SSQ Insurance to go ahead with reimbursement of medical cannabis expenses

In light of clinical advances demonstrating the efficacy of cannabis in the treatment or relief of certain medical conditions, SSQ Insurance will be offering a new option as of January 1, 2019, to cover medical cannabis expenses.

“This coverage, in compliance with federal law on medical marijuana use, is for those for whom traditional prescription drugs have been deemed ineffective,” said Éric Trudel, Senior Vice-President, Strategies and Product Management at SSQ Insurance.

In an effort to control group insurance costs, eligibility for the expenses incurred for the purchase of medical cannabis will be subject to certain conditions determined by SSQ Insurance. Therefore, prior authorization from SSQ Insurance will be required given that medical cannabis will be covered only when used to treat or relieve one of the following medical conditions when standard pharmacological treatments have not worked:

  • Chronic neuropathic pain
  • Cancer related pain
  • Spasticity secondary to multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury
  • Nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy

In addition, medical cannabis must be prescribed by an authorized physician or nurse and purchased solely from a licensed vendor duly authorized by Health Canada.

SSQ Insurance will monitor legislative changes and clinical advances in the field and make the necessary adjustments to the eligibility conditions listed above.

About SSQ Insurance
Founded in 1944, SSQ Insurance is a mutualist company that puts community at the heart of insurance. With assets under management of $12 billion, SSQ Insurance is one of the largest companies in the industry. Working for a community of over three million customers, SSQ Insurance employs over 2,000 people. Leader in group insurance, the company also sets itself apart through its expertise in individual life and health insurance, general insurance and the investment sector. For more information, please visit ssq.ca.

SOURCE SSQ Insurance

Cal LeGrow Insurance and Financial Group, Expands Into Nova Scotia

ST. JOHN’SSept. 19th, 2018 /CNW/ Cal LeGrow Insurance and Financial Group, the largest independent commercial insurance broker in Newfoundland and Labrador, unveiled plans today to open an office in Nova Scotia this fall, working to expand their presence across the Maritimes.

“Expansion into the Maritimes is a logical next step in our story to take the strength of the Cal LeGrow brand and value proposition and plant it proudly into the Maritimes,” said Jeff LeGrow, Cal LeGrow CEO and Chairman. “Today we service about 1 in 4 businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador, and as our clients are growing and expanding into the Maritimes, now so must we. We are committed to bringing the same service excellence to clients across the Atlantic Provinces.”

In addition to expansion plans, Cal LeGrow also announced organizational changes. To support the expansion into Nova Scotia, Cal LeGrow has recruited 20-year sales and marketing veteran, Keith Vokey, to lead the operations and development of the Maritime operations as Senior Vice President, Maritimes. He will be based out of Halifax.

“Keith is no stranger to Cal LeGrow. He worked here at the beginning of his career of twenty plus years,”continued Jeff LeGrow“He has spent his career in senior sales and key account positions, building a deep roster of client relationships and experiences that he will bring to our business. He’s come full circle and we are excited to have Keith’s fresh perspective at our management table.”

Cal LeGrow also announced today that Kevin Casey has been named its newest partner and shareholder.

“Kevin has been fully invested in our business since he joined our team over two years ago, and today, Rod Vatcher and I are thrilled to welcome him to the ownership team,” said Jeff LeGrow“Through Kevin’s leadership, our sales team has been reenergized, experiencing significant growth year over year, and now we plan to build on that momentum, expanding our business into the Maritimes.”

Kevin Casey joined Cal LeGrow as the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing in April 2016 after almost 15 years as Co-founder at Idea Factory, a full-service advertising agency in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

“We worked closely with Kevin for many years in his role at Idea Factory and about three years ago we started discussions with him about our long-term vision and where we wanted to take the business. We knew Kevin’s fresh thinking would enhance our sales culture and brand in many different and positive ways. Kevin connected with our vision immediately,” explains Rod Vatcher, President of Cal LeGrow, “and things have worked very well ever since.”

