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?

Our policyholders are also our Members. If you own a Teachers Life disability, life or critical illness insurance policy, you are a Member. Members are entitled to several exclusive Member Advantages.

What is an “Active Member”?

To be an Active Member you must have at least one insurance policy in force. Premium payments must be up to date for an insurance policy to remain in force.

What’s my Member ID number?

Your Member ID is a unique seven-digit number generated by our system to identify your Teachers Life customer and policy file. Member ID is not the same as policy number. Your Teachers Life Member ID is unique and is not shared with any of your other professional account numbers, such as your OCT registration number or OSSTF member ID.
Your Teachers Life Member ID is better than your name or date of birth as identification in our system because those personal details may not be unique. You can find your Member ID on official documents such as Teachers Life correspondence, policy certificates, premium invoices and the annual meeting mailing.

When will I need my Member ID?

When you fill out Teachers Life forms, call Teachers Life Client Services or register online on the Teachers Life Members Site, you will need your Member ID number.

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

If you have registered online you can retrieve your Member ID automatically by clicking the “Forgot password or having trouble logging in?” prompt. Or email insuring@teacherslife.com or call 1 800 668 4229 for assistance.

What are Teachers Life’s Member Advantages?

Teachers Life offers exclusive rebates to our Members. Our Member Advantages Program includes up to $200 per household in rebates, and your family members may be eligible to apply for our unique scholarships and bursaries. For more details visit Advantages or log in to your account on our Members Site

Long-term disability (LTD) coverage

What is my Teachers Life LTD coverage?

Long-term disability coverage is insurance that replaces your income if you become disabled and are unable to work. All Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) members participate in the same mandated, province-wide Provincial Long-Term Disability Plan. Long-term disability enrollment is automatic. Teachers Life provides Provincial Long-Term Disability Plan coverage to OSSTF employees in the Greater Essex, Peel and Toronto school boards.

Effective March 1, 2018, the OSSTF announced amendments to the Provincial Long-Term Disability Plan. Because of this change, Teachers Life has issued a new policy number for the amended plan. Members were mailed new policy certificates – you can find a copy of the new certificate in your Teachers Life account on our online Members Site.

The specific changes to the plan affect

  • Rates
  • Benefits
  • Waiting period
  • Unreduced service pension provisions

What happens to my long-term disability coverage if I change boards?

Enrollment in the OSSTF Provincial Long-Term Disability Plan is automatic and coverage is the same across all school districts. However, if you change boards you may not be insured through Teachers Life insurance, as the province uses various insurers to administer the Provincial Long-Term Disability Plan.

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 a 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 even a portion of it, monthly disability payments to you are subject to income tax.

What is the relationship between Teachers Life and OTIP?

The Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) is our valued partner and is also a not-for-profit insurance advocate that is governed, led and inspired by the four education affiliates and their local leaders. 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 administers Teachers Life disability claims and provides early intervention and disability rehabilitation services for Teachers Life Members.

Individual life insurance and changes to employment

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

Yes! Retirement does not 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 if the policy remains in force and premium 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 offers 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 individual 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 if you are eligible because 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 Long-Term Disability Plan. If you change boards, coverage with Teachers Life ends and you will be enrolled in the Provincial Long-Term Disability Plan through the insurer that provides coverage for your new board.

How do I make a life insurance claim?

Find information about making a Teachers Life life insurance claim here: https://teacherslife.com/claims/

How do I make an LTD claim?

Find information about making a Provincial Long-Term Disability Plan claim here: https://teacherslife.com/claims/

Who gets the money if I die?

Your beneficiary or beneficiaries (e.g., your spouse, children or others that you have named on your Change of Beneficiary Form) receive the life insurance payout. 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, the payout will usually be sent within a few days of the claim being approved. Claims approval can take as little as five business days if all documentation is received and everything is straightforward. If not, the payout may be regarded as part of your estate and subject to probate, which can take longer to settle.

If I become disabled while on unpaid leave, why am I not eligible to receive disability payments?

While on an unpaid leave, there is no loss of income, and your policy is structured as an income replacement policy. The monthly benefits are meant to replace lost income should you become disabled while you are working and then be unable to work. 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.

Beneficiaries

Why should I name a beneficiary?

Naming one or more beneficiaries is 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 claim can take months

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

By naming a beneficiary for your life insurance policy you will guarantee that the money goes where you want it to. Most insurance applications require you to name a beneficiary at the time of application. However, the Teachers Life online individual life insurance policy requires a separate beneficiary form submission. If you do not think you have named a beneficiary for your policy, or if you would like to review or change your beneficiary designation, log in to your account on the Teachers Life Members Site.

Where can I find my beneficiary information?

Log in to your account on the Teachers Life Members Site to view your beneficiary designation as stated on your application or completed Beneficiary Change Form. If you don’t see your application or completed Beneficiary Change Form, contact us at insuring@teacherslfie.com or at 1 800 668 4229

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.

