How will Canada’s federal dental plan impact life and health insurance?

How will Canada's federal dental plan impact life and health insurance?

How will Canada’s federal dental plan impact life and health insurance? | Insurance Business Canada

Life & Health

How will Canada’s federal dental plan impact life and health insurance?

CEO says insurers will be called on to adapt

Life & Health

Gia Snape

Canada’s federal dental insurance plan presents an opportunity for life and health insurers to adapt their offerings to plug coverage gaps, a life insurance CEO has told Insurance Business.

The federal government is gradually phasing in enrolment for the plan, set to be Canada’s largest social program, throughout 2024.

Private health insurers must understand what coverage specific segments of the population have through the federal programme as it gains traction, then bring relevant and innovative products to the market.

“Being an agile insurer, we will be able to quickly adapt our product suite to fill in the gaps,” said Nigel Branker (pictured), CEO of Securian Canada. “It’s about helping people get the coverage they need as more and more is offered to the federal programme over time.

“We’re happy to quickly evolve our programme to supplement it.”

Bringing innovative life insurance products to Canadians

Securian Canada is the rebrand of Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company and Canadian Premier General Insurance Company following the acquisition of Sun Life’s sponsored markets business last year.

The move consolidates Canadian Premier and Valeyo, a sister company of Canadian Premier, under one brand. It also aligns Securian Canada with its American parent, Securian Financial Group.

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Securian Financial Group is the seventh-largest life insurance company in the US, with $1.5 trillion in life insurance premiums and 22 million customers across North America, according to Branker.

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“We’re excited about the roadmap of focusing on key verticals to bring innovative insurance solutions to Canadians to help them and their families get the financial security and peace of mind they need,” said Branker.

‘Barriers’ remain in life and health insurance

The partnership brings new products and a digital-first customer experience to millions of Canadians. CAA will be able to access the insurance offerings at preferred prices through a user-friendly platform.

Branker said the collaboration with CAA is about lowering barriers for Canadians to get life and health insurance.

“When we look at the Canadian market, we just think there are so many barriers to getting the kind of coverage and insurance you need,” he said.

“Many people want to buy health insurance or life insurance, but it takes them months, or they have to take time off work to do blood work.

“So, we put our minds together and came up with this fantastic set of products that are delivered 100% digitally, so that instead of taking weeks to get a policy, you can be fully underwritten in 20 minutes.”

What’s next for Securian Canada?

With its partnership with CAA, Securian Canada is off to a strong start in 2024, according to Branker.

The insurer’s leadership wants to continue to expand with membership-based groups, with more and more segments of the Canadian population not covered under traditional employment coverage.

“We’re very focused on membership-based groups and tapping into individuals who need coverage for them and their families, but can’t get it from the traditional sources,” Branker said. “We’ll continue to expand our footprint in some of these underserved markets in the affinity and association-based spaces.”

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Securian Canada is not just aiming to tap underserved communities, but also simplifying the life and health insurance process through digitization.

“I do think there’s a lot of friction in the buying journey,” Branker said. “We’re one of the leaders in Canada continuing to look for ways to remove that friction, whether it’s on the underwriting side, the claim side or the payment side.”

Finally, Securian Canada is seeking partnerships with financial institutions on niche products like creditor insurance.

“As people’s debt loads are rising in Canada, how do we come up with innovative products to help provide that peace of mind and financial security to Canadians and their families?” Branker said.

Do you have something to say about the federal dental insurance plan’s impact on the life and health insurance industry? Please share your comments below.

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