I Say Scotia Life Insurance, You Say Scotiabank Life Insurance
...But Are They the Insurer for YOU?
Thinking about buying Scotia Life Insurance? Scotiabank is an "A" rated financial institution with $1 trillion of assets. Like many Canadian banks, they sell life insurance products through a subsidiary (ScotiaLife Financial). However, their life insurance offering is very limited. It's only available to existing Scotiabank customers and only sold through captive agents. If you're considering buying Scotia Life Insurance to protect your family or home, there's a good chance you can find a more affordable option elsewhere.
James Heidebrecht - Founder of Policy Architects
Whether you are Googling bns Scotia Life Insurance or Scotiabank Life Insurance your results are the same!
You’re brought to Scotiabank’s life insurance products.
I wasn’t aware until recently that Scotiabank offers life insurance products.
So let’s discover them together right now!
Scotia Life Insurance History
Why do I care what their history is?
Because life insurance is a HUGE purchase you want to know everything about the insurer you pick...roots are important!
Scotiabank has a long and venerable history. It was founded in 1832 in Halifax Nova Scotia, thus the name. In 1900 they moved their headquarters to Toronto!
Scotiabank is a global company, doing business in Latin America, the Carribean, Europe, and Asia. It’s the third-largest bank in Canada and is #40 in the list of the largest world banks.
In 2009, Scotia Bank expanded into insurance marketing through its subsidiary Scotiabank Financial – because banks are prohibited from selling insurances through their branches.
Scotia Life Insurance: Financial Rating
Cool I had no idea Scotiabank was so powerful!
It is indeed! They are clearly a force of nature. The next step is to see how they are doing today. That can easily be accomplished by checking out their financial rating!
Life Insurance is a regulated industry – this is to protect consumers like yourself.
To make life a little easier there are rating companies that assess insurers to make sure they are rock solid.
Thank goodness because finding all of this information yourself would be extraordinarily time-consuming.
I was unable to find a rating for Scotiabank Financial specifically, but DBRS gives Scotiabank an AA, which is a superior score.
Scotiabank has a long and illustrious history and is currently financially strong. You can’t go wrong with them!
Scotiabank Life Insurance: Online Reviews
Ugh, the bane of my existence!
Online life insurance reviews aren’t what you think. Hey don’t get me wrong I am in no way dismissing people’s valid complaints. I am sure there are a lot out there due to the sheer number of policies in force.
The thing with life insurance company reviews is they aren’t as straightforward as you would think.
Often the reviews are for products unconnected to life insurance. A lot of the companies carry a very diverse product base. Often these divisions are VERY separate.
The key is to make sure you read the reviews to make sure that they are complaints are about the product you want to buy.
Another issue is, people are stressed when they make claims. This means you are bound to hear complaints – but the people who get stellar service are unlikely to take the time to say so. It’s just expected.
….and then sadly we have trolls. There is no way of knowing if complaints are authentic or motivated by something else. It’s one of the negatives sides of doing business online.
So let’s see what people are saying about Scotiabank’s life insurance now!
Scotiabank Life Insurance: Google Reviews
Well, this isn’t bad!
I bet you’re wondering what I am on about, as it’s only 2.6 stars out of 5…
…but if you saw the reviews I have seen thus far you’d know what I was talking about. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the following:
- Complaints about claims for accidents which implies they are talking about auto insurance which is not applicable.
- Customer service complaints
- Some jabs about price
- …and a few concerning complaints about unauthorized charges
There were also some glowing reviews. Honestly, the reviews are all over the place.
Scotiabank Life Insurance: Insureye Reviews
Well as I dig a little further the reviews aren’t getting better. 2 out of 5 stars from Insureye. Let’s take a peek to see what people are saying in this forum.
Out of the three reviews, it looks like one client’s beneficiary was denied because the policyholder ticked the wrong box. As I am not sure what sort of information she provided I can’t really comment.
Sadly this is what happens when people don’t deal with an invested independent agent. Things slip through the cracks. One of my biggest jobs is making sure people are honest and accurate when applying for their policy.
Otherwise, their beneficiary will be denied their claim.
There was also a couple of other customer service gripes.
Life insurance is meant to protect someone else. You won’t be around to enjoy the proceeds of your own life insurance, should it ever pay out. To make sure your monthly premiums provide your loved ones the benefits you expect, make sure your life beneficiaries are up to date. It’s simple and takes just a few minutes to make sure your loved ones are protected.
Meh! Those reviews are uninspiring.
Yep! I would agree with you. BUT there's nothing too disturbing. I don't see this as a huge red flag.
Scotia Life Insurance Products
Oh yes! Now the products. My favourite part of each review. This helps me stay on top of all the life insurance offerings out there.
