Economical Insurance launches national processing centre in Kitchener

WATERLOO, ON, Aug. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, Economical Insurance, one of Canada's leading property and casualty insurers, achieved a major milestone in its business transformation program with the opening of its new national processing centre at the company's Riverbend facility in Kitchener, ON. Hiring for the new centre began in March to fill more than 140 new jobs, demonstrating Economical's commitment to the Waterloo region.

"This national processing centre is a key pillar of our new operating model, which is making our underwriting operations more automated, consistent and agile," said Tom Reikman, Economical's senior vice-president and chief operating officer. "We have implemented new technologies to automate processes and established a new organization structure to bring consistency to our processes. These changes are enhancing our productivity, efficiency and effectiveness."

"Effective today, we are managing all personal and small commercial business through this centre," explained Pamela Marson, vice-president, underwriting transformation. "The business flowing through here is the automated, low-touch policies that require little to no handling by an underwriter. This will allow us to be very competitive in personal lines and simple commercial lines (including IRCA), with greater pricing sophistication, higher flow-through, and superior service. Just as importantly, we have underwriters — both personal and small commercial — and underwriting processing teams at the national processing centre dedicated to specific regions. They understand their regions, and know their brokers." 

Under its new operating model, Economical will continue to have local presence across the country. "Being close to our broker partners is an absolute fundamental to our business model," said Reikman. "Our mid-market underwriters, like our claims and business development teams, will continue to operate out of our local branches. This will allow our underwriters to dedicate more time to one-on-one interaction with broker producers. Our underwriter's mission is to work closely with our broker partners to find solutions."

Forward looking statements

Certain of the statements in this press release regarding our current and future plans, expectations and intentions, results, levels of activity, performance, goals or achievements, or any other future events or developments constitute forward-looking statements. The words "may", "will", "would", "should", "aims", "could", "expects", "plans", "intends", "trends", "indications", "anticipates", "believes", "estimates", "predicts", "likely" or "potential" or the negative or other variations of these words or other similar or comparable words or phrases, are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by management based on management's experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that management believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Many factors could cause Economical's actual results, performance or achievements or future events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the following factors: Economical's ability to implement its strategy or operate its business as management currently expects; its ability to accurately assess the risks associated with the insurance policies that it writes; unfavourable capital market developments or other factors which may affect Economical's investments and funding obligations under its pension plans; the cyclical nature of the P&C industry; management's ability to accurately predict future claims frequency or severity; government regulations; litigation and regulatory actions; periodic negative publicity regarding the insurance industry; intense competition; Economical's reliance on information technology and telecommunications systems; Economical's dependence on key employees; and general economic, financial and political conditions.

All of the forward-looking statements included in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements. These factors are not intended to represent a complete list of the factors that could impact Economical, however, these factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements we make. We are under no obligation and have no intention to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

About Economical

Founded in 1871, Economical Insurance is one of Canada's leading property and casualty insurers, with $1.9 billion in annual premium volume and $5.1 billion in assets as at June 30, 2014. Based in Waterloo, this Canadian-owned and operated company services the insurance needs of more than one million customers across the country. 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.

SOURCE: Economical Insurance

For further information: Doug Maybee, Economical Insurance, (T) 519.570.8249, (C) 519.404.0989,



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