Life is full of surprises – many good, some bad. The future is uncertain for everyone, but life insurance can protect your family from unexpected financial burdens should something happen to you.
A life insurance policy makes sense if you have dependents who rely on your income or if there are other important people in your life whose needs would be hard to meet if you die unexpectedly.
If you’re looking to get a life insurance policy in Canada, there are several providers to consider – from big incumbents like Sunlife and Manulife to new entrants like PolicyMe and Emma.
This post focuses on PolicyMe and how to start protecting your loved ones through term life insurance offering.
In this PolicyMe review, you’ll learn why it is arguably the best life insurance company in Canada.
We’ll start with an overview of the company, then go deeper to review its offering, how it is able to provide affordable life insurance to its customers, the benefits and many more.
What is PolicyMe?
PolicyMe is an insurtech company that’s disrupting the life insurance space in Canada.
It is an online life insurance company that helps Canadians apply for and buy term life insurance coverage online, in minutes and at a fraction of what it costs at many of the incumbents.
The company has streamlined the life insurance application process and eliminated many of the inefficiencies that people have come to accept with life insurance policies.
These cost savings are then passed to its customer in the form of lower and affordable life insurance quotes.
PolicyMe was co-founded by Andrew Costro (CEO), Laura McKay (COO) and Jeff McKay (CTO) in 2018 as a life insurance brokerage service.
Between them, they have relevant domain experience and extensive knowledge in the life insurance, actuarial and technology space.
PolicyMe started out as an online broker that lets Canadians quickly compare life insurance quotes from several insurance companies.
But it changed its business model in 2021 from a life insurance broker to a life insurance provider. That means it now has more control over the life insurance application process.
For now though, only term life insurance policies are available at PolicyMe. Learn more about its offering below.
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About PolicyMe Term Life Insurance
If you’re looking to get a life insurance policy in Canada, then a PolicyMe term life insurance is a great place to start.
You can get a coverage for as little as $100,000 and as high as $5million. The terms also range from 10 to 30-year terms.
Here is a summary of the PolicyMe life insurance offering:
- Type: Term Life Insurance
- Terms: 10, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year terms
- Coverage Amount: $100,000 to $5,000,000
- Age: 18 – 75
The PolicyMe life insurance policies come with locked-in rates. That is, your monthly premiums will never increase (once you sign the policy) irrespective of what happens to your health.
Plus, you can cancel anytime without any fees or penalties.
If you’re not eligible for the PolicyMe life insurance coverage based on the criteria above, you may check out PolicyAdvisor to compare quotes from other life insurance companies in Canada.
How PolicyMe is different from its competitors
The traditional way of buying life insurance is convoluted and broken. Customers have to go through several steps to get the coverage they need for their family.
You’ll have to deal with all the middle-men like brokers, in-person life insurance advisors, life insurance agents, and so on.
It’s a tedious process that can take hours of your time over 2-3 weeks and is often full of jargons with complex terms you may not understand.
After all this hassle, what’s worse? You end up paying for life insurance coverage that turns out to be too expensive.
PolicyMe solves these problems by eliminating the inefficiencies in the life insurance buying process.
The result is an overall better product for its customers – less time to get the coverage, more affordable rates, and an improved customer experience.
PolicyMe vs PolicyAdvisor
PolicyAdvisor is another excellent online insurance platform in Canada.
However, PolicyAdvisor and PolicyMe operate differently.
PolicyAdvisor lets you compare the insurance quotes from several (20+) insurance companies across different insurance types including life insurance.
In other words, PolicyAdvisor is an online insurance broker that lets you buy other companies’ insurance policies.
But PolicyMe is a online life insurance provider with its own policies.
Benefits of PolicyMe
Here are some of the benefits and pros of PolicyMe:
- Instant Quotes: Access to a personalized coverage recommendation and free, no obligation quote in less than 5 minutes
- Affordable rates: 10-20% cheaper than other insurers because they’ve eliminated all the unnecessarily steps and costs
- Fast & Streamlined application: Complete the application in as little as 15 minutes and get instant approval in most cases
- 100% Online: Everything is done online. No need for in-person visits or long waits to book an appointment
- Excellent Customer Support: Advisors are available to guide you and answer your questions 7 days a week
- Honest Advice: Get honest recommendations on how much coverage you need. Also, the advisors are salaried so they’re not incentivized to sell you a coverage you don’t need.
