Desjardins General Insurance Group achieves 2 million policies-in-force milestone way ahead of plan

Direct Insurance Driving Growth of Desjardins General Insurance Group

LÉVIS, QC, Nov. 2, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins General Insurance Group (www.dgig.ca) has hit the two million policies milestone in Canada, thanks to the growing popularity of direct insurance.

"We had a three year plan to reach two million policies-in-force by the end of 2012, so we are very pleased to achieve this important milestone way ahead of schedule," said Sylvie Paquette, President and COO of DGIG. "We've been firing on all cylinders, with our mass market companies, group insurers, white label brands, and commercial business all contributing to our growth."

"We are probably the first direct insurer in Canada to hit the 2 million policy mark, and we achieved this result by increasing sales in all regions of the country, mostly through organic growth," she explained.

The distribution of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada is still dominated by insurance brokers, unlike in the U.S., Britain and many European countries where direct sales over the telephone and Internet are much more prevalent. However, the direct insurers are beginning to win market share in Canada, particularly in personal lines (home and auto insurance for consumers).

"The trend for insurance providers is multi-channel distribution, with the direct approach playing an increasingly important role in personal lines," according to Ms. Paquette. "Home and auto insurance policies are fairly standard and easy to understand, so most consumers are quite comfortable researching and shopping for insurance on their own.  The Internet makes it easy to compare prices and features, request a quote and even purchase a policy - all from the comfort of your home or using a mobile device."

DGIG's online sales have been growing rapidly in recent years, although the vast majority are still finalized over the phone with a licensed agent.

According to Ms. Paquette, today's consumers have a wide variety of options in dealing with their insurance providers - over the Internet, by phone, using mobile devices, or in person with a broker or agent discussing options face-to-face.

"The challenge to the insurance providers is to seamlessly meet customer needs across the different channels," she added.

About Desjardins General Insurance Group

A subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and 6th largest in the world, Desjardins General Insurance Group provides home and auto insurance to consumers across the country and insurance to businesses in Québec. With over 3,700 employees across Canada, a portfolio of more than 2 million policies in force, a business volume of $1.8 billion and assets of more than $3.5 billion, DGIG ranks among the largest property and casualty (P&C) insurers in Canada.

SOURCE Desjardins General Insurance

For further information:

(for journalists only):
Sarah Twomey
Advisor, Media Relations
Desjardins Group
416-926-2700, or 1-877-906-5551, ext. 2015
media@desjardins.com

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