Esurance launches in Ontario with smart technology and financial savings

Esurance is expanding its online auto and home insurance to Ontario. Esurance uses advanced technology to offer an easy online experience and intuitive tools that help take the hassle out of insurance – something that’s sure to appeal to digitally-minded Ontarians.

 

Esurance is here to help Ontarians understand their insurance options so they get the best value for their money. As Ontario residents continue to experience some of the highest home ownership and auto insurance costs in the country, a recent survey conducted by Leger found that almost half (45%) of Ontarians do not believe that their current insurance company wants to save them money and eight in ten (79%) would consider switching providers for one designed to save them money.

“We are absolutely thrilled to enter the Ontario market, because we know Ontarians are looking for an insurance company that will provide better value and an easy, effortless experience. Not only do we offer value in terms of dollars, we also help our customers save time by leveraging technology whenever we can,” said Saskia Matheson, General Manager, Esurance Canada.

Insurance can be complicated. That’s why Esurance simplifies the process starting with the initial quote, explaining in plain English how rates are calculated. This helps customers become well-informed and empowered to make smart decisions about their coverage. And the claims process is just as easy. Esurance responds fast using smart technology to help customers get back to normal as quickly and painlessly as possible.

“Our customers love that they have access to our services and their policy from anywhere, at their convenience.  What’s more, through our intuitive online tools, consumers can see exactly what coverage is right for them and where they’re saving money, bringing a new level of transparency to the insurance process,” said Matheson.

Better value at an affordable price

The survey also found that almost one in four Ontarians (38%)  believe their insurance provider doesn’t give them better value, and more than half (52%) would consider switching to one that offers value-add tools. Online policy management and easy billing are at the core of Esurance’s value-add approach.

Esurance is changing insurance for the better, leveraging technology to reduce some of the costs that encumber traditional insurance companies, so customers receive quality coverage at an affordable rate, with more ways to save. For instance, the Esurance DIY Home Inspection app is the industry’s first home inspection app tool that enables customers to self-inspect their homes for additional policy discounts.

In fact, there are more than 10 ways for Ontarians to easily reduce their home insurance costs with Esurance. For example, customers can bundle their home and auto insurance for additional savings, and new customers can take advantage of the “Welcome Home” discount when they switch to Esurance.

Drivers in Ontario can also benefit, with special rate savings for safe experienced drivers, including a good driver household discount.  At Esurance, the way drivers manage both their auto policy and their behaviour behind the wheel can qualify them for cash-saving discounts. And to help Ontarians make smart decisions about auto insurance, Esurance created Coverage Counsellor, a proprietary online tool that provides a customized car insurance estimate in minutes.

Though Esurance is one of the first companies to offer online auto and home insurance in Canada, knowledgeable experts are also available to review coverage options over the phone. As a member of the Allstate family, Esurance has the financial strength and reliability of one of the most trusted names in insurance.

Survey highlights and methodology

A survey of 1,000 Ontarians was completed online from July 10 – 13, 2017 using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. Key findings include:

  • Three quarters of Ontarians (76%) carry car insurance and more than half (54%) carry homeowner insurance
  • More than half (52%) of Ontarians noted that if there was an insurance company that provided value-add tools such as online policy management and easy billing, they would consider switching from their current provider and eight in ten (79%) felt the same way about a company designed to save them money
  • Almost half (47%) of Ontarians didn’t agree that their insurance company wanted to save them money
  • One in four (38%) people didn’t feel that their insurance company wanted to give them better value
  • Almost a quarter (22%) of Ontarians do not trust their insurance company to look out for their best interest

Esurance is an Allstate company, with homeowner and auto insurance available across the US, Alberta and Ontario. For more information, visit www.esurance.ca.

About Esurance®
Esurance provides homeowners and auto insurance direct to Canadian consumers in Ontario and Alberta and offers multiple insurance products in the U.S. including auto, homeowners, motorcycle, and renters. Esurance was a pioneer in offering insurance online in the U.S. in 1999. With an award-winning website and innovative tools, Esurance is the smart choice for tech-savvy consumers in Canada and the U.S. As a member of the Allstate family, Esurance is a reliable choice for insurance, offering anytime, anywhere service just a click, call, or tap away. For more information, visit www.esurance.ca or call 1-888-ESURANCE (1-888-378-7262).

