In the third quarter of 2021, group insurance sales in terms of new annualized premiums sank by 16 per cent versus Q3 2020, LIMRA's Canadian Group Life and Health Insurance Sales Survey report indicates. 

This decline contrasts sharply with growth in the previous two quarters of 2021. For example, new group insurance premium sales increased by nearly 20 per cent in Q2 2021.

Despite the downturn, the year 2021 overall is looking rosier for this life and health insurance segment. Group sales advanced by 8 per cent between the nine months ending September 30, 2020 and the same period in 2021. For the first nine months of 2021, sales totalled $2.0 billion versus $2.4 billion at year-end 2020. 

Top 5 hold their ground 

The LIMRA report lists the top five players in the Canadian group insurance market in alphabetical order. These players captured nearly three-quarters of group insurance sales in Canada during the first nine months of 2021. 

Growth in supplemental benefits 

At the end of the first nine months of 2022, group life premiums plunged significantly industry-wide, while long-term disability (LTD) premiums saw a more modest decline In contrast, supplemental health benefits increased sharply in this period versus the same period in 2020. Supplemental health benefits include dental and paramedical services. 

Three out of every four dollars of premiums written in the first nine months of 2021 is from new sales. The remainder came from benefit additions to existing plans.

Seventeen insurers participated in LIMRA's Q3 2021 Group Insurance Sales Survey. In alphabetical order: 

Alberta Blue Cross 



Canada Life 

Desjardins Financial Security 

Empire Life 

Equitable Life  

Green Shield Canada 

iA Financial Group 

Manitoba Blue Cross 


Medavie Blue Cross 

Pacific Blue Cross 

RBC Insurance 

Saskatchewan Blue Cross  

Sun Life Financial 

The Co-operators Life Insurance Co.