The Top 20 Life Insurance Companies 2012

There are many life insurers in Canada, but only those with the highest revenue, premium income, profits and asset value make the Top 20 in the country.

According to the June 2012 issue of Financial Post Business Magazine, number 20 is Penncorp Life Insurance Company. Penncorp specializes in disability insurance for Canada’s blue and grey collar self-employed individuals. The company just squeaked into the list with $132.6 million in revenue, $78 million in premium revenue, $11 million in profit and $474 million in assets.

Blue Cross, Assumption Life and Primerica Life  sit at 17, 18 and 19 respectively, while Equitable Life is just outside of the top 15. At the midpoint of number 15 sits BMO Life Assurance with $1,041,664,000 in revenue, $760,332,000 in premium income, $14,209,000 in profit  and $5,390,191,000 in assets. Transamerica Life, The Co-operators, Rga Life Reinsurance Company of Canada and Foresters Life Insurance sit just outside the top 10 at 14, 13, 12 and 11.

Once the top 10 is cracked, you start to see the country’s real major players in the insurance game. At ten sits Empire Life, which offers a range of individual life insurance products, as well as critical illness, group benefits and various wealth management options. They earned their spot by posting $1,557 billion in revenue, $758 million in premium income, $25.7 million in profit and over $10 billion in assets.

Number nine gives us La Capitale Civil Service Mutual, which reported $1,666,822,000 in revenue, $1,353,612,000 in premium income, $50,496,000 in profits and $4,327,508,000 in assets. La Capitale is a Quebec-based life insurer with a 70-year history there and has now gone national.

The eighth spot held by the life insurance division of the RBC Financial Group, RBC Insurance. It earned that with $1,727,154,000 in revenue. $1,108,977,000 in premium income, $39,317,000 in profit and $7,527,043 in assets. Just ahead, at seven, is a Quebec-based provider called Societe D’assurance-Vie Inc. with $2,089,300,000 in revenue, $1,906,700,000 in premium income,  $40,500,000 in profit and $2,910,100,000 in assets. RBCmade major changes to its product line-up in 2013 no longer offering Term 100 and Universal Life coverage through its brokerage network and shrinking the number of MGAs they deal with.

Standard Life is just outside the top five. The company has a 95% customer retention rate, proving that its customer service is among the best in the industry. They have many solutions when it comes to insurance, whether the focus is on protection or investment. One of their products, Perspecta Universal Life Insurance, offers the insured both asset protection and investment growth, while serving as a tax sheltering tool for families and businesses as well. For the sixth spot, Standard Life posted $3,333,538,000 of revenue, $932,377,000 of premium income, $243,678,000 of profit and $21,881,402,000 in assets.

The top five starts with Desjardins Insurance, which used to be ranked fourth, but has dropped to fifth since then. However, they are ranked first among Canadian health and life insurance providers in Quebec. Their fifth place finish was earned with $5,264,900,000 in revenue, $3,271,500,000 in premium income, $225,500,000 in profit and $18,272,800,000 in assets. Desjardins continues to offer a very diverse product line with a wide range of Permanent plans, as well Critical Illness,  Health Insurance and Disability Insurance.

Replacing Desjardins in fourth spot is Industrial Alliance. One of the 100 largest companies in Canada, this provider is known for a specialized product called  the Peek-a-Boo, which is specially designed for newborn babies residing in Canada and protects against any unexpected accidents. It comes free of charge for the first year, so parents are not burdened with any initial cost. They posted $8,037,000,000 in revenue, $4,992,000,000 in premium income, $141,000,000 in profit and $37,441,000,000 in assets.

In the top three there are no surprises, you start seeing the largest insurance companies in the country. In third place sits Sun Life Financial, a company that is so big, they claim that one in five Canadians have had business relations with them. Their huge organization put up $22,581,000,000 in revenue, $9,314,000,000 in premium income, $193,000,000 in profit and $218,027,008 in assets. Sun Life raised the amounts applicants can apply without having to complete medical tests.

Just missing the title, in second place, is Great-West Lifeco. One of the most interesting products within their retirement and investment planning division is the Residential Mortgage where customers are offered tailored products by the team’s mortgage planning specialists. Mortgage life insurance enables you to add life insurance to your mortgage. Their second place finish is because of their $29,898,000,000 in revenue, 17,293,000,000 in premium income, $2,118,000,000 in profits and $238,768,000,000 in assets. Great West has a strong portfolio of disability insurance products and are particular competitive in the Professional Market

Finally, in top spot as the Top Life Insurer in Canada is Manulife Financial. This is no shock, as the company’s presence is global and they are renowned for their financial strength as a company and their extensive product portfolio that covers every corner of the insurance industry. The title was awarded to them, thanks to their $50,983,000,000 in revenue, $17,504,000,000 in premium income, $218,000,000 in profit and $462,102,016,000 in assets.

