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BMO life insurance

The Bank of Montreal (known as Banque de Montréal in French), or BMO, is one of Canada’s largest banks, considered one of the Big Five (alongside RBC, TD, Scotiabank and CIBC). BMO is the fourth largest bank in Canada by assets and market capitalization and has a significant consumer banking product in the US - especially in and around Chicago - making it one of the most recognized banks in all of North America.

In 2009 the Bank of Montreal acquired AIG’s Canadian life insurance arm, AIG Life Insurance Company of Canada. Renamed as BMO Life Assurance Company, the new component immediately became the second-largest bank-owned life insurance company in Canada. While BMO life insurance did exist before 2009, it represents a small portion of the banking offerings. 

BMO history

BMO was founded in 1817, originally set up by eight merchants out of a rented home in Montreal, Quebec. At over two centuries old, BMO is Canada’s oldest bank, with an institution number of 001. The bank expanded quickly, opening branches in locations like York (Toronto), Quebec, Kingston, and New York City as early as 1818.

More recently, BMO made several acquisitions of smaller banks, most notably Chicago’s Harris bank in 1984. In 1994, BMO became the first Canadian bank to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. A proposed and agreed upon merger with the Royal Bank of Canada was blocked by the Canadian government in 1998, the same year a merger between TD Bank and CIBC was blocked. The Bank of Montreal is still run from its home city, Montreal, Quebec.

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BMO life insurance products

BMO's life insurance offering is much smaller than any of the stand-alone life insurance companies, as well as many of the other banks. Despite that, it ranks as the second-largest bank-owned life insurance company, thanks to its acquisition of AIG Canada in 2009. BMO offers term life insurance, as well as a few types of permanent life insurance.

BMO term life insurance

BMO permanent life insurance

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Pros and Cons of BMO life insurance

BMO life insurance pros

  • While BMO has relatively few life insurance policies, it is a simple and easy to understand product range
  • Guaranteed life insurance from BMO will cover up to $50,000, twice as much as the standard $25,000 maximum

BMO life insurance cons

  • BMO has a very limited range of life insurance products

BMO credit rating

The Bank of Montreal has a very strong credit rating, and a very good history of paying dividends, having not missed a payment since 1829:

  • Standard and Poor’s: A+ (Very strong)
  • Moody’s: AA2 (High quality)
  • DBRS: AA (Excellent)

Questions about BMO life insurance

Can BMO cancel your life insurance?

How do I cancel my BMO life insurance

Is BMO life insurance good?

Author Bio

Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance

Matt started his professional career at CARPROOF where he honed his marketing and analytical skills for over 3 years. Matt then took his wealth of experience to Ratehub.ca’s Toronto offices, working with insurance providers, agents, and brokers to grow and expand the Insurance business unit. He is a thought leader in the community and a valuable insurance resource to respected publications like the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Huffington Post, Yahoo News, and 680 news radio in Toronto.

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