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Best Life Insurance in Ontario 2023: 5 Life Insurance Companies

The best life insurance companies in Ontario can help to provide financial security for your family if something unexpected happens to you.

Your loved ones pay off debt, cover funeral expenses, pay for your child’s education, and minimize stress using the tax-free life insurance death benefit.

While people often delay or avoid life insurance due to the costs of coverage, you could potentially save on premiums by comparing quotes across multiple life insurance companies.

This article covers some of the best life insurance providers in Ontario, how to compare life insurance rates, how to save on life insurance premiums, and whether you need coverage.

What is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company. You pay the insurance company monthly or annual payments (i.e. premiums), and in return, they will pay a death benefit to your beneficiaries if you die while you have coverage.

Your beneficiaries can use the tax-free benefit for any purpose. If you don’t have a beneficiary, the death benefit is paid to your estate.

As per a recent survey by PolicyMe, most Canadians with life insurance policies get coverage through a group benefits plan at their workplace.

Best Life Insurance in Ontario

Some of the best life insurance companies and platforms in Ontario include:

  • PolicyMe
  • Sun Life
  • Manulife
  • Canada Life
  • RBC Insurance
  • Canada Protection Plan
  • Empire Life
  • Industrial Alliance
  • Wawanesa Insurance

1. PolicyMe

PolicyMe is one of the best life insurance providers in Ontario.

The company started out as a free online life insurance comparison portal before becoming an online life insurance company.

It offers policies issued by:

  • Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company
  • BMO Life Assurance Company
  • Manufacturers Life Insurance Company
  • Wawanesa Life Insurance Company

PolicyMe operates in all Canadian provinces and territories, excluding Quebec and Newfoundland.

A key difference between this company and traditional insurance companies is that you can complete the application process online, which takes 20 minutes or less (no need for unnecessary meetings).

Application for a couple’s life insurance coverage comes with an automatic 5% discount, and you can add children to your policy with no added cost.

It also provides instant decisions, and most applicants do not need to undergo a medical checkup.

Lastly, PolicyMe allows you to access a life insurance calculator to get a no-obligation quote.

  • Types of life insurance: Term
  • Term length: 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years

Visit PolicyMe or read our full review.

2. Sun Life

Another company for ‘cheap’ life insurance in Ontario is Sun Life.

Sun Life is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. It is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker SLF.

It offers a variety of financial products, including insurance, investments, financial advice, and asset management.

  • Types of life insurance: Term and Permanent
  • Term length: 10, 20, or 30 years

3. Manulife

Manulife Financial is one of the best life insurance companies in Canada. It operates in multiple countries and has more than 38,000 employees and 33 million customers worldwide.

Its product offerings include insurance (life, travel, and health), group benefits, group retirement, investments, and banking services.

  • Types of life insurance: Term and Permanent
  • Term length: 10, 20, or to age 65 or 100

4. Canada Life

Canada Life, also known as The Canada Life Assurance Company, comprises Great-West Life, London Life, and Canada Life.

It was founded in 1847 and operates in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Isle of Man.

The company provides insurance (life, health, creditor, disability), mortgages, and investment services.

  • Types of life insurance: Term and Permanent
  • Term length: 5-50 years

5. RBC Insurance

RBC Insurance is owned by one of Canada’s largest banks.

It has more than 5 million clients worldwide and offers a variety of insurance products, including life, health, travel, home, and auto insurance.

RBC Insurance offers online life insurance quotes so you can get an estimate of your premiums before applying.

  • Types of life insurance: Term and Permanent
  • Term length: 10-40 years

6. Canada Protection Plan

Canada Protection Plan is one of the leading providers in Canada, and it has over 25,000 licensed advisors across the country.

You can apply for insurance over the phone, and one of the big advantages is that there is no need for a medical exam. That way, even if you have a medical condition, you can still get protection. It also provides coverage for people in good health.

The no-medical life insurance provides cover up to $750,000, while other plans cover up to $1,000,000. Cover is provided to people aged from 18 to 80 years old.

  • Types of life insurance: Term and Permanent
  • Term length: 10-30 years

7. Empire Life

Empire Life has been providing insurance since 1923, so it has considerable experience.

It offers several types of life insurance, including Term Life Insurance, Permanent Life Insurance, Permanent Participating Life Insurance, Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance, and No Medical Life Insurance.

In short, it covers every situation, so it’s a good option for people in Ontario looking for life insurance.

  • Types of life insurance: Term, Permanent, Guaranteed Issue, No-Medical
  • Term length: 10-30 years

8. Industrial Alliance

The iA Financial Group was founded in 1892, and it is one of Canada’s largest insurance groups.

It offers Term Life Insurance, Permanent Life Insurance, Participating Life Insurance, and Universal Life Insurance.

  • Types of life insurance: Term, Permanent, Universal
  • Term length: 10-40 years

9. Wawanesa Insurance

Wawanesa Insurance has a wholly owned subsidiary called Wawanesa Life, which offers a range of life insurance options.

Permanent Life Insurance pays premiums for either 20 years or until you are aged 100, and it insures people aged from 15 days to 80 years.

It also offers Temporary Life Insurance, and there are lots of terms to choose from, from 10 to 30 years.

  • Types of life insurance: Term and Permanent
  • Term length: 10-30 years

Types of Life Insurance in Ontario

Life insurance is a contract between you and an insurer. You pay a monthly or annual payment, or premium, to the insurer. If you die while you have coverage, they pay a death benefit to your beneficiaries.

It’s typically used to provide financial protection for your dependants, usually your children or spouse, especially if the loss of your income would cause considerable hardship for them.

Beneficiaries receive the agreed benefit upon your death and can use it for any purpose.

