HUB® International Northwest LLC Named Capital Insurance Group® Regional Agency of the Year

MONTEREY, Calif., Feb. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — HUB® International Northwest LLC (HUB) has been named 2014 Regional Agency of the Year by leading Western regional property and casualty insurer, Capital Insurance Group (CIG®). HUB’s insurance brokers and surety professionals serve a variety of businesses in the Pacific Northwest. The award was given for the agency’s high performance, steady profitability and strong commitment to growth across a broad spectrum of risk.

“HUB International Northwest is excited and proud to receive the Agent of the Year award from CIG Insurance. We appreciate the partnership that HUB and CIG have created; and together, we have reached a high level of success in a short period of time,” said Richard Malowney, Chief Marketing Officer of HUB International Northwest. “We look forward to working with the outstanding team from CIG as both companies continue to grow in the Northwest Region.”

HUB International Northwest, a regional branch of one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, was originally founded to service the construction industry. The agency has since expanded its product and industry offerings, including agriculture, aviation, breweries, condominiums and HOA, equine, law, manufacturing, marine, property management and real estate, school districts and wineries.

“We are pleased to honor the close business and personal relationships we have built with the HUB International team with this award recognition,” noted Bryan Stanwood, Regional Field Executive for CIG’s Northwest Region.

Each year, CIG management evaluates the top performing agencies. Selection of the honoree is based upon agency relationships, dedication to customer service, and business performance, among other criteria.

“The appointment of this award is well-deserved; and CIG is proud to be aligned with partners who take as dedicated an approach to customer service as we do,” said L. Arnold Chatterton, President and CEO of Capital Insurance Group.

About Capital Insurance Group
Capital Insurance Group® (CIG) is the leading regional property and casualty insurer serving the Western U.S. since 1898. CIG insures Personal Auto, Homeowners, Farmowners, Condo Owners, Vacation Property, Renters, Apartment Building Owners, and many kinds of Commercial and Agricultural Auto and Property. The more-than-115-year-old company is rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best, the independent financial monitor of the insurance industry. CIG manages personal, business, and agriculture risks underwritten by its affiliate companies: California Capital Insurance Company, Eagle West Insurance Company, Nevada Capital Insurance Company, and Monterey Insurance Company. Types of policies may vary from state to state. For more information, please visit www.CIGinsurance.com
CIG DELIVERS MORE. Continuously. ™

Great-West acquisition boosts its presence in Irish market

Canadian insurer Great-West Lifeco Inc. is increasing its presence in the Irish insurance and investments market with the acquisition of Legal and General International Ireland Ltd. (LGII) The Dublin-based business focuses on high net worth clients in the U.K., offering investment and tax planning services. The business has 35 employees and terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“The proposed transaction will enhance the position of Canada Life in the U.K., and give clients and professional advisers further confidence in our U.K. offshore business,” said Paul Mahon, chief executive of Great-West, in a statement.

Two years ago, Winnipeg-based Great-West bought Ireland’s largest life insurer in a $1.75-billion deal with the Irish government that signalled confidence in the European economy and Ireland’s recovery.

This deal is much smaller. Doug Young, analyst at Desjardins Securities, estimates the acquisition is worth less than $200-million.

LGII opened for business in 2007 as part of London-based insurance and investment giant Legal & General Group PLC. The parent company decided this business wasn’t essential to its operations and is selling “peripheral assets.”

The key offering from LGII is offshore bonds, which have tax advantages for expats and other investors such as the ability to defer paying taxes until the bond is cashed in. They aren’t guaranteed investments, and are typically held for many years.

LGII has built up about $4.74-billion in assets under administration in 4,000 U.K. offshore bond policies in about seven years.

Great-West’s subsidiary Canada Life Group, which is the business that LGII will join, is already a provider of such investments.

“Canada Life is a highly regarded offshore bond provider and has been selling into the UK for over 27 years through its offshore companies, based in the Isle of Man and, more recently, also based in Dublin,” Mr. Mahon said.

The company’s existing assets under administration in its offshore business are three to four times larger than those in LGII’s business.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of the year, pending regulatory and other approvals. Great-West is set to report fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday.

IFC expands direct operations in Western Canada through acquisition of Canadian Direct Insurance Inc.

TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2015 /CNW/ – Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) (“IFC”) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Canadian Western Bank (TSX: CWB) to acquire Canadian Direct Insurance Inc. (“CDI”) for $197 million, thereby extending its direct-to-consumer operations from coast to coast. The acquisition is expected to be financed exclusively with excess capital and provide accretion of 2% in the near term to net operating income per share. Annual synergies amounting to $10 million after tax are expected from a combination of reinsurance cost reductions, systems-related cost savings and claims efficiencies. IFC expects to maintain its strong capital position on closing with an estimated MCT above 200%.

