ICMIF member The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group has partnered with fellow Canadian mutual insurer Red River Mutual to create a new joint venture, focused on advancing innovation and digital responsiveness around agri-business and related risks through a new Managing General Agent (MGA) structure.
Unrestricted by existing products and business, this new MGA will assist The Commonwell and Red River Mutual address existing challenges around customer expectations and ease of access to knowledge and coverage in the agriculture space. Supporting the broker channel, the MGA structure will focus on supplementing existing relationships and experience with new approaches and products, while creating opportunities for expanding broker relationships and increased growth.
“We are excited to look at the agriculture space in a new and focused way and address the complexity of the farming industry today,” says Brian Esau, President & CEO of Red River Mutual. “There is no one size fits all when it comes to farm insurance, so this start-up will focus on insights and cutting-edge technology to help us develop products and services that complement our existing offerings and address unmet farming and agri-business operations’ needs.”
“Our goal is to provide any broker with the tools and knowledge in the manner they need to grow with the dynamic opportunities offered in the fast-moving agriculture space,” says Tim Shauf, President & CEO of The Commonwell Mutual. “Both of our companies see this as an opportunity to take a step forward and support Canadian farmers and agri-business owners with more solutions provided by Canadian insurers that have over a century of experience protecting Canadian farmers.”
The Commonwell Mutual and Red River Mutual have appointed Robin Shufelt as the start-up’s CEO.
“I am excited to work with these companies to be a leader in farm insurance,” says Shufelt. “Technology has become a huge part of this market, and I am excited to use my experience with cyber and tech innovation to create insurance solutions that will keep ahead of any change curves.”
Shufelt earned a Masters of Innovation and Technology from DeGroote School of Business and has experience in underwriting and digital innovation with multiple large insurance providers. She previously led the team at Canadian digital insurance company, Duuo, to explore digital direct offerings for emerging areas in Canada such as on-demand insurance.
More information will be available in the weeks ahead as branding and product development work progresses.