premiums for life
- Convertible to Permanent insurance up to age 71 at same underwriting class
Check Out the Deets!
- Single life
- Joint first to die
- Joint last to die
- Single Life – $50,000
- Joint (two lives) – $100,000
- $10 Million
- Term Riders (layered insurance)
- Critical Illness Rider – Term 10 or 20
- AD&D (Accidental death and dismemberment)
- Payor Waiver of Premiums
- Waiver of Premium
- Children’s Insurance Rider
Ivari also has it's own spin on Term. Let's see what makes their offerings special:
Ivari Insurance Review- Extra Term Features
Ivari TERM 30 with SelectOptions
This product is a carryover from Transamerica Life Canada and has some interesting built-in options available between year 15 and 20 of the policy:
- Select30 provides you with a reduced paid-up amount of term insurance for the remainder of your 30-year term
- SelectLIFE provides you with a reduced paid-up amount of permanent insurance for the rest of your life
- SelectValue provides you access to some cash value attributed to your policy upon written request
How does it work exactly?
So let’s take a 35-year-old female purchasing $1 million of Ivari TERMselect30 coverage at standard non-smoking rates for $103.50/ month.
Did I mention Ivari’s TERMselect30 is one of the more expensive Term 30 products out there? Here’s why.
Our 35-year-old Female is now age 55 and has entered year 20 of her policy. If she wants, she can stop paying her premiums for good and elect to do one of 3 things.
- Select30 – take $250,000 of paid-up term insurance to age 65 (the end of her 30-year term)
- SelectLIFE – take $60,000 of paid-up permanent insurance for life, or
- SelectVALUE – get access to $4700 of cash value in her policy.
This is a cool feature if you’re looking for longer-term protection but you’re not exactly sure for how long and you want flexibility.
Ivari Term 10 Exchange Program
Ivari’s Term 10 Exchange Program is another carryover from Transamerica Life Canada.
It allows current Term 10 clients to exchange their coverage for Term 20 or 30 coverage without applying again or providing medical evidence of insurability. To be eligible, the exchange has to take place after year one of your policy and before the end of year 5.
For example, let’s say a 28-year-old male wants to get as much life insurance coverage as cheaply as possible.
He’s getting married and money’s tight. So, he gets a $1 million Ivari term 10 policy for $54 per month at standard health rates.
Four years pass. Now he’s 32, married and has a new job. His wife is expecting their first child and they’re also looking to buy a home.
Ivari’s term 10 exchange program allows him to exchange his $1 million Term 10 policy for a $1 million Term 30 policy. No reapplying, no new blood tests and he receives the same health classification as he did with the original policy:
…and Term 30 now provides more him with lengthier protection for his family.
It’s a great option if you’re young and want the opportunity to lock into a larger amount of coverage at low rates with the possibility of extending the term on that coverage without the hassle of reapplying.
*NOTE: This is a common term feature with many carriers.
Ivari Insurance "Critical Illness"
No Ivari Insurance Review would be complete without mentioning their Critical Illness coverage.
Critical Illness Insurance or “CI” is a popular product these days but you have to make sure you understand what you’re getting into when you sign on the dotted line. Some critics think the definitions in the fine print of the policy are so limited, that it’s difficult for consumers to make a claim. Read our post about it here.
Invented by a South African heart surgeon, critical illness insurance was created as a means to alleviate the financial stress that goes along with fighting a serious illness. It’s designed to provide you with a one-time lump sum payment should you develop a serious illness. The benefit is paid out tax-free and there are no restrictions on how you can spend the money.
CI has become increasingly attractive to consumers, especially in this day and age when employer coverage is rare and/or inadequate. Not to mention, more people are setting off on an entrepreneurial path and have no benefits whatsoever.
Ivari Critical Illness protection provides you with a lump-sum benefit if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness according to the definitions set forth in your policy.
Coverage lengths include Term 10, Term 20 and Term to age 65. All Ivari CI policies have the following features and options:
- Traditional medical underwriting
- Covers 4 or 25 conditions (including 5 childhood illnesses)
- Term 10 & 20 renewable to age 75
- Term to 65 expires at 65
- Level premiums (costs stay the same over the length of term)
- All plans convertible to permanent plan before age 60
- Issued age – 15 days up to 65 years
- Minimum benefit $25,000
- Maximum benefit $250,000 – $2,000,000
- Available as a single or multiple life plan
- Return of Premium on Death Benefit
- Expert 2nd Medical Opinion Service (EMOS)
Ivari Critical Illness Early Detection Benefit
The Ivari CI Early Detection Benefit pays out a one-time lump sum payment if you’re diagnosed with one of the Early Detection Covered Conditions and make it past the survival period.
