Top 10 Largest Insurance Companies in Canada (2023)
Canada’s insurance sector is surging ahead, overcoming its challenges with remarkable growth. The combined assets of the country’s largest insurance companies have soared to almost $2.6 trillion, and their gross written premiums (GWP) have surged by a substantial 11%, from $204 billion to $227 billion this year. It’s no surprise that these companies are optimistic about their prospects for the year ahead.
Why You Need to Know About Canada’s Leading Insurance Companies
For those in Canada seeking dependable and secure insurance partners, this article provides a valuable resource. Insurance professionals can also use this information to enlighten their clients, helping them make informed decisions and even considering potential career opportunities within the industry.
How We Ranked Canada’s Largest Insurance Companies
To compile our list of the largest insurance companies in Canada, we adhered to a rigorous methodology. We scrutinized the latest annual reports of the top insurance providers in Canada, assessing their total assets as a key metric for evaluating their financial stability and scale. This assessment is crucial in determining a company’s overall standing.
Another critical factor we considered was the gross written premiums (GWP) of each insurer. GWP accounts for the sum of direct and assumed written premiums before deducting reinsurance and ceding commissions. This metric helps gauge the level of sales for the risks retained by an insurer.
We believe that this comprehensive evaluation process provides an accurate and trustworthy ranking of the largest insurance companies in Canada.
The Top 10 Largest Canadian Insurance Companies (2023)
Here’s a list of Canada’s ten largest insurance companies, ranked by their total assets, along with their GWP for the latest financial year.
- Total Assets: $849 billion
- Gross Written Premiums: $44.1 billion
- Headquarters: Toronto, ON
Manulife, headquartered in Toronto, holds the top position among Canada’s insurance giants not only in terms of total assets but also on the global stage. In addition to offering insurance products, Manulife provides financial advisory services and wealth and asset management services to individuals, groups, and organizations. With a vast global presence spanning Canada, the US (primarily under the name John Hancock), Europe, and Asia, Manulife boasts over 40,000 employees and a robust business network of 116,000 agents and numerous distribution partners. Their latest annual report reveals assets under management and administration totaling $1.3 trillion, including $400 billion in total invested assets and $300 billion in segregated funds net assets. Manulife’s gross written premiums reached $44.3 billion, and their shares trade on various stock exchanges under different symbols.
Manulife has recently introduced Manulife Vitality, a policy that combines a health and wellness program, offering policyholders rewards for leading active lifestyles. The program includes wellness choices, premium reductions, and offerings from popular retailers.
- Total Assets: $701.4 billion
- Gross Written Premiums: $64.7 billion
- Headquarters: Winnipeg, MB
Great-West Lifeco has emerged as a leader among insurance companies, with a remarkable increase of nearly 13% in written premiums, reaching $57.4 billion this year. A subsidiary of Power Financial Corporation, Great-West Lifeco offers a diverse portfolio of products and services, including life and health insurance, reinsurance, retirement and investment solutions, and wealth management. The company’s commitment to excellence and innovation is evident in the quality of its offerings. Boasting approximately 31,000 employees and an extensive network of over 234,500 advisors, Great-West Lifeco serves more than 38 million clients across Canada, Europe, and the United States. Their latest financials reflect an 11% increase in total assets, reaching $701.4 billion, with assets under management (AUM) surpassing $1 trillion and assets under administration (AUA) nearing $2.5 trillion.
- Total Assets: $407.1 billion
- Gross Written Premiums: $12.2 billion
- Headquarters: Lévis, QC
Desjardins, a financial services cooperative, stands as one of Canada’s largest insurance companies and the largest federation of credit unions (caisses populaires) in North America. With a strong presence in Ontario and the largest regional presence of any financial institution in Québec, Desjardins operates 195 participating caisses in these two provinces and boasts 412 accredited trainers from 114 partner organizations nationwide. The company’s workforce of approximately 58,700 employees and nearly 2,460 directors in the caisse network serves over 7.5 million clients and members. Their annual report reveals a 2.5% increase in total assets, reaching $407.1 billion, and a 5.2% rise in GWP, reaching $12.2 billion. Desjardins has committed significant investments to the renewable energy infrastructure sector and supports economic, social, and environmental initiatives in communities through its GoodSpark Fund.
- Total Assets: $330.9 billion
- Gross Written Premiums: $29.1 billion
- Headquarters: Toronto, ON
Sun Life ranks as the fourth-largest life insurance provider in Canada, with a global presence spanning 26 countries, including Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The company offers a comprehensive range of insurance and asset management services, including life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, critical illness insurance, dental insurance, long-term care insurance, business insurance, savings and retirement income plans, mutual funds, segregated funds, and brokerage services. According to Sun Life’s latest financials, total assets experienced a slight decrease of approximately 4% from the previous financial year, while GWP increased by 14% to $25.5 billion. Notably, Sun Life has recently committed $3.7 million in funding to support mental health programs for at-risk and marginalized youth across the country.
In conclusion, Sun Life is a significant player in the insurance industry in Canada and globally, offering a diverse range of insurance and asset management services. By actively contributing to mental health programs, the company demonstrates its commitment to social responsibility and positively impacts the community.
- Total Assets: $92.1 billion
- Gross Written Premiums: $27.6 billion
- Headquarters: Toronto, Canada
Fairfax Financial is a notable holding company that operates some of the most renowned brands in the insurance industry, both in Canada and worldwide. The company’s portfolio includes Allied World, Brit Group, Crum & Foster, Northbridge Financial, Odyssey Group, and Zenith National, all leaders in the sector. In addition to property and casualty insurance and reinsurance products, Fairfax Financial provides investment services. With a workforce of approximately 47,000 employees, the company has established itself as a major player in the industry. According to their annual report, total assets decreased by 17% from $111.5 billion, while gross written premiums (GWP) increased by over 15% from $23.9 billion.
