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Thursday 15 October 2020


Manulife is Canada’s largest insurance company, collecting almost $40 billion in annual premiums.
Canada Life, Sun Life, Desjardins, and Industrial Alliance (iA) round out the top 5 biggest life insurance companies in Canada.
SSQ and La Capitale’s merger will make them the 6th largest life insurer in the country.
Many bank-affiliated insurers like CIBC Insurance, and TD Insurance are among the smallest life insurers in the industry.
What are Canada’s biggest life insurance companies?
Below is a list of the top 32 life insurance companies operating in Canada. What do we define as the biggest? There are different metrics on which we can rank the companies – based on their length of existence, financial strength, grades granted to them by independent rating agencies, and more. From an insurance perspective, we’ve ranked Canada’s top life insurance companies based on the annual premiums they collect from their policyholders.

If you are instead looking for the best life insurance companies in Canada, please head to our term life insurance reviews.
List of the Biggest Life Insurance Companies in Canada by Annual Premiums
Company Founded Headquarters Financial
Rating* Annual Premiums Total Assets
1 Manulife 1887 Toronto, ON A+ $39.2 B $200 B
2 Canada Life 1846 Toronto, ON A+ $36.4 B $219.7 B
3 Sun Life 1865 Toronto, ON A+ $20.9 B $173.2 B
4 Desjardins 1948 Levis, QC — $9.2 B $39.8 B
5 Industrial Alliance 1892 Quebec City, QC A+ $8.6 B $58.3 B
6 RBC Insurance 1864 Toronto, ON A $4.2 B $15.1 B
7 SSQ 1944 Quebec, QC A- $2.5 B $12.4 B
8 La Capitale 1940 Quebec City, QC — $2.3 B $6 B
9 BMO Life 1817 Toronto, ON A $2.0 B $11.2 B
10 Co-operators 1945 Guelph, ON A $1.3 B $6.5 B
11 Foresters 1874 Toronto, ON A $1.3 B $2.6 B
12 Equitable Life 1920 Waterloo, ON — $1.0 B $4.2 B
13 Empire Life 1923 Kingston, ON A $1.0 B $15.5 B
14 ivari 1927 Toronto, ON A+ $830.9 M $11.5 B
15 Combined of America 1922 Chicago, IL — $556.1 M $0.9 B
16 Blue Cross 1939 Independent A- $413.7 M $1.3 B
17 Primerica 1977 Duluth, GA A+ $311 M $3.7 B
18 Assurant 1902 Toronto, ON A- $279.7 M $2 B
19 Wawanesa 1896 Wawanesa, MB A $223.8 M $1.5 B
20 Knights of Columbus 1882 New Haven, CT — $210.6 M $3.9 B
21 Humania 1874 Saint-Hyacinthe, QC — $158.3 M $0.6 B
22 Assumption 1903 Moncton, NB A- $157.8 M $1.7 B
23 UL Mutual 1889 Drummondville, QC — $144.8 M $2.2 B
24 Western Life 1961 Toronto, ON A $143.7 M $0.3 B
25 American Income 1951 Waco, TX — $134.2 M $0.4 B
26 National Bank 1859 Montreal, QC — $121 M $0.2 B
27 TD Life** 1855 Toronto, ON — $112.6 M $0.2 B
28 Scotia Life** 1832 Toronto, ON — $56.4 M $0.2 B
29 CIBC Life** 1961 Toronto, ON — $45.1 M $0.2 B
30 Canadian Premier 1955 Toronto, ON A $27.3M $0.2 B
31 FaithLife 1972 Waterloo, ON — $22.7 M $0.4 B
32 Reliable Life 1887 Hamilton, ON — $12.0 M $0.02 B
Top 10 Largest Canadian Insurance Companies by Annual Premiums (in billions)
Biggest insurance companies in Canada by annual premiums
Top 10 Largest Canadian Insurance Companies by Assets (in billions)
biggest insurance companies in canada by assets
Source: Company annual reports, OSFI financial data, A.M. Best Company

** Financial metrics displayed for life insurance businesses of the respective companies. Founding dates of respective parent companies.

Manulife is one of the largest companies in the world, so it’s no wonder it tops the list of biggest insurance companies in Canada based on written premiums. With operations in the United States of America through their John Hancock subsidiary, Manulife is one of the biggest insurance companies south of the border as well.

While the top of the list is filled with expected names like the recently amalgamated Canada Life (the new year makes the merging of Great West Life, London Life, and the namesake official), Sun Life, Desjardins, iA Financial Group, and RBC Insurance, there are also names less familiar to the entire country. Though companies like SSQ and Wawanesa are not household names in Ontario, they are some of the largest Canadian insurers, taking in billions of dollars in premiums every year.

The biggest insurance companies in Canada
This list of insurance companies shows much more than the top 10 insurance companies in Canada. Some of these insurance providers are amongst the largest insurance companies in the world. Read on for the details.

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company
Manulife Canada is a subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation, a Canada-based multinational insurance and financial services provider. Manulife has an extensive presence in South East Asia and also in the United States, where they operate through their John Hancock division. They were incorporated in 1887 as the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are the largest insurance company in Canada. They offer an extensive range of personal and group insurance and investment plans. Manulife also operates Manulife Bank, which offers chequing and savings accounts, credit cards, and mortgages.

Read our full Manulife Term Life Insurance Review and read more about Manulife’s CoverMe life insurance product.

The Canada Life Assurance Company

In 2019, Great West Life merged their sister companies, London Life and Canada Life into the single Canada Life brand. Canada Life offers a variety of personal insurance solutions including term life, disability, critical illness and creditor insurance. Canada Life also offers Investment and savings solutions such as segregated funds and annuities, mortgages, and business insurance. Those looking for information about Great West Life insurance and London Life insurance should now consult Canada Life.

Desjardins Financial Security

Desjardins offers a large range of financial and insurance services in Canada. Their major focus areas are life and health insurance and wealth management services for individuals, and property and casualty insurance. They also offer business services including point-of-sale payments and cash management. Desjardins Insurance operates through a network of financial advisors concentrated in Quebec and Ontario, but has a presence across Canada.

Industrial Alliance Life Insurance

iA Financial Group is one of the largest insurance and wealth management groups in Canada; they also have operations in the United States. They were founded in 1892, and offer both individual and group benefits products. They also deal in property management and real estate, offering spaces for lease in major cities across Canada. iA Insurance offers life, vehicle, and travel insurance for individuals. They offer savings and investment plans including registered plans and securities.

Read our full iA Term Life Insurance Review.

RBC Life Insurance Company

RBC Insurance is the insurance operating entity of Royal Bank of Canada, which is one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC Insurance offers a wide range of life, health, home, auto, travel, wealth, and reinsurance advice and solutions, as well as creditor and business insurance services to individual, business, and group clients. RBC offers individuals the additional option of RBC Private Insurance, a comprehensive risk protection package designed on an individual basis.