List of Canadian Life Insurance Companies

By | October 28, 2023
insurance canada

There are various life insurance firms operating in Canada today. Below is a list of companies with links to their websites where you may learn more about them.

Manulife Financial (includes the former brands: Standard Life, Maritime Life, and John Hancock in the United States), Sun Life Financial, and Canada Life (includes the former brands: Great-West Life, Canada Life, and London Life) were the three largest life insurance companies in Canada in 2021.


Assumption Life 

Assumption Life, founded in 1903, is a mid-sized Life and Living Benefits provider based in Moncton. Assumption Life is one of the few mutual businesses with a decent product mix of life, critical illness, group benefits, and investment products that is held by policyholders. It is one of the few firms that provides coverage up to and including the age of 85.

Beneva Insurance 

In 2020, SSQ Insurance combined with La Capitale to establish Beneva, one of Quebec’s largest insurance businesses, offering both Property and Casualty and Life Insurance products.


Blue Cross

The Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans is the umbrella organization for the seven separate Blue Cross member plans that operate in various locations across Canada. Blue Cross members are mostly interested in vacation, health and dental coverage, and group benefit programs.

BMO Insurance

BMO Insurance (Bank of Montreal) is a bank-based insurance provider. In June 2009, BMO acquired AIG Life Insurance Company of Canada (AIG Life of Canada). It provides a wide variety of life and critical illness insurance packages.

Canada Life

Canada Life combined with two other firms, Great-West Life and London Life, and now operates under one brand, Canada Life, offering a diverse variety of life and living benefits products. It is by far one of the three largest life insurance firms in Canada. Its handicap product is especially strong, with a unique feature called Lifetime Benefit. Great-West Life bought Financial Horizons Group Inc, one of Canada’s major MGAs (Managing General Agents), in 2017.


CIBC Life Insurance is an insurance arm of CIBC. It focuses on simple life insurance products and creditor insurance.

Canada Protection Plan

Founded in 1992, Canada Protection Plan is a third-party administrator that specializes in no-medical life insurance. They utilize Foresters as their underwriting insurance business, hence a Canada Protection Plan policy is issued by Foresters. It was announced on October 2, 2020, that Canada Protection Plan and Foresters would merge under the brand of Canada Protection Plan, A Foresters Financial Company.


Co-operators Life Insurance Company

In 1945, Co-operators Life Insurance began as a cooperative for prairie farmers. Today, the company provides life insurance, group insurance, wealth management, and property and casualty products. Co-operators Life Insurance Co., Co-operators General Insurance Co., CUMIS, Edge Benefits Inc., Sovereign Insurance & Premier Group of Companies, and others are all owned by The Co-operators Group Limited.

Desjardins Financial Security Life Insurance

Desjardins Insurance, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, is a Quebec-based firm that provides life, disability, critical illness, and group benefits, as well as auto, home, travel, and pet insurance through their property and casualty division. They also provide a wide range of investment options. Desjardins Group acquired State Farm Canada in 2018 and merged the two companies under the Desjardins brand. Desjardins Group purchased IDC Worldsource Insurance Network Inc. (IDC WIN) in 2023, making it Canada’s top life and health insurance managing general agency plan.

Empire Life Insurance Company

Empire Life is a mid-sized Life and Living Benefits company situated in Kingston that offers a comprehensive range of Life and Living Benefits. It also offers guaranteed issue insurance to Canadians who are difficult to insure. Founded in 1923, it has since merged with numerous other companies before becoming the operating company of Empire Life Financial Corp. as the controlling company in 1968.

Equitable Life Insurance

Founded in 1920, it is one of the few remaining mutual insurance firms (i.e., owned by policyholders) in Canada. They provide standard life insurance products such as term, whole, and universal life insurance, as well as critical illness insurance. They also provide group insurance coverage. They are especially competitive in the entire life market.

Foresters Canada

Foresters Financial is a fraternal organization owned by The Independent Order of Foresters (a fraternal benefit society) that was created in 1874. Foresters provides a wide range of products, including life insurance, critical illness insurance, and various simplified issue plans as a result of its merger with Canadian Protection Plan.

Humania Assurance

Humania was found as The Union Saint-Joseph (L’Union Saint-Joseph de Saint-Hyacinthe) in 1874. In 2012, the rebranded company became Humania Assurance. It offers life, critical illness, health, and disability insurance products.

Hunter McCorquodale Inc

Since its inception in 1997, the company’s primary focus has been the underwriting of unique risk life, accident, and health policies that other standard insurers do not provide. It is definitely worth asking a broker to examine an out-of-the-ordinary application.

Industrial Alliance Financial Group

Industrial Alliance (iA) was founded in 1887 in Quebec and rebranded as Industrial Alliance Financial Group in 2015. There are options for individual life insurance, group insurance, individual wealth management, and group savings and retirement schemes. Hollis Wealth Management was purchased by iA in 2017. In 2018, IA bought PPI Management Inc., one of Canada’s major MGAs (Managing General Agencies). They are one of the few insurers that offers a diminishing term policy.


Transamerica was formerly an arm of the American Transamerica insurance company, but it was purchased by Wilton Re, a reinsurance company, and rebranded as Ivari, with headquarters in North York, Ontario. They provide a variety of term and universal life insurance plans, as well as critical sickness insurance and investment solutions. The company also has a solution for children who would otherwise be uninsurable.

La Capitale Life Insurance

La Capitale was founded in 1940 headquartered in Quebec City and has its origins in a mutual fund. In 2020 La Capitale has merged with La Capitale forming one of the largest Quebec-based insurance companies, Beneva, and offering both Property and Casualty and Life Insurance products.

London Life Insurance Company

Great-West Life and London Life have amalgamated to form London Life. It now operates under a single brand, Canada Life, and offers a wide range of life and living benefits products. Canada Life is by far one of the three largest life insurance firms in Canada.

Manulife Financial

Manulife provides a wide range of life and living benefits products and underwrites numerous other firms’ products. It is by far the largest life insurance company in Canada, as well as one of the major financial services firms in North America, thanks to its subsidiary, John Hancock.



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