Peel Mutual Insurance First in Canada to Launch Hi Marley

Peel Mutual Insurance looks to drive customer centric experience with Hi Marley’s AI-based texting platform built specifically for insurance.

BOSTON, Feb. 18, 2020 /CNW/ — Peel Mutual, one of the largest members of the Ontario Mutuals, is also committed to being the best mutual insurer in Ontario. As a forward-thinking organization that continually looks to innovative, Peel Mutual has launched Hi Marley to continue to deliver an outstanding customer experience built on trust.

Peel Mutual is leveraging Hi Marley to assist in their auto, home and business claims teams. Their aim to be the first insurance carrier offering Hi Marley in Canada is differentiating them by committing dedication to their insureds. They seek to provide a seamless and simple texting solution for their policyholders and offer modern day technology advancements for their claims adjusters.

Irene Bianchi, CEO for Peel Mutual, says, “We are so excited to start the new year off with a better communication commitment to our policyholders. We strive to leverage cutting edge technology in a simple way that today’s customers just expect.”

Dan Heap, VP of Claims, adds, “We are proud to offer not just a texting solution for our insureds, but also a more simple and efficient way for our team to handle claims.”

The Hi Marley platform addresses a significant industry issue of phone tag by connecting carriers and customers through two-way texting. They can communicate and exchange pictures and document, while the insurance-specific AI enables the process. Carriers can start with zero IT effort, delight customers with exceptional service and resolve claims faster. After successful results with US insurers, Hi Marley is now available in Canada.

Mitesh Suchak, COO of Hi Marley, said, “We are thrilled to be working with Peel Mutual and their innovative team. It is very exciting to support them as the first carrier to offer Hi Marley in the Canadian marketplace.”

About Hi Marley, Inc.

Hi Marley is a software provider offering the first AI-enabled conversation platform specifically designed for the insurance industry.  Hi Marley enables insurance carriers to easily and quickly communicate with customers and other partners in the insurance ecosystem so they can deliver an optimal customer experience. The platform has flexible APIs and requires zero integration to get started. Learn more at

About Peel Mutual Insurance

Peel Mutual has been providing quality insurance products and serving Ontario residents since 1876. As one of the largest members of the Ontario Mutuals, we are owned and directed by our policyholders and represent one of the strongest, most secure financial networks in the world. We offer a complete line of residential, automobile, farm and commercial insurance products tailored to protect you and your family. Learn more at

SOURCE Hi Marley, Inc.

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Intact Financial Corporation Completes $150 Million Preferred Share Offering

TORONTO, Feb. 18, 2020 /CNW/ – Intact Financial Corporation (TSX:IFC) (“IFC”) announced today that it has closed its previously announced bought deal offering (the “Offering”) of Non-Cumulative Class A Shares, Series 9 (the “Series 9 Preferred Shares”) underwritten by a syndicate of underwriters  led by TD Securities Inc. together with BMO Capital Markets, CIBC Capital Markets, National Bank Financial, RBC Capital Markets and Scotiabank, resulting in aggregate gross proceeds (including the proceeds resulting from the exercise of their option) to IFC of $150 million. The net proceeds from the Offering will be used by IFC for general corporate purposes.

Each Series 9 Preferred Share entitles the holder thereof to receive quarterly non-cumulative preferential cash dividends, if, as and when declared by the Board of Directors, on the last day of March, June, September and December in each year at a rate equal to $0.3375 per share. The initial dividend, if declared, will be paid on June 30, 2020 and will be $0.4906 per share.

The Series 9 Preferred Shares will commence trading today on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol IFC.PR.I.

The Series 9 Preferred Shares have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements.  This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the Series 9 Preferred Shares in any State in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

About Intact Financial Corporation

Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) is the largest provider of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America, with over $11 billion in total annual premiums. The Company has approximately 16,000 employees who serve more than five million personal, business and public sector clients through offices in Canada and the U.S.

In Canada, Intact 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.  Frank Cowan brings a leading MGA platform to manufacture and distribute public entity insurance products in Canada.

In the U.S., OneBeacon Insurance Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intact, provides specialty insurance products through independent agencies, brokers, wholesalers and managing general agencies.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. When used in this press release, the words “may”, “will”, “would”, “should”, “could”, “expects”, “plans”, “intends”, “trends”, “indications”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “estimates”, “predicts”, “likely”, “potential” or the negative or other variations of these words or other similar or comparable words or phrases, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to, among other things, the use of proceeds of the Offering.

Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by management based on management’s experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that management believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Many factors could cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements or future events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Certain material factors or assumptions are applied in making these forward-looking statements.

