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Equitable Life of Canada is pleased to report that our strategic approach continued to serve us well in 2020, despite operating in a global pandemic.
Equitable Life, one of Canada’s largest mutual life insurance companies, closed out 2020 with strong earnings and solid growth.
The Company reported earnings of $153 million, equating to a return on policyholders’ equity of 16%. This result was driven by strong sales, investment performance, positive impacts from favourable expense ratios and reserve assumption changes.
“There is no doubt the global pandemic has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on the lives of Canadians and created challenges for all of us in 2020 that we could never have envisioned,” said Ron Beettam, Equitable Life’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Thanks to the resiliency and commitment of our entire team, we effectively responded to unfavourable impacts caused by the pandemic, including market volatility, and continued to achieve a high growth rate on most key measures, ending 2020 in a position of financial strength.”
Equitable Life reported premiums and deposits of $1.7 billion in 2020, contributing to $6.0 billion of assets under administration. This growth was supported by very strong sales during the pandemic, as more Canadians turned to insurance to protect the financial security of their families. Dividends to participating policyholders increased by 24% over the prior year.
The Individual Insurance business reported 2020 sales of $149 million, reflecting the third consecutive year of double-digit sales growth. Savings & Retirement reported sales of $401 million, driven by sales of segregated funds. Group Benefits delivered sales of $46 million, despite competitive industry pricing strategies and the impact the pandemic had on businesses.
Equitable Life finished the year with an impressive LICAT ratio of 166%, well above the regulatory target and one of the highest in the industry. This capital result demonstrates that we are well-positioned to continue meeting our commitments to our policyholders. In addition, DBRS Limited (DBRS Morningstar) upgraded our Financial Strength rating to A (high) with Stable Trends in September.
“While we don’t yet know what future impacts the global pandemic could have on our business, we know we can face the future with confidence,” said Beettam. “I am very proud of all that we have accomplished together, especially throughout this unpredictable year, and I know the Company is very well positioned to meet the challenges ahead and will continue building on those achievements by focusing on organic and profitable growth across all lines of business, with a continued emphasis on meeting the needs of our policyholders and distribution partners.”
2020 Financial Highlights
- Net income of $153 million, for a return on policyholders' equity of 16%
- Capital strength, as measured by the LICAT ratio, ended the year at 166%
- Participating policyholders' equity surpassed $1 billion
- Premiums and deposits increased by 6.8% to $1.7 billion
- Sales of $149 million in Individual Insurance, $401 million in Savings and Retirement, and $46 million in Group Benefits
- Assets under administration grew 17.6% to $6 billion
- Benefits and payments to policyholders of $820 million
- Dividends to participating policyholders increased by 24% to $61 million