- Money-back Guarantee: Don’t like the policy you got? You’ll get a full refund if you changed your mind within 30 days. And you can cancel anytime with no penalty
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Cons of PolicyMe
PolicyMe has several pros and benefits, but there are also a few cons you should be aware of.
- Limited insurance type: At the moment, PolicyMe only supports term life insurance. While permanent life insurance may not be for everyone, it would still be nice to have the option. Other insurance policies like disability insurance and critical illness insurance are also not available.
- Does not cover all provinces: PolicyMe has done a great job of making its platform available to most Canadians, but it is still unavailable in Quebec and Newfoundland & Labrador.
One other thing to note:
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may not qualify for instant approval at PolicyMe. Same applies for people with complicated situations.
But be rest assured that PolicyMe would process your application as quickly as possible, and likely faster than its competitors.
Finally, if you prefer to meet with an in-person life insurance advisor to go over your situation, then PolicyMe is not for you.
The application process is 100% online, though you can speak with an advisor over the phone or through zoom.
How to Buy Life Insurance on PolicyMe
If you’re ready to get a life insurance coverage from PolicyMe, here are the steps to get started.
- Step 1: Get an instant quote
- Step 2: Complete the life insurance application
- Step 3: Receive a decision instantly
Each step is covered in detail below.
Step 1: Get an instant quote
The very first step in the PolicyMe life insurance application process is getting a quote.
Click here to get started or get a quick quote using the widget below. You’ll need to enter your date of birth, gender and smoking status.
Click on Personalize My Rate to customize the quote.
It only takes a few seconds and you’ll be presented with the results like below for a 35 year old non-smoker getting a 10 years term life insurance coverage of $500,000.
You can then use the sliders to personalize the quotes by changing the coverage amount, policy length and the people covered.
You’ll need to choose a coverage amount to get an accurate quote. Even if you have an idea of how much coverage you think you need, it is still a good idea to use the PolicyMe life insurance calculator to get an estimate.
The tool will ask you questions about your family, savings, investments, income and financial obligations or commitments.
Once you’re done, you’ll get a personalized recommendation for a coverage amount and policy length that best meets your needs.
In all, PolicyMe estimates that it’ll take about 5 minutes to complete this step. But I was able to complete it in less time.
Step 2: Complete the life insurance application
Once you’ve decided on the coverage amount and policy length, the next step is to submit your no-obligation life insurance application on the PolicyMe website.
You’ll be asked to provide information about your personal situation such as your medical history, finances, whether you have an existing life insurance policy and so on.
The application is 100% online and it takes about 15 minutes to complete. Or longer if you have a medical history that requires additional information.
This is a great time savings compared to other life insurance companies.
With the traditional way of buying life insurance, you can expect a medical interview that usually lasts more than 30 minutes in addition to the several minutes you’ll spend with the life insurance advisor.
Step 3: Receive a decision instantly
Finally, PolicyMe will review your completed application.
There are 2 possibilities:
You either get an instant approval or additional information is requested.
Most applicants will be instantly approved if they are healthy with no medical conditions. No medical examinations necessary!
Others may need to provide additional documentations like a medical exam, driving and medical records and so on.
If you get an instant approval, simply sign off on your application and provide your payment details.
Your coverage begins immediately.
Effectively, you can start a life insurance application with PolicyMe now and have the coverage to start protecting your loved ones in the next 20 minutes.
Compared to the incumbents where it takes 2-3 weeks, or more in some cases, before the application is approved and your coverage begins.
PolicyMe Review: Life Insurance Rates
Next in this PolicyMe review, let’s see how its rates and quotes compare to some of the other well-known life insurance providers in Canada.
You can expect the quotes you get at PolicyMe to be at least 5 percent lower than the next best quotes from its competitors. But in most cases, the difference is about 10-20%.
Don’t take my words for it though – feel free to compare the rates to other life insurance providers.
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PolicyMe Life Insurance Calculator
The PolicyMe life insurance coverage calculator is another great life insurance tool that lets Canadians quickly determine how much life insurance coverage they need based on their personal financial situation.
