Key StatisticsThe strength of the Canadian life and health insurance industry was evident as it faced the many challenges of 2011 with volatile financial markets (i.e., soft equity prices and falling interest rates) and global economic uncertainty as well as the conversion to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). However, the industry built on its past solid performance with continued asset growth and sustained record high premiums during 2011.
Industry assets in Canada rose 3.7 per cent during 2011 to $570.7 billion under IFRS. Accounting for almost two-thirds of the total, general fund assets increased 5.9 per cent to over $375.4 billion. Meanwhile, with uncertainty in financial markets, segregated fund assets slipped to $195.3 billion (down 0.2 per cent).
At the same time, total premiums and premium equivalents (all lines of business) rose 0.8 per cent over the record high of 2010 to $81 billion as Canadians continue to accumulate assets for retirement and also focus on health care and life insurance products. Annuity premiums slipped to $35.8 billion (down 1.5 per cent), as contributions to segregated fund or marketvalue based investment products surpassed the record high of the previous year but could not offset the double-digit drop in premiums for fixed-return general fund products. Meanwhile, premiums for supplementary health and disability insurance products rose 3.7 per cent to almost $29.6 billion and life insurance increased 1.1 per cent to exceed $15.6 billion.