Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions about coverage, payment, membership with Teachers Life Insurance and more.

Teachers Life and Membership

How do I become a Teachers Life Member?

Teachers Life is a fraternal insurance company founded in 1939 by educators for the benefit of other educators. Our policyholders are also Members. If you own or are insured under a Teachers Life disability, life or critical illness insurance policy, you are a Member. Active Members are entitled to several exclusive Member benefits.

What is an “active Member”?

To be an active Member your insurance policy must be in force, meaning it has not lapsed because of non-payment, been voluntarily cancelled or become invalid because of your age or ineligibility. Premium payments must be up to date.

What’s my Member ID number?

Your Member ID (identification) number is a unique 7-digit number generated by our system to identify your Teachers Life customer and policy file. Your Teachers Life Member ID is not the same as your OCT or OSSTF number. Like a “key,” it helps confirm that the correct customer file has been accessed. Your ID number is better for this purpose than your name or date of birth, which are not necessarily unique.
You can find your Member ID number on official documents such as correspondence, policy certificates, premium invoices and the Annual Meeting proxy.

When will I need my Member ID?

In some circumstances, you will need your Member ID number. These include when you fill out Teachers Life forms, the first time you register as a user online and when you vote online at the Annual Meeting.

I can’t find my Member ID. What should I do?

Call us at 800 668 4229 and we can look it up for you. If you have registered online you can retrieve your Member ID automatically by answering a series of questions.

Why do I have 2 different Member IDs? Did my number change?

If you became a Member of Teachers Life before 2012, you will have originally been given a 6-digit Member ID. That number will have been shown on your customer documents. In 2013, Teachers Life converted our customer records to a new policy administration system that required new ID numbers to be assigned. We have retained the original Member number information in our new system. Your original number will always be there as a reference to the original file and can still be used to log in to your Member site account.

What are my Member benefits?

Exclusive rebates are available to Teachers Life Members. Our Member Advantages Program includes up to $200 in rebates plus unique scholarships and bursaries. For more details visit Member Advantages or log in to your Member account.

LTD Coverage

I’m retiring. Can I still be a member of Teachers Life?

Yes! Retirement doesn’t affect your membership with Teachers Life. It is your insurance policy status that determines membership.
For example, if you are insured under a long-term disability policy with Teachers Life, the policy ends at retirement or age 65. If this is the only insurance you held with Teachers Life, your membership will no longer be active once the disability policy ends when you retire. However, individual life and critical illness insurance with Teachers Life are not affected by retirement. Membership continues as long as the policy remains in place and payments are up to date. Individual life or critical illness insurance policies are not affected by changes to benefits or insurance with your school board.

I have life insurance with my school board. Does that mean I have insurance or membership with Teachers Life?

No. Teachers Life provides individual life insurance that is separate from and supplements any group life insurance coverage your employer provides. Board-provided life insurance is a group benefit and a portion is typically paid for by your board as part of your benefits package. You do not have ownership of a group life insurance policy and therefore changes to benefits and providers are often out of your control.

I’m changing boards. Does my Teachers Life insurance end?

No. With individual life insurance from Teachers Life, you own the policy, rates are guaranteed and coverage is portable – it remains in place regardless of whether you change boards, retire, or no longer work in the education community, providing policy payments are up to date.

What happens to my life insurance through the board if I change boards?

Group insurance is not typically portable and ends when you leave your board. It is always a good idea to have some individual life insurance coverage to supplement a group plan. With group life insurance plans provided by your board, the employer typically owns the policy and controls your coverage.

What happens to my disability insurance when I change boards?

You will remain covered if you move from one board to another as long as you are eligible as a result of your teaching position. Since 2013, long-term disability insurance has been mandated for teachers across the province. Teachers are covered under the same plan and premium structure.
If you are employed in the secondary panel at TDSB, Peel or Greater Essex, you are covered through Teachers Life for the Provincial Plan long-term disability. If you change boards, coverage with Teachers Life ends and you will be enrolled in the Provincial Plan long-term disability through the insurer that provides coverage for your new board.

Does my board pay for disability coverage?

