The Co-operators acquires Assurances Madelein

The Co-operators announced today it has purchased Assurances Madelein Inc. (Assurances Madelein) in Laval, Quebec.

The brokerage’s portfolio includes personal and commercial insurance policies. Any existing insurance coverage a client has will remain unchanged and in effect for the current term of their policies.

“This acquisition further strengthens our distribution system and the co-operative presence in Quebec,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “With our continued growth in the province, we are able to deepen our connection to our Quebec clients helping us better understand their unique needs and help them accomplish their financial goals.

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

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $42.5 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 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt and Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. For more information, visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

www.cooperators.ca

Should Alberta adopt similar distracted driving legislation as Ontario?

Some Alberta drivers are calling on the province to adopt similar penalties for distracted driving as Ontario.

Stiff penalties passed by the Ontario government came into effect on Jan. 1. Under the new law, an Ontario motorist caught distracted driving for the first time could face a $1,000 fine, three demerit points and a three-day license suspension.

If there are second and third convictions within five years, the fines double and triple, respectively. Each instance would also result in six demerit points. Drivers would lose their licence for seven days upon the second conviction, and 30 days upon the third conviction.

In Alberta, the fine for distracted driving is $287 and three demerits, but some drivers say that is not a steep enough penalty.

“I’ve seen it all … doing their make-up. I don’t care what it is, if you’re going to drive like that, you deserve what you get,” driver Sherry, who didn’t give a last name, said.

“I would support the position that Ontario has taken because I think that distracted driving is incredibly dangerous,” another driver, who didn’t provide a name, said.

According to Alberta Transportation, distracted driving convictions in Alberta have gone down. But the numbers are still significant, with the latest statistics showing 23,546 fines in 2017-2018.

The highest number of offenses (18,659) relate to drivers using handheld devices like phones to communicate while behind the wheel. People have also been caught reading, writing and grooming while driving.

Lee Brooks is a retired class-one commercial driver. He has driven many kilometres on highways and says he has seen multiple collisions because of distracted driving. He wants the penalties to be much stricter across the country.

“I believe fully it should be Canada-wide. As a matter of fact, I don’t even think $1,000 is enough. I think it should be a three-month suspension automatically,” Brooks said.

In November, Manitoba increased its distracted driving fine to nearly $700 and a three-day licence suspension, but so far it has not had an impact on the habits of some drivers.

According to Manitoba Public Insurance, a total of 237 drivers province-wide had their licenses suspended for the minimum three-day period within in the first month of the new penalties coming into place.

Source: Global News

The Co-operators and Aldergrove Insurance welcome Envision clients

Credit Union Agencies Alliance Limited (CUAAL)*, a strategic alliance between The Co-operators, First Credit Union and Aldergrove Credit Union, announced today it has purchased Envision’s book of business in Aldergrove, British Columbia.

The current Envision, Aldergrove building was earmarked for a new community centre, and has closed to enable the development. CUAAL’s purchase of this book of business will allow clients to continue to receive local service that is rooted in co-operative values.

“As part of CUAAL, The Co-operators is happy to help facilitate a transaction that showcases how co-operative organizations work together to ensure the best experience for their members,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “We look forward to helping our new clients get the insurance and investment products they need to achieve financial security, and ultimately, peace of mind.”

Current clients’ 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.

Envision Insurance Services is a division of First West Insurance Services Ltd, which is owned by First West Credit Union. First West Insurance / Envision Insurance will continue to serve insurance clients at its remaining locations.

*CUAAL is a company that is owned jointly by The Co-operators (50%) and participating credit union partners (share 50%). This unique model brings together strong co-operative organizations to leverage efficiencies and better serve the interests of credit union members.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $42.5 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 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt and Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. For more information, visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

www.cooperators.ca

iA Financial Group Announces Completion of Plan of Arrangement

Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. (“IAIFS“) announces that the plan of arrangement approved at the annual and special meeting of its common shareholders held on May 10, 2018 has been completed. Effective January 1, 2019, IAIFS is a subsidiary all of whose common shares are held by iA Financial Corporation Inc. (“iA Financial Corporation“).

Under the plan of arrangement, all the common shares of IAIFS outstanding at January 1, 2019 have been exchanged for newly issued common shares of iA Financial Corporation, the new holding company, on a one‑for‑one basis. The holders of IAIFS’s common shares were not required to take any action for the exchange of their shares. Issued and outstanding series of preferred shares and debentures will remain issued by IAIFS and have been guaranteed by iA Financial Corporation in accordance with the terms of the arrangement.

At the open of markets on January 4, 2019, the common shares of iA Financial Corporation will be listed and begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the existing trading symbol of IAIFS (TSX: IAG). The publicly issued and outstanding Class A Preferred Shares, Series B, G and I, of IAIFS will continue to trade on the TSX but under the new symbols “IAF.PR.B”, “IAF.PR.G” and “IAF.PR.I”.

iA Financial Corporation is governed by the Business Corporations Act (Quebec) and is not regulated under the Act respecting insurance (Quebec). However iA Financial Corporation will maintain the ability to supply capital, if it considers it necessary, to IAIFS so that the latter meets the adequacy of capital requirements under the Act respecting insurance (Quebec). Pursuant to an undertaking, iA Financial Corporation will disclose its capital position on a quarterly basis. A copy of the undertaking (to which the Autorité des marchés financiers is an intervening party) will be filed under the SEDAR profiles of both iA Financial Corporation and IAISF at www.SEDAR.com.

