Canada's Biggest Life Insurance Companies (2024) (2024)

Choosing a bigger versus a smaller insurance company

Whether you would be best served by choosing a large or a small insurance company as your provider comes down to what matters most to you and your family. There are advantages and disadvantages for each one, so the right choice will depend on you.

Below, we’ve provided some tips to help you choose. But you can also book a call with us if you need one-on-one help with deciding.


Why choose a bigger insurance company?

There are many reasons to choose a large company for your financial security needs, such as knowing you’ll be working with experienced professionals who have been in the field for a long time. Here are some of the major benefits.


Most of Canada’s largest insurance companies have been in business for decades — some from as long ago as themid-1840′s. When a company has been around for that long, you can trust that they know how to do business in the industry very well.

Big providers like this know the ins and outs of Canadian insurance, and their history of meeting long-term financial obligations means it’s not risky to do business with them. There’s a good chance they know how to manage your policy well, and that they’ll be around for years to come.


The largest life insurance providers can offer you the most choice for the type of product you buy and how much you’ll be covered for.

For example, you can get more than just term insurance and will probably have options to convert your policy into a permanent plan. It can be convenient to get all of your different insurance policies in one place.

And, you can get higher coverage amounts for life insurance. While a smaller insurer may only be able to cover you for up to $500,000, a bigger provider can probably offer you millions — if you need that much.

Operating hours

Bigger insurance providers are usually open later and longer, and are available on the weekends too. Because they’re so large, they usually have offices all over Canada, employ a lot more people, and have brokers selling their products on their behalf. This means you, the customer, can speak to an agent faster whether over the phone, online, or in person.

Another huge advantage of choosing a bigger insurance company is that they have more money to spend on upgrading their technology. They can improve the way their customers do business and make it easier to do things like get quotes, buy a policy, change your plan, submit a claim, get help, or anything else you need.

Why choose a smaller insurance company?

Working with a smaller insurance company can be a good thing, too. A lot of them are just as stable as the bigger providers, and they can give you more specific products and personalized service. Here are some of the major benefits.


Smaller insurance companies may not charge you as much for some insurance products as the bigger ones in Canada do.

This can be for a lot of different reasons. For example, bigger companies may have to meet certain government requirements or they may need more funds to upgrade their technology like we talked about earlier in this article.

But just be aware that although you can save some money if you choose to work with a smaller insurance company, the cost of term life insurance policies is about the same for all the top insurance providers in Canada. So, you may not want to choose on price alone.


Canada’s largest life insurance companies can be slow to decide what products or services to introduce. But a smaller insurance company can be quicker and more easily offer tailored solutions.

Many Canadian insurers of all size offer extra options called life insurance riders that can help you make a custom plan. But smaller companies may have unique features that fit your needs better.

Customer service

Life insurance is a long-term agreement, so you’ll want to choose a company that knows how to value its customers. A small or medium-sized company can often give you personalized service that a bigger company may not be able to.

They may not have as many clients or hundreds of spread-out employees and representatives, so their service may have more of a personal touch.

And, they can quickly make changes to their products or services based on what customers want. For example, if you want an e-policy or if you don’t want to answer too many health questions, a smaller company may be able to give you those options.

Personal preference or ethics

Some Canadians choose to work with smaller companies just as a matter of their own principles. Some want to support a smaller, local company as much as they can. Or they may want to choose a mutual insurance company. As well, some may want to work with a company that has the same ethical beliefs they do, like Christian-based companies.

Canada's Biggest Life Insurance Companies (2024) (2024)


Canada's Biggest Life Insurance Companies (2024)? ›

What are the biggest life insurance companies in Canada? (2024) Canada Life is Canada's largest insurance company, collecting almost $60 billion in premiums yearly. Manulife, Sun Life, Industrial Alliance

Industrial Alliance
iA Financial Group ( a.k.a. Industrial Alliance) is a Canadian insurance and wealth management group that operates in Canada and the United States. › wiki › IA_Financial_Group
(iA), and Desjardins are among the Top 5 biggest names in Canadian insurance.

What are the top 5 life insurance companies in Canada? ›

The biggest life insurance companies in Canada
  • Manulife.
  • Canada Life.
  • Sun Life.
  • Desjardins.
  • Industrial Alliance (iA)
  • RBC Insurance.
  • SSQ*
  • La Capitale*

Who is Canada's largest insurance company? ›

Key Takeaways. Manulife Financial is the largest insurance provider in Canada and offers a broad range of financial services.

