Life and health insurance industry continues growth trend based on retirement solutions market

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Toronto, ON (Sept. 15, 2016) – Today, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) released the 2016 edition of Canadian Life and Health Insurance Facts. In addition to a new look for this annual publication, the industry’s factbook illustrates yet another year of strong growth in 2015, despite the ongoing challenging economic conditions.

“The strong performance of the Canadian life and health insurance industry highlights the trust Canadians have in our companies, and that we continue to offer products and services that our customers need and value,” notes CLHIA President and CEO Frank Swedlove. “In particular, this year’s growth was led by the pensions and retirement solutions market.”

In 2015, purchases of insurance products by Canadians continued to increase with premium revenues surpassing $100 billion for the first time, led by the retirement solutions market. Benefits paid to Canadians rose to more than $84 billion, over 90% of which went to living policyholders. During the year, assets in Canada rose 5.7% to over $760 billion. Ninety per cent of these assets were held in long-term investments, providing a stable source of capital to Canadian businesses and governments, and helping drive economic growth and innovation.

Key Statistics

The Canadian life and health insurance industry:

  • protects over 28 million Canadians through a range of financial security products, providing:
    • Life insurance – averaging $388,000 per insured household;
    • Extended health care – covering about 30% of Canada’s total spending on prescription drugs;
    • Retirement solutions – managing two-thirds of private pension plans in Canada;
  • paid benefits of $84.2 billion – over 90% of which went to living policyholders;
  • invests over $760 billion in Canada – over 90% are long-term investments;
  • paid taxes of $6.6 billion to all levels of government – twice the industry’s corresponding share of Canadian GDP.
  • Canadian life insurers operate in more than 20 countries with invested assets of over $800 billion supporting their foreign operations. Three Canadian life companies rank among the top 15 largest life insurers in the world.

    These figures have been compiled from surveys and annual returns of member companies, and data supplied by federal and provincial governments and other associations.

    More details and statistics can be found under the Industry tab of the CLHIA website.

    About the CLHIA

    The CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member companies account for 99% of Canada’s life and health insurance business. The industry provides a wide range of financial security products such as life insurance, annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions) and supplementary health insurance to more than 28 million Canadians. It also holds over $760 billion of assets in Canada and employs about 148,600 Canadians.