More than ever before, Canadians are facing financial risk

As Canada deals with a global pandemic and rising household debt, Goose Insurance warns that most Canadians can’t afford further financial setbacks caused by a life-threatening illness.

VANCOUVER, BCNov. 9, 2020 /CNW/ – Goose Insurance, a new player in the life and health insurance market warns Canadians could be out-of-pocket tens of thousands of dollars while undergoing treatment for any life-threatening illness.

Goose Insurance recently conducted a survey of over 1000 Canadians, yielding some eye-opening results. The company found that less than 5% of respondents have critical illness insurance or cancer insurance and majority of the people wrongly believe that Canada’s health care system covers all costs associated with cancer treatment or any other life-threatening illness. Overwhelmingly, women are under insured in Canada, with over 70% of the women that responded to the survey have never purchased life or critical illness insurance.

According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, nearly half of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. In fact, the CMAJ estimates that 225,000 people will be diagnosed with, and 83,000 people will die from, cancer in 2020 alone.

While Canada’s health care system covers many costs associated with life-threatening medical treatments, many patients still face out-of-pocket expenses while undergoing treatment, including some drugs not covered, childcare, rent or mortgage, and other household bills and responsibilities.  This comes at a time when Canadians are dealing with COVID-19, a global pandemic; whilst battling an all-time high household debt ratio of 176.9% according to Statistics Canada.

So why aren’t Canadians buying life and health insurance? Of those surveyed by Goose, the two most common reasons were accessibility and affordability. Specifically amongst young Canadians aged 25 to 35, over 50% didn’t know where to buy it from and over 70% found it too complicated.

“Goose is tackling the accessibility and affordability of insurance, and addressing the underserved market,” says Dejan Mirkovic, President of Goose Insurance. “We’re offering reasonable coverage limits at affordable prices, and the ability to buy policies in minutes without medical exams or the need to speak to an agent; all on the Goose app.”

Goose Insurance together with Industrial Alliance Financial Group, one of Canada’s largest Insurers, has made insurance accessible and affordable for anyone under 69 with a smartphone. On the Goose mobile app, Canadians simply become eligible by answering a few medical questions and can get up to $50,000 of Life Insurance for as low as $5 a month. Monthly premiums are based on age, gender, and smoking status.

“For decades, Special Markets Solutions (a division of iA Financial Group) has promoted voluntary insurance programs using traditional methods. While these offerings provided valuable coverage, these methods were outdated and time consuming. We are very excited to be partnering with Goose Insurance in offering voluntary products on a revolutionary digital platform.  This will allow the user to have an easy to understand, seamless and instant application experience . The future is now,” said Ed Bender, National VP, Special Markets Solutions at iA Financial Group.

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Established in 2018 and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Goose Insurance Services takes the confusing parts out of buying insurance and makes it easier than ever to get the right coverage. And it all happens in seconds, from a single app. Goose currently serves British ColumbiaAlbertaSaskatchewanManitobaOntario, Québec, and Nova Scotia in Canada as well as WashingtonOregonIllinoisGeorgiaNew Jersey, and Texas in the US. For more information about Goose, or to download the app, visit www.gooseinsurance.com

SOURCE Goose Insurance Services Inc.

https://www.gooseinsurance.com/en/

Novacap Acquires Interest In AGA Financial Group

MONTREALOct. 5, 2020 /CNW/ – Novacap, one of Canada’s leading private equity firms, announced that it acquired an interest in AGA Financial Group Inc. (“AGA”), one of Quebec’s leading employee benefits advisory firms and third-party administrators of group insurance and retirement plans.

AGA helps businesses across Canada develop and administer tailor-made group insurance plans. AGA was founded in 1978 and has been owned and operated since 2013 by veteran insurance executives Martin Papillon, Chantal Dufresne and Gabriel Gagnon. AGA serves more than 1,200 clients across the spectrum from small and medium-sized businesses to those with national footprints. It employs more than 100 professionals, including a team of actuaries and a network of external brokers, with offices in Montreal and Quebec City.

“AGA has built a first-class franchise that combines passionate experts with a culture of innovation,” said Marcel Larochelle, Managing Partner, Financial Services, at Novacap. “This is a unique attribute in any business, and it is what fascinated us from the very beginning of our conversations. It speaks to the strength of the Novacap platform that we have been able to attract such a renowned group of partners in Martin, Chantal, and Gabriel.”

AGA is the third investment of the Novacap Financial Services I fund since its first closing in November 2019. Novacap is the first private equity firm in Canada to launch a fund dedicated to investing in financial services businesses.

“Novacap is excited to assist AGA with our deep operational expertise, our experience in executing mergers and acquisitions and in developing new markets across Canada and beyond,” added Rajiv Bahl, Senior Partner, Financial Services, at Novacap. “We look forward to working with the management team to power AGA’s continued growth.”

