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Whole Life Insurance Companies in Canada: Which Policy Is Right for You?

Last Updated on October 21, 2023 by SPN Editor

In recent years, the search for whole life insurance companies in Canada has seen a substantial increase. Canadian insurance companies offer a wide array of whole life insurance products, including term to 100 and participating policies.

Whole life insurance is a financial tool that not only provides lifelong coverage but also comes with a built-in savings component. With whole life insurance, you pay premiums for the rest of your life, ensuring that your loved ones are financially protected in the event of your passing.

When selecting whole life insurance companies in Canada, it’s essential to understand how premiums can vary over time. Let’s explore a scenario for men and women to illustrate how premiums change with age for a $250,000 death benefit.

For Men:

  1. Starting Early (Age 5): You can secure a $250,000 death benefit for as low as $60 per month, making it an affordable option for long-term financial security.
  2. Mid-Thirties: By your mid-thirties, the impact of time on premiums becomes evident. The monthly cost increases to $161, reflecting the changing risk profile as you age.
  3. Approaching 80 Years Old: As you approach 80 years old, the monthly premium significantly rises to $1,810, emphasizing the importance of obtaining coverage while young.

For Women:

  1. Starting Early (Age 5): Women can also obtain a $250,000 death benefit at a young age, with a monthly premium of $53, offering financial security at an affordable cost.
  2. Mid-Thirties: Similar to men, women experience an increase in premiums as they reach their mid-thirties, with the monthly cost rising to $138.
  3. Approaching 80 Years Old: By the time women reach 80 years old, the monthly premium climbs to $1,632, highlighting the value of early planning.

Below are some sample quotes obtained in October 2023 to provide you with a snapshot of premium pricing offered by various whole life insurance companies in Canada:

  1. $1,231/year
    • Whole life policy with $150,000 coverage
    • Applicable to a 40-year-old, non-smoking female
  2. $3,577/year
    • Whole life policy with $500,000 coverage
    • Applicable to a 35-year-old, non-smoking male
  3. $4,416/year
    • Whole life policy with $300,000 coverage
    • Applicable to a 50-year-old, non-smoking male

These quotes offer a glimpse into the diverse pricing options available for whole life insurance policies. However, individual circumstances, coverage preferences, and age can significantly impact the specific insurance premium.

Types of Whole Life Insurance in Canada:

1. Life Pay Whole Life Insurance: This type of insurance covers you for your entire life and includes a built-in savings component. Premiums are paid for the duration of your life, providing lifelong protection.

2. Limited Pay Whole Life Insurance: Similar to life pay insurance, but premiums are paid for a set number of years. While this option leads to higher premiums during that period, it ensures that you’ll be premium-free after a specified time.

Whole life insurance policies also differ in how policyholders participate in the payment structure:

1. Participating Whole Life Insurance: Policyholders receive dividends, typically annually, based on the premiums they pay. They have a say in how the funds are invested, potentially allowing for greater financial growth.

2. Non-Participating Whole Life Insurance: In contrast, policyholders of non-participating whole life insurance do not receive dividends. Instead, they benefit from guaranteed, level premiums, often at a lower cost.

Top Whole Life Insurance Companies in Canada

Let us explore some of the best whole life insurance companies in Canada, each with its unique offerings:

When it comes to selecting the right whole life insurance policy in Canada, it’s essential to consider various factors. Below, we’ve organized the top whole life insurance providers in Canada to help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences.

  1. Assumption Life – Best for Quick Issue

Assumption Life is an excellent choice for those seeking quick and hassle-free coverage. They offer Essential Whole Life (non-participating) and their flagship products, Assumption Life ParPlus and ParPlus Junior. The tiered system allows applicants aged 18 to 45 to obtain coverage up to $999,999 without the need for medical exams. Essential Whole Life provides lifelong coverage with guaranteed premiums and cash values.

2. BMO Insurance – Best for Flexibility

If flexibility is a priority, consider BMO Insurance. Their whole life insurance product offers increasing death benefits, guaranteed cash values, and level premiums. BMO’s policies come with features like premium switching, premium offset, additional payments, and policy loans, allowing you to tailor your coverage to your evolving financial needs.

3. Empire Life – Best for Paying Off Premiums Early

Empire Life’s EstateMax offers a unique 8-pay option, allowing you to pay premiums for just eight years while securing lifelong coverage and cash value growth. Empire Life focuses on wealth building, estate planning, and early premium payoff. They offer a range of dividend options to enhance your policy’s value.

