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Leading the life insurance conversation

Why talking to clients about coverage can help them find their stable footing.

The serious psychological impact of COVID-19 cannot be understated. As the pandemic drags on, indicators are signalling that a lot of Canadian households are facing unprecedented challenges, both financially and emotionally. Every month, the Morneau Shepell Mental Health Index tracks the mood of Canadians, noting that worry, frustration, and concerns about financial security are having a significant impact on how people are feeling. The index also tracks changing priorities, and index participants say they are now focusing more on family, physical health, financial security and simply enjoying life.[1]

A recent survey by the Canadian Mental Health Association paints a more alarming picture, with 58 per cent of respondents saying they are concerned about the potential risk of a loved one dying, 40 per cent feeling that their mental health is declining and, most alarmingly, 10 per cent saying they are now experiencing thoughts of suicide. In the same study, 39 per cent of respondents say they are worried about money.[2]

“This pandemic has been nothing short of a massive wake-up call for Canadians about how prepared they are to deal with tough issues, such as health setbacks and financial difficulties,” says Rob Hollingsworth, Vice President and Head of Insurance Sales, Manulife Canada.

No one is ever prepared to deal with a global pandemic and its potential impact on the future. But even before COVID-19, it was already well documented that Canadians were under-insured. The Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) found in 2019 that only 44 per cent of Canadian households had individual life insurance coverage.[3] When asked if they had enough coverage, three in 10 respondents said they wished they had more. More than half of Canadians under the age of 35 said they were likely or very likely to buy life insurance.[4]

Two years on, advisors are playing an increasingly important role in helping Canadians plan for future stability. 

“If there’s one silver lining in all of this, more Canadians than ever are ready to have the frank conversation about things such as life insurance,” says Hollingsworth.

With Canadians looking for information about insurance coverage, this is an opportunity to get back to basics. 

Term options for clients

“Whether clients are young adults just starting out, or maybe a bit older and feeling concerned about the amount of coverage they have in place, term life insurance plays an important role. It’s a perfect starting point in the insurance conversation,” says Hollingsworth.

The life insurance section of the Advisor Portal offers comprehensive information on the different types of term available through Manulife – with a focus on affordability, income replacement, mortgage and debt protection, and business continuity. Family Term with Vitality™, Family Term™/Business Term® and Manulife Quick Issue Term® provide options for every situation. 

The insurance conversation is an important one, and this Solutions article takes a deeper dive, specifically on term coverage, that your clients may find useful. 

And continuing education is an important focus for all advisors. Learn more about term life through this accredited course found on Manulife’s CE Centre: Manulife Term – the business builder. Build your expertise in coverage options, conversions, the Manulife Vitality program and more.

Important insurance updates

At some point, we all hope that pandemic concerns fade away and face-to-face client meetings can resume. But until then, Manulife continues to explore new ways to support how advisors do business. Here are a few important updates:

Fluid testing limit increases

To make it easier for qualifying clients to apply for life insurance, fluid testing limits have been increased again. More Canadians in the 18 to 50 age range can now apply for Manulife life insurance without having to provide fluids.[5] Full details are available here, and this infographic is another useful tool to help understand all aspects of this important update. 


The InsureRight platform offers easy access to various tools and calculators to help your clients determine the right amount of insurance coverage for their unique needs. By answering a few simple questions, clients can determine their level of risk and use the Quick Quote feature to obtain a simple estimate of their life insurance needs. The InsureRight Calculator can also help determine how much disability, life and critical illness insurance a person might need. 

Manulife Vitality

The value of the Manulife Vitality program continues to grow, with 82 per cent of members reporting a high level of satisfaction[6]. During the pandemic, staying active is more important than ever for maintaining good health and overall well-being. In fact, new research indicates that programs such as Manulife Vitality can help to lower the risk of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Recognizing this, the program has made some important accommodations to help keep Canadians moving, including virtual fitness classes fuelled by a partnership with GoodLife Fitness®. Complete details on the program are available here.

More than ever, Canadians are seeking out supports that can help them build a strong foundation for the future. Now is the perfect time to reach out and help them get started. Need some conversation starters? Your wholesaler can help.

[1] mhicanadaenglishjan2021final.pdf (morneaushepell.com)

[2] https://www.med.ubc.ca/news/new-national-survey-finds-canadians-mental-health-eroding-as-pandemic-continues/ 

[3] Facts About Life 2010 Facts from LIMRA Life Insurance Awareness Month, September 2010

[4] LIMRA: Individual Life Insurance Ownership Up Slightly in Canada

[5] Depending on the risk profile of the applicant, Manulife may request additional information, including biometric testing.

[6] Based on Manulife Vitality Customer Satisfaction score (CSAT) for January 2021

Insurance products are issued by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. Family Term and Family Term with Vitality and are trademarks of and are sold by the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. Business Term and Manulife Quick Issue Term are registered trademarks of and are sold by the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. The Vitality Group Inc., in association with The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, provides the Manulife Vitality program. The Manulife Vitality program is available with select policies. Vitality is a trademark of Vitality Group International Inc. and is used by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and its affiliates under license. Eligibility and availability of rewards are not guaranteed and may change over time. Insurance provided by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. Manulife & Stylized M Design, and Stylized M Design are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it, and by its affiliates under license. GoodLife Fitness® and GoodLife Fitness are trademarks or registered trademarks and are used under license. 

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