Canadians received more than $97 billion in benefits from life and health insurers in 2020, and of that amount, $950 million was paid in travel insurance claims, according to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA).
The period includes the first nine months of last year during the economic slowdown when insurers helped Canadians respond to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Canadian Life & Health Insurance Facts, which is published annually by the CLHIA, insurers in 2020 paid:
- More than $12 billion in prescription drug claims
- $950 million in travel insurance claims – “largely for trip cancellations”;
- $420 million in psychology-related claims to support mental health – “up nearly a quarter from 2019”;
- $154 million in life insurance claims from deaths related to COVID-19.
“Insurance benefits remained remarkably resilient,” the report reads. “Because of actions taken by insurers, employers and other plan sponsors, over 26 million Canadians benefited from access to health benefits at the end of 2020 – the same as before the pandemic.”
Help during a crisis
“Millions of Canadians rely on life and health insurance products during times of crisis; for all of us 2020 was one of those times,” said Stephen Frank, president and CEO of the Canadian Life Health and Insurance Association. “Insurers can be proud of the proactive steps they took through premium reductions and deferrals to help employers through the pandemic, and to protect the workplace drug and health benefits their employees count on.”
Additionally, insurers provided $46 billion in annuity payments, $37 billion in supplementary health benefits, and $14 billion in life insurance benefits.
Life and health insurers also remained well capitalized through the crisis, with regulatory capital levels well above government targets.
“The pandemic has tested and demonstrated the resilience of life and health insurance industry and the importance of our products to the well being of so many,” Frank said.
Canadian Life & Health Insurance Facts is available at clhia.ca/facts.