Insurance company acquires $33 million premium business – for $0

Donegal Mutual Insurance announced Thursday that it has completed the acquisition of Mountain States Mutual Casualty.

Lancaster Online reported that the firm did not field a single cent to acquire Mountain States, which had net written premiums worth $33 million in 2016 in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and Utah.

The states are all new markets for Donegal and are expected to provide “significant future growth over time,” the publication reported.

The report said that Mountain States has “been unprofitable in recent years,” in its line of commercial business.

Donegal Mutual offers personal and commercial insurance. It employs almost 1,000 workers that serve 21 states.

The company said on its website of its mergers and acquisitions strategy, “As an effective acquirer of small to medium-sized “main street” property and casualty insurers, Donegal Group has grown profitably for more than two decades. Donegal Group employs a multi-faceted strategy that includes prudent organic and acquisition growth, conservative underwriting, pricing discipline, superior technological capabilities, efficient operations and conservative investing.”–for-0-68735.aspx

Change in compensation rules to cost UK car insurers £3.5bn

A set of controversial new rules for serious injuries has been blamed by Britain’s motor insurance market for wider losses, with the industry thought to have paid out £3.5bn ($4.5bn) in compensation last year.

According to a report released on Thursday (15 June) by consultancy firm EY, car insurers were dealt a severe blow after the Ogden rate – which is used to calculate compensation awards for serious personal injuries – was slashed from from 2.5% to 0.75%.

The cut was announced in February this year, prompting insurers to warn that the new rate will only serve to “overcompensate” victims of car crashes or patients who have suffered medical errors in hospitals.

Some £2.4bn of the combined £3.5bn hit to the industry have been disclosed so far, EY said. Admiral has been among the firms feeling the full force of the rate cut, with its pre-tax profit for 2016 tumbling by £105m to £284.3m.

According to the Association of British Insurers, car insurance rates hit a record high of £462m in the first quarter of 2017. The new Odgen rate along with an increase in insurance premium tax, which set to rise to 12% from this month, could drive premiums higher by a further 9% over the course of the year to £503bn.

That would translate into the average cost of a comprehensive policy rising by approximately £28.

Tony Sault, the UK general insurance market executive director at EY said further effects would be felt next year when annual reinsurance cover for large claims come up for renewal.

“Young drivers will undoubtedly have to bear the brunt of the increase due to the disproportionate number of larger claims they cause,” he explained.

“A fundamental review of Ogden and the government’s proposed whiplash reforms are increasingly urgent for consumers and must not be abandoned in the aftermath of the general election.”

However, the car insurance industry is not the only one to be affected by the new legislation.

The change to the Ogden rate means those affected by medical negligence, car crashes and other incidents will receive a higher monthly sum, but it will increase the strain on insurance companies, such as the NHS and other bodies responsible for paying out claims.

In March, the first case settled since the new rate was implemented saw an NHS trust triple the payout to a 10-year girl left with cerebral palsy from £3.8m to £9.3m.

Mixed results for iA and Great-West in second quarter

Two of Canada’s major life insurers have announced earnings results for Q2 2017.
Great-West Lifeco revealed net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $585 million, while Industrial Alliance reported net income of $127.5 million in the same category.
For both firms this represented a drop on the same quarter last year, reflecting challenges in the industry generally.
Great-West Lifeco is in the process of a major restructuring effort with its Canadian business, with costs of $127 million incurred in the second quarter.
The firm has realigned its Canadian operations into two distinct units – group and individual – but excluding these costs, adjusted net earnings for the second quarter of 2017 were $712 million. This represents a jump of 6% compared to the $671 million total in Q2 2016.
Addressing the results, Great-West Lifeco president and CEO Paul Mahon pointed to some of the tough decisions the company had to take to ensure its long-term health.
“We were very pleased with the second quarter results, which reflected strong operating performances across businesses and geographies,” he said. “Restructuring initiatives undertaken earlier in the year are delivering expected cost savings. We are managing expenses carefully, while continuing to invest in core markets and new capabilities to improve customer experiences and drive future growth.”
With the company realigning its business, it was still able to increase assets under administration by 60.7 billion in the first half of the year to $1.3 trillion. Great-West also declared a quarterly common dividend of $0.3670 per common share payable September 29, 2017.
For iA Financial Group, a 9% drop in second quarter earnings compared to last year was a disappointment, but the firm’s performance was strong in certain parts of its business.
Retail insurance in Canada and the US reported a sales increase of 3% to $74.8 million, with total sales in Canada amounting to $48 million and $26.8 million in the United States.
The group insurance sector reported total sales of $250.6 million, representing a year-over-year increase of 15%. Employee plans meanwhile had sales of $28.9 million, an increase of 69%.
After purchasing HollisWealth, iA has grown beyond its insurance roots to become a multi-service operator, as president and CEO Yvon Charest outlined.
“Our top line continues to grow with premiums and deposits up 26% during the second quarter,” he said. “Wealth management, a key area of growth for us, is showing sustained momentum, and HollisWealth will be a very good addition. We are also pleased to note the strong growth in our group operations, which is in line with our aim for them to become a more meaningful contributor to iA Financial Group.”

The iA Board of Directors approved a dividend of 35 cents per share on outstanding common shares, payable on September 15, 2017.

