WATERLOO, ON, June 29, 2020 /CNW/ – Economical Insurance has set out to reach more than 630,000 eligible policyholders across Canada to ensure participation in the company’s demutualization process.
While the date of Economical’s planned demutualization has yet to be determined, the company is making progress on its plans to convert from a mutual company to a publicly-traded share company. Policyholders who are eligible to participate but have not registered online are likely unaware of their potential financial benefits.
With a focus on connecting with as many eligible policyholders as possible, Economical is boosting awareness for this unique opportunity through targeted social media advertisements, stories, and content throughout the summer.
The campaign will encourage past and present policyholders of Economical Insurance to visit joininourfuture.com to determine whether they are eligible, and if so, to activate an online account and register for future demutualization updates. For customers who held a policy for the 12-month period ending on November 3, 2015, eligibility may apply for one-time financial benefits in the form of cash or shares once Economical becomes a publicly-traded company, owned by shareholders.
By using a geographically targeted social media campaign, Economical aims to reach tens of thousands of their policyholders in an efficient way that allows for broad visibility with a minimal environmental impact.
“We want to encourage our customers who have had either a personal or commercial insurance policy in the given timeframe to check their eligibility to receive financial benefits as part of our planned demutualization,” said Rowan Saunders, President and CEO at Economical Insurance.
Economical is the first Canadian property and casualty insurance company to pursue demutualization under these regulations.
“At a time when many Canadians are under financial pressure, this campaign is timed to ensure as many eligible policyholders as possible are aware of their potential financial benefits,” said David Bradfield, Vice-President, Marketing and Communication at Economical Insurance. “Encouraging more policyholders to register will also facilitate the process associated with our future Special Meeting, where more than 630,000 Canadians will have an opportunity to vote to approve our demutualization.”
Am I eligible for financial benefits?
Current and former customers who held a policy for the 12-month period ending on November 3, 2015 may be eligible to receive such a financial benefit. Customers can confirm eligibility on joininourfuture.com. This simple confirmation process requires customers to input their policy number and postal code from 2015.
Once registered on joininourfuture.com, eligible policyholders will be able to participate in the demutualization process, including voting at the Special Meeting to approve demutualization through their account. A date for this upcoming meeting is yet to be set. Eligible policyholders who register will also be able to see a personalized estimate range of demutualization benefits.
Helping Canadian communities
Economical has previously announced that its demutualization will establish a new charitable foundation that will receive $100 million from the proceeds of a successful demutualization. The foundation’s mission will be to honour Economical policyholders and employees, past and present, by working to have the greatest impact in Canadian communities.
Timeline for receiving financial benefits
Eligible customers can expect to receive financial benefits at the time of Economical’s proposed initial public offering (IPO). Economical is continuously evaluating market conditions, company performance, and other relevant factors that may impact the timing and success of an IPO and, by extension, the remaining steps in the demutualization process.
For more information, visit joininourfuture.com. For assistance with specific questions and direct support with verifying eligibility for the financial benefit, call 1-866-302-6046.
About Economical Insurance
Economical Mutual Insurance Company (“Economical” or “Economical Insurance”, which includes its subsidiaries or affiliates where the context so requires) is a leading property and casualty insurer in Canada, with approximately $2.6 billion in annualized gross written premiums and over $5.8 billion in assets as at March 31, 2020. Economical is a Canadian-owned and operated company that services the insurance needs of more than one million customers.
SOURCE Economical Insurance
This course will make participants aware of the general and specific matters surrounding insurance issues with regard to dog bites. Insurance professionals need to be able to show clients the practicality and wisdom of protecting themselves in terms of liabilities associated with owning or accepting temporary responsibility for a dog. Clients ought to be made fully aware of their role and responsibility should they purchase a policy that covers this liability, and also of the actions required of them should there be an incident that could result in a claim.
The excerpted article was written by KELLY CRYDERMAN | CALGARY
The hail storm came up fast, with a sound like someone was throwing rocks at their walls and roof.
Then Mona Kadri saw a white pellet fall and bounce inside her house. A loud crash followed as the skylight gave way, shattered by the force of the hail, sending glass and ceiling pieces crashing down. She and her husband sheltered in the living room away from the golf ball-sized hail that pounded her spiral staircase, while the family cat, Brie, cowered in the basement.
“It was like a war zone,” said Ms. Kadri, 60, of the June 13 evening when an unusually powerful cloudburst hit Calgary’s northeast neighbourhoods.
