Close to $100 billion paid out in benefits and health insurance in 2020

Life and health insurers in Canada paid more than $97 billion in benefits and health insurance products in 2020m which included the first nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A report released Tuesday by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association said the industry paid out over $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,  and $154 million in life insurance claims from deaths related to COVID-19.

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“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 said. “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.

“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.”

The report said over 26 million Canadians benefited from access to health benefits at the end of 2020 – the same as before the pandemic.

It also said that insurers provided $46 billion in annuity payments, $37 billion in supplementary health benefits, and $14 billion in life insurance benefits. 

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