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Five years ago, Wawanesa Life wasn't really on my radar. Now, they're one of my favourite carriers. In fact, Wawanesa is on our list of the 8 best life insurance companies in Canada! Perhaps it's their outstanding customer and claims experience. Or, maybe it's their great range of products at affordable rates. Either way, we give Wawanesa Life Insurance 5 stars!
James Heidebrecht - Founder of Policy Architects
Wawanesa Life Insurance! Have you heard of this company and if not, do you need more info?
We’re releasing a string of life insurance company reviews to help you get through the process of sorting through all the companies out there.
Information is the KEY to finding an affordable AND comprehensive policy. You need to know a little bit about the ins and outs of the companies before you sign on the dotted line.
Don’t let glittering marketing budgets and name recognition fool you. Sometimes the company that is lesser known is a better fit.
With that said, let’s find out if Wawanesa Life Insurance is the right choice for YOU!
NOTE: Breaking news! Wawanesa life Insurance just acquired Western Life Assurance from the Desjardins Group! So keep an eye on this space. The two companies become one effective January 1st 2020!
The Roots Of Wawanesa Life Insurance
Hmmm I have never heard of Wawanesa Life! Can you give me some background information?
Sure can! I would love to give you a bit more insight into this company.
Wawanesa Insurance, originally established as a farmers’ mutual insurance carrier, was founded in Manitoba in 1896 and incorporated in 1929.
Word has that a group of farmers were worried about their threshing machines catching fire so they banded together to share the cost of one machine and thus, Wawanesa Mutual General Insurance was founded. The name originally came from the Ojibwa word waa’oonesii for the “whip-poor-will” bird.
This company’s growth in Western Canada was rapid, but the driving forces were not satisfied. In 1939 Wawanesa Insurance opened its doors in Toronto and Vancouver to reach out to new markets and in 1953 they expanded into Quebec. The life insurance arm was founded in 1960.
Wawanesa is a long-standing company that has weathered the Great Depression and World War II. They are definitely a force of nature.
Wawanesa Life Financial Rating
Wow that's a good story and it seems they have some awesome leadership!
Yep. But we also should check out Wawanesa's financial rating as this gives us an idea of how they are currently performing!
Financial ratings are GREAT. Basically people who know the industry evaluate the financial standing of the insurers to give you an idea of how they are faring.
Why would this be of interest to you?
Well, in a nutshell, life insurance is a long term commitment. When you buy a policy your beneficiaries make a claim 10, 20, 30 or even more years later.
What happens if the company you select is run poorly? They may go belly up.
This is not to say there are no protections in place to cover your loved ones if this happens…
…BUT doing your homework can save a lot of hassle.
The good news is AM Best gives Wawanesa Life Insurance an A-rating (excellent). With this company’s past history and this rating, you can rest easy with Wawanesa.
Many of us start thinking about life insurance when we have children. But that’s also a time when we’re harried and sleep-deprived. Actually buying insurance can get shoved into our to-do list’s metaphorical diaper pails. LIMRA and Life Happens reported that 30% of people said they didn’t buy insurance because they hadn’t gotten around to it.
Wawanesa Life Reviews Online
Ok now, this is a section that I always include, but I have reservations about it. Sure checking out life insurance reviews is smart. Of course, you want to see what sort of experience other people have had with your insurer of choice.
What could go wrong?
I’ll tell you what!
Almost all life insurers have negative reviews. It goes with the territory. Remember some of these companies offer a wide array of products and the complaints may have nothing to do with the service you are considering.
Not to mention the fact that making a life insurance claim is a painful and stressful experience. If you are ever going to lack patience it may be during a period like this.
So my recommendation? Read the reviews – compare them with the product you are purchasing but be aware that people are much more likely to complain about their claim than they are to write a positive review.
That said, let’s check out Wawanesa Life Insurance!
Wawanesa Life Insurance - Google Reviews
Ruh-roh! Wawanesa Insurance doesn’t have a very good Google rating: 1.6 stars out of 4 Hmmm
This is exactly the sort of situation I spoke about above.
So let’s investigate these poor reviews.
Aha! As I suspected the products people are primarily complaining about are Wawanesa home and car insurance. When you’re one of the 10 largest property insurers in Canada, bad reviews are to be expected. However, for the purposes of this article, we are concentrating on Wawanesa life insurance only!
…and when it comes to life insurance this company rocks.
Note: My personal experience (and that of agents) has been the complete opposite of what I saw on Google. I was relieved to see the complaints mainly center around their home and auto offerings. While they don’t seem to excel in this division, they do when it comes to life insurance coverage.
Wawanesa Life Insurance Insureye Reviews
Alright! Now you see what I am talking about.
Wawanesa Life is given 3.3 out of 5 stars. For a life insurance company, this is pretty good. You should see some of the other reviews…
….AND they even have a 5-star rave.
Now I see what you are talking about. This has really changes some of my thinking about life insurance reviews.
That's great. Also remember ANYONE can add a review. It's something to bear in mind. So let's move into the products. My favourite part!
