WAWANESA INCREASES FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO COMMUNITIES IN CANADA & UNITED STATES

Winnipeg, Manitoba, June 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company (Wawanesa) today announced its Caring Together initiative, which features $1.8 million in new financial support for communities in need arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight to end systemic racism.

These funds are in addition to the $3.5 million Wawanesa previously committed in donations to hundreds of community organizations in Canada and the United States this year.

“As a mutual insurer, Wawanesa is guided by values that focus on being a positive force in our communities,” said Wawanesa President and CEO, Jeff Goy. “The health and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the growing outrage against systemic racism, are powerful forces affecting our communities. Given these unprecedented times, companies like ours have a responsibility to step up and do more.”

Caring Together has three areas of focus where funds will be allocated.

COVID-19 support – providing funding to Indigenous and remote Northern communities, United Way centres, hospital foundations, and food banks in Canada and the United States.

Civil rights – providing funding to civil rights and social justice organizations in the United States and Canada focused on supporting Black communities.

Employee and broker partner donation matching – a dollar-for-dollar donation matching program open to Wawanesa employees and the company’s insurance broker partners.

“These funds will allow True North Aid to support many Indigenous Peoples and their families as we continue providing practical humanitarian assistance during this difficult time,” said Kenneth Smid, Executive Director of True North Aid. “To support Indigenous self-determination, we work directly with members of the communities to develop plans and make sure that together we are meeting their needs – work that has taken on even more urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We’ve seen many changes in our community since the COVID-19 pandemic hit,” said United Way Winnipeg President and CEO, Connie Walker. “More people are living with uncertainty. We know stress is high and more people are living in or on the edge of poverty. There has been a toll on our mental health, our relationships and our financial security. United Way Winnipeg is very grateful to Wawanesa in helping to address urgent needs for our most vulnerable in these challenging times, helping to ensure no one is left behind.”

The details of Wawanesa’s Caring Together commitments are:

  • $500,000 will go to United Way’s COVID-19 Response to increase its support for local community partners in Canada and U.S, providing people and families with food, shelter, and mental health support in disadvantaged and marginalized communities.
  • $400,000 will go to Indigenous and remote northern communities, supporting needs identified by the communities themselves. To help identify those needs and distribute funds, Wawanesa has teamed up with the Canadian Red Cross and True North Aid.
  • $400,000 will go to civil rights and social justice organizations supporting Black communities in the U.S. and Canada, specifically the National Urban League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Black Health Alliance and the Black Business and Professional Association.
  • $250,000 will go to hospitals in Canada and the U.S. to support frontline healthcare workers and COVID-19 research.
  • $250,000 will support a dollar-for-dollar donation matching program, open to all employees and our brokers.

 

About Wawanesa

The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, founded in 1896, is the largest Canadian Property and Casualty Mutual insurer with $3.9 billion in annual revenue and assets of $10.5 billion. Wawanesa Mutual, with executive offices in Winnipeg, is the parent company of Wawanesa General, which offers property and casualty insurance in California and Oregon; Wawanesa Life, which provides life insurance products and services throughout Canada; and Western Financial Group, which distributes personal and business insurance across Western Canada. With more than 5,700 employees, Wawanesa proudly serves more than two million policyholders in Canada and the United States. Wawanesa actively gives back to organizations that strengthen communities where it operates, donating well above internationally recognized benchmarks for excellence in corporate philanthropy. Learn more at wawanesa.com


				
					

SGI CANADA & CSSI Pilot Real-Time Data Exchange for Policy Change Requests

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NEWS RELEASE

“Game-changer”: SGI CANADA and CSSI Pilot Real-Time Data Exchange for Policy Change Requests

Regina, SK and Virden, MB – June 18, 2020 – SGI CANADA and Custom Software Solutions Inc. (CSSI) are pleased to announce they are piloting the first real-time, personal lines policy change request transaction in Canada, starting and ending in the broker management system (BMS).

