Canada’s Largest Provider of P&C Insurance, Intact Financial Corp, Makes Strategic Investment in Metromile

Metrolife

Today, Metromile, a pioneer in pay-per-mile car insurance in the United States, announced that Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) has made a strategic investment in Metromile. IFC is the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada. The venture is in line with IFC’s long-term strategy to invest and partner with emerging and innovative businesses.

“Metromile is redefining the marketplace with its unique business model, innovations and smart technology offerings,” said Karim Hirji, Senior Vice-President, International & Ventures, Intact Financial Corporation. “This venture represents an exciting opportunity for Intact Financial to expand its core competencies which will ultimately enhance the customer experience.”

Metromile offers customers a pay-per-mile insurance option that saves low-mileage customers $500 on average each year. With 95 million low mileage drivers in the United States the company has an addressable market of more than $70 billion.

“At Metromile, we work to make owning a car easy and affordable for drivers,” said Dan Preston, CEO at Metromile. “In 2015, pay-per-mile insurance saved our customers an average of $500 per year, and the Metromile app helped customers diagnose their car issues, avoid thousands of parking tickets, and more. We are excited to partner with Intact Financial, who shares similar values in transparency, customer experience, and a technology-driven approach to insurance.”

Metromile currently offers pay-per-mile insurance in seven states including California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Virginia,Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Availability in these seven states means that 30 percent of drivers in the United States can now get car insurance coverage through Metromile.

Metromile also launched an innovative partnership with Uber earlier this year in California, Illinois and Washington and debuted an updated smart driving app experience including a new look and feel as well as data about trips, street sweeping alerts (in select cities), and parked location.

Since Metromile launched in 2011, the company has grown from a small team to more than 150 strong with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Tempe, Ariz. and Boston. In the last few months, the company has also focused on growing its executive team, which included hiring Chief Financial Officer Joe Selsavage, Chief Marketing Officer James Moorhead and General Counsel John Orta as well as promoting former Vice President of Engineering, Jose Mercado, to Chief Technology Officer.

Policies are sold through Metromile Insurance Services LLC (the Managing General Agent for insurance policies) and are written by insurers in the National General Insurance Group.

About Intact Financial Corporation
Intact Financial Corporation (www.intactfc.com) is the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada with $7.3 billion in premiums. With over 11,000 employees, the company insures more than five million individuals and businesses through its insurance subsidiaries and is the largest private sector provider of P&C insurance in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec and Nova Scotia. The company distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly owned subsidiary, BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect.

About Metromile
Metromile is revolutionizing car insurance through technology with its pay-per-mile insurance model. By offering affordable car insurance, transparent pricing based on the miles you actually drive, data to optimize how you use your car, and instant access to detailed vehicle diagnostics via the driving app, Metromile is transforming car insurance — and car ownership — to be more intelligent, seamless, and accessible than ever before. Metromile is expanding across the US, and currently empowering drivers in California,Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington. For more information, visit metromile.com.

SOURCE Metromile

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A.M. Best Assigns Rating to The Empire Life Insurance Company’s New Preferred Shares

A.M. Best has assigned an issue rating of “bbb” to the recently issued CAD 130 million non-cumulative rate reset Series 1 preferred shares of The Empire Life Insurance Company (Empire Life) (Kingston, Ontario, Canada). The outlook assigned to the rating is stable, which is consistent with the outlook for the existing ratings of Empire Life. (For further details, please see A.M. Best’s press release dated May 19, 2015).

Empire Life intends to use the net proceeds from the sale of the preferred shares for regulatory capital and general corporate purposes. The Series 1 preferred shares’ initial dividend rate is set at 5.75%, payable quarterly until April 17, 2021. Subsequent to this initial period, and every five years after, Empire Life will determine on the 30th day prior to the first day of the subsequent fixed rate period the annual fixed dividend based upon the five-year Canadian bond yield. A.M. Best notes that Empire Life’s overall financial leverage is expected to remain below 30%, while interest coverage is expected to remain above five times. Both measures are within A.M. Best’s guidelines for Empire Life’s current rating level.

The rating recognizes Empire Life’s continued earnings growth and sustainable market presence in Canada with multiple lines of business. Empire Life is among the 10 largest life insurance companies in Canada (based on general and segregated fund assets), although the company has a 6% market share or less in its three major product lines. Empire Life markets a broad range of life insurance and investment products, employee benefit plans and financial services to individuals, professionals and the small to medium group market through multiple distribution channels. Additionally, A.M. Best will continue to monitor the company, which has been challenged due to sustained low interest rates and recent equity market volatility given its large segregated fund block of business.

This press release relates to rating(s) that have been published on A.M. Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page.

A.M. Best is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2016 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

A.M. Best
Erik Miller, 908-439-2200, ext. 5187
Senior Financial Analyst
erik.miller@ambest.com
or
Edward Kohlberg, 908-439-2200, ext. 5664
Managing Senior Financial Analyst
edward.kohlberg@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, 908-439-2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com

ICBC’s Hall of Shame: Cyber Fraud Files of 2015

ICBC’s Hall of Shame: Cyber Fraud Files of 2015

A woman too hurt to go to work yet finds time for roller derby, a man who sets his own truck on fire then tries to make a claim, and a man who completes a grueling 12-mile obstacle race despite claiming to be severely injured — these are just three phony cases caught by ICBC, using evidence found publicly available online. Many of those who exaggerate claims expose their own lies by posting photos and updates on their social media profiles that are inconsistent with their claims.

