Home Compare and Review Company Review: BMO Insurance

Company Review: BMO Insurance

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Company Overview

BMO or The Bank of Montreal is the fourth biggest Canadian bank by assets and market capitalization. In fact, it is regarded as one of the Big Five (including TD, CIBC, RBC, and Scotiabank). It is also one of the most recognized banks in the North American area.

BMO Insurance was founded in 1817 as a member of the BMO Financial Group. In 2009, the Bank of Montreal acquired the AIG Life Insurance Company of Canada. AIG was then renamed BMO Life Assurance Company, with the headquarters being put at Toronto, Ontario. Over time, the company has developed into the second-largest bank-owned life insurance carrier in Canada.

Ratings

BMO Insurance is rated A (Excellent) by A.M Best in terms of financial strength.

Products

BMO Insurance is very strong at term life insurance plans. It also sells policies for permanent life insurance, accident and illness insurance and travel insurance.

The table below briefly summarizes available products at BMO Insurance as of October 2021.

Life InsuranceAccident & Illness InsuranceTravel Insurance
– Term Life
– Term 100
– EasyOne Life
– Universal Life
– Guaranteed-Life Plus
– BMO Insurance Whole Life Plan
– Accidental Death Benefit
– Life Recovery Plus
– Living Benefit plans
– Annual Enhanced Travel Insurance
– Annual Medical Travel Insurance
– Single Trip Enhanced Travel Insurance
– Single Trip Medical Travel Insurance
– Single Trip Non-Medical Travel Insurance

BMO Life Insurance

Term life insurance

In brief, BMO Insurance offers renewable term life insurance plans with the terms of 10, 15, 20 years. These will expire when policyholders get 85. The company also offers terms of 25 and 30 years, which are non-renewable and expire as the term ends. Each plan can range from $100,000 to $5,000,000 in coverage. 

The eligible age to apply for BMO life insurance is between 18 and 75 years old. A medical exam is mandatory. BMO term life insurance is known for affordable premiums and its renewable and convertible policies.

To understand more about the premium of BMO, let’s look at the illustration table below:

MaleMaleFemaleFemale
AgeNon-smokersSmokersNon-smokersSmokers
20$18.00  $29.61  $12.06  $18.81  
30$18.54  $30.96  $13.14  $19.89  
40$21.51  $49.05  $18.54  $37.98  
50$47.43  $136.53  $37.71  $87.39  

Table 1. Term-10, $300,000 in coverage, Preferred health class, monthly premium

Permanent life insurance

Term-100

This is a permanent life insurance plan that offers permanent coverage as long as policyholders pay the premiums. The premiums are guaranteed. When the insured reaches the age of 100, he/she will no longer have to pay for the premium. The policy can range from $50,000 to $5 million in coverage.

AgeMaleMaleFemaleFemale
Non-smokersSmokersNon-smokersSmokers
20$168.67  $221.17  $137.00  $179.92  
30$235.75  $341.58  $207.00  $274.92  
40$367.83  $549.92  $318.67  $440.75  
50$574.92  $868.67  $498.25  $704.92  

Table 2. Term-100, $500,000 in coverage, Preferred health class, monthly premium

Easy One Life

This is a whole life insurance plan for Canadians who are between 50 and 80 years old. There is no underwriting process involved, the applicants just need to sign a health declaration stating that they have no serious health problem. However, bear in mind that if the insurer finds out that you lied in the application form, your beneficiary will not receive any death benefit.

Since this is a kind of no medical life insurance, the face value is not high. To be specific, this plan only offers from $5,000 to $50,000 in coverage. 

MaleMaleFemaleFemale
AgeNon-smokersSmokersNon-smokersSmokers
50$127.75$207.25$101.00$137.00
60$166.00$271.75$126.25$169.25
70$297.00$454.50$222.25$281.00

Table 3. Easy One Life, $50,000 in coverage, monthly premium

Guaranteed-Life Plus

Similar to Easy One Life, Guaranteed-Life Plus is a no medical life insurance plan. This means that regardless of the policyholders’ health conditions, they will get covered immediately. This plan is for Canadians who are from 40 to 75. Like other no medical life insurance, the amount of coverage is limited to $500,000 in maximum. 