The process connects CSSI’s broker management system, The Broker’s Workstation, rating service IntelliQuote (IQ) and SGI CANADA’s policy management system, transferring data between the systems in real time using CSSI’s I-Company carrier integration product. It allows brokers working with SGI CANADA to underwrite, rate and submit a policy change in real time from their broker management system to the insurer. If accepted, a revised policy will be returned in real time, including the eDocs policy document.

“This is a game-changer,” said SGI CANADA’s Chief Digital and Information Officer Dawn Bloom. “By giving brokers the ability to make changes to our personal property policies within their own BMS, we’re making it easier for them to do business with us and improve the customer experience overall.”

“We know brokers have been asking for the ability to transact business with insurers through their own broker management systems for many years, and SGI CANADA is proud to be among the first insurers in Canada to step up to provide the solution,” she continued. “It’s vital for the entire industry to get on board with the development of application program interfaces that can seamlessly integrate these systems.”

This pilot is the most recent phase in an overall project that includes quote, new business, policy change, cancellation and renewal transactions in real time, with not only The Broker’s Workstation, but also Keal Technology’s SIG platform and other industry BMS solutions, all starting and ending in the BMS. The solution is designed to adhere to the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada real-time data exchange principles using CSIO standards and will be deployed to all regions where SGI CANADA operates. This latest phase builds on the integrated rating and real-time new business submission and issuance announced last year.

“We’re excited to be piloting the first standards based, real-time policy change transaction process of its kind in Canada,” said Brock Andrew, COO of CSSI. “We have 20 years of experience working on real-time transactions including policy change and to see it working with a broker committed partner such as SGI CANADA utilizing our I-Company solution is rewarding. Automating the change request workflow opens the door for incredible efficiency gains for both

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the broker and carrier and can deliver enhanced customer service our distribution model requires.”

About SGI CANADA

SGI CANADA is the property and casualty insurance division of SGI, offering products in five Canadian provinces. It operates as SGI CANADA in Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, and also as Coachman Insurance Company in Ontario. Products are sold through a network of independent insurance brokers.

About Custom Software Solutions

Custom Software Solutions Inc. (CSSI) is a leader in real-time digital solutions and business process automation systems for insurance brokers, companies and MGAs in Canada. Our proven broker and MGA products are The Broker’s Workstation (TBW), IntelliQuote, I-Client and The Underwriter’s Workstation (TUW). Our insurance company products are I-Company, I- Broker and I-Biz. Together, they are increasing productivity and decreasing operating expenses for both brokers and companies. The CSSI team includes insurance industry professionals and computer technologists and programmers. For more information, visit our website at www.cssionline.com.

www.sgicanada.ca

 

 

Providing for aging loved ones requires knowledge of resources, experts say

Providing for aging loved ones requires knowledge of resources, experts say

By David Paddon

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ COVID-19’s devastating impact on seniors in the months since the virus became a global menace has many Canadians wondering what can be done to protect their aging loved ones.

Experts say that too often, people fail to anticipate the long-term needs of aging and are unaware of the various forms of government assistance available to them.

A good way to start the planning process is to learn about the multitude of government programs and tax credits that can reduce the financial burdens for seniors and their families, says Robyn Thompson, president of Castlemark Wealth Management in Toronto.

“Take free money where you can,” Thompson says.  “Make use of all the available resources. And then look to your investments and your portfolio after that.”

For example, Canada Revenue Agency lists 134 different types of medical expenses that are eligible to reduce taxable income.

“There have (also) been some pretty interesting government initiatives that have come out to try to help seniors and help them through this pandemic,” Thompson says.

But even without an event like the pandemic, Thompson says families should be proactive about making adjustments now after determining what their seniors may need in future.

For example, if the senior is likely to live in their own home or their child’s home, Thompson suggests having a budget to install ramps, stair lifts or an accessible bathroom.

In that case, she says, a parent’s life insurance policy could eventually be used to compensate a child who did paid for that type of expense.

Alternatively, it may be necessary to have the funds available for the senior to move into a retirement home or long-term care facility that provides more support services.

Isobel Mackenzie, the B.C. government’s seniors advocate, says each province provides some sort of subsidy for seniors in nursing homes or long-term care facility.

These types of facilities provide extensive medical support and the basics of living for people who may be physically or mentally unable to take care of themselves.