To get the best possible coverage your agent needs to be familiar with the life insurance companies and their different approaches.
This is NO small feat!
For those of you that are unfamiliar – there are two main types of life insurance:
- Term Life Insurance: This is the coverage most people are familiar with. It’s temporary protection that gives your loved ones security during periods of vulnerability. As a client you select a term or period of time for coverage (10, 20 or 30 years, etc), face value or amount of coverage ($100K, $250K, $500K, etc). You then take a medical exam (for traditionally underwritten life insurance). You will then be given a rating by the underwriters that determines how much you pay (the premiums).
- Permanent Insurance: The process is similar to term, but there is typically a cash value component and you get coverage for life. This means your beneficiary is guaranteed a payout as long as you pay the premiums. Permanent life insurance is EXPENSIVE and complicated. It works a charm for some situations such as final expense, creating trusts for children with special needs or if you have a sizable estate – BUT for most people term fits the bill.
Scotiabank Term1 Life Insurance
Term1 Life Insurance
- Coverage: $50K – $1Million in increments of $25K
- Coverage renews yearly until age 70 without a medical exam (coverage ends age 70)
- Medical exam may not be required if you are younger than 50 applying for $250K of coverage or less
- Living benefit: To 50% of coverage amount up to $50K if you are dianosed with a terminal illness and expected to die in 12 months.
- 30 day money back guarantee
- No benefits paid if you commit suicide before 2 year policy anniversary
Accidental Death Insurance
- Ages 18 – 74
- $5K of complimentary accidental death insurance up to 5 full years (available for children)
- Tax free $350K lump sum if you die of a covered accident
- Living benefit paid to you if you’re in the hospital for 365 consecutive days immediately after the accident
- Guaranteed acceptance
- Guaranteed level premiums and half price for spouse
- No medical questions
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Critical injury benefit when you enrol for at least $25K of accidental death insurance (available for children)
Term is right for most situations BUT never rule out permanent:
But in particular, for wealthy families in their 30s or 40s, whole life insurance can be worthwhile as an estate planning tool because you can create an insurance trust that pays estate taxes out of the policy’s proceeds and then pass the trust onto heirs.
Scotia Mortgage Protection
Almost all financial institutions that underwrite mortgages in Canada offer their own mortgage protection to consumers. Scotiabank is no different, their coverage is branded Scotia Mortgage Protection.
If you have your mortgage through Scotiabank, it is likely you were offered this mortgage life insurance with your closing documents. Many consumers accept this coverage without thought or think that it is mandatory.
Products like Scotia Mortgage Protection purchased through your lender are designed to protect them and NOT you.
Read about the limitations of purchasing mortgage insurance through a bank, in my post here.
So what’s the best way to protect your Scotiabank mortgage?
Instead of purchasing Scotia Mortage Protection – which is actually underwritten by Sun Life – buy individual term life insurance policies with another carrier.
Looking For A Mortgage Protection Life Insurance Quote?
Scotia Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Similar to mortgage protection, most financial institutions offer their own Guaranteed Issue life insurance. This is a permanent life insurance product with a limited face amount (usually $25,000) that consumers purchase to cover final expenses. Scotialife guaranteed life insurance is such a product.
In most cases, there are no questions required to apply and you qualify regardless of any health issues you have. So for example, if you’ve had heart bypass surgery 2 months ago, guess what? You qualify. Sounds good on paper, doesn’t it?
The challenge with these types of products is that they always come with a waiting period (usually 2 years) and there is little to no underwriting involved upfront. This means when a claim is made, the underwriting is done post-claim. Long story short, that means there’s a higher potential for claim denials. Not to mention, this coverage is expensive compared with other plans!
There is a place for this type of product. If you have a serious health issue it’s possible Guaranteed Issue may be the only life insurance you qualify for. And once you’ve survived past the 2-year waiting period, you’re covered regardless of the cause of death. Either way, there are other carriers who offer guaranteed issue products with a higher level of underwriting and better guarantees.
If you are healthy or have mild to moderate health issues, you will definitely qualify for something more affordable with better guarantees. Not to mention, you won’t have to deal with a 2-year waiting period. Read more about no medical life insurance here.
Scotiabank Critical Illness Insurance
Children360 Critical Illness Insurance
- Coverage from $25K – $100K available in increments of $25K
- Affordable group rates
- Automatic renewal without a medical exam every year until your 70 (coverage ends at that point)
- 30 day money back guarantee
Not a lot of choice there...
Yep. I'd agree.
ScotiaBank Life Insurance Application Process
Each life insurance company handles their website and application process differently. Some are cutting edge and adopt the newest technologies, some even create innovative systems that push the envelope while others prefer to take the traditional phone and email route.
