Insurance Industry is a Leading Economic Driver in Ontario: Conference Board

Ontario's insurers add $4.1 billion to province's GDP

TORONTO, Nov. 9, 2011 /CNW/ - Ontario's home, car and business insurance industry has a positive multi-billion dollar economic impact on Ontario's economy, according to a Conference Board of Canada study released today by Insurance Bureau of Canada.

In addition to the $4.1 billion in direct contributions to Ontario's Gross Domestic Product, (GDP), in 2009 (the latest year for which figures were available), the study credits the property and casualty insurance industry with contributing another $3.4 billion to GDP indirectly, for a total of $7.5 billion.

The study says insurers directly employ 22,000 in urban and rural communities across the province, and create another 41,000 'spin-off' jobs indirectly.

Speaking at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto, Charles Brindamour, Chair of the Board of IBC and Chief Executive Officer of Intact Financial Corporation, noted that the industry also contributes to paying, directly and indirectly, $3.7 billion annually in corporate and personal levies and taxes in Ontario.

"Both economically and socially, insurance has and will continue to play a critical role in the development and growth of the province," he noted.

The findings are part of INSURECONOMY, a report based on a number of sources, including the Conference Board of Canada study, and an economic footprint assessment by Jupia Consultants Inc. Report partners involved in the study include the Toronto Financial Services Alliance, Insurance Bureau of Canada and the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario.

"The insurance industry has a significant economic impact, not just on Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, but on Ontario as a whole," Brindamour added.

From executive level presence and head offices located in Toronto to smaller offices in communities across Ontario, more than 2 out of every 100 people employed in the private sector in Ontario work for the insurance industry.
The report indicates that Ontario's vital mix of people, opportunity, infrastructure and attitude will continue to drive the province's growth in the future.

"Ontario is well-positioned for growth in this exciting sector," says Janet Ecker, President of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance.

The majority of firms consulted for the report are planning to grow their collective employment by 10 per cent over the next three years.
"The report quantifies what industry has long known:  that it has a substantial economic footprint in the province, one with significant growth potential built on well-paying jobs suited to the skills of the province's highly educated workforce," said Ralph Palumbo, Vice President, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Some other key findings include:

  • Over 6,000 business establishments, employing more than 77,000 people.
  • Wage levels that are the highest of all 10 provinces and 32 per cent above the provincial average.
  • Ontario is the head office location for most of Canada's largest insurance companies.
  • Employment and economic activity in the industry is widely distributed across the province. Adjusted for the population size, there are more insurance industry business establishments in the Hamilton to Windsor corridor than in the Toronto area.

This is the first study that examines the insurance industry's impact on the province's economy.  It included interviews with members of the property and casualty insurance industry across Ontario, an online survey of property and casualty insurance firms and insurance brokerages and a review of Conference Board of Canada economic footprint analysis.

To download a copy of the report, please visit www.insureconomy.ca

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 114,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $40 billion.

To view media releases and information, visit the media section of IBC's website at www.ibc.ca.

SOURCE INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA

For further information:

Contact: Jim MacLean, 416-919-4319

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INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA

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