Canadians received a record $113 billion in life and health insurance benefits in 2021

Toronto, ON (Sept. 16, 2022) – Canada’s life and health insurers paid out more benefits to more people than ever before in 2021, according to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA).

Canadians were paid over $113 billion in benefits from life and health insurance products last year – up 17 per cent from 2020 and nearly $10 billion above pre-pandemic levels. This included payments for health insurance claims, life insurance and retirement.

Among the findings in the latest Canadian Life & Health Insurance Facts are that last year, life and health insurers:

  • Provided coverage for over 29 million Canadians – or 76 per cent of the population
  • Paid a record $40.8 billion in total health claims, including prescription drugs and dental – up 11 per cent from 2020
  • Processed nearly $600 million in claims related to mental health – up 75 per cent since 2019
  • Paid out $58 billion in annuities to retirees – up 26 per cent from the previous year
  • Employed 166,000 Canadians – up more than 5,000 from 2020
  • Provided insurance products to nearly 100 million people worldwide

Two thirds of total insurance products were sold as part of group benefit plans in 2021, as opposed to individual policies. Indeed 90 per cent of health insurance plans were offered on a group basis, most often as workplace benefits.

“2021 was a year of recovery and insurers have been proud partners helping employers and their employees get back on their feet with workplace benefits that can help attract and retain talent,” Stephen Frank, President and CEO of the Canadian Life Health and Insurance Association said. “As part of this, mental health supports have become an increasingly important and relevant health benefit that is helping so many people through the strains of the pandemic.”

Nearly 27 million Canadians had access to health insurance benefits, 22 million had life insurance coverage and 8 million had their retirement savings managed by life and health insurers. Insurers have continued to demonstrate strength and resilience, with regulatory capital levels well above government targets.

“Canadians can have confidence that when the unexpected occurs, their insurance protection will be there for them,” Frank said.

Canadian Life & Health Insurance Facts is published annually by the CLHIA based on industry and publicly available data. It is available at

About the CLHIA

The CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member companies account for 99 per cent of Canada’s life and health insurance business. These insurers provide a wide range of financial security products including life insurance, annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions) and supplementary health insurance to over 29 million Canadians. They hold over $1 trillion in assets in Canada and employ more than 166,000 Canadians. For more information, please visit

SOURCE: Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.

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