Intact Insurance launches my Driving Discount program to reward good drivers in Alberta

Alberta drivers now have a chance to save up to 25 per cent on their auto insurance premium thanks to a new and innovative program from Intact Insurance. Intact has launched the my Driving Discount program, which uses driving data collected by a mobile app to determine a personalized discount for customers based on their driving habits.

Personal auto insurance customers can download the easy-to-use mobile app onto their smartphones, while commercial auto insurance customers receive an on-board diagnostic (OBD) device that connects to the OBD port in their vehicle. Both methods collect driving data to determine the potential discount, up to 25 per cent, which is applied to their auto insurance premium on their next policy renewal.

Rosa Nelson, Vice President of Sales and Business Development, West, Intact Insurance, said the program is intended to reward drivers who consistently drive safely.

“This program encourages customers to improve their driving habits by offering them an opportunity to save money based on their good driving behaviour,” she said. “More and more, safe drivers are looking for customized insurance programs that reward them for good habits on the road and my Driving Discount does exactly that.”

Customers’ driving behaviour is assessed on the basis of three factors: hard braking, rapid acceleration and time of day. Customers receive a one-time discount on their premium just by signing up for the program – 10 per cent for personal auto insurance customers and five per cent for commercial auto insurance customers – which is replaced by their personalized discount of up to 25 per cent on their next renewal following an assessment period.

In order to be eligible for the personalized discount on renewal, customers must complete an assessment period of approximately nine months.

Customers using the device can view their potential discount and a summary of their trips on a personalized website. Customers with the app can access this information from their mobile device at any time. Customers will also receive a weekly email with a summary of their trips.

The my Driving Discount program was initially launched in Ontario in 2013, and subsequently made available in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec. For more information, see www.intact.ca.

About Intact Insurance and Intact Financial Corporation
Intact Insurance is Canada’s largest home, auto and business insurance company, the choice of more than four million consumers. Its coast-to-coast presence and its strong relationship with insurance brokers mean the company can provide the outstanding service, comfort and continuity customers deserve. Intact Insurance is a member company of Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC), the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada.

SOURCE Intact Insurance

For further information: Media Inquiries: Rosa Nelson, Vice President, Sales and Business Development, Intact Insurance, Western Division, 403 231-1300 ext 30747

Financial reporting: Is your company ready for the new standards?

Todd Buchanan is the National Leader of Accounting Advisory Services at KPMG in Canada.

When you mention “the Big Four,” many Canadians will know you’re talking about the world’s leading accounting firms. But mention the term to the teams and leaders responsible for their companies’ financial reporting – at least over the next two or three years – and a different foursome may come up; namely, a series of IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) guidelines currently coming into force.

Why will corporate reporting groups be preoccupied? Because the complexity involved in implementing any one of these standards is unprecedented for some industries and will test the efficiency, capacity and resources of companies. Given that implementation may prove even more challenging than the first phase of IFRS in 2011 – and that regulators will require updates on progress and potential impacts – those companies that are not preoccupied with the process should become so, and quickly.

The four new standards cover a broad range of new requirements. IFRS 9 – Financial Instruments, for example, introduces changes to the classification and measurement of financial instruments, as well as to impairment provisions and hedge accounting. This will particularly affect financial institutions since they must determine how the changes affect every instrument they hold. At the same time, they will need to shift their impairment calculations from an “incurred loss” to a “projected loss” model. Finally, hedge-accounting rules are being relaxed, requiring deeper analysis of where hedging can be applied to better manage risk, a change that will affect large global companies engaged in complex risk-management strategies.

Any company with revenue will be affected by IFRS 15 – Revenue from Contracts with Customers. The standard introduces a new five-step model that takes an entirely new conceptual approach to revenue recognition (for example, by separating revenue from cash flows). Not only may the amount of revenue recognized change, but also the timing of when it’s recognized, – which will particularly affect any companies with long-term or multielement customer contracts.

With IFRS 16 – Leases, operating leases will start being recognized on the balance sheet, the opposite of the current practice. This change will have its biggest effect on large companies with a large number of leases, for example in industries such as retail, power and utilities, banks and telecommunications. Since there are a number of implementation options available, companies will have to go through their lease inventory one by one to assess what needs to be done. The transition will be data- and calculation-intensive and may require significant IT system updates, so effective resource assessment is critical.

Finally, IFRS 17 – Insurance Contracts is set to turn the insurance industry on its head with a number of fundamental changes affecting all insurers based in Canada, large and small, as well as resident foreign insurers. Changes will be seen in areas such as profit recognition, financial metrics, disclosures, data management, IT systems, processes and projections. To enhance the challenge, insurance companies will have to co-ordinate implementation with that of IFRS 9 – Financial Instruments, as the two standards will be interdependent. The resulting financial statement will look quite different and effective change management will be a key part of the process.

