“A majority of Canadians view having life insurance as essential for a peaceful mind so demand for life insurance will remain strong. Life stage events influence purchase, while the feeling of sufficiency with just employer coverage is a barrier to individual sales. Many younger consumers are open to buying from a digital insurer, but traditional human distribution channels remain important.”

– Sanjay Sharma, Senior Financial Services Analyst

Key issues covered in this Report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on life insurance.
  • This Report aims to get a consumer perspective of life insurance with regard to ownership (employer vs individual), choice factors behind choice of company, reasons for purchasing/not purchasing life insurance, purchase triggers, interest in app usage and attitudes towards life insurance.
  • The responses are also segmented by those who purchase through employers (group) and individual purchase.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • Top takeaways
            • Market overview
              • Outlook on life insurance
                • Figure 1: Outlook for life insurance, 2022
              • Opportunities
                • Self-employed/freelancers less likely to have life insurance
                  • Customizable term and guaranteed acceptance life insurance spur interest
                    • COVID-19 has spurred interest among 18-34s
                      • Reputation matters to a third of consumers
                        • Challenges
                          • Life insurance app usage is low
                            • Half of non-buyers deem employer coverage sufficient
                              • Two in five 18-34s feel paying for life insurance is a waste of money
                              • The Market – Market Factors

                                • Immigrants are a major growth market for life insurers
                                  • Figure 2: Distribution of foreign-born population by region of birth, 2016-36 (projected)
                                • Canada has an aging population which is a boost for life insurance
                                  • Figure 3: Proportion of 0-14s and over-65s in the Canadian population, 1988-2068*
                                • Inflation will make life insurance even more price sensitive
                                  • Figure 4: Changes in consumer price index, 2019-22
                                • Digitization of life insurance
                                • Competitive Strategies

                                  • Teachers Life creates a life insurance brand for Millennials
                                      • Figure 5: Nowly Insurance Instagram post, January 2022
                                    • PolicyMe launches a new life insurance product offering
                                      • Figure 6: PolicyMe Instagram post, March 2022
                                    • SiriusPoint invests in PolicyMe
                                      • Empire Life makes it easier to buy life insurance for children
                                      • Marketing Campaigns

                                        • Desjardins promotes agents
                                            • Figure 7: Get Life Insurance Advice from a Desjardins Agent, June 2021
                                          • Desjardins has a spring in its step for community support
                                              • Figure 8: Bounce back stronger with Desjardins, September 2021
                                            • Beneva continues its integration and launches its first brand awareness campaign
                                              • Figure 9: Discover Beneva!, December 2020
                                              • Figure 10: Beneva Desktop display ad, January 2022
                                            • Co-operators expands into wealth management
                                              • Co-operators’ rebranding campaign
                                                  • Figure 11: Your future, your plan | Co-operators, October 2021
                                              • The Consumer – Life Insurance Fast Facts

                                                • Ownership of Life Insurance

                                                  • Around three in five Canadians have life insurance
                                                    • Figure 12: Ownership of life insurance products, 2021
                                                  • Younger consumers more likely to own term/universal and older whole life insurance
                                                    • Figure 13: Ownership of life insurance products, by age, 2021
                                                    • Figure 14: Canada Life desktop display ad, February 2022
                                                    • Figure 15: Canada Life Universal life Mobile Display Ad, September 2021
                                                  • More Canadians buy life insurance directly than through employer
                                                    • Figure 16: Direct vs employer purchase, 2021
                                                  • Over-55s more likely to buy directly; 18-34s more reliant on employer coverage
                                                    • Figure 17: Direct vs employer purchase, by age, 2021
                                                  • Whole life is more likely to be bought directly
                                                    • Figure 18: Type of life insurance purchased, by channel: employer vs direct, 2021
                                                    • Figure 19: Beneva Desktop display ad, November 2021
                                                  • Self-employed/freelancers less likely to have life insurance
                                                    • Figure 20: Life insurance ownership, by employment status, 2021
                                                • Value Perception

                                                  • Peace of mind is the main value of life insurance
                                                    • Figure 21: Attitudes related to life insurance, 2021
                                                    • Figure 22: Desjardins Insurance Facebook ad, January 2022
                                                  • Two in five 18-34s feel paying for life insurance is a waste of money…
                                                    • …but COVID-19 has spurred interest among 18-34s
                                                      • Figure 23: Attitudes related to life insurance (% agree), by age, 2021
                                                    • Mortgage is also a purchase trigger for half of 18-34s
                                                      • Half of non-buyers deem employer coverage sufficient
                                                        • Figure 24: Reasons for not having individual life insurance, 2021
                                                      • Some reasons are age dependent
                                                        • Figure 25: Reasons for not having individual life insurance (select), by age, 2021
                                                      • Other reasons revolve around affordability and inheritance
                                                      • Choice Factors

                                                        • Price, product suitability and company reputation matter most
                                                          • Figure 26: Choice factors when choosing a life insurance provider, 2021
                                                        • Price matters most to 35-54s
                                                          • Figure 27: Choice factors when choosing a life insurance provider (select), 2021
                                                          • Figure 28: TD Insurance desktop display, February 2022
                                                        • 18-34s are more influenced by advice/recommendations and social media/advertising
                                                          • Figure 29: Canada Life March 2022
                                                        • Having a wide range of insurance products is more important to higher-income earners
                                                          • Figure 30: RBC Insurance Facebook ad, November 2021
                                                        • Consolidation of financial products influences a fifth of consumers
                                                          • Figure 31: Desjardins Insurance Facebook ad, February 2022
                                                        • Reputation matters to a third of consumers
                                                          • Figure 32: Sun life Facebook ad, January 2022
                                                        • Insurance broker referral influences almost a fifth of consumers
                                                          • A quarter of higher-income earners influenced by their financial advisor
                                                          • Digital Trends

                                                            • Majority would consider buying online from a traditional insurer
                                                              • Figure 33: Digital trends in life insurance, 2021
                                                              • Figure 34: TD life insurance Facebook ad, February 2022
                                                            • Many younger consumers are open to a digital insurer
                                                              • Half of 18-34s have used a comparison site
                                                                • Figure 35: Digital trends in life insurance (% agree), by age, 2021
                                                              • Digital engagement is lower among older consumers and women
                                                                • Figure 36: Digital trends in life insurance (% agree), men vs women, 2021
                                                              • Life insurance app usage is low
                                                                  • Figure 37: Life insurance apps (% agree), 2021
                                                              • General Attitudes

                                                                • Most consumers are confident about their level of coverage
                                                                  • Figure 38: General attitudes towards life insurance, 2021
                                                                • Three in four of 18-34s are interested in customizable term insurance
                                                                  • Figure 39: General attitudes (select) towards life insurance (% agree), by age, 2021
                                                                  • Figure 40: Insurance for your life – Canada Life, June 2021
                                                                • Majority of consumers have discussed policy details with their family
                                                                  • Two in three of 18-34s open to using their life insurance company for investments
                                                                    • Figure 41: Canada Life Facebook ad, December 2021
                                                                  • Affinity/group coverage preference drives many consumers
                                                                    • Figure 42: TD Affinity Insurance mobile display ad, February 2022
                                                                  • A third are influenced by lifestage events
                                                                    • Figure 43: Select life insurance related attitudes (% agree), 2021
                                                                  • A third of 18-34s are interested in guaranteed acceptance life insurance
                                                                    • Figure 44: Life insurance related attitudes (% agree), by age, 2021
                                                                    • Figure 45: CAA Facebook ad, July 2021
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                      • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                        • Mintel Trend Drivers
                                                                          • Abbreviations and terms

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