Wawanesa Life Insurance Products
YES! I really enjoy going through all the offerings life insurance companies have.
It makes me a better agent and I love to see the different approaches to protection. If you take away only a few things from my articles it’s:
- Not all life insurance companies are created equal
- Products differ greatly from insurer to insurer
- Always talk to an independent life insurance broker!!
So let’s see what Wawanesa Life Insurance has to offer.
Wawanesa Term Life Insurance
Ahh, term life insurance! It’s such an awesome product. Temporary, affordable coverage for the times you need it most.
First of all, you select a period of time you require coverage, for example, a 10 or 30 year term and a face value that covers your needs. Traditionally you answer a battery of questions and take a medical exam so an underwriter can issue your rating class which ultimately determines how much you’ll pay.
Remember, the insurance company ALONE decides what your health class is, NOT the agent. Some insurance brokers use the promise of elite rates as a “sales tactic” to hook you in. BUT BEWARE, you may not qualify for those rates at the end of the day.
For most people looking for income replacement term life insurance works best.
Hey, clients typically are just looking to make sure their families don’t fall through the cracks if a sudden death occurs in their most vulnerable years.
Wawanesa offers Lifetime Term in 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 year increments and Term to Age 80. This is renewable & convertible coverage.
- Lifetime Term (10,15, 20, 25 & 30): Can be renewed until age 100 with level premiums.
- Life Term to Age 80: Level premiums until age 80. Can be renewed until age 100 with level premiums
Wawanesa Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance is the other option available. This type of coverage protects you until the day you die.
This means the company definitely pays out a claim as long as you keep up with your premiums. It also means the policy costs a lot more.
As with Term insurance, you select a face value and take a medical exam to determine your premiums. No medical exam life insurance is also available.
The biggest differences are the price and cash value feature. Click here to find out more about cash value life insurance.
Permanent insurance is a specialized product that’s very complicated. It works great for final expenses (smaller policies) but if you are looking for something more I highly suggest speaking to an independent agent.
Wawanesa Whole Life Insurance:
- Whole Life Pay to Age 100 (premiums paid to age 100)
- 20 Pay Whole Life (premiums paid for 20 years)
Both of these are guaranteed to remain level and are available for people 15 days old to 80 years old. Policies are eligible for annual dividends based on performance which will be used to purchase additional coverage (Paid-Up Additions)
Wawanesa Instant Issue Life Insurance (Whole Life):
- Issue Ages 45 to 75
- Guaranteed issue permanent plan with 5 qualifying questions
- 20 Pay (premiums are payable for 20 years)
- No Pay to age 100 option
There is a 2 year waiting period so if you die (non-accidental) before the end of the period you receive Return of Premium (ROP) plus 10% interest of the face value.
If you die as a result of an accident you receive two times the face value if you pass away before age 75. After 75 your beneficiary receives the face value of the policy.
Wawanesa Quick Issue Critical Illness
Critical Illness Insurance is one of those things everyone has to think about – especially those of us that work for ourselves.
People are living longer than ever and as a result, often recover from critical illnesses like cancer – living YEARS longer.
So what happens when you fall into this sort of category?
Quick Issue Critical Illness provides you with a tax-free lump sum if you contract a defined illness.
If you survive 30 days (unless a longer period is specified) past your diagnoses, you receive funds that can be used to help you get through your recovery.
For example, many people who develop life-threatening conditions have to take time off work to fight their illness. Critical Illness protection can help provide a safety net in this type of situation.
Wawanesa critical illness insurance also has a 90 day waiting period. So if you are diagnosed with Cancer before day 91 the company will only refund your premiums.
Wawanesa has 3 plan types:
- 10 Year Term Renewable to Age 75: You can renew this policy every 10 years but remember your premiums will escalate.
- Level Term to Age 75: Premiums are guaranteed to remain level until you turn 75.
- Level Term to Age 75 with Felxible ROP: Premiums are guaranteed to remain level until you turn 75. If you reach 65 or 10 Policy years befoe the critical illness benefit is paid and the policy is still in force you can get 50% of your premiums refunded.
NOTE** Buyer beware, this product is complicated and governed by very specific definitions when it comes to making a claim. Just because you develop cancer, for example, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re eligible. Read about the ins and outs of Critical Illness protection in my blog post here.
Wawanesa Life Miscellaneous Products
Wawanesa is one of those companies that has a number of different types of life insurance on offer. I am of two minds when it comes to this. Part of me likes the diversity and convenience of a one-stop-shop…
…and part of me prefers specialization especially when it comes to life insurance.
The good news is Wawanesa does life insurance WELL. The rest? Well, I don’t know the ins and outs BUT the reviews aren’t terrific.
Here are the other types of coverage they offer:
- Home Insurance
- Farm Coverage
- Automobile Insurance
- Commerical Business Coverage
- Health Insurance & Dental Products
- Disability Insurance
- Investment Solutions
For the purposes of this article I am going to give these a miss.
