New Brunswick city rebuilding its IT system after major cyber attack in November

Saint John, N.B., is rebuilding its computer network rather than submitting to criminals who launched a cyber attack against the city in November.

City manager John Collin updated council Monday on the city’s efforts to rebuild its IT system following a ransomware attack; he said no ransom was paid.

Hackers launch ransomware attacks by infecting computers with software and often demand money in exchange for the attack to end.

Collin said the city’s network was disconnected from the internet as soon as the Nov. 13 attack was discovered, and he said it’s not believed any personal identifying information such as banking details was stolen.

“I’m happy to report we have no indications whatsoever that there was any spread of the ransomware from any city-owned assets or systems to others,” he told council.

Collin wouldn’t say what parts of the network were affected by the attack or provide any information he said could help the “hostile actors.”

“We do not want to give to these criminals any information that could help refine their tactics and techniques, nor do we wish to provide such information to copycats,” he said.

Collin said, however, that the attack penetrated deeply into the city’s IT system, and therefore, he added, rebuilding the network was more cost effective than repairing the damage.

“Instead of repair, we have decided to build an entirely new network,” he told council. “Not only will this afford us the opportunity to take advantage of all the latest innovations in cybersecurity and in network design, it will also remove the risk of any virus remnant that could occur if we took the approach of a repaired system.”

The cost of the network rebuild, Collin said, will be covered by insurance and the city’s IT reserve fund. “We will not need to adjust up any yearly budget or alter our service delivery to our community because of this IT attack,” he said.

The rebuild of the IT system is expected to take a few more months. Collin said the full cost of the attack and the system rebuild is still being evaluated, adding that he’ll report to council when the total amount is known.

Intact Insurance is Offering Solutions for Customers who are Working from Home

Enhanced protections to give customers peace of mind during uncertain times

TORONTODec. 3, 2020, Many trends have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic; people are travelling less, working from home and spending more time online. Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) is offering enhanced protection to give customers working from home increased liability and home coverage, the option to add identity theft coverage and cyber protection, at a discount, as well as free access to mental health and well-being programs for a limited time.

“During a time where so many are working from home, customers are searching for added value and thinking about their well-being,” said Louis Gagnon, President, Canadian Operations, Intact Financial Corporation. “We want customers to have peace of mind and we are focused on supporting their changing needs”.

Intact Insurance’s enhanced protection provides customers with increased liability and home coverage for people working from home. Existing and new customers can also add identity theft coverage and cyber protection to their home policy with my Identity at a discount, and for a limited time, enjoy free access to online mental health and well-being programs through LifeSpeak.

Intact also understands that with more people working from home, driving habits and patterns are changing. Usage-based insurance programs give customers more control over their auto insurance premium. Intact Insurance’s my Drive™ offers customers personalized feedback and tips to help improve their safe driving and the opportunity to earn up to 25% off their auto insurance premium. Customers receive a 10% discount just for signing up.

Customers who want to learn more about these solutions can contact their broker.

While these solutions address immediate and emerging customer needs, Intact is continuing to develop other innovative and responsive measures to longer-term trends.

About Intact Financial Corporation

Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) is the largest provider of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America, with over CAD$11 billion in total annual premiums. The Company has approximately 16,000 employees who serve more than five million personal, business and public sector clients through offices in Canada and the U.S.

In Canada, Intact distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly-owned subsidiary BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect. Frank Cowan Company, a leading MGA, distributes public entity insurance programs including risk and claims management services in Canada.

In the U.S., Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions provides a range of specialty insurance products and services through independent agencies, regional and national brokers, and wholesalers and managing general agencies. Products are underwritten by the insurance company subsidiaries of Intact Insurance Group USA, LLC.

SOURCE Intact Financial Corporation

www.intactfc.com

Sun Life CEO Dean Connor will retire next August, CFO Kevin Strain to replace him

TORONTO _ Sun Life Financial Inc. says its president and chief executive will retire next year.

The Toronto-based insurance company says Dean Connor, 64, will depart Sun Life on Aug. 6.

The company’s current executive vice-president and chief financial officer, Kevin Strain, will take over Connor’s presidential duties on Dec. 15.

He will become chief executive when Connor retires and will continue working as chief financial officer until the company names a replacement in the first half of 2021.

Strain joined Sun Life in 2002 as part of the acquisition of insurance company Clarica. He became CFO in 2017.

Strain launched Sun Life Global Investments Asset Management and expanded the company’s footprint to Vietnam and Malaysia, before climbing the company’s executive ranks.

CNA Canada Launches Epack 3

Westland Insurance Expands Footprint in Manitoba with Acquisition of MIG Insurance

SURREY, British Columbia, Nov. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Westland Insurance Group Ltd. (“Westland”) is pleased to announce the closing of the acquisition of MIG Insurance Group, effective November 6, 2020. This acquisition supports Westland’s expansion strategy to serve more communities in Manitoba and across Canada.

