Manulife CoverMe insurance isn't worth it

As a small business owner, I have no dental or extended health coverage. So a while ago, I decided to sign up for a Manulife CoverMe policy.

Their policies appear to be priced well. The website is nicely done, and the sign up process is entirely online.

It gives you the feeling that they really have their stuff together.

The problem is that as soon as they get your money, the experience goes sharply downhill.

It looks like they invest all of their funds and effort into marketing and getting people to sign up, but as soon as you need service, you're SOL.

Their claims process is straight out of the 1980's, requiring you to snail mail or fax a sheet you need to fill out by hand.  You would think they could have managed some sort of electronic method.

I was able to easily set up automatic payments from my credit card online, but when I needed to cancel these payments, I had to phone twice, send two different faxes, and they still deducted two extra payments after cancellation.

Manulife really needs to work on the overall customer experience before offering a direct, online insurance option.  For the time being, I think you're probably better off buying a policy from a competitor, or through one of their resellers.


  1. I suspect that your experience was the result of something odd about your claim. Here's what I got from Manulife directly (I'm a broker):

    " Over 90% of all drug claims are electronic. Over 75% of all dental claims are electronic.
    Paper submit claims take about 6 business days. "

    Exceptions (where they need to review the claim) can mean paper submission.

    As a small business owner, I would suggest you make sure of two things. First, ensure you're submitting your premiums to your accountant :). Secondly, if you have coverme, make sure you have their catastrophic coverage.

    In fact, even if you don't have health and dental insurance, you should consider their catastrophic coverage as a stand alone plan. It covers no drug costs below $4500, and ALL drug costs above $4500.

    Almost all drug plans - including the coverage many people have at work - have a cap. Go ahead, check it out. You'll find a maximum cap on your drug coverage, commonly $2000-$4000. It varies, but the cap is almost certainly there.

    Discovering there's a cap by exceeding your drug maximums on your current plan is the wrong time to find out - so go check your policy now.

    (I'll have more details on the catastrophic coverage on my website in the next month).

  2. All of my dental and drug claims were electronic, but travel and eyewear claims both required paper forms.

    Furthermore, there was no way to view any sort of claims history on their website.

    As far as I'm concerned, they still have a ways to go to move into the electronic age.

  3. Well, that's true enough - but that's also true of pretty much all the insurance companies in Canada. It's astounding how far back they are in terms of the internet and electronic front ends. I'm not sure I'd single out Manulife for poor electronic interaction.They're part of the crowd in that respect.

    I had a client laugh at me on the phone one day. He said he had this picture in his head that I had a pen and was filling out his application by hand....funny, except that's exactly what I was doing. On the life insurance side, most companies I'm familiar with have at best pdf's for their applications (some don't even have that, you have to keep paper copies). And one company - one - has fillable pdfs.

    Another health and dental company, when I fill out their 'online' form has someone at head office print out the application, then manually enters it into their internal system. Bizarre, but true :).

    In short, pretty much all the insurance companies in Canada that I'm familiar with have an abysmal track record on electronic stuff. They're suspicious of the internet and are probably about 10 years behind what you'd expect. Not even close to what you'd see from a bank. Manulife's right there with the rest of the insurers :).

  4. I agree with Jason, I have to wait for a password they MUST send to me by regular mail. They missed it the first time so I had to complaint on the phone and finally I had to wait like 2 weeks to get the password to be able to sign up online.
    The customer service on the phone is according with the operator mood/patient of these day.
    The website design is ok, but the information is absolutely difficult to understand, never clear how much are you cover, very confusing with a lot of information that if you are not a trained Manulife operator you will never understand.

    VIRGINIA, Burlington, Ontario

  5. I agree with Jason. We are about to switch because the customer service is pathetic, the price changes without notice, the dental claims HAVE TO BE DONE MANUALLY for way more than other companies and it seems like they try to discourage you from making claims with their paperwork.

    Switching to the chamber of commerce plan which gets good reviews from everyone I talk to and our dentist does the claims automatically.

    Our dentist office said the coverme plan sucks.

  6. Not only but they are increasing their deductibles. I am a disabled person and I've just that they have impose a deductible on medical supplies every 3 months. This is discrimination against people with disabilities. I had blue cross before and let me tell is the best.


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