The hail and rain storm flooded streets, shredded siding on thousands of houses, hammered cars, smashed windows, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Even Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s house wasn’t spared.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in all of my years. It’s like the homes have been shot at, straight from the air,” said Tom Sampson, chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.
For Ms. Kadri and thousands of others affected by the storm, the burning question two weeks later is how to pay insurance deductibles, and for repairs and cleanup not covered by their policies. With the losses mounting, the provincial government’s announcement Thursday that it will be providing emergency disaster funding only for uninsurable property losses – mainly overland flooding – as well as municipal cleanup costs, is unlikely to quiet the calls for help paying for property damage that was mostly caused by hail.
The storm has exacerbated what was already a difficult situation for the diverse, working-class quadrant of Calgary. The city’s unemployment rate sits above 13 per cent. Many lost work or shut down their businesses when COVID-19 hit. Ms. Kadri’s one-woman catering business has seen bookings dry up as large gatherings are cancelled because of the pandemic. Others lost their jobs when oil prices crashed in April.
“COVID has come at probably the worst time ever in Alberta’s history,” said Khalil Karbani, a spokesman for community associations and religious groups in the area.
“And over and above all that, we have this hail storm,” he said.
“It’s survival mode right now.”
Southern and central Alberta, and northeast Calgary and nearby Airdrie in particular, are well-known for the ferocity of their summertime hail storms. Over the past decade, there have been more than two dozen hail storms in Alberta with damages totalling more than $4-billion in insured losses.
The rate of severe weather events in Alberta has increased in the past decade. But it appears the damage from June 13 is much more widespread, and could be the most expensive of a run of major summer hail storm events since 2010. The mayor says the damage could hit $1-billion – and could perhaps have damaged more homes than the 2013 flood – while the province pegs it at $250-million to $500-million. The storm hit Calgary, Airdrie and Rocky View. In communities such as Saddle Ridge and Taradale, block after block is marked by houses with damaged siding, shattered windows, and vehicles that appear as if they were battered with hammers.
Given the size and velocity of the hail that came down, “my estimate is that any car parked on the road north of 64th Avenue is probably a write-off,” said George Chahal, councillor for Ward 5, the epicentre for damage.
This hail was unusually concentrated on a populous and urban area, upping the amount of property damage, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Mr. Karbani argues some insurance companies are only willing to cover a portion of damages because of depreciation and are “hiding behind the fine print” of their policies. Some people, he noted, cancelled comprehensive auto insurance, which includes hail damage, while their vehicles were parked unused during the pandemic.
He said the province should set up a special disaster relief fund lest the damage to houses, cars and psyches be left unattended for months and years. “It has broken us in pieces already.”
Premier Jason Kenney agreed during a news conference Thursday that the timing of the storm could not be worse. But he said the government is not willing to pay above and beyond the Disaster Recovery Program, which doesn’t cover hail, sewer backup and insurance deductibles.
“If the government steps in and starts making payments for insurable private property, that would create a very serious moral hazard where people would – in the future – say they have no need to insure their property.”
The Premier added that such a move would effectively “bail out” insurance companies, as they wouldn’t face the impetus to make good on their policies if they knew the government was going to step in.
As of midday Thursday, the Insurance Bureau of Canada said more than 35,000 insurance claims related to the storm had been made. More claims are coming in every hour, said Rob de Pruis, a spokesman for the industry group.
People should have been aware of the limitations of their policies when they purchased them, he said, and some made the choice to purchase a less extensive policy to keep their premiums lower.
“An insurance policy is not a maintenance policy,” he added.
Mr. Kenney pledged his government will push insurance companies to honour policies, and “do so generously, erring on the side of the claimants.”
Source: The Globe and Mail
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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.”
VANCOUVER _ A report commissioned by the B.C. government says insurance premiums for condominium buildings have increased by as much as 40 per cent year over year while deductible costs have tripled.
Blair Morrison, chief executive officer of The B.C. Financial Services Authority, says the state of the insurance market for condo buildings is unhealthy.
He says despite large increases in the cost of insurance, the situation has yet to stabilize, likely meaning further increases for condo councils, known as strata councils in B.C.
The report says some councils are at risk of not being able to obtain full insurance coverage for the buildings they oversee.
Authority vice-president Frank Chong says B.C.’s earthquake risk and insurance losses over the past three years from numerous minor claims due to poor building maintenance are among the reasons for the higher costs.
Chong says a final report will be completed by this fall after consultations with the government, the industry and condo owners.
A representative for B.C.’s insurance industry was not immediately available for comment.