Canada Life Insurance Review

7 min Read Published: 08 Nov 2022

Canada Life Insurance review**On 8th November 2022 Canada Life announced it is withdrawing from the Individual life insurance and critical illness market. Existing policyholders will continue to be covered under their policy terms.** - for information about alternative life insurance providers, speak to an independent specialist life insurance adviser*.

In this article, we take a look at Canada Life's personal insurance products, paying particular attention to its life insurance and critical illness policies. We weigh up the benefits and costs, including some little-known extras to help you understand how it compares.

If you are simply interested in the best and cheapest way to buy Canada Life Insurance, you can skip ahead to "Best Way to Buy Canada Life Insurance". However, we recommend that you read the article in full to understand the benefits offered by this life insurance company.

About Canada Life

Canada Life provides retirement, investment and personal insurance solutions to individuals, families and companies. It is a subsidiary of the Great-West Lifeco group of companies, with operations in Canada, the United States, Ireland and Germany and has been operating in the UK since 1903. 

The global organisation, Great-West Lifeco is Canada’s oldest life assurance company with foundations tracing back to 1847. Canada Life specialises in the provision of group life insurance products through employers; a fact that is backed up by the number of industry awards it has achieved, winning 'Best Group Protection Provider' for the 8th year running at the 2020 Health Insurance and Protection Awards.

Canada Life Overview

  • Life and Critical Illness insurance is only available via an authorised and regulated adviser/broker.
  • Claims statistics for individual life insurance policies are unknown, however, 98% of group life insurance claims were paid and so we could reasonably assume that the claims statistics would be similar when it comes to individual life insurance claims.
  • Canada Life does not specialise in providing individual life insurance policies and they’re neither the cheapest, nor the best. It may appeal to those who have other products with Canada Life and wish to keep their financial affairs in one place.
  • Canada Life provides Life Insurance and Critical Illness Insurance but does not offer Income Protection Insurance and you cannot arrange your life insurance as a Family Income Benefit policy.
  • Canada Life's Critical Illness Insurance provides cover for the policyholders and includes Children's Critical Illness cover within the adult cover at no extra cost.

Canada Life Policy Summary

Below, we have outlined the features of Canada Life's Individual Life Insurance policy

Canada Life life insurance summary

Canada Life individual Life Insurance
Cover basis
  • Level Term, Decreasing Term or Increasing Term life insurance(Inflation-linked) policies are available
  • A family income benefit option where the life insurance pays an income instead of a lump sum is not available
Who is covered?
  • A policy can be arranged for a single life, covering one person or for joint lives, covering 2 people together
  • Joint policies will pay in the event of the first death and then the policy will end so they pay once
Terminal Illness Cover
  • Terminal Illness Cover is included with life insurance and pays out if you are diagnosed with an illness and a medical doctor confirms that your life expectancy is less than 12 months
Can you inflation-proof the amount that you insure so it keeps its value over time?
  • If you choose increasing life insurance, the amount of cover will rise each year in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI) measure of inflation
  • Your premium will increase at a percentage higher than RPI to reflect the cost of providing the cover each year as your age increases
Waiver of Premium
  • You can choose to add Waiver of Premium for an additional cost. This means you won’t have to pay your premiums in the event that you meet the incapacity definition for more than 13 weeks
Minimum age at entry
  • 18
Maximum age at entry
  • 80
Policy Exclusions
  • Suicide is excluded in the first 12 months after the policy is started and/or the first 12 months after an increase is applied


Below, we have outlined the features of Canada Life's Individual Critical Illness Insurance policy

Canada Life critical illness insurance summary

Canada Life individual Critical Illness Insurance
Can it be combined with life insurance?
  • Yes
Premium type
  • Guaranteed to remain the same for the policy term. (Except where increasing insurance is selected)
Number of critical illnesses covered
  • 52 Core illnesses for which the full sum insured is payable combined with 44 additional illnesses for which a payout of 25% of the sum insured up to £25,000 is payable.
  • Adult serious accident cover provides £7,500 if you have to spend at least 28 consecutive days in hospital after an accident.
  • Total and permanent disability cover can be added for an additional cost.  You will find that this is automatically included with some other insurers
Children’s critical illness cover included
  • Standard children’s critical illness cover is included with adult critical illness insurance for no additional cost.
  • Children are covered for 51 of the full payout conditions as well as the 44 of the partial payout, additional illnesses alongside 6 child-specific illnesses.
  • Covers children from birth if they are diagnosed with a child specific critical illness and from 30 days old for all other critical illness conditions that are covered until they're 18 years old (22 years old if they're in full time education).
  • You cannot claim if your child has symptoms within the first 12 months of starting your policy.
  • It pays a lump sum equal to 25% of the amount of cover on the main policy up to a maximum payment of £25,000.
  • If a child is terminally ill and has a life expectancy of less than 12 months, a lump sum equal to half of the amount insured up to a maximum of £25,000 is claimable.
  • Funeral cover for up to 2 children, paying out £10,000 per claim is also included and can be claimed early if the child is terminally ill.
Minimum age at entry
  • 17
Maximum age at entry
  • 65
Policy exclusions
  • No payout will be made if you die within 14 days of being diagnosed with a critical illness or if you are diagnosed with an illness not covered by the policy

