The Confederation Life Insurance Company was a Canadian financial services provider and insurance company that ceased doing business several years ago. At the peak of its success, Confederation Life sold insurance in Canada, Bermuda, the United Kingdom and the United States. Its international headquarters were located in Toronto.
Confederation Life was founded in 1871, and it was forced into liquidation over 100 years later in 1994. The liquidation process officially began on August 11, 1994. Since Confederation Life was such a large company, the liquidation process was complicated and took a long time; as of 2010, the liquidation process was still ongoing. For example, Confederation Life had financial obligations to over 260,000 individual Canadian policyholders and an additional 1.5 million people who had purchased group life insurance policies.
When a life insurance company is forced into liquidation, policyholders rightfully worry that their assets have disappeared along with the company. However, thankfully, Canada has a non-profit organization known as Assuris that is designed to protect life insurance policyholders. If a life insurance company can no longer fulfill its financial obligations to policyholders, Assuris steps in and helps transfer insurance policies to another insurance company. All life insurance companies in Canada are required to become a member of Assuris. Only three life insurance companies have ever gone insolvent in Canada; Confederation Life was the most recent.
When Confederation Life became insolvent, Assuris was able to guarantee the assets of all the policyholders, and it only cost $5 million in compensation to accomplish this. Usually, Assuris can only guarantee 85% of monthly income, health expenses, death benefits and cash values. However, if you have policies that provide under $2,000 in monthly income, under $60,000 in health expenses, under $200,000 in death benefits and under $60,000 in cash values, Assuris will guarantee the full amounts.
Confederation Life’s insurance policies were taken on by other companies. For example, if you hold a Canadian group life and health insurance policy, your policy was transferred to the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. Canadian individual life and health insurance policies were transferred to the Maritime Life Assurance Company, and Canadian immediate annuities were transferred to the Canada Life Assurance Company. The Empire Life Insurance Company took over Confederation Life’s Canadian individual deferred annuities, life income funds and registered retirement income funds.