April 30 2020
SSQ Insurance’s financial results for 2019 reflect its excellent financial strength
SSQ Insurance delivered results in 2019 that once again confirm its financial strength, with noteworthy gains in its financial results positioning it favourably in the industry:
- Over $2.5 billion in insurance business volume
- Assets under management and administration over $13 billion
- Equity attributable to shareholders over $1 billion
- $102 million in consolidated net income
- 10% return on equity
"SSQ Insurance has maintained its focus on growth and profitability and has achieved results that we are very proud of. They clearly demonstrate the financial strength of SSQ Insurance, which was also recognized by A.M. Best last September, when the rating agency raised the company's credit ratings. Our financial strength is all the more important to our members, clients, partners and employees in the context of the current pandemic," said Jean-François Chalifoux, Chief Executive Officer of SSQ Insurance.
The company finished the year with net income up by over 7%, topping the $100 million mark and generating a return of 10%. This profitability is in line with the growth level of its insurance volume of 4% and its investment products of over 6%. Its solvency ratio of 153%, an enviable level in the industry, also demonstrates its sound capitalization.
In the area of group insurance, business volume was up 2.5% and sales increased by over 25%, in a highly competitive market. Against that backdrop and despite difficulties experienced industry-wide in the disability insurance sector, the overall results are positive and made a significant contribution to SSQ Insurance’s returns.
Individual insurance volume was up by nearly 7%, with product modernization no doubt contributing to this growth. Individual insurance’s contribution to net income in 2019 was also positive. The unfavourable impact of low interest rates was offset by the performance of the stock market and experience gains.
The growth in general insurance volume was exceptional in 2019, up more than 15%. The price adjustments that occurred throughout the industry as well as at SSQ Insurance did not affect the company’s sales or customer retention, further demonstrating SSQ’s competitiveness. However, the general insurance sector is still subject to the effects of difficult climate conditions and high compensation costs.
Finally, in the investment sector, funds under management grew by over 6%, in line with stock market performance in 2019. Sales, however, were lower than their exceptional level in 2018. As regards the sector’s net income, the adverse impact of lower interest rates was more than offset by stock market performance. As a result, the sector finished the year with an excellent result.
SSQ Insurance’s financial position remains rock solid. It is this financial strength, as well as that of La Capitale Insurance and Financial Services, that the major plans to merge the two complementary companies are based on. Announced in January 2020, this merger of equals will result in creating the largest mutual insurance company in Canada. The combined assets under management of the new company will be over $20 billion and value of the consolidated premiums will be $5 billion.
The SSQ Insurance annual report is available here: ssq.ca/financialinformation
About SSQ Insurance
Founded in 1944, SSQ Insurance is a mutualist company that puts community at the heart of insurance. With $13 billion in assets under management, SSQ Insurance is one of the largest insurers in the Canadian industry. Working for a community of over three million customers, SSQ Insurance employs 2,000 people. Leader in group insurance, the company also sets itself apart through its expertise in individual life and health insurance, general insurance and the investment sector.