IFRS 17 Objective Scope Insurance Components


1 IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts establishes principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of insurance contracts within the scope of the Standard. The objective of IFRS 17 is to ensure that an entity provides relevant information that faithfully represents those contracts. This information gives a basis for users of financial statements to assess the effect that insurance contracts have on the entity’s financial position, financial performance and cash flows.

2 An entity shall consider its substantive rights and obligations, whether they arise from a contract, law or regulation, when applying IFRS 17. A contract is an agreement between two or more parties that creates enforceable rights and obligations. Enforceability of the rights and obligations in a contract is a matter of law. Contracts can be written, oral or implied by an entity’s customary business practices. Contractual terms include all terms in a contract, explicit or implied, but an entity shall disregard terms that have no commercial substance (ie no discernible effect on the economics of the contract). Implied terms in a contract include those imposed by law or regulation. The practices and processes for establishing contracts with customers vary across legal jurisdictions, industries and entities. In addition, they may vary within an entity (for example, they may depend on the class of customer or the nature of the promised goods or services).


3 An entity shall apply IFRS 17 to:

  1. insurance contracts, including reinsurance contracts, it issues;
  2. reinsurance contracts it holds; and
  3. investment contracts with discretionary participation features it issues, provided the entity also issues insurance contracts.

4 All references in IFRS 17 to insurance contracts also apply to:

  1. reinsurance contracts held, except:
    1. for references to insurance contracts issued; and
    2. as described in paragraphs 60–70.
  2. investment contracts with discretionary participation features as set out in paragraph 3(c), except for the reference to insurance contracts in paragraph 3(c) and as described in paragraph 71.

5 All references in IFRS 17 to insurance contracts issued also apply to insurance contracts acquired by the entity in a transfer of insurance contracts or a business combination other than reinsurance contracts held.

6 Appendix A defines an insurance contract and paragraphs B2–B30 of Appendix B provide guidance on the definition of an insurance contract.

7 An entity shall not apply IFRS 17 to:

  1. warranties provided by a manufacturer, dealer or retailer in connection with the sale of its goods or services to a customer (see IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers).
  2. employers’ assets and liabilities from employee benefit plans (see IAS 19 Employee Benefits and IFRS 2 Share-based Payment) and retirement benefit obligations reported by defined benefit retirement plans (see IAS 26 Accounting and Reporting by Retirement Benefit Plans).
  3. contractual rights or contractual obligations contingent on the future use of, or the right to use, a non-financial item (for example, some licence fees, royalties, variable and other contingent lease payments and similar items: see IFRS 15, IAS 38 Intangible Assets and IFRS 16 Leases).
  4. residual value guarantees provided by a manufacturer, dealer or retailer and a lessee’s residual value guarantees when they are embedded in a lease (see IFRS 15 and IFRS 16).
  5. financial guarantee contracts, unless the issuer has previously asserted explicitly that it regards such contracts as insurance contracts and has used accounting applicable to insurance contracts. The issuer shall choose to apply either IFRS 17 or IAS 32 Financial Instruments: Presentation, IFRS 7 Financial Instruments: Disclosures and IFRS 9 Financial Instruments to such financial guarantee contracts. The issuer may make that choice contract by contract, but the choice for each contract is irrevocable.
  6. contingent consideration payable or receivable in a business combination (see IFRS 3 Business Combinations).
  7. insurance contracts in which the entity is the policyholder, unless those contracts are reinsurance contracts held (see paragraph 3(b)).

8 Some contracts meet the definition of an insurance contract but have as their primary purpose the provision of services for a fixed fee. An entity may choose to apply IFRS 15 instead of IFRS 17 to such contracts that it issues if, and only if, specified conditions are met. The entity may make that choice contract by contract, but the choice for each contract is irrevocable. The conditions are:

  1. the entity does not reflect an assessment of the risk associated with an individual customer in setting the price of the contract with that customer;
  2. the contract compensates the customer by providing services, rather than by making cash payments to the customer; and
  3. the insurance risk transferred by the contract arises primarily from the customer’s use of services rather than from uncertainty over the cost of those services.

Combination of insurance contracts

9 A set or series of insurance contracts with the same or a related counterparty may achieve, or be designed to achieve, an overall commercial effect. In order to report the substance of such contracts, it may be necessary to treat the set or series of contracts as a whole. For example, if the rights or obligations in one contract do nothing other than entirely negate the rights or obligations in another contract entered into at the same time with the same counterparty, the combined effect is that no rights or obligations exist.

Separating components from an insurance contract (paragraphs B31–B35)

10 An insurance contract may contain one or more components that would be within the scope of another Standard if they were separate contracts. For example, an insurance contract may include an investment component or a service component (or both). An entity shall apply paragraphs 11–13 to identify and account for the components of the contract.

11 An entity shall:

  1. apply IFRS 9 to determine whether there is an embedded derivative to be separated and, if there is, how to account for that derivative.
  2. separate from a host insurance contract an investment component if, and only if, that investment component is distinct (see paragraphs B31–B32). The entity shall apply IFRS 9 to account for the separated investment component.

12 After applying paragraph 11 to separate any cash flows related to embedded derivatives and distinct investment components, an entity shall separate from the host insurance contract any promise to transfer distinct goods or non-insurance services to a policyholder, applying paragraph 7 of IFRS 15. The entity shall account for such promises applying IFRS 15. In applying paragraph 7 of IFRS 15 to separate the promise, the entity shall apply paragraphs B33–B35 of IFRS 17 and, on initial recognition, shall:

  1. apply IFRS 15 to attribute the cash inflows between the insurance component and any promises to provide distinct goods or non-insurance services; and
  2. attribute the cash outflows between the insurance component and any promised goods or non-insurance services accounted for applying IFRS 15 so that:
    1. cash outflows that relate directly to each component are attributed to that component; and
    2. any remaining cash outflows are attributed on a systematic and rational basis, reflecting the cash outflows the entity would expect to arise if that component were a separate contract.

13 After applying paragraphs 11–12, an entity shall apply IFRS 17 to all remaining components of the host insurance contract. Hereafter, all references in IFRS 17 to embedded derivatives refer to derivatives that have not been separated from the host insurance contract and all references to investment components refer to investment components that have not been separated from the host insurance contract (except those references in paragraphs B31–B32).