Sun Life Vs Manulife Insurance 2024: Which Is Better?

Are you shopping the market for life, home, critical illness, or health insurance?

If so, then you’ve likely heard of Sun Life and Manulife – two of the biggest insurance providers in Canada. Both insurers provide a range of different insurance products to help you protect yourself, your loved ones, and your investments.

Which is the better choice, though?

Today, I’m going to compare Sun Life vs. Manulife insurance plans based on the following:

  1. The types of insurance policies offered
  2. Term life insurance policies
  3. Permanent life insurance policies (whole life)
  4. Insurance bundling deals

I’ll give a fair comparison between the two, so you can see which insurance provider best fits you and your family’s needs. Let’s jump in, shall we?

About Sun Life

SunLife Logo

Sun Life Financial was founded in Canada in 1865, making the company over 150 years old. Sun Life is one of the top-three largest insurers in the country and manages over $1.44 trillion in assets for its clients.

Additionally, Sun Life offers competitive rates on everything from life insurance to mortgage protection insurance.

I’ve previously mentioned Sun Life as one of the best term life insurance companies in Canada. Overall, the company has a positive reputation and has expanded globally into numerous countries and cities.

In addition to insurance policies, Sun Life Financial also offers a number of investing, retirement, and savings programs for Canadians, including:

  • RRSP
  • TFSA
  • RESP
  • RRIF
  • GIC

For many, this makes them a “one-stop-shop” where consumers can purchase insurance and invest in their future simultaneously.

  • Long-standing insurer with over 150+ years in business
  • Multiple life insurance policies available
  • Plenty of options for additional insurance (mortgage protection, critical illness, etc.)
  • Investing and saving accounts available
  • Available plans for small businesses
  • Limited policy information online (you have to speak to an advisor for details)
  • Sun Life leans more towards selling business policies than personal policies.

About Manulife

ManuLife Logo

Manulife launched in 1887, around two decades after its competitor, Sun Life, began making waves in the Canadian insurance marketplace. Originally, it was known as The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company.

Today, Manulife offers a wide range of personal finance and investment products, along with life insurance, health insurance, mortgage protection, and other coverage geared toward families.

Like Sun Life, Manulife also offers small business insurance and company-wide policies. However, Manulife is arguably more focused on its consumer market rather than its small business market.

One of the nice perks about Manulife is that the company offers a handy InsureRight online tool that helps to match customers with the best policies, plans, and bundles, based on their needs.

  • Wide range of life insurance products available
  • Personal finance products for banking and investing
  • InsureRight tool makes it easy to shop for policies online
  • Over 130+ years in business
  • Strong focus on consumer insurance products
  • Term life insurance policies are known for being rather pricey
  • Limited term life insurance options

Sun Life vs Manulife Insurance: Head-to-Head Comparison

Sun Life Go Insurance Products

Both Sun Life and Manulife offer a range of competitive products and rates for individuals and small businesses. Now that you have a bit of background on both companies, it’s time for a head-to-head comparison to see which company offers the best perks in each category I mentioned above.

Recently, both insurance companies received negative media attention for being heavily invested in coal, oil, and gas – industries which they’ve committed to exiting in an effort to be “net-zero” companies regarding carbon emissions.

Although this has little to do with the insurance policies that each company offers, it has affected both companies’ stock and public reputation, so it’s worth noting.

With that being said, let’s dive into our Sun Life vs Manulife insurance comparison!

Sun Life vs Manulife: Types of Insurance Offered

First, let’s take a look at what type of insurance policies each company offers. This is important to take into consideration if you’re looking to purchase multiple types of insurance, as you can usually save a good bit of money by bundling your policies together into one monthly bill.

Here are the most popular policies offered by both companies:

Sun Life Insurance PoliciesManulife Insurance Policies
Term life insuranceTerm life insurance
Whole/permanent life insuranceWhole/permanent life insurance
Health insuranceHealth insurance
Travel insuranceTravel insurance
Mortgage protection insuranceMortgage protection insurance
Health and dental insuranceHealth and dental insurance
Critical illness insuranceCritical illness insurance
Disability insuranceDisability insurance
Long-term care insurance 

As you can see, both Sun Life and Manulife offer the same types of insurance coverage. However, Sun Life offers one additional insurance coverage that you won’t find with Manulife – long-term care insurance.

Therefore, Sun Life wins in regards to how many insurance policies are offered.

Sun Life vs Manulife: Term Life Insurance Policies

If you’re young or just recently started a family, then term life insurance is a great way to protect your family. Although your policy won’t build a cash value and can’t be used as an investment vehicle, a term policy ensures that your loved ones will be taken care of in the event of an untimely death.

Here are the term life insurance policies offered by Sun Life:

Sun Life Go SimplifiedCoverage starting at $50,000, 10-year term only
Sun Life Go Term Life InsuranceCoverage starts at $100,000, 10 or 20-year terms
SunSpectrum Term Life Insurance$50,000 to $25 million in coverage, 10 to 30-year terms available
SunTerm Life Insurance$250,000 to $25 million in coverage, 10 to 30-year terms available

Of all of Sun Life’s plans, I personally recommend the company’s Sun Life Go Term Life Insurance product, as it offers competitive rates, two terms to choose from, and provides at least $100,000 worth of coverage.