About life insurance

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a type of insurance that pays out when the insured person dies. It can provide security for your dependants with a tax-free benefit at the time of death. It can provide money to cover the cost of things like your mortgage, any debts you may have, your children’s education and your funeral expenses.

Insurance 101

What is term life coverage?

Term life insurance is 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 good to have term life if you have financial commitments that your family depends on you for, such as mortgage payments, other debts and saving for children’s education. Go to Insurance 101 to learn more.

What is permanent life insurance?

Permanent life insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage for the lifetime of the person insured, provided the required premiums are paid.

Insurance 101

Will I have to have a medical examination when applying for life insurance?

Most life insurance policies require a medical exam. Life insurance prices are unique to the individual and premiums are based on the answers to lifestyle and health questions. Teachers Life does offer online individual term life insurance, which has an online application that requires no medical exam.

How much life insurance do I need?

It is a fact that everyone has unique life insurance needs. Car loans, a child’s post-secondary education, a mortgage, debts, funeral costs and legacies are all financial obligations you should consider when determining how much insurance you need.

The best way to answer the “how much?” question is to complete a Needs Analysis. A Needs Analysis is essentially a balance sheet that lists all your financial obligations and compares them to your readily available assets. Teachers Life has a free, online, no-obligation Needs Analysis Calculator.

Teachers Life online individual term life insurance

Is it possible to get in-person help while using the Teachers Life online individual term life insurance quote or application?

Yes. If you have questions our Client Service team can help. Just call 1 866 620 LIFE (5433) Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Can I save my online quote and come back later?

Yes. Click the “save” option and you’ll be asked to create a password to protect your information. Your application will be available for 30 days or until your next birthday, whichever is first.

Security

What security features does Teachers Life employ to protect my personal information?

Our Members Site employs enhanced encryption techniques, which ensure that your confidential data (such as your name, address and policy information) cannot be intercepted, unscrambled or copied when being transmitted between our server and you.

What happens to the lifestyle information I give you?

We use this information to assess your suitability for insurance coverage; it will also be used to help assess any claims you make. Your details are stored securely on our systems. Read through our privacy policy for further details.

Cancellations

How do I cancel my policy?

We strongly recommend seeking advice before canceling any insurance. If you intend to purchase alternate coverage, do not cancel an existing policy before the new one is approved, paid for and issued. Cancellations by request are permanent.

A policy cancellation request must be made in writing by the policy owner and include your signature. Your request can be submitted to Teachers Life by email, fax or surface mail. 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. Cancellation requests must include the following details:

  • Name
  • Signature
  • Policy number
  • Member ID number

I’m thinking of cancelling my disability insurance. How do I do so?

Participation in the Provincial Long-Term Disability Plan 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 to support one of the following:

  1. Retirement
  2. Reaching age 65
  3. 60% unreduced service pension

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.

Is it possible to cancel disability coverage while on leave?

There is no requirement to continue coverage while on leave, although keeping your disability coverage in place while on leave is strongly recommended. By maintaining the policy there is no break in coverage – the policy is continuously in force. You are covered should you become disabled while on leave and be unable to return to work at the end of your leave. To continue disability protection while on leave, you will need to make alternate payment arrangements through your board.

If alternate payment arrangements are not made, your policy will be cancelled and no coverage will be in place for the duration of the leave. New coverage is provided upon your return to work. However, new coverage 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.

Changes to your Policy

Where can I find my policy?

You can review your policy at any time online in our Members Site.

What do I do if my address changes?

Updating your address is as easy as logging into your account on our Members Site and updating your profile. Or give us a call at 1 866 620 LIFE (5433).

Complaints

How do I make a complaint to Teachers Life?

For full details on our complaints process see Compliments and Complaints.

Premium payments and VersaPay

What happens if I miss a payment?

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. You will receive a notice of missed payment and then a notice of termination due to non-payment if that occurs.

How are my Teachers Life premiums paid?

Teachers Life offers a variety of convenient ways to pay for your policy. Members are free to change their payment method. Teachers Life Client Services can assist you with VersaPay set up, changes or navigation.

Monthly: Policyholders can make recurring monthly payments by bank or credit card through VersaPay, our cloud-based, third-party invoice and payment provider.

Annual: You may pay your policy premiums in full by cheque or 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 Members Site?

No, these are separate portals, each with a different purpose and login information, though both require an email address.

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 Teachers Life Members Site has your insurance policy details and access to Member Advantages like rebates and scholarship applications for your children.

How do I pay for my online individual term insurance policy?

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

VersaPay emails me an invoice every month. Do I need to do anything?

No. This is a record of your monthly billing. 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, add the “new” credit card and establish AutoPay on that 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 then 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?

Your 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.