Home Compare and Review Company Review: Sun Life

Company Review: Sun Life

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Company Overview

Sun Life Insurance started in Quebec, Canada in 1865. It is one of the oldest Canadian insurance providers. To date, the company has developed into a real powerhouse in the insurance industry, with a wide variety of insurance products, including health insurance, life insurance, mortgage insurance, family and business insurance.

Ratings

Sun Life receives a rating of A+ from AM Best in terms of financial strength. This guarantees the company’s capability to repay their clients’ claims.

Products

Life Insurance

Term life insurance

Overall, Sun Life offers 4 products including Sun Life Go Simplified Term Life Insurance, SunSpectrum Term Life Insurance, Sun Life Go Term Life Insurance, SunTerm Life Insurance.

Unlike other companies such as iA or RBC, which offer very flexible terms, Sun Life’s term life insurance products have more limited terms. 

If you apply for SunSpectrum Term Life Insurance or SunTerm Life Insurance, you have to undergo the traditional underwriting process. For Sun Life Go Simplified Term Life Insurance, you only have to answer 3 simple questions. For Sun Life Go Term Insurance, the questions are more simplified and if the applicants do not have any health problems as asked in the application form, he/she can skip the underwriting process.

For comparison, you can refer to the table below.

Sun Life Go Simplified Term Life InsuranceSunSpectrum Term Life InsuranceSun Life Go Term Life InsuranceSunTerm Life Insurance
Coverage amountStarting from $50,000Starting from $50,000Starting from $100,000Starting from $250,000
Online quoteYesNoYes No
Available terms10 years10, 15, 20 or 30 years10 or 20 years10, 15, 20 or 30 years
Eligible age18 – 69 Term 10: 0 – 75Term 15: 0 – 70Term 20: 0 – 65Term 30: 0 – 55Term 10: 18 – 69Term 20: 18 – 69Term 10: 18 – 75Term 15: 18 – 70Term 20: 18 – 65Term 30: 18 – 55
Number of the insured1Up to 5 people1Up to 5 people
Convertible to permanent life insuranceNoYesNoYes

Table 1. Term life insurance by Sun Life

Sun Life Insurance Canada - Best Insurance Online

Permanent life insurance

Sun Life offers two permanent life insurance policies namely Sun Life Go Guaranteed Life Insurance and SunSpectrum Permanent Life II. The first one is a type of no medical life insurance and the second one is a traditional permanent insurance plan. You can look at the table below to see the comparison between the two.

Sun Life Go Guaranteed Life InsuranceSunSpectrum Permanent Life II
Coverage amount$5,000, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, or $25,000From $10,000 to $10 million
Eligibility age30-74Single coverage: 0-85Joint coverage: all ages
Underwriting requirementNoYes
Coverage optionsN/ASingle life
Joint first-to-die, two lives includes:
Survivor benefit and Automatic survivor benefit
Joint last-to-die premiums to second death, two lives
Joint last-to-die premiums to first death, two lives

Table 2. Permanent life insurance by Sun Life

Participating life insurance

This is a combination product of whole life insurance accompanied by a cash value growth. Your premium and insurance is guaranteed as long as you pay the insurance premium on time. Policyholders are entitled to receive dividend payments.   

ProductsSun Par Protector IISun Par Accumulator IISun Par Accelerator
Coverage amount0 – 17: $25,000 to $ 15 million18 – 85: $50,000 to $ 15 millionFrom $250,000 to $15 millionFrom $250,000 to $15 million
Period payment optionsLife pay10 pay20 pay Life pay10 pay20 pay8 pay
Coverage optionsSingle life
Joint first-to-die
Survivor benefit and Automatic survivor benefit are included Joint last-to-die, premiums to first death (life pay only)
Joint last-to-die, premiums to second death
Single life
Joint first-to-die
Survivor benefit and Automatic survivor benefit are included Joint last-to-die, premiums to first death (life pay only)
Joint last-to-die, premiums to second death
Single Life
Joint first-to-die
Survivor benefit and Automatic survivor benefit are included
Joint last-to-die, premiums to second death
Eligibility age0-850-850-65
Underwriting requirementYesYesYes
Dividend optionsPaid-up additional insurance
Enhanced insurance
Annual premium reduction
Dividends on deposit
Cash payment
Paid-up additional insurance
Enhanced insurance
Annual premium reduction
Dividends on deposit
Cash payment
Enhanced insurance dividend option 

Table 3. Participating life insurance by Sun Life

Universal life insurance

At Sun Life, there are three types of universal life insurance: SunSpectrum Universal Life II, SunUniversalLife II and SunUniversalLife Pro. These all cater to single plans and joint plans (both first-to-die and last-to-die). One advantage of universal life insurance offered by Sun Life is that there are a wide range of investment options and death benefit options. 