This feature is only included with the 25-condition critical illness plans and covers the following:
- Coronary angioplasty
- Early prostate cancer
- Ductal breast cancer
- Superficial malignant melanoma
It pays out 15% of your CI benefit or $50,000, whichever is less. The early detection benefit can only be paid once and does not reduce the critical illness benefit.
Ivari Insurance Review: Underwriting
COVID-19 Underwriting Update
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Ivari has temporarily increased its no medical face amounts. Healthy applicants can now apply for up to $750,000 of coverage without providing fluids or undergoing physical tests.
The majority of Ivari insurance products require traditional underwriting, including health questions and a paramedical exam.
However, non-medical underwriting is available for coverage amounts below $250,000 if you’re 45 or younger. This means if you’re older and are looking for no medical life insurance Ivari isn’t the carrier for you.
…and yes there are reasons to consider no medical life insurance for higher face values. Schedule a call Policy Architects today if you think this may apply to your circumstances.
So let's take a look at some areas where Ivari Insurance is competitive!
Cigars & Marijuana
Do you like smoking the occasional cigar? Don’t sweat it, you’re still eligible for non-smoker rates with Ivari provided you smoke one cigar or less per month and use no tobacco products.
Also, when it comes to life insurance and marijuana, a casual pot smoker (a few joints per week), is eligible for non-smoker rates with Ivari.
Pssst, there’s zero tolerance for any tobacco products mixed in with your weed. Read more about life insurance & marijuana in my article here.
Ivari & High Risk Life Insurance
When it comes to Ivari insurance, independent life insurance agents in the know have a secret…
Ivari has top-notch underwriting department. Does that mean they’re pushovers? No, it means they work hard to truly assess risk.
For example, if you’re like me and you’ve eaten too much during the COVID-19 quarantine, Ivari may be your best bet!
Build Charts or Weight tables are used by insurance companies, including Ivari, to determine whether an applicant is considered overweight or obese. Compared to other major carriers, the Ivari build chart is the most lenient in Canada.
Also, if you’re healthy and have well-managed type 2 diabetes, you may have a better chance of getting a standard health rating with Ivari than other carriers. Of course, there are no guarantees.
These factors combined with their attention to detail means you may get a more favourable rating with Ivari than with other carriers.
For example, if you have high blood pressure but it’s well maintained with meds…and you’re also overweight, you may qualify for a standard rate with Ivari.
Ultimately, this means you could save thousands of dollars over the life of a policy. Yet another reason why it’s important to work with an independent agent who knows the ins and outs of the best life insurance companies.
Ivari Insurance Review: Application Process
Like most life insurance companies today, Ivari insurance has an electronic application – Ivari Appvantage. Your independent agent fills it out with you in person or over the phone using screen-sharing technology.
Another perk? Progress can be saved which makes the process very flexible. For example, your advisor can enter the bulk of your data face to face, save it and then finish off the application in his or her office before submitting it to Ivari.
Part of the application process involves deciding how much coverage you need.
The reality is, most people require more protection than they think. This is why we perform a needs analysis at Policy Architects. Great coverage depends on serious planning.
Sounds like you are trying to up-sell people. I think this is a little bit of a scam. Agents just want to sell more insurance!
Nope not at all. I think most of my clients are sincerely shocked when they think about the amount of life insurance they need to maintain their lifestyle. The numbers are staggering. They were even for our family.
How Much Life Insurance Do I need?
For the majority of us, life insurance is about replacing income for dependents when we’re not there.
If you’ve got kids and a mortgage, a substantial amount of coverage may be required to make sure there’s enough money coming in to continue life as you know it.
In a hurry? One rule of thumb for replacing income is 10-15 times your gross annual income.
Ivari has an interesting needs analysis tool – if you’ve got some time – called My Insurance View which lets you enter all your personal and financial data, including:
- Your children and how old they are
- Mortgage & amortization
- Other debt
- Percentage of gross income you want to leave for your family (and for how long)
You input all your deets and Ivari My Insurance View spits out a prescription for coverage which you can adjust. Yes, it has some limitations but it’s a great place to begin the process.
...So is Ivari Insurance a good fit for you? Let's check out the pros and cons...
Ivari Insurance "Pros"
Excellent Claims Experience
I put this one at the top of the list because, at the end of the day, it’s the only thing that matters.
