Equitable Life, one of Canada’s largest mutual life insurance companies, had another outstanding year in 2018, with strong growth across all lines of business. The Company finished the year with one of the highest capital ratios in the industry as measured by the Life Insurance Capital Adequacy Test (LICAT).
The Company reported premiums and deposits of $1.4 billion in 2018, contributing to $4.3 billion of assets under administration. Growth was bolstered by strong sales. The Savings and Retirement business set a new record of $380 million, an increase of 22% over last year. The Individual Life and Health insurance business experienced another outstanding year with sales of $119 million, an increase of 19% over 2017. The Group Benefits business delivered $52.8 million in sales, an 18% increase over the prior year.
The Company realized earnings of $86.8 million in 2018, resulting in a return on policyholders’ equity of 11.9%, despite the downturn in the equity markets experienced in the fourth quarter. This strong earnings result is the second highest in the Company’s history supported by a record earnings result in the Group Benefits line of business. Overall good claims experience and expense management contributed to the result. The Company’s investment portfolios continued to perform well with no credit losses.
“Once again, our accomplishments were significant in 2018, and we are in an extremely strong financial position overall as a company,” said Ron Beettam, Equitable Life’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’ve continued to build on the momentum we have achieved over the last five years and saw solid growth across all lines of business as a result. During a year when growth was fairly flat across the industry, we performed extremely well. We are very pleased with our results.”
“A large part of our success in 2018 comes back to our extremely strong execution across all areas of the Company. At the beginning of the year, we set clear goals and our people worked together to achieve them,” added Mr. Beettam. “The year ahead will be more of the same for Equitable Life as we continue to expand our distribution channels, enhance products and services and invest in technology that improves service and lowers our unit costs.”
2018 Financial Highlights
- Net income of $86.8 million, for a return on policyholders' equity of 11.9%
- Capital strength, as measured by the LICAT ratio, ended the year at 147%
- Participating policyholders' equity increased to $773 million
- Premiums and deposits increased by 16% to $1.4 billion
- Record sales in Individual of $119 million and Savings and Retirement of $380 million
- Assets under administration grew 4% to $4.3 billion
- Benefits and payments to policyholders of $740 million
- Dividends to participating policyholders increased by 35% to $36.7 million