Wawanesa Life Insurance Application Process
The Wawanesa application process is seriously old school. There are no fancy forms or tools. Simply contact information for you to email or call an agent.
As you know, I highly recommend calling an independent life insurance broker because although Wawanesa Life is a good company, it may NOT be the right fit for you.
All companies underwrite clients differently. You want to make sure the insurer you select views you favourably. We have access to Wawanesa products. Why not give Policy Architects a call to see if they have the best offering.
This call could save you thousands over your term.
Wawanesa Life Insurance Rates
I always like to share basic rates in my reviews. They give you an idea of what to expect.
Please beware, Wawanesa may not be the company that works best for your particular set of circumstances.
No one should ever use online quotes as a basis for their life insurance decisions. This is far too important of a purchase to do that!
Consulting an independent agent saves you time and hassle in the long run.
|35 Year Old Male||$37.13||$64.80|
|35 Year Old Female||$27.23||$48.15|
|40 Year Old Male||$51.08||$93.60|
|40 Year Old Female||$38.93||$71.10|
|45 Year Old Male||$82.58||$156.15|
|45 Year Old Female||$58.95||$111.60|
|50 Year Old Male||$138.60||$266.40|
|50 Year Old Female||$95.85||$185.40|
|55 Year Old Male||n/a||n/a|
|55 Year Old Female||n/a||n/a|
|60 Year Old Male||n/a||n/a|
|60 Year Old Female||n/a||n/a|
|65 Year Old Male||n/a||n/a|
|65 Year Old Female||n/a||n/a|
*Wawanesa Insurance Quotes above are for Lifetime Term 30, standard non-smoker rate as of November 7th 2019.
*NOTE If you’re 56 or above, you’re not eligible for Wawanesa’s Lifetime Term to age 80 product. However, you can still purchase a 20 year term policy.
Excellent Customer and Claims Experience
Wawanesa life insurance has a great reputation for paying out life insurance claims quickly.
They bring a little bit of that Western Hospitality to their customer and advisor experience.
Solid Financials and Long History
Wawanesa has been around for more than 100 years and weathered the Great Depression,World War II and still managed to grow and thrive.
AM Best thinks they are good bet and gives them some love with an A rating.
Acquisition of Western Life
Wawanesa Life's merger with Western Life makes Wawanesa a stronger and a more streamlined company. This is good news for policyholders in terms of stability and access to more products.
Mutual Life Insurance Company
Best Guaranteed CashValues For Whole Life
Compared to almost every other carrier in Canada, Wawanesa Life Insurance has the highest guaranteed cash values in it's whole life policy. Also, it's cost per thousand dollars of whole life coverage is 40% lower than most other life insurance companies.
Low Minimum Face Amounts for Traditional Whole Life
If you're healthy and looking for a small whole life policy to take care of funeral costs or final expenses, look no farther. Wawanesa offers full medically underwritten coverage for amounts as small as $10,000. Most traditional carriers minimums start at $25,000 or $50,000 which may be cost prohibitive for many consumers right out of the gate.
Compelling Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance
Wawanesa’s Instant Issue Life Insurance product is a 20 pay, Guaranteed issue Whole Life Policy.
I love this product!
There are only 5 questions to qualify and the pricing is extremely competitive. Wawanesa Instant Issue Life insurance also happens to have the largest guaranteed cash value in comparison to any of the other products I’ve seen in this niche.
Like other guaranteed issue products, it comes with a 2-year waiting period. On the plus side, It pays out a double accidental death benefit to age 75.
It’s also designed as a 20 pay policy which means no more payments after 20 years! It’s a very popular plan with my clients who smoke.
For an Instant Issue, Wawanesa insurance quote, click here.
When I compare prices for term or whole life insurance, Wawanesa always shows up in my top 5 list of affordable Canadian insurers.
Limited Product Shelf
It’s true Wawanesa life insurance’s product shelf is narrow. For example, they don’t have a Univeral Life offering and their critical illness is limited to simplified Issue.
However, what do you expect from a small insurer that is involved in so many other offerings?
Poor Customer Service Reviews for Other Products
Wawanesa may have its fingers in too many pies?
Some customers seem less than happy with them when it comes to auto and home insurance claims. Please be aware we were hard pressed to find complaints about their life insurance though.
Is Wawanesa Life Insurance Right For YOU?
I have a confession to make. I love this company! I put Wawanesa in my top 5 list of the best life insurance companies in Canada.
If you think Wawanesa Life Insurance is the company for you…you may be RIGHT!
…OR you may be wrong!
My advice is always the same. Do your homework, read our reviews and always speak to an independent life insurance agent. This Canadian insurer may be fantastic in every way EXCEPT it may not a fit for YOU.
Remember your medical history, current health, age and family background all play a role. If you select the wrong insurer for your situation you pay THOUSANDS more over the course of your term.
An independent agent can make all the difference in the world…
We work with the top life insurance companies in Canada, including Wawanesa. Take advantage of our experience and hit the “Get Quote” button below or schedule a call here!
The best part? You don’t a dime for our advice.
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