London Ontario: The Co-operators acquires Bando & Brown General Insurance

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News Release:

GUELPH, ON, Nov. 5, 2015 /CNW/ – Co-operators General Insurance Company announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary has purchased Bando & Brown General Insurance in London, Ontario. The brokerage’s portfolio includes personal and commercial insurance policies.

Current clients of the brokerage will be notified of the change in ownership and their existing insurance coverage will remain in effect with no changes to their premiums or coverage for the current term of their policies. As current policies expire, clients will be offered comparable policies from The Co-operators.

“We’re pleased to be strengthening our presence and growing our agency distribution system in Ontarioand across the country, which is part of our growth strategy,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “Our new clients will benefit from the wide range of insurance and financial products, as well as the expertise, offered by Co-operators advisors.”

Clients will enjoy the exemplary service of a leading national insurance co-operative and have access to a full suite of insurance products including home, auto, life, travel, commercial and farm insurance.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $40 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products.

The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean’s magazine. For more information please visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, 519-767-3937

John Hancock adds to broker dealer network in deal with Transamerica

BOSTON _ Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC) subsidiary John Hancock is expanding its broker dealer business in the United States with the acquisition of part of Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close within six months, were not disclosed.

However, the company said Tuesday that up 1,100 advisers from Transamerica working at roughly 50 firms across the United States will become affiliated with Signator Investors, the broker dealer arm of John Hancock Financial Network, along with about 90 employees who support TFA.

“This transaction will contribute to the company’s continued success by enhancing Signator’s presence among the country’s top broker dealers,” John Hancock president Craig Bromley said in a statement.

Manulife is a Toronto-based insurance and financial services company with some C$883 billion in assets under management. It operates as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and under the John Hancock banner in the U.S.

Signator Investors has a national network of independent firms and approximately 1,500 financial professionals across the U.S.

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The Co-operators honoured as one of the Best Employers in Canada

GUELPH, ON, Nov. 5, 2015 /CNW/ – Today, The Co-operators was ranked among the Aon Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt, which rated the organization as a Platinum Level employer. The prestigious list, based primarily on confidential employee surveys, was published in Canadian Business magazine today.

The Aon Best Employers Study is a unique piece of national workplace research that provides an in-depth view into employee and leader opinions, external benchmarking and identification of key priorities that drive engagement. Its data and analysis are used by employers such as The Co-operators to identify areas of strength and areas in need of improvement.

“A highly engaged workforce is invaluable to our organization because it means that our employees support our mission and work hard to provide financial security for Canadians and their communities,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “Our staff members make extraordinary efforts to provide first-rate service to our clients, and bring our co-operative principles to life. They appreciate working for a values-based organization, and that’s reflected in our engagement scores.”

Included in The Co-operators listing are The Co-operators Group Limited and Co-operators General Insurance Company of Guelph, Ontario; Regina-based Co-operators Life Insurance Company; HB Group/COSECO of Mississauga; and CUMIS of Burlington, Ontario. In addition, two other members of The Co-operators group of companies, Addenda Capital, based in Montreal, and the Sovereign General of Calgary, were included on the Best Small Medium Employers in Canada list, also announced today.

The Co-operators is a Canadian-owned co-operative well known for its community involvement and commitment to sustainability. As the survey results demonstrate, its more than 4,3000 employees across the country take pride in being part of the organization, share its values, and work hard to support its mission of providing financial security to Canadians and their communities.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $40 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean’s magazine. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

Insurance industry calls on Ontarians to install and check CO alarms

Source: IBC: “Carbon monoxide is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas that tragically kills 50 Ontarians every year and injures hundreds more,” said Doug DeRabbie, Director, Government Relations, Ontario, IBC. “Equip your home with a CO alarm and help save a life.”

As part of its commitment to raising awareness, IBC has donated more than 5,000 CO alarms to fire services in communities across Ontario. See the backgrounder below for a complete list of communities.

“It’s important to remember that your home is likely not immune to the risk of carbon monoxide. Approximately 88% of all homes contain something that poses a carbon monoxide threat, so be sure to install CO alarms and check them regularly,” added DeRabbie.

IBC was a member of the Technical Advisory Committee that made recommendations regarding the regulation of CO detectors. IBC is also an active member of the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council and a proud partner of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education.

View video for more information:

Economical starts on the Road to Demutualization

Source: Doug Maybee – Economical Insurance Press Release:

Economical Insurance  announced on November 3, 2015 that its board of directors has formally decided to proceed with demutualization, launching the process to convert the company from a mutual to a stock company with shareholders.

