Matt Hands, VP, Insurance and MoneySense
Manulife is one of Canada’s ‘big three’ life insurance companies, alongside Sun Life and Great-West Life, considered the largest when measured by life insurance revenue. Manulife has significant operations throughout Asia, and since listing as a public company in 1999 has acquired multiple smaller insurance and investment fund businesses.
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Manulife was founded as ‘The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company’ in 1887, headed by Canada’s first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, during his second term. This wasn’t unusual at the time, as there were no conflict-of-interest guidelines!
Since then Manulife has become Canada’s largest life insurance provider by revenue, with operations across the world. Manulife headquarters are found on Bloor Street, Toronto, Ontario. Manulife was the first Canadian life insurance provider to offer life insurance to people who are HIV-positive, recognising it as a manageable critical illness. Since then other life insurance providers have done the same.
Manulife has one of the most sophisticated product lineups of any Canadian life insurance company, especially when it comes to permanent life insurance.
Manulife term life insurance can be purchased as an individual, family, or business policy, and offers 10 or 20-year terms, depending on the policy. Term life insurance is generally renewable until age 85 and convertible to permanent insurance before age 70. Manulife also offers their Vitality product with their family terms, allowing you to earn points when you complete educational, fitness, and health-related activities, thus decreasing your overall risk of death. These points can be used to lower your premiums, subject to minimum and maximum rates.
Manulife permanent life insurance comes in several forms, making Manulife one of Canada’s most flexible providers of permanent life insurance. Whole life insurance includes Manulife Par, a whole participating life insurance product, and Performax Gold, a non-participating life insurance product. Both offer flexible premium payment schedules. Manulife also offers several universal life insurance products, for the ultimate flexibility of both the life insurance and investment component.
Other Manulife insurance products include no-medical term life insurance policies for a higher rate, as well as a form of Guaranteed Issue permanent life insurance. Disability and critical illness coverage are also available from Manulife, either as stand-alone products or as part of the company’s Synergy offer, at a discounted rate.
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Manulife life insurance pros
- As Canada’s largest life insurance company, Manulife has a massive variety of life insurance products
- Some policies include early payout options if you're terminally diagnosed, subject to some terms and limitations
- Manulife Vitality gives you credit towards your life insurance premiums when you take steps to improve your health
Manulife life insurance cons
- Manulife’s product variety comes with significant added complexity, especially for people purchasing their first life insurance policy
Manulife has good credit with all of the major credit reporting agencies, but doesn’t score quite as high as Sun Life Financial:
- Standard and Poor’s: AA- (Very strong)
- Moody’s: A1 (Upper-medium grade)
- A.M. Best: A+ (Superior)
- DBRS: AA low (Excellent)
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Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance
With 6+ years of experience at Ratehub.ca, Matt’s focus has been on growing its newest business unit, Insurance. He is a thought leader and a valuable resource to respected publications across Canada. read full bio
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