Great West Lifeco to acquire financial services firm Financial Horizons Group

WINNIPEG _ Great-West Lifeco Inc. (TSX:GWO) has signed a deal to acquire Financial Horizons Group, which has 30 offices across Canada.

Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.

Financial Horizons is a managing general agency that provides insurance and other products and services to financial advisers.

Great-West says the existing management team, including Financial Horizons founder and chief executive John Hamilton, will remain in place and continue to run the business.

Hamilton is the second largest shareholder in Financial Horizons after San Francisco-based private equity firm Genstar Capital, which owns a 72 per cent stake.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

Saskatchewan pushes back start date for PST on insurance premiums

By CKOM

THE CANADIAN PRESS

SASKATOON _ The Saskatchewan government is giving people a little more time before provincial sales tax is applied to insurance premiums.

The move to tax premiums was announced in the last provincial budget and was supposed to take effect on July 1.

However, the government announced Wednesday that the start date is being pushed back a month to Aug. 1, following consultations with representatives of the insurance industry.

In addition, the government announced PST will be applied to self-insured group arrangements, also known as Administration Services Only arrangements.

Premiums on individual permanent life insurance policies that came into effect before Aug. 1, 2017, will be exempt from PST.

The release noted that any endorsements added to insurance contracts with effective dates prior to Aug. 1, 2017 will not be subject to the sales tax.

Rogers Insurance partners with Megson FitzPatrick Insurance

 

Rogers Insurance Ltd.

Rogers Insurance Ltd. is pleased to announce they have partnered with Victoria, BC based Megson FitzPatrick Inc. effective May 5th, 2017. This partnership will begin with Rogers Insurance obtaining a minority shares purchase of Megson FitzPatrick.

Rogers Insurance COO, Bruce Rabik, says, “This partnership strengthens both organizations tremendously. Our market access and capabilities are expanded even further than before”.

Both brokerages are committed to strengthening the independent broker model and believe Rogers Insurance and Megson FitzPatrick Insurance will benefit from the expertise and capabilities of each brokerage – providing more comprehensive expertise and service offerings to their clients in addition to an expanded network of insurers to work with.

Jay Tuson, CEO, Megson FitzPatrick, adds, “We have long been searching for a brokerage model that provides the strength of scale, a willingness to invest in the future, a commitment to building a great culture for our team and the ability to provide competitive perpetuation solutions.  Rogers Insurance has allowed us to customize a partnership that I believe is unique in the market and speaks to addressing many of the challenges small to medium size brokers are facing today.  We are proud to partner with Rogers Insurance and look forward to the prosperity of both brokerages moving forward”.

Rogers Insurance Ltd. is based in Calgary, AB with nine offices across the country and over 400 employees. One of the largest independent brokerages in Canada, Rogers provides commercial insurance, home and auto insurance, life and benefits, and high net worth insurance services. Rogers is employee-owned, and proud to be the most award-winning brokerage in Canada. Rogers is a member of the Canadian Broker Network (CBN) and Intersure, giving it affiliated offices across Canada, the US, and Mexico.

Megson FitzPatrick Insurance is based in Victoria, BC with six locations, including one in Vancouver, and over 100 employees.  Their vision is to transform and expand into an even stronger, more agile, independent broker, where decisions are always based on delivering the best customer experience. Megson FitzPatrick provides commercial, home & personal, auto, life and benefits insurance. They have several insurance programs that are distributed through British Columbia.

The new partnership of Rogers Insurance and Megson FitzPatrick Insurance will bring the collective employee count to over 500.

SOURCE Rogers Insurance Ltd.

For further information: Bruce Rabik, COO, Rogers Insurance, 403.296.2484, brabik@rogersinsurance.ca; Jay Tuson, CEO, Megson Fitzpatrick, 250.595.5212, jtuson@megsonfitzpatrick.com

RSA Canada donates $50,000 to support residents in Quebec and across Canada impacted by floods

RSA Canada is donating $50,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to assist with relief efforts following the spring floods in Quebec and across Canada.

The donation will be split in half with $25,000 going specifically to the Canadian Red Cross relief efforts in Quebec and the other $25,000 to support efforts across Canada in the areas that the Canadian Red Cross have determined are most in need of support.

In addition, RSA is matching the individual donations of employees across the country, looking to help in the wake of these devastating floods through the company’s Matching Donation program.

“We are touched by the images we are seeing and our hearts go out to those affected by these terrible incidents,” says RSA President and CEO Martin Thompson. “We have customers, brokers and friends in Quebec and other parts of the country who have been impacted by the spring floods. The rain may have stopped for now, but we know that the clean-up will be a long process. Our focus is on providing some immediate relief through this donation.”