4. Manulife – Best for Performance

Manulife offers both participating (Manulife Par) and non-participating (Performax Gold) whole life insurance products. Manulife Par focuses on long-term cash value and death benefit growth without compromising early access to cash values. It provides flexibility in premium payments and dividend options.

5. Beneva (formerly La Capitale) – Best for Affordability

Beneva is known for its affordability, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious individuals. They offer Whole Life 20, Whole Life 100, and Term-to-100 policies with a wide range of customization options. Additionally, riders like Critical Illness and total disability waiver of premium are available, along with simplified and guaranteed issue options.

6. Canada Protection Plan – Best for Non-Medical Coverage

Canada Protection Plan caters to individuals looking for non-medical coverage options. Starting from $10,000 in coverage, their non-participating whole-life insurance policies are ideal for covering expected final expenses. With guaranteed premiums for life, these policies are accessible, depending on your health and coverage amount.

7. Equitable Life – Best for Guaranteed Benefits

Equitable Life’s Equimax Estate Builder is designed to provide higher guaranteed cash values in the long term. Their non-guaranteed values, especially the cash value, are attractive. This policy is tailored for Canadians with long-term financial planning, estate planning, and charitable giving in mind.

8. Wawanesa – Best Value for Money

Wawanesa stands out as one of the most affordable whole life insurance providers in Canada. Their participating whole life insurance product offers higher coverage amounts at lower premium costs compared to many competitors. Plus, the ability to build additional coverage with dividends enhances the policy’s overall value.

9. Foresters Financial – Best for Final Expenses

Foresters Financial offers both participating and non-participating whole life products. Their Non-Par Whole Life is an excellent choice for covering end-of-life expenses with a tax-free death benefit and bereavement assistance to beneficiaries. Advantage Plus Whole Life provides flexibility, guaranteed cash values, and various premium payment options.

10. Beneva (formerly SSQ) – Best for Families

Beneva is an excellent choice for families. Their whole life policies cater to couples, young families, and empty nesters. They offer various coverage options, including critical illness, child illness, disability waiver of premium, and accidental death benefits. It’s a comprehensive solution for protecting loved ones and extending coverage to family members.

11. Sun Life Financial – Best Classic Coverage

Sun Life Financial offers a range of whole life insurance products, including participating and non-participating options. Their Sun Par Protector II and Sun Par Accumulator II focus on long-term cash value growth and financial protection. Sun Permanent Life provides straightforward protection with options for increasing the death benefit.

12. Industrial Alliance (iA) – Best for Customization

For those who value customization, iA’s non-participating whole life insurance plan is a top pick. It offers a high level of customization, including payment options, face amounts, and multi-insured coverage. You can even choose to pay premiums semi-annually, providing flexibility in managing your policy.

These 12 life insurance companies in Canada are leading companies as per my research. There might be other companies who are providing better deals. You may choose any one of your preferred companies.

When choosing a whole life insurance policy in Canada, consider your unique financial goals and circumstances. Each of these top providers has its strengths and offerings, ensuring you can find the perfect policy to secure your family’s future.

FAQs about Whole Life Insurance in Canada

Q1: What is the difference between whole life and term life insurance?

A1: Whole life insurance provides coverage for your entire life, whereas term life insurance offers coverage for a specific term, typically 10, 20, or 30 years. Whole life insurance also includes a cash value component, while term life does not.

Q2: How are premiums calculated for whole life insurance?

A2: Premiums for whole life insurance are determined based on factors such as your age, health, the coverage amount, and the specific policy you choose. Premiums are typically higher for whole life insurance compared to term life insurance.

Q3: What is the cash value component of whole life insurance?

A3: The cash value component is a savings or investment component within the policy. Over time, it accumulates cash that you can access or use for various financial needs. This cash value grows on a tax-deferred basis.

Q4: What are dividends in whole life insurance?

A4: Dividends are payments made by the insurance company to policyholders. In the case of participating whole life insurance, policyholders receive dividends based on the company’s profits. These dividends can be taken as cash, used to reduce premiums, or reinvested to increase the policy’s cash value.

Q5: How do I choose the right whole life insurance policy?

A5: The right policy depends on your individual financial goals and needs. Consider factors like your budget, desired coverage amount, investment preferences, and long-term financial objectives when choosing a policy.

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