“Like so many mature industries, the future of business insurance is changing rapidly and we are positioning ourselves to meet those demands head-on,” said Kevin Casey, newly appointed Executive Vice President and Partner. “We will continue to invest in talent and we are always exploring acquisition opportunities in the insurance and wealth management space,” continued Casey. “Our plans for growth are bold and I am excited to do my part, along with our exceptional team, to drive the business vision forward.”

Currently, Cal LeGrow manages risk for over 4000 businesses across Newfoundland and Labrador. These announcements come as the next in a series of steps Cal LeGrow has taken to further strengthen their position in commercial insurance and financial planning solutions in Newfoundland and Labrador, and now the Atlantic provinces.

About Cal LeGrow

Cal LeGrow Insurance and Financial Group is one of Atlantic Canada’s largest independent commercial insurance and financial solutions brokerages. In 2016, Cal LeGrow was invited to be a member of the Canadian Broker Network (CBN) as the only Atlantic Canadian representative. CBN is a consortium of leading independent brokerages representing more than $1 Billion in property casualty premiums as well as employee benefits and life and financial services. Together, CBN has over 50 offices across Canada and 1500 employees.

SOURCE Cal LeGrow Insurance & Financial Group

Manulife announces appointment of Chief Human Resources Officer and retirement of Chief Investment Officer

Manulife today announced it has appointed Pamela Kimmet as Chief Human Resources Officer. Ms. Kimmet will oversee the Company’s Human Resources function and provide leadership to the people and culture elements of the Company’s transformation. The Company also announced that Warren Thomson has made the decision to retire as Manulife’s Chief Investment Officer and Chairman of Global Wealth and Asset Management.

Chief Human Resources Officer

Ms. Kimmet’s appointment is effective October 1, 2018, and she will report directly to Manulife President and Chief Executive Officer Roy Gori.

Ms. Kimmet is a world-class Human Resources leader who most recently served as the Chief Human Resources Officer of Cardinal Health, a healthcare services and products company with 50,000 employees in nearly 60 countries around the world. Ms. Kimmet has also served as a member of Manulife’s Board of Directors since March 2016. She resigned from that role effective September 4, 2018. She previously led the HR function at a number of global organizations, including Coca-Cola Enterprises, Bear, Stearns & Co. and Lucent Technologies, and held strategic HR roles at Citigroup and General Motors.

“Pam’s vast experience across a variety of industries and geographies makes her the ideal leader to take on this important role,” Mr. Gori said. “Building a high-performing team and culture is one of our five strategic priorities as we transform our Company into a digital, customer-centric market leader. Pam joins us at a critical time in our history, and her expertise in talent development and organizational change will be of great value as we work to achieve our bold people and culture ambitions.”

Ms. Kimmet is a thought leader within the HR profession, serving as Chair of the HR Policy Association, and past Chair of the Association’s Center for Executive Compensation. She also serves on the advisory boards for Cornell University’sCenter for Advanced Human Resources Studies, and the University of South Carolina’s Center for Executive Succession. Ms. Kimmet was named a Fellow by the National Academy of Human Resources in 2009. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of Perspecta, a leading information systems and mission services provider to the U.S. government.

Chief Investment Officer

Mr. Thomson has announced his intention to retire effective February 28, 2019, following an extremely successful career with Manulife and John Hancock during which he made significant contributions to the Company’s long-term success.

Paul Lorentz, who currently reports to Mr. Thomson with responsibility for Manulife’s Global Wealth and Asset Management business, has been promoted to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer, Global Wealth and Asset Management effective March 1, 2019, and will report directly to Mr. Gori. Mr. Lorentz, who was appointed to his current role in October 2017, joined Manulife in 1993 and has delivered outstanding results in a variety of Wealth and Asset Management roles.

Scott Hartz has been promoted to the role of Chief Investment Officer effective March 1, 2019, and will also report directly to Mr. Gori. Mr. Hartz currently serves as Head of General Account Investments for Manulife, overseeing all U.S., Canadian and Asian general account investments, and has performed with excellence in this role. Mr. Hartz is also the Chief Investment Officer for John Hancock Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife.