Now, let’s take a look at the term life insurance products offered by Manulife:

CoverMe Easy Issue$50,000 to $75,000 in coverage, 10-year term
CoverMe Term Life$100,000 to $1 million in coverage, 10-year term
Family Term$100,000 to $20 million in coverage, 10 or 20-year term
Family Term with Vitality Plus$250,000 to $25 million in coverage, 10 or 20-year term, discounts on health products from major brands

If you’re looking for a simple term life insurance policy, the CoverMe Term Life policy is likely going to be your go-to plan. The Family Term with Vitality Plus is, by far, the most comprehensive plan, as it also offers additional bonuses and discounts on health-related products such as:

  • FitBit, Garmin, and Apple Watches
  • HelloFresh meal subscription (which is currently offering great sign-up deals, by the way!)
  • Free one-year Amazon Prime membership
  • Save up to 50% on Expedia travel books (twice per year)
  • … and more

If the extras and bonuses appeal to you, then Manulife’s Family Term with Vitality Plus is definitely worth looking into, especially if you’re looking for a higher-value family term policy.

Between Sun Life and Manulife, I’d say that Sun Life offers more flexibility in regards to term lengths. Manulife only offers 10 and 20-year terms, while Sun Life offers 10, 15, 20, and 30-year terms. This is nice because it can lock you into an affordable rate for an extended period of time.

That being said, Sun Life wins again in this term life insurance category.

Sun Life vs Manulife: Permanent Life Insurance Policies

Permanent life insurance (often called whole life insurance) is a type of insurance that lasts your entire life. Whether you die prematurely or die of old age, your loved ones will still receive a payout.

Additionally, permanent life insurance policies allow you to build equity and can be used as an investment vehicle. After paying into your policy for a period of time, a portion of your premium payments will go towards the policy’s cash value, which can be used to invest in the market.

Profits made from investing in your policy’s cash value can be put towards future premium payments or can be borrowed against.

Both Sun Life and Manulife offer several options for permanent life insurance.

Unfortunately, Sun Life is incredibly vague about its whole life policies. Sun Life prefers that customers speak directly to an advisor to get a quote or receive any type of policy details.

Manulife, on the other hand, is an open book. Here are the whole-life policies offered by Manulife:

InnoVisionCoverage starts at $100,000, choose between 50 investment accounts, guaranteed minimum interest investment accounts, ability to add on additional term insurance or other plans
Manulife ULVaried coverage amounts, choose between multiple investment accounts, guaranteed 1% rate enhancement, flexible premiums
Manulife UL with Vitality PlusSame as Manulife UL, but with added Vitality Plus perks, such as a free Apple Watch, annual discounts, and other health incentives

Due to the lack of information Sun Life offers about its whole life policies, I have to say that Manulife wins in regards to whole life insurance policies. I appreciate the company’s clarity on its policies and how easy it is to compare Manulife plans side-by-side.

Sun Life vs Manulife: Insurance Bundling

Bundling refers to combining insurance products offered by a single insurer. The idea is that a customer should be able to save significantly by purchasing all of their insurance products from the same company rather than going through separate companies.

Sun Life doesn’t offer any outright bundling deals. Instead, the company encourages customers to speak with an insurance advisor to review their options. Presumably, customers should be able to save by bundling policies together, but Sun Life really doesn’t provide any detailed information on its site.

Manulife, on the other hand, has a clear 3-in-1 bundling deal called Manulife Synergy insurance. This policy bundle includes:

  • Term life insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Critical illness insurance

Additionally, you can add the following onto your Manulife Synergy plan:

  • Additional 10-year term policy
  • Help protect children under 25 with life and critical illness insurance

If you’re not familiar with disability and critical illness insurance, here’s how they work:

  • Disability insurance provides coverage and can help you pay the bills if you become disabled or injured and cannot work
  • Critical illness insurance provides a one-time lump sum payout if you’re diagnosed with a major medical condition that lands you in the hospital, prevents you from working, or incurs other costly medical-related expenses.

Life is unpredictable, and things can go wrong at any moment. This is why Manulife’s Synergy plan is very appealing, especially to individuals who work in dangerous industries like logging, fishing, or construction, where near-deadly accidents happen more frequently.

All of that being said, I’d have to say that Manulife wins in regard to policy bundling.

Sun Life vs Manulife: Scoreboard Review

To wrap up, here’s a quick look at the scoreboard between Sun Life vs Manulife insurance:

Policies offeredSun LifeManulife
Term life insuranceSun Life (more flexible terms)Manulife (only 10 or 20-year terms)
Permanent life insuranceManulife (more information available)Sun Life (little to no information available)
Policy bundlingManulife (clear bundling plan with Manulife Synergy)Sun Life (must speak with an advisor for bundling details)

Which company is larger, Sun Life or Manulife?

Both Sun Life and Manulife are major insurance providers in Canada, and their size can be determined by various metrics such as market capitalization, assets under management (AUM), or the number of policies issued.

Sun Life manages over $1.44 trillion in assets for its clients, and Manulife manages about $1.3 trillion. In terms of AUM, the two companies are about the same size.

Sun Life vs Manulife: What’s The Best Insurance Company Overall?

Sun Life vs Manulife Insurance

Looking at the scoreboard, it seems like Manulife is the winner here. That being said, Sun Life also offers some fairly competitive rates on insurance policies.

The main difference is that Manulife makes it easier to purchase and shop for insurance online, while Sun Life encourages customers to go through in-person representatives.

If speed and efficiency are what you’re looking for – stick with Manulife insurance.

If you value lengthy phone conversations and consultations – go for Sun Life insurance.

Other than that, though, both insurers provide quality coverage and have a solid reputation.

Before you apply, though, I encourage you to read my guide on how to save money on life insurance!

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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