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RatesDotCA Review

Monday, September 20th

2021 Canadian Life Insurance Reviews

RatesDotCA Review 3.5 Star Rating


3.5 Star Rating
  • Policies available from at least 15 different insurers
  • "A+" rated and accredited by the BBB
  • Competitive rates
  • Available in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan (may be redirected to an affiliate agency)

RatesDotCA has more than 20 years of experience in the Canadian insurance industry, helping millions of consumers to make good, well-informed decisions about their coverage. The company is committed to always showing you the lowest available rate based on the information you provide: they won't "stack the deck" with the insurers and policies that would best benefit their bottom line.

Most provinces covered here

RatesDotCA offers life insurance policies from several companies, including BMO, Canada Protection Plan, Empire Life, Equitable, Foresters Financial, Humania, RBC and SSQ. However, only residents of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan can apply for coverage through this service. That means that we were unable to get a quote for one of our two sample cases, a 25-year-old woman from Dawson (YT). And, when we entered Quebec as the province of residence for our test case 40-year-old male, we got a pop-up explaining that we would be "connected with one of [RatesDotCA's] dedicated insurance partners" in that area.

Quick quotes are easy to get

So, what life insurance policies were available for our imaginary Montreal man? We were able to select policy durations ranging from 10 years to age 100, for coverage amounts between $25,000 and $5 million. On the lowest end of the scale, we got monthly estimated premiums of $8 for a 10-year term with $25,000 in coverage; on the opposite end, we were quoted an appalling $3545/month for $5 million in coverage until age 100. To compare apples-to-apples with other life insurance services in our review, we looked specifically at a 10-year term with $100,000 in coverage and got a monthly estimate of $11. When we clicked to get the actual quotes, we were given options from 15 different insurers, with premiums between $11.52 and $15 per month. It was easy to compare any of the policies that interested us, or to continue with the one we wanted to purchase. At that point, we had to enter our name, email address and phone number and wait to be contacted by a dedicated advisor, who would review our application and get it submitted.

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Double-check which service you wind up with

But, remember: at this point, we were no longer getting our quote from RatesDotCA but rather from the partner referral service they gave us when we indicated a Quebec residence. You'll want to be very sure you're comfortable with that third-party company before providing your information (though we have no reason to think that there's anything suspicious or unreliable about the partners chosen by RatesDotCA).

Good reputation, confusing paper trail

In the beginning, we were confused by the reputation of this insurance broker. For example, when we clicked on the link at the bottom of the page, where RatesDotCA proudly displays their accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, the link took us to the listing for Kanetix: a Toronto-based agency with 22 years in business and an "A+" rating, but no accreditation - and no explanation as to their affiliation with RatesDotCA. By going to the Kanetix site, we found out that RatesDotCA is the rebranded name for Kanetix and RateSuperMarket together - and then found the separate listing for the new name where yes, the BBB has given both accreditation and an "A+" rating. Looks like RatesDotCA just needs to update the BBB link at the bottom of their site!

Final price may be higher than initial quote

Looking elsewhere, this agency has decent customer feedback, averaging 4.1 stars out of 5 over more than 3200 reviews. The biggest complaint comes from customers who say that their finalized quote was much higher than the initial one they got while using the site, but that's to be expected as you work through the application process. After all, if your medical exam reveals a health condition you weren't aware of (or didn't disclose), it'll cost more to insure your life. On the other hand, we found ample praise for helpful representatives, a smooth process from quote to policy issue date, and premiums that were lower than expected.

A solid option for finding life insurance

RatesDotCA has quite a few things going well: plenty of customer feedback, easy-to-use online platform, and decent pricing on life insurance policies from many insurers. As long as you're comfortable with possibly being passed off to a third-party company, RatesDotCA isn't a bad place to compare life insurance coverage in Canada.

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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