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Fourth quarter premium reached highest level in seven years

WINDSOR, Conn., March 20, 2024 — Canadian life insurance new annualized premium increased 4% in 2023 to $1.86 billion in 2023, according to LIMRA’s Canadian Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey. This is the highest sales ever recorded in the Canadian market since the survey was established in 1993.

Canadian-life-sidebar.png“The record sales represent a continued steady growth post-pandemic as the market returns to less a tumultuous environment,” said Nancy Moussa, associate research director, LIMRA Insurance Product Research. “LIMRA expects sales growth to continue in 2024.”

In the fourth quarter, total life insurance new annualized premium in Canada rose 5% year-over-year to $516 million. This represents the highest premium collected since fourth quarter 2016. The number of policies sold in the fourth quarter improved 1% year-over-year.

Whole Life
Whole life sales experienced the largest growth in 2023 for both the quarter and year-end results. Whole life new annualized premium was $365 million in the fourth quarter, up 10% from prior year. Policy count increased 4% from fourth quarter 2022.

In 2023, whole life new annualized premium jumped 10% to a record $1.27 billion. For the year, policy count rose 4% over 2022 levels. Whole life premium represented 68% of the life insurance market in Canada.

“Whole life sales in Canada are dominated by participating whole life products — representing 88% of the whole life market. In 2023, participating whole life premium jumped 12% and drove the overall growth in the market,” said Moussa. “Participating whole life products generally attract more sales since they offer dividends for policyholders which can be used for additional coverage or cash value growth.”

Term Life Insurance
In the fourth quarter, term life new annualized premium increased 3% year-over-year to $88 million. Policy count rose 3% as well.

In 2023, term life new premium totaled $345 million, up 1% over 2022 results. The number of policies sold fell 2%. Term products held 19% market share of total Canadian new annualized premium.

Universal Life Insurance
Universal life new annualized premium fell 14% in the fourth quarter to $62 million. Policy count dropped 9%, compared with fourth quarter 2022 results.

After a strong showing in 2022 (up 9%), universal life premium fell 14% in 2023 to $248 million. The number of policies sold fell 8%. Universal life premium represented 13% of the total Canadian new annualized premium in 2023.

Started in 1993, LIMRA’s Canadian Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey represents 93% of the Canadian market. For more details on the sales results, go to Fourth Quarter 2023 Canadian Individual Life Insurance Sales in LIMRA’s Fact Tank.


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