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Manulife Review

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Manulife Insurance Company Review 2023

Manulife is another insurance company you have likely heard of. Another one of the old established life insurance providers Manulife continues to expand operations around the world and has become somewhat of a household name.


  • A+ Financial Security Rating
  • Manulife is the largest life insurance company in Canada and operates all over the world
  • Manulife sells a broad range of insurance products and a variety or term, permanent and universal coverage plans
  • Manulife also sells critical illness and disability products
  • If you own a business, Manulife also provides group benefit plans for your employees

In This Article

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What term lengths does Manulife offer?

A: Manulife offers 10 & 20 term lengths. In addition, Manulife offers Term to Age 65 as well as Term Life (Term 100). Unlike a majority of the providers, Manulife does not offer 15, 25, or 30 year term lengths.

Q: Are Manulife’s term life insurance rates guaranteed?

A: Yes, the rates (and coverage amount) are guaranteed for the entire length of the initial term.

Q: What is the average underwriting time for Manulife?

A: There are numerous factors that play a role in the length of time that it takes from when an application is submitted to when it is approved. We typically see policies get approved within 5-15 business days with Manulife after all requirements have been met.

Q: Does Manulife charge fees to cancel a life insurance policy?

A: No, there are no penalties or fees to cancel a life insurance policy from Manulife (regardless if it is a term or permanent life insurance policy).

Q: Does Manulife allow annual payments?

A: Yes, you can either pay your insurance premiums on a monthly or annual basis. You will receive a discount if you pay annually compared to monthly (you save almost one month’s premium!).

Q: Does Manulife allow for credit card payments?

A: No, Manulife does not accept credit card payments for either monthly or annual premium payments. 

Q: Does Manulife offer any sort of “extra” features? 

A: Yes – Manulife Vitality. Manulife Vitality gives you life insurance, an Apple Watch and the opportunity to earn rewards and save on how much you pay – all while improving your health. Ask us about this today! 

Manulife: Company Overview

  • Year Founded: 1887
  • Head Office: Toronto, Ontario
  • AM Best Rating: A+
  • Assets: Over $200B
  • Annual Premiums: Approx. $40B
  • Website:

Manulife is another insurance company you have likely heard of. Another one of the old established life insurance providers, Manulife continues to expand operations around the world and has become somewhat of a household name.

Manulife is the largest life insurance company in Canada and one of the largest in the world. This has allowed them to be a leader in the world of technology and put them in a very comfortable situation with the recent COVID-19 pandemic. They are one of the few life insurance companies who offer a complete electronic application process for clients.

Most life insurance companies in Canada were left scrambling at the beginning of 2020 when COVID-19 took the world by storm because they were not using electronic platforms for applying for insurance.

Manulife however had already built an online digital platform which allows them to safely sell insurance products from start to finish. This includes the application process and the delivery of policy documents.

In the beginning of 2020, they also made a few tweaks to their application requirements which allows them to offer up to two million dollars of life insurance coverage without requiring the applicant to see a nurse for a medical examination. Quite impressive if you ask us.

They also have unique product called Manulife Vitality which allows the policy holder to be rewarded with discounted premiums for living an active and healthy life. This is all tracked by a Garmin or Apple Watch which is provided for free.

Continue reading to learn more about the individual insurance products which Manulife offers to Canadians.

Manulife: Pros & Cons

– Financially strong and able to pay claims

– Wide range of competitive insurance and investment products

– Fully digital application platform (get approved quickly and easy)

– Certain term products can be exchanged to longer term length products (e.g. change 10 year term to a 20 year term without re-applying within first five years)

– Manulife Vitality product rewards you with lower premiums by living an active lifestyle. No other company in Canada offers this. Free smart watch too!

– Very competitive priced permanent life insurance product
– Term life pricing is slightly higher than competitors

– Restrictive on the term lengths available (10 year, 20 year, age 65) compared to other companies

– Some bad reviews online may make the company less desirable but they are in fact one of the best insurance companies in Canada to work with

Manulife: Insurance Products

Although we’ll be focusing on its life insurance products, Manulife Canada provides an expansive range of services, including investment and asset management, banking, loans and retirement planning.

Their insurance products include life insurance, travel coverage, health insurance and combination insurance (a bundled policy).

Manulife offers several types of life insurance: term policies, permanent life insurance, group life insurance and mortgage protection insurance.

