Best Life Insurance Canada 2023

Here is the 2023 list of the best life insurance in Canada

Discover the best insurance companies that offer insurance products to protect the financial future of Canadians.

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What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides financial protection (death benefit) to your loved ones in case something unexpected happens to you. Imagine if you were no longer here to support your family financially.

Life insurance helps ensure that your family can continue to live comfortably, even if you're not around.

Who needs life insurance?

Life insurance is an important consideration for many Canadians, but who exactly needs it? (You might be surprised by the number of scenarios where life insurance is a vital protection!)

Unlike the popular misconceptions, life insurance can actually provide a level of financial security that other savings or investments may not.

Here are different scenarios to help you determine how much life insurance you need.

1. Your family relies on your income

If you have a family that relies on your income, having the proper life insurance coverage is crucial. In the event of your death, your loved ones would be left without a primary or secondary source of income.

That means sports, education (tuition), hobbies, travelling—All of this would be affected.

Additionally, life insurance can also cover any outstanding debts or mortgages you may have, providing your family with one less thing to worry about in a difficult time.

2. You pay your mortgage with a partner

If you pay your mortgage with your partner, a life insurance policy can provide an additional layer of protection.

If something unfortunate were to happen to you, your partner would be left to pay the mortgage on their own.

This could be really challenging for your partner, as they’re paying double the amount they were used to.

By having a life insurance policy in place, you can ensure that your partner will have the financial resources to continue making mortgage payments, and in some cases, even pay off the mortgage entirely.

Furthermore, life insurance can also cover any other outstanding debts, such as credit card bills or car loans, giving your partner one less thing to worry about in a difficult time.

3. Covering your funeral expenses

Funeral expenses cost (on average) around $10,000—As of 2023.

And unless you're immortal, well, someone will eventually have to cover those costs, and this could put an additional burden on your family.

4. Leaving inheritance to your family

If you want to leave something behind for your loved ones, life insurance can be a great way to do so.

In fact, life insurance can be used to provide a legacy for your loved ones, ensuring that they'll have a source of income even after you're gone.

In some cases, a life insurance policy can be used to provide a charitable donation, allowing you to make a lasting impact on a cause that is important to you.

It's important to understand that you shouldn't look at life insurance as an investment, as it doesn't (and shouldn't) replace traditional investing.

Remember that both tools are essential to provide you and your family, the financial health you deserve.

But what if I already have life insurance?

As your life changes, so should your life insurance coverage. Make sure to review your policy regularly and make sure it still meets your needs.

The different types of life insurance

Term life insurance

When it comes to life insurance, one of the most popular options is term life insurance. But, what exactly is term life insurance, and how do you know if it's the best choice for you?

If you're looking to cover your mortgage or protect your children's future in a cost-effective way, term life insurance might be a good choice for you.

By their nature, term life insurance policies are typically less expensive than a permanent life insurance coverage, such as whole life insurance or universal life insurance.

The main reason why term life insurance is often cheaper than permanent life insurance is because it only provides coverage for a specific period of time, usually between 10 and 20 years.

Furthermore, term life insurance is a great option if you're looking to provide coverage for your loved ones in the event of your unexpected death, but don't have a lot of money to spare on insurance premiums.

Let's say you're starting a family. You might be looking for coverage that aligns with the length of your mortgage or the time it takes for your children to finish college.

In this case, a term life insurance policy that lasts for 20 years might be good to consider. On the other hand, if you're nearing retirement and want to provide coverage for your loved ones during your working years, but don't want to pay for coverage after you retire, term life is a great option.

Whole life insurance

Looking to cover your funeral expenses?

You should probably consider whole life insurance.

Unlike term life insurance policies, which only provide coverage for a specific period of time, whole life insurance policies provide coverage for your entire lifetime, as long as you continue to pay your premiums.

This can provide peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of, no matter when you pass away.

Whole life insurance premiums are more expensive than term life insurance, that's why it's recommended to have both if you want the best protection without ruining your wallet.

For example: You take term life insurance to cover your $500,000 mortgage and take an additional $10,000 in whole life insurance to pay for your death expenses.

Universal life insurance

If you've never heard about universal life insurance, you're not alone. Universal life is made for more specific situations than term life or whole life, but is still considered a popular option.

Universal life insurance is part of the permanent life insurance policies category.

It's similar to whole life insurance (and more expensive), but offers more flexibility and customization. With universal life, you can adjust your premium payments and death benefit to fit your specific needs and budget.

If you're looking for a policy that can be used as an investment, universal life insurance might be a clear winner.

Universal life insurance policies accumulate cash value over time which can provide a source of funds for future expenses, such as children's education, retirement or even as an emergency fund.

Additionally, the cash value of universal life insurance policies can be borrowed against, providing a source of funds for major expenses.

How much does life insurance cost?

The cost of a life insurance policy can vary depending on an individual's circumstances, but it's helpful to have an idea of the standard costs.