“Paul and Scott are proven leaders who have built and maintained strong momentum across their mandates and teams,” Mr. Gori said. “I’m confident they will continue to create significant value for our organization, our customers and our shareholders.”

Spanning more than two decades, Mr. Thomson’s tenure at Manulife has been marked by his focus on finding attractive growth opportunities with appropriate risk profiles. His innovative approach, coupled with a forward-looking view of clients’ needs, helped make Manulife an international leader. Following his appointment as Chief Investment Officer in 2009, during the global financial crisis, Mr. Thomson led programs to de-risk the Company’s equity and interest-rate risk exposures.

Mr. Thomson also oversaw the establishment and growth of Manulife Asset Management. Manulife Asset Management’s assets under management grew from $94 billion in 2006 to $516 billion as of June 30, 2018. Mr. Thomson led the expansion of Manulife Asset Management into private assets, which saw the Company extend its investment offerings and bring its General Fund expertise in alternative asset classes to external investors.

As a leader, Mr. Thomson has a deep belief in the importance of diversity. He is a passionate advocate of gender diversity and an executive sponsor of Women in Capital Markets, who recognized him in 2016 as a “Champion of Change” for his role in encouraging the advancement of women.

“Warren has made numerous contributions across our global franchise. He is a trusted and respected leader, and he will leave a strong legacy,” said Mr. Gori. “On behalf of the Board and Executive Leadership Team, we thank him and wish him all the best in retirement.”

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2017, we had about 35,000 employees, 73,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving more than 26 million customers. As of June 30, 2018, we had over $1.1 trillion (US$849 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made $27.6 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in AsiaCanada 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 TorontoNew York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong.

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

Hub International Acquires Saskatchewan-Based Hometown Insurance Brokers

Hub International Limited (Hub), a leading global insurance brokerage, announced today that it has acquired Frontier Business Centre Ltd. o/a Hometown Insurance Brokers (Hometown Insurance). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Hometown Insurance is a full service, independent insurance brokerage headquartered in Vonda, Saskatchewan. Hometown offers personal and commercial insurance solutions, including crop hail insurance, which supports Hub’s recent launch of its Specialty practices by complementing and strengthening Hub’s existing solutions.

Garth and Denise Wruck, owners of Hometown Insurance, will join Hub Manitoba. Mr. Wruck will report to Doug Trapp, Vice President of Sales Saskatchewan, and Mrs. Wruck will report to Danah White, Vice President for Saskatchewan Operations.

About Hub’s M&A Activities
Hub International Limited is committed to growing organically and through acquisitions to expand its geographic footprint and strengthen industry and product expertise.  For more information on the Hub M&A experience, visit WeAreHub.com.

About Hub International
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Hub International Limited (Hub) is a leading full-service global insurance broker providing property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits, investment and risk management products and services. From offices located throughout North America, Hub’s vast network of specialists provides peace of mind on what matters most by protecting clients through unrelenting advocacy and tailored insurance solutions. For more information, please visit hubinternational.com. 

Goose, Travel Insurance Made Easy, Launches Across Canada Today

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Launching across Canada today, the Goose mobile app provides Canadians with instant access to travel medical insurance. This mobile-first, self-serve solution allows Canadians who travel out of country to purchase travel medical insurance in under 60 seconds through the Goose mobile app (iOS & Android), for as little as four dollars, and available for up to seven days after a vacation has begun. Today’s launch follows the company’s successful raise of a $2.25 million seed round, led by Impression Ventures.

“We know that if travel insurance is more accessible and affordable, Canadians will opt in and avoid thousands of dollars in medical bills during a travel emergency,” says Dejan Mirkovic, Founder & CEO of Goose Insurance Services as well as Co-Founder & Director of Square One Insurance Services. “Square One modernized home insurance solutions for Canadians, and now Goose is poised to do the same for travel insurance. Consumers deserve to have access, transparency and convenience when it comes to their insurance.”

