“Whenever there is a contingency, the cheapest way of providing against it is by uniting with others, so that each man may subject himself to a small deprivation, in order that no man may be subjected to a great loss.”
This comment, made by the Select Committee of the House of Commons in London in 1825, is equally valid today. The first known life insurance policy was issued in 1583, followed some two centuries later by the first group insurance program, then referred to as a “tontine”, which was set up to provide annuities for widows and orphans of the participants.
Canada’s first group insurance policy was issued in 1919, and since then the growth has been spectacular. Today the majority of Canadians are covered by group insurance programs. While most people are covered through group plans provided by employers, union and professional associations, many also supplement government and group protection with individual plans.
The demands and requirements of the workforce are ever changing. The insurance marketplace is also changing and new products are being introduced to more closely meet the needs of today’s employers and employees.