An outstanding feature of this plan is that it includes Accidental Death Benefit insurance, which can be up to $250,000 in coverage, respectively. The Accidental Death Benefit coverage starts immediately once your application is sent to BMO. Your beneficiary receives five times your basic benefit in the event of your death due to a covered accident. Accidental Death Benefit coverage terminates when you turn 85.

The price of this plan ranges from $20 to $120 per month. To illustrate, let’s look at Table 4 and Table 5.

Male – Smoker – Age 40Male – Smoker – Age 40Male – Non-smoker – Age 40Male – Non-smoker – Age 40
Monthly PremiumBasic BenefitAccidental Death BenefitBasic BenefitAccidental Death Benefit
$20.00$2,900$14,500$6,150$30,750
$30.00$4,800$24,000$10,100$50,500
$45.00$7,700$38,500$16,000$80,000
$60.00$10,600$53,000$21,900$109,500
$75.00$13,500$67,500$27,750$138,750
$90.00$16,150$80,750$32,950$164,750
$100.00$18,050$90,250$36,700$183,500
$120.00$21,850$109,250$44,400$222,000

Table 4. Guaranteed-Life Plus, Male, Age 40

Female – Smoker – Age 40Female – Smoker – Age 40Female – Non-smoker – Age 40Female – Non-smoker – Age 40
Monthly PremiumBasic BenefitAccidental Death BenefitBasic BenefitAccidental Death Benefit
$20.00$6,350$31,750$11,600$58,000
$30.00$10,250$51,250$18,600$93,000
$45.00$16,100$80,500$29,150$145,750
$60.00$21,950$109,750$39,700$198,500
$75.00$28,250$141,250$50,000$250,000
$90.00$33,700$168,500$11,600$58,000
$100.00$37,600$188,000$18,600$93,000
$120.00$45,400$227,000$29,150$145,750

Table 5. Guaranteed-Life Plus, Male, Age 40

BMO Insurance Whole Life Plan

This is a whole life insurance plan that includes guaranteed premiums. Clients can choose to pay the premium within 10 years, 20 years or when they get to age 100. There are options for policyholders to lower their premiums if they want. Like other life insurance plans, BMO Insurance Whole Life Plan has a guaranteed cash value. It also offers a Performance Bonus that automatically increases the cash value and death benefit.

Universal Life

CharacteristicsDetails
Flexible premium
– Flexible premium schedule (policyholders can choose to pay premiums over 5 or 10 years)
– Can use the cash value to deduct premium amounts
Tax-deferred growthGet a tax-deferred investment account within the maximum limits
Various Investment options– Guaranteed-interest accounts: minimum guaranteed rate of return
– Equity-linked investment accounts: returns are calculated according to the performance of some of Canada’s -most recognized money managers
– Guaranteed Market Indexed Accounts and the Enhanced Market Indexed Account: returns are based on equity market performance and net rates of return
Access to cashAccess part of tax-deferred investment account for:
– build extra retirement income
– fund child’s education
– cover expenses if the insured is disabled
– need an emergency cash account
PlansLife Dimensions: Permanent coverage and access to investment options with tax-deferred accumulation.  
Wealth Dimension: Tax-deferred investment options. Include an initial investment of at least $25,000 when they buy a policy.
RidersTerm Insurance Rider
– Accidental Death Rider
– Waiver of PremiumChildren’s Term Insurance Rider: provides term life insurance for your children
– Critical Illness Rider
– Business Guaranteed Insurability Option

 Table 6. Universal Life

Accident & Illness Insurance

Accidental Death Benefit

This is an insurance plan for Canadians from 18 to 65. The insured will get covered until age 76 regardless of their health conditions. Specifically, you don’t need to undergo any medical underwriting to get approved for this insurance. The process is very easy and straightforward. You can apply for this plan over the phone or online. 

Life Recovery Plus

This is a type of critical illness insurance that covers three serious diseases including heart attack, stroke or cancer. Your coverage will be valid until your 70th birthday. Canadians from 18 to 60 are eligible for this plan. One pro of this plan is that you can get accepted even if your family has a medical history of one of the three illnesses. 

Life Recovery Plus includes two plans: Enhanced Plan and Basic Plan. Each can get up to $50,000 and $25,000 in coverage.

