Desjardins General Insurance Introduces Benefits of True Direct Model to Ontario Home and Auto Insurance Customers

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 20 /CNW Telbec/ - There's a new name offering
direct home and auto insurance to Ontario consumers - Desjardins General
Insurance (DGI).
    In an integrated advertising campaign launched this week, DGI introduced
Ontario insurance buyers to its concept of "insurance improved", provided
though its "true direct model," with no commissions, better prices more often,
and superior claims service.
    DGI home and auto insurance is underwritten by Certas Direct Insurance
Company, part of Desjardins General Insurance Group, which also owns The
Personal, Canada's second largest group insurer, and Desjardins Assurances
générales, the largest personal lines provider in Quebec. Desjardins General
Insurance Group, in turn, is owned by Desjardins Group, the largest financial
cooperative group in Canada.
    "We've been planning and researching our launch into the Ontario mass
market for some time," said Jean-François Chalifoux, DGI's General Manager and
Senior Executive Vice-President. "We believe there is a significant
opportunity for a true direct provider because Ontario is far behind the U.S.,
Europe and even Quebec in the penetration rate of direct insurance.
    "That being said, even in Ontario the trend is clearly in favour of the
direct model, and we feel that we are well positioned as a low cost provider
to both accelerate and benefit from that trend."
    Over the next four months, DGI's two initial "insurance improved"
television spots will appear on a variety of top network shows along with a
number of specialty networks.
    In addition, DGI will be running radio ads in the ten largest markets in
Ontario, running banner ads on popular websites along with search engine
marketing, and will introduce a targeted direct mail campaign later in the
    There's also something in the campaign for Ontario's French-speaking
communities - a series of print advertisements in weekly French-language
    "We are launching in a big way and will be blanketing the province with
the Desjardins General Insurance name," said Mr. Chalifoux. "That's because we
recognize that we have a big job to do creating awareness of this new
insurance brand in Ontario."
    The advertising campaign is built around the concept that DGI didn't
invent auto insurance, but has improved it through its "true direct" model by
eliminating commissions, while providing great prices, fast and accurate
online quotes, superior convenience and excellent claims service.
    Both of the 30-second TV ads use humour to get the message across. In
one, viewers are asked to imagine what cars, and shopping carts, and even
roller blades would be like if the initial invention of the wooden wheel
hadn't been improved over the years. The second focuses on commercial flight,
showing passengers in an unimproved "airship," rather than a modern jet
    The radio spots use the same concept, asking listeners to imagine life if
we had to rely on a telegraph rather than today's telecommunications networks.
    "Based on the extensive research we did, we think this campaign will make
a very strong first impression with Ontario consumers. And we know we can
build on the 'insurance improved' concept with different humorous variations
and keep the campaign evolving for at least a couple of years," said
Mr. Chalifoux.

    About Desjardins General Insurance Group

    Desjardins General Insurance Group (DGIG) is a member of Desjardins
Group, the largest cooperative financial group in Canada. With over
3,400 employees across Canada, a portfolio of 1.8 million policies in force, a
business volume of $1.4 billion and assets of $3.1 billion, DGIG ranks among
the largest property and casualty (P&C) insurers in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: English: Joe Daly, (905) 306-5252, Ext. 5305;
Francais: Stéphane Mailhot, (418) 835-4900, poste 7284

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Desjardins General Insurance Group

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