If addressing the impacts these four standards will have on specific financial-reporting practices isn’t enough, companies can also look forward to certain impacts outside the reporting sphere that they may not have considered. In the area of IT, for example, many companies will have to update their systems to collect, parse and analyze data in different ways. Given the calculation-heavy nature of these standards, ad hoc solutions and Excel patches simply won’t do.

Other significant impact areas include: Tax, where each standard could have specific impacts depending on the tax jurisdictions in which you operate; HR/compensation, as incentive-based compensation plans may need to be adjusted if the new standards alter the metrics currently in use; bank-covenant renegotiation, which will be required in some cases when IFRS 16 – Leases, which moves operating leases off the balance sheet, changes the asset-to-liability ratio on which borrowers’ loans are based; and investor relations, as it’s critical that investor confidence is maintained by a steady flow of communication around what impacts the new standards will have and what new information disclosures may be available.

While most Canadian companies are aware that change is coming, it’s crucial that they don’t underestimate the extent of that change or the way it may extend beyond core reporting requirements. Courting regulatory recrimination or unnecessary financial distress is hardly worth it.

Source: The Globe and Mail

10 Steps to Detect and Prevent Insurance Fraud Whitepaper

10 Steps to Detect and Prevent Insurance Fraud Whitepaper

Free White Paper

Traditional fraud detection systems tend to focus on opportunistic or soft fraud – when an individual takes advantage of a situation to pay a lower premium or exaggerate a claim. But hard fraud perpetrated by organized crime rings is growing – and so is the sophistication and velocity of attacks.

Insurers that follow the 10 steps Stuart Rose outlines in this paper offer the best chance for detecting both opportunistic and organized fraud.

Fraudster sophistication is on the rise, as is the number of fraudulent claims. Just what should insurers do to prevent this barrage of attacks?

Be sure to read this white paper by insurance analytics expert Stuart Rose, who outlines 10 crucial steps to both fraud detection and prevention.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative analytics, business intelligence and data management software and services, SAS helps customers at more than 80,000 sites make better decisions faster. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.

 

 

Sunwing Travel Group recognized among Canada’s top employers by Forbes

Sunwing Travel Group recognized among Canada’s top employers by Forbes

Press Release:

The Sunwing Travel Group is pleased to have been included within Forbes’ ranking of Canada’s 300 Best Employers. Considered to be one of the world’s leading sources of reliable business news and financial information, the global media company collaborated with online statistics provider Statista to survey over 8000 Canadian employees—81% full timers—working for companies with at least 500 people to rate their willingness to recommend their own companies on a scale of 1-10. Those who took part in the survey were consulted anonymously through several online access panels.

The news was welcomed by Stephen Hunter, President and CEO of Sunwing Travel Group, who commented. “We believe investing in our employees is vital and are extremely pleased to be included in this list. The Sunwing Travel Group has grown and expanded dramatically over the years and we attribute this growth and success to the passion and dedication of our team.”

North America’s largest vertically-integrated travel business, the Sunwing Travel Group employs almost 17,000 people internationally and has been included on the PROFIT 500 list for the last 12 years consecutively. The company’s headquarters in Toronto were recently extended and refurbished. Employees benefit from free parking, a subsidized staff restaurant and coffee house, together with a lunchroom to enable them to make their own meals if they prefer.

Employees also receive an attractive benefits package which includes medical and dental, and they can opt to join an RRSP matching program.  A new user-friendly HR portal was also recently implemented to provide employees access to their payroll, benefits, and many other features anywhere and anytime. Employees can take advantage of preferential rates on a number of services from insurance to gym memberships. In particular, Sunwing is the only airline to reward employees with confirmed flight passes for travelling to and from any of Sunwing’s destinations domestically and internationally. Staff members also receive discounted rates at certain hotels and resorts, as well as selected excursions. Friends and family members of Sunwing employees also benefit from travel promotions.

To learn about career opportunities, visit www.sunwingtravelgroup.com

About Sunwing Travel Group

The largest integrated travel business in North America, Sunwing Travel Group is comprised of Sunwing Vacations, the leading leisure tour operator in Canada; Sunwing Airlines, Canada’s premier leisure airline; Signature Vacations, one of Canada’s leading tour operators for all inclusive package vacations and Vacation Express, a growing tour operator in the United States together with the Group’s own travel retail businesses SellOffVacations.com and Luxe Destination Weddings. Blue Diamond Resorts is the Sunwing Travel Group’s own hotel management company, an innovative organization that operates popular resort brands like Royalton Luxury Resorts, CHIC by Royalton, Grand Lido, Memories, and Starfish, across the Caribbean, Cuba and Mexico; while NexusTours provides destination management services to individuals, agencies, tour groups, corporate businesses and tour operators.

SOURCE Sunwing Travel Group

New survey reveals the diversity of Canada’s Millennial generation through their social values

A new national survey released today reveals a bold portrait of Canada’s Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1995), that for the first time presents the social values of this generation, and the distinct segments that help make sense of the different and often contradictory stereotypes that so frequently are applied to today’s young adults.