The calculator asks a series of questions to get an understanding of your unique finances and then calculates your life insurance coverage accordingly.
The calculator uses PolicyMe’s proprietary life insurance model that considers your family situation, income, savings and financial commitments.
The coverage amount you get from the life insurance calculator is just a recommendation.
While the tool considers your unique circumstances to arrive at the recommendation, feel free to increase or decrease it as you wish.
If you got a suggested coverage of $500,000 but can only afford the premiums for $300,000 for now – go ahead and get that.
It is better to be under-issued than not insured at all!
PolicyMe Review: Support
PolicyMe has a learning centre that includes several articles that answers many of the questions new and existing clients may have.
In addition, you can contact their expert life insurance advisors through email, chat and phone.
- Email: [email protected] for general inquiries or [email protected] for existing customers
- Phone: +1 (866) 999-7457
The phone support is available 7 days a week from 9am to 6 pm ET.
Is PolicyMe Legit?
PolicyMe is a legit and reputable Canadian company that is licensed to sell life insurance in most provinces and territories.
Also, the company is safe and trustworthy based on the following:
- Reputable partners: The life insurance policies provided by PolicyMe are issued by Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company and reinsured by another top reinsurance company.
- Fantastic Customer Support: Several channels for contacting PolicyMe if you have questions at any point during the application.
- Great Positive Review: PolicyMe has several positive reviews. It currently has a rating of 4.8/5 on review.io with 97% of all reviewers recommending its services.
Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company is a well-established company that has been serving Canadians for over 65 years.
In addition, it is a member of Assuris, the independent not for profit organization that insures life insurance issuers in Canada.
Assuris is to life insurance companies what CDIC is to deposit-taking financial institutions in Canada.
In other words, in the event that the company fails, your policy is covered up to $200,000 or 85% of your coverage, whichever is higher.
Who should use PolicyMe?
You should buy your life insurance policy with PolicyMe if you:
- Live in any of the provinces and territories it covers
- Comfortable with buying life insurance online
- Don’t want to pay more than is necessary for life insurance coverage
- Want a term life insurance
- Want to augment your employer provided life insurance coverage
Should I switch my Life insurance to PolicyMe?
What if you already have an existing coverage at another life insurance company? Does it make sense to switch to PolicyMe for the lower monthly premiums?
The short answer is Yes – but it depends.
With term life insurance, any past premiums you paid are gone. It is sunk cost so you should not consider it in making the decision to switch or not.
To help with the decision, visit PolicyMe to get a quote for the coverage you need and the policy term. Then compare the monthly premiums to how much you currently pay.
Depending on how long you’ve had the existing insurance, the PolicyMe quote could be higher – simply because of the difference in your age.
For example, if you decide to switch a 20-year policy after 10 years has elapsed. PolicyMe would calculate your new rates using your current age, which is 10 years older than when you got the first policy.
And because the older you are, the more expensive life insurance gets, you can expect a higher rate from PolicyMe.
But you can always speak with one of the PolicyMe advisors if you have any questions.
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How to Make Claims with PolicyMe
This PolicyMe review won’t be complete without talking about the life insurance claim process.
Granted we all hope we would live beyond the term of our life insurance policy, but we also want to know that our beneficiaries won’t have to go through too many hoops to get the insurance payout.
The claims process starts with the beneficiaries notifying PolicyMe of the policyholder’s death.
Next, they’ll need to complete the claim forms and provide the required documents like death certificate and so on.
Finally, Canadian Premier will review the claim and process the payout to the beneficiaries.
According to PolicyMe, the whole process takes just a couple of weeks in many cases. But can be longer if Canadian Premier requests for additional documents to process the claim.
In summary, here are the steps to make a life insurance claim at PolicyMe:
- Notify PolicyMe of the policyholder’s death by filling the form on their website or sending an email to [email protected]
- Complete the claims forms and attached all the necessary documents
- PolicyMe transfers the claim to Canadian Premier
- Canadian Premier reviews the claim and follow-up with any other information or documents (if necessary)
- Payment is processed and made to the beneficiaries
In the next sections in this PolicyMe review, we’ll cover life insurance in Canada and the types, how much life insurance you should buy, whether you need it or not and so on.
