In the fourth quarter of 2021, group insurance sales in terms of new annualized premiums increased by 17 per cent compared with Q4 2020, according to LIMRA's Workplace Benefits, Canadian Group Sales report.
Apart from a 16 per cent slide in the third quarter of 2021, compared with Q3 2020, group insurance sales in terms of new annualized premiums advanced in each of the other quarters. Overall, group insurance sales in terms of new annualized premiums grew by 9 per cent in 2021 versus 2020.
Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of group insurance sales in 2021 are new sales. The remaining 27 per cent come from plan amendments (e.g., adding new benefits).
Group health benefit sales totalled $1.948 billion in 2021, up 14 per cent from 2020. Long-term disability benefit sales were $456 million in 2021, an 8 per cent increase from 2020. Life insurance coverage garnered $187 million in premiums, up 22 per cent in 2021 compared with the previous year.
Top five reshuffled in 2021
Although carriers are listed alphabetically in LIMRA’s report, the top five group insurance vendors in 2021 captured 73 per cent of new annualized group insurance premiums. The dominant players are Canada Life, Medavie Blue Cross, Desjardins Financial Security, Manulife, and Sun Life.
By comparison, five large lifecos generated 75 per cent of group insurance sales in 2020: Canada Life, Desjardins Financial Security, Manulife, SSQ Insurance (now Beneva) and Sun Life.