The strength of the Canadian life and health insurance industry continued through 2013, despite the climate of slow growth and prolonged low interest rates. The industry built on its past solid performance with continued asset growth and sustained record high premiums during 2013.
Industry assets in Canada rose 3.9 per cent during 2013 to $646.6 billion. Accounting for almost two-thirds of the total, general fund assets declined 1.9 per cent to $399.7 billion. Meanwhile, segregated fund assets rose 14.8 per cent to almost $246.9 billion, buoyed by the strengthening equity markets.
In addition, total premiums and premium equivalents (all lines of business) rose 4 per cent to $92.2 billion. Canadians focused on protection products generating life insurance premiums of $17.2 billion (up 4.1 per cent), and health and disability insurance premiums of $37.6 billion (up 4.5 per cent). At the same time, annuity premiums showed a healthy growth of 3.5 per cent to almost $37.4 billion for wealth management and asset accumulation products for retirement.