The other things you can do to protect your family and loved ones are also covered.
We’ll then round up the PolicyMe review by answering some frequently asked questions and some final thoughs.
PolicyMe vs PolicyAdvisor
PolicyAdvisor is another company that makes it easy for Canadians to buy several insurance products, including life insurance, online.
Unlike PolicyMe, PolicyAdvisor is an online life insurance broker or marketplace.
Within a few minutes, you’ll be presented with quotes from 20+ of the largest and most reputable insurance companies in Canada.
Check the post below to learn how PolicyMe and PolicyAdvisor compares.
- PolicyMe vs PolicyAdvisor
- Bounc3 Review – Insurance for Self-employed Canadians
- Walnut Insurance Review
What is Life Insurance?
Life Insurance is an agreement between an insurer and a policyholder, where the insurer agrees to pay a sum of money to the policyholder’s beneficiaries.
In exchange, the policyholder pays regular premiums during the contract period or throughout their lifetime.
If the policy owner dies during the term or period covered by the policy, life insurance pays out a lump sum of money to the person identified as the beneficiary in the agreement.
The life insurance payout can be used to settle debts like mortgage, pay for kids’ education and it is completely tax-free in Canada.
You should buy life insurance if you have any dependents who rely on your life-long income.
Types of Life Insurance in Canada
There are several types of life insurance policies. But in general, there are 2 broad categories, namely term life insurance and permanent life insurance.
Both types guarantee that your loved ones will be financially provided for in life, but they work differently.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance typically pays out the death benefit to your loved ones if you die within a specific period of time you choose (e.g., 20 years).
If you live past the time frame covered by the term life insurance policy, you’ll lose the coverage unless you renew the policy.
Term life insurance policies are more affordable than comparable permanent life insurance policies with the same coverage amount and can be purchased very quickly with no medical exam required in some instances.
Permanent Life Insurance
On the other hand, permanent life insurance policies usually last until the insured person dies or reaches a set age (for example 100).
There are several variants such as Term to 100 where coverage ends at age 100, or Universal Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance that incorporates investments.
Because of their guaranteed payout, they are typically more expensive than term life policies.
For example, the monthly premium for a whole life insurance policy for $250,000 can be as high as 20 times the premiums for a term life policy.
Term Life Vs Permanent Life Insurance?
Which one should you choose?
Permanent life insurance policies are better for someone who wants to ensure they have life-long coverage.
Term life insurance is typically the right choice if you want a policy that provides temporary financial protection especially when you’re younger.
For most people, a term life policy, like the ones provided by PolicyMe, provides enough coverage.
As you get older, you may grow your savings and investments such that your family have something to fall back on if you were to die unexpectedly.
That means, you won’t necessarily need the life-long coverage of a whole life or permanent life insurance.
Do I need life insurance coverage?
If you have loved ones that depend on you financially, then you should have some protection in the event of a death.
For most people, this means getting a life insurance coverage. While for others, their savings and investments would be enough to protect their families financially.
Using the unbiased life insurance calculator on PolicyMe’s website, you can check your life insurance needs. The tool will tell you if you need coverage or not.
How much life insurance do I need?
It really depends on your family’s unique needs.
However, the general rule of thumb is that you should purchase enough life insurance coverage so that the insurance payouts would provide for your beneficiaries’ living expenses and other financial obligations after you’re gone.
The insurance payout should be enough to sustain the lifestyle they are used to without resorting to drastic and sudden changes.
The PolicyMe calculator provides a quick way for estimating how much coverage you need. In fact, it’ll tell you if you don’t need life insurance coverage.
This unbiased recommendation is one of the reasons this PolicyMe review is positive.
How do I save money on life insurance in Canada?
While life insurance is very important, you should not pay more than you need to.
Here are some tips for saving money on life insurance in Canada:
- Get the right coverage amount: The lower the coverage, the less you’ll pay. Getting a higher coverage amount is great for your family, but consider how much that’ll cost you over the years.
- Choose the right policy term: Policies with longer terms are more expensive since the chance of dying increases with time. So if you think you’ll be in a great financial position in 10 years and have no need for life insurance, then don’t get a 20-year term life insurance
- Shop around for the best rates: Compare rates to be sure you’re getting the best value for your money. PolicyMe’s quotes are already the most affordable around, but it doesn’t hurt to check other providers too.
