Benefits of Participating Whole Life Insurance
A combination of lifelong coverage and tax-advantaged savings to help protect your family and assets for the long-term.
With whole life insurance, you have permanent coverage for life—your protection does not end after a certain period.
Cash Value Guarantees
Access the funds in your policy for anything, such as unexpected expenses or to supplement your income in retirement.
Potential for Dividends
A portion of your premiums are invested and the earnings in this account may be paid out to you as dividends.
The unique features of whole life insurance make it an ideal way to protect your assets and pass them on to future generations.
Other Reasons to Consider Whole Life Insurance
- You have assets that might be subject to taxes and fees that may occur after death
- You’re financially secure and focused on growing your wealth
- You contribute the maximum to your registered savings plans
Choose from two participating whole life insurance plans—RBC Growth Insurance® and RBC Growth Insurance Plus®.
|RBC Growth Insurance||RBC Growth Insurance Plus|
Ideal If You Want to
Maximize your long-term tax-deferred growth to increase the death benefit amount, which can be used to:
Accelerate your tax-deferred growth as quickly as possible, which could allow you to:
Unique Features of Each Plan
Highlights for Both Plans
Who Can Apply?
You will need to answer health questions and may need to complete a medical exam.
If you die during the time period when coverage is in effect, your beneficiaries or estate can receive the death benefit tax-free.Disclaimer1
You can also choose between single life insurance coverage (for example, for yourself only) and joint coverage on the lives of several people. With joint coverage, you have two options:
The information above is intended as a summary only. Please see a sample riders (opens new window) for complete details on rider and optional coverage terms and conditions, including benefits and exclusions.
The information above is intended as a summary only. Please see the sample (opens new window) for complete details on terms and conditions, including benefits and exclusions.
About Your Premiums
In addition to our Life Pay plan, you may select the option to pay off your insurance in 10 or 20 years, after which you no longer need to pay premiums on your base coverage, and insurance remains in force until your death:
One of the main benefits of participating whole life insurance is the opportunity to earn dividends in your policy. We set the dividend rate each year based on how invested assets perform, our expenses and mortality experience.
Choose from five options to receive dividends earned in your policy:
Uses your dividends to buy additional life insurance. This additional coverage is added to your original coverage amount, can earn future dividends and has its own cash value that can grow over time. Because the insurance is “paid-up”, you won’t pay additional premiums on the added coverage.
Receive your dividends directly, once a year. This option may be taxable.
Applies dividends to your premiums for the following policy year. If your dividends are more than your annual premium, the extra dividends are paid to you directly.
Automatically deposits dividends into an account that earns interest daily (compounded annually) at a rate we set, which can change. You can withdraw funds from the account at any time. Interest earned in the account is taxable.
Uses your dividends to purchase a combination of paid-up additions and 1-year term insurance. The insurance purchased by paid-up additions may also earn dividends and will also have a cash value.
Note: The dividend rate is not guaranteed and may change annually.
RBC Growth Insurance and RBC Growth Insurance Plus provides the powerful combination of life insurance coverage plus the opportunity to earn tax-deferred investment growth.
The insurance premiums you pay are managed in a professionally invested participating account, which may distribute gains in the forms of dividends.
How do the dividends work?
The dividend payment is determined by the current dividend scale interest rate and other factors related to our management of the participating account.
- Our current dividend scale interest rate is 6.0%. The RBC Life Insurance Company Board of Directors has approved the appointed actuary’s recommendation to maintain the dividend scale for the period April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024. For more information, refer to Overview of the Participating Account Client Guide.
- Dividends held in a dividends on deposit account earn interest daily at a rate we set which may change from time to time. The current interest rate is 2.3%.
- Effective April 17, 2023, if you would like to borrow from the accumulated cash value in your policy, the current interest rate for policy loans is 8.7%. This rate is reviewed on an annual basis, and is based on the Royal Bank prime rate +2%.
Whole Life Insurance FAQs
Find answers to your questions about our whole life insurance product.
The answer to this question is unique for everyone. When choosing a coverage amount, there are a few different things you’ll want to look at. To get a quick estimate now, try our life insurance calculator. Or, keep reading to see what should play into your decision:
- In general, it’s recommended that you have at least 5-7 times your yearly net income (“net” means after taxes are taken out).
- Think about each person who depends on you and how long they might need financial support.
- If you have a mortgage, loans or credit card bills, what would it take for your spouse or partner to pay these off?
