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Company Review: Wawanesa Life


Wawanesa Life offers affordable term life insurance products, with options for laddering and discounts, thanks to its solid financial reputation.

Company Overview 

Wawanesa was founded in Wawanesa, Manitoba in 1896 as a mutual insurance company with investment money from local farmers. From the start, Wawanesa’s first insurance policies were issued without set premiums because farmers often could not pay for their policies until after harvest dates. 

HeadquartersWinnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
AM Best RatingA
Better Business Bureau Accreditation/ RatingNo/ A+
AssetsOver $1.5 billion
Annual PremiumsOver $280 million
EmployeesApprox. 12,000
Canadian Market Share4.95% (2017)
Licensed ProvincesAB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NWT, NS, NU, ON, PEI, QC, SK, YT
ProductsPermanent and Term Life Insurance for individuals and groups. Disability, Health, and Dental Coverage to Employer/Employee groups

Although the parent company – Wawanesa Mutual ranks among the largest property and casualty providers in the country, its life insurance business is relatively small. This aspect of the business only got developed from 1960 onwards. 

Nowadays, it is a large and quickly growing Canadian insurance company offering coverage for life, home, auto, condo, farm, tenant, and commercial business insurance. Wawanesa Insurance is in the process of merging Western Life and Wawanesa Life into one brand. Additionally, the company acquired Desjardin Financial’s Western Canadian business in 2017 and merged it with Wawanesa Life.

Wawanesa has quickly made a name for itself by providing very competitively priced premiums and services.


Wawanesa has fairly poor reviews on Google – only 1.5 stars. However, it is a common perception that online ratings do not necessarily reflect the actual quality of insurance companies.

On the plus side, they do extremely well on Insureye with 3.3 out of 5 stars. The company also scores the highest-possible rating of A+ for BBB. That said, its customer reviews on the BBB website are not very flattering, with an average score of 2 out of 5.

Furthermore, Wawanesa responds to the majority of Google Reviews within the first 48 hours, which is more on the ball than most providers in the industry. In fact, some insurance companies in Canada, such as Assumption Life, have disabled Google Reviews altogether.

Wawanesa Life Canada - Best Insurance Online
Company Review: Wawanesa Life 2


To find out Wawanesa’s insurance quotes, we have gathered rates for non-smoking, healthy men and women of different ages for $40,000 coverage over a 20-year term length.


However, we have found out that policyholders with certain characteristics can enjoy better pricing for their insurance coverage as the insurer takes into account several factors. 

Customer CharacteristicsPrice Comparison
Low coverage amount (<$400,000)Great
Higher coverage amount (>$400,000)Great
Short Term (10 years)Great
Mid Term (20 years)Great
Long Term (30 years)Great
Whole LifeGreat
Under 40 years of ageGreat
Over 40 years of ageAverage
Good HealthGreat
Regular SmokerGreat

Finally, to break down their costs even more, we compare Wawanesa Life with Sun Life and found that Wawanesa Life is a cheaper option in both cases. 

Example 1: 35-Year-old Male, Non-Smoker, Regular Health, 20-year Term:
Wawanesa Insurance $300K – $34.02
Sun Life $300K – $35.06
Cost Savings over 20 years: $250
Example 2: 55-Year-old Female, Non-Smoker, Regular Health, 20-year Term:
Wawanesa Insurance $200K – $75.96
Sun Life $200K – $80.02
Additional Cost over 20 years: $975


Term Life 

  • Lifetime Term: 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-years terms, or up to the age of 80. Can be renewed until 100 years old. 
  • Preferred Underwriting of Lifetime Term: include 2 smoker classes. 

Permanent Life 

  • Whole Life – Pay to Age 100: Premiums paid until age 100; Available up to 80 years. 
  • Whole Life – 20 Pay Whole Life: Premiums paid for 20 years and will never increase; Available up to 80 years 
  • Instant Issue Life Insurance: Available for policyholders aged 45 to 75; Guaranteed premiums payable for 20 years. 

Critical Illness Insurance

  • Quick Issue Critical Illness: Pays out a tax-free lump sum; 30-day waiting period from diagnosis. 


Besides life insurance, Wawanesa offers other types, such as Car Insurance, Home Insurance, Commercial Business Coverage, and Farm Coverage. 

Death Benefits

Your named beneficiaries must submit a copy of your death certificate to the insurance company to collect your death benefit. This will only be paid if your passing happens during the term of the policy and you have paid all your premiums on time. 

In terms of critical illness, you can receive a lump sum payout if you suffer from a medical condition that stops you from working. The insurer will require proof of diagnosis from your doctor to confirm your situation. Please note that you can only receive the benefit when your premium payments are up-to-date and your policy is still active at the time of the claim. 

Pros and Cons

– Multiple term life options available.
– Financially strong and able to pay out quickly.
– Premiums are usually among the most affordable in the industry.
– Level of support provided to brokers and customers is above standard.
– Ability to create layered or ‘laddered’ structures, given the availability of multiple coverage options.
– Accepts DocuSign for electronic signatures on policy documents.
– Most products are lifelong renewable, although at higher prices.
– No extra charge for any policy or rider fees, which helps keep the premiums very affordable.
– Ability to get coverage without medical exams for up to $500,000, for customers under 45 years old. 
– Smaller-sized compared to other insurance giants such as Manulife, Sun Life and Canada Life.
– No option for digital or electronic policy.
– Quite small product shelf in comparison to other insurance providers. 
– Underwriting process can take relatively longer than other insurers.
– Policies can only be converted into non-participating permanent products.

Application Process

Your application paperwork must also be filled out manually, then emailed or mailed by the post to Wawanesa. Alternatively, let an expert from a trusted insurance broker – like Insurance Direct Canada – help you.

During your application process, make sure to include important information in their form, such as: 

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Proof of ID
  • Required documents

After filling in, you should carefully review the documents and wait for Wawanesa to verify everything, before negotiating the terms of your life insurance policy. 

The Bottom Line

Wawanesa Life offers a wide range of options when it comes to life insurance policies to help you tailor a plan that suits your unique needs and budget. If you are looking for a life insurance policy to financially protect your loved ones, Wawanesa has competitively priced premiums for you. Be sure to check out all of Wawanesa Life’s offerings and compare them to your unique needs and budget before beginning with the application process for a life insurance policy.

You can also find our reviews on: Canada Protection Plan, Equitable Life of Canada, Empire Life, Assumption Life, etc. via the button below.

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