SOURCE Esurance

Manulife Becomes First CDN Insurer Offering All Group Claims Submissions Through Online, Mobile

Manulife today announced an enhanced plan member experience designed for greater convenience. Users can now submit any Group Benefits claims, including disability claims, using the channel most convenient for them through Manulife’s new Group Benefits homepage and mobile app.

“The newly designed plan member homepage brings the most important information to the forefront, where plan members can easily and efficiently transact with Manulife in the way they want to,” said Donna Carbell, Senior Vice President, Group Benefits at Manulife. “The Manulife Mobile app and new homepage are important steps in the digital evolution of the customer experience that make the process easier and save members time so they can focus on the things that are important to them.”

Manulife Mobile uses fingerprint recognition and is available now for iPhone and Android devices. It allows users to:

  • Submit any type of Group Benefits claims
  • Review recent claims and payment information
  • Sign-in with fingerprint access or with their username and password
  • See their benefit balances and access their benefits card
  • Find health care providers in their area
  • Search My drug plan to find the lowest cost alternative drugs; and
  • Find places to get their prescriptions for less with Pharmacy savings search

The Manulife Mobile app is also available to Group Retirement Solutions (GRS) plan members who can:

  • Check account balances and investment mix
  • Review their transactions
  • View all contributions made to their plan
  • See their rates of return
  • Use calculators and learning tools to help them plan and increase their financial knowledge

“Manulife set out to develop a digital experience that not only makes people’s lives easier, but also delivers value for plan sponsors,” added Carbell. “This new solution will help maintain a productive workforce and keep their employees happy. It’s one more way Manulife is committed to putting customers first.”

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people achieve their dreams and aspirations by putting customers’ needs first and providing the right advice and solutions. We operate as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2016, we had approximately 35,000 employees, 70,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving more than 22 million customers. As of June 30, 2017, we had over $1 trillion (US$780 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made $26.7 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in AsiaCanada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as ‘MFC’ on the TorontoNew York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong.

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

Canadians demanding technology relief from Distracted Driving: Aviva poll

A groundbreaking new opinion poll of Canadians shows they have the answer to texting and driving – and it’s not peer pressure or police crackdowns.

Instead, the majority of Canadians in a new public opinion poll by Aviva Canada believe only a technology solution that blocks drivers from using texting and other phone messaging functions while driving will ultimately solve the problem and make roads safer.

Distracted driving kills. More Canadians die on our roads from distracted driving than from impaired driving. The RCMP says that in 4-out-of-5 collisions, drivers have their eyes off the road for just three seconds prior to crashing.

Aviva has long fought distracted driving, launching the Driving Change Together campaign in 2015 and increasing its efforts this year by launching the #avivayolo campaign https://avivayolo.com.

For this new report, Aviva surveyed 1,504 Canadians between August 8-13 with Pollara Strategic Insights.

An overwhelming number of Canadians – 95 per cent of respondents – said texting and driving by others makes them feel unsafe on the roads. A total of 88 per cent of Canadians have witnessed other drivers texting while behind the wheel, while only 22 per cent admitted texting while driving themselves.

“For the first time, what we are seeing is that Canadians don’t think social persuasion or law enforcement strategies against distracted driving are working, and they feel technology is the only realistic answer,” said Aviva Canada Presidentand CEO Greg Somerville.

Canadians are aware of efforts to socially stigmatize distracted driving. They are also aware of increased penalties and demerit points. However, only 48 per cent of Canadians think fines and demerits are a deterrent, while only 32 per cent said they think peer pressure will work.

Instead, almost 4-in-5 Canadians – 78 per cent – said they want to see a technology solution that would stop distracted driving by disabling texting and other functions while the driver is behind the wheel. This week (Sept. 19) Apple’s new iOS operating system debuted a ‘do not disturb while driving’ feature. This is progress as almost three-quarters of Canadians (73 per cent) in our poll said they would use anti-texting technology.

#PutDownYourPhone

*NOTE: A pdf copy of the opinion poll results is available from Aviva Canada.

About Aviva Canada

Aviva Canada Inc. is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country providing home, automobile, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance to 2.9 million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 4,000 employees focused on creating a bright and sustainable future for their customers and communities.

Aviva Canada invests in positive change through the Aviva Community Fund, Canada’s longest running online community funding competition. Since its inception in 2009, the Aviva Community Fund has awarded $7.5 million to over 250 charities and community groups nationwide. Aviva Canada, bringing over 300 years of good thinking and insurance solutions to Canadians from coast-to-coast.

For more information visit avivacanada.com

SOURCE Aviva Canada Inc.

 

What is National Teen Driver Safety Week?

