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Insurance Hotline Review

Monday, September 20th

2021 Canadian Life Insurance Reviews

Insurance Hotline Review 2 Star Rating

Insurance Hotline

2 Star Rating
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Over 25 years in business
  • Part of the same company as RatesDotCA
  • Not available in all provinces

Insurance Hotline got its start in 1994 as a way of helping Canadians get the best rates on insurance by comparing policies from multiple companies - something that sounds commonplace now but was very novel almost 30 years ago. Millions of people nationwide have used this service to save money on insurance, though primarily for auto and homeowners' policies.

Good info, but broken links

There's a good amount of information about life insurance featured on the Insurance Hotline site. If you're just starting your research and want to know more about different types of life insurance policies in Canada, whether you should buy a policy for your children, or many other topics, be sure to scroll down through everything IH has to teach you. You'll find links to further articles on the IH blog as well. Unfortunately, one of the links was broken: it said to get life insurance specifically in Ontario, we would need to go to IH's province-specific page, but clicking the link didn't take us anywhere.

Same company as RatesDotCA

Be aware that Insurance Hotline is part of the RatesDotCA brand family, another service in our review. That means you may find some similarities between the two sites as you shop for life insurance. We actually found the Insurance Hotline site harder to use, largely because RatesDotCA makes it obvious where they operate (and where they don't), while the IH service requires you to enter your postal code - and then find out if they service your area.

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Not available for residents of all provinces

When we entered the postal code for our 25-year-old female test case, Insurance Hotline indicated that they don't offer policies in Yukon Territory. Short of entering a postal code in each of Canada's 10 provinces, there was no way to know where IH offers life insurance policies. You could probably use their sister company's list as a rule of thumb - RatesDotCA issues policies to residents of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan - but that's no guarantee, just our best guess since IH doesn't give you that information directly.

Redirected to a third-party insurance company

When we entered a postal code for our fictitious Montreal man, Insurance Hotline redirected us to a third-party insurance broker. In fact, we only succeeded in getting a quote for life insurance when we used a postal code for Ontario. We had to indicate whether we wanted coverage for a single person or couple; enter our birthdate, gender, tobacco usage, desired term amount and coverage; then, provide an email address. We were only given options for term life policies of 10, 20, 30 and to age 100, with coverage amounts ranging from $50,000 to $2 million.

Impossible to get a life insurance quote

So, how much would our Ontario resident pay for life insurance? Great question. When we clicked to submit our information, the "please wait" notification kept spinning for almost a minute, and then we got an internal server error message. Insurance Hotline just doesn't seem to want to quote life insurance policies to anyone, whether or not they live in their coverage area.

Good rating, no complaints at BBB

Inexplicably, Insurance Hotline has a fantastic reputation. The company has been in business for more than 25 years and enjoys both an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. We were particularly impressed to see that Insurance Hotline had zero registered complaints with the BBB.

No customers = no complaints?

Of course, having gone through the process of trying to get a quote and coming up empty-handed, we wonder if there are no complaints because there aren't actually any customers! There's no need to leave a negative review if you never got a policy in the first place, right?

Don't waste your time here

Simply put, there's no reason to try and use Insurance Hotline to obtain a quote for your life insurance policy - because all you'll get is wasted time. Your better option is to use one of the higher-ranked insurance sites in our review, to get an accurate quote quickly and without any hassles.

Where Can Canadians Find the Best Life Insurance Policies?

If you're not fortunate enough to have coverage through your employer, you're wise to consider purchasing life insurance privately. Why? The right policy can help your beneficiaries, usually your spouse and/or dependents, to cover the costs of final arrangements, replace your salary and continue to pay the bills, or even have enough money to fund future expenses like university tuition.

Even if you have a policy through your job, are you sure you have enough coverage? Although a 2019 LIMRA study showed that nearly 13 million households in Canada had life insurance coverage - an all-time high - further research demonstrated that most policies weren't enough to pay for remaining mortgage payments at the time of death.