Don’t think you need domestic travel insurance? Think again – Travel Weekly

So you’ve heard how bad the medical bills can get if travelling without insurance. But it’s not the only thing you should consider.

While there is a whole lotta’ proof that you should have travel insurance from a medical point of view, not a lot of travellers think about cancelled flights or missing luggage – but that doesn’t mean the numbers aren’t as high as those medical mishaps we keep hearing about.

New figures released by Cover-More Travel Insurance show that more than a third of people who go on domestic holidays had flights cancelled or luggage and valuables damaged.

In fact, over 5000 domestic travel insurance claims were made by Cover-More customers in 2016 alone.

And if you don’t have travel insurance? Say goodbye to that brand new Samsonite suitcase for good – and forget having a weekend away once your domestic flight is cancelled.

Usually Aussies associate travel insurances with big trips overseas – not a weekend trip to Melbourne, but extreme weather, medical emergencies, lost or damaged luggage and cancelled flights can all just as easily happen in Australia.

Here are some quick examples of real life Cover-More Travel Insurance domestic claims to scare you straight:

  • A flight cancellation due to severe weather: the customer was forced to buy brand new flights. Additional Expenses: $5,500 – covered.
  • A customer’s suitcase had gone missing with their chosen airline and the items were not recoverable. Luggage value: $2,500 – covered.
  • A rental car was damaged due to a third party collision and the car was deemed a write-off. Rental Car Insurance Excess: $4,000 – covered.

But if any of these customers didn’t have domestic travel insurance? They would have had to pay – and their ruined trip would be even more ruined than before.

Cover-More Travel Insurance figures also show that flight and accommodation changes or cancellation costs were by far the most claimed benefit in 2016 – accounting for more than half of total domestic claims. This was followed by lost luggage and travel documents, additional expenses (like that smashed iPhone) and rental car insurance excess.

Domestic policies have specific benefits for travel within Australia and can cover you for everything from flight cancellations and accommodation expenses through to broken glasses.

Ate some bad sushi and got food poisoning, making you miss your flight? Accident in a rental car? Cyclone Debbie ruining your weekend plans and flight? Domestic travel insurance got you covered.

A spokesperson for Cover-More, Glenn Broadhurst, said many Aussies are overlooking domestic travel insurance.

“Everyone thinks it won’t happen to them, but there are lots of ways unforeseen circumstances can affect your travel plans within Australia. It doesn’t need to be an extreme weather event or a medical emergency for travel insurance to pay off,” he said.


“We helped more than 5000 customers with their domestic claims last year and most of those were for flight cancellation and luggage loss or damage,” Broadhurst added.


Don’t think you need domestic travel insurance? Think again – Travel Weekly


APEXA Transforms Life Insurance Advisor Contracting and Compliance

TORONTOAug. 8, 2017 /CNW/ – APEXA, the web-based national platform for life advisor onboarding, contracting and compliance is now live.

APEXA brings higher standardization, clarity, timeliness and efficiency to contracting and compliance for life insurance industry stakeholders, providing each company with a platform to monitor licensing and compliance as part of a systematic industry-approved solution.

The current members of the APEXA governance board, comprised of four MGA organizations, Financial Horizons, HUB Financial, IDC Worldsource, PPI Solutions, and five carrier companies, Canada Life, Empire Life, Industrial Alliance, Manulife, and Sun Life Financial, are inviting life and health insurance advisors to onboard through this platform.

As a group comprised of insurance carriers and MGAs, we’ve worked in close collaboration to provide knowledge and support to help APEXA Corp. in developing the APEXA service, a platform that is easy to use, will reduce administrative effort for all industry stakeholders and support them in meeting the growing number of regulatory obligations facing our industry,” said Julie Martin, AVP, Customer Experience, Manulife.

A monumental collaborative effort has been made by these leading carriers, MGA organizations, Bluesun and APEXA Corp. to bring APEXA to market. This new solution integrates into existing back office systems and processes, centralizes the storage and verification of licensing and compliance requirements and facilitates single or multiple contracting requests, transforming a paper and labour intensive environment into a streamlined digital solution.

Tonya Blackmore, CEO of APEXA Corp. states, “APEXA represents collaboration at its best.  We’ve transformed the Advisor onboarding and compliance processes by delivering a platform that provides a standardized approach and simplifies administration for Advisors, Carriers and MGA’s.  It’s a significant achievement and we can’t be more excited to be in this stage of rolling it out across the industry.

Up to 85,000 life and health insurance advisors and corporations will receive invitations to register which will continue into 2018.

For information on APEXA, please visit


APEXA is an industry led solution with the goal of bringing higher standardization, clarity, timeliness, and efficiency to contracting and compliance for all industry stakeholders. It will provide industry stakeholders the platform to screen and monitor licensing and compliance where it matters most – as part of a systematic industry approved national web-based solution. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter

APEXA is part of the LOGiQ3 Group. Operating in 14 countries, serving over 300 customers, LOGiQ3 Group empower clients to make the best decisions for their business, ultimately reducing exposure to operational and regulatory risks.

About Bluesun

Bluesun makes software solutions for the financial services industry and has over 30 clients in Canada and the US. Bluesun solutions handle almost 70% of all Canadian life insurance business in the independent channel.  For more information, visit