Home Compare and Review Canada’s Life Insurance Comparison: Manulife vs. iA

Canada’s Life Insurance Comparison: Manulife vs. iA

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Manulife and iA are two so-called “big names” in the insurance industry in Canada. They have a long-established reputation for a plethora of options for interested clients. Yet, we understand that as clients, you want to choose an affordable product that can perfectly meet your demand. In this case, a comparison between different companies may help you make a better choice. Let’s read through the article to find the similarities and differences between the two.


Manulife is now the largest insurance provider in Canada. Founded in 1887, they have been the pioneer in a lot of niches in the Canadian insurance industry. Their product lines are comprehensive and diverse, along with numerous add-ons. Overall, Manulife has excellent ratings by independent rating companies such as Moody’s, A.M Best, Fitch Rating (updated on September 30, 2021).

For life insurance, apart from traditional insurance such as term life insurance and permanent life, they provide a bundle insurance product named Manulife Synergy, which combines the features of three types of insurance: life insurance, critical illness insurance and disability insurance. 

CategoryPlans available
Term Life Insurance (6)CoverMe Term life insurance ($100,000–$1 million in coverage)
Family Term ($100,000–$20 million in coverage)
Business Term ($100,000–$20 million in coverage)
Family Term with Vitality ($500,000–$20 million in coverage)
CoverMe Easy Issue ($50,000–$75,000 in coverage)
Manulife Quick Issue Term ($100,000–$500,000 in coverage)
Manulife Synergy ($100,000–$500,000 in coverage)
Whole Life Insurance (2)Manulife Par (coverage from $100,000)
Performax Gold (coverage from $25,000)
Universal Life Insurance (3)Innovision (coverage from $100,000)
Security UL (coverage from $50,000)
Manulife UL (coverage from $50,000)


Headquartered in Quebec, iA is ranked as the 5th largest Canadian insurance provider, making up 10% of the individual insurance market share. In Quebec only, it has a subsidiary which is iA auto and home insurance. Besides, it also has operations in the US, providing individual insurance and dealer services.

Industrial Alliance receives excellent ratings, which guarantee the clients of their financial capacity. To be specific, it receives A+ (Strong) from Standard & Poor, A (High) from DBRS and A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best.

CategoryPlans available
Term Life Insurance (2)Pick A Term (Maximum Coverage Amount: $10,000,000)
Access Life (Maximum Coverage Amount: $10,000,000)
Permanent Life Insurance (4)Whole life (Maximum Coverage Amount: $10,000,000)
Access Life (Maximum Coverage Amount: $500,000)
Child Life & Health Duo (Maximum Coverage Amount: $500,000)
Life and Serenity 65 (Maximum Coverage Amount: $1,000,000)
Participating Life Insurance (3)Payable 10 years
Payable 20 years
Payable up to 100 years
Universal Life Insurance (2)Genesis

Manulife Life Insurance Products vs. iA Life Insurance Products

Manulife Life Insurance iA Life Insurance 
Term Life Insurance
Terms are limited to 10 years or 20 years or payable to 65Offer both traditional life insurance and no medical life insurance
Term Life Insurance
Terms range from 10-40 years
Offer both traditional life insurance and no medical life insurance
Whole Life Insurance
Coverage starts from $25,000 Single life or Joint last-to-die options
Guaranteed payment duration for 10 or 20 years
Cash value is included
Whole Life Insurance
Coverage amount can be up to $10 billion
No medical insurance included
Specialized plans for children included (Child Life & Health Duo)
Specialized plans for seniors included (Life and Serenity 65)
Universal Life Insurance
Investment options:
Multiple investment account options are available
Guaranteed rate enhancement on managed accounts
Guaranteed premium for a shorter, guaranteed period of time
Universal Life Insurance
Genesis: investment bonus of 0.75% in the first year for all index accounts
Yearly renewable term (YRT) available
Disability benefits included

Manulife Synergy
100,000 to $500,000 in coverage
Benefits are a combination of critical illness, life and disability insurance benefits.
Adds-on: Policyholders can choose to add a renewable 10-year term or Term-to-65 life to their insurance policy. Child riders are available

Canada Life Insurance Comparison Manulife vs. iA - Best Insurance Online
Canada’s Life Insurance Comparison: Manulife vs. iA 2

Price comparison

It is noteworthy that the premium that you eventually have to pay is based on your specific circumstance. Factors such as health, location, age, gender matter, so it’s hard to tell if the premium of one company is higher than another for everyone. Yet, in an effort to help you imagine how much insurance from these companies may cost, we will provide you with the table below, which compares the premium of the term life insurance from both companies.

