Last month, ICMIF member Desjardins (Canada) announced that its property and casualty insurance subsidiaries would be issuing a total of CAD 100 million in premium refunds to their 2.1 million Canadian auto insurance clients.
This announcement follows an initial refund of close to CAD 50 million (announced in April) to auto insurance clients who were staying at home and driving significantly less as a result of the physical distancing and other government measures implemented due to COVID-19, bringing the total close to CAD 150 million.
More people are working from home than ever before. Combined with the extended lockdown, this means that travel has been limited and car accident risks have been reduced. Fewer accidents mean fewer claims to pay out, so Desjardins has decided to reflect this reality by issuing this refund to its clients.
The refunds are for eligible personal and commercial insurance clients, who will receive a refund between 25% and 40% of the premium they pay for one month, depending on their market realities. The refund will apply to policies for eligible personal and commercial vehicles.
"Even though we're beginning to reopen our provinces and cities, the pandemic will continue to affect our members and clients. We're proud to say that we're still here for them in these unprecedented times. Right now, we're able to give CAD 100 million back to our auto insurance clients. This is just one of the many ways that Desjardins has helped its members and clients deal with COVID-19 since March," said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group.
Desjardins Insurance and its agents team up to support local food banks
Desjardins also announced that, along with its agent network, it has donated CAD 327,000 to community food banks and Food Banks Canada, which face shrinking food donations and other challenges from COVID-19.
Desjardins Insurance has matched financial donations up to CAD 1,000 made to community food banks by local Desjardins agents in Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick. All told, 128 Desjardins agents participated in the program, resulting in a combined CAD 227,730 in donations to 77 community food banks. In addition, Desjardins Insurance is donating another CAD 100,000 to Food Banks Canada, a national charitable organization that supports food banks and agencies at the community level, bringing the total donation to $327,730.
"Local food banks have always been critically important to many communities across the country, but they are even more so now with the impacts we see on employment and the financial hardships many people are facing," said Benaaz Irani, Vice-President of the Desjardins Agent Network. "Our local Desjardins Agents live and work in the communities they serve, and they know first-hand what their clients and communities are going through and the strain COVID-19 is putting on their local food banks."
According to Food Banks Canada, Canadians made over 1.1 million visits to food banks every month in 2019, a number that could increase significantly over the coming months with much of the Canadian economy shut down because of COVID-19. At the same time, traditional food collection methods have been disrupted because of social distancing and significant declines in food donations.
Desjardins agents drove this project, taking the initiative to support their local food banks before Desjardins Insurance announced the matching funds. This is the third consecutive year that Desjardins Insurance and the exclusive Desjardins Agent Network have teamed up to support Canadian communities. In 2019, more than CAD 270,000 was given to community initiatives in the three provinces where Desjardins Insurance Agent offices are located.