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How Many Life Insurance Companies Are There In Canada?

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 Canadian Life Insurance Companies

For many Canadians it can seem overwhelming to look for life insurance in Canada. The choices that are available to you are many. So, just how big is the life insurance industry in Canada?

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) is a voluntary group that insurance companies can join in Canada. In fact, in 2019 this associations members accounted for about 99% of the life and health insurance products sold in Canada.

According to the CLHIA’s 2019 Insurance Facts Document, there was $4.8 Trillion dollars worth of life insurance coverage owned by 22 million Canadians and $22 Billion dollars had been paid out as death benefits.

This is a huge marketplace and it is reflected by looking at the range of companies that are providing life insurance policies.

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According to CHLIA, there are 150 life and health insurance companies operating in Canada. Some of these companies sell health insurance only. When looking at life insurance providers we are in the range of 30 to 35 companies. The number is not exact because over the years this number fluctuates.

For example, in 2019 Great West Life, London Life and Canada Life all merged operations under the Canada Life banner. In 2002, Sun Life Financial purchased Clarica, which was formerly known as Mutual Life Assurance Co. In all of these cases the policies that were in place have been maintained by the new ownership. It becomes a situation where the new company will take over any guarantees associated with the policies. They also provide the ongoing support… For example, if you owned a Clarica life insurance policy and need to change the beneficiary on your policy, you would have to contact Sun Life to do this now.


What do all of these choices mean to Canadian consumers? It means that there will likely be a company out there that provides a unique solution that helps meet your needs. If you are looking for plans that have orphan benefits, various term life insurance lengths, no medical underwriting or cash values that will grow into the future, you will be able to find a company that can provide this for you.

When you add in the fact that in order to operate as a life insurance company in Canada, you must be a member of Assuris (protection for policy holders in the event that a life insurance company fails), you can be confident that the insurance protection that you buy today will be there when it is needed in the future.

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