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Gore Mutual changes mutual membership system, improves broker contingent compensation


July 5, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter


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Gore Mutual Insurance Company announced Tuesday a new mutual membership system for clients who have held personal property policies for 10 years or more.

Cambridge, Ont.-based Gore Mutual also said Tuesday it has developed a “brand refresh.”

Gore Mutual Insurance refreshes brand

In a press release, Gore Mutual said its new membership system “adopts transparent and objective criteria to recognize policyholders who have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to Gore Mutual, and who are likely to be engaged in our governance.”

Last January, Gore announced its board of directors decided the firm will remain a mutual company, though federal regulations allowing for the demutualization of property & casualty insurance carriers have been in place for nearly a year.

“Those policyholders who have had a personal property policy with Gore Mutual for 10 years or more and, as of May 1, 2016, have a homeowner, condominium or tenant primary residence Qualifying Policy will now automatically become a member,” Gore Mutual stated July 5. “All existing members will remain members, regardless of the new criteria, as long as they continue to hold a Qualifying Policy. The change to our mutual membership system does not impact or change our policyholders’ insurance coverages.”

Economical Insurance – based in Waterloo, Ont. – announced in December, 2015 that a majority of its eligible mutual policyholders voted “in favour of commencing negotiations with non-mutual policyholders on the allocation of demutualization benefits through court-appointed policyholder committees.”

In order to demutualize, a federally regulated mutual P&C insurer would have to – among other things – file an application, with a court, for an initial order. The final conversion proposal would be subject to approval by the federal government.

In addition to Economical and Gore, there are five other federally regulated mutual P&C insurers: Wawanesa, Portage La Prairie Mutual, Saskatchewan Mutual, The Kings Mutual and Heartland Farm Mutual.

7nWIkvf2_400x400In addition to its new membership system, Gore Mutual suggested July 5 its refreshed brand involves “a fresh new look, tone of voice, tagline and chevron was done in partnership with brokers, customers and employees.”

The carrier added that this year, it has “significantly enhanced contingent compensation for all Gore Mutual brokers.”

In January, Gore Mutual said its board had determined that remaining a mutual company “is in the best interests of the company, having regard to the interests of all of its stakeholders.”

One factor in the decision was that the federal regulations allow for an initial public offering as the only demutualization option.

Regulations allowing for demutualization of life insurers have been in place for more than 15 years.

Mutual Life, Canada Life, Manufacturers Life and Sun Life demutualized between July, 1999 and March, 2000. Mutual changed its name to Clarica and was acquired by Sun Life. Canada Life was later acquired by Great-West Lifeco Inc.