“Partnering with Novacap is a privilege for my partners and all AGA employees, as we all have exactly the same ambitious vision for the future of the company,” said Martin Papillon, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGA. “Our mission is to facilitate access to group insurance and pension plans, and to streamline their administration for our customers. This pledge is reflected not only in exceptional service, but also strategic advice that allows us to provide more in terms of solutions, products and services. With Novacap as our partner, these capabilities will only be enhanced.”

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP acted as legal advisor to Novacap.

Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP acted as legal advisor to AGA.

About Novacap
Founded in 1981, Novacap is a leading Canadian private equity firm with CA$3.6 billion of assets under management. Its distinct investment approach, based on deep operational expertise and an active partnership with entrepreneurs, has helped accelerate growth and create long-term value for its numerous portfolio companies. With an experienced management team and substantial financial resources, Novacap is well positioned to continue building world-class businesses. Backed by leading global institutional investors, Novacap’s deals typically include leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, add-on acquisitions, IPOs, and privatizations. Over the last 39 years, Novacap has invested in more than 90 companies and completed more than 140 add-on acquisitions. Novacap has offices in Brossard, Quebec and Toronto, Ontario. For more information, please visit www.novacap.ca.

About AGA Financial Group Inc.
Since its inception in 1978, AGA has helped clients across Canada develop and administer tailor-made group insurance plans. AGA is also one of Quebec’s leading third-party administrators and third-party payers (TPA / TPP) of group insurance and retirement plans. Its clients include over 1,200 small, medium and large businesses, as well as financial security and group insurance consultants wishing to make a group insurance plan available to their clients. AGA has a Quebec-wide distribution network and more than 100 employees across its offices in Montreal and Quebec City.

SOURCE Novacap Management Inc.

Related Links

http://www.novacap.ca

 

Millennial Money: 6 Great Recession lessons that still apply

Millennial Money: 6 Great Recession lessons that still apply

By Melissa Lambarena Of Nerdwallet

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Great Recession demolished jobs across the U.S., and it eventually came for mine, too. After graduating in 2009, I worked four months as an entry-level executive assistant at a non-profit before being laid off.

I had limited financial knowledge, a short work history and a lot to prove to break into the field of journalism, my ultimate goal. Along the way, I picked up valuable lessons that might help you manage your finances during the coronavirus-related recession.

1. SAVE WHAT YOU CAN

My short work history disqualified me from receiving unemployment benefits, so I relied on my savings account. Even a small emergency fund of $500 can prevent you from falling into debt, and I had socked away enough to cover a few months of expenses.

If you’re still employed, “pay yourself first,” said Samuel Deane, a financial planner at Deane Financial in New York. “Even if it’s $20 every time you get paid, make sure you put that $20 away first and then live your lifestyle with the remainder.” Automate it with direct deposit if you can.

If you’ve lost your job, saving will obviously be tougher. Apply for unemployment if you qualify, and contact your landlord, creditors, area nonprofits and family members to seek relief. If you’re still employed but have had your salary cut, consider a side gig and work on trimming expenses.

2. THINK TWICE BEFORE REJECTING JOB OFFERS

After many interviews and dead ends, I applied for an administrative role at an accounting firm and got hired in December 2009. It paid about $7,000 less than my previous salary. I knew it wouldn’t put my career on track, but it would cover most of my bills, so I took it.

Amanda Grossman, now a certified financial education instructor in El Paso, Texas, made similar compromises after being laid off as a market researcher in Florida in 2008. She took a career counsellor’s advice and relocated to Texas for a lower-paying job in the environmental industry.

“(The counsellor) said, `Look, the economy is not doing well. You need to take that job, it’s going to keep going down; you’re not going to be able to find work,”’ Grossman said.

If your sector is hurting and unemployment benefits or savings are lacking, even a less-than-ideal role can help you ride out a recession.

3. GET SMART ABOUT MONEY

You’ll find a myriad of financial literacy resources online and at your local library, assuming it is open and safe to visit during the pandemic.

I struggled to save money on a lower salary. Credit cards became my emergency fund. I don’t recommend this approach, but times were tough. Had I learned about financial hardship programs, student loan repayment options or balance transfer credit cards, I would have saved heaps on interest and ditched debt faster.

4. ESTABLISH MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME

I still wanted journalism experience and extra income, so on top of my new full-time job, I learned to shoot and edit video. I began freelancing in 2010. A year later, I also launched a small social media consulting business.

Grossman, too, had other goals. “I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I love, love, love talking about money,” she said.

While she was unemployed in Florida, she launched the blog “Frugal Confessions.” She learned new writing skills from books and sought feedback from editors at newspapers. In 2013, she left her environmental job in Texas to run her blog full time.

