Merger creates one of the largest providers in Canadian travel insurance

KITCHENER, ON and GUELPH, ON, Jan. 8, 2015 /CNW/ – Allianz Worldwide Partners and The Co-operators today announced the completion of the merger of their respective Canadian travel insurance companies. The merger of Allianz Global Assistance Canada and TIC Travel Insurance Coordinators, first announced in September, has created one of the largest travel insurance providers in the country, operating as Allianz Global Assistance.

The combined entity will leverage the strengths of the two organizations to offer industry-leading products and services for Canadian travellers and visitors to Canada. Dr. Daniel Wichels, who served previously as the Chief Financial Officer of Allianz Global Assistance for the Americas, has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer for Allianz Global Assistance in Canada.

“The closing of the merger between Allianz Global Assistance Canada and TIC Travel Insurance Coordinators represents the beginning of an exciting new chapter for our organization. As a combined entity, we are better positioned than ever before to provide innovative travel insurance products and distribution solutions to our valued partners. In turn, we will be able to help even more Canadians with unparalleled global support when they travel abroad,” says Wichels. “While we work to fully integrate our operations, we will continue to deliver on our commitment to world-class service for our partners and customers. Fortunately, we have already started to establish a strong sense of unity among our employees, which will be a key to the long-term success of our merger.”

Allianz Worldwide Partners S.A.S., the parent company of Allianz Global Assistance Canada, owns 55 per cent of the combined legal entity, AZGA Service Canada Inc. Co-operators Life Insurance Company owns 45 per cent. The combined legal entity includes subsidiaries AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd and SelectCare Worldwide Corp. Allianz Global Assistance will offer travel insurance products underwritten by its established underwriter partners.

There will be no changes to any in force policies purchased through TIC or Allianz Global Assistance, and no interruption in service to clients.

About Allianz Global Assistance:
How can we help?
International leader in Assistance, Travel Insurance and health, life & home care services, today Allianz Global Assistance’s global family counts more than 13,224 employees who live to help. They speak 58 different languages and work throughout the world with a network of 400,000 service providers and 180 correspondents. 250 million people, or 4% of the world’s total population, benefit from its services, which the Group provides on all five continents.

In Canada, Allianz Global Assistance has been assisting Canadian travellers for 25 years, and is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company. Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance and unique assistance services such as international medical assistance and triage services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call centre services and claims administration for health insurers, property and casualty insurers and credit card companies. Allianz Global Assistance is the registered business name for AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd. For more information, visit http://www.allianz-assistance.ca/corporate.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $37 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

For further information: Dan Keon, Allianz Global Assistance, 519-742-2800 ext. 52286; Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, 519-767-3937

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Petsecure Celebrates 25 Years and One Million Pets Insured

WINNIPEG, Jan. 6, 2015 /CNW/ – Petsecure has now insured one million pets across Canada in its 25-year history. The 1 millionth pet insured is Zoe, a Corgi and autistic service dog from Chilliwack, B.C.

Zoe’s owner James Pernitsky recently adopted her and through Petsecure’s Adoptsecure program received a six-week trial of Petsecure’s pet health insurance. As the 1 millionth pet insured by Petsecure, Zoe and her owner will receive one year of free Petsecure pet health insurance.

“It is exciting to be the 1 millionth customer,” says Pernitsky. “We decided to adopt Zoe and were pleased to know that her health would be protected for the first six weeks. We are grateful to Petsecure for providing pet health insurance to have her health protected for a full year.”

Pernitsky says that the nine-month old Corgi will be training as an autistic service dog to provide companionship and support for those with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Petsecure is Canada’s oldest and largest pet insurance provider offering different plans to suit the unique needs of individual pets. The pet health insurance plans can include coverage for veterinary visits, dental coverage as well as alternative and preventative care. Petsecure works to provide a variety of plans that help to protect pets and to give owners peace of mind.

“At Petsecure, we are thrilled to have insured one million pets in 25 years and we continue to work to protect as many cats and dogs as possible across Canada,” says Rod Cunniam, Interim President and COO of Petsecure. “Our goal is to ensure that pet owners are able to make important decisions about their pet’s health without a large financial burden.”

Since 1989, Petsecure has been working to ensure pets have the care they need. Over the past 25 years, Petsecure has grown to become Canada’s largest and most trusted pet health insurance provider. It’s a position the company could not have achieved without its longstanding partnerships with veterinarians, breeders and shelters.

About Petsecure pet health insurance:
Petsecure pet health insurance, the core brand of Western Financial Insurance Company, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Financial Group. Petsecure is Canada’s oldest and largest pet insurance provider with 25 years of offering innovative pet insurance to Canadian pet parents. Petsecure has unique pet insurance options to choose from that offer the most comprehensive coverage in Canada. Petsecure also offers dental coverage and special coverage including alternative treatments and behavioural therapy. Petsecure is the only pet health insurance provider in Canada to offer their exclusive Secure For Life™ guarantee. Underwritten by Western Financial Insurance Company. Petsecure and logo are registered trademarks of Western Financial Insurance Company. Petsecure is a member of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).

