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Sun Life Insurance Company Review (2020)

12 Minute Read

Published
Highlights
  • A+ Financial Security Rating
  • Long history of supplying insurance to Canadians across the nation and overseas
  • Sun Life provides an impressive array of insurance and investment products
  • The cost of Sun Life’s term life insurance is typically higher when compared to competitors
  • They offer one of the best whole life insurance products in the industry

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In This Article
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Coming Soon
Sun Life Insurance: Company Overview
  • Year Founded: 1865
  • Head Office: 6880 Financial Drive Toronto, Ontario
  • AM Best Rating: A+
  • Assets: Over $15B
  • Annual Premiums: Approx. $4B
  • Website: https://www.sunlife.ca

Sun Life Insurance began its journey in Montreal, Quebec in 1865. The originally company was founded by Irish Immigrant. Matthew Hamilton Gault, under the name The Sun Insurance Company of Montreal. After operations began in earnest in 1871, the company spread rapidly all over the world. Within thirty years, it managed offices in the United States, North Africa, South America and parts of East Asia. As well as building a successful empire overseas, Sun Life grew its domestic presence: in 1933, the Sun Life Insurance building in Canada was finally completed and became the largest (although not tallest!) building in the whole of the British Empire.

Today, Sun Life Insurance is a powerhouse when it comes to providing insurance and investment products across Canada. They have a large catalog of investment and insurance products to fit the needs of the majority of Canadians. In our opinion, they are currently a bit behind when it comes to providing digital applications and online access for their products but are quickly catching up to some of the other big insurance players in Canada.


Sun Life Insurance: Pros & Cons
ProsCons
– Financially strong and able to pay claims

– Impressive suite of permanent life insurance products (whole life and universal life)

– Ability to add a wide range of riders to life and critical illness insurance policies (including return of premium for critical illness)

– Sun Life offers insurance coverage with and without medical exams
– Digital and online platform lacking when compared to other competitors

– Cannot receive insurance policies electronically yet as only paper policies are issued

– Cost for most term life insurance plans is higher than industry average which can leave you paying extra for the companies name and financial strength

– Term life insurance options are limited

– Application process can be cumbersome and take longer than expected


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Sun Life Insurance: Insurance Products

Sun Life sells two primary types of insurance: life insurance and health insurance. In this article, we’ll be focusing on life insurance coverage. Sun Life provides a range of both term and whole-life insurance policies.

Let’s take a closer look at what each of these plans has to offer.

Sun Life Insurance: Term Life Insurance

Sun Life sells four different kinds of term life insurance plans, including a No Medical plan. All of Sun Life’s term insurance plans come with the option to convert to permanent insurance and, unless specified, policies require a medical examination.

Sun Life SunTerm Insurance

This is Sun Life’s traditional term life insurance product which is comparable to most competitors term insurance options. The SunTerm product is Sun Life’s most popular term life insurance product and should be your first choice for term life insurance if purchasing from Sun Life.

  • Choose from coverage amounts between $250,000 and $15,000,000
  • Provides guaranteed (level) premiums for any of the available term options (includes 10, 15, 20 or 30 years)
  • Policy is renewable until the policy anniversary nearest the policyholder’s 85th birthday (e.g. if you purchase a 20 year term policy at age 40, you can renew it up until age 80)
  • Policy is convertible to permanent life insurance until age 75
  • Ability to add optional additional riders which can include life insurance for children, disability waiver of premiums, guaranteeing future insurability and accidental death benefits
  • Additional policy types are available such as joint first-to-die and additional insured lives
  • Allowed to ladder coverages in one policy which means that you can have multiple term policies under one policy
Sun Life SunSpectrum Term Insurance

SunSpectrum Term Life Insurance is a very similar product to SunTerm (see above) which provides term life insurance coverage starting at $50,000. Most of the product features are relatable to SunTerm.