But details of who qualifies for subsidies vary by province, she adds.

“In B.C., and most provinces, it’s based on your income. Or there’s a flat fee and then there’s a discount if you have low income,” Mackenzie says.

“You do pay something towards it but everybody can afford it. It’s designed that way.”

Some provinces, but not all, provide some support for assisted living or retirement home living, which provide less medical intervention than long-term care.

“So, for example, Ontario doesn’t give any financial support for that. Alberta gives quite a bit of support. And B.C. gives some support,” Mackenzie says.

Similarly, she says, only some provinces provide funding for personal support workers for seniors who have medical or mobility needs but still live at home.

“The degree to which it’s available varies from province to province and the degree to which people have to pay for it varies from province to province,” Mackenzie says.

Ontario, for example, pays the cost of at-home visits by personal support workers.

Colin Marcus, a financial planner at YourLife Financial in Toronto, says some of his clients in their 80s now are still living independently but they’ve got the funds to make choices about where they can go if the need arises.

Often they want to avoid becoming a burden on their kids, Marcus says.

“Nobody wants to do that, either financially or emotionally or physically.”

 

 

Six months after cyberattack, LifeLabs says it has appointed a CISO and rolled out new security policies

Six months after cyberattack, LifeLabs says it has appointed a CISO and rolled out new security policies

ITworld Canada

Half a year after suffering arguably the worst data breach in Canadian history, LifeLabs provided its customers with an update on what it’s doing to make sure history isn’t repeated.

In an email obtained by IT World Canada, LifeLabs chief executive officer Charles Brown released a statement to customers on June 11, noting “I cannot change what happened, but I assure you that I have made every effort toward making change to provide you services you can trust.”

Here is the list of changes LifeLabs is introducing, according to the email:

Part of an email from June 11 sent to LifeLabs customers. According to his LinkedIn profile, LifeLabs’ former senior IT manager was appointed to be the CISO last December.

Brown also wrote that the breach delivered LifeLabs a stern reminder that “we must continuously work to protect ourselves against cybercrime” and that “data protection and privacy are now central to everything we do.”

The update from LifeLabs comes on the heels of a report from data protection company Veritas that says public consumers are seeking apologies, fines and even prison sentences for CEOs who fail to protect their businesses. Forty per cent of consumers hold business leaders personally responsible for ransomware attacks businesses suffer, according to the Veritas survey, which interviewed roughly 12,000 consumers. Thirty per cent would demand the CEO be banned from running a company if it suffered a cyberattack. Twenty-three per cent of those surveyed want to send CEOs to prison for mishandling data.

And despite nearly 90 per cent of respondents in a recent survey conducted by The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) saying customer privacy is an important corporate objective, only 60 per cent of those businesses say they have procedures in place to respond to customers’ requests to access their personal information.

Source: IT World Canada

Ontario drivers see average of $150 savings; minister says more should be done

TORONTO _ Insurance companies have provided $685 million in relief to Ontario drivers using their cars less during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the province’s finance minister says more should be done.

The regulatory body said about 70 per cent of policy holders are receiving some form of relief, with an average savings of $150.

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority said the $685 million in relief amounts to about five per cent of the total annual premiums Ontario drivers pay.

Finance Minister Rod Phillips said 10 out of the 14 major insurance companies have provided rebates to customers.

Phillips announced a regulatory change in April to enable the companies to provide auto insurance premium rebates to consumers for up to 12 months after the emergency has ended.

Phillips said he will look at the companies not supporting their customers and will publicly name them if necessary.

“I believe there’s still more that can be done,” he said in an interview. “I don’t believe all of the companies are participating at the level that they should.”

Phillips has said rebates should be commensurate with the scale of difficulty Ontario families are facing.

“People made it clear they weren’t driving as much, there were fewer accidents,” he said. “I made it clear to the insurance industry we wanted them to take care of their clients during this difficult time.”

The NDP has called on the Ontario government to mandate a three-month, 50 per cent discount on auto insurance.

MADD Canada CEO Andrew Murie said progress made in lowering Saskatchewan’s historically high impaired-driving rates “is truly inspirational.”

Read more

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