Here’s the breakdown…

Manulife: Term Life Insurance

Manulife Family Term

Designed for growing families, this flexible plan allows you to adapt your insurance policy to help pay personal debts, fund your children’s education and save for your retirement. The core plan includes:

  • Manulife’s most popular term life insurance product for everyday Canadians
  • Between $100,000 and $20 million in insurance amounts for your beneficiaries
  • Stable and unchanging premiums for 10 or 20 years, or to age 65, or for life
  • Additional bereavement counselling coverage of up to $1,000 for your family
  • A terminal illness cash advance

The policy comes with additional riders that you can purchase to expand and adapt your policy:

  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage
  • A premium waiver that would provide coverage free of charge in the event of an accident
  • Guaranteed eligibility for your own future life insurance purchases
  • Guaranteed eligibility for your children’s future life insurance purchases

Manulife Family Term Vitality

Includes the core elements of Family Term (see above) policies as well as personalized savings and fitness goals. With Family Term Vitality, you get:

  • Ability to decrease your future life insurance premiums through physical activity and other healthy living goals
  • Personalized health objectives and free monitoring device to track your progress, such as an Apple Watch or Garmin Watch
  • Offers additional rewards and discounts as your reach your health goals ( discounts, gift cards, Goodlife Fitness deals, etc.)
  • Coverage amounts available from $500,000 to $20,000,000
  • Choose term lengths from 10 years, 20 years, age 65 or even age 100

Manulife Business Term

If you own a business and want to insure its financial security in the event of your death, this may be the perfect plan. It includes:

  • Between $100,000 and $20 million in life insurance amounts to keep your business running even if you can’t be there
  • Choose term lengths from 10 years, 20 years or age 65
  • Lower premiums when you insure two or more people under one policy
  • The flexibility to bulk up your policy with add-ons as your business grows, without medical examinations required
  • A terminal illness cash advance

Option riders can help you further customize your policy:

  • Premium waivers if you become disabled
  • Guaranteed eligibility for future life insurance purchases

Manulife CoverMe Term

This is a simple, no nonsense insurance policy designed for those who need affordable coverage tailored to their needs. You can apply from the comfort of your own home (as well as Manulife Quick Issue Term). The plan includes:

  • Between $100,000 and $1 million in coverage to be paid out as a tax-free lump sum to your beneficiaries in the event of your death
  • If you’re between 18 and 55 and in good health, you could get an additional $250,000 in instant coverage
  • Stable insurance rates that never increase your premiums guaranteed for each 10 year term. You can renew your coverage every 10 years until your 85th birthday
  • The option to convert your CoverMe policy to permanent coverage. You won’t need any medical exam to be approved until age 70
  • If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness with less than a year to live, you could get up to $100,000 as a living benefit. (You must be under 83 with a policy that has been active for at least 2 years)

Manulife Quick Issue Term

This is Manulife’s No Medical life insurance option. With this policy, the application is entirely digital and you can make an appointment with an advisor online or by phone, you won’t face extensive medical exams, and in most cases, you’ll receive your policy within one business day. Here are the main features:

  • Between $100,000 and $500,000 in insurance coverage for clients ages 18-50
  • Stable premiums for either a 10 or 20 year term, or until age 65
  • Additional bereavement counselling coverage of up to $1,000 for your family
  • A cash advance if you are diagnosed with a critical illness
  • An optional rider that guarantees your children will be able to get life and critical illness insurance in the future

If you’re looking for term coverage that’s a little more extensive, you should consider Manulife Family Term or Manulife Family Term Vitality.

Manulife: Permanent Life Insurance

Manulife Par

This whole-life policy provides guaranteed premiums and cash value that grows instantly and over time. The core plan consists of:

  • Coverage starting at $100,000 without any policy fees
  • Single-life or joint last-to-die coverage (meaning you and your spouse can either each have a policy, or be covered under the same one)
  • A choice of when and how you pay your premiums
  • Access to your policy’s cash value as well as an annual dividend to grow said cash value

The additional riders include:

  • Fee waivers in the event of a disability
  • The option to layer term life insurance for additional coverage
  • Guaranteed approval for your and/or your children’s future insurance policies

Manulife Performax Gold

This policy offers whole life coverage, cash vale growth, and access to funds to use as collateral for any bank loans. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Coverage amounts from $25,000
  • You can either pay the whole amount of your policy in 15 years, or distribute the cost up until your 100th birthday

The riders offered are the same as those for Manulife Par outlined above!

  • Fee waivers in the event of a disability
  • The option to layer term life insurance for additional coverage
  • Guaranteed approval for your and/or your children’s future insurance policies

Manulife InnoVision

This plan includes increased investment opportunities and rewards for those in good health. The core elements are as follows:

  • Coverage from $100,000 and a choice of over 50 different investment accounts
  • Rewards: you can choose between loyalty bonuses or discounted investment management fees
  • Guaranteed insurance costs and minim interest investment accounts (subject to certain conditions)

The riders include:

  • Tax advantaged investment rates
  • The option to layer term insurance and accidental death benefits
  • (Can you guess the next two…) Fee waivers in the event of a disability
  • Guaranteed approval for your and/or your children’s future insurance policies

Manulife Security UL (Universal Life)

Another flexible universal life policy, Manulife Security UL offers:

  • Coverage amounts from $50,000
  • You can get guaranteed minimum interest rates, or link your policy’s growth directly to equity markets

