Goose, Travel Insurance Made Easy, Launches Across Canada Today

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Launching across Canada today, the Goose mobile app provides Canadians with instant access to travel medical insurance. This mobile-first, self-serve solution allows Canadians who travel out of country to purchase travel medical insurance in under 60 seconds through the Goose mobile app (iOS & Android), for as little as four dollars, and available for up to seven days after a vacation has begun. Today’s launch follows the company’s successful raise of a $2.25 million seed round, led by Impression Ventures.

“We know that if travel insurance is more accessible and affordable, Canadians will opt in and avoid thousands of dollars in medical bills during a travel emergency,” says Dejan Mirkovic, Founder & CEO of Goose Insurance Services as well as Co-Founder & Director of Square One Insurance Services. “Square One modernized home insurance solutions for Canadians, and now Goose is poised to do the same for travel insurance. Consumers deserve to have access, transparency and convenience when it comes to their insurance.”

“Insurance is a space that is ripe for digital transformation and we’re thrilled to support the incredible team at Goose as they take off and modernize the insurance industry,” says Maor Amar, Managing Partner Impression Ventures. “We’re excited to start seeing the positive effects that affordable and convenient travel insurance can have on Canadians.”

According to a research study conducted by Goose, approximately 50% of Canadians are travelling uninsured. And those travelling to the United States by car, and for just one day, are most at risk of travelling without insurance protection. Goose is the first in the industry to offer a day pass that starts at $4 per person, making it the most affordable travel insurance policy in Canada.

How it works: Users download the Goose app, select coverage and click to buy. In less than 60 seconds Goose will provide up to $10 million in travel medical insurance. Once insured, users can use Goose in case of emergency. The app includes hospital locators, 911-equivalents and instant agent chat options. Additionally, the app will send a reminder honk when it detects that the user is near an international airport or US border.

For more information about Goose, visit: https://www.gooseinsurance.com, or download the Goose app in the App Store or get it on Google Play.

About Goose

Founded in 2017, Goose Insurance Services helps ensure Canadians cover their tail feathers when they travel.  Founded to address the gap between the antiquated insurance industry and ‘on-demand’ needs of consumers today, Goose is on a mission to protect Canadians. Pioneering access to mobile-first travel and medical insurance, Goose provides Canadians with unprecedented, affordable coverage, in only 60 seconds, via their mobile app.  For as little as $4 per day, Canadians can be insured for up to $10 million with no lengthy application process, hefty price tags or hidden fees. Goose currently serves British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Goose is based in Vancouver, BC. It is licensed and regulated by the Alberta Insurance Council, Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Insurance Council of British Columbia, Insurance Council of Manitoba, and the Insurance Council of Saskatchewan.

About Impression Ventures

Impression Ventures is a leading Canadian independent fintech-focused Venture Capital Firm with offices in Toronto and Montreal. They lead late seed or early Series A financing rounds for start-ups by making a first investment of approximately $1.5M. Post financing, they follow up with extensive and ongoing support. Impression’s team of partners and advisors has significant experience as entrepreneurs, software engineers, product managers and financial services executives. Impression Ventures has provided Seed and Series A capital to portfolio companies including Wealthsimple, Sensibill, Brim Financial, Symend, Goose Insurance, Elefant.ai and Finaeo. For more information visithttps://impression.ventures/

Great West Lifeco reports Q2 earnings boost of 17% on increased sales

WINNIPEG _ Insurance company Great-West Lifeco Inc. reports second-quarter net earnings grew by 17 per cent on increased sales and boosted fees.

The Winnipeg-based company says it earned $831 million, or 84 cents per share, compared with $585 million, or 59 cents per share, in the same period of 2017.

The insurer benefited from $60 million after-tax gain from the restructuring of U.S. financing as a consequence of U.S. tax reform and the refinancing of some debt.

For the first half of the year, Great-West Life’s net earnings were $1.56 billion, or $1.58 per common share, compared to adjusted net earnings of $1.33 billion, or $1.34 per common share for the same period last year.

Great-West Life is one of Canada’s largest insurance and wealth management companies and is part of the Power Corporation group of companies, one of Canada’s largest non-bank financial conglomerates.

In April, it signed a deal to acquire a strategic investment in Invesco Ltd. (Ireland), an employee benefit consulting and private wealth management firm for an undisclosed price.

