Québec City – In 2005, personal insurance companies collected $9.5 billion in premiums in Québec, compared with $9.2 billion in the previous year, for an increase of 3.6%.

These figures are taken from the annual report of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) on insurance in Québec in 2005, which was tabled recently in the National Assembly by Finance Minister Michel Audet.

Premiums collected for accident and health insurance were up 5.8% to $4.3 billion in 2005. Annuity contributions declined 2.4% to $1.4 billion, while premiums collected for life insurance rose 3.6% to $3.7 billion in 2005. The decline in respect of annuity products was more pronounced in individual annuities, which have gradually lost their appeal in recent years. Contributions are down 23% since 2003. This decline is due in large part to a trend among participants to opt for market-related products rather than guaranteed funds.

Benefits and dividends paid by insurers to Québec policyholders decreased 1.2% in 2005. This variation in benefits was reflected differently from one category to another, increasing 9.4% in annuity products and 0.3% in accident and health insurance, but decreasing 15.0% in life insurance.

The volume of life insurance in effect in Québec reached $619 billion in 2005, consisting of $358 billion for individual insurance contracts and $261 billion for group insurance contracts. The average amount of protection per individual insurance contract purchased in Québec totalled $80,362 in 2005, compared with $76,088 in 2004.

Finally, based on overall activities, net earnings posted by personal insurance companies totalled $7.2 billion in 2005, up 4.3% over the previous year. In addition, assets in segregated funds held by insurers reached $306.5 billion on a consolidated basis in 2005.

The 2005 report on insurance is available free of charge (in French only) on the AMF website.

The AMF is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial sector.

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