As of January 1, 2019, the members of the Boards of Directors of IAIFS and iA Financial Corporation are the same, and the normal course issuer bid program of IAIFS has been transferred to iA Financial Corporation, subject to compliance with regulatory limits and requirements.

A full description of the plan of arrangement was provided in the Management Proxy Circular of IAIFS dated March 23, 2018 that was sent to common shareholders and filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The final order approving the arrangement was issued by the Superior Court of Québec on May 17, 2018. The arrangement was authorized by the Québec Minister of Finance as required under the Act respecting insurance (Quebec) on December 12, 2018.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. The securities described herein have not been, and will not be, registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”) or any state securities laws and accordingly may not be offered or sold within the United States or to “U.S. persons”, as such term is defined in Regulation S promulgated under the U.S. Securities Act, except in compliance with the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities requirements or pursuant to exemptions therefrom. It is anticipated that any securities to be issued under the Arrangement will be offered and issued in reliance upon the exemption from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act provided by Section 3(a)(10) thereof and pursuant to applicable exemptions under state securities laws.

About iA Financial Group
Founded in 1892, IAIFS is one of the largest insurance and wealth management companies in Canada and also has operations in the United States. iA Financial Corporation trades on the TSX under the ticker symbol IAG. IAIFS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of iA Financial Corporation Inc.

iA Financial Group is a business name and trademark of Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

SOURCE Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

For further information: Investor Relations, Grace Pollock, Telephone: 418-780-5945, grace.pollock@ia.ca; Public Relations, Pierre Picard, Telephone: 418-684-5000, extension 101660, pierre.picard@ia.ca

Related Links

www.iaah.ca

Priest ready to forgive pre Christmas thief who targeted N.S. church

SYDNEY, N.S. _ A Cape Breton priest says he will forgive the thief who stole several thousand dollars from his church ahead of the holidays if he comes forward now.

“I think forgiveness is very important for every Christian, and I’m a Catholic priest, so I should be an example of that,” said Father Patrick O’Neill of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Sydney River, N.S.

The stolen $4,000 came from ticket sales for holiday fundraising events, and O’Neill said the envelope of cash had been taken out of the church secretary’s desk on Sunday, Dec. 16.

He said he first noticed the money was missing when he walked by the office after 6 p.m. mass and noticed the secretary’s door was slightly ajar.

“I thought that maybe she left it open by accident, which was not normal,” he said. “I looked at the door casing and I noticed it was cracked, and somebody would’ve had to have kicked it open, or use their shoulder and basically broke in.”

He said the church has video evidence of the theft, and he recognized the man caught on tape.

The church has insurance, so O’Neill said he wasn’t worried about the financial loss though he said that doesn’t take away from his disappointment about the incident.

“I’ve been a priest for 16 years now, and that’s never happened to me before. You feel violated when someone comes into your place and takes things that belong to the people of the parish,” he said.

But he added:  “I feel bad for his own circumstances which would drive him to make that choice: to steal from anyone, especially a church.”

O’Neill said he hopes the thief will have a  “change of heart.”

“Personally I would be very open to anyone who wants to be forgiven in any particular way for what they’ve done,” he said.

Cape Breton Regional Police have confirmed they’re investigating the theft.

By Alex Cooke in Halifax

Has water damaged your home?

Desjardins Group

Latest Desjardins survey reveals 1 in 4 Canadians have experienced water damage to their home but only half know what’s covered by their insurance policy

AURORA, ONDec. 6, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – With winter right around the corner, Canadians are already in the midst of snow and sub-zero cold. The freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your home, causing pipes to freeze and ice damming.

Water is the most common cause of damage and accounts for 50% of home insurance claims costs. And although home insurance policies cover accidental damage resulting from a burst water pipe, a leaking dishwasher or an overflowing bathtub, a recent Desjardins survey reveals that 50% of respondents do not know what types of water damage is covered. When asked if their home was ever damaged by water, 26% say yes but most (43%) said they don’t know how to prevent water damage to their home.

Increase in claims
With more frequent and severe weather incidents like heavy rain, lightning storms, hail, freezing-thawing cycles and flooding, there has been an increase in the number of water-related insurance claims across the country.

When asked if they feel weather severity has increased in frequency in the last 10 years, 75% of respondents believe that’s true, with 58% indicating they are worried about climate change impacting their personal safety or safety of their property.

Tech solutions can mitigate damage
“As one of Canada’s leading property and casualty insurers, we understand the level of stress people can experience because of water damage. Lost or damaged valuables and family treasures cannot be replaced. This is why we focus on innovation to prevent and reduce the frequency and severity of claims and, above all else, to bring peace of mind to our clients,” says Alain Hade, Vice-President, Marketing and Member Client Experience at Desjardins Insurance.

Alert is an innovative prevention program offered to home insurance policyholders. It comes with a free water and freeze detector and, if the unexpected happens, like a burst pipe or leaking toilet, clients get an alert on their smartphone and can act fast to limit the damage.

Radar will send you an alert when there is a risk of severe weather, like a hail storm, heavy rain, high winds, a hurricane or tornado, within 500 metres of your specific addresses. Clients are alerted by push notification via SMS or email as a heads-up that can help them protect their property.

These programs give clients prevention and awareness tools to help limit the damage caused by water and freezing.

Links to additional resources:

About the Survey
The online survey, conducted in March 2018, polled 3,020 respondents of driving age across Canada.

SOURCE Desjardins Group

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