Some of the largest financial institutions in the world, including significant international insurance corporations, have their headquarters in Canada. The largest insurance companies in Canada, Manulife, receives over $40 billion in premiums each year. The major names in Canadian insurance include Canada Life, Sun Life, Desjardins, and Industrial Alliance (iA).
If total assets are taken into account, the largest insurance company in Canada are Manulife, Canada Life, Sun Life, Desjardins, and Industrial Alliance.
Even knowing that, picking an insurance provider in Canada might be difficult. Although it might not immediately spring to mind, this nation is a hub for the sector.
The largest insurance companies in Canada compete with one another to provide you with coverage, They also own significant global assets and offer financial and insurance services to customers around the world.
More than 150 life and health insurance companies are available in Canada, according to the CLHIA, which is wonderful for customers who want options.
But how do you rank or narrow down your selections while trying to choose the best insurance provider for your particular needs in Canada, where there are so many life insurance options to consider?
Leading insurance companies in Canada have recovered from the pandemic well-positioned for expansion. According to the most recent data compiled by Insurance Business, the combined gross written premiums of the top 10 insurers increased by over 15% and reached $204 billion in 2021, up from almost $177 billion the year before.
We examined the most recent annual reports from the top corporations in the nation’s industry and discovered that each of the businesses on the list had increased total assets, with gains ranging from 4.2% to 9.7% in the previous year.
The lone exception was Intact Financial, whose assets nearly doubled from 2020 projections. Insurers with the highest rankings also predicted a promising 2022, according to their financial filings.
Similar predictions were made in a different Deloitte research, which foresaw “solid growth” in the Canadian insurance sector all year long.
About 80 insurers in all of the country were surveyed by the accounting behemoth, evenly divided between specialists in the life and health (L&H) and property and casualty (P&C) segments. While companies expected “the pandemic and its impacts to continue for some time,” many were optimistic about a gradual recovery in 2022.
While L&H insurers assert that increased consumer awareness of COVID-19-related risks will increase demand for their products and services, P&C insurers believe that premiums will rise as part of a broader business recovery and more people will physically return to their work environments, Deloitte wrote in the report.
The company went on to say that both groups identified important trends that will influence the industry in 2018, including continued investments in digital technology, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the insurtech sector, increased product customization, increased focus on setting and achieving environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals, and difficulties in luring top talent, particularly in IT and cybersecurity.
Nevertheless, the research issued a warning that there are “challenges that insurers should keep top of mind” despite the optimistic forecast.
The study found that 77% of insurance business executives predicted higher inflation in 2022 and 85% predicted higher interest rates at the end of 2021. In order to maximize pricing and profitability in light of shifting market conditions, insurers will need to continuously examine their cost of resolving claims given the present interest rate environment.
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Revealed – 10 largest insurance companies in Canada
The combined assets of the top 10 insurers in the country total more than $2.6 trillion in 2021, an increase of about 8% from the year before. Of these, the top five firms own somewhat more than $2 trillion. Additionally, these insurance companies handled nearly 45% of all premiums from the rated companies.
Based on data by Insurance Business, here are the top 10 insurance providers in Canada. According to their 2021 annual reports, the insurers are listed in order of total assets. Additionally, their gross written premiums (GWP) for the time period are listed.
Total assets: $917.6 billion
Gross written premiums: $44.3 billion
Through its locations in Canada, Asia, and Europe, Manulife Financial Corporation principally operates as John Hancock in the US and offers financial counseling, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups, and institutions.
The world’s largest insurance company had over 38,000 employees at the end of 2021, 119,000 brokers, tens of thousands of distribution partners, and over 33 million clients. Additionally, it had $1.4 trillion in assets that were managed and administered, including $400 billion in total invested assets and another $400 billion in net assets for segregated funds. Additionally, the company gave $31.8 billion to its clients.
Although the company’s GWP increased by 7% from $41.4 billion in 2020, it was still less than that of Great-West Lifeco, which came in second on the list and issued the highest premiums in the fiscal year.
2. Great-West Lifeco
Total assets: $630.5 billion
Gross written premiums: $57.4 billion
Great-West Lifeco Inc., a division of the massive investment firm Power Financial Corporation, provides a vast array of life and health insurance products, retirement and investment services, wealth management, and reinsurance solutions. It employs more than 28,000 people to serve over 33 million customers across Canada, the US, and Europe.
Among the ranked corporations, Great-West Lifeco had the greatest GWP at nearly $57.4 billion, up more than 20% from $47.7 billion in 2020. The firm’s overall assets increased by 5% throughout that time. As of March 2022, it had $954 billion in assets under management (AUM) and $2.19 trillion in assets under administration (AUA).
