Empire Life Insurance Review

If you're looking for a life insurance policy, Empire Life can customize your policy to ensure that you and your loved ones are covered in the event of illness, disability, or death.

WRITTEN BY
Priya Correia
Updated December 10, 2020


RATING

Empire Life has been in the Canadian insurance industry for nearly a century. The company offers a variety of life insurance products, group benefits, and financial services. making it easy for Canadians to get all their life insurance and wealth-building needs in one place. 

Today, Empire Life is one of the top 10 life insurance firms in Canada.

Let’s take a closer look at Empire Life to help you decide if this is the right insurance provider to apply for a life insurance policy with.

Types of Life Insurance Empire Life Offers

Empire Life offers 4 different life insurance products, including the following:

Term Life Insurance

To ensure coverage while you still have lots of household debt while saving money on premiums, a term life insurance policy may be suitable. With term life insurance, you’ll be covered for a specified period of time during which your beneficiaries will receive a tax-free death benefit when you pass away. 

This policy is ideal if you still have kids or other dependents at home and are still working your way towards paying down your mortgage and other major debts. It’s also suitable for small business owners who want to help cover start-up costs or individuals looking for affordable coverage that will accommodate future changes in life. 

Empire Life offers 5 different term life insurance policy plans:

  • Solution 10. This policy offers guaranteed premiums that increase every 10 years. However, the last premium increase will happen after you turn 75 years of age. 
  • Solution 20. You’ll have 20 years of coverage with Empire Life’s Solution 20. Premium rates increase every 20 years, with the last premium increase happening after you turn 65 years of age.
  • Solution 25. As the name suggests, Solution 25 offers protection for 25 years at guaranteed premium rates. 
  • Solution 30. This is Empire Life’s longest-term plan that provides 30 years of coverage with guaranteed premiums. 
  • Solution ART. This policy comes with guaranteed rates with no increases over the first 3 years. Following that period, rates will increase every year, with the last premium increase taking place at age 85.
Term (10-, 20-, 25-, 30-year terms)Minimum coverage amountMaximum coverage amountAge at policy issuance
Solution 10 $25,000 up to age 65$10,000 from age 66-75 $10 million18-75
Solution 20$25,000 $10 million18-65
Solution 25$25,000$10 million18-60
Solution 30$25,00$10 million18-55
ART$499,999$499,99918-65

Permanent Life Insurance

While more expensive than term life insurance — at least over the first few years — a permanent life insurance policy will provide you with coverage for your entire life, no matter when you pass away. You’ll be guaranteed insurance protection for life at a guaranteed rate, and can also take advantage of an investment component that comes with a cash value, which is the value of the policy that you can tap into for cash.

More specifically, Empire Life offers Solution 100, a non-participating permanent life insurance policy that provides lifetime coverage up to age 100. The plan also includes a cash value beginning after 4 years.

Permanent Participating Life Insurance

This type of policy offers lifelong coverage that pays a death benefit to loved ones when you die. As long as you pay your premiums on time, the policy is guaranteed to grow in cash value and is designed to protect your estate and build wealth with the potential to collect dividends on a regular basis.

Empire Life offers two permanent participating life insurance plans: 

  • Estate Max. This permanent participating life insurance policy offers lifelong coverage and allows you to earn annual dividends. You can use the money earned from dividends to buy more life insurance coverage, pay your premiums, or put away in savings.
  • Optimax Wealth. Designed to help you build short-term cash values, Optimax Wealth combines life insurance coverage with the chance to save and accumulate wealth.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Empire Life’s Guaranteed Life Protect provides lifelong guaranteed coverage. The amount paid out will depend on when and how your death occurs:

  • If death occurs as a result of natural causes within 24 months that the contract took effect, the amount paid will be limited to the premiums paid throughout that 24-month period with no interest.
  • If death occurs as a result of an accident within 24 months that the contract took effect, the amount paid will be the face value of the policy.
  • If death occurs on or after the 2nd anniversary that the contract took effect, the amount paid will be the face value of the policy.

