Life Insurance Industry Facts

It’s way more than just insurance:

  • Through a wide range of products and services, the life insurance industry helps Canadians to protect themselves and their families against the financial risks of premature death and illnesses.  It also serves Canadians with some retirement planning solutions.
  • Products and services include individual and group life insurance, supplementary health insurance and individual and group annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs and defined contribution pension plans), segregated funds, etc…

Critical for the economy and a key part in Canadian lives:

  • The life insurance industry in Canada provides financial products to nearly 26 million people in Canada and manages over 70% of Canada’s private pension plans.
  • It provides supplementary health coverage to almost 23 million people which accounts for about 12% of all health care expenditures in Canada.
  • Over one billion dollars in claims are paid every week to Canadians.
  • It employs over 131,000 people.
  • There are 102 life and health insurance companies in Canada and the Canadian-owned companies control nearly 87% of the industry’s assets.
  • With $411 billion in assets in Canada, the industry is one of the largest investors in the Canadian economy:
    • $75 billion or 14% of all Canadian and Provincial Government bonds;
    • $77 billion of 13% of all Canadian corporate bonds; and
    • $82 billion or 13% of all Mutual Fund assets.

International success:

  • 3 Canadian life insurers rank in the top 10 of the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s largest Lifecos.
  • Canadian insurance companies are active in over 21 countries around the world.
  • The industry holds $500 billion in assets abroad.
  • Nearly half of the industry’s total premiums are received abroad.

Financial strength and stability:

  • In spite of the recent global financial crisis, no government bailouts have been required for Canadian insurers.
  • The industry is very well capitalized – Minimum Capital Requirement (MCCSR) ratio among Canadian life and health insurers currently stands at 231 per cent – significantly above the OSFI requirement of 150%.  This ensures that policy holders are cared for and not stranded.

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