RSA customers can call 1 800 319 9993 with any questions. Customers in Quebec can call 1-800-873-2424. Johnson Insurance customers can call 1-800-804-0087 with any questions. More information about making a claim is available here: http://www.rsagroup.ca/make-claim. Follow us on Twitter (@RSACanada) for ongoing updates.

Related Links:

To donate to the Spring Floods appeal:

About RSA
With a 300 year heritage, RSA is a multinational quoted insurance group. Focusing on general insurance, RSA’s core markets are the UK & Ireland, Scandinavia and Canada, with the capability to write insurance business across the globe. RSA’s core businesses have approximately 13,500 employees with net written premiums of £6.3bn in 2016.

About RSA Canada
The RSA Canada group of companies includes Roins Financial Services Limited, Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, Quebec Assurance Company, Johnson Inc., Unifund Assurance Company, Western Assurance Company, Ascentus Insurance Ltd., Canadian Northern Shield Insurance Company and RSA Travel Insurance Inc. (collectively, “RSA Canada”) and is part of a group of companies headed by RSA Insurance Group Plc. RSA Canada employs more than 3,000 people across Canada and is one of the oldest insurance companies in the country with roots dating back to 1833.

©2017 Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada. All rights reserved. RSA, RSA & Design and related words and logos are trademarks and the property of RSA Insurance Group plc, licensed for use by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada. RSA is a trade name of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada.

SOURCE RSA Canada

Water damage has surpassed fire as the leading cause of home insurance payouts, according to IBC.

Read more

Documents show many cities are wary of mapping flood risks, making data public

By Jordan Press

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA _ When municipal officials were told last year about new tools to help them map the risk of flooding in their communities, they immediately raised red flags, suggesting they wanted no part of it over concerns about legal liability and political backlash.

Details contained in internal government reports echo a narrative across the country that show just how wary some city leaders have been about mapping and publicizing flood risks in their communities.

As one municipal official put it, they fear releasing the information would force them to use the Tim Hortons drive-up window to avoid the ire of those inside the restaurant.

The stance has mystified insurance industry representatives and local leaders who have been pushing municipalities to use new mapping tools to identify risk areas and make that information public.

“The big business case for this is we can all pay a lot more for insurance and experience the disruption, or we can invest in the infrastructure and experience less disruption to the economy and to families and lower insurance premiums,” said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, head of FCM’s big city mayors’ caucus.

“We can learn from these disasters and actually model out where it would make sense to get ahead of the problem.”

The questions about what local officials don’t know and why they don’t want to know it have been raised anew with flood waters overwhelming communities in Quebec and Ontario.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada created a mapping tool to figure out where there was the greatest risk of flooding, either from rising waters or overwhelming rainfall. A Calgary-based company, Tesera, is in the process of getting it ready for wider distribution.

At a session on disaster-proofing communities at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference last June, some delegates appeared to want nothing to do with the mapping tool.

A report from officials at Infrastructure Canada said that a delegate from one city worried that mapping flood risk could reduce property values in flood-prone areas where infrastructure solutions weren’t feasible. Another said local governments are reluctant to map flood risks because they could be liable for damages, “and they may not have the public or political support for infrastructure investments,” the report said.

The Canadian Press obtained a copy of the report under the Access to Information Act.

Craig Stewart, vice-president federal affairs for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, said local leaders were concerned about releasing the maps publicly, fearing owners of high-risk homes would take out their anger on local officials.

“However, it’s our opinion that people have a right to know their risk and in fact, Canadians should be educated about flood risk so that they can make the right decisions on how to defend themselves against it,” Stewart said.

The federal government has pledged cash for risk assessments and new infrastructure construction, hoping to nudge cities into making better decisions about what projects they need and how badly they need them done.

As well, this year’s federal budget earmarked $2 billion over 11 years, the vast majority of it to be spent after 2021, in the Liberal infrastructure program to help disaster-proof the communities. A further $281 million over 11 years is set aside for projects that help communities adapt to climate change.

The amounts won’t meet all the needs to protect communities from flooding: Edmonton, for instance, estimates it would require $2.5 billion in new infrastructure to reduce flooding risks over the next 50 years.

There is never going to be enough federal money to cover all the infrastructure needs cities have, but the funding is “more than we had before,” said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage.

“If you don’t adapt and if you don’t show resiliency, then you’re going to be in trouble. So I’m glad that the feds have identified that this is a necessity,” said Savage, whose city has mapped flood risks inland and along its coast line.

“When it comes to climate change, sticking your head in the sand is not the right solution.”

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