The results show that Millennials cannot be lumped into a single group defined by their age, or by other demographic characteristics such as gender, region or socio-economic status. They are a diverse part of the Canadian society, made up of six social values “tribes”, each reflecting a distinct worldview and approach to life. While Millennials may share some common experiences and aspirations as befits their stage in life, there are notable differences in outlook and life path across these tribes, be they “Engaged Idealists,” “Bros and Brittanys,” or “Lone Wolves.”

The study built on the foundation of Environics’ Research leading-edge social values research to better understand how Millennials are taking their place in society through the lens of their social values, with a focus on their life goals and what it means to be an adult, career aspirations and work experience, and political and social engagement.

Key findings from the survey include the following:

  • Fewer than half of Canadian Millennials say they have enough money to live the kind of life they want, and many feel they are not doing as well as their parents did in their youth. But this generation is notably optimistic about their future financial prospects, and this is most evident among those born outside Canada, and those with Asian or other non-white ethnic backgrounds.
  • What Millennials most want out of work and career is a good balance between work and their personal life, followed by financial security, wealth generation, and flexibility on the job. Making an important contribution to society is of strong importance to some Millennials and not so much to others, based on their social values.
  • Millennials with a post-secondary degree were asked, if they could do it over again, what would they would do. Just under half say they would have completed the same post-secondary education. But a slightly higher proportion indicate they would have followed a different path, either pursuing a different type of post-secondary education or done something else instead of getting a degree.
  • Low voter turnout has earned Millennials a reputation for being disconnected from politics and current events, but this is more stereotype than reality. Most follow news and current events at least daily if not more frequently, and significant proportions pay attention to politics at the local, national and international levels. Social media is the most common platform, but surprisingly large numbers also rely on such traditional media such as TV, print newspapers and radio.
  • One in four Millennials has been actively engaged in a cause or issue in the past year, mostly involving social justice, the environment, politics or health care. Such involvement is linked to education as well as social values. Members of this generation tend to get involved through online channels, but a significant proportion also seek to participate in person at events or group meetings.     

“With Millennials now being the largest generation in the Canadian workplace, this study allows us to go beyond easy labels to understand their diverse values,” said Bruce Lawson, President of The Counselling Foundation of Canada. “An overwhelming 96% of Millennials in the study define having a steady job as the primary marker of adulthood – far more than owning a home, getting married or having children, which were key markers for previous generations. This underscores the need for career development to ensure Millennials have the skills, confidence and adaptability to navigate an ever-shifting economy.”

“Apathy is Boring is thrilled to be contributing to the only study of its kind in Canada, and to see an increased public interest in how Millennials think and act,” said Caro Loutfi, Executive Director at Apathy is Boring. “This study highlights the need to look at Millennials as the diverse generation that we are, and supports our own outreach efforts encouraging social and political engagement among the groups who would benefit the most.”

The study was conducted by the Environics Institute for Survey Research, in partnership with The Counselling Foundation of Canada, RBC, the McConnell Family Foundation and Apathy is Boring.

The survey is based on interviews conducted online with a representative sample of 2,072 Canadians aged 21 to 36 across the country between July 6 and August 31, 2016. The sample was stratified by age, gender and region (margin of error statistics do not apply to online surveys that employ non-probability samples). Access the full survey online at: http://environicsinstitute.org/institute-projects/current-projects/canadian-millennial-social-values-study.

The Environics Institute for Survey Research is a non-profit public interest organization that conducts relevant and original public opinion and social research related to issues of public policy and social change. The Institute’s primary mission is to survey those not usually heard from, using questions not usually asked.

 

SOURCE The Counselling Foundation of Canada

Fairfax lines up US$1 billion from Ontario pension fund for Allied World deal

Ontario pension fund manager OMERS will invest US$1 billion in support of a takeover of the Allied World Assurance by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX:FFH) announced late last year.

OMERS and Fairfax said Friday the pension fund manager has agreed to indirectly acquire a roughly 21 per stake in Allied World, subject to certain regulatory approvals.

Fairfax said it’s also in discussions with several other parties about participating in the Allied World investment.

Toronto-based Fairfax _ which owns a variety of property and casualty insurers, among other things _ announced an agreement last month to acquire the Swiss insurer for US$4.9 billion in cash and stock.

Under the deal, Allied World shareholders will receive US$54 per share from Fairfax in a combination of cash and shares plus a $5 cash dividend from Allied World.

Fairfax chairman and CEO Prem Watsa said the OMERS investment will allow his company to increase the cash component of the offer to Allied World shareholders.

Watsa told analysts on Dec. 19 that he views Allied World as “the largest and the best company Fairfax has purchased over 31 years.”

In a joint statement issued with Fairfax, Sharon Ludlow of OMERS said Allied World is “highly complementary” to Fairfax’s existing operations and consistent with the OMERS investment strategy.

OMERS, which administers pensions for 461,000 members from municipalities, school boards, emergency services and local agencies across Ontario, had more than $77 billion in net assets under management as of Dec. 31.

 

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