Empire Life reports first-quarter loss

By Staff | May 1, 2020 | Last updated on May 1, 2020
1 min read

Empire Life Insurance Company saw a net loss in the first quarter as a result of the pandemic, the firm said in a release on Thursday.

The Kingston, Ont.–based insurer reported a net loss of $32 million in the quarter, compared to net income of $43 million in the first quarter of 2019. This resulted in a loss per share of $32.05 compared with earnings per share of $43.59 a year ago.

The decrease was mainly the result of “significant” strengthening of policy liability reserves to support segregated fund guarantees, in response to volatile market performance, the firm said in the release. The insurer pointed to interest rate declines, widened credit spreads and slipping equity markets as factors.

This was partially offset by “improved asset liability management trading gains” as well as “improved gains from increased yields on in-force assets and liabilities backing the life insurance and annuity lines,” the company said.

Despite Covid-19-related challenges, “we are confident that our strong capitalization, quick response to the crisis and digital capabilities will enable us to continue to support existing customers and obtain new ones during this crisis,” said Mark Sylvia, president and CEO at Empire Life, in the release.

In a separate release, the insurer announced that it will now automatically include a tool called the Mental Health Navigator in its group benefit plans. The service provides access to registered nurses and social workers, and other professionals, for those who seek assessment and treatment for mental illnesses.

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.