- If you have some group coverage through work or mortgage life insurance, you may be able to subtract these amounts from what you need to buy.
- If you have savings and investments—such as a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for your child’s education—you can subtract these amounts from your life insurance needs. You just want to make sure that if your family had to use this money earlier than planned that it would not negatively impact their plans in another area.
Permanent life insurance provides coverage for life, guaranteed premiums and, in some cases—for example, with whole life and universal life—an opportunity to build savings. In the event of your death, your beneficiary or estate1 receives your death benefit, tax-free. (Note that probate fees are applicable if you have not designated a beneficiary and the proceeds of your policy become part of your estate.)
Whole life insurance, universal life insurance, Term 100 life insurance and RBC Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance all fall under the umbrella of permanent coverage. Whole life and universal life combine lifelong insurance coverage with the opportunity to build up savings within your policy (called cash value or accumulation value).
You may apply if you are between the ages of 0 to age 80.
Yes, you will need to complete a medical questionnaire. Other tests may also be required based on your age and the amount of insurance you have applied for. If you are required to provide other tests, we will arrange to have a nurse visit your home or workplace at a time that’s convenient for you. RBC Insurance pays for all tests.
Yes, the dividend rate is not guaranteed and may change annually. If the rate is changing, we will let you know on your anniversary statement.
You have five options for receiving potential dividends earned by your policy:
- Paid-up Additions: Uses your dividends to buy additional life insurance. This coverage is added to your original coverage amount, can earn future dividends and has its own cash value that can grow over time. Because the insurance is “paid-up”, you won’t pay additional premiums on the added coverage.
- Cash: Receive your dividends directly, once a year. This option may be taxable.
- Premium Reduction: Applies dividends to your premiums for the following policy year. If your dividends are more than your annual premium, the extra dividends are paid to you directly.
- Dividends on Deposit: Automatically deposits dividends into an account that earns interest daily (compounded annually) at a rate we set, which can change. You can withdraw funds from the account at any time. Interest earned in the account is taxable.
- Enhanced Insurance: Uses your dividends to purchase a combination of paid-up additions and 1-year term insurance. The insurance purchased by paid-up additions may also earn dividends and will also have a cash value.
A licensed RBC Insurance® advisor can help you choose the option that’s right for you.
Yes. Here’s an overview of how cash withdrawals work:
Cash withdrawals from your non-guaranteed cash value. The ability to withdraw from your non-guaranteed cash value depends on the dividend option you chose:
- Paid-up Additions option: You would need to trade-in your paid-up additional life insurance for the cash value associated with it. This reduces the total death benefit your beneficiary could receive.
- Dividends on Deposit option: You may access the cash in your dividends on deposit account at anytime.
- Cash option: Not available, since your dividends are already paid to you as cash.
- Premium Reduction option: Not available, since your dividends are used to pay your premium.
Cash withdrawals from your guaranteed cash value. You can request a withdrawal from your guaranteed cash value by decreasing your base life insurance coverage amount. This reduces the total death benefit your beneficiary could receive.
Withdrawals may be taxable, so it’s important to discuss this with an advisor prior to making a withdrawal.
Yes, you can request a loan against your policy’s available cash value at any time, provided your policy is not in the grace period and subject to our administrative rules. This may be taxable.
Your policy’s cash value can grow on a tax-exempt basis up to a certain limit, which changes on your policy anniversary. We perform a test every year and may make adjustments to maintain your policy’s exempt status. We may refuse a transaction that risks the policy’s exempt status unless we can also make an appropriate adjustment to maintain its status.
Some changes and transactions in your policy can result in taxes. This includes, but is not limited, to:
- Accessing your policy’s cash values
- Receiving dividends in cash, or, in some cases, transferring dividends to a dividend on deposit account
- Interest earned in the dividend on deposit account
- Changing ownership in your policy
- Cancelling your policy
- Decreasing your death benefit
- Exchanging a joint first-to-die policy for individual policies
We will let you know about any amount you have to include in your income for tax purposes.
To apply for coverage:
- Call 1-888-221-2818
- Have an advisor call you
If you smoke, you may apply for coverage. You will qualify for non-smoker rates only if you have not used any form of tobacco products within the last 12 months. If you occasionally smoke or if you have quit smoking in the last 12 months, you are considered a smoker.
