September 10, 2019 by Greg Meckbach
Quebec’s eighth largest property and casualty insurer has a new president.
François Blais is now president of Industrial Alliance Auto and Home Insurance and Prysm General Insurance, parent company iA Financial Corporation Inc. announced Tuesday.
Blais, who joined Industrial Alliance in 2004, was already chief operating officer of Quebec City-based iA Auto and Home and is taking on the additional role of president, on top of COO.
IA Auto and Home ranked eighth in the Quebec property and casualty insurance market (with direct premiums written of $316 million in P&C in the province) in the Canadian Underwriter statistical guide released this past July. Ranking above IA, in order, were Intact, Desjardins, La Capitale, Groupe Promutuel, Lloyd’s, Aviva Canada and RSA Canada.
Industrial Alliance’s distribution channel for auto and home insurance includes 300 direct sales agents, iA Financial said in an earlier securities filing. IA Auto and Home also gets clients referred by iA’s auto dealer services division, which provides car loan financing, extended warranties, replacement insurance and creditor insurance.
In both the private passenger auto and personal property markets in Quebec, iA Auto and Home ranked fifth in 2018.
Canada-wide, iA Auto and Home ranked 18th in auto and 28th in total business in 2018. Placing one spot ahead of iA Home and Auto in total business was Allianz Global Risks, while Gore Mutual ranked one spot ahead of iA Home and Auto in the auto market.
IA Financial, the corporate parent of Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.,
is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In addition to auto and home, Industrial Alliance also provides life and health insurance products, savings and retirement plans and investment products and services. Company-wide, iA Financial reported net premiums written of $1.98 billion during the three months ending June 30, 2019.
Prysm, a subsidiary of iA Auto and Home, also writes home and auto insurance as well as coverage for recreational vehicles and legal assistance.
Blais has held various positions in iA Auto and Home’s actuarial department, including vice-president. He was the iA Auto and Home’s appointed actuary from 2014 to 2016. In May 2017, he became iA Financial Group’s vice-president and chief data and analytics officer. He returned to iA Auto and Home in November, 2018 as COO.
IA Auto and Home had direct written premiums of $322.8 million in 2018, iA Financial said in its annual report released earlier this year.