Canadian Underwriter

The Co-operators acquires personal and commercial lines brokerage in Quebec

October 3, 2018   by Jason Contant

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The Co-operators has acquired Robert Poirier & Associés, Courtier d’assurance inc. (Assurance Robert Poirier), a personal and commercial lines brokerage in Gatineau, Que.

Guelph, Ont.-based The Co-operators has seen steady growth in Quebec over the past several years, and acquiring this book of business will allow the insurer to expand its distribution system in the province. Patrick Decarie, the insurer’s region vice president for Quebec, told Canadian Underwriter in an interview Wednesday The Co-operators has been in Quebec for nine years and this is its 15 provincial office. Most recently, in June 2017, the insurer acquired personal and commercial lines brokerage Assurance Auclair in Quebec City.

Decarie reported that Assurance Robert Poirier has a split of 15% in commercial lines and the remainder in personal lines, similar to that of The Co-operators. Assurance Robert Poirier has about $3.5 million in annual premium volume.

The carrier has decided to keep the Gatineau office, which is new, along with its five employees. The office is also close to where The Co-operators opened its first branch in Quebec, Decarie added.

Considering its location, was the brokerage affected by the Friday, Sept. 21 tornadoes in Gatineau? No, said Decarie, but clients were. “On Saturday, we were calling our clients who we thought were affected by the tornado. We didn’t wait for them to call us because it was hard to reach us.”

Assurance Robert Poirier offers a variety of products including auto, group insurance, residential, motorcycle, boat and pleasure craft, recreational vehicle, off-road and snowmobile, commercial and travel insurance. The Co-operators has a “strong and steadily growing” presence in Quebec, offering home, auto, life, group, travel and commercial insurance, as well as investment products.

Part of The Co-operators’ strategy is to grow organically, but also through acquisition, Decarie said. “I have someone on my team whose main job is to meet brokers and see if there are other opportunities in Quebec.”

The Co-operators is ranked as Canada’s sixth largest P&C company by net premiums written, according to Canadian Underwriter’s 2018 Stats Guide.

Following the most recent acquisition, any existing insurance coverage a client has will remain in effect for the current term of their policies.

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