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IFRS 4 — Insurance Contracts [Superseded]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 expects to issue this standard to the CPA Canada Handbook in the second half of 2017


  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.