Who is the top five life insurance company? ›

Best life insurance companies: Pros and cons
  • MassMutual: Best overall.
  • Guardian: Best for applicants with a history of HIV.
  • Northwestern Mutual: Best for consumer experience.
  • New York Life: Best for high coverage amounts.
  • Pacific Life: Best range of permanent life insurance.
  • State Farm: Best for customer satisfaction.

How big is the life insurance industry in Canada? ›

The market size, measured by revenue, of the Life Insurance & Annuities industry in Canada was $97.1bn in 2023. What was the growth rate of the Life Insurance & Annuities industry in Canada in 2023? The market size of the Life Insurance & Annuities industry in Canada increased 1.9% in 2023.

Who is the No 1 life insurance in Canada? ›

Manulife. Manulife is the largest life insurance company in Canada.

What are the big 4 insurance companies in Canada? ›

Canada Life, Manulife, Sun Life, Industrial Alliance, and Desjardins are Canada's biggest life insurers, but you should look at more than just size when deciding which provider would be best for your coverage needs.

What are the largest life insurance companies in Canada? ›

Manulife, Canada Life Assurance Company, Sun Life Financial, IA Financial, and Empire Life are the five biggest life insurance coverage companies in Canada based on total assets.

What is the oldest life insurance company in Canada? ›

The Canada Life Assurance Company™, Canada's first life insurance company, began in 1847 in Hamilton, Ontario.

What are the major insurance companies in Canada? ›

Top 5 biggest insurance companies in Canada:
  • Manulife – $849 B Assets (annual report)
  • Great-West Lifeco – $701.4 B Assets (annual report)
  • Desjardins – $407 B Assets (annual report)
  • Sun Life Financial – $330.9 B Assets (annual report)
  • Fairfax Financial – $92.1 B Assets (annual report)
Aug 30, 2023

What is the most reputable life insurance company? ›

Best life insurance companies
  • Best from a big-name insurer: Northwestern Mutual.
  • Best for customer satisfaction: State Farm.
  • Best for seniors: Mutual of Omaha.
  • Best for affordability: Amica.
  • Best for term life insurance: Guardian.
  • Best for whole life insurance: MassMutual.
  • Best for universal life insurance: Pacific Life.

What are the big 3 insurance companies? ›

  • #1: United Health Group (UNH)
  • #2: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. ( BRK.B)
  • #3: CVS Health Corp Group (CVS)
  • #4: The Cigna Group (CI)
  • #5: Elevance Health Inc. ( ELV)
  • #6: Centene (CNC)
  • #7: Ping An Insurance (PNGAY)
  • #8: Allianz (ALIZY)

What is the life insurance outlook for 2024? ›

Life insurance premiums reached record highs in 2023, and growing confidence in the economy—along with strong purchase intent from younger generations—is expected to spark a continued increase in policies sold in 2024. For all insurers, high interest rates are expected to boost investment income over the next year.

Is Manulife or Sunlife bigger? ›

Manulife's brand is ranked #- in the list of Global Top 1000 Brands, as rated by customers of Manulife. Their current market cap is $35.59B. Sun Life's brand is ranked #306 in the list of Global Top 1000 Brands, as rated by customers of Sun Life. Their current market cap is $29.79B.

How big is AIG Canada? ›

In 2022, AIG Canada reported gross premiums of $1.53 billion, assets of $4.93 billion, and policyholder surplus of $805 million.

Do most Canadians have life insurance? ›

Seven in ten (70%) Canadians have life insurance, while three in ten (29%) do not. Half (48%) say they purchased it on their own, one-quarter (26%) say they have coverage both at work and on their own (26%), and 24 percent say only have coverage through work.

What is the best life insurance provider in Canada? ›

List of Top 16 Best Term Life Insurance Companies In Canada
  • Foresters: Best for giving back.
  • Humania: Best for quick issue.
  • Industrial Alliance: Best for flexibility.
  • ivari: Best for layering.
  • Manulife: Best for digital innovation.
  • RBC: Best for value for money.
  • Sun Life: Best for buying in-person.
  • Wawanesa: Best for price.
Apr 5, 2024

Which insurance company is best at paying claims in Canada? ›

Best Car Insurance in Canada

The Co-operators is the top-rated car insurance provider in Canada, with other highly rated providers including The Personal, RBC Insurance, and Economical Insurance.

What is the number 1 life insurance? ›

Pacific Life is the best life insurance company of 2024, based on our analysis. The best life insurance companies offer a range of policies, including term and permanent coverage. Several companies in our rating offer life insurance policies without a medical exam.

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