Canadian Life and Health Insurance Industry turns in strong performance in

TORONTO, Dec. 16 /CNW/ - The life and health insurance industry ably weathered the impact of the economic downturn having turned in a strong performance in 2008, according to its annual industry report released today. "The positive results released today demonstrate that our industry continues to offer products and services that are important to Canadians, and that the industry is well positioned for further growth as the economy rebounds" said Frank Swedlove, President of the CLHIA.

    The industry's key statistics for 2008 show that:
    -   Total industry premiums for all lines of business rose 3.8 per cent
        to $76.3 billion.
    -   Annuity premiums rose to $34.7 billion (up 1.2 per cent over the
        record high set in 2007) driven by continued high contributions to
        segregated fund products and increased deposits to fixed-return
        general fund products.
    -   Premiums for supplementary health and disability insurance products
        rose 7.4 per cent to almost $26.7 billion and life insurance
        increased 3.7 per cent to $14.9 billion.
    -   Despite the economic turmoil, industry assets declined by a moderate
        4.8 per cent to $411 billion.

The Canadian life and health insurance industry provides a wide range of financial security products, including life insurance, annuities (including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions) and supplementary health insurance, to about 26 million Canadians and their dependants. Established in 1894, the CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member companies account for 99 per cent of Canada's life and health insurance business.

SOURCE Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.

For further information: For further information: Media enquiries and for a copy of the industry's annual Canadian Life and Health Insurance Facts, contact: Wendy Hope, Vice President, External Relations, (416) 777-2221 or (613) 230-0031

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