The Great-West Life Assurance Company, known today at Great-West Lifeco, is a large holdings company with a lengthy history in the financial services market. Founded originally in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and still headquartered there to this day, Great-West Lifeco claims more than 20,000 employees and annual revenues in the range of C$60 billion.
As it is a holding company, you cannot purchase a life insurance policy directly from Great-West Lifeco. You can, however, work with one of their subsidiary companies to acquire life insurance or other financial products. Those in Canada, for example, can purchase coverage from Canada Life. Other companies under the Great-West Lifeco umbrella include Irish Life in Ireland, Putnam Investments, which serves clients around the world, and Empower Retirement, in the United States.
Table of Contents:
- Types of Life Insurance Offered by Great-West Lifeco
- Available Riders from Great-West Lifeco
- Notable Features of The Great-West Life Insurance
- Great-West Lifeco Financial Ratings
- Great-West Lifeco Company Reviews
- Great-West Lifeco Application Process Overview
- Is The Great-West Life Assurance Company Legit?
Types of Life Insurance Offered by Great-West Lifeco
Within the category of life insurance, you are going to find many different types of policy options. This is true with any life insurance company, and that included The Great-West Life Assurance Company. Their life insurance offerings, like with most other competitors in this space, are divided up into two categories, with more specific policy options offered in each category. Those two areas are term life insurance and permanent insurance. Here’s a breakdown of those options –
- With term life insurance, you will be covered by the policy for a set period of time. For example, you might pick a policy with a term of 20 years. That coverage will remain in place, as long as you continue to pay the premiums, for the duration of that 20-year term.
- Permanent insurance is just as the name would indicate – it’s permanent coverage that is guaranteed to pay out a benefit when the insured dies. The premiums are typically higher with permanent insurance since a payout is inevitable, but there are some reasons to prefer this choice over term life for some consumers.
Picking between these two types of insurance from The Great-West Life Assurance Company isn’t about deciding which one is the “best” – they are both good financial planning tools. Rather, it’s about deciding which is right for your family’s needs and your budget. If you are trying to keep costs down but want protection in case of something unforeseen, term life is the way to go. Alternatively, a permanent insurance policy is appealing if you want some other financial benefits (more on that later) and don’t mind the higher premium.
Available Riders from Great-West Lifeco
You can think of riders as modifiers for life insurance policies. If you find a policy that you like for the most part, but it doesn’t quite fit your needs exactly, you can inquire about a rider to dial in the final policy just perfectly. Like most life insurance companies, you can pick from many various riders to make your policy a great fit. Of course, these will affect the cost of your policy, and not all riders may be available to all consumers. Here are a few examples of some of the many riders seen with this brand –
- Term rider. Basically, term riders will offer you more life insurance for an even shorter term than your base term policy. This is a good way to add life insurance to your policy at various times throughout the term, without buying another policy. So, if you want your policy to carry a larger death benefit at the beginning or the end, for example, a term rider would be a way to make that happen.
- Accidental death benefit. This is just as it sounds – an additional payout is offered as part of a policy that carries an accidental death benefit rider. Then, if the insured dies in an accident, this rider kicks in and additional money is paid out. The premium you pay to purchase a policy with this rider will reflect the potential for a larger payout.
- Guaranteed insurability. An interesting rider to consider, this one is useful for someone who is currently in good health but wants to protect against future health issues causing insurance problems. In other words, you can take out a policy while young and healthy for a modest amount of coverage, and with the guaranteed insurability rider, you’ll be able to add coverage later without any health screening or limitations. So, if your health has declined, the insurer won’t be able to deny you additional coverage when this rider is part of your policy.
There are many riders available through The Great-West Life Insurance Company, but this shortlist is a useful starting point. When working on your policy, be sure to consider the various riders that are available and whether or not adding them to your coverage will be worth the additional cost.
Notable Features of The Great-West Life Insurance
In many ways, the offerings you will find here are standard practice across the board in this industry. If anything, what allows this brand to stand out and take a notable place is simply the breadth of its offerings. While you are primarily looking for life insurance at the moment, you may find the need for other types of coverage in the future. When that need arises, you won’t need to go anywhere else, as there is a good chance you can also get the new product from The Great-West Life Insurance company.
Some examples of what else can be acquired through this brand include critical illness insurance, disability insurance, and even workplace benefits if you happen to be a business owner or manager. These additional offerings might not be the reason you choose this coverage for your life insurance needs, but they are nice to have available.
Earlier, we mentioned the ability of a permanent insurance policy to serve as a financial planning tool as well as an insurance policy. This can be done through The Great-West Life Insurance company, as well as many other insurance companies. It works like this – over the life of your policy, that policy will gradually accumulate a cash value. Then, if needed, you can borrow against that cash value to take out a loan. That loan can be used for many different things, and the payments on it will go back toward the policy. This gives you some added financial flexibility while keeping your life insurance coverage in place. It should be noted that term life insurance does not offer this same feature, so keep that in mind while doing your planning.
Great-West Lifeco Financial Ratings
As you might expect from a company with such a long and proud history, the financial ratings for Great West are excellent. Examples of their ratings include an A+ from A.M. Best Company, Inc., and an AA rating from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. Simply put, if you have a policy with Great-West Life Assurance Company and the time comes for you or your loved one to make a claim, you can expect that claim to be paid in accordance with the terms of your policy.
Great-West Lifeco Company Reviews
In general, the tone of reviews for this life insurance company are strongly positive. As we’ve seen, there are plenty of policy options available when you consider the riders that can be added, and the good financial ratings mean you don’t have to worry about this company struggling to pay a benefit on your policy. In fact, the financial strength of The Great-West Life Assurance Company is one of the reasons that many people opt to go in this direction.
Great-West Lifeco Application Process Overview
The application process to receive a quote for life insurance will depend on whether you are applying through your employer or through an advisor. Assuming you are looking for life insurance on your own, you can go through the Canada Life website to track down an advisor who can help you with the application process and also will help you understand your needs for this new policy.
Should the time come to make a claim on your account, or if you need to make a change to your coverage, those forms can be found on the website as well. For help directly from the company, there are contact options on the website as well as answers to many frequently asked questions. Overall, the application process with Canada Life and The Great-West Assurance Company is standard for the industry and should not present you with any unnecessary or unexpected hurdles.
Is The Great-West Life Assurance Company Legit?
The Great-West Life Assurance Company (or Great-West Lifeco) is a legitimate Canadian financial holdings company. It has a history that dates to the late 1800s, a portfolio of respected brands in this industry, and assets in the trillions. For Canadians, buying a policy from Canada Life is one of the leading options in the market, and should be strongly considered when shopping around for life insurance coverage. Likewise, those in the market for other types of financial products, like those available from Empower Retirement in the U.S., can trust in the experience and stability that Great-West Lifeco brings to the table.