No, the insured (you) pays the entire premium for disability coverage. For convenience, premiums are taken by payroll deduction through your employer. There is good reason for this: When the insured person pays the disability plan premiums, if you become disabled, monthly disability benefits are non-taxable in your hands. If an employer pays the long-term disability premium or a portion of it, monthly disability payments to you are subject to income tax.

What is the difference between Teachers Life and OTIP (Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan)?

Teachers Life, a not-for-profit insurance company, has been in operation since 1939. Teachers Life is a licensed, federally regulated fraternal life insurance company providing life and disability insurance products to the education community and their families Canada-wide.
OTIP is our valued partner and while not an insurance company, it is also a not-for-profit insurance advocate that is governed, led and inspired by the four education affiliates and their local leaders. OTIP administers group benefits and is a source for savings on home, auto and other insurance needs of Ontario education members and their families.
Read more here. OTIP administers Teachers Life disability claims and provides early intervention and disability rehabilitation services for Teachers Life Members.

Claims

How can I be sure you’ll pay out if a claim is necessary?

Just like the mega insurance companies, we operate by the same strict, government regulations that are in place to protect our financial commitment. For over 75 years Teachers Life has been providing insurance to the education community to provide protection, not to avoid our responsibilities.

Who gets the money if I die?

Your beneficiary or beneficiaries e.g. your spouse, children or other dependants that you have named on your Change of Beneficiary Form. If no beneficiaries are named it becomes part of your estate.

How long does a payout take to get to the beneficiaries if I die?

If you have named a beneficiary, usually within a few days of the claim being approved – claims approval can take as little as 5 business days if all documentation is received and everything is straightforward. If not, the payout will be regarded as part of your estate and subject to probate, which can take longer to settle.

About Life Insurance

Why do I need life insurance?

Life can be unpredicdiv, and life insurance is a simple and affordable way for you to protect your dependants. It can provide security for your dependants with a tax-free benefit, at the time of death. It can provide money to cover the costs of things like mortgage, debt, children’s education and funeral expenses.

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a contract between you as a policyholder and – when you insure your life with Teachers Life – us as the provider of your insurance policy. In exchange for monthly payments from you, we agree to insure your life for the coverage amount that we pay out if you die within the term (time period) of the policy.

How much life insurance do I need?

Working out how much life insurance you need is personal and there’s no one perfect method that can take you and everything about you into account—but some life insurance is always better than none. We have a simple life insurance coverage calculator that takes just a few seconds to give you a helping hand. Coverage is available from $25,000 up to $500,000, depending on your age.

  • Age
    Maximum coverage
  • up to 50
    $500,000
  • 51-55
    $300,000
  • 56-60
    $100,000

How long do I need life insurance for?

There’s no right or wrong answer, but typically you should consider how long your major financial responsibilities – paying off a mortgage, bringing up children – are likely to last. With our term life plan you have the flexibility to take out our life insurance from 10 up to 40 years, or until the age of 70.

How much life insurance can I get?

Coverage is available from $25,000 up to $500,000, depending on your age.

  • Age
    Maximum coverage
  • up to 50
    $500,000
  • 51-55
    $300,000
  • 56-60
    $100,000

What am I covered for with Online Individual Term Life?

A term life policy with Teachers Life covers you if you die while the policy is in force. There is exclusion for suicide in the first 24 months of your policy. Take a look at our sample policy for details.

What am I not covered for?

You are only covered for the coverage detailed in your policy. You are not covered for suicide in the first 24 months of your policy. Take a look at our sample policy for details.

Is there anything I’d think I’m covered for that I won’t be?

As long as you answer all questions truthfully and we can offer you coverage, you are covered under the terms of our policy. Take a look at our sample policy for details.

How long will it take to get a quote and get covered?

You can get a quote in just 30 seconds. Unless there are any complications, e.g. a medical history, a full quote to coverage in place, should take around 15 minutes.

Will I have to have a medical?

Unlike many other term life insurers we do not require any of our applicants to have a medical before we will offer coverage (or not). We make our decision based on the answers you give us in our online medical questionnaire.

Types of Coverage

What is Term Life coverage?