The details can be seen at the table below.

ProductSunSpectrum Universal Life IISunUniversalLife IISunUniversalLife Pro
Death benefit optionsInsurance amount plus fundLevel insurance amount
Insurance amount plus policy fund
Level insurance amount plus indexing
Level insurance amount plus return of payments (ROP)
Level insurance amount plus adjusted cost basis (ACB)
Level insurance amount
Insurance amount plus policy fund
Level insurance amount plus adjusted cost basis (ACB)
Investment account optionsDaily interest account (DIA)
Guaranteed interest account 
Managed accounts
Option to elect reduced paid-up insurance
Daily interest account (DIA)
Guaranteed interest account 
Managed accounts
Sun Life Diversified Account
Daily interest account (DIA)
Guaranteed interest account
Sun Life Diversified Account Pro

Table 4. Universal life insurance by Sun Life

Health Insurance

Critical illness insurance

For critical illness insurance, Sun Life offers two main coverage: Sun Critical Illness Insurance and Express Critical Illness Insurance. The former covers 26 major critical illnesses and 8 minor illnesses for partial payout. The latter insure 1 to 7 common life-threatening conditions. Overall, we can see that Sun Life offers a myriad of choices for their policyholders in both product lines.


Product
Sun Critical Illness Insurance
Express Critical Illness Insurance
Coverage amountAdult plans: $25,000 to $3,000,000Child plans: $25,000 to $1,000,000Adult plans: $25,000 or $50,000
Eligibility age18-6518- 65
Covered illnesses26 critical diseases for full payout8 minor illnesses for partial payout5 additional illnesses for child plans (covered until age 24)Basic plan: Cancer
Enhanced plan: Cancer, heart attack, stroke
Comfort plan: cancer, heart attack, stroke, coronary artery bypass surgery, aortic surgery, major organ transplant, major organ failure on waiting list
Available plansTerm 10 (T10)
Term 75 (T75)
Lifetime (T100)
Basic plan
Enhanced plan
Comfort plan
Additional benefits(Optional)Return of premium on death
Return of premium on cancellation or expiry benefit
Total disability waiver
Owner waiver death
Owner waiver death and disability
Long term care conversion option
N/A

Table 5. Critical illness insurance by Sun Life

Pros and Cons

Sun Life’s strengths

Sun Life is one of the largest insurance providers in Canada, second only to Manulife. Therefore, clients can totally entrust their money to Sun Life without worrying that their claims are not paid. In addition, Sun Life also has a reputation for providing insurance services for companies and businesses. 

The company also has a wide range of options when it comes to critical illness insurance, so clients will have more choices when buying this product. Furthermore, Sun Life allows potential clients to access a lot of contract samples on their websites, so clients can have a look at these to understand more about each policy plan.

Sun Life’s weaknesses

The biggest shortcoming of Sun Life, as observed in other insurance carriers in Canada is that it does not provide an efficient digital and online platform. Also, for some plans, clients cannot get a quote by themselves but need to talk to the advisor, which makes the process quite time-consuming. Besides, policyholders do not receive electronic insurance policies and have to do with paper policies. This can cause certain inconveniences.

In addition, many people complain that the application and claiming process of Sun Life is quite long and cumbersome. Since Sun Life is such a big corporation, its products and its customer services seem to be less personalized. This can be seen in the limited options of terms in its term life insurance. Another con is that compared to other counterparts in the market, the premiums of Sun Life’s coverage is relatively higher.

The Bottom Line

To sum up, Sun Life is a good choice for those who want to seek a financially reliable insurance provider in Canada. However, in terms of flexibility of choices and premiums, there are better options in the market. To have more information, read through our articles about other companies, such as Manulife, BMO Insurance, iA Financial Group, RBC Insurance and Canada Life to have further insights.

If you need a broker which can provide you with quotes from different insurance companies, help you buy a policy or just advice – we’d recommend Insurance Direct Canada.

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