May 5


Canada’s Top 2016 Employee Benefits Companies

It’s that time again – the latest figures on employee benefits coverage in Canada have been released.

Every April, Benefits Canada releases data on the top employee benefits providers in Canada. Some years, there are interesting stories behind dramatic changes in the year-to-year figures. For example, in the 2016 results, Manulife saw a significant increase in their total employee benefits business, because in 2015 they finalized the acquisition of Standard Life. In other year(s), you’ll see companies lose business (like The Cooperators experienced between 2007-2013, when their benefits business dropped from $349m to $249m – since then, they have rebounded to nearly $300m).

With that said, here are this year’s figures:


A few observations:

  • RBC is up 12.8% due to a number of factors, but mainly due to their partnership with Greenshield. RBC only provides life and disability coverage. In order to provide complete benefits plans that most small business owners want, RBC needed to provide health & dental coverage as well. That’s where Greenshield comes in, as they only provide health & dental.
  • Blue Cross is made up of a number of regional companies. For this year, the company’s provincial health figures have been added to the regional companies’ figures.

There are other insurance companies in Canada who offer benefits coverage (e.g. GMS, Assumption, and Cigna, to name a few), but they have a smaller book of business and don’t appear on this list.


About the author 

Chris Gory

Chris Gory is the founder of Orchard Benefits (formerly Insurance Portfolio Financial Services Inc.), a brokerage launched in 1999 that helps companies build the best benefits programs for their employees. Chris is passionate about helping entrepreneurs, and works with over 80 startup companies. He is an advisor at the Ryerson DMZ and he's led talks about employee benefits and insurance at several startup accelerators including Extreme Startups, OneEleven, and Ryerson's Startup School. Chris has also been featured in the Toronto Star and The Globe & Mail, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Applied Client Network, an international association of independent insurance professionals, from 2012-2018.


Assumption Life, Blue Cross, Canadian employee benefits, Desjardins, Empire Life, Employee Benefits, Equitable Life, Great West Life, Greenshield, Industrial Alliance, La Capitale, Manulife, Medavie, RBC, SSQ, Sun Life, The Co-operators

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