MIG Insurance Group is headquartered in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. Founded in 1995, it has eight branches throughout Manitoba. Their professional advisors provide residential, auto, life, travel, recreation, farm, and commercial insurance services. With this acquisition, Westland will be adding over 50 employees in Manitoba.

“We’re excited to be expanding our footprint in Manitoba with such a prominent and well-respected broker, and we are fortunate to be partnering with MIG’s owners, the Gilbert family, in a province that’s very important to Westland,” said Jamie Lyons, President & COO of Westland Insurance. “MIG is an innovative, digitally advanced brokerage focussed on providing product solutions that exceed customer expectations. We look forward to serving our customers in Manitoba, and would like to welcome the whole MIG team to the Westland family.”

“This is a great fit for MIG and we are thrilled to be joining Westland Insurance,” said Brian Gilbert, President & CEO of MIG Insurance Group Ltd. “Our values align and both companies share a deep commitment to our communities, and I know that our customers and employees will greatly benefit from this partnership.”

About Westland Insurance Group

Westland Insurance Group is one of the largest and fastest-growing independent property and casualty insurance brokers in Canada. With a national network of 150 locations and over 1,600 employees, the company continues to expand coast to coast. Westland’s brokers provide expert advice to home, business, farm, life, and auto insurance clients. Since its founding in 1980, Westland has remained a family-owned company that is committed to supporting its local communities. For more information, please visit www.westlandinsurance.ca

www.westlandinsurance.ca

More than ever before, Canadians are facing financial risk

As Canada deals with a global pandemic and rising household debt, Goose Insurance warns that most Canadians can’t afford further financial setbacks caused by a life-threatening illness.

VANCOUVER, BCNov. 9, 2020 /CNW/ – Goose Insurance, a new player in the life and health insurance market warns Canadians could be out-of-pocket tens of thousands of dollars while undergoing treatment for any life-threatening illness.

Goose Insurance recently conducted a survey of over 1000 Canadians, yielding some eye-opening results. The company found that less than 5% of respondents have critical illness insurance or cancer insurance and majority of the people wrongly believe that Canada’s health care system covers all costs associated with cancer treatment or any other life-threatening illness. Overwhelmingly, women are under insured in Canada, with over 70% of the women that responded to the survey have never purchased life or critical illness insurance.

According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, nearly half of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. In fact, the CMAJ estimates that 225,000 people will be diagnosed with, and 83,000 people will die from, cancer in 2020 alone.

While Canada’s health care system covers many costs associated with life-threatening medical treatments, many patients still face out-of-pocket expenses while undergoing treatment, including some drugs not covered, childcare, rent or mortgage, and other household bills and responsibilities.  This comes at a time when Canadians are dealing with COVID-19, a global pandemic; whilst battling an all-time high household debt ratio of 176.9% according to Statistics Canada.

So why aren’t Canadians buying life and health insurance? Of those surveyed by Goose, the two most common reasons were accessibility and affordability. Specifically amongst young Canadians aged 25 to 35, over 50% didn’t know where to buy it from and over 70% found it too complicated.

“Goose is tackling the accessibility and affordability of insurance, and addressing the underserved market,” says Dejan Mirkovic, President of Goose Insurance. “We’re offering reasonable coverage limits at affordable prices, and the ability to buy policies in minutes without medical exams or the need to speak to an agent; all on the Goose app.”

Goose Insurance together with Industrial Alliance Financial Group, one of Canada’s largest Insurers, has made insurance accessible and affordable for anyone under 69 with a smartphone. On the Goose mobile app, Canadians simply become eligible by answering a few medical questions and can get up to $50,000 of Life Insurance for as low as $5 a month. Monthly premiums are based on age, gender, and smoking status.

“For decades, Special Markets Solutions (a division of iA Financial Group) has promoted voluntary insurance programs using traditional methods. While these offerings provided valuable coverage, these methods were outdated and time consuming. We are very excited to be partnering with Goose Insurance in offering voluntary products on a revolutionary digital platform.  This will allow the user to have an easy to understand, seamless and instant application experience . The future is now,” said Ed Bender, National VP, Special Markets Solutions at iA Financial Group.

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Established in 2018 and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Goose Insurance Services takes the confusing parts out of buying insurance and makes it easier than ever to get the right coverage. And it all happens in seconds, from a single app. Goose currently serves British ColumbiaAlbertaSaskatchewanManitobaOntario, Québec, and Nova Scotia in Canada as well as WashingtonOregonIllinoisGeorgiaNew Jersey, and Texas in the US. For more information about Goose, or to download the app, visit www.gooseinsurance.com

SOURCE Goose Insurance Services Inc.

https://www.gooseinsurance.com/en/

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