- Check for group discounts: Group discounts are a great way for reducing the cost of life insurance and other insurance in general. So if you belong to a professional association or other groups (like your university’s alumni body), you should check for any available discounts that are available to members.
- Pick Term Life Insurance: Term life insurance is more affordable than permanent life insurance with the same coverage amount and term. So if a term life policy meets your needs, don’t go for the more expensive permanent life insurance just because of the guaranteed payout.
Bundling your life insurance with other insurance types is another smart way of reducing the monthly premiums on your life insurance policy.
Unfortunately, PolicyMe only offers term life insurance for now, so there are no opportunities for bundling.
Other Ways to Protect your Loved Ones in Canada
Life Insurance is an excellent way for protecting your loved ones and securing their future.
But you shouldn’t stop there.
Life insurance should be seen as just a piece of the puzzle when it comes to estate planning.
Here are some other smart ways to protect your loved ones in Canada:
Write a Will
Beyond the payout your loved ones would receive from your life insurance policy, you should also ensure all your assets are distributed according to your wish.
Dying without a Will, or intestate, means your assets will be shared according to the estate laws in your jurisdiction.
In most cases, the sharing formula won’t work for your situation. In addition, your estate will go through probate – causing unnecessary stress, administrative delays and cost for your family.
Luckily, services like Willful lets you create a Will for less than $100 in less than 20 minutes from the comfort of your home.
Get $20 off using this link and entering Willful promo code: WALLET20
Protect your income
What would happen to your family’s finances if you became disabled through an accident or developed a critical illness that prevents you from working?
Would you still be able to afford your bills without the regular paycheck?
If no, then you should consider getting a disability insurance or critical illness insurance coverage.
These policies are generally more expensive than life insurance policies because the odds of getting disabled or getting sick is higher than the odds of dying.
Just like life insurance, your employer may provide some coverage for disability and critical illness. But in most cases, the coverages are never enough.
So you should do an assessment of your needs and get additional coverage as necessary.
You can use PolicyAdvisor to check and compare the best disability and critical illness insurance policies in Canada.
Save for your kids’ education
The earlier you start saving for your children’s post-secondary education, the lower you’ll need to save because your contribution will have more time to grow and compound.
Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP) are a great tool for financially savvy parents.
With the CESG grant money, you get an immediate return of 20% on your contributions (up to an annual limit and capped at a lifetime limit of $7,200 per child).
Check here for the best RESP plan providers in Canada.
FAQs: PolicyMe Review
You can expect to save a minimum of 5 per cent compared to other life insurance issuers in Canada. But the average savings is even higher at 10-20%.
For now, the only life insurance type available at PolicyMe is term life insurance. Permanent life insurance policies like term to 100, universal life insurance and whole life insurance are not supported yet.
PolicyMe covers all causes of death including suicide after the first 2 years (Industry-wide, suicide within the first 2 years isn’t covered). That means COVID-19 related deaths are also covered and beneficiaries would be eligible for the insurance payouts.
PolicyMe was co-founded by Andrew Costro (CEO), Laura McKay (COO) and Jeff McKay (CTO). But they’ve also raised outside funding from seasoned and experienced investors like Consorcio, HCS Capital & Westdale Properties.
PolicyMe is a safe, legit and reputable company. Its policies are issued by Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company, an Assuris member. Meaning your funds and coverage would be intact even in the unlikely event that Canadian Premier goes bankrupt.
PolicyMe Review: Final Thoughts
Based on my experience and that of several thousands of Canadians that have used their services, this PolicyMe life insurance review is positive.
PolicyMe has simplified and digitized the life insurance buying process. As a result, it has cut out the inefficiencies and reduced the distribution, underwriting, operating costs that traditionally makes life insurance expensive.
Because of this, it can provide affordable life insurance policies to Canadians with the same high-quality coverage of the bigger companies.
Have any questions about this PolicyMe Review or have some experience dealing with the company? Let me know in the comments.
Read more: 7 Reasons Why You Need Life Insurance
PolicyMe makes buying affordable life insurance in Canada convenient through its 100% online platform