“Insurance is a space that is ripe for digital transformation and we’re thrilled to support the incredible team at Goose as they take off and modernize the insurance industry,” says Maor Amar, Managing Partner Impression Ventures. “We’re excited to start seeing the positive effects that affordable and convenient travel insurance can have on Canadians.”

According to a research study conducted by Goose, approximately 50% of Canadians are travelling uninsured. And those travelling to the United States by car, and for just one day, are most at risk of travelling without insurance protection. Goose is the first in the industry to offer a day pass that starts at $4 per person, making it the most affordable travel insurance policy in Canada.

How it works: Users download the Goose app, select coverage and click to buy. In less than 60 seconds Goose will provide up to $10 million in travel medical insurance. Once insured, users can use Goose in case of emergency. The app includes hospital locators, 911-equivalents and instant agent chat options. Additionally, the app will send a reminder honk when it detects that the user is near an international airport or US border.

For more information about Goose, visit: https://www.gooseinsurance.com, or download the Goose app in the App Store or get it on Google Play.

About Goose

Founded in 2017, Goose Insurance Services helps ensure Canadians cover their tail feathers when they travel.  Founded to address the gap between the antiquated insurance industry and ‘on-demand’ needs of consumers today, Goose is on a mission to protect Canadians. Pioneering access to mobile-first travel and medical insurance, Goose provides Canadians with unprecedented, affordable coverage, in only 60 seconds, via their mobile app.  For as little as $4 per day, Canadians can be insured for up to $10 million with no lengthy application process, hefty price tags or hidden fees. Goose currently serves British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Goose is based in Vancouver, BC. It is licensed and regulated by the Alberta Insurance Council, Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Insurance Council of British Columbia, Insurance Council of Manitoba, and the Insurance Council of Saskatchewan.

About Impression Ventures

Impression Ventures is a leading Canadian independent fintech-focused Venture Capital Firm with offices in Toronto and Montreal. They lead late seed or early Series A financing rounds for start-ups by making a first investment of approximately $1.5M. Post financing, they follow up with extensive and ongoing support. Impression’s team of partners and advisors has significant experience as entrepreneurs, software engineers, product managers and financial services executives. Impression Ventures has provided Seed and Series A capital to portfolio companies including Wealthsimple, Sensibill, Brim Financial, Symend, Goose Insurance, Elefant.ai and Finaeo. For more information visithttps://impression.ventures/

Sébastien Gabez has been appointed new CEO of APRIL Canada

APRIL has appointed Sébastien GABEZ as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of APRIL Canada Inc. Sébastien GABEZ’s role will be to implement the mission to accelerate the business momentum of APRIL Canada Inc. in the property market by shifting the focus of the society on strong value-added lines, and by incorporating a sustained innovation approach to bring customized solutions to its broker clients and insuring partners.

Sébastien GABEZ has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of APRIL Canada Inc. to replace Nick KIDD (Sébastien GABEZ’s mission will be to accelerate the development of APRIL Canada Inc. in the property and liability lines by shifting the focus of the society on strong value-added lines, through the identification of new levers of growth, especially through the development of new offers and new innovative, customized services to its broker clients and insuring partners, and by enhancing the management of its network of 1,200 broker partners.

Sébastien GABEZ, age 37, started his career as auditor of Ernst & Young in Lyon, France, where he worked for 5 years. He joined APRIL Group in 2009 and was in charge of financial control and risk management of international operations. He joined APRIL Canada Inc. in Montreal, in 2013, as Chief Financial Officer before taking over as Quebec vice-president of the subsidiary in 2017.

“Through his expertise, knowledge of the industry and his career within APRIL Canada Inc. since 2013, Sébastien GABEZ will strengthen our position in the property and liability lines, building upon Nick KIDD’s accomplishments, and above all, commit APRIL Canada Inc. to strong and sustainable development. APRIL’s ambitions are strong in the Canadian market, as demonstrated by the recent integration of Benecaid within the group which confirms our will to develop our presence.” states Marc-André Dupont, CEO of APRIL’s Property Line.

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