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  • Sam
    March 23, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Hi, I’m considering getting life insurance, and am worried about my family possibly having to go through any difficulties in claiming my insurance after my demise.

    In fact, this is a question that should be asked by all prospective insureds, which company(s) pay without too much hassle?

    Are there any facts & figures regarding the payout times, and amount of “red tape” involved with payouts by the different companies?

    Please do let me know!

    Thanks for a great article.

    • LSM Insurance
      March 23, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Thanks Sam. That’s a good question. To the best of my knowledge the amount of time each carrier takes to pay out a claim and the number of claims denied is not publically documented by insurers in Canada. LIMRA may have stats on the industry as a whole. There are things a good broker can do to ensure claims are paid quicker.

      If you have any specific questions feel free to email us at [email protected] or 1-866-899-4849.

  • angelina
    January 17, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Hi..what are your thoughts about Equitable Life?

    • LSM Insurance
      January 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks Angelina. Like every insurance company there are some positive and negative aspects. On the plus side they have competitive Term rates, offering standard and preferred rates, they are one of the few mutual companies left, which means they are owned by the policy owners, they have a popular Participating Whole Life plan. On the downside they do not have a Term 100 or disability policy.

  • JJ
    June 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Why is Canada Life not on this list?

    • LSM Insurance
      June 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      Hi JJ,

      Canada Life is part of Great West Life.

  • Kohl H
    May 10, 2014 at 9:41 am

    How do if my policy pays out a double benefit if I die by accident. I rememeber adding this feature

    • LSM Insurance
      May 10, 2014 at 9:43 am

      Thanks for the note Kohl. It would say with your policy document if your plan has a accidental death benefit rider. You can ask the insurance company or your broker for confirmation preferably in writing if you have this rider on your policy.

  • Franklin H
    April 16, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Was CNA Insurance purchased by Canada Life and is my policy convertible to a Term 100 plan I’m 59 and want $300,000

    • LSM Insurance
      April 16, 2014 at 8:56 am

      Hi Franklin, Yes CNA Insurance was purchased by Canada Life. Regarding the conversion of your policy Canada Life no longer offers a Term 100 plan but they do offer other Permanent Life Insurance plans you would have to check your current policy to see what conversion options are available.

  • Lyle
    April 8, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Did Foresters take over AIG Life

    • LSM Insurance
      April 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Now Foresters took over Unity Life. AIG was taken over by BMO Insurance

  • Holsohn
    March 30, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Is there one company that is best for mortgage insurance. I’m with Canada Trsut right. Have 425,000 mortgage and I’m 51

    • LSM Insurance
      March 30, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks for the note. Mortgage Insurance is essentially life insurance equal to the amount of your mortgage. So the underwriting is based on your age, coverage amount and medical and lifestyle details.

  • LSM Insurance
    March 3, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    RBC Insurance just lowered rates on their Term 10 and Term 20 life insurance plans for coverage amounts of $500,000 and above.
    They also stated in their recent communication that they also have new competitive rates for your insured’s looking for lower face amounts of $250K – $499K.

  • LSM Insurance
    March 1, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    It would depend on the policy but it is usually a maximum of 8 children.

  • Katie
    March 1, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    What are the maximum number of kids that can be covered under my RBC Children Life Plan

  • Joyce
    February 20, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Can I get Life Insurance without a waiting period if I was just declined 6 months ago for Diabetes

    • LSM Insurance
      February 20, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks Joyce. Most Simplified issue plans that have an immediate death benefits have a knock out question have you been declined in the last 2 years.

      You could try another traditional carrier if your diabetes has stabilized. You could submit a preliminary inquiry first which result in a non binding offer to give you an idea where you stand.

  • Keevan
    January 20, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    How can I got a copy of the life insurance questions for Equitable Life simplified issue plan before applying

  • Johnny U
    December 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Can you let me know how much and if a plan is available for mother she is 92 but very healthy.

    • LSM Insurance
      December 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      Wow Johnny. Congratulations on your Mother – what is her secret. Unfortunately 92 is too old to qualify for life insurance.

  • Lisa
    November 13, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I have a Transerica policy and its renewing soon. I can’t find the policy or the renewal premium.

    • LSM Insurance
      November 13, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Thanks Lisa. You would have to contact your broker or Transamerica directly to get the renewal premium.

  • LK
    October 23, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Which if any company will insure someone with HIV.

    I think insurance companies are really unfairly discriminating against people with HIV ad are not up to date with the stats.

    Many people are living 20 years or longer with HIV. In most cases they live longer than people with heart disease and even diabetes. They need to get with the times.

    • LSM Insurance
      October 23, 2013 at 6:06 am

      You make some very valid points. Unfortunately people with HIV still can not qualify for traditional life insurance.

      The Edge offers a Guaranteed Issue policy up to $25,000 and Humania Assurance offers up to $300,000 of Simplified Issue insurance – there are qualification questions with the Humania plan.

