Canadian insurance companies are slashing premiums as claims fall, in a bid to help small- and medium-sized businesses grappling with Covid-19.

Canada Life has announced premium reductions of 50% for dental and 20% for vision and extended healthcare benefits, excluding prescription drugs.

At Sun Life Financial Inc., credits against dental and non-drug-related extended health care premiums will be offered in hopes of reducing invoices for Canadian businesses, who are already struggling with low cash flow.

The insurance company will offer a 50% credit per month against paid dental premiums because most routine dental visits have stopped during the pandemic.

For non-drug-related, extended health care premiums it will offer a 20% credit on each of a client’s extended health care benefits.

“Prescription drug usage has not declined during the pandemic,” said Dave Jones, the senior vice-president of group benefits at Sun Life Canada, in a statement.

“Plan members are using an increased volume of virtual care across their paramedical providers, however usage has still reduced.”

April credit in both areas will be applied to June invoices and Sun Life will continue to assess the offerings on a monthly basis.

Meanwhile, Manulife Financial Corp.’s said in an email to The Canadian Press that all group benefit plan sponsors, including small, medium and large-scale businesses, who have a fully insured, non-refund benefits plan will be given premium relief.

Manulife will reduce their dental premiums by 50% and their extended health care premium, including prescription drugs, by 10% in the month of May.

Manulife said coverage for plan members will not change, and the premium reductions will be applied to regular pre-authorized debit draws for May.