The week’s Canadian insurance news

Published: January 23, 2016

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Ontarian government’s feeble auto insurance excuse

For the first time, Ontario premier, Kathleen Wynne, discussed the government’s failure to reduce auto insurance premiums in the province by Sept. 2015. In 2013 the provincial liberal government, under Wynne’s stewardship, promised to reduce auto insurance rates by 15 per cent in two years, but premiums only fell by just over 6 per cent in that time.

Always described as a buying of votes by opposition, the government’s failure has been widely criticized in a province where consumers pay over $1,500 on average for auto insurance. Wynne discussed the failure this week, saying:

“We always knew it was a stretch goal … We always knew it was going to be a challenge.”

Long-time critic Jagmeet Singh countered by saying the government is changing its aims after the event:

“This is the first time in over 2 1/2 years we’ve ever heard the term stretch goal,” he said.

“It’s something that the government clearly stated was possible and made the promise knowingly when we asked for the commitment in 2013.”

Aviva Canada purchased RBC General Insurance Company

Aviva Canada, the second largest insurance provider in the country, announced this week that it will purchase RBC General Insurance in a transaction worth $582 million. While the deal has been announced, the transaction still has to go through routine regulatory stages and meet closing conditions. The completed acquisition is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2016.

“I’m excited to be partnering with a prestigious brand like RBC Insurance to meet the insurance needs of more Canadians.  We both share a passion for excellence in customer experience and the fundamentals of general insurance.  This partnership is a fantastic addition to Aviva Canada, diversifying our distribution alongside our highly-valued 1,500 independent brokers.  This is consistent with our strategy to provide consumers with choice about how they access insurance solutions.  I am looking forward to welcoming the RBC Insurance employees joining Aviva.” – Greg Somerville, Aviva Canada CEO

Intact debuts drone insurance

Canada’s biggest insurance provider, Intact Insurance, announced a new commercial vehicle policy that will give businesses coverage for their Unmanned Aviation Vehicle (UAV) or drones.

“The number of businesses using drones is increasing due to improving technology, lower price points, and expanded uses within commercial operations,” said Alain Lessard, senior vice president, Commercial Lines for Intact Insurance. “Broker feedback and survey insights identified a growing customer demand and gap in non-specialty markets for this type of coverage. We are confident this product will help address current and future market demand.”