Desjardins launches direct arm in Ontario

Desjardins General Insurance (DGI) is now offering direct home and auto insurance in Ontario.

"We've been planning and researching our launch into the Ontario mass market for some time," Jean-Francois Chalifoux, general manager and senior executive vice-president at DGI said in a company release. "We believe there is a significant opportunity for a true direct provider because Ontario is far behind the U.S., Europe and even Québec in the penetration rate of direct insurance," he said.
"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."
As of 2006, DGI held 9.4% of the market share for "damage insurance" in Quebec, according to a 2007 Autorite des marches financiers (AMF) release.
In Quebec, direct writers deliver about 52% of property and casualty insurance.
In Ontario, about 51% of insurance consumers buy their insurance products through the independent broker channel, whereas 38% buy from agents or direct markets, according to a 2007 independent consumer survey commissioned by the IBAO.
"We are launching in a big way and will be blanketing the province with the Desjardins General Insurance name," Chalifoux said. "That's because we recognize that we have a big job to do creating awareness of this new insurance brand in Ontario."