Critical Illness Insurance

If you are diagnosed with a serious illness that forces you to stop working, a critical illness insurance policy will provide you with a portion of your income to help you stay on top of your bills. Empire Life offers 2 critical illness insurance policies:

  • Empire Life CI Protect. This is a more affordable and simplified solution for critical illness coverage.
  • Empire Life CI Protect Plus. This is a more comprehensive solution that provides coverage for 25 critical illnesses.

Disability Insurance

If you’re unable to work because of a significant injury, a disability insurance policy will pay out a portion of your income so you don’t fall behind on your debt obligations. 

Empire Life Insurance Overview

Guaranteed Issue Life InsurancePermanent Participating Life InsurancePermanent Non-Participating Life Insurance
Maximum coverage amount$25,000 -$10 million for ages 0 – 65
-$5 million for ages 66 – 75
$10 million
Minimum coverage amount$5,000-$10,000 for ages 0 – 17
-$25,000 for ages 18 – 65
-$10,000 for ages 66 – 75
-$25,000 up to age 65
-$10,000 from age 66-75
TermLifetime, fully paid up to 95Lifetime, fully paid up to 100Lifetime, fully paid up to 100
Age at policy issuance40-750-750-75

Pros and Cons of Using Empire Life Insurance

Pros

  • Plenty of options. Whether you want a policy that lasts your entire life or one that just covers you during your working years, Empire Life has many options to choose from. Plus, you can also take out a policy that helps you invest and pays out dividends to suit your needs. 
  • Quick approval. Life insurance policies can sometimes take a long time to get approved, sometimes even up to a few weeks. This is especially true for more complex policies. But Empire Life has a reputation for quick approvals, and in many cases, approval and policy issuance can be immediate.
  • Long track record. Empire Life has been around since 1923, so the company has plenty of experience in the life insurance realm. 
  • Ability to convert to longer-term policies. If you take out a short-term policy, such as Solution 20 or 25, you have the flexibility to convert to a longer-term policy at some point if you feel you need more coverage. 
  • High rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Customers seem to hold Empire Life in high regard, as the insurance company is rated A+ with the BBB, helping to keep the firm among the nation’s top 10 life insurance providers.
  • Online account access. You can check the status of your life insurance policy online by logging into your account on the Empire Life website.

Cons

  • Can’t get a quote online. While you can open an account and get the quote process started online, you’ll eventually need to speak with an agent to complete the quote process. 

Not happy with your insurance provider? Check out how to cancel life insurance.

Cost of Taking Out a Life Insurance Policy With Empire Life

A life insurance policy with Empire Life will vary in cost depending on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Your job
  • Your current health 
  • Family history of medical issues 
  • Smoking
  • Policy type (term vs. permanent)
  • Term length (if applicable)
  • Amount of coverage 

Generally speaking, the younger and healthier you are, the cheaper a life insurance policy will be. Plus, a term policy with a coverage amount of $200,000 would be more affordable than a permanent policy for $1 million. As you can see, various factors come into play in terms of how Empire Life will determine an accurate cost for a life insurance policy.

Having said that, a $500,000, 20-year term life insurance policy for a 30-year-old non-smoking male would cost around $35 per month with Empire Life. 

The price rises significantly the older you are when you take out life insurance. The same policy would cost around $140 if the same individual applied for coverage at age 50. Taking out a policy when you’re younger can save you quite a bit in premiums. 

Check out what’s whole life insurance.

Empire Life Insurance Application Process

To apply for a life insurance policy with Empire Life or to simply obtain a quote, follow these steps:

  1. Enter your personal and contact information and consent on the Empire.ca website
  2. Search licensed insurance advisors in your location
  3. Choose your advisor
  4. Wait for the chosen advisor to contact you to discuss your options

Empire Life Insurance Claims Process

If you pass away during the term of your policy, the death benefit will be paid out to your named beneficiaries tax-free. Before the money is paid, however, Empire Life will need to see a copy of your death certificate to verify your passing.  

If you took out a critical illness or disability insurance policy, you will need to provide Empire Life with details and evidence of your illness or injury and required treatments. After your claim is approved, you will receive a payout to replace part of your lost income as a result of your condition. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a life insurance policy, Empire Life has plenty of options for you to consider. Depending on where you are in your life right now and what your budget is, you can customize your policy to ensure that you and your loved ones are financially covered in the event of illness, disability, or death.