Scotiabank life insurance appears to be embracing automated quotes. Simply click the red button to get a quote and you are brought to the Scotiabank Financial site.
I add the required information my sex, date of birth, smoking status and Province of residence. They also ask if I or my spouse are members of Scotiabank. I click no and am informed I don’t qualify for life insurance through Scotiabank Financial.
It appears that it’s an exclusive service for people who bank with them.
So I Try to Apply Again as a Member of Scotiabank
…this time I hit YES and I am allowed to continue to move forward. I say I am looking for new coverage with a face value of $500K. At this point, they kindly give me a quote for the Scotiabank Term1 Coverage. For a 49 year old female nonsmoker, they offer monthly premiums for $88.20
You can also apply online. They ask for your contact information:
- name, address and phone
- height, weight (and any change this year)
- doctor and last exam (and any findings and do they have your latest medical records)
Which brings you to a questionnaire where you are asked:
- To confirm the policy is for me and for what purpose (personal etc)
- If my spouse or I have ever been declined
- In the past 5 years has my license (or my spouse) ever been suspended, charged with impaired driving or had more than 3 traffic violations
- Have I or my spouse engaged in hazardous activities in the past 2 years (motorcycles, scuba etc)
- Do I or my spouse intend to travel outside of the US or Canada for an extended period of time or change your residence in the next 12 months
- Have I or my spouse ever received treatment for drugs or alcohol
- Have I or my spouse ever used cocaine, narcotics, hallucinogens, heroine, ampethamines or barbituates
I Answered No For All...
They then ask as series of health questions that are very detailed that include information about:
- Heart & blood pressure issues
- Stroke or circulatory disorders
- Lymph or thyroid issues or high cholesterol
- Moles or growth on the skin
- Respiratory issues (a series of questions)
At the end they ask for your means of payment, which is a Scotiabank checking account. Whew!
Wow! Looks like they thought of everything.
Yes their online quote and application process is GREAT - IF you are a Scotiabank customer. Otherwise you don't qualify.
Scotia Life Insurance Rates
Because Scotiabank Life Insurance is only available for their customers their rates aren’t easy to find. I really don’t have any way to assess them against other companies EXCEPT by using the example I have above to contrast other insurers.
One thing I want to mention is although Scotiabank sells Term1 – it’s actually underwritten by Sun Life.
Also, any term coverage you purchase through Scotiabank expires at age 70 and there is no conversion to a permanent product because they don’t have it.
Looking For A Term Life Insurance Quote?
Scotiabank Life Insurance Pros
Scotiabank Has a Great Online Application Process
If you are a Scotiabank customer you can easily apply for term life insurance or critical illness coverage online. It’s fairly simple.
But buyer beware you always have to speak to an agent to finalize these things…
…and they will also review your answers.
Scotiabank Is Financially Stable
If you do decide to purchase bns Scotia life insurance, it’s good to know that their financials are solid.
Scotiabank Life Insurance Cons
Only Available to Scotiabank Customers
This isn’t a product you can buy if you aren’t a Scotiabank customer.
You Have to Use a Scotiabank Agent
Even if you’re a Scotiabank customer you can’t easily compare their rates. At the end of the day, they only offer their product and no one will ever tell you if you can do better elsewhere.
Not to mention, sometimes when you call a bank to get information regarding insurance products, you have no way of knowing whether you’re actually communicating with a licenced insurance agent.
VERY Limited Life Insurance Products
Scotiabank does not have many options. Simple term coverage, critical illness and mortgage life insurance. They have NO permanent insurance except for their guaranteed issue. We bet you can do much better elsewhere.
Term Coverage Expires at Age 70 & There is NO Conversion Option!
Now you are old – possibly unwell.
If you still need life insurance you’re out of luck. Scotiabank does NOT have a permanent product so there is no conversion option.
To get life insurance at this juncture is going to cost a LOT. You may even have to get Guaranteed Issue coverage.
Coverage is Branded Scotiabank But It's Underwritten By Sun Life Assurance
A lot of life insurance companies do this especially if they have a ton of products. BUT for me, it’s not a pro. Why not just go to SunLife. You’ll have more choice…
….but before you do that give Policy Architects a call. We can help!
Is Scotia Life Insurance Right For YOU?
You say Scotiabank Life Insurance I say Scotia Bank Life Insurance – either way, it’s a VERY limited product.
First of all the only way to get it is to have an account at Scotiabank.
Quite honestly if you are looking for term insurance there a lot of other companies that will better meet your needs.
Get in touch with Policy Architects Today! We rigorously research and review insurance companies, products and strategies in detail, to help you make a confident buying decision!
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