CDI wrote approximately $140 million in home and auto premiums in 2014, and was the winner of the 2014 Consumer Choice award for Home and Auto Insurance in Vancouver and the surrounding area. The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close in mid-2015, subject to the receipt of the required regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. CDI will bring greater scale to IFC’s direct operations inWestern Canada, an experienced local team and a track record of strong underwriting performance.

“Growth and innovation are continuing priorities for IFC, which is why I am excited about bringing CDI into the IFC family. In recent years, the acquisitions of AXA Canada, Jevco and Metro General have helped us to build one of the broadest product and service offerings and facilitated increased support and innovation for our brokers and their customers. The CDI acquisition presented an opportunity to grow our direct-to-consumer distribution channel. In conjunction with this acquisition, we are rebranding Grey Power to belairdirect to consolidate our brands. Together, these changes will expand and simplify our direct operations while improving our ability to respond to evolving customer expectations,” said Louis Gagnon, President Service & Distribution.

Grey Power has been providing insurance solutions to Canadians over the age of 50 in Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Going forward, Grey Power customers will benefit from all that belairdirect has to offer while continuing to be rewarded for their years of driving experience. In addition, belairdirect will inherit and enhance some of the Grey Power products that have been uniquely tailored for the 50+ demographic and make them available to existing belairdirect customers.

belairdirect has been providing complete car and home insurance solutions to Canadians for 60 years and was the first property and casualty insurer in North America to sell insurance products online. Today, belairdirect customers have 24/7 access to enhanced online tools. Extended contact centre hours mean customers can also speak to knowledgeable licensed insurance agents by telephone. belairdirect is currently ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Auto Insurers in Ontario” by J.D. Power*.

About Intact Financial Corporation
Intact Financial Corporation (www.intactfc.com) is the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canadawith $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.

Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this press release, including without limitation, the timing for completion of the proposed acquisition, IFC’s financing of the proposed acquisition and management’s estimates and expectations in relation to resulting accretion, net operating income per share, annual synergies and MCT, are forward looking statements.  The words “will”, “expected to” and comparable words or phrases are intended to identify forward looking statements.  Forward looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by management in light of our 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. IFC and management have no intention and undertake 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.

* belairdirect received the highest numerical score among auto insurance providers in Ontario in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Canadian Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction StudySM. Study based on 9,910 total responses measuring 18 providers in Ontario and measures consumer satisfaction with auto insurance providers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in January-February 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.

SOURCE Intact Financial Corporation

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Establishes Canadian Operations

BOSTON–(Business Wire)–Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) today announced that it is expanding into the Canadian marketplace, and has appointed Scott Miller, Darryl DeSouza and Michael Densham to lead its in-country Property, Casualty and Executive & Professional Lines operations, respectively.

“We look forward to providing brokers and customers in Canada with ready access to our strong capacity and substantial underwriting and claims expertise. With Scott, Darryl and Michael joining the BHSI team in Toronto, we have an immediate market presence — with decades of experience in Canada.” said Peter Eastwood, President of BHSI.

Scott Miller comes to his new role as head of Property in Canada from Gen Re, where, most recently, he was the Senior Energy Marketer & Underwriter. Previously, he served as Senior Property Facultative Underwriter and Second Vice President at Gen Re, and was an Energy Broker at Aon Reed Stenhouse. Scott earned his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Olivet College, and holds a Chartered Insurance Professional designation. Scott can be reached at scott.miller@bhspecialty.com.

Darryl DeSouza joins BHSI as head of Casualty in Canada. Previously, Darryl was an Underwriting Specialist for AIG. Before that, Darryl was an AVP, Casualty Facultative, at Swiss Re in Toronto, and Property-Casualty Manager at General Accident Assurance Company. Darryl received his bachelor’s degree from McMaster University and holds the FCIP and CRM insurance designations. Darryl can be reached at darryl.desouza@bhspecialty.com.

Michael Densham takes the reins as head of BHSI’s Executive & Professional Lines in Canada after more than a decade in positions of increasing responsibility at Chubb, where he most recently served as Vice President and Canadian Zone Manager, professional liability and private company executive liability. Previously, Michael was Chubb Specialty Insurance’s Private Company and Underwriting Service Centre Manager, and Underwriting and Marketing Expert. Michael received his bachelor’s degree with honours from Wilfrid Laurier University. Michael can be reached at michael.densham@bhspecialty.com.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (www.bhspecialty.com) provides commercial property, casualty, healthcare professional liability, executive and professional lines, surety, travel, programs and homeowners insurance. In Canada it underwrites on the paper of National Liability & Fire Insurance Company, a member of Berkshire Hathaway’s National Indemnity group of insurance companies, which hold financial strength ratings of A++ from AM Best and AA+ from Standard & Poor’s. Based in Boston, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has regional underwriting offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Singapore and Hong Kong. For more information, contact info@bhspecialty.com.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
JoAnn Lee, 617-936-2937

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2452853#ixzz3Q8s4bJE0

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