Insurers’ benefits payments reach a record $103-billion in 2019

By The IJ Staff | September 16 2020 03:03PM

Photo: Freepik

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) says Canadians received $103-billion in benefits from life and health insurers last year, up 60 per cent from a decade earlier.

According to its annual Canadian Life & Health Insurance Facts report, those benefits include $53.3-billion in retirement annuity payments (since 2009, retirement benefits have increased at an average rate of seven per cent per year), $38.1-billion in health benefits for prescription drugs and supplementary health services, and $12.1-billion in life insurance benefits.

Total premiums in Canada meanwhile, rose to $122-billion in 2019. Year-over-year growth was led by annuities, including segregated funds, which rose 5.2 per cent during the year, followed by life insurance premiums, up 5.1 per cent, and health insurance premiums which rose 4.1 per cent. Overall they say 22-million Canadians own $5-trillion in life insurance coverage; 81 per cent of life insurance premiums paid were used to purchase individual policies.

The report also says insurers contribute to Canada’s economic growth by investing more than $860-billion in long-term innovation and infrastructure projects. In addition, life insurers also manage more than $309-billion in pension assets for more than eight million Canadians.

Other facts and figures show that capital reserves held by companies are 37 per cent higher than government requirements. The average capital ratio in 2019 came in at 137 per cent.

Finally, all told, the CLHIA says Canadian life and health insurers contributed almost $8.3-billion in taxes to federal and provincial coffers in 2019, including $2.7-billion paid to the federal government and $5.6-billion paid to provincial and territorial governments.

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