Economical Insurance and its broker partner, McDougall Insurance Brokers, provide $10,000 to help fund volunteer training for Spinal Cord Injury Ontario's Peer Support Program

TORONTO, Sept. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Economical Insurance, one of Canada's leading home, auto and business insurance providers, has donated $10,000 to Spinal Cord Injury Ontario's Peer Support Program in association with Belleville-based McDougall Insurance Brokers, the largest insurance brokerage in Eastern Canada.  The funds will go towards training volunteers to connect people living with spinal cord injuries and their families to fully-trained peers who can share their experience and knowledge.

"It's alarming the number of Canadians currently living with a spinal cord injury. Of the 86,000 across the country, 33,000 reside in Ontario," said Robert Gow, Economical's vice-president of sales and distribution for Ontario. "This situation isn't static. In Ontario, 11 people sustain a new spinal cord injury every week. The Peer Support program works wonders. While nearly half of all spinal cord injuries are caused by motor vehicle crashes, it's good to know that the use of seatbelts and airbags combined can reduce the odds of injury by 80%."

"A Peer Support Volunteer is a person with a spinal cord injury or a family member, who has made a positive adjustment to living with his or her injury," explained Bill Adair, SCI Ontario's Chief Executive Officer.  "The Peer Support Volunteer provides support or information to another person who is facing similar life circumstances.  Through a Peer Support Volunteer's personal experience with a spinal cord injury, people can find comfort, meaning, dignity and hope."

"Automobile crashes are a major cause of spinal cord injuries, so I think it is very appropriate that Economical Insurance is making this significant donation," said Don Stanton, president of McDougall Insurance Brokers.  "On behalf of McDougall Insurance, I am very proud to be associated with a donation that will help improve the lives of people with spinal cord injuries."

Peer Support Volunteers receive an average of nine hours of training by the Peer Support Coordinators. This includes reviewing the Peer Volunteer Manual that covers roles and responsibilities, communication, ethics & standards, life after a spinal cord injury and tips for success. Volunteers also review policies and procedures, problem solving scenarios and role playing.

Key facts about spinal cord injury:

  • There are 600 new spinal cord injuries every year in Ontario (more than one a day) and current estimates indicate that there are approximately 33,000 Ontarians living with spinal cord injury.
  • A spinal cord injury can happen to anyone at any time.
  • The first two to three years after an injury are crucial for a person to receive the support they need.
  • The highest incidence of injury is to individuals in the age range of 20-29 and also, to those over 70 years of age.

About Spinal Cord Injury Ontario (SCI Ontario)
Spinal Cord Injury Ontario's mission is to assist people with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities to achieve independence, self-reliance and full community participation. We champion excellence in service, advocacy and quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries. SCI Ontario provides specific and individualized services during every step of recovery through its core programs and services: membership, regional services, peer support, information services, knowledge enterprise, SCI alliance networks, advocacy, employment and attendant services (Greater Toronto Area). For more information about SCI Ontario, please visit sciontario.org.  

About Economical Insurance
Founded in 1871, Economical Insurance is one of Canada's leading property and casualty insurers, with approximately $1.9 billion in annualized premium volume and $5.1 billion in assets as at June 30, 2014. In 2010, Economical announced its decision to become the first federally-regulated mutual property and casualty insurance company to pursue demutualization. Economical Insurance conducts business under the following brands: Economical Insurance, Economical, Western General, Economical Select, Perth Insurance, Family Insurance Solutions, Federation Insurance and Economical Financial.

McDougall Insurance Brokers
McDougall Insurance Brokers is Eastern Ontario's Largest Insurance Brokerage firm and has been successfully operating for over 65 years. We have grown to include over 140 employees and 21 offices, from Oshawa to Ottawa Valley. As the largest brokerage in Eastern Ontario, we represent over 25 insurance companies, offering you optimal selection and competitive rates. 

SOURCE Economical Insurance

For further information: Media Contact: Gillian Lynne-Davies, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, (T) 416-422-5644 x212, (C) 416-671-3189, Email: gillian.lynne-davies@sciontario.org