- Total Assets: $87.4 billion
- Gross Written Premiums: $14.3 billion
- Headquarters: Québec City, QC
iA Financial is a prominent insurance company and a leading provider of wealth management services in Canada. Boasting a vast customer base, iA Financial serves over four million individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises, and large corporations. The company operates as the parent organization of iA Financial Group, offering a wide range of insurance options, including life, home, auto, travel, critical illness, accidental death, disability, and group insurance. Additionally, they provide various financial services, such as annuities, retirement plans, savings products, car and home loans, mutual and segregated funds, securities, investment advice, and private wealth management. With a workforce of 7,000, iA Financial manages a significant amount of assets. Although total assets declined by approximately 8% from $94.7 billion, gross written premiums (GWP) experienced a slight increase, reaching $14.3 billion.
- Total Assets: $65 billion
- Gross Written Premiums: $22.6 billion
- Headquarters: Toronto, ON
Intact Financial is the leading property and casualty insurance provider in Canada and a significant supplier of specialty insurance across North America. Serving approximately six million clients, including individuals, businesses, public sector entities, and institutional organizations in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, the company has a substantial customer base. In their latest financial report, Intact Financial witnessed a remarkable rise of over 25% in GWP from the previous year’s $18 billion. However, the company’s total assets slightly decreased to $66.3 billion. Intact Financial’s workforce exceeds 26,000 employees. Additionally, the company recently disclosed the outcomes of its “Generosity in Action” initiative, through which it has pledged to provide financial support to charitable organizations chosen by its employees. In just two weeks, Intact Financial employees raised over $2.3 million, which the insurer matched, bringing the total amount donated to approximately $4.5 million.
- Total Assets: $26.8 billion
- Gross Written Premiums: $6.6 billion
- Headquarters: Québec City, QC
During the middle of 2020, La Capitale and SSQ Insurance, two general insurance companies, joined forces to create a unified entity named Beneva. This merger has catapulted Beneva to become one of Canada’s largest insurance providers, boasting an extensive network of over 900 offices and serving 600,000 employees. The combination of La Capitale and SSQ Insurance has proven fruitful, with La Capitale experiencing a growth of 7.2% in total assets from the previous year and gross written premiums (GWP) surging by 10%, reaching a staggering $6 billion. Beneva’s success as one of Canada’s largest insurance companies attests to the strategic merger of two reputable insurance providers, positioning the company for continued growth in the insurance industry.
- Total Assets: $17.3 billion
- Gross Written Premiums: $1 billion
- Headquarters: Kingston, ON
Empire Life operates as an insurance and investment firm under the umbrella of its parent company, E-L Financial. The company’s offerings include life and critical illness insurance, along with group benefits. Additionally, Empire Life has established its subsidiary, Empire Life Investments Inc. (ELII), which serves as an investment manager and advisor for Empire Life segregated funds and offers a range of mutual funds. In the past year, Empire Life’s total assets decreased to $17.3 billion, while gross written premiums (GWP) remained relatively constant. E-L Financial, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, manages assets worth over $19.6 billion for more than 600,000 clients.
- Total Assets: $9 billion
- Gross Written Premiums: $4.4 billion
- Headquarters: Guelph, ON
Co-operators, one of the leading multi-line insurers in Canada, serves a vast customer base of over 240 credit unions, encompassing nearly six million individuals. This insurance cooperative offers a diverse array of coverage options, including auto, business, home, life, farm, travel, and group benefits insurance policies. Furthermore, Co-operators boasts a robust investment portfolio featuring various investment vehicles, such as annuities, tax-free savings accounts (TFSA), registered retirement savings plans (RRSP), registered education savings plans (RESP), and segregated and mutual funds. The company also provides brokerage and institutional asset management services. In its most recent financial report, Co-operators announced impressive figures, with total assets amounting to $9 billion and GWP (Gross Written Premium) reaching an impressive $4.4 billion.
In summary, Canada’s insurance industry continues to thrive, with its top companies showing impressive growth. These insurance giants, driven by financial stability and innovation, provide a diverse range of insurance products and services to millions of clients, both in Canada and internationally. Their commitment to social responsibility and community support underscores their dedication to making a positive impact on society.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1.What are the key metrics used to rank Canada’s largest insurance companies?
We ranked the companies based on total assets and gross written premiums (GWP) as key metrics for assessing financial stability and scale.
2.Which insurance company in Canada has the highest total assets?
Manulife holds the top position with total assets of $849 billion.
3.Which Canadian insurance provider experienced the most significant increase in written premiums (GWP)?
Great-West Lifeco witnessed a remarkable increase of nearly 13%, with GWP reaching $64.7 billion.
4.What social initiatives do these insurance companies support?
Many of these companies actively support social and environmental initiatives, with some pledging significant funds to renewable energy infrastructure and mental health programs.
5.Are these insurance companies only based in Canada, or do they have a global presence?
Several of these companies have a substantial global presence, operating in multiple countries and regions.
This article provides valuable insights into Canada’s leading insurance companies, their financial performance, and their contributions to society. It serves as a comprehensive resource for individuals seeking reliable insurance partners and industry professionals looking to stay informed about the evolving landscape of Canada’s insurance sector.