  • Mark
    October 20, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Manulife may be number but what does that mean to me I don’t care if they are ranking in profits.

    • LSM Insurance
      October 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Hi Mark, Manulife is a good company but which company is best depends on your need and the type of plan you are looking for.

  • Thomas
    October 16, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Can an insurance company deny my claim if I start smoking again. I din’t smoke when I orginally took out my life insurance company with …. in .. Thanks for your help. I would hate to put all that money in and my family gets zip. Buy I don’t want to pay a higher rate than I have to.

    • LSM Insurance
      October 16, 2013 at 5:24 am

      Thanks Thomas. Any future claims are based on your information at the time of application.

  • Gurpreet
    October 14, 2013 at 9:11 am

    How many of these top companies will ensure someone with cancer. It seems to me that life insurance company should be more liberal when underwriting people with cancer as of the many advancements in recent years. People who are less than six months to live are now living over 10, 15 sometimes 20 years they should be taken into consideration

    • LSM Insurance
      October 14, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Thanks for the note Gurpreet. Many insurance companies have changed the underwriting protocol for different types of cancer and many simplified issue plans- no medical tests and a short series of health questions have very liberal Cancer questions.

  • Malik
    October 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Quite Informative, We are a telemarketing company presently working for Brokers, could you please help us with this to grow our Business? Who should we work with to cover maximum products I.e auto insurance, home insurance as out current broker doesn’t entertain these products. Thanks in advance 🙂

    • LSM Insurance
      October 5, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Thanks for the note Malik. We are not licensed for home and auto insurance and have limited insights to offer you.

  • Ursula
    October 4, 2013 at 1:41 am

    what trends are you seeing among major insurance companies. I’m new to insurance.

    • LSM Insurance
      October 4, 2013 at 8:38 am

      There has been a big increase in the cost of Permanent Life Insurance rates, some companies have exited the market all together. The ones that have stayed have raised their rates as much as 30%.

      Some very good values still exist. BMO Insurance for example is yet to raise the rates on its non participating 20 Pay Whole Life plan.

  • Desmond
    September 18, 2013 at 3:50 am

    How does Term 20 rates in Canada stack up against rates in the United States?

  • Eastman
    August 30, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Did AIG change to BMO and do you have their pohone number

    • LSM Insurance
      August 30, 2013 at 8:12 am

      Yes AIG Life Company is now BMO Insurance and their phone number is 1-800-387-9855

  • Jason
    August 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Stick with Primerica there plans are by far the best deal. Term insurance is simply the only type of coverage that makes sense and thing else is lining your agents pockets

    • LSM Insurance
      August 27, 2013 at 10:18 am

      Jason, thanks but this is a pretty one sided stance. Term Insurance fits a specific need and so does Permanent insurance. They both can play role in properly insuring someone.

  • Pete
    July 8, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Primerica is 18th on this list. I heard there Term plans are expensive …

    • LSM Insurance
      July 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks for the note Pete. Primerica’s Term plan are expensive at many price points and have limited conversion options as they do not offer Permanent policies. Their premiums have come down at certain age brackets and are even #1 at certain age brackets.

  • Shawn williams
    June 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    The only one that you should have is Primerica insurance. The reason is because they do what is right for the client. That is the only thing that matters. Invest the rest for retirement

    • LSM Insurance
      June 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks for the note Shawn. But what evidence do you have to support that Primerica offers the best value for clients are that their advisors are somehow doing a better job for their clients

  • Robert
    June 21, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Which of these companies has the best rates on a TErm 30 policy. I’m looking for a Joint Life plan me and my wife she is 43 and 45 both good healkth but my sugar is a little high

    • LSM Insurance
      June 21, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks for the note. The premiums will depend on the amount of coverage. Each companies have different underwriting guidelines.We will send you a separate email now.

  • LSM Insurance
    May 18, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Thanks for the note. You would have to apply with the different carries. You may want to join our Life Insurance Canada linked in group page. A lot of industry people our members. Good luck!

  • shashikant
    May 18, 2013 at 5:48 am

    i need a job in Canadian life insurance company will i get it? i am working in lic of India for 20 years now i want to settle in canada.

  • LSM Insurance
    May 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks for the note this has been corrected.

  • Cynthia
    May 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    The link of Sun Life Financial is not correct. ( It s for Industrial Alliance)

    Have a nice day !

  • LSM Insurance
    April 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Good point. Customer service, claims paying reputation and product availability and pricing should all play a roll.

  • Rajanathan
    April 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Its not about being the # 1 company, rather treat each customer as their 1st customer

  • Syed Masood Raza
    August 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Hi Shan, thanks for the good question. We are a life insurance brokerage, which means we represent most of the life insurance carriers currently active in Canada. The carriers above are fine companies and we strive to find you the one that is the best fit for you.

  • Shan Ali
    August 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    What makes your company better than any of these companies?