This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our cookie notice ( for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.
The full functionality of our site is not supported on your browser version, or you may have 'compatibility mode' selected. Please turn off compatibility mode, upgrade your browser to at least Internet Explorer 9, or try using another browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

IFRS 4 — Insurance Contracts [Superseded]

Effective date:

First effective as Canadian GAAP under Part I for interim and annual financial statements relating to fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2011. Earlier application of Part I was permitted.

Published by the IASB:

March 2004

Included in Part I of CPA Canada Handbook:

January 2010


IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts applies, with limited exceptions, to all insurance contracts (including reinsurance contracts) that an entity issues and to reinsurance contracts that it holds. In light of the IASB's comprehensive project on insurance contracts, the standard provides a temporary exemption from the requirements of some other IFRSs, including the requirement to consider IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors when selecting accounting policies for insurance contracts.

History of IFRS 4

The following table shows the history of this standard subsequent to the adoption of IFRS in Canada. 




Included in Part I of the CPA Canada Handbook2

January 2010

Part I of the CPA Canada Handbook issued

Effective for interim and annual financial statements relating to fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2011. Earlier application is permitted.

January 2010

September 2016

Amendments to IFRS 4: Applying IFRS 9, Financial Instruments with IFRS 4, Insurance Contracts published

The amendments are intended to address concerns about the different effective dates of IFRS 9 and the forthcoming new insurance contracts standard (expected as IFRS 17).

With respect to the effective dates:

An entity would apply the overlay approach retrospectively to qualifying financial assets when it first applies IFRS 9.

An entity would apply the deferral approach for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2018. The deferral can only be used for the three years following January 1, 2018.

 January 2017

May 2017

IFRS 17, Insurance Contracts, issued

Replaces IFRS 4, ef­fec­tive for an­nual re­port­ing pe­ri­ods beginning on or after January 1, 2021. Earlier application is permitted if both IFRS 15, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, and IFRS 9, Financial Instruments, have also been applied.

The AcSB issued IFRS 17 to the CPA Canada Hand­book in March 2018

November 2018

Effective date of IFRS 17, Insurance Contracts deferred

The IASB also tentatively decided to defer the fixed expiry date for the temporary exemption to IFRS 9 in IFRS 4 by one year so that all insurance entities must apply IFRS 9 for annual periods on or after January 1, 2022.

Superceded by the project to amend IFRS 17 below which was completed in June 2020 and which defers the effective date of IFRS 17 by two years.

June 2020

Amendments to IFRS 17 to address concerns and implementation challenges that were identified after IFRS 17 was issued

The amendments to IFRS 17 are effective for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2023 with earlier application permitted. In this connection, the IASB also published 'Extension of the Temporary Exemption from Applying IFRS 9 (Amendments to IFRS 4)' to defer the fixed expiry date of the amendment also to annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2023.

November 2020

August 27, 2020


Amended by Interest Rate Benchmark Reform — Phase 2 (Amendments to IFRS 9, IAS 39, IFRS 7, IFRS 4 and IFRS 16).

The amendments provide temporary exceptions from applying specific hedge accounting requirements in IFRS 9 and IAS 39 to all hedging relationships directly affected by interest rate benchmark reform. In addition, the amendments to IFRS 7 provide specific disclosure requirements regarding uncertainty arising from interest rate benchmark reform. The amendments are effective for annual periods beginning on or after January 1, 2020. Earlier application is permitted.

October 2020


  1. For further details of relevant developments prior to this, please refer to our Deloitte Global section
  2. Newly issued, amended or revised IFRSs are part of Canadian GAAP only after they are approved by the Accounting Standards Board in accordance with its due process.

The above summary does not include details of consequential amendments made as the result of other projects.

Related Interpretations

  • None

Related IFRIC Rejection Notices

The rejection notices are available in our Deloitte Global section.

  • IFRS 4 — Scope issue for REITs (January 2010)

  • IFRS 4 — Discretionary participation features in insurance contracts or financial liabilities (November 2005)

Amendments under consideration

  • None

Correction list for hyphenation

These words serve as exceptions. Once entered, they are only hyphenated at the specified hyphenation points. Each word should be on a separate line.