However, beneficiaries are not limited to your family members. For example, you could name a charity as a beneficiary. If no beneficiaries are named, the benefit will go to your estate.

There are different types of life insurance; the two most common are Term Life Insurance and Permanent Life Insurance.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance policies provide coverage for a specific number of years or until a set age. For example, you could get coverage for 10, 20, 30 years, or until age 65.

If you die during the coverage term and your policy is in force (i.e. you are making premium payments), your beneficiaries get a pre-determined death benefit.

Term Life insurance is the most common type of life insurance in Canada, and it is generally cheaper than the alternative, which is permanent life insurance.

Depending on your unique needs, you may be able to customize term life insurance using various riders.

Also, term life insurance can be renewed or converted to permanent life insurance.

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance provides coverage throughout your lifetime. Your beneficiaries receive a death benefit no matter when you die (as long as the policy remains valid).

This lifetime coverage can also design to provide some benefits while you are living, with some policies including tax-advantaged investment accounts.

Sub-types of permanent life insurance include:

  • Whole life insurance
  • Universal life insurance
  • Term to 100 life insurance
  • Participating life insurance

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost in Ontario?

The cost of life insurance depends on your:

  • Age
  • Health status and history
  • Occupation and lifestyle
  • Gender
  • Term length
  • Coverage amount

Age: Life insurance is cheaper when you are younger, and it gets costlier as you age.

Gender: Women generally live longer than men, so life insurance is typically more expensive for males.

Health: If you have a history of poor health, including pre-existing health consequences, it can increase your premiums. Your family’s health history is also considered.

Lifestyle: Do you drink, smoke, use drugs, or have dangerous hobbies? Your life insurance quote will be higher.

Occupation: If your job puts your life in danger, your premiums will be higher.

Term length and coverage amount: Longer terms and larger coverage amounts increase your premiums.

Policy type: Permanent life insurance is generally more expensive than term life insurance.

For an estimate of term life insurance costs in Ontario, let us consider a hypothetical single 30-year old female and male. Both individuals do not smoke, and they are applying for a 10-year term or 20-year term with $500,000 in coverage.

The estimates below are derived using the life insurance calculators on the applicable company’s website.

Life Insurance PolicyPolicyMeSun LifeManulife
Female 10-year term$14.78/month or $177.36/year$31.52/month or $378.24/year$18.09/month or $217.08/year
Male 10-year term$20.54/month or 246.48/year$39.40/month or $472.80/year$24.30/month or $291.60/year
Female 20-year term$21.82/month or $261.04/year$38.72/month or $464.64/yearNot available online
Male 20-year term$30.39/month or $364.68/year$46.60/month or $559.20/yearNot available online

How To Save on Life Insurance

Here are some ways to save money while applying for life insurance:

Choose term life insurance over permanent life insurance: Most people only need term life insurance to cover potential shortfalls in income when they have family members who are fully dependent on them, such as young children. Term life insurance tends to be cheaper than permanent life insurance.

Choose the right coverage amount. The higher the death benefit payout, the more expensive the premiums are.

Apply when you are younger. Age is the top factor determining how much you pay for life insurance. The younger you are, the better your choice of paying a lower premium.

Stay healthy. If you are healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle, insurers give you better rates.

Take a medical exam. If you are in excellent health, it could be to your advantage to complete a medical exam and qualify for the best premiums offered by the life insurance company.

Compare rates. It is easy to compare life insurance quotes online without leaving your home. Shop around for the best rates before committing to any insurer.

Pay premiums annually. Some insurers give you a discount when you pay premiums upfront each year.

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

There is no rule about how much life insurance you need, so you must carefully consider your situation.

There are some rules of thumb you can follow. One is to multiply your salary by 10 to get a value. However, it’s far better to work out how much you need instead of following any simple rules.

Start by considering the financial obligations you have and that you want to cover. These could include:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Education costs
  • Healthcare
  • Debts

You should also decide whether you want to cover existing or future expenses. Then consider the assets that could be used by your family, like your existing savings.

To figure out how much you need to be insured for, simply subtract your assets from your financial obligations.

Pros and Cons of Life Insurance


  • Provide your family members with financial assistance in the event of your death.
  • Get peace of mind for yourself, knowing that your dependants are protected.
  • Choose from several options depending on your requirements.
  • Available for the short or long term.
  • Many reputable insurers to choose from.
  • The death benefit can be used for any purpose.
  • Insurance is affordable enough for most budgets.
  • Applying for insurance is quick and easy.
  • Insurance is available even for people with health problems.


  • Insurance can be expensive for older people or those with health issues.
  • You may pay a lot of money in premiums and never use it.

How to Choose the Best Life Insurance for You

When finding the right life insurance for you, consider your situation, including your age, family members, their requirements, and how they would struggle financially if you were not around.

Work out how long you want to get cover for. For example, do you want to cover your children until they are adults? Or do you want to get cover for your whole life?

This will help you decide on the type of insurance you should look at. Once you know this, start comparing your options.

There are many insurers, so compare the amount you must pay each month and how much you will receive. You should also look at the insurance company and determine whether it is reputable.

Top 5 Life Insurance Companies in Canada

The top 5 life insurance companies in Canada are:

  1. PolicyMe
  2. Sun Life
  3. Manulife
  4. Canada Life
  5. RBC Insurance

Do You Need Life Insurance?

You may need life insurance if you have minor children or other dependents who rely on you financially, e.g. an adult child with special needs.

If you have a mortgage, life insurance can be handy in paying off the loan if something unexpected happens to you. The same reasoning applies to other debt obligations, including student loans.

If you have extreme hobbies that increase the chances of accidental death, you should consider getting life insurance.

Lastly, if your partner or family would have difficulties paying for your funeral, it may make sense to purchase a life insurance policy.


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Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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