Additional benefits available with Canada Life

There are a number of member benefits that Canada Life offers customers who buy whole of life insurance or term life insurance products with them. Many of these benefits are available to use without claiming against the policy and may even be extended to the policyholder's family.

Canada Life bereavement counselling

This is offered to the policyholder only, with up to 4 face-to-face sessions per issue, per year. It is not extended to children or immediate family members of the policyholder which some other insurers would allow.

Canada Life probate helpline

A service that provides access to probate experts to assist with resolving family disputes, validity of wills, powers of attorney and obtaining probate. Again, this service is only available to policyholders.

Canada Life personal nurse service

In the event that you make a claim for critical illness or terminal illness, Canada Life offers access to a nurse who can provide practical and emotional support to the policyholder and their family.

Canada Life second medical opinion service

Canada Life includes a service that provides access to over 20,000 UK consultants for a second opinion on your diagnosis and treatment plan. It's worth noting that other insurers may provide access to the best consultants globally for a second opinion which may be better for you. 

Canada Life app

A free benefit that gives policyholders access to 1,000+ rewards and discounts for goods and services through a smartphone app. Some of the brands include Tesco, Starbucks, Currys PC World, John Lewis as well as holidays, gym memberships, theme parks and days out.

How much does Life Insurance with Canada Life cost?

With many life insurance companies offering similar products with good benefits, often the decision as to which company to buy your life insurance with will boil down to how much it costs. For this reason, we have reviewed the cost of life insurance for smokers and non-smokers. We provide you with the highest and lowest monthly premium for the examples of life insurance that we chose and compare these with Canada Life's life insurance price.

Canada Life individual life insurance price comparison - £200,000 over 20 years (Non-Smoker)

Canada Life Monthly Cost Lowest Monthly Cost Highest Monthly Cost
25 year old non-smoker £6.12 £5.55 £8.01
35 year old non-smoker £9.55 £9.08 £11.55
45 year old non-smoker £21.14 £18.97 £25.29
55 year old non-smoker £61.09 £48.03 £65.00

Canada Life individual life insurance comparison - £200,000 over 20 years (Smoker)

Canada Life Monthly Cost Lowest Monthly Cost Highest Monthly Cost
25-year old smoker £9.39 £8.14 £11.10
35-year old smoker £19.01 £17.27 £21.43
45-year-old smoker £51.26 £45.83 £59.52
55-year-old smoker £147.08 £127.82 £183.34

It is important to note that the above costs are a guide and your personal quotation will be determined by your age, smoker status, health, hobbies and occupation. As well as these factors, the amount of insurance and duration of cover will affect the cost alongside additional any options that you may choose to add.

To work out how much your insurance will cost and to determine the best options to choose, we would always recommend that you speak to a specialist insurance broker. We explain how to do this as well as earn up to £100 cashback when you arrange your policy in the next section.

Best Way to Buy Canada Life Insurance

Having read all about Canada Life's life insurance and critical illness insurance, you'll probably feel that you need some more guidance about how to arrange your life and/or critical illness insurance. Although Canada Life offers a number of good benefits within its policy, there are many more options available across the market that may be more comprehensive or suitable for you. In most cases, you will need specific guidance to ensure that you're getting the best policy for the best price and having researched the various ways to do this, we concluded that speaking to a specialist insurance broker is the best route to achieving this.

We have personally vetted the services of a specialist life insurance broker that provides bespoke advice for people of all backgrounds and with a variety of needs. The service is tailored to you and will gather all your information as well as your wants and needs before making a recommendation based on expert knowledge. The advisers are also trained to provide you with valuable and free advice that will ensure that any claims are paid out quickly, to the right people and free of any inheritance tax.

To arrange to speak with an adviser, complete this form. As a Money to the Masses reader, you'll also receive up to £100 cashback once you have arranged your policy.


If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses and do not wish to qualify for the cashback referred to in the article - LifeSearch