Hub International Acquires The Insurance Business Of Ontario-Based Cypher Systems Group Inc.

HUB to Establish New Canadian Service Center Operation

CHICAGOAug. 2, 2018 /CNW/ — Hub International Limited (Hub), a leading global insurance brokerage, announced today that it has acquired the Property and Casualty insurance business of Cypher Systems Group Inc. and certain of its affiliates (CSG), an insurance broker servicing large Canadian Group and Affinity programs. The acquisition also establishes a new regional operation for Hub, Hub Customer Central (HCC), to be based in Windsor, Ontario. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“Now more than ever, brokers need to understand where their clients really find value to spur investments in efficiencies and create a strategy to differentiate,” said Tina Osen, President of Hub Canada. “Acquiring this best-in-class operation also brings us into the high-volume marketplace. CSG brings expertise in scaling and running operations for large insurance programs, and the capability for new opportunities to accelerate our growth and improve the services we offer our current and future clients.”

HCC will be led by the CSG Executive Team and report to Osen. The team includes Stephen SavageJohn SavageBrian Schwab and Dave Dyer. This team has pioneered and evolved the insurance contact center including the technology and analytics experience to leverage the ever-evolving digital platform of the internet.

“This transition to Hub creates tremendous potential as our business philosophies align well and Hub brings the financial strength and resources to continue to enhance our platform and infrastructure to support even stronger customer service, growth and success,” said Dyer.

About Hub’s M&A Activities
Hub International Limited is committed to growing organically and through acquisitions to expand its geographic footprint and strengthen industry and product expertise.  For more information on the Hub M&A experience, visit WeAreHub.com.

About Hub International
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Hub International Limited (Hub) is a leading full-service global insurance broker providing property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits, investment and risk management products and services. From offices located throughout North America, Hub’s vast network of specialists provides peace of mind on what matters most by protecting clients through unrelenting advocacy and tailored insurance solutions. For more information, please visit hubinternational.com.

SOURCE Hub International Limited

Sébastien Gabez has been appointed new CEO of APRIL Canada

APRIL has appointed Sébastien GABEZ as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of APRIL Canada Inc. Sébastien GABEZ’s role will be to implement the mission to accelerate the business momentum of APRIL Canada Inc. in the property market by shifting the focus of the society on strong value-added lines, and by incorporating a sustained innovation approach to bring customized solutions to its broker clients and insuring partners.

Sébastien GABEZ has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of APRIL Canada Inc. to replace Nick KIDD (Sébastien GABEZ’s mission will be to accelerate the development of APRIL Canada Inc. in the property and liability lines by shifting the focus of the society on strong value-added lines, through the identification of new levers of growth, especially through the development of new offers and new innovative, customized services to its broker clients and insuring partners, and by enhancing the management of its network of 1,200 broker partners.

Sébastien GABEZ, age 37, started his career as auditor of Ernst & Young in Lyon, France, where he worked for 5 years. He joined APRIL Group in 2009 and was in charge of financial control and risk management of international operations. He joined APRIL Canada Inc. in Montreal, in 2013, as Chief Financial Officer before taking over as Quebec vice-president of the subsidiary in 2017.

“Through his expertise, knowledge of the industry and his career within APRIL Canada Inc. since 2013, Sébastien GABEZ will strengthen our position in the property and liability lines, building upon Nick KIDD’s accomplishments, and above all, commit APRIL Canada Inc. to strong and sustainable development. APRIL’s ambitions are strong in the Canadian market, as demonstrated by the recent integration of Benecaid within the group which confirms our will to develop our presence.” states Marc-André Dupont, CEO of APRIL’s Property Line.

Desjardins invests in Canada with Better Things Community Grants program

AURORA, ON, Aug. 1, 2018 /CNW/ – Desjardins Group today announced the winners of the Better Things Community Grants program. Three large grants of between $20,000 and $50,000 and 17 community grants of $5,000 will go to deserving initiatives in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick.

Earlier this year, Desjardins asked its State Farm® branded agents to nominate local charities or government organizations that work to address safety issues, promote healthy lifestyles, improve financial well-being or support education and youth for grant consideration. A total of 137 nominations were received with 20 chosen as grant recipients.

As part of the ongoing State Farm Canada brand transition to Desjardins Insurance, Desjardins and its exclusive Agents are giving back to their communities, helping people in need and letting clients know that Desjardins Insurance will always be connected, committed and investing in where our customers live, work and play.