Typically, A basic package (term life insurance & permanent life insurance) can be affordable, especially for young and healthy individuals with lower risk factors such as no smoking or dangerous hobbies.

A good starting point for these individuals would be between $15-$40 per month, depending on a few factors. Here are the different factors that affect prices for most life insurance companies :


The older you get, the more the premium cost, as life insurance companies consider advanced age as one of their main risk factors for issuing life insurance policies


Gender can also play a role in determining your price, as the average woman has a longer life expectancy than the average men, which can lead to lower premium rates

Smoking status

Smokers will generally pay higher premium rates as they are considered to have a higher risk of death


People with a healthy lifestyle, who don't engage in dangerous hobbies or have a history of illnesses, will have lower premium rates

Coverage amount

The amount of coverage you choose will also play a role in determining your premium cost. The more coverage you choose, the higher your premium will be

Policy length

The length of your policy can also affect premium costs, as policies that last for a longer period of time will generally have higher premium costs than those that last for a shorter period of time


Some policies have additional riders that can be added on, like the child rider, which can increase the premium cost

It's important to keep in mind that these are just general guidelines and there are many other variables that can affect the cost, so make sure to do research before choosing a plan.

How to choose the best life insurance company for you?

Choosing the best life insurance company for you can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, you can find the perfect life insurance provider that fits your needs and budget.

It's important to find the right balance between various factors, as they all affect your overall experience.


This is one of the most important factors to consider. You want to find a company that offers a balance between affordability and coverage


Have you ever heard the saying "time is money"? That's right. You don't want your life insurance application to take forever. At Emma, we offer instant coverage, which means you'll be approved on the same day.


Do the life insurance companies specialize in the type of life insurance you're looking for? Term life insurance or permanent life insurance


Is the process simple and hassle-free? Or do you need to go through paperwork or phone calls?

Medical exams

Medical exams can be stressful. Are you looking for a no medical exam life insurance company?


Does the company have a good reputation? Is the company financially stable? You want to choose a company that you can trust and that has a good reputation.

Customer service

How responsive is the company when you have a question or concern? How easy is it to get in touch with a representative? You want to choose a company that has good customer service and that is easy to get in touch with.

Best life insurance companies in Canada (2023)

Canada Protection Plan

Canada Protection Plan (CPP)

Founded in 1992, Canada Protection Plan is a Canadian-owned and operated company that uses simplified underwriting procedures and is backed by Foresters Financial, one of the biggest players in the North American insurance industry.

CPP is one of the reputable life insurance providers out there that offers a range of coverage options including permanent and term life insurance policies.

They offer a variety of suitable options for those who have difficulty obtaining coverage from other insurers due to health issues such as cancer, diabetes, HIV, etc.

However, it's important to note that CPP policies generally offer less coverage and are more expensive than other options.

Pros of Canada Protection Plan (CPP)

  • Multiple products offering simplified, no-medical coverage for applicants across all health categories
  • Most products are available through a quick and simple online application process without the need for medical tests
  • Affordable coverage pricing, particularly when compared to pricing multipliers imposed by traditional insurance companies on applicants with prior health issues
  • Available to temporary residents such as international students or work permit holders
  • Most plans offer life protection from the time the policy is put in place
  • All plans are convertible to permanent coverage until age 70
  • Decreasing term option available (ideal for covering mortgage debt)

Cons of Canada Protection Plan (CPP)

  • Products can be more expensive than plans from other insurers for those in good health
  • Coverage amounts are limited to a maximum of $1 million
  • Coverage ends at age 80, compared to age 85 for most other Canadian providers
  • Some customers have reported difficulty in reaching customer service and experiencing delays in the approval process


Invari Insurance

Ivari is a Canadian-based life insurance provider that has been in the market for over 80 years, originally under the name Transamerica Life Canada.

In 2015, the company rebranded to Ivari following its acquisition by the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board through Wilton Re.

They are known for providing insurance products that cater to the specific needs of their customers and for being transparent and approachable in their business practices.

The life insurance company offers life insurance and critical illness products and is distributed through thousands of independent advisors across Canada.

Ivari is also committed to giving back to the community through its partnerships with charities that focus on the prevention and elimination of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

Pros of Ivari:

  • Strong financial stability
  • Unique features such as a joint insurance option for up to five insured lives
  • Multiple term options
  • 30-year term that offers unique flexibilities upon maturity
  • Online access to account
  • Digital e-policy

Cons of Ivari:

  • Products tend to have higher premiums compared to other insurers in the market
  • You do not have the flexibility to choose your own term
  • No whole life insurance policy
  • No digital access to policy
  • Term life policies can be pricey compared to other competitors

BMO Insurance

BMO Insurance is a subsidiary of BMO Financial Group with over 200 years of experience in the insurance industry.

The company offers comprehensive insurance products with flexible coverage options and competitive pricing due to its financial strength and established reputation.