Term Life insurance is life insurance that provides a death benefit if the insured dies during the period specified in the policy, subject to the policy terms and conditions. It is a great idea to have Term Life if you have financial commitments that your family depend on such as: mortgage payments, debt, children’s education. Go to Insurance 101 to learn more.

Beneficiary

Why should I name a Beneficiary(ies)?

By naming a Beneficiary you decide who the money goes to, not someone else. It’s a way of leaving your policy proceeds directly to your dependants, potentially avoiding: • Additional probate fees associated with settling an estate • Your creditors claiming against your policy, if you owe money • Delays – processing an estate could take months

Do I have to name a beneficiary for my insurance policy?

Most insurance applications require you to name a beneficiary when you apply. If you do not think you have done this, contact Teachers Life at 800 668 4229 to review your policy. Take into consideration anyone who depends on you to provide for them financially and who will need your financial support later in life. You could name a sibling, family member or charity as your beneficiary.
Spouses and children are the first choice for many. And although you might think your parents are likely to pass away before you do, you might want to plan for them to benefit from your estate to cover health and retirement costs, just in case.
You can name more than one person. Keep in mind that unless otherwise specified, policy proceeds will be divided equally among all beneficiaries. If you wish an arrangement other than equal share, you will be required to state this on your application or Beneficiary Change Form.
It’s important to have a secondary beneficiary, also known as a contingent beneficiary or successor beneficiary. If your beneficiary passes before you do, or at the same time, naming a secondary beneficiary ensures that your policy proceeds will be distributed as you wish.
Trustees: Children are often named as secondary beneficiaries in the event that both the insured and his or her spouse pass away. Keep in mind that insurance policy proceeds cannot be paid to a minor. If your children are under the age of majority, you should name a trustee as well. This person will receive and manage the insurance proceeds on behalf of any minor beneficiaries. Teachers Life recommends that our Members seek legal advice before setting up a trustee arrangement.

Where can I find my beneficiary information?

Log in to your account on our secure Member site to view your beneficiary designation as stated on your application or completed Beneficiary Change Form.
Your application for insurance lists your original beneficiary, whether you named a specific beneficiary or whether it’s unspecified and therefore left to your estate. If you have not made any changes since that initial application designation, that is the legal beneficiary on file.
Completed Beneficiary Change Form: If you change the original designation by submitting a signed Beneficiary Change Form, the form supersedes the designation on the application and the new beneficiary named on the form becomes the current legal beneficiary of the policy.
If you don’t see your application or completed Beneficiary Change Form, contact us at 800 668 4229 or insuring@teacherslfie.com.

How do I change my beneficiary?

Changing a beneficiary requires your signature in writing. Fillable Beneficiary Change Forms are available online on the Members site. Complete, print, sign and return the form to Teachers Life.
While you might think a beneficiary is something you decide on and forget about, it’s best to review your beneficiaries often. If you marry, or re-marry, if your spouse passes, if your parents’ health situation changes, if your child gets married or has children – these are all examples of life changes that can affect your beneficiaries and the payment of life insurance proceeds.

Security

How secure is this site?

Our site employs enhanced encryption techniques, which seek to ensure that all of your confidential data (such as credit card number, name, address and other information) cannot be intercepted, unscrambled or copied when being transmitted between our server and you.

What happens to the information I give you?

We use this information to assess your suitability for insurance coverage and it will be used to help assess any claims that are made. Your details are stored securely on our systems. Read through our privacy policy details.

Help with your Quote

Can I speak to someone?

Yes, of course you can contact us by phone or email. We worked to provide you with all the information you need to sort out your life insurance needs online, however if you have questions we have a dedicated team ready to help, just call 1-866-620-LIFE (5433) Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Can I save my quote and come back later?

Yes, of course you can. Simply click the save option and you’ll be asked for a password to protect your information. Your application will be available for 30 days or your next birthday, whichever is sooner.

Changes to your Policy

What if I start smoking or get ill after I’ve bought a life Insurance policy?

No problem. As long as you told the truth at the time you took out the policy, whatever happens afterwards has no impact on your policy.

What if I want to review my policy?

You can review your policy at any time online, but if you need to increase your coverage, for example to cover a larger mortgage or more children, you will need to take out a new policy, either for the difference or to replace your existing policy.