  • Choose flexible coverage amounts between $50,000 and $15,000,000
  • Once again, provides guaranteed (level) premiums for any of the available term options (includes 10, 15, 20 or 30 years)
  • Policy is renewable until the policy anniversary nearest the policyholder’s 85th birthday (e.g. if you purchase a 20 year term policy at age 40, you can renew it up until age 80)
  • Policy is convertible to permanent life insurance until age 75
  • Ability to add optional additional riders which can include life insurance for children, disability waiver of premiums, guaranteeing future insurability and accidental death benefits
  • Additional policy types are available such as joint first-to-die and additional insured lives
Sun Life Go Term Life Insurance

This is Sun Life’s non-standard life insurance product and provides life insurance coverage with no medical exam or in depth health questionnaire. It is offered online through Sun Life and provides coverage quickly and easily. Whenever an insurance company provides life insurance very quick with minimal health questions, you usually have to pay extra for this so expect your premiums to be higher than usual as the insurance company is taking on more risk. There is sometimes additional restrictions built into the policy as well.

It’s great for Canadians who want to get affordable life insurance online with just a few questions asked. 

  • Choose coverage between $50,000 and $100,000
  • Available term lengths are 10 and 20 years for individuals between the ages of 18 and 69
  • There are no medical examinations or lengthy questionnaires, just a few simply lifestyle questions
  • You can apply online in minutes and receive coverage instantly while Sun Life reviews and processes your application
  • The costs are higher due to the insurance company not asking detailed health questions
  • Does not provide the optional additional riders such as the SunTerm and SunSpectrum Term
  • Provides a terminal illness benefit
  • Click here for more detailed information regarding Sun life Go Simplified Term Life
Sun Life Go Simplified Term Life Insurance

A very comparable product to Sun Life Go Term Life Insurance (see above). This policy also provides life insurance without requiring a medical exam or a long list of health questions to get approved. It is a bit restrictive in regards to the available options, coverage amounts and has high premium costs. It really is designed for those with major health issues who cannot get approved for traditional (fully underwritten) life insurance policies and looking for basic coverage.

  • Choose coverage amounts of $50,000, $75,000 or $100,000
  • The only available term length is 10 years
  • Answer three questions to get approved! There are no medical exams or health questionnaires
  • Apply online in a few minutes and receive coverage from day one of when the policy starts
  • Higher cost due to minimal health information required by the applicant
  • Does not provide the optional additional riders such as the SunTerm and SunSpectrum Term
  • Provides a terminal illness benefit
  • Click here for Sun Life’s product brochure which highlights the product features in detail

If you want coverage without having to worry about renewing policies, permanent life insurance might be for you. Keep on reading below…


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Sun Life Insurance: Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance provides you with lifetime life insurance protection from the time that you purchase the policy, until the day that you pass away regardless of when that time is. There are a variety of permanent life insurance products available in Canada with the main three being whole life insurance, universal life insurance and Term to 100.

Let’s take a deeper look into the permanent life insurance products which Sun Life offers,

Sun Life Go Guaranteed

This is a guaranteed issue permanent life insurance product offered by Sun Life. Guaranteed issue means exactly that, it’s guaranteed to be issued regardless of your current or past health.

  • Guaranteed qualification for coverage amounts between $5,000 and $25,000
  • This plan isn’t strictly “standard” as it is a No Medical policy, meaning you won’t have to answer any questions about your current or past medical history. 
  • Click here for the official brochure from Sun Life
Sun Permanent Life

Sun Permanent Life provides life insurance protection for your entire life. This policy has a number of different guarantees built into it. This includes a guaranteed death benefit, guaranteed cost (premiums) for life and guaranteed cash values built into the policy. It checks the boxes for a lot of Canadians who are looking for a straight forward permanent life insurance policy with cash value.

  • Choose coverage amounts between $250,000 and $10,000,000
  • You get permanent life insurance protection as well as the possibility of an increasing death benefit, meaning a greater payout for your beneficiary
  • Premiums are guaranteed for life which means that the cost won’t change even if your age or health changes
  • Ability to choose paid up options for 10, 15 or 20 years, meaning that you can stop paying for the policy after the selected amount of years (10, 15 or 20)
  • Optional riders available as well which include adding term insurance, child riders, waiver of disability, accidental death benefits and more

If you want to learn more about Sun Permanent Life, please contact us and speak with an agent.