Total assets: $397.1 billion
Gross written premiums: $11.6 billion
The largest federation of credit unions (caisses populaires) in North America is the Desjardins Group, a Canadian cooperative providing financial services. With 215 local caisses, 782 places of service, 76 business centers, and 1,679 ATMs distributed throughout the two provinces, the organization also has the largest regional footprint of any financial institution in Québec and a significant presence in Ontario.
Currently, Desjardins has more than 7.5 million members and clients in addition to around 53,800 workers, including 2,517 directors. Total assets of the insurance increased 9.7% from $362 billion in 2020, while GWP increased by roughly 14% from $10.4 billion.
4. Sun Life Financial
Total assets: $345.4 billion
Gross written premiums: $25.5 billion
With operations in 26 nations, including the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore, Sun Life Financial is the third-biggest life insurer in Canada and among the largest in the world. It offers a variety of asset management and insurance services. These include brokerage services, savings and retirement income programs, mutual and segregated funds, life, health, disability, critical illness, dental, long-term care, and business owners’ coverage.
The total assets of Sun Life increased by over 7% in the fiscal year 2021. To the contrary, GWP decreased 2.7% from $26.2 billion in 2020.
5. Fairfax Financial
Total assets: $111.5 billion
Gross written premiums: $23.9 billion
A holding firm called Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited runs Allied World, Brit Group, Odyssey Group, Northbridge Financial, and Zenith National as its subsidiaries. It provides a variety of investment, reinsurance, and P&C insurance services. The company has about 39,000 employees. From $95.3 billion in 2020, the firm’s total assets increased 17% in the previous year. GWP also increased from $19.1 billion, a 25% increase.
6. iA Financial
Total assets: $94.7 billion
Gross written premiums: $14.2 billion
One of the leading insurance and asset management organizations in the nation, iA Financial Corporation Inc., the holding company of iA Financial Group, serves more than four million customers, including individuals, SMEs, and major corporations. The company provides group, critical illness, accidental death, life, vehicle, home, and home insurance. Annuities, retirement plans, savings options, auto and mortgage loans, mutual and segregated funds, stocks, investment guidance, and private wealth management are also included in its portfolio.
iA Financial employs about 7,000 people. Its total assets increased from $86.5 billion the year before by 9.5% in 2021. Additionally, GWP rose 17.3% from $12.1 billion.
Total assets: $66.3 billion
Gross written premiums: $18 billion
The largest P&C insurance company in Canada, Intact Financial Corporation is also a significant player in the specialty insurance market in North America. The corporation has offices in Canada, the US, the UK, and Ireland and provides services to more than six million individuals, businesses, and institutions. From $12.1 billion and $35.1 billion, respectively, in the prior year, total premiums increased by almost 50% in 2021, and GWP nearly doubled. Intact has a workforce of over 26,000 people.
8. La Capitale (Beneva)
Total assets: $26.8 billion
Gross written premiums: $6.6 billion
In Quebec, La Capitale Financial Group Inc. offers financial and insurance services. With more than 900 offices and 600,000 employees, its subsidiary, La Capitale General Insurance, was among the biggest insurers in the province. The merger of La Capitale and SSQ Insurance in the middle of 2020 made Beneva possible. In 2023, SSQ will change to Beneva. Total assets of La Capitale increased by 7.2% in 2021, and GWP increased by 10% from $6 billion in 2020.
9. Empire Life
Total assets: $26.8 billion
Gross written premiums: $1.2 billion
An insurance and investment company is Empire Life Insurance Company. Empire Life provides group benefits, critical illness insurance, and life insurance on the insurance front. The business, a subsidiary of E-L Financial Corporation Limited, manages approximately $19.6 billion in assets for more than 600,000 clients and is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Empire Life Investments Inc. (ELII), a subsidiary that manages discretionary investments and serves as an advisor to Empire Life segregated funds, also offers a family of mutual funds. The company’s written premiums climbed from $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion, while total assets increased by approximately 8% from $24.9 billion in 2020.
Total assets: $20.6 billion
Gross written premiums: $1 billion
One of Canada’s biggest multi-line insurance providers, The Co-operators Group Limited, provides coverage for more than 240 credit unions that collectively have around six million members. The insurance co-op offers plans for business, group, farm, life, and health insurance as well as home and vehicle insurance. Annuities, tax-free savings accounts (TFSA), registered retirement savings plans (RSSP), registered education savings plans (RESP), segregated and mutual funds are among the investment options it offers. Additionally, the company provides institutional asset management and brokerage services. The company’s total assets increased by 9% from $18.9 billion in 2021. Additionally, from $988 million, its GWP increased 17%.