Ivari has a top-notch record when it comes down to paying out benefits to policyholders. In 2017, Ivari Insurance paid out 99.1% of the life claims they received.
Not only that, they do it fast!
Ivari Canada pays out all life insurance claims 5 days from receipt of last required documents.
That’s unbelievable! And, if your policy is older than 10 years and the face amount less than $50,000 they pay it out in as little as 2 days!
Personally, I’ve heard of cases where it’s taken carriers from 6 – 18 months to pay out a claim so Ivari gets bonus points here.
Ivari, originally Transamerica Life Canada, has been helping Canadians for more than 80 years.
They have an A+ rating with Fitch and A.M. Best. Not to mention, they’re owned by the investment board of one of the worlds top retirement funds: the Canada Pension Plan. Need I say more?
Ivari has a very responsive underwriting department.
I personally find clients who have moderate health issues such as well-managed type 2 diabetes get more favourable outcomes with Ivari than with many other carriers.
Also, the Ivari build chart is one of the most forgiving in Canada. So if weight is an issue they could be the carrier for you.
Excellent and Best Priced Universal Life Product
Ivari Insurance ranks #1 in the marketplace for their Universal Life Insurance (UL) which is one of their best sellers. When running quotes, they come out on top in term of affodability as well!
Unique TERMselect30 Product
Ivari’s flexible TERMselect30 is term 30 policy with built-in options in years 15 - 20 which allow you to stop paying premiums and opt for paid-up term, permanent or some cash value.
This may be very useful.
Ease of Application Process
As with the majority of insurance companies today, Ivari Canada has an electronic application, Ivari Appvantage.
This can be filled in relatively quickly with the assistance of your independent insurance agent. Transmitting your data electronically to the insurance company drastically speeds up the underwriting time and makes it easier to apply for life insurance.
Ivari Insurance "Cons"
Cost of Term Insurance
Ivari's term products used to be more competitive but recently, they increased the price and let’s just say, it's not the cheapest product on the market. However, if you bundle your term coverage with a small amount of Universal Life for final expense, the cost is very competitive.
Having said that, sometimes you get what you pay for and with Ivari, you know your claim will get paid out and speedily.
Standard Term 30 Issue Age of 50 or Lower
Ivari has lower issue ages compared to some other carriers for their term insurance. How does this affect you?
If you’re older and looking for longer-term coverage, Ivari won’t sell you a term 30 policy unless you’re age 50 or below.
Ivari’s age cap is 80 whereas some other carriers will cover you up to age 85. For example, with Empire Life, you’re eligible for a term 30 policy up to and including age 55.
Find out more about term life insurance for senior citizens here.
No Whole Life Product
Ivari has a highly rated Universal Life product which should diffuse some criticism.
So to be fair this is only a partial CON. However, if you’re looking for a guaranteed cash value life insurance product that you can “set and forget”, like Whole Life Participating, they come up short.
As you would expect with any company, Ivari has negative and positive customer reviews. Experts tell us only 1.5% of consumers even leave a review and those who do are most likely going to be strongly supportive, or strongly opposed.
The majority of bad reviews concerning Ivari centre around billing and administration. After their rebrand in 2015 and I suspect they’re experiencing the last bit of operational growing pains. As Ivari builds a new culture I expect this to change.
The only metric that really matters though when it comes to life insurance is whether the death benefit will get paid out. Both Ivari and Transamerica Life Canada before them, have fantastic reputations when it comes to paying out claims (99.1% of claims received paid out in 2017).
Is Ivari Canada The Right Insurance Company for YOU!?
Well first let me begin by saying I have a soft spot for Ivari. I put them in my top 5 list of best life insurance companies in Canada – they’re a quality carrier with quality products.
Built on the shoulders of Transamerica Canada Life, Ivari Insurance is a financially stable company with deep roots in Canada. It’s good to know your investment in your family’s future is safe.
Ivari Canada also has a nice range of high-quality life insurance products including term, universal life, and critical illness coverage.
NOTE* The Canadian Insurance Industry is highly regulated by the federal government.
Every life insurance company is required by law to become a member of Assuris. If a Canadian Life insurance carrier fails, Assuris, a non-profit organization, steps in to guarantee the death benefit or cash value of your life insurance policy.
So don’t worry, you’re covered.
All Life Insurance Companies Are NOT the Same!
As a final reminder, not all life insurance companies are created equally.
They have different products and underwriting guidelines can vary substantially between carriers. As I mentioned above different companies work for different circumstances.
Do you think Ivari Canada is right for you? If so, give us a call at Policy Architects and we’ll be happy to give you a second opinion.