Leighton McCarthy takes over as president after Herbert Coplin Cox retires. McCarthy continues Canada Life’s prudent investment strategy during the Great Depression. The company makes cash surrenders available, provides loans against policies, helps farmers stay on their land and does not lay off any staff. Later, McCarthy serves as Canada’s first ambassador to the United States.
Canada Life introduces its first group policy.
A total of 55 Canada Life employees enlist for overseas duty during the First World War. Four do not return. Under then-president Herbert Coplin Cox, Canada Life avoids adding extra fees to the policies of those entering the armed forces. Also, people without policies serving overseas are still eligible for life insurance, with an extra premium because of the dangerous nature of work. No other company matches Canada Life’s offer.
Edward W. Cox replaces his father George Cox as president of Canada Life, but passes away five months later. Edward is then succeeded by his brother, Herbert Coplin Cox.
After years of doing business in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Canada life officially establishes branches in the region to better serve its customers. Only 35 years after Confederation, a Canadian company had come full circle: instead of British companies insuring Canadians, a Canadian company was operating full branches in Great Britain.
Canada Life’s fourth president, Alexander Gillespie Ramsay, retires. Senator George Cox is elected president of the company. The businessman and top agent in Ontario oversees a period of rapid expansion, including moving the company’s head office from Hamilton to Toronto. Canada Life also expands across Canada by establishing branches in Calgary and Vancouver.
Canada Life publishes the country’s first mortality tables, which reveal that life expectancy in Canada is similar to the U.S., the U.K. and Germany. Previously, it had been assumed Canada’s colder climate shortened lives.
Following The Great Fire of St. John, N.B., in 1877, which destroyed two-fifths of the city, Canada Life president Alexander Gillespie Ramsay oversees the donation of a large sum of money to help with relief efforts.