The riders are as follows:

  • Possibility of layering life insurance
  • (Not to sound like a broken record, but) Fee waivers in the event of a disability
  • Guaranteed approval for your and/or your children’s future insurance policies

Manulife UL (Universal Life)

This is a simple policy you can adapt over your lifetime to continually suit your needs. The core plan offers you:

  • Coverage from $50,000 or $100,000, depending on your plan
  • Choose one, or multiple investment account options to increase your cash value
  • You pay minimum amounts for your investment management fees
  • Guarantee a rate enhancement on all your managed accounts
  • Guaranteed premiums

Manulife: Other Insurance Products

Manulife Synergy – Combined Insurance

Manulife Synergy allows you to purchase life insurance, disability coverage and critical illness protection. In the event you become unable to work, replace your income, cover your personal debts, and cover any gaps in your employer’s coverage. The plan includes:

  • Between $100,000 and $500,000 in insurance coverage.
  • Convert this term coverage into permanent coverage at any time up to age 65.
  • A quick claims process and prompt payouts.

The riders offer:

Mortgage Protection Plan Insurance

Manulife offers Mortgage Protection Insurance which is most commonly referred to as Mortgage Protection Plan (MPP). This product is usually offered by mortgage brokers to their clients to use to provide coverage for outstanding mortgage debts in the event of death.

  • Mortgage Protection Insurance offers you decreasing coverage to protect you from certain personal debts. So, if you’re paying a mortgage over 20 years, you might want a 20 year term policy that decreases your coverage amount (and your premiums) in line with the amount you owe.

Manulife Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance is built for employers and allows them to offer employees limited life and health insurance coverage. If you’re thinking about starting a business, you should consider what group plan provider will best suit your budget and business model.

Manulife Critical Illness Insurance

Manulife has two critical illness products which provide a lump sum payout, tax free in the event that you are diagnosed with one of the covered conditions. They offer Lifecheque and Lifecheque Basic which both provide coverage for different conditions.

For all of the above listed products, if you’re unsure about what kind of coverage or policy is best for you, we are here to help. Contact one of our trusted advisors to discuss your options in more detail.

Company History

Manulife is another insurance company you have likely heard of. Another one of the old established life insurance providers, Manulife continues to expand operations around the world and has become somewhat of a household name.

Manulife was first incorporated in 1887 as The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. Interestingly, conflict of interest clauses didn’t exist at the time, which allowed the prime minister, John A. McDonald, to head the company. The 1890s were partially dominated by Britain’s Imperial power. Although Canada gained independence in 1867, many countries still operated under British rule. This allowed Manulife to begin selling their products to customers outside Canada relatively easily. They sold their first international policy and opened their first overseas branch in Bermuda in 1893. In the following year, the company went on to sell policies in Jamaica, Barbados, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, British Guiana, China, and British Hong Kong.[1]

The company expanded rapidly across North America as well. The temperance movement between 1918 and 1920 (during which the Canadian government placed a ban on alcohol at a temporary wartime measure) drove Manulife to merge with Temperance and General Life Assurance Company. The new organization offered reduced prices, called “abstinence rates,” to clients who did not drink and continued to offer various abstinence rates past the prohibition period. Although this seems a little old-fashioned, the modern equivalent of this is smoking. Those who do not smoke will find far lower rates than those who do.

In the latter half of the 20th Century, Manulife went through a series of structural changes, culminating in its privatization. In 2002, Manulife was approved by the Chinese regulatory commission and opened offices in Guangzhou and Beijing. Since clearing this substantial hurdle, Manulife has formed many influential partnerships and joint ventures to expand its selection of products and customer base. As a result, Manulife has become the largest insurance company in Canada and the 28th largest fund manager in the entire world.[2] So, it’s safe to say that if you’re looking for the reassurance of a strong legacy, look no further than Manulife Insurance.



Customer Satisfaction

Manulife has excellent verified online reviews from staff. Their rating on Glassdoor stands at an impressive 4/5. This important because generally speaking, the better a company treats its employees, the better service the employees will provide, both because they have the incentive to, and because they will have received better training.

Many Manulife clients voice their satisfaction with the company’s employees, stating agents are professional, helpful, and generally respond to their questions and claims promptly. Those with less experience in the insurance market report that their Manulife advisors helped them hugely with finding the best possible coverage.

Customer Criticism

The usual disclaimer: people like posting negative reviews much more than positive ones, so we take the negative with a grain of salt. That being said, there do seem to be some difficulties communicating with Manulife. Customers report being redirected numerous times before being able to access their account information, delays in certain claims (especially since the onset of COVID-19), and certain unexpected charges. These kinds of frustrations are, unfortunately, common in huge corporations who cannot form unique and personal relationships with all of their clients.

You’ve reached the finish line! We hope this guide to Manulife has been useful to you and helps you to zero in on your dream insurance policy.


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