Revealed - How much Canadians are receiving in insurance benefits

Record-breaking payments by insurers highlighted in recent report

Revealed - How much Canadians are receiving in insurance benefits

Life & Health

By Lyle Adriano

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) has published its report on the life and health insurance industry in 2021, noting that Canada’s insurers have paid out more benefits last year than ever before.

For 2021, Canadians were paid a record-breaking over $113 billion in benefits from life and health insurance products as well as retirement products, CLHIA said in its latest Canadian Life & Health Insurance Facts report. This figure is up 17% from 2020 and is nearly $10 billion above pre-pandemic levels.

CLHIA also noted that two-thirds of total insurance products sold in 2021 were sold as part of group benefit plans in 2021, as opposed to individual benefits. It was found that 90% of health insurance plans were offered on a group basis, typically as workplace benefits.

"2021 was a year of recovery and insurers have been proud partners helping employers and their employees get back on their feet with workplace benefits that can help attract and retain talent," commented CLHIA president and CEO Stephen Frank. "As part of this, mental health supports have become an increasingly important and relevant health benefit that is helping so many people through the strains of the pandemic."

Other key findings of the 2021 report include:

  • Life and health insurers provided coverage for over 29 million Canadians – or 76 per cent of the population in 2021
  • The insurers paid a record $40.8 billion in total health claims, including prescription drugs and dental – up 11 per cent from 2020
  • They processed nearly $600 million in claims related to mental health – up 75 per cent since 2019
  • They paid out $58 billion in annuities to retirees - up 26 per cent from the previous year
  • They employed 166,000 Canadians – up more than 5,000 from 2020
  • They provided insurance products to nearly 100 million people worldwide

In closing, CLHIA noted that life and health insurers have continued to demonstrate their strength and resilience, and have operated on regulatory capital levels well above government targets.

"Canadians can have confidence that when the unexpected occurs, their insurance protection will be there for them," prefaced Frank.

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