All of the forward-looking statements included in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements, those made in the “Risk Management” sections of management’s discussion and analysis of operating and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2019 and those made in the prospectus supplement filed in respect of the Offering. These factors are not intended to represent a complete list of the factors that could affect the Company. These factors should, however, be considered carefully. Although the forward-looking statements are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Investors should not rely on forward-looking statements to make decisions and investors should ensure the preceding information is carefully considered when reviewing forward-looking statements made in this press release. The Company has no intention and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

SOURCE Intact Financial Corporation

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Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company acquiring Gerber Life Canadian insurance business

TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2020 /CNW/ – Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company (‘Canadian Premier’) announces it has signed an agreement with U.S.-based Western & Southern Financial Group (‘Western & Southern’) to purchase its block of Canadian life insurance business, marketed under the Gerber Life brand. Closing of the purchase is expected to take place in the Second Quarter, 2020, subject to regulatory approval.

“This is an exciting acquisition for Canadian Premier as we focus on growing in the Canadian marketplace,” says Canadian Premier Chief Executive Officer Suzette Huovinen. “We are invested in Canada and in pursuing opportunities that expand our footprint beyond our core group creditor insurance business. Canadian Premier is well positioned to support the diverse market need for both life and specialized protection.”

The block of business from Western & Southern includes individual life insurance policies, primarily the Grow-Up® plan, which are whole life policies geared towards children 12 years of age and under. Upon closing, the Gerber Life Canadian policies will be fully assumed by Canadian Premier.

Adds Huovinen: “Canadian Premier is committed to providing financial security to families throughout moments that matter. We look forward to welcoming a new generation of customers to Canadian Premier and providing them excellent products and services.”

About Canadian Premier
For more than 60 years, Canadian Premier has been committed to providing financial security to Canadians and their families in the face of uncertainties. Canadian Premier offers group life, accident & sickness, credit and creditor insurance solutions to a number of leading financial institutions, retailers and affinity groups. We now insure over 2 million Canadians and families coast-to-coast. Canadian Premier is wholly-owned subsidiary of Securian Financial Group. For more information visit

SOURCE Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company

Westhill expands Advisory team, welcomes Tim Guernsey

Internal, Atlanta Georgia, February 03, 2020

Westhill is thrilled to welcome Tim Guernsey, Vice President of Casualty and Large Complex & Specialty Claims at Economical Insurance Group, onto their Advisory team. As Westhill expands their North American presence into Canada, Tim will be instrumental in using market specific expertise to continue build upon the rapidly growing ecosystem.

Tim brings 25+ years of experience in adjusting, large loss management, operational management and vendor management for strategic partnerships. A key differentiator in Westhill’s approach to claims management is building a marketplace for insurance. The vision for building a property & casualty marketplace is to bring together high impact disruptors and innovators who improve the overall claims experience. Tim’s focus on strategic partnerships will be instrumental for the Canadian market, with relationships being the key to a valuable ecosystem.

Prior to his current role with Economical Insurance Group, Tim’s collective experience was built upon leadership roles at The RSA Group running Broker Claims, Casualty and Specialty Claims and Specialty Lines UW. Beyond relevant market expertise, Tim is an innovation catalyst who has consistently led teams to improve customer experience, unlock cost efficiencies and scale premium growth.

Additionally, Westhill is particularly excited about leaning on Tim’s track record for successful claims integrations and due diligence initiatives that were focused on planning, budgeting, employee engagement and lean process improvement.

Tim is a fantastic addition to the expansive group of Industry thought leaders on Westhill’s Advisory team.

Canadian insurance company lost nearly US$1M in ransomware attack

The excerpted article was written by Ryan Flanagan CTVNews

TORONTO — Computers at a Canadian insurance company were disabled for more than one week due to a ransomware attack that resulted in a payout of nearly US$1 million.

The attack happened last October, but is only coming to light now as efforts to reclaim the ransom make their way through the British court system.

The U.K. court action is being led by a British insurance firm with which the Canadian company had a policy protecting it against suffering losses from cyberattacks.

Neither company is named publicly in the lawsuit the British company has filed against the unknown attackers. In a court decision made last month and published Jan. 17, Justice Simon Bryan ruled that hearings in the case would be held in private and that the involved insurance companies’ names would not be published, saying anything else would open the insurance companies up to retaliatory and copycat attacks while also potentially giving the hackers a chance to cover their tracks.

“Publicity would defeat the object of the hearing,” Bryan wrote.


According to Bryan’s written decision, the hacker or hackers somehow “managed to infiltrate and bypass the firewall of [the Canadian company].” From there, they encrypted files on the company’s servers and locked desktop computers. They also left a note.

“Hello [company name] your network was hacked and encrypted. No free decryption software is available on the web. Email us … to get the ransom amount. Keep our contact safe. Disclosure can lead to the impossibility of decryption. Please use your company name as the email subject,” the message read.