What do I do if I take out life Insurance and my address changes?

It’s as easy as logging into your “Members Only” account and updating your profile. Or give us a call at 1-866-620-LIFE (5433) Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If my habits change (such as drinking and smoking or sports choices) is my policy invalidated?

No. As long as you told the truth at the time you took out the policy, whatever happens afterwards has no impact on your policy.

If my lifestyle changes do I need to tell you and will my premiums change?

No. As long as you told the truth at the time you took out the policy, whatever happens afterwards has no impact on your policy and your premiums remain the same.

If I get diagnosed with an illness in the future, do I need to tell you and will my premiums change?

No. As long as you told the truth at the time you took out the policy, whatever happens afterwards has no impact on your policy and your premiums remain the same.

What happens if my circumstances change?

If you need to increase (or decrease) your coverage, for example to cover a larger mortgage or more children, you will need to take out a new policy, either for the difference or to replace your existing policy (new policies may have different terms and conditions).

Complaints and Cancellations

How do I cancel?

Cancellation must be made in writing and include your signature. Your request can be submitted to Teachers Life by email, fax or surface mail.

I’m thinking of cancelling Life Insurance policy.

Life Insurance: policy cancellations must be made in writing and include:

  • Name
  • Signature
  • Policy number
  • Member number

Teachers Life is unable to act on a cancellation until we receive your written request. Unless otherwise stated, cancellations take effect the date they are received. Cancellations by request are permanent.
We strongly recommend seeking advice first before going forward with any cancellation. If you are intending to purchase alternate coverage, do not cancel an existing policy before a new one is approved, paid for and issued.

I’m thinking of cancelling my Disability Insurance.

Disability Insurance: policy cancellations must be made in writing on the OSSTF approved termination form.
Peel and Greater Essex: the termination form is available through your District Office. TDSB: contact Teachers Life at 800 668-4229 or at insuring@teacherslife.com for further information.
The Provincial Plan Long Term Disability Policy is mandatory. There are limited scenarios in which you can apply for cancellation. An Application for Termination of Coverage is required along with supplementary documentation in support of one of the following:

  1. Retirement
  2. Age 65
  3. 64% pension

What about cancelling disability coverage while on Leave?

There is no requirement to continue coverage while on leave, although keeping your disability coverage intact while on leave is strongly recommended. By maintaining the policy there is no break in coverage, and the policy is continuously in force. You are covered should you become disabled while on leave and unable to return to work at the end of your leave.
To continue disability protection while on leave: alternate payment arrangements will need to be made through your Board.
If alternate payment arrangements are not made, coverage lapses due to non-payment. The policy is cancelled and no coverage is in place for the duration of the leave. New coverage is provided upon your return to work. However it is subject to a 12 month pre-existing condition clause. If you were unable to return to work, you would not be eligible for new coverage and there would be no disability policy from which to apply for benefits.

Why can’t I receive disability benefit payments if I become disabled while on leave?

This policy is structured as an income replacement policy. The monthly benefits are meant to replace lost income should you become disabled and unable to work. While on an unpaid leave, there is no loss of income. Because there is no income to replace, disability benefits are not paid during an unpaid leave.
For more information on disability coverage and leaves of absence, contact Teachers Life at: 800 668-4229 or email us at: insuring@teacherslife.com

Complaints

How do I complain?

We want to address your complaint in a professional and effective manner. If a problem occurs please call us at 1-800-668-4229 Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For full details of our complaints process see Compliments and Complaints.

Payments and VersaPay

How do I pay?

Your first payment is by credit card to secure your policy and coverage. After the first payment you will receive an e-invite from VersaPay, our third-party payment provider, to set-up recurring payments.

What are premiums for the Online Individual Term Life Policy?

The monthly premium that we agree to at the outset is fixed and guaranteed to remain the same for the life of your policy.

What happens if I miss a payment?

If you miss a payment we will call you and write to you to let you know. If any premium is not paid by its due date, your policy is in default. As per the policy, we allow a grace period after the premium due date for payment. If the premium remains unpaid at the end of that grace period, your policy automatically terminates. If you did not intend to let your policy cancel you may re-apply for a new policy.