Yes, you can cancel your insurance at any time by written request. In addition, you have 10 days to review the policy after it is delivered to you; if you cancel during that time, you will receive your policy’s net cash value, plus any balance in the dividends on deposit account. The effective date of your cancellation will be the date we process your request, subject to our administrative rules.
Once you cancel a policy, you will not be able to reinstate it.
Participating whole life insurance offers lifetime coverage, guaranteed cash value and the opportunity to earn dividends and share in the insurance company’s profits. It’s often used in estate planning to help protect a person’s financial assets from risks such as market downturns, unnecessary legal fees and taxes.
With whole life insurance, a portion of your premium pays for the cost of insurance and the rest goes into a savings/investment account (managed by the insurer) where you can grow your guaranteed cash value. As with universal life insurance, you can access this cash value for anything you want—to start a business, buy a home and more. Just keep in mind that any money you borrow will need to be paid back or it will reduce the death benefit for your beneficiaries.
By combining lifelong insurance coverage, cash value guarantees and the opportunity to earn dividends, participating whole life insurance from RBC Insurance can help meet your most important financial needs.
Upon your death, the policy pays out a tax-free death benefitDisclaimer1, which can be used to help:
- Ensure the ongoing financial security of your loved ones
- Pay any taxes associated with your estate, thereby preserving your estate assets and passing your wealth or your business, intact, to the next generation
- Provide a legacy for your favourite charity
During your lifetime, the policy’s guaranteed cash value grows tax-free, providing you with a potential source of funds for:
- Protecting your income and ensuring your family’s lifestyle
- Supplemental income in retirement
- A financial safety net in the event of an illness or disability
Note: Withdrawals from your policy’s cash value while you are alive may be taxable.
Yes, not only is it possible, it's the cornerstone of effective estate planning. When your estate (such as your business, cottage or income property) passes to your heirs, it is—with the exception of your main residence—treated by Canada Revenue Agency as income to your estate. Your heirs may have to borrow money or sell off part of the estate to pay the tax. As a result, they could see a much smaller benefit from your hard work and generosity.
Estate planning is one of the main reasons for buying whole life insurance. When your estate passes to your heirs, the tax-freeDisclaimer1 insurance benefit could help to offset the taxes.
You are covered under the policy once you are approved, you have accepted delivery of the policy, and we have received the first premium payment.
Coverage increases on your base coverage amount are not allowed; however, you can request to decrease your coverage amount at any time in writing.
If you reduce your coverage before your 5th policy anniversary for RBC Growth Insurance® or 1st policy anniversary for RBC Growth Insurance Plus®, no guaranteed cash value will have accumulated and there will be no payout. If you reduce your coverage after your 5th policy anniversary for RBC Growth Insurance or 1st policy anniversary for RBC Growth Insurance Plus, a portion of your guaranteed cash value may be released to you, which will most likely result in a taxable disposition. (Non-guaranteed cash value may be available after your 1st policy anniversary for either policy.)
Yes. Your coverage is subject to exclusions, a full list of exclusion can be found in the contract:
- During the first two years of coverage, if death is due to suicide, then no death benefit is payable.
- During the first two years of coverage, if we are given incorrect or incomplete information regarding age, gender, health, lifestyle or smoking habits, we reserve the right to deny or adjust your benefit.
The information above is intended as a summary only. Please see the sample policy for RBC Growth (opens new window) for complete details on terms and conditions, including benefits and exclusions.
You can choose to pay premiums on your base coverage amount for 10 years, 20 years or for life (at age 100, premiums are no longer due). This is a decision you would make when you apply for insurance.
A licensed RBC Insurance® advisor can help you choose the option that’s right for you.
For policies issued for ages 18-80, you can apply for a change to non-smoker rates if you have gone a full 12-month period without using any form of tobacco products. Contact us and apply for a switch to non-smoker rates. You will have to complete a medical questionnaire and we will send out a nurse to collect some medical evidence, most likely a urinalysis. Once our underwriters have approved your application and your eligibility is confirmed, you will be switched to non-smoker rates.
For policies issued for ages 0-17, we do not need to be notified of changes to smoking habits. This is because policies issued for these ages use a blended rate (blend of smoker and non-smoker) for the life of the policy.
You may pay for your policy premiums on a monthly or annual basis.
- If you pay by monthly pre-authorized debit, we will automatically debit your account when you are approved for coverage.
- If you pay on an annual basis, you can choose to do an annual pre-authorized debit or we can send you an invoice.