SunSpectrum Permanent Life II

SunSpectrum Permanent Life is similiar to Sun Permanent Life where it provides easy to understand, life insurance coverage that never expires. It also has guaranteed cash values, premiums and death benefit.

  • Choose coverage amounts between $25,000 and $10,000,000 between the ages of 0-64
  • Choose coverage amounts between $50,000 and $10,000,000 between the ages of 65-85
  • The benefits are very similar to Sun Permanent Life (see above)
  • Premiums and death benefit are guaranteed for life regardless if your health or age changes
  • Ability to choose paid up options for 10, 15 or 20 years, meaning that you can stop paying for the policy after the selected amount of years (10, 15 or 20)
  • Optional riders available as well which include adding term insurance, child riders, waiver of disability, accidental death benefits and more
  • Click here for the official brochure from Sun Life
Sun Par Protector II

Another one of Sun Life’s flagship permanent life insurance products. It is a whole life insurance product which allows you to customize it to fit your needs. This product gives the opportunity for long term cash value and death benefit growth to ensure that your final needs are met.

  • Choose coverage amounts anywhere from $50,000 to $15,000,000
  • Three different premium payment options, pay premiums for life, 10 years or 20 years
  • Ability to choose from different coverage types such as single life, joint first-to-die and joint last-to-die
  • Minimum age for purchasing a policy is age 0 which means you can purchase coverage on your children
  • Premiums and death benefit are guaranteed for life regardless if your heath or age changes
  • Optional riders available as well which include adding term insurance, child riders, waiver of disability, accidental death benefits and more
  • Click here for the official brochure from Sun Life
Sun Par Accumulator II

Yet another one of Sun Life’s permanent life insurance products. This is a whole life insurance product which is designed to product higher cash values in the early years of the policy while still provide long term life insurance coverage.

  • Choose coverage amounts between $25,000 to $15,000,000
  • Three different premium payment options, pay premiums for life, 10 years or 20 years
  • Targets faster cash value growth in the short term, as well as long-term accumulation and increasing death benefits
  • Five dividend options to choose from (paid-up additional insurance, enhanced insurance, annual premium reduction, dividends on deposit and cash)
  • Ability to choose from different coverage types such as single life, joint first-to-die and joint last-to-die
  • Premiums and death benefit are guaranteed for life regardless if your heath or age changes
  • Optional riders available as well which include adding term insurance, child riders, waiver of disability, accidental death benefits and more
  • Click here for the official brochure from Sun Life
Sun Par Accelerator

Another unique whole life insurance product offered by Sun Life. The Sun Par Accelerator is a whole life insurance policy offered by Sun Life which provides the option to have your policy premiums fully paid up after 8 years. It provides the policyowner with cash values in the early and later years of the policy as well as a death benefit that lasts your entire life.

  • Choose coverage amounts between $250,000 to $15,000,000
  • Policy is paid up after 8 years of premium payments
  • Targets faster cash value growth in the short term, as well as long-term accumulation and increasing death benefits
  • One dividend option to choose from which is enhanced insurance dividend option
  • Ability to choose from different coverage types such as single life, joint first-to-die and joint last-to-die
  • Premiums and death benefit are guaranteed for life regardless if your heath or age changes
  • Optional riders available as well which include adding term insurance, child riders, waiver of disability, accidental death benefits and more
SunSpectrum Universal Life II

One of three universal life insurance policies offered by Sun Life, the SunSpectrum Universal Life II provides a combination of permanent life insurance with access to a large selection of investment account options for tax advantaged growth. Universal life is ideal for those looking to manage their investment portfolio, life insurance and (a portion of) their retirement savings in one place.