Will my monthly premiums change over time?

No. Premiums are agreed and fixed at the beginning of your policy and are guaranteed to remain the same for the life of your policy.

How do I pay for my Teachers Life insurance policy?

Teachers Life offers a variety of convenient ways to pay for your policy. Members are free to change their payment method. Monthly: The most common payment method by far is recurring monthly payments by bank or credit card through VersaPay, our cloud-based, third-party invoice and payment provider. One advantage of monthly payments through VersaPay is that you can update your credit card or bank information, check your invoices, make manual payments and manage your account yourself through VersaPay’s secure payment portal. Teachers Life Member service representatives are also happy to assist with VersaPay set up, changes or navigation. Annual: Annual billing is also available and provides the option to pay in full by cheque or to make a one-time annual payment online by credit card, using a hosted checkout.

Are my login credentials for VersaPay the same as for my Teachers Life Member site login?

No, these are separate portals, each with a different set up, purpose and login information. 1. VersaPay provides access to your financial details (bank and credit card information) and billing and payment information for your insurance policies and allows you to manage this information. For security reasons, Teachers Life cannot view the bank account or credit card numbers on file. 2. The Member site provides access to your insurance policies, coverage details, application, contract, beneficiary details, rebates and awards – but not invoicing or payment history or financial information. Note: Both portals require initial account set up and both require your email address; however, there is no requirement to use the same password for each.

On the web, can I move from the Members/my policy page to the VersaPay/my invoices and payments page?

If you are in the Member site you can access VersaPay from the Change Payment Method button. You will be asked to log in to VersaPay using your email address and password. If you haven’t set up a VersaPay account, there is an option to do that too.
You cannot move from VersaPay to the Members site. To comply with data security requirements, your financial information is stored securely outside of the Teachers Life system.

I get an invoice emailed to me every month from VersaPay. Do I need to do anything?

No. This is a record of your monthly billing, not an invoice requiring payment. If you have set up automatic recurring payments on AutoPay, there is no need to log in to VersaPay and pay the invoice manually. It will be paid automatically on the due date from the account you have set up.

Where do I update the expiry date on my credit card in VersaPay?

To update the expiry date on an existing credit card in VersaPay, use the Add New Credit Card feature, even if the rest of the card information is the same. Re-enter your card information according to the fields and Add the new credit card.
Most members choose recurring monthly payments through AutoPay. If this is your payment choice, you will need to Change your AutoPay feature to bill the new credit card. Once you have done so, you can them remove the expired credit card. Teachers Life can walk you through this process or make these updates on your behalf. Call us at 800 668 4229.

Can I change the email address associated with my VersaPay account?

This information is stored in your Teachers Life records on the Members site. Because your email address is part of your insurance file with Teachers Life, you must change it through the Members site. Visit https://members.teacherslife.com.
Once logged in, edit your profile in the Members area. VersaPay will be updated accordingly before your next invoice is scheduled to be sent. As a security feature, VersaPay will send you an email notifying you that the email address on file has been changed.

Why can’t I see my policy information in VersaPay?

The VersaPay account allows you access to your financial details (bank and credit card information) and billing and payment information. VersaPay is an invoicing presentment and payment provider only. Some basic policy information can be found on your monthly invoices, such as policy number, premium due and the value of the policy.

I had a declined bank or credit card payment through VersaPay. What should I do?

Teachers Life receives notification from VersaPay anytime a payment is declined. Teachers Life will notify you about the unsuccessful payment. Depending on the reason for the declined payment, your VersaPay account settings, account information and/or monthly AutoPay feature may need to be re-entered. • If you already have access to your VersaPay e-invoicing account, visit the login page at https://secure.versapay.com/payables/teacherslife/login to review your settings and update your payment information. • If you haven’t signed up to access your VersaPay e-invoicing account, email Teachers Life at acctg@teacherslife.com with your policy number and you will receive an email invitation from Teachers Life within a couple of business days explaining how to sign up and to access your VersaPay e-invoicing account. Teachers Life can walk you through this process or make updates on your behalf. Call us at 800 668 4229.

Retrieve an Existing Quote.