Sun Life Insurance Review

Group life insurance with basic and supplementary options

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Sun Life

Sun Life

overall rating
4.1

Our Take

Sun Life is a good option for group insurance coverage with basic and voluntary policy options for employee groups from two to over 25,000 employees. Its policies include several customizable options, including riders and the ability to buy coverage for other family members, so that you can get the right policy for your needs. However, if you want coverage from a company that is more transparent about its policies or offers individual policies, you will need to look elsewhere.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Guaranteed-issue coverage

  • Offers the ability to protect your spouse and children

  • Can coordinate your waiver of premium coverage with Sun Life disability coverage

  • Includes an accelerated death benefit

  • Has an education platform to help you understand your coverage

Cons
  • Does not offer insurance to individuals

  • Portability option isn’t available in all states

  • Coverage minimums and maximums are not listed

  • Not all riders are listed online

  • Does not list quotes online for voluntary insurance options

Key Takeaways
  • Sun Life provides whole, term, and universal life insurance coverage via employee group plans that allow you to get guaranteed-issue coverage. 
  • Benefits also include disability insurance and emergency travel assistance.  
  • The company offers several bonuses included in their life insurance coverage like accelerated benefits for those diagnosed with a terminal illness and several riders that allow you to customize your plan.
  • Sun Life offers portability and conversion options on your life insurance plan, allowing you to change your coverage as needed. 
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1865
  • Kinds of Plans Term, whole, universal
  • Number of Plans 3
  • Payment Options Payroll
  • Official Website https://www.sunlife.com/us/en/brokers-and-consultants/products-and-services/life-insurance/

Introduction

Sun Life offers term, whole, and universal life insurance products as part of supplementary benefits group plans that include other services like disability coverage, dental insurance, supplementary health benefits, vision insurance, and paid medical and family leaves. Sun Life does not sell plans to individuals, but its coverage is portable. 

We reviewed Sun Life’s policy offerings, riders, pricing, customer service, industry ratings, and more to help you decide if their policies are right for you.  

Company Overview

Sun Life was founded in Canada in 1865 and is now an international financial services and insurance company that offers group benefits to employers in the U.S. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, the company also has a U.S. office in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, and offices in the UK, Hong Kong, Mumbai, and many other locations. 

Sun Life is licensed to sell its group plans in every state, but not all product offerings or options are available in every state. 

Available Plans 

Sun Life offers term, whole, and universal plans through employers. The policies feature both basic and supplementary coverage options with a baseline amount typically covered by your employer. Note, though, that the amount covered by your employer varies based on the plan and coverage amount selected by your employer. 

There is a portion that is guaranteed issue, but it requires evidence of insurability if you require more coverage. While Sun Life doesn’t list what they require, most insurance companies will ask you to fill out an online form or submit medical files. 

All policies include the capacity to convert your term life insurance policy to a permanent policy and there are portability options for your policy in most states. You or your employer can also add services like emergency travel assistance, identity theft protection, online will preparation, work-life services, and employee assistance programs to your policy. If your employer purchases these benefits as part of your coverage, they will be included in your plan. If not, your employer may make them available to purchase as policy add-ons.  

To find out the cost or if these benefits are available, you will have to contact your HR representative. 

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is a great option when you need a guaranteed death benefit for a limited number of years to protect your family or pay your mortgage during your main earning years. 

Sun Life offers group term life insurance that’s convertible to permanent policies. The policies have a guaranteed issue up to a certain unlisted amount and then simplified issue after that if you want to purchase more coverage. Few details are listed online about Sun Life’s term life insurance coverage. To learn more, contact your HR representative. 

Whole Life Insurance

Although it’s more expensive than term life, whole life insurance can be a good choice for those who want a permanent policy with guaranteed death benefits and the ability to access the cash value of the policy. Sun Life offers group whole life insurance which includes a guaranteed issue portion and a simplified issue portion for those who want more coverage. 

There isn’t much information online around Sun Life’s whole life policies so you will need to reach out to your HR representative for details. 

Universal Life Insurance

Sun Life offers group universal life insurance that builds cash value and is sold on a guaranteed-issued or simplified issue basis. Universal life insurance is a good fit for those who want coverage that is permanent and gives them more options on how to grow their cash value. 

Little detail is available online about Sun Life’s universal life insurance policy and you will need to contact your HR representative for details. 

Mix and match insurance coverages to get proper coverage. Purchase term coverage for when you have a mortgage or young children but buy a permanent life insurance policy to cover you your whole life. 

Available Riders

Policy riders offer an affordable way to add extra coverage to your life insurance policies. Sun Life claims to offer many riders to their policies but doesn't list them all online. 