5. PROTECT YOUR CREDIT BUT PROTECT YOURSELF FIRST

In a crisis like COVID-19, many normal financial rules don’t apply. You may need to carry a credit card balance to buy groceries or address an emergency. You may need to make only the minimum payment to cover rent. You may even need to contact your card issuer and ask for relief options like payment deferrals.

Even with three jobs, I struggled at times to make the minimum payments on my credit cards due to high balances and interest rates. I never defaulted, but I did stress and scramble over it. I wanted a record of on-time payments and the good credit they build so that I could qualify for future low-interest rate offers.

That’s a worthy goal, but in times of emergency, prioritize getting back on your feet first. Once you do, you’ll have time to address your credit scores.

6. MAKE CALCULATED MONEY MOVES

Eventually, I left my apartment and moved in with roommates. I also read the post-recession climate and, in successive jobs, learned how to ask for a raise. Every year that my workload and responsibilities increased, I made a case for a higher salary. Asking is uncomfortable at first, but it gets easier. The extra money eventually paid off my debts.

A recession’s impact is largely out of your control, but your reaction isn’t. With strategic steps, you can insulate yourself and create new opportunities.

_______________________________

This article was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Melissa Lambarena is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mlambarena?nerdwallet.com. Twitter: ?lissalambarena.

RELATED LINKS:

NerdWallet: COVID-19 and your money: Our guide to getting relief and managing your finances http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-covid19-guide

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: An essential guide to building an emergency fund http://bit.ly/consumer-finance-start

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Money Smart Online Tools https://fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/learn.html

 

Millennial Money: Smart moves when cash is tighter than time

Millennial Money: Smart moves when cash is tighter than time

By Gregory Karp Of Nerdwallet

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Lots of people have more time than money nowadays. If you’re one _ maybe you’re taking a staycation or you freed up commuting hours by working from home _ optimize that extra time by making smart financial moves that won’t cost a dime.

“If you have time but no money, it’s time to become the best version of yourself,” says Ryan J. Marshall, a financial adviser in Wyckoff, New Jersey. “What separates successful people from people who struggle financially is often how they spend the time they are given each day.”

From the quick-and-simple to the more-involved, here are ideas to create your personalized money to-do list when you have more available hours than dollars.

SET GOALS

This is the obligatory recommendation to develop a household budget, perhaps using the 50/30/20 method to divvy up needs, wants, and savings or debt repayment. But creating a budget should be about liberation, not deprivation _ about finding money to spend on things you care about and cutting ruthlessly on things you don’t.

_ More free money moves: Calculate your current net worth (all you own minus all you owe); calculate a nest egg amount for retirement.

ASSESS SPENDING

Recurring expenses are the black hole of regretful spending. Examine your credit and debit card statements to identify subscriptions and re-justify them. When a recurring expense makes the cut, try to get a better price _ we’re looking at you, cable, internet and cellphone bills.

One big potential payoff? Compare auto insurance premiums by yourself or with help. “It can be a pretty painless process, by just forwarding your current insurance to a broker and having them shop it with multiple carriers,” says Autumn K. Campbell, a certified financial planner in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Some brokers work on commission only and don’t charge a fee.

_ More free money moves: Plan a “spending fast” (no spending for a number of days); learn about online cash-back shopping portals; decide on an allowance for children (you don’t have to begin until you have the cash).

PLAN DEBT PAYMENT

Develop a plan for paying down debt. Two popular strategies: Pay extra toward debt with the highest interest rate (debt avalanche) or pay extra toward the smallest debts to wipe them out quickly and get a sense of accomplishment (debt snowball).

_ More free money moves: Refinance your mortgage; refinance your student loan; transfer debt to a lower rate.

DEEPEN MONEY SMARTS

Money knowledge is the gift that gushes benefits over your lifetime.

Money advice online is abundant, but don’t forget about at-home digital access at your unsung public library. Beginners can check out the book “Personal Finance for Dummies.” Or you can consult Consumer Reports to get better products for the money you spend.

And while not everyone enjoys investing topics, you should have a basic understanding. “There are countless wonderful free resources such as Morningstar’s free investment classroom and Vanguard’s free articles hosted on their website,” says Avani Ramnani, a financial adviser in New York City.

_ More free money moves: Spend one hour every Sunday night researching an unfamiliar money topic.

MONITOR CREDIT

Your creditworthiness matters to your financial life, far beyond qualifying for a new loan. People with better credit live easier and less expensively. At minimum, learn about the main factors that affect your credit: payment history, credit utilization, credit history length and credit mix.

_ More free money moves: Check your credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com; check your credit scores (numbers that summarize your credit reports, available many places online); initiate a credit freeze if you’re worried about credit identity theft.

