"Our exit from the onshore individual market allows us to refocus on other areas of our business, including group protection and the international (offshore) protection market."
- Tim Stoves, Canada Life Protection Managing Director
Over the past decade, the individual protection market has lost numerous insurers including Old Mutual, Bright Grey, Scottish Provident, Bupa, Friends Life, Friends Provident, and AXA.
The Winnipeg-based insurance company is the latest to confirm that it intends to close to new business while it enters a period of consultation with impacted employees. This decision will affect its fixed-term Life and Life Insurance plus Critical Illness cover.
Canada Life has confirmed it will continue to support customers, honour existing contractual obligations, and pay claims in line with its usual processes.
Commenting on this decision, Tim Stoves, Canada Life protection managing director, has said:
“I’m proud of what we have achieved since 2016 in the individual protection market, but it has become clear we need to make priority calls on where best to utlilise our resources as we continue to focus on our core areas of growth.
“Our exit from the onshore individual market allows us to refocus on other areas of our business, including group protection and the international (offshore) protection market.”
Canada Life has stated that it remains committed to protecting its market-leading position in group protection, building a customer-led lifetime wealth business that includes other areas of insurance such as home finance, annuities, and international (offshore) protection.
Dishearted by the news of Canada Life's departure from the market, Phil Jeynes, Reassured director of corporate strategy, has said:
“In a market which has lost many high profile brands over recent years...it highlights the difficulty in making headway in a sector dominated by established, successful firms without a discernible USP.
"Differentiated treatment of vaping customers simply wasn’t enough for Canada Life, despite no shortage of effort from a team of impressive, experienced individuals.”
Alan Lakey, CIExpert director has also expressed his disappointment, explaining that a "vibrant" protection sector requires competition to keep prices low and to encourage innovation, which has been "lacking over the years," reports COVER.
"Canada Life individual protection was truly innovative in that it offered discounts to vapers when the market view has been to treat them as smokers. This approach provided a vital, albeit not widely known, facility for those who have forsaken cigarettes," he added.
“The market has been steadily shrinking since 1990 and this has been bad news for consumers and advisers alike."