National Teen Driver Safety Week: October 15-21, 2017

Parachute is excited to announce the fifth annual National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) in Canada. NTDSW is designed to drive public awareness of teen driver safety issues, and encourages community and youth involvement as part of the solution. National Teen Driver Safety Week will run from October 15-21, 2017. Great momentum was achieved in 2016. Parachute and our community partners hosted over 500 events, and we are looking for even greater engagement in this year’s program.

This year, our messaging will focus on the issues of drugged, distracted, impaired and aggressive driving (including speeding). We are excited to work with local schools, police and partners to implement activities in communities across the country, including Positive Ticketing Blitzes and Parking Lot Makeovers.

We will also encourage teens, parents and community partners to join the discussion on social media, using the hashtag #GetHomeSafe. Please email Isabel at icupryn@parachutecanada.org for more information and how you can participate in 2017.

SGI: Embrace the zipper merge! Plus, other changes in the latest Driver’s Handbook

SGI News Release

Has this ever happened to you? You’re entering a construction zone and the lane you’re in will be closing, so you signal and merge into the continuing lane. Meanwhile, the driver who was previously behind you keeps going in the original lane and merges into the continuing lane at the last minute, well ahead of you. What’s up with that? Is that a fair move?

Yes – that driver was simply doing a zipper merge, which allows drivers to use both lanes until the closing lane ends, then alternate in a ‘zipper’ fashion into the open lane. Vehicles in the closing lane must signal, shoulder check and merge when safe, and each driver in the open lane should let in one vehicle.

“Saskatchewan, it is time to officially embrace the zipper merge,” said Earl Cameron, Executive Vice President of the Auto Fund. “Some people think zipper-merging is rude, but it’s not. When a lane is closing, slowing down to change lanes well ahead of the merge point slows traffic unnecessarily, and can cause congestion.”

Zipper merging benefits all drivers in both lanes, making traffic flow more quickly and efficiently. It also creates fairness and eliminates the stress of the ‘other’ lane moving faster than yours, as everyone can now travel at the same speed. If everyone is courteous and cooperative (courtesy waves encouraged), everyone will zip through quickly!

A new section featuring zipper merges is featured in the latest edition of the Saskatchewan Driver’s Handbook. The Handbook is updated and re-printed each fall. The Handbook isn’t just a study guide to pass the learner’s licence exam; it’s a fantastic resource for all drivers, no matter their age or driving experience.

Other new information in this year’s edition:

  • Tougher impaired driving and cellphone laws that came into effect Jan. 1, 2017
  • Best practice is for hand positions at “9 and 3” or “8 and 4” on the steering wheel, not “10 and 2”
  • Tow trucks can have blue and amber flashing lights; slow to 60 when lights are flashing
  • Addition of “in-laws” to family members who can ride with new drivers
  • Jaywalkers – you should always be prepared to stop if a jaywalker enters your path. But don’t wave them on or encourage them as the car behind or beside you may not see them.
  • Right of way in parking lots – rules of the road to follow when it comes to thoroughfares and feeder lanes

The Saskatchewan Driver’s Handbook is available online, or you can pick up a printed version at any SGI motor licence issuer or driver exam office.

 

B.C. regulators order insurance firm, payday lenders to stop ‘deceptive’ sales tactics

An insurance company has been ordered to stop selling policies through two payday lenders and provide refunds after an investigation by British Columbia regulators.

The Financial Institutions Commission says it has issued a cease and desist order against Western Life Assurance Company to stop the sale of creditor group insurance through Venue Financial Ltd. and Cashco Financial Inc.

It says the payday lenders aggressively and deceptively sold Western Life’s insurance products and are prohibited from such sales involving any insurer in B.C. until the commission is satisfied their practices are conducted properly.

“A collaborative investigation produced evidence that payday lenders, Venue Financial Ltd. and CashCo Financial Inc., engaged in aggressive and deceptive sales of Western Life insurance products,” says a written statement from the commission.

It partnered on an investigation with Consumer Protection BC, and says legally required disclosures are not being made to consumers who aren’t told they’ve bought the insurance or that it’s a voluntary product.

The joint investigation also found consumers are not given enough information, or an opportunity, to make an informed decision about  whether they want or need insurance that may be sold to people who aren’t eligible for coverage.

The commission says Western Life must contact everyone who’s been insured through payday lenders and provide details of the insurance they bought, confirm eligibility and offer to cancel the insurance and give refunds to affected consumers.

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