Insurance industry estimates indicate 10 to 20 per cent of auto insurance claims contain an element of fraud or exaggeration. Meaning, fraudulent claims like these cost B.C. up to $600 million each year, or every driver more than $100 on their annual insurance policy.

In order to combat fraud and keep costs down, ICBC has enhanced its Special Investigations Unit by taking many of its investigations online. Last year, 2350 cyber cases were opened. ICBC has also beefed up its training program to help frontline staff detect fraud, and later this year, ICBC will purchase special fraud software that will help to quickly flag patterns and high predictors of fraud at the beginning of the claims process.

While the vast majority of ICBC’s customers are honest, there are some drivers that choose to exaggerate or make false claims. ICBC’s anti-fraud campaign intends to raise awareness about fraudulent insurance claims and its financial impact to all B.C. drivers.

Here are some cases that happened in 2015 of people caught red-handed online:

Roller Derby Ruse
After getting into a crash, a woman complained that her injuries were preventing her from going back to work as a hairdresser. But according to her Facebook and Twitter accounts, although she may not have been able to go to work, she still had the energy to go hiking, running, and join a roller derby team. A rising star on the rink, her updates regaled the many injuries she incurred as one of the ‘hardest hitters’ on the team. When confronted with the evidence, the woman agreed fair compensation was about half of what she was originally demanding, and she settled her claim.

Kung Fu Cure
A Lower Mainland man claimed that he was unable to go back to his desk job due to his injuries, following a collision in Vancouver. Shortly after his claim was submitted, investigators found pictures of him on Facebook showcasing his athletic prowess, while supposedly recovering from his crash. In one photo, posted by a friend, he’s seen crossing the finish line of a grueling 12-mile obstacle race in Whistler. In another, it’s a video of him taking down an opponent at a mixed martial arts facility. After the evidence was shown to him, he quickly settled his claim, citing a miraculous recovery from his injuries.

When There’s Smoke…
A Kamloops man reported to police and ICBC that his truck – which he claimed was in good working condition – had been set on fire by vandals. The representative who took his claim smelled smoke, so ICBC’s cyber investigators did some digging and found the same truck listed for sale on Craigslist. In the description, the owner revealed his motive when he wrote that he was putting his vehicle up for sale because he couldn’t afford to pay for the repairs his truck sorely needed. Furthermore, the estimator inspecting the vehicle uncovered physical evidence confirming that the fire was suspicious. The man was denied payment on his claim, and was left with an idle truck.

Million Dollar Mischief
A Kelowna woman was involved in a minor MVA when she was hit by a motorcycle while walking in a crosswalk with friends. The case went to trial where she demanded $1M for her injuries. In court, the judge heard the woman make inconsistent statements, and found the reports from her father and medical providers contradictory to her claims as well. ICBC investigators also submitted social media posts that challenged her claims. As a result of the overwhelming amount of evidence that showed she had grossly exaggerated her injuries, the judge denied her $1M request and awarded her only $20,000 for her actual injuries. She was also required to pay for ICBC’s legal costs – about $34,000.

Insurance fraud increases claims costs, which leads to higher premiums for every British Columbian needing auto insurance.

The public can protect their wallets by reporting suspicious activities related to insurance fraud to ICBC’s toll-free tips line at 1-800-661-6844. Tip information is confidential and callers can remain anonymous.

Media contact:
Joanna Linsangan
604-982-2480

Aviva Canada works with police to fight fraud and lay charges in false theft report cases

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Manulife appoints Chief Marketing Officer for Canada

Manulife announced that it has appointed Glenn Hollis as Senior Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, Canadian Division for Manulife.  Reporting to the President and CEO of Manulife Canada, Marianne Harrison, Hollis will also be a member of the Canadian Division Executive Leadership Team.

“Manulife is innovating to create new and extraordinary customer experiences to set us apart from the competition and become a leading disruptor in our industry,” said Harrison.  “Glenn brings transformational leadership to execute a truly innovative and integrated marketing strategy that builds on our brand in Canada.”

Glenn Hollis was most recently with Level 5 Strategy Group as a Senior Strategic Consultant working on various businesses and also directly, through his own consultancy practice, with WestJet as a client.  From 2007 to 2015, he was Vice President, Marketing, Brand Strategy and Guest Experience (Canada, USA, & International) with Tim Hortons.  Prior to his tenure at Tim Hortons, Hollis worked at the Canadian operations of some of the world’s leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, Young and Rubicam, BBDO, and Saatchi & Saatchi.

About Manulife
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group providing forward-thinking solutions to help people with their big financial decisions.  We operate as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere.  We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions.  At the end of 2014, we had 28,000 employees, 58,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving 20 million customers.  At the end of September 2015, we had $888 billion (US$663 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made more than $23 billion in benefits, interest and other payments to our customers.  Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada 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 Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong.  Follow Manulife on Twitter @ManulifeNews or visit www.manulife.com or www.johnhancock.com.

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

For further information: Media Contact: Sean B. Pasternak, Manulife, 416-852-2745, sean_pasternak@manulife.com; Investor Relations: Robert Veloso, Manulife, robert_veloso@manulife.com, 416-852-8982

 

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