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Assumption Life bets on niche products to fuel growth

By Hubert Roy | June 27 2007 08:31PM

Assumption Life reported an 18% increase in new annual premiums in individual life insurance in 2006, for a total of $3.7 million. The insurer is banking on development of niche products in this sector to grow its business in 2007.

“We want to stand out. For these products, we are aiming to rank second or third in Canada among brokers. Our distribution network is already over 2000 brokers strong. This means we can handpick the niches where we can best develop,” says Denis Losier, president and CEO of the company.

Assumption Life became a national insurer in 2006, when it broadened its reach to all ten Canadian provinces. Today, the New Brunswick-based insurer particularly stands out in group insurance. Assumption Life’s sales were $5.3 million in 2006 in this sector, up 11% since 2005.

“In group insurance we’re mainly targeting small groups. In the Maritimes, over 90% of companies have fewer than 75 employees. That is why we are focussing on this market. In Quebec, this strategy is helping us make inroads. The large insurers have less to gain from insuring small companies, and we have more means to do this. The growth potential is there. We’re starting to develop the Ontario market and we’re doing good business in British Columbia. Companies in western Canada greatly appreciate the services we offer,” he says.

Investment fund subsidiary Louisbourg Investments has assets under management of $1.4 billion and posted a profit of $930,000 in 2006. This figure corresponds to 15% to 20% of total profits generated by Assumption Life in 2006. “We plan to develop pension funds for municipal and provincial employees, union associations and private management funds. We want to see Louisbourg Investments accumulate $2 billion in assets over the next three to four years,” Mr. Losier says.

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