Keeping Up With Insurance Company Mergers

Posted 02 Oct 2014 by Melissa Allan


I often do insurance reviews with clients or, when a loved one dies, sit with families who try to figure out what insurance their loved ones had and what is still in force. It’s often the policies that were taken out decades ago that send us on a goose chase! Over the last few decades the number of mergers of life insurance companies and changes of ownership has been incredible. 50 years ago there were a lot more local insurance companies than today as many of the smaller companies have been bought out by bigger companies over the years.

What frustrates consumers is that a new company often means a new policy number, so when you call and reference your original policy number it’s hard for the customer service representative to bring up the information. In addition, lapsed or cancelled policies are often not entered or transferred in the same manner, making it hard to get any type of history on what happened to the original coverage.

I cannot stress how important it is to keep your address up-to-date on your insurance policies for this reason. If you do receive a notice in the mail that something has changed on your policy, please keep it with your original policy in a safe place with the rest of your important documents. Often loved ones can track a policy if a payment is being taken monthly from a bank account, but many whole life insurance policies are fully paid up or in premium offset after so many years. Some policies don’t get paid out to the beneficiaries as no one is aware the policy exists to put in a claim!

Below is a quick reference of the changes I have been able to locate through internet searches which is accurate to the best of my knowledge. If you cannot find the company you’re looking for, please let me know or call the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association at 416-777-2221 or visit their web-site: http://www.clhia.ca/
• Abbey Life was bought by ITT Hartford Life Insurance Company of Canada, which was later bought by AIG Life Insurance Company of Canada.
• Aetna Life bought Financial Life and Excelsior Life and then Maritime Life bought Aetna Life.
• Aeterna Life was taken over by Desjardins Group.
• Canada Life was bought by Great-West Life in 2003 but still operates as Canada Life.
• Crown Life was bought by Canada Life.
• CNA Life was bought by Canada Life.
• Colonia Life changed its name to Concordia Life and then Empire Life purchased Concordia Life and is currently in the process of integrating all its products and systems.
• Confederation Life's individual life insurance contracts and segregated funds were bought by Maritime Life.
• Commercial Union Life was bought by Manulife Financial
• Counsel Life was bought by Security Life which was then bought by Co-operators Life.
• The Credit Life changed to Union Fidelity Life.
• Financial Life was bought by Aetna Life and then Maritime Life bought Aetna Life.
• Sun Alliance was bought by Royal Life which changed its name to Royal & SunAlliance Life. Gerling Global Life later became part of Royal & SunAlliance Life which was again later purchased by Maritime Life.
• Glacier National Life was bought by The Bank of Nova Scotia.
• Holland Life Insurance Society Ltd. was purchased by Commercial Union Life in 1973. In April 2001, Commercial Union's individual life book of business was assumed by Manulife.
• Imperial Life was taken over by Desjardins Financial Security.
• Laurentian Life was absorbed by The Imperial Life Insurance Company of Canada.
• Laurier Life became a division of Imperial Life which was then taken over by Desjardins Financial Security.
• Liberty Health was bought by Maritime Life in 2003.
• London Life was bought by Great-West Life but still operates as London Life.
• Maritime Life was bought by Manulife Financial in 2004.
• Money Life was bought by NN Life which then became Transamerica Life.
• Monarch Life was bought by North American Life which in turn was acquired by Manufacturers Life.
• Metropolitan Life of Canada was bought by Mutual Life which has since changed its name to Clarica. Metropolitan Life accumulated some brokerage life insurance sales which Mutual Life didn't want so those clients were sold to Equitable Life. Some older, paid up industrial policies are still retained by the original Metropolitan Life and can be tracked down by using the toll free number 1-877-210-2212.
• Mutual Life changed its name to Clarica.
• Mutual of Omaha was purchased by RBC Life.
• North American Life was bought by Manulife Financial.
• New York Life was absorbed by Canada Life.
• NN Life was bought by Transamerica Life.
• Norwich Union was bought by AIG Life Insurance Company of Canada.
• Paul Revere Life became Provident Life & Accident Insurance Company which later became Unum Provident Canada, which is now RBC Life.
• Prudential Life Insurance Company of England was bought by Mutual Life which has since changed its name to Clarica.
• Royal & SunAlliance was purchased by Maritime Life.
• Seaboard Life was bought by North West Life which in turn was bought by Industrial Life. Industrial Life then changed its name to Industrial Alliance Pacific Life Insurance Company.
• Sovereign Life's individual life insurance book of business was assumed by Standard Life after the Ontario Superintendent of Financial Services took over control of the company in 1992.
• Unum Provident Canada was bought by RBC Life in 2004.
• Westbury Life and Canadian General Life joined and the combined company was renamed Westbury Canadian Life. Westbury Canadian Life was then bought out by the Royal Bank who continued the operation for a while as Westbury Life and then changed the name to RBC Life.
• The Federal Civil Service Mutual Benefit Society was taken over by Sun Life.
• Toronto Mutual Life changed its name to Unity Life.
• Transamerica Life was bought by Aegon but continued under the Transamerica Life name.
• U.N.A. Life was absorbed by Maritime Life.
• Western Life changed its name to Unity Life. Unity Life has since sold the name Western Life which now operates as a separate entity.

This list of mergers, acquisitions, and change of company names is to the best of our knowledge, based on internet research at the time of publication. We take no responsibility for losses due to misinformation in this article.