Life Insurance Claim Experience compared: RBC Insurance vs. Manulife vs. Empire Life

A personal story by Michael Mlotek

In May 2019, my mother Helen Mlotek passed away. Being an independent insurance broker, I have done many death claims but this one was emotional. I had to deal with three insurance companies: RBC, Manulife, and Empire Life. The following is my experience.


The people at RBC were kind and sympathetic. Due to the amount of insurance, it was considered an express claim, meaning the paperwork was minimal. I was told they would try to pay the claim within two weeks. One week after I sent them all the paperwork, the beneficiaries received the cheques. Overall satisfaction: A+.

Manulife Financial

In dealing with Manulife, you notice you are dealing with a big corporation. This is not bad because you want solid companies behind your policies. After notifying Manulife of the claim, it was about two weeks before I had a person assigned to my case and they were extremely busy. The person was also compassionate and sympathetic. She immediately sent me an email about the paperwork I needed. The paperwork took about two weeks to get together. Five weeks after I told Manulife of the claim, the beneficiaries had the cheques. Overall Satisfaction: A+.

Empire Life

Empire Life was different than the other two because not one person was assigned to me; although everyone was sympathetic and compassionate. I received the list of paperwork I needed. The paperwork took about four weeks to send back to Empire. After I sent all the paperwork in, I was assigned a person to talk to and she was excellent. The same day that we first talked the claim was approved. Within five weeks, all the beneficiaries had been paid. Overall Satisfaction: A+. 

My Conclusions

In my over 25 years in the business, a constant attitude from prospects is that insurance companies will not pay the claim. I can attest personally that they do pay claims quickly and efficiently. 

For brokers and clients, I recommend the following: 

  1. Cooperate with the insurance company. They are not your enemy. 
  2. Before you phone wanting to know if the claim is paid, make sure you have sent all the requirements. More than anything else, a lack of sending the proper documents holds up claims.
  3. Most importantly, treat people with respect. They are sympathetic and compassionate. If you are emotional, do not take it out on the people who are trying to help you.

Michael Mlotek of is an independent insurance broker you can reach at .

If you have any questions about Life Insurance in Canada or would like to meet with an LSM broker, please contact us at 1-866-899-4849, e-mail us at, or visit our Term Life Insurance Quote Page.

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