The Canadian company got in touch with its British insurer, which hired ransomware response specialists. The hacker told the specialists they were demanding US$1.2 million in Bitcoin, but eventually agreed to US$950,000 “as an exception.”

The specialists then transferred 109.25 Bitcoin – roughly equivalent to US$950,000 at the time – of the British company’s money to the specified account. Although they had been promised a quick response, nearly 16 hours elapsed before the hacker got in touch again, giving them a decryption program.

Even with the program, it took five days to run the program on each of the company’s 20 servers and five more to decrypt and unlock all 1,000 desktop computers.

Some of the Bitcoin was sold for other currency before specialists were able to locate it, but the bulk of the ransom – 96 Bitcoin – was traced to one specific account on one specific exchange.

The British company is suing the hacker as well as the owner of the account – it’s not certain if they’re the same person or not – as well as the Bitcoin exchange. The insurance firm is seeking a court order to force the exchange to reveal the identity of the account owner.


The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) described ransomware last September as “an increasingly common threat, targeting everyone from individuals and small businesses to large private enterprises and government organizations.”

There have been several high-profile cases in Canada in recent years, including an attack that paralyzed the Nunavut government’s computers for nearly two weeks last November.

Insurance companies are also known targets. One of the largest insurers in Oman was reportedly hit earlier this month. In Canada, Andrew Agencies Ltd. was targeted last fall but said it did not pay a ransom – implying that they are not the Canadian company at the centre of the British case.

The CAFC notes that there is no way to completely safeguard against these attacks, but says training employees to recognize cybersecurity threats, restricting access to computer administrative privileges and storing backup data offline can help protect an organization.

Source: CTV News



Manulife Canada CEO sees Apple and Netflix as competitors as insurance evolves

By Tara Deschamps


TORONTO _ When Manulife Financial Corp.’s president and CEO of Canadian operations Michael Doughty thinks about his biggest competitors, a few names make the list that have nothing to do with insurance: Apple and Netflix.

“We no longer really think of ourselves as competing against other life insurance companies around the world,” said Doughty at the Canada 360 Economic Summit on Wednesday. “We’re really competing against other companies that are delivering the kind of customer experience that all customers want.”

The customer experience offered by streaming platform Netflix Inc. and consumer electronics brand Apple Inc. is constantly on Doughty’s mind as Manulife tries to win over customers while grappling with relative newcomers to the insurance space, including Toronto-based customizable benefits brand League, which is picking up attention and raising big money.

“These new services that are so slick and seamless and intuitive and they’re really designed with the customer experience in mind, is what people expect from everything that they do business with,” he said.

Doughty believes they can teach the industry a bit about how to tackle the  “massive” numbers of Canadians that have no life insurance and have forgone such protection because they are spending their money on things like Netflix subscriptions and iPhones.

An RBC Insurance survey of 1,001 Canadians between the ages of 25 and 50 revealed that 74 per cent of Canadians are kept awake at night, worrying about their financial situation. Despite being so concerned, the 2018 poll found few would give up daily  “luxuries” to pay for life insurance instead.

Of those that are willing to forfeit some of  “life’s little pleasures,” 35 per cent said they would sacrifice one dinner out a month, 34 per cent would forgo a trendy clothing item, 28 per cent would nix buying lunch at work one less time per week, 35 per cent would give up a bottle of wine or case of beer and only 25 per cent said they’d agree to ditch their daily coffee.

Such a scenario has presented a  “huge opportunity” for Manulife, but also highlighted how often a business like Doughty’s needs to engage with consumers.

To take advantage of that opportunity, Doughty says the company launched Manulife Vitality, a platform with smart watch and fitness tracker integration that allows consumers to receive prizes and discounts for doing things like going for a walk or getting a flu shot.

“In the past, you would buy life insurance… and then you would sort of like put it in a safe deposit box and hope that you never needed it and pay a premium every month,” Doughty said.

“Manulife Vitality turned all that on its head and said why don’t we engage with you so you actually live and a long and happy life because if we can encourage you to be active, have a nutritious diet, not smoke, see your doctor regularly, it is probably going to improve your longevity and that is good for us.”

Vitality has pushed consumers to interact with Manulife on average 23 times a month, a significant jump from the two times a year _ when they receive their annual statement and when they get a premium bill _ that they used to turn to the brand, says Doughty.

It’s also been an example of how he thinks businesses can “reinvent a traditional product to eliminate some of the barriers that have stopped it from being as popular as it should be.”

“This movement towards what is the customer is something that all industries are having to reinvent,” he says.

“You have to make sure you are reinventing every interaction, every process, from the consumer’s point of view.”

Companies in this story: (TSX:MFC)

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