Canadian mutuals respond to help members and communities during COVID-19 pandemic

13 May 2020


During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, three Canadian ICMIF members have responded with initiatives to provide assistance to their member policyholders and to support local communities and healthcare providers.

Trillium Mutual announced last week that it will be donating CAD 100,000 to support mental health initiatives and programs that are directly helping farmers and rural communities across Ontario that may be struggling during these times. The donation will be made through Trillium’s ROOTS Community Support Fund, and was announced during the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) Mental Health Week.

Trillium Mutual Insurance has a long history of contributing to the development of rural Ontario. As a mutual insurance company, it is community focused and continually working to support members and organisations that build towards that goal.

Over the past month, Ontario reinsurance company Farm Mutual Re has donated more than CAD 50,000 in support of the local community.

In April, to help support the community during the pandemic, Farm Mutual Re donated CAD 9,500 each to three local hospitals: Grand River Hospital, Cambridge Memorial Hospital & St. Mary’s General Hospital. This donation was enhanced as over 35% of employees directed their CAD 200 allotted annual charitable contribution to the three local hospitals, totalling a further CAD 7,000, to support their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The mutual also donated 550 containers of hand sanitiser originally purchased for convention attendees, as well as 30 N95 masks from their loss control department to local hospitals.

More recently, to continue support the local community, Farm Mutual Re also have donated CAD 5,000 to each of the local food banks in Guelph, Waterloo and Cambridge.

This week, The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group announced the introduction of “Pay It Forward” – an innovative initiative developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative involved a special one-time payment of CAD 100 sent to all members (totalling CAD 8.4 million) that may be used to ease personal financial pressure or “Pay It Forward” by donating to others in need in their community.

The organisation has introduced several measures to create more flexibility for individual members who are experiencing financial hardship as well as actively facilitating policy changes for members whose circumstances have changed and wish to reduce their monthly premium. It had previously announced that it had stopped charging short-rate cancellation fees to help members that are struggling with financial impact.

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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