A few riders offered include: 

  • Accelerated benefits rider: Included in all Sun Life’s policies, this rider gives you access to a portion of your death benefit if you become terminally ill. 
  • Accidental death and dismemberment rider: You can purchase this coverage as a separate policy or as a rider. It will increase your payout if you die because of an accident.
  • Child life insurance rider: This rider allows you to purchase life insurance coverage for your children on a guaranteed-issue basis. 
  • Spouse life insurance rider: You can get guaranteed-issue coverage for your spouse with this rider. 
  • Waiver of premium rider: Because Sunlife offers disability coverage, if you purchase this rider to waive your premiums in the event you become totally disabled, you can coordinate your submission for your long-term disability coverage in conjunction with applying for this benefit. 

For more information about the details, cost, or availability of riders, please contact your HR administrator.

Customer Service: Good Phone, Email, Fax, and Mail Options

Sun Life has different numbers depending on what type of policy you have. If you have a universal or whole life policy, you can call 1-800-862-6266 and for term life policies, call 1-877-431-7379 for support Monday through Friday ET. You can also contact them via fax, mail, or email.

Sun Life allows you to submit and track your claims online. 

Customer Satisfaction: Fewer Complaints Than Average 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides consumers with ratings of insurance companies to help them determine the quality of their customer service. A company receiving a rating of 1 has an average amount of complaints, and the lower the number, the better. 

Sun Life received an NAIC complaint index rating of 0.02, which means that it received fewer complaints than average. Overall, it received 0.20% of the national complaint market share. Many of the complaints received were for service delays or customer service issues. 

Financial Strength: A+ (Superior)

AM Best is a financial rating agency that rates companies’ financial strength to help customers gauge how capable they will be to meet their future financial obligations. To get this rating, AM Best analyzes things like a company’s balance sheet, performance, assets, and investments.  

Sun Life has an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best. 

Cancellation Policy: 30-Day Free-Look Period

Sun Life gives customers a 30 day free-look period on most policies, which means you have 30 days from purchasing your policy to cancel it and get all your premiums back without any cancellation fees. 

Sun Life’s normal cancellation policies require 30 days notice. The company does not share online if there are penalties attached to canceling your policy, so be sure to speak with Sun Life or your group plan’s HR administrator. 

If you purchase a permanent life insurance policy from Sun Life that has an accumulated cash value, make sure you understand how the company calculates the surrender value of your policy. 

Before purchasing a life insurance policy, read the fine print for the provider’s cancellation policy and any associated fees.

Price Of Sun Life Life Insurance: Not Listed Online

Sun Life does not list the cost of its supplementary coverage options or riders online. With Sun Life’s group coverage, your employer typically pays for the basic coverage amount and then you can purchase additional coverage, other types of policies, coverage for your spouse or children, and riders.

You will need to contact your HR representative or benefits administrator for those prices.  

How Sun Life Compares to Other Life Insurance

Sun Life offers term, whole, and universal life insurance coverage with the option of adding additional policies protecting your family and several riders to enhance your coverage, an amount of customizability that most of its competitors don’t offer. However, other companies like Companion might be a better choice. 

Sun Life vs. Companion Life Insurance

Sun Life and Companion Life Insurance both offer group life insurance coverage. Companion’s term life coverage depends on the number of employees getting the coverage, while Sun Life’s policies are available to employees regardless of company size. Both companies give you the option to convert your term coverages to a permanent policy, and both have high AM Best ratings. 

These are some key differences between Companion and Sun Life:  

  • Companion offers coverage maximums between $100,000 and $500,000.  
  • Both plans have built-in accelerated benefits options that allow you access to your benefits if you become terminally ill. 
  • Both companies have restrictions on their portability options. With Sun Life, portability isn’t available in every state. With Companion, you can’t take your children’s policies with you. 
  • Companion does not offer level premiums but rather charges premiums in age bands, so the cost of your insurance increases as you age. 
  • Sun Life has far fewer complaints than Companion. 

Read our full Companion Life Insurance review.

  Sun Life Companion
Types of Plans  Term, whole, universal Term
Customer Service  Phone, fax, online, email  Phone, email, mail, fax 
NAIC Complaint Index  0.20  1.47 
Optional Riders Available  Yes  Yes 
AM Best Rating  A+  A+ 
Final Verdict

Sun Life offers term, whole, and universal group coverage with several customizable options via riders and additional policies that you can purchase. There are some built-in benefits to Sun Life’s coverage including an accelerated benefit rider and add-ons that your employer can choose to offer such as an Employee Assistance Program, will-writing help, and travel assistance. However, the company does not share the details or cost of its plans online, making it difficult to compare its affordability to other plans. 

Sun Life is a great choice for those looking for customizable options around their coverage as long as their employer offers the group plan.

Methodology 

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s offerings, customer service, financial stability, cost, and more. For each company, we compared the life insurance products offered, as well as available features, and reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated for over two dozen companies.