For more information on Petsecure visit www.petsecure.com.

SOURCE Petsecure

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The Co-operators acquires Bill Hartley Insurance Services

News Release:

GUELPH, ON, Jan. 7, 2015 /CNW/ – Co-operators General Insurance Company announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary has purchased Bill Hartley Insurance Services Ltd. in Victoria, British Columbia. The brokerage’s portfolio includes home, auto, farm 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 British Columbia and across the country, which is a key 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.”

Founder Bill Hartley began his insurance career in 1950 as an agent for a predecessor of   Co-operators Life Insurance Company. The two businesses have maintained a long-term relationship and share similar views on priorities such as client service and sustainability.

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 $37 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

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Canada’s Cowan Insurance Group Acquires The Williamson Group

Cowan Insurance Group, a Canadian insurance brokerage and consulting operation, has acquired The Williamson Group, a financial services company focused on providing employer sponsored benefits, pensions and disability management programs, as well as individual financial services. Don Williamson, president, The Williamson Group will report directly to Heather McLachlin, president, Cowan Insurance Group, with The Williamson Group employees continuing in their current roles.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE:

Source: Insurance Journal

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RIMS names new president for 2015 – Rick Roberts

Mr. Roberts is the Director of Risk Management and Employee Benefits for Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc. He has been a member of RIMS for 25 years and on its Board of Directors for seven years.  Previously, Mr. Roberts served as the Society’s Vice President and Board liaison to RIMS External Affairs Committee.  He is a member of RIMS Connecticut Valley Chapter where he served as the chapter’s president from 1997 to 1998.

“No two days as a risk professional are ever the same,” said Mr. Roberts. “Current events, new technologies and global initiatives continue to keep risk professionals searching for the latest industry information and best practices.

“RIMS greatest asset is its members, an engaged and generous network of professionals who willingly share their experiences to help colleagues better prepare their organizations for the unknown. With a focus on the Society’s long-term strategy, we will continue to strengthen our networks, enhancing our ability to deliver thought-leading content to the global risk management community.”

Source: RIMS

Desjardins warmly welcomes State Farm Canada’s employees & agents to its family

News Release:

Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada , announces that it has completed the purchase of State Farm Canada’s businesses in property and casualty and life insurance, as well as its Canadian mutual fund, loan and living benefits companies as at January 1, 2015 .

As a result, Desjardins Group becomes the second largest P&C insurance provider in Canada with annual gross written premiums increasing from over C$2 billion in 2014 to more than C$4 billion projected in 2015. This transaction also increases the Group’s geographic diversification of earnings and risk while providing an advantage of scale and strengthens its position among life and health insurers in Canada .

Desjardins warmly welcomes State Farm Canada’s employees and agents to its family
“Similarities between our two organizations are numerous,” said Monique F. Leroux , Chair of the Board, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. “We are thousands who are close and committed to millions of customers. I am confident that our shared values, our passion and commitment to our work will allow us to better serve Canadians, together. This gives me tremendous confidence in the future. I also want to salute everyone for the energy they have invested and will continue to devote to the success of this integration.”

State Farm’s more than 1,900 Canadian employees and network of close to 500 agents will continue to serve over 1.2 million customers in Ontario , Alberta and New Brunswick . Desjardins still expects the transaction will lead to job creation in the coming years in Canada , including in Quebec . Desjardins will continue to operate its other insurance brands separately across the country.

“I’m especially proud of this agreement since it’s the result of three financial cooperative and mutual organizations: State Farm and Desjardins, with the support of Crédit Mutuel, our long-term European partner, coming together to create an insurance leader in Canada ,” added Leroux.

“Our financial investment reflects our confidence in the strength of the combined businesses going forward.  Desjardins’ cooperative mission and customer focused values will benefit Canadian customers,” said Edward B. Rust Jr. , State Farm Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“Our commitment illustrates Crédit Mutuel’s interest in actively contributing to the launch of the second largest P&C insurer in Canada and to its growth. It is a concrete demonstration of the special relationship that exists between us and Desjardins, and of the confidence we have in this new organization,” added Michel Lucas , President of Crédit Mutuel.

As part of the agreement, State Farm invested C$450 million in non-voting preferred shares into Desjardins Group’s post-closing property and casualty insurance businesses, which includes the newly acquired State Farm Canada property and casualty operations. In addition, Crédit Mutuel, a major European cooperative financial group, invested C$200 million . Desjardins Group allocated C$700 million in capital to support the growth of its P&C business. Desjardins Financial Security (Desjardins’ Life and Health Insurance subsidiary) with other business units also allocated C$250 million in capital for the life insurance, mutual fund, loan and living benefits components of the agreement.

About Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world with assets close to C$227 billion . It has been rated one of Canada’s top 100 employers by Mediacorp Canada. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada . The group has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry. In 2014, Desjardins was named the fourth safest bank in North America by Global Finance magazine and the second strongest bank in the world by Bloomberg News.

About State Farm
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve over 82 million policies and accounts – nearly 80 million auto, home, life, health and commercial policies, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 41 on the 2014 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.

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