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Canadian Life Insurance FAQ

In Canada there are two main types of life insurance: term and permanent (also known as whole life). Term policies last for a specified time period, usually 10, 20 or 30 years. The premiums are usually lower, partially because the policy has no cash value if you cancel before you die. Permanent policies generally have higher premiums but last until you pass away, and there's a cash value if cancelled prior to death.
While many Canadians do have life insurance policies through their work, the coverage amounts have dropped considerably over the past few years. Instead of a benefit representing a year or more of the employee's salary, it's now common for the coverage to include a flat payout (e.g. $25,000). Studies show that many people in Canada are underinsured, and for that reason they turn to privately-purchased life insurance policies.
There's no one-size-fits-all answer, but you can start by looking at your current situation. Do you have a partner or dependents who would face hardships without your salary? Do you have a mortgage that would be an undue burden on your loved ones? Consider future expenses as well, like paying for a child's university costs. And, don't forget to estimate any funeral costs. Those considerations can help you decide how much coverage you'd like to have in place.
It's obvious that the higher the benefit, the higher the premiums will be. Term life insurance will usually be more affordable than whole life.
Now. The older you are when you purchase life insurance, the more you'll pay in premiums (because it's more likely you'll pass away, making you more of a financial risk to the insurer). The younger and healthier you are, the less you'll pay in premiums.
Most of the time, yes. It may require blood and/or urine tests, a doctor visit, and several weeks to be underwritten and the policy issued. There are life insurance policies designated as "no medical" or "simplified issue" ; these usually just have a few medical questions but no tests or doctors. Generally speaking, the larger benefit amounts require more in-depth medical underwriting.
Yes. You'll need "insurable interest" : in other words, your coverage has to match your life situation and the hardship your loved ones would experience if you passed away. For example, if you have an annual salary of $25,000, you wouldn't qualify for a $2 million life insurance policy. Your coverage limit will be determined by your salary, net worth, and several other factors.
Yes - to a certain extent. Depending on the insurer and policy you select, you may be able to complete the entire application process online and make your initial payment. But, most insurance policies will need to go through an approval process that includes medical underwriting, so you won't have your coverage immediately. Shopping for life insurance online is a great way to compare quotes and get an idea of what your options are - before working with an agent.
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Continued from above...

In other words, many Canadians have life insurance but are still underinsured. For that reason, some consumers choose to purchase individual policies even though they have a group plan through their work.

How much life insurance do you need? That depends on many factors, such as your annual income, your number of dependents, your debts and your anticipated funeral expenses. But, before you decide to buy millions of dollars in coverage, you should be aware that there's a limit to the amount of insurance you can have. Known as "insurable interest" , your coverage has to match your net worth and your income: you can't buy a policy for $10 million if your net worth is $100,000 and your salary is $75,000 a year.

Plus, you'll need to evaluate how much insurance you can afford. The bigger the policy, the higher the premiums - and the older you are at the time you initiate the coverage, the more you'll pay as well. Your premiums will also be affected by the type of life insurance you choose, and in Canada there are typically only two types: term insurance, which is usually less costly but will only insure you for a predetermined number of years, and permanent life insurance, which lasts for as long as you live and often has a cash value against which you can borrow but with higher premiums to match.

Reaching out to an insurance agency online makes it easy to find out what policies are available to you, how much coverage you can get, and how much you can expect to pay in premiums. You will likely need a medical exam before your policy goes into effect, but starting the process online is a great way to get the ball rolling.

As you shop for life insurance, how can you tell which provider is the right choice? Here are several criteria to keep in mind, to guide your decision-making:

  • Reputation. What do other clients have to say about their experience with the agency? Has the company been rated by the Better Business Bureau?
  • Ease of Use. How quickly can you get a quote through the agency's website? Can you find the information you're looking for? Is the site intuitive to use?
  • Selection. Does the agency have a wide range of policies to choose from? Can you get both term and permanent life insurance quotes?
  • Rates. How much will you pay for your coverage? Can the agency give you a policy with competitive premiums and terms?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best sources of life insurance policies in Canada. We hope this information helps you find the right coverage, to give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved ones are taken care of in the event of your passing.

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