“Being involved in communities is part of who we are at Desjardins, and no one understands the needs of our customers better than our local Agents who work and live where their clients do,” says Barbara Bellissimo, Senior Vice President, Desjardins Agent Network. “The Better Things Community Grant program is an opportunity for Desjardins Insurance Agents to connect with the issues that matter in their communities and to provide support to help these groups continue the great work they do every day.”

Grant Recipients

Three grants totaling $105,000 were awarded to the following charities:

  • Pathstone Foundation (St. Catharines, ON) received a grant of $50,000 towards the development of 10,000 square feet of greenspace for mental health disorder patients. The Natural Playground and Healing Garden will be the first of its kind to be created at a children’s mental health agency.
  • Connect Society (Edmonton, AB) received a grant of $35,000 to support their mission to help meet the needs of families affected by hearing loss, allowing them to fully participate and thrive in daily activities. Connect Society will be equipping a preschool in Edmonton with a sensory room to help young children impacted by deafness learn and grow.
  • P.R.O. Kids (Saint John, NB) received a grant of $20,000 towards matching children and teens in financial need with organized, registered recreation activities. Positive Recreation Opportunities for Kids provides youth the ability to become involved in the Sport, Music, Art or Cultural program of their choosing; regardless of financial barriers.

An additional 17 grants totaling $85,000 ($5,000 each) were awarded to the following:

  • Bellwood Public School (Whitby, ON)
  • Brockville and Area Food Bank (Brockville, ON)
  • Chatham-Kent Student Breakfast Programs (Chatham, ON)
  • Distress Centre Calgary (Calgary, AB)
  • Eden Food for Change (Mississauga, ON)
  • Essex County Community Living (Essex, ON)
  • Food4Kids (St. Catharines, ON)
  • Girls Inc. of Durham (Ajax, ON)
  • Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation (Toronto, ON)
  • Hong Fook (Scarborough, ON)
  • Kimberly Jr. Public School (Toronto, ON)
  • Linking Generations (Sherwood, AB)
  • London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (London, ON)
  • Port Perry Hospital Foundation (Port Perry, ON)
  • Sir Edgar Bauer Catholic Elementary School (Waterloo, ON)
  • Sussex Vale Transition House (Sussex, NB)
  • The Carson Foundation (Palgrave, ON)

Quotes

“It’s fantastic that Desjardins recognized Pathstone’s Natural Playground and Healing Garden, which will be the this first of its kind in Canada, as a project they wanted to support. This will be a unique, innovative and transformative initiative for the Niagara community. Research has long supported that for young people dealing with mental health issues, time spent in a natural environment is calming, reduces feelings of stress, fear, anger and aggression and improves functionality, attention, focus and self-esteem.”
Shaun Baylis – CEO Pathstone

“As a non-profit, Connect Society has financial limitations and must make difficult decisions about how to use the government funds we receive. It’s encouraging that corporations like Desjardins have a heightened sense of social responsibility, and are willing to champion the good work of charitable organizations to effect positive change. Not only has Desjardins validated our hard work, but their financial support will provide an environment that promotes learning for the children currently in our program and for future generations.”
Cheryl Redhead – CEO/Executive Director Connect Society

“Working at an inner-city school in Saint John I have seen the challenges that youth are faced with every day. We are extremely happy that Desjardins recognizes PRO Kids as a catalyst of change for youth in our community. It provides children an enriching experience while helping to tackle barriers and allow them to break the cycle of poverty.”
Jen Brown – Vice Chair P.R.O. Kids Advisory Committee

Grant Presentations

Each grant recipient will be hosting a cheque presentation event where executives and representatives of each organization will be on hand to discuss their grant, what program or initiative the money will be supporting, and the impact it will have.  Local media, dignitaries and Desjardins Insurance Agents will also be invited to attend.

Once dates, times and locations are confirmed a detailed media invitation will be sent to local outlets prior to each cheque presentation event.

State Farm Canada is becoming Desjardins Insurance

In 2015, Desjardins Group completed the purchase of State Farm Canadian property and casualty and life insurance operations, as well as its mutual fund, loan and living benefits companies. More than 470 State Farm Agents in Canadaare becoming Desjardins Insurance Agents. They continue to offer the strength of their relationships and serve their clients’ insurance and financial needs. The brand transition will be completed by December 31, 2019. Details here – https://www.statefarm.ca/about-us/newsroom/2017/11/21/state-farm-brand-in-canada

About Desjardins
Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $276.3 billion. It has been rated one of the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world’s strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.