  • Available to purchase as single (individual) policies or joint (first-to-die and last-to-die)
  • The total death benefit amount is the death benefit plus any amounts invested
  • Wide range of investment options to choose from
  • Competitively priced in the marketplace
  • Premiums and death benefit are guaranteed for life regardless if your heath or age changes
  • Optional riders available as well which include adding term insurance, child riders, waiver of disability, accidental death benefits and more
  • Click here for the official brochure from Sun Life
SunUniversalLife II

SunUniversalLife II is Sun Life’s most comprehensive universal life plan with the most flexibility help provide customized coverage for both personal and business. You are able to choose from 5 death benefit options and 6 cost options to adjust your coverage needs over your lifetime.

  • Available to purchase as single (individual) policies or joint (first-to-die and last-to-die)
  • Five different death benefit options to choose from (level insurance, insurance amount plus fund, level insurance plus indexing, level insurance plus return of premiums and level insurance plus adjusted cost basis)
  • Wide range of investment options to choose from
  • Premiums and death benefit are guaranteed for life regardless if your heath or age changes
  • Optional riders available as well which include adding term insurance, child riders, waiver of disability, accidental death benefits and more
  • Click here for the official brochure from Sun Life
SunUniversalLife Pro

SunUniversalLife Pro is a permanent life insurance product (universal life) which has been designed to help you meet your estate planning needs. It is a great product for personal and business use to help cover the tax liabilities of estates which in turn will help pass down wealth to your beneficiaries.

  • Available to purchase as single (individual) policies or joint (first-to-die and last-to-die)
  • Three different death benefit options to choose from (level insurance, insurance amount plus fund and level insurance plus adjusted cost basis)
  • Wide range of investment options to choose from
  • Premiums and death benefit are guaranteed for life regardless if your heath or age changes
  • Optional riders available as well which include adding term insurance, child riders, waiver of disability, accidental death benefits and more
  • Click here for the official brochure from Sun Life

There we have it, the full range of Sun Life’s life insurance products. If you’re a little overwhelmed by the selection of products, don’t worry! It’s expected. Sun Life has a lot of products to choose from and it’s not your job to decipher through them all to figure out what is best for you and your family. Click here to contact us to speak with a broker to determine what is right for you.


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SunLife: Other Insurance Products
Sun Critical Illness Insurance

Sun Life is a large player in Canada for providing critical illness insurance. They offer both child and adult plans with eligibility starting at just 30 days old and going until age 65. Coverage amounts can range from $25,000 to $3,000,000 along with coverage for 26 covered conditions. Policy options are very flexible with the ability add a return of premium rider which will return all of the premiums that you have paid back to you in the event that you do not make a claim.

Please contact us if you would like more information regarding Sun Life’s critical illness insurance plan.

Sun Life Group Benefits

Do you own a business? Sun Life is a key player in Canada when it comes to providing health and dental plans to small, medium and large businesses in Canada. Plans can include coverage for life insurance, disability insurance, health, dental, vision, out of country travel and more.

Please contact us if you would like more information regarding Sun Life’s group benefit plans.


Sun Life: Customer Satisfaction

Many online review platforms have collected testimonials from satisfied customers who praise the company’s reliability and efficiency. Sun Life’s extensive online platform means digital claims can be processed quickly and efficiently. In addition, because of its size and reputation, Sun Life is recognized by most banks and credit unions and gets customers speedy service. 

Many clients also report generally good customer service experience. Large companies tend to invest large amounts in training staff to deal with customer requests, meaning you get expert advise online or over the phone, and quick solutions to any problems.


Sun Life: Customer Criticism

As with any large scale insurance company, Sun Life receives its fair share of criticism from customers. One of the largest tradeoffs when choosing a large corporation is the level of depersonalization. Because Sun Life and its advisors work with so many clients, they are less likely to know the details and intricacies of any given case.

Judging from (verified) online feedback, there seems to be somewhat of a disconnect between the claims process and the actual insurance payout. Some customers report being approved for certain benefits, but not receiving the money that was promised until much later, if at all. Like all insurance companies, it is not in Sun Life’s interest to the make claims process particularly easy. This means customers have been led on for extended periods of time as the company requests more and more documentation about their situation. But always remember, people are more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one, so always take customer ratings with a grain of salt.

There we have it, a thorough overview of Sun Life Financial, one of Canada’s leading insurance providers for almost 150 years!

Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.


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