RECONSIDER HOUSING AND CARS

Where you live and what you drive steer your money life more than most money decisions. Think critically about how your mortgage or rent, along with the cost of your vehicles, fit your financial life.

New cars lose value like they drove off a cliff, while used ones can be bargains. That’s why you can buy a 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan for the same price as a new Kia Forte. If your mortgage or rent is more than 28% of your gross monthly income, it’s time to ask hard questions about where you choose to live.

_ More free money moves: Renegotiate rent; create a next-car account and plan to fund it; consider moving/downsizing.

AUTOMATE EVERYTHING

After you make a good money decision, put it on autopilot. That way, you won’t forget to stash away money or pay bills. And ultimately, you’ll have more time and money.

_____________________________________

This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Gregory Karp is a writer at NerdWallet.

RELATED LINKS:

NerdWallet: What factors affect your credit scores? https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-credit-scores

 

Sagicor Financial calls off deal with Scotiabank in Trinidad and Tobago

TORONTO _ Sagicor Financial Co. Ltd. says it will not go ahead with its acquisition of ScotiaLife Trinidad and Tobago Ltd.

The company made the decision after it and Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. agreed not to proceed with a 20-year distribution agreement for insurance products in Trinidad and Tobago.

Sagicor provides financial services in the Caribbean as well as life insurance in the United States.

The announcement follows a decision last year by Sagicor to call off its deal to buy Scotia Jamaica Life Insurance Co. Ltd. following a similar decision regarding a distribution agreement.

Sagicor had announced its plan to buy both operations in November 2018.

Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed at the time, but Scotiabank said that the transactions were not financially material.

More Canadians are worrying about the economy and over half are cutting discretionary spending

 TORONTO, June 29, 2020 /CNW/ – COVID-19’s impact on the economy is causing many Canadians to worry about the future: 79 per cent of respondents in CIBC’s Financial Priorities Poll say they are concerned about continued recessionary times next year, compared to 55 per cent who said they feared an economic downturn in a December 2019 survey.

Economic worries may be a factor in why many Canadians are adjusting their financial habits.

Many respondents (63 per cent) say they have significantly cut down on discretionary spending and more than half (55 per cent) agree they need to get a better handle on their finances this year.

“It’s understandable that Canadians are worried about the economy and are feeling uncertain about the impact on their ambitions, but this is a time when good financial advice conversations are most valuable, including assessing your overall situation, looking at opportunities to improve cash flow, and adjusting your financial plan if necessary,” said Laura Dottori-Attanasio, Group Head, Retail and Business Banking, CIBC. “It’s a positive sign that many Canadians are taking a responsible approach to the situation by making changes to their spending and working to limit unnecessary debt. Good cash flow management now can help you through the current situation, and over the longer term free up funds to divert towards savings or other goals.”

The survey also found that 46 per cent of Canadians say the economic impact of the pandemic has adversely affected their finances and a similar number (47 per cent) feel it will take more than a year to get their personal finances back on track. Canadians are prioritizing building an emergency fund in 2020, citing this as a top goal for the remainder of the year, followed by steering clear of adding on debt. Of the 22 per cent of respondents who’ve had to borrow more in the past 12 months, the number one reason was for day-to-day items (38 per cent) followed by a loss of income (28 per cent).

“The impact of the pandemic will be felt by Canadians for some time. While we have a long way to go to get back to a normal economy, taking charge of your finances now with a savings and debt management plan is an important step towards putting your personal finances back on track,” added Ms. Dottori-Attanasio.

The survey also found:

  • Top financial goals for the remainder of 2020 are: generally saving as much as possible (37 per cent), and avoiding taking on more debt (36 per cent)
  • Close to three-fourths of Canadians (74 per cent) say the uncertainty of the current environment makes it difficult to plan ahead, and over half (54 per cent) are generally worried about their financial future
  • The number of people who say they’ve taken on more debt is lower (22 per cent) than in December 2019 (28 per cent). Among those who have taken on more debt, 38 per cent say they did so to cover day-to-day expenses or due to loss of income (28 per cent) and job loss (18 per cent, +9 per cent from December 2019)
  • Regionally, the poll found differences in how Canadians are tightening their wallets. Residents in the Prairies say they are cutting discretionary spending the most, led by 76 per cent of those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and 69 per cent of Albertans, compared to the national average of 63 per cent
  • At 58 per cent, taking on more debt to pay for day-to-day items was the highest in British Columbia, 20 per cent higher than the national average of 38 per cent

Disclaimer

From June 8th to June 9th 2020 an online survey of 1,517 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 10 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network, and locations across Canada, in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at www.cibc.com/en/about-cibc/media-centre.html.

SOURCE CIBC

www.cibc.com

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