Desjardins Insurance and related trademarks are trademarks of the Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec, used under licence.

State Farm and related trademarks and logos are registered trademarks owned by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, used under licence by Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company and certain of its affiliates.

SOURCE Desjardins Group

 

Watch for warning signs of drowsy driving this long weekend

Driver fatigue related crashes soar in August

July 31, 2018

As temperatures rise during the summer months in our province, so do driver fatigue-related crashes. By August, these incidents peak with one person killed and 88 people injured in 110 crashes for the month despite fatigue being underreported.*

Hot summer weather and long drives can be a dangerous combination that can cause fatigue. Startlingly, over every B.C. Day long weekend, about 600 people are injured and three are killed in 2,200 crashes.**

If you’re hitting the road this long weekend, ICBC is asking you to make sure you’re properly rested, hydrated and taking breaks from driving every two hours to reduce your risk of crashing.

Driving while fatigued is an impairment which can be just as deadly as any other. It slows reaction time, decreases awareness and impairs judgment. Even a slight decrease in your reaction time can greatly increase your risk of crashing especially when travelling at highway speeds.

Warning signs of fatigue and ICBC’s Drive Smart tips:

  • Fatigue can sneak up on you when you’re driving. It’s important to learn the warning signs:
    • You don’t notice a vehicle until it suddenly passes you.
    • You don’t recall driving the last few kilometres.
    • You’re yawning or daydreaming.
    • Your speed creeps up or down.
    • You find yourself wandering into the next lane, shoulder or centre line.
    • Your eyes feel heavy or you have difficulty keeping your head up.
  • Travel in the morning. Drivers are prone to drowsy driving in the late-afternoon and at night when the body’s circadian rhythm dips.*** Avoid driving during the night when you’d normally be asleep.

  • As soon as you become sleepy, the key is to stop driving. Let a passenger drive or pull over when it’s safe, turn off your car and take a nap. The only cure for sleepiness is sleep. Opening a window, blasting the air conditioning or turning on music are not effective ways to keep you awake while driving.
  • Leave enough following distance to give yourself time to react in case another driver on the road is impaired by fatigue. You can also look for warning signs such as a vehicle wandering out of its lane or its speed creeping up and down.

Regional statistics:

B.C. Day long weekend:

  • Over the B.C. Day long weekend, on Vancouver Island, an average of 67 people are injured in 310 crashes every year.
  • Over the B.C. Day long weekend, in the Southern Interior, an average of 97 people are injured in 370 crashes every year.
  • Over the B.C. Day long weekend, in the North Central region, an average of 25 people are injured in 130 crashes every year.
  • Over the B.C. Day long weekend, in the Lower Mainland, an average of 410 people are injured in 1,300 crashes every year.

Driver fatigue:

  • On Vancouver Island, on average, one person is killed and 100 are injured in 140 crashes involving driver fatigue every year. In August, 15 people are injured in 20 crashes.
  • In the Southern Interior, on average, five people are killed and 160 are injured in 210 crashes involving driver fatigue every year. In August, 25 people are injured in 30 crashes.
  • In the North Central region, on average, two people are killed and 92 are injured in 110 crashes involving driver fatigue every year. In August, 14 people are injured in 16 crashes.
  • In the Lower Mainland, on average, one person is killed and 270 are injured in 390 crashes involving driver fatigue every year. In August, 33 people are injured in 42 crashes.
  • In B.C., on average, nine people are killed and 620 injured in 850 crashes involving driver fatigue every year. In August, one person is killed and 88 are injured in 110 crashes.

*Based on five-year averages. Police data 2012 to 2016. Driver fatigue is defined as incidents where one or more of the vehicles had the contributing factors extreme fatigue or fell asleep.

Driver fatigue is underreported as it’s difficult to measure and police don’t attend all crashes.

** Based on five-year averages. Crash and injury data is based on ICBC data (2013 to 2017). Fatal data is based on police data (2012 to 2016). BC Day long weekend is calculated from 18:00 hours the Friday prior to the holiday to midnight Monday.

***Source: Transport Canada.

 

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