Your options for buying Life Insurance can be very confusing. Are you looking for qualified, professional advice from a life insurance broker you can trust?
Technology has given us many ways to get life insurance in Canada. You can find products and insurance companies via the internet, or deal with bank-owned life insurance companies through a call center. What you really need to ask yourself is, Is the insurance advice Im getting unbiased and really tailored to my needs? This article will outline the pros and cons of buying life insurance through the various sales channels and where you can buy personalized and professional life insurance advice.
True online sale in Canada — via point and click programs, are very limited in Canada, at least for now. Usually these sales are limited to health and dental plans and some forms of critical illness and travel insurance. There is almost no life insurance being sold totally via the internet, as you still need to speak with a licensed life insurance broker/agent and sign some documentation. As a buyer of life insurance you might think that by cutting out the middleman would save you money. Not so. In fact, insurance companies will charge the same premium for a policy bought online as they will for one sold through a face-to-face advisor like a life insurance broker. There are no discounts on premiums in the Canadian marketplace to buy life insurance online.
And with getting policies online you do not get personalized service. Most life insurance policies have unique features from different insurance companies. They also offer many riders and benefits that can customize your plan for your unique situation. And there is future planning to take into account, where a relationship with an insurance broker can help you change your life insurance policies as your circumstances change. Online quotes and sales of life insurance are typically limited to only term life insurance, and purchasing any permanent life insurance would need you to meet with a life insurance broker.
Call Centre sales
This is similar to acquiring online as most online life insurance sales have to be completed by a licensed life insurance representative on the phone. Buying life insurance through a call center is also specific to only term life insurance with several optional riders and benefits. Call center sales people only have a limited selection of products and lack the knowledge or skill to advise on permanent life insurance or various health insurance options.. Call centers basically represent only one insurance company (like a bank owned life insurer) and can offer only those companies products. Usually this means clients cant shop the entire Canadian insurance market for the best rates like they could with a life insurance broker, and are possibly paying much more than required.
Special Mail-Out offers
Several Canadian life insurance companies offer members of groups, like university alumni or employees of an organization, special mail-out offers for association life and accidental death insurance plans. These policies are all built on group insurance platforms. This means you do not own your policy, but are only a certificate holder as part of a bigger. You would have no rights to change your policy into permanent insurance in the future. On these plans, premiums will increase every five year as you age, so what seems cheap toady could get very expensive in 10 or 15 years time.
Many people opt for the accidental death coverage because they think it is cheap life insurance. But, it is NOT real life insurance covering all risks. You would have to die from an accident — NOT a sickness — to be able to claim any benefit. Some planes also cover accidents in only certain scenarios, such as an airplane or bus crash, in order to get the full death benefit they promote. Since sickness is the cause for over 85% of all deaths in Canada, it is doubtful these policies will ever pay out any benefits at all.
Mortgage/Creditor Insurance from the Bank
When buying a house or taking out a loan, your bank or mortgage broker will offer their Mortgage Insurance to protect your family in case you pass away while still paying off your mortgage. THIS IS DANGEROUS LIFE INSURANCE! Even though it might seem easy to be insured for this coverage, at time of claim (death) the insurance company will have to decide whether or not you are eligible for the insurance. Any minor prior health issues that were not FULLY disclosed upon the application could disallow your family from getting the death benefit. Be reminded also that the banks mortgage life insurance has a minimal insurance benefit; you have less life insurance coverage every time you make a mortgage payment, yet the monthly premium does not decrease. When you pay off your mortgage the banks mortgage life insurance cancels and there is no option to get a personal policy, and all your premiums (lost money|are not earning|are losing money}.
Captive Life Insurance Agents
Captive insurance agents are life insurance advisors who represent only on insurance company. A captive agent can only offer products from their insurance company, which means that clients have very limited options. It would be like shopping for a car but you are only allowed to visit the Ford dealership, and must pick a Ford — no other car companies can be regarded. You are not assured to get the best rates. Usually, premiums charged by captive agents are much higher than if a client purchases through an independent insurance broker. You as the buyer, will lose when buying from a captive agents as they are handcuffed by their inability to sell the entire Canadian market for life insurance. Companies that still maintain a captive life insurance agent sales force are Sun Life, RBC Insurance, Freedom 55 (London Life), Primerica, and Desjardins. And, by the way, all these companies offer their life and health insurance products to life insurance brokers too.
Independent Life Insurance Broker
An independent life insurance broker has access to all companies offering life and health insurance in Canada. They can research the market on your behalf to find the best possible solution for the lowest possible premium. Price isnt the only driver when choosing for an insurance policy that is perfect for you. Some companies will offer unique benefits and riders that better serve you, or you might have a health issues that is looked on more favorably by one insurance company vs. another. All this comes into consideration when advising clients about the best life and health insurance options for them. Make sure to also ask about your insurance brokers experience, support system/network, professional credentials, etc.
A Life Guard Insurance Broker Can Help You
At Life Guard Insurance, we are a network of highly skilled, professional life insurance brokers across Canada. Our life insurance brokers are supported by Canadas largest national life insurance general agency, PPI Solutions. Our brokers have access to customized services from reinsurance, meaning we can negotiate a policy when there are health problems or foreign travel restrictions.