CompanyAge 30Age 30Age 40Age 40Age 50Age 50
Manulife$17.88  $24.28  $24.77  $29.44    $48.47  $67.91  
iA$18.90  $27.45  $27.90$35.10   $48.60  $67.95  
Table 1. Price comparison of 10-year term life insurance for non-smokers, preferred health class, face amount of $500,000, monthly payment (Updated till April, 2022)

CompanyAge 30Age 30Age 40Age 40Age 50Age 50
Manulife$30.15  $45.45  $57.15  $73.35  $131.00  $222.29  
iA$30.16$47.70  $57.15  $77.85  $131.85  $220.50  
Table 2. Price comparison of 10-year term life insurance for smokers,

From the table, we can see that there is not much of a difference between the two companies. The price for each age group and each gender are relatively the same.

Which is Better? 

As we can see from the table, the services offered by the two are quite on par.

Plus points

  • Both companies have a very strong financial base, and thus, customers can entrust their money to the companies
  • Both insurance companies provide detailed information about their products on their websites. 
  • Both insurance companies offer multiple plans, with sample contracts available on their websites. 
  • Both companies have a wide network of brokers and agents across Canada.
  • Term life insurance from both companies is convertible to whole life insurance

* Accelerated underwriting for customers over 50 with good health. Manulife offers $2 million in coverage with no underwriting requirements 
* Digital policy options: Manulife was one of the first providers to have e-delivery of insurance products
* Early payout options available: A cash benefit will be issued (terms and limitations considered) if customers contract a terminal illness
* A plethora of term life insurance plans
* Savings on future premiums thanks to Manulife Vitality: Manulife is also the only Canadian insurance provider to develop a reward system called Manulife Vitality product that rewards policyholders with lower premiums. Also, they have a wide range of options for investment when it comes to universal life insurance
* More flexible choices for term life insurance. Unlike Manulife, which offers fixed terms, such as 10-year, 20-year, with iA, clients can choose the length of term they want from 10-40 years, for example, a term of 11 years or 21 years
* More specialized options for children and elders
* A variety of participating life insurance with four dividend options in the plan (paid-up additions, annual premium reduction, payable in cash, deposit with interest)
* A plethora of permanent insurance plans

Minus points

Term life insurance quotes are not among the cheapest in the market: both of their rates are quite competitive but not as affordable as some others in the industry. 

* Manulife’s term life insurance rate is slightly higher than other companies. Their terms are limited to 10 or 20 years. 
* Since they have a wide range of options, it may sometimes be confusing for customers to study the products and quotes by themselves
* Clients have to access their contracts through a paper policy, no electronic policy is available
* Some products do not have a lot of details in terms of the price range, thus, more research and consultancy are required.

The bottom line

In conclusion, when it comes to term life insurance, the prices for the insurance products of Manulife and iA are basically identical. Manulife exemplifies a classic insurance company with standard policies, while iA seems to provide more room for flexibility when it comes to term life insurance. Also, compared to Manulife, iA has more specialized options for children and the elderly, making it an appealing option for these groups to consider. Furthermore, Manulife provides a multitude of term life insurance plans for individuals and families, while iA has more diverse options for permanent insurance.

For further consultancy, we’d recommend you to use a reliable insurance brokerage service; Insurance Direct Canada is one of Canada’s most trusted insurance brokers.

You can also get to know more about other good insurance companies in Canada via our review articles: ivari review, Canada Protection Plan review (CPP review), Sun Life review, Scotia Financial review, etc.

Other Life Insurance comparison articles: ivari vs. Canada Protection Plan, Manulife vs. Sun Life, Manulife vs. Desjardins, Bank-owned insurers comparison: BMO vs. TD vs. RBC.

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