Sun Life Insurance
Sun Life Financial is one of the top 500 companies by revenues in the world, having been founded in 1865 as a mutual life insurance company. Over time the company added a financial services arm and spread from Canada to the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Bermuda, and the Philippines. Today, Sun Life Financial customers can purchase a wide swath of products including insurance and financial planning services.
Until 1998, Sun Life Financial was a mutual insurance and financial services company, meaning that its customers were its owners. A mutual insurance entity divides ownership between its customers, allowing them to vote on board members and influence the company culture. Members can even be paid dividends resulting from profits, but more frequently, profits are disbursed in the form of lower premiums to the members.
Sun Life Insurance
Nearly 150 years after the founding, Sun Life Financial is still largely a life insurance company, offering a variety of products that allow for savings through a market indexed life insurance policy, or absolute and certain coverage with a term life policy.
Sun Life Insurance, like many companies, has given new life to whole life insurance by renaming it “universal life,” a product that provides more than just simple life insurance. With a universal life insurance plan, each dollar paid into the policy adds to the policy's cash value and is tied directly to the performance of the financial markets.
The customer has the final decisions in how the cash balance is invested in the market, and the amount of exposure desired for each asset class. With a variable policy such as a universal life insurance policy, customers can choose the amount and timing of their premiums as payments as well as adjust their death benefits to extract cash from their policy as needed.
Universal life insurance policies have a very distinct advantage in allowing for tax benefits for annual growth of the cash value, and allowing the customer to withdraw cash from the policy as needed, or to let the cash value grow and pass the benefits on to surviving family members. Also, the value of a whole life policy can be extracted in retirement, allowing for a financial “cushion” to protect your standard of living well past working age. Finally, the cash value is very commonly used to purchase an additional term life policy, protecting policyholder's income for dependents without sacrificing a lot of cash.
Sun Life's life insurance has a few unique benefits, especially in the form of riders that can be attached to each policy. With a simple agreement, policyholders can enact the charitable giving benefit rider which allows for 1% of the total face value of the policy to be given to be given to the charity or charities of your choice.
Next, policyholders can opt for loan lapse protection which keeps policy agreements in tact even if excessive loans are taken against current cash value. Finally, the accelerated benefit rider allows the policyholder to extract up to 75% of the face value of the policy should extreme health emergencies or costs emerge. As with all riders, each of the above require a larger premium, but provide additional safety, security, and peace of mind.
Business to Business Solutions
Sun Life Financial works directly with businesses to act as a middleman to bring their financial products to consumers via employee benefits. Life insurance is one of these products, where an employer can purchase life insurance on behalf of their employees, and provide not only income security, but also the flexibility to grow retirement savings.