“Today marks a pivotal milestone for Economical. Our board and its special committee on demutualization have carefully reviewed the regulations and the impact this process will have on the organization and its stakeholders. With the recommendation of our special committee on demutualization, we have unanimously determined that demutualization is in the best interests of the company,” said Gerald Hooper, chairman of Economical’s board of directors. “Demutualization will allow Economical to unlock its full potential and compete with the top players in the P&C insurance industry. Economical is ready and excited for this next phase of the process to begin.”

Eligibility to participate in demutualization

Economical’s policyholders will play an important role throughout the demutualization process, including serving on committees to negotiate the method of allocation among eligible policyholders and any other persons they determine.

The demutualization framework, including eligibility, is set out in regulations enacted by the federal government. Under the regulations, an eligible policyholder must, at a minimum, have held a policy on November 3, 2015, the date of the board decision (non-mutual policyholders would also had to have done so for the 12-month period ending on that date). However, an eligible policyholder might lose their eligibility if their policy is cancelled or lapses after the board decision date.

Economical has requested guidance from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), on whether policies must be held past the board decision date in order for policyholders to remain eligible. Once Economical receives this guidance, more information will be made available. In the meantime, if it appears a policyholder may be eligible and they do not want to affect that potential eligibility, Economical recommends they maintain their policy beyond November 3, 2015.

More information on eligibility can be found on Economical’s demutualization website (www.joininourfuture.com).

Next step — mutual policyholders decision

Under the regulatory framework, the next step is the special meeting of policyholders where eligible mutual policyholders will decide whether to continue with the demutualization process. Details of the meeting will be announced once the meeting has been called by the board.

At this meeting, eligible mutual policyholders will decide whether to continue with the process by authorizing the commencement of negotiations with eligible non-mutual policyholders on the allocation of demutualization benefits. As outlined in the regulations set forth by the Department of Finance, if the vote is passed, Economical will send a notice to all eligible mutual and non-mutual policyholders to inform them of the decision and explain the demutualization process.

The demutualization process is complex and requires many steps to complete. Economical estimates that, from today’s date to the date the Minister of Finance approves the conversion, the process will take at least 24 months, assuming all steps are successful.

The board can terminate the demutualization process at any time before completion if the board determines that demutualization is no longer in the best interests of the company.

Demutualization website — www.joininourfuture.com

Economical remains committed to keeping our stakeholders informed throughout the demutualization process. To achieve this, a fresh new website designed specifically with policyholders in mind — www.joininourfuture.com  is available. This website provides information about the latest news and access to demutualization-related resources. The website will continue to provide regular updates and stakeholders are encouraged to visit the website.

Aviva: Insurer getting tough on Ottawa Uber drivers

By Julienne Bay |  OTTAWA SUN

Members of the Canadian Taxi Association are collecting data of the Uber drivers in various cities, the association’s president says.

Marc Andre Way said there are a team of cabbies taking Uber rides to collect the data of the drivers including plate numbers — to share the information with various insurance companies.

As a result, Aviva Canada, an insurance company, cracked down on four of its Ottawa drivers after being tipped off about their rideshare operations.

Of the four drivers, two had their policies voided, one driver let the policy lapse at renewal and one driver had his policy rewritten to fit the commercial purposes.

Glenn Cooper, a spokesman for Aviva, said the tips were given by the Canadian Taxi Association within the last few months.

Cooper, who said offering rideshares are business operations, added not having proper insurance could lead to adjustment or void of their policy.

Personal auto insurance does not cover elevated risks for vehicle damage and accidents related to commercial operations, he said.

He added those operating rideshare services under personal auto insurance are putting themselves and their customers in a danger, as their claims could get denied in a case of an accident.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Taxi Association is not looking to stop collecting plate numbers of Uber drivers.

Way said the team of “volunteers” have taken hundreds of Uber rides and there will likely be more drivers being cracked down by their insurance companies.

He added the cities of Ottawa and Toronto have not taken proper steps to enforce regulation toward rideshare services.

“We’re held to different standards than they (the Uber drivers) are,” Way said.

Way said those collecting Uber drivers’ data are doing so on their own free time, and taxi businesses have not been affected.

Uber Canada’s spokeswoman, Susie Heath, told the Sun Uber is working with Intact Financial to develop an insurance plan specifically tailored for ridesharing in Canada.

In the interim, every Uber ride in Canada continues to be covered by auto liability insurance with Uber’s current insurance provider, Heath said in an email.

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