Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.

Industry Overview - A Canadian Success Story


More than insurance

    • Through a wide range of products and services, the life and health insurance industry helps Canadians to protect themselves and their families against the financial risks of premature death, illness and retirement.
    • These products include individual and group life insurance, supplementary health insurance and individual and group annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs and defined contribution pension plans).
Central role in Canadians’ lives and critical for the economy

    • The Canadian life and health insurance industry provides financial security products to almost 27 million Canadians and manages about two-thirds of Canada's private pension plans.
    • The industry provides supplementary health coverage to more than 23 million Canadians which accounts for about 12 percent of all health care expenditures in Canada.
    • Over $1.3 billion in claims are paid to Canadians every week.
    • There are 90 life and health insurance companies in Canada, with Canadian-owned companies controlling roughly 80% of the industry’s assets.
    • The industry employs over 142,600 people.
    • With almost $614.8 billion in assets held in Canada, the industry is one of the largest investors in the Canadian economy:

      • $112.5 billion or 10.4% of all Canadian, Provincial and Municipal government bonds;
      • $105.7 billion of 13.9% of all Canadian corporate bonds; and
      • $139.7 billion or 16.4% of all Mutual Fund assets.
An international success story

    • Canadian insurers are active in over 20 countries around the world.
    • Three Canadian life and health insurers rank in the top 20 of the world's largest life and health insurance companies
    • The industry holds almost $597 billion in assets abroad.
    • More than $48 billion or 40% of the industry’s total premiums are generated abroad.
Financial strength of the industry--strong, stable financial performance with limited systemic risk

    • Unique characteristics of the insurance business model make it a source of stability in the financial system.
    • In terms of the 2008 financial crisis, the insurance industry maintained its long-term government and industry investments bringing stability to capital markets.
    • The core activities of insurers do not generate systemic risk, nor do traditional insurance products create the kind of risks that led to the financial crisis.
    • The industry is very well capitalized. The MCCSR - which measures each Canadian life and health insurer's capital strength - averages 213%, significantly above the regulator's requirement of 150%.

Industry Overview - A Canadian Success Story