BMO Insurance prioritizes customer satisfaction through integrity, innovation, diversity, and exceptional customer service.

The company provides expert support and guidance to its customers throughout the insurance process. BMO Insurance aims to simplify the process and establish itself as a trusted partner to its customers.

Pros of BMO Life Insurance:

  • Five term life insurance lengths available:
  • Option to convert into multiple types of permanent life insurance products
  • Affordable term life insurance rates
  • Compassionate Benefit Program
  • Online quotes available

Cons of BMO Life Insurance:

  • Longer-term products are not renewable
  • Must apply through agents
  • Paper-heavy process

SSQ Insurance (Beneva)

SSQ Beneva

SSQ Insurance, now called Beneva, offers a wide range of life insurance options including term life insurance, permanent life insurance, and critical illness insurance. Their coverage options are flexible, allowing you to choose the right coverage for your family's needs. They also offer competitive pricing, making life insurance affordable for everyone.

Pros of SSQ Insurance:

  • Policy flexibility with large variety of term period offerings and easy exchanges
  • Large coverage of up to $10,000,000
  • Built-in Extreme Disability Benefit unique in the industry
  • Online services and account access for convenience

Cons of SSQ Insurance:

  • Longer turnaround times for policy approvals
  • Limited term life insurance packages compared to other Canadian life insurance companies
  • No quick quote process available

Empire Life

Empire Life Insurance

Empire Life is a Canadian insurance company that offers a wide range of life and critical illness insurance products, as well as group insurance plans for companies.

With a history dating back to 1923, Empire Life has been named the best Canadian life insurance company multiple times.

They are known for their versatility, competitive premiums, and user-friendly electronic application process.

Empire Life also offers unique features, such as the ability to exchange shorter term policies into longer term policies, a comprehensive offering of insurance riders, and an Annual Renewable Term life insurance product.

Whether you're looking for personal or group coverage, Empire Life is worth considering for your insurance needs in Canada.

Pros of Empire Life:

  • Offers versatile coverage options in Canada, including term life insurance, permanent life insurance, no medical exam, and participating policy options
  • Ability to exchange shorter term policies (annually renewable and 10 years) into longer Empire Life term policies (20-year and 30-year coverage options)
  • Instant approval possible, with user-friendly electronic application process
  • Electronic contract delivery and online account access available
  • Highly competitive annual or monthly premiums
  • Comprehensive offering of insurance riders, with a unique cash value feature for Solution 100 policy (unique for term policies)

Cons of Empire Life:

  • Limited options for term plan length
  • Annual renewable term coverage tops out at $499,999
  • Although their term insurance is competitively priced, there are typically more affordable options
  • Does not offer a standalone disability insurance product
  • Preferred life insurance rates are not available for all coverage amounts


Humania life insurance

Humania Life Insurance is a Canadian insurance company that provides life insurance options to Canadians.

They offer both term and no medical life insurance policies with coverage amounts up to $5 million.

They also have a unique product called HuGO, which includes term insurance and automatic approval for critical illness and debt disability coverage.

They have a user-friendly online application process and offer flexible options to renew, convert, and exchange policies.

Overall, Humania Life Insurance is a great option for those looking for affordable and accessible life insurance.

Pros of Humania:

  • Competitively priced term insurance options
  • Multiple coverage terms available, with flexibility to renew, convert, and exchange policies
  • Non-medical life insurance plans available, with coverage up to $300,000
  • Digital policy, with a user-friendly online application process
  • Automatic approval for critical illness and debt disability coverage for those with standard health
  • Coverage up to $5 million

Cons of Humania:

  • No preferred pricing for clients in better health
  • Conversion option only available up to age 65
  • No online access to policy details
  • Limited transparency in insurance products on the website


Manulife insurance

Manulife is a well-known insurance company in Canada that offers a variety of life insurance options for Canadians.

They have been serving the country for over 100 years and have a reputation for providing quality insurance products and services to their customers.

Manulife offers a range of life insurance options, including term life insurance, permanent life insurance, and critical illness insurance.

Pros of Manulife:

  • Offers a fully digital e-policy for convenient and easy purchase
  • Provides a cash advance when the insured is diagnosed with a terminal illness
  • Allows exchange of shorter-term products (such as Term 10 and Term 20) for longer-term products (such as Term 20 or Term 65)
  • Offers options for coverage without medical exams

Cons of Manulife:

  • Limited-term options available (only 10, 20-year terms, or to age 65 or for life)
  • Pricing is more expensive than comparable term life insurance products available in the market
  • Long delays with underwriting process, even in case of non-medical applications
  • Applications do not have “instant” approval like many competitors, hence delaying the process


February 11, 2023

Expert reviewed by

Ismael Girard

Jacomo Deschatelets, CMO & Cofounder, Life Insurance Expert

Jacomo is one of the Co-Founders at Emma. He is a master in the art of technology product development in addition to serving as a financial planning specialist.
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