BMO provides a tool for interested clients to calculate their own premium. Here is an example for you to understand the cost of this plan:



MaleMaleFemaleFemale
PlanCoverage up toSmokerNon-smokerSmokerNon-smoker
Basic Plan$25,000$31.50$16.25$25.50$17.25
Enhanced Plan$50,000$61.25$30.75$49.00$32.75

Living Benefit

This is a critical illness insurance plan offered by BMO. Compared to Life Recovery Plus, which covers only three types of critical illnesses, Living Benefit covers 25 life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, dementia, deafness, heart attack, etc. A full list and interpretation of these diseases can be found here.

BMO offers Living Benefit plans 10, 20, 75 and 100.

Living Benefit 10 and 20 plans– Automatic renewal of 10- or 20-year coverage until the insured gets 75 without needing to take medical exams. Premiums are based on the insured’s age at renewal
– Flexibility to convert to a permanent Living Benefit 75 or 100 policy
– Optional Return of Premium on Death (ROPD) benefit
Living Benefit 75 and 100 plans– Coverage to age 75 or 100
– Guaranteed premiums 
– Premiums for Living Benefit 100 plan is payable over 15 years
– Optional Return of Premium on Death (ROPD) benefit
– Optional Return of Premium on Surrender or Expiry (ROPS) benefit

Travel Insurance

For travel insurance, BMO offers both Annual Plans and Single Trip Plans. Coverage will include premium, out-of-province/country emergency medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption and delay, flight delay, baggage and personal effects, 24/7 trip assistance, unlimited number of trips.

Pros and Cons

BMO Insurance’s Strengths

As the second-largest bank-owned life insurance company in Canada, clients can entrust their money to BMO Insurance without worrying that their claims will not be paid. Compared to other companies, the price for term life insurance by BMO is 2% less than other competitors in the industry, which can mean a lot. In addition, its Term-100 is affordable, compared to similar products in the market.

Some insurance products from BMO Insurance can be versatile and convenient. We can name Guaranteed Life Plus, which is a bundle of whole life insurance and accidental death benefit insurance. In addition, Life Recovery Plus by BMO is also a good option for those who want to cover the three common illnesses of heart diseases, cancer and stroke. It allows people to apply regardless of their family medical records.

BMO Insurance let their policyholders convert term life insurance to other permanent life insurance products, allowing more flexibility for its policyholders. 

BMO Insurance offers The Compassionate Benefit Program which is their unique feature that allows clients to apply for their policy’s death benefit in advance of their death. To be specific, term life insurance policyholders who are diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of 12 months are able to draw up to 50% of the base coverage or up to $250,000. This means that clients can have more power to make use of their policy when they are alive.

BMO Insurance’s Weaknesses

Unlike Manulife who has a very developed digitalized platform for their clients, BMO Insurance has a quite traditional procedure. There’s no online account and people have to undertake paper applications. This can be quite discouraging for those who want to get their policy as soon as possible. Besides, they require medical records for clients looking to buy non-face-to-face. Except for Term 10, 20, 30, Term 25 and 30 are not renewable.

In addition, applicants have to apply through agents since BMO Insurance doesn’t let clients buy life insurance online. Applicants are required to submit a request for a call from the agent. Or else, they’ll have to call customer service who will direct them to a local agent. 

The Bottom Line

In summary, BMO Insurance is a credible insurance provider that has very affordable term life insurance options. It also covers other products such as whole life insurance, universal life insurance, critical illness insurance and so on. There are insurance bundles, such as Guaranteed-Life Plus or Life Recovery Plus that can be very convenient. 

That being said, the process of applying can be a little bit tiring. In order to ease your way into the application process, you can contact a trusted insurance broker such as Insurance Direct Canada. They can give you more personalized advice, insurance quotes, etc.

If you’re interested, we also have reviews for other insurance companies in Canada: Canada Protection Plan, TD Life Insurance, iA Financial Group and more here.

8 COMMENTS

  1. […] BMO or The Bank of Montreal is the fourth biggest Canadian bank by assets and market capitalization. In fact, it is regarded as one of the Big Five (including TD, CIBC, RBC, and Scotiabank). It is also one of the most recognized banks in the North American area. BMO Insurance was founded in 1817 as a member of the BMO Financial Group. In 2009, the Bank of Montreal acquired the AIG Life Insurance Company of Canada. AIG was then renamed BMO Life Assurance Company, with the headquarters being put at Toronto, Ontario.  […]

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