The federal and provincial governments share jurisdiction over life and health insurers. Federal supervision encompasses insurers incorporated or continued under the Insurance Companies Act as well as foreign insurers who have been granted an order to insure risk in Canada. In general, OSFI conducts prudential reviews of the federally regulated insurers to determine their financial soundness, while the provinces regulate the licensing of insurers operating within their jurisdictions as well as the marketing of insurance products. The industry-funded compensation organization known as Assuris protects Canadian policyholders in the event that their life insurance company should fail by minimizing the loss of benefits and ensuring a quick transfer of their policies to a solvent company, where their benefits will continue to be honoured.
A fraternal benefit society is an institution that has a representative form of government and is operated for fraternal, benevolent or religious purposes, including the insurance of members, or the spouses/common-law partners or children of members, against accident, sickness, disability or death.