• Economical is proceeding with the demutualization process

    Here is some important news from Economical Insurance we wanted to share with you. Economical Insurance is demutualizing. If you are an Economical policy holder you may be entitled to a financial benefit. Please read the attached press release for further information.

    Released Tuesday, November 3, 2015

    Economical is proceeding with the demutualization process — how are your clients affected?

    Please read this carefully as it contains eligibility information for your clients

    What’s new
    Earlier today the Economical Board of Directors announced its decision to proceed with the demutualization process within the regulatory framework developed by the federal Department of Finance.

    You can read the news release on our website here .

    Today’s news may bring on questions posed to you by your clients holding Economical policies and many of them will have the opportunity to participate in our demutualization as “eligible policyholders.” The eligible policyholders will play an important role throughout the demutualization process, including voting to approve the company’s formal proposal to demutualize and to receive financial benefits at the end of the process.

    Most of your Economical clients are non-mutual policyholders. This means that, in general, their eligibility requires that they hold a policy of Economical and have done so for the 12-month period ending on November 3, 2015 (the date the board decided to proceed with demutualization). In addition, the following groups of policyholders may qualify as eligible non-mutual policyholders:

    · a policyholder who held a policy that was at least 12 months old on November 3, 2015 even if they themselves did not hold the policy for those 12 months (e.g. a joint policyholder added to an existing policy)

    · a policyholder who, for whatever reason, did not hold any one policy that was 12 months old on November 3, 2015, but had held two or more similar policies during that 12-month period which added up to 12 months of coverage (two policies are similar if they are both personal property policies, both are auto policies or both are commercial policies)

    · a policyholder who would have been eligible (including in the above circumstances) but for gaps in coverage each up to 30 days

    · a policyholder who has a combination of the above circumstances

    However, a policyholder that was eligible on November 3, 2015 might still lose their eligibility if their policy (and any similar policies) is cancelled or lapses after November 3, 2015.

    We have requested guidance from our primary regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), on whether policies must be held past the board decision date in order for policyholders to remain eligible. Once we have this guidance, you will receive more information from us about eligibility. In the meantime, if it appears a policyholder may be eligible and they do not want to affect that potential eligibility, Economical recommends they consider maintaining their policy beyond November 3, 2015.

    As part of the demutualization process, we will be sending a letter to all policyholders describing the demutualization process and setting out the criteria for determining eligibility. The letter will be sent some time after the vote of eligible mutual policyholders (see below).

    In the interim, you should

    · Avoid any suggestion to clients that cancelling or lapsing their policy will not affect eligibility.

    · Direct any interested clients to Economical’s website on demutualization ( www.joininourfuture.com ).

    Please note only persons holding policies issued by Economical Mutual Insurance Company are eligible to participate in demutualization. This includes include policies sold by Family Insurance Solutions Inc., or under the Western General brand. On the other hand, policies issued by our subsidiaries (Perth Insurance, Waterloo Insurance (Economical Select), Federation Insurance or Missisquoi Insurance) are not taken into account for eligibility.

    Next steps
    The next step will be a special meeting, where eligible mutual policyholders will decide whether to continue with the demutualization process.

    At this meeting, the eligible mutual policyholders will vote on whether to negotiate the allocation of demutualization benefits with eligible non-mutual policyholders. A positive vote at this meeting will trigger the next phase of the demutualization process which will initiate the involvement of hundreds of thousands of Economical’s policyholders. The date of the meeting will be announced in the future.

    Ensuring policyholder records are up-to-date
    As we have said before, Economical will rely on its internal records to determine which policyholders are eligible to participate in demutualization and to determine entitlement for demutualization benefits. This is a significant task and requires all information about policyholders to be up-to-date. Otherwise, some policyholders may be inadvertently excluded from the process or receive less than they would be eligible for.

    Our broker partners play a critical role in ensuring we have accurate and up-to-date information about their clients. Over the next few months, and throughout the demutualization process, it will be vitally important for brokers to update Economical with policy changes on a timely basis – as soon as possible after the client makes the change. This will help avoid confusion about eligibility and other inconveniences for your clients.

    A new look and support for your clients
    The Economical team remains committed to keeping stakeholders informed throughout the demutualization process, and has launched a website where you can direct your clients ( www.joininourfuture.com ). This website provides information, updates, and access to demutualization-related resources. It will be where we provide regular updates and stakeholders are encouraged to visit frequently. Those interested can also sign up to receive automated alerts when new information is posted.

    In addition, we’ve prepared a short summary document with answers to key questions and details on who to contact for more information. This is an updated version from what we provided you in late August. Please feel free to share it with your clients if you think it would help them.

  • Backyard Safety Tips

    More and more, people are vacationing in their own backyards. If you have turned yours into a “staycation” hot spot, here are some safety tips to consider to help keep your oasis fun and free of danger.

    The Pool

    The pool can be a refreshing way to get some relief from the hot sun. But it can also be dangerous. Get your pool swim-ready by understanding some of the most common ways accidents occur, and then learning more about proper swimming pool safety and maintenance to help prevent them:

    • Unsupervised access or swimming, either by lack of close supervision or by failing to properly secure the pool to prevent entry. As a pool owner, you are responsible for making sure that access is restricted and people cannot enter pool areas unattended.
    • Injury by diving or jumping improperly, or from water around the pool or deck area that may cause someone to slip and fall.
    • Defective or broken spa or swimming pool components. Drains are often a dangerous pool part that can cause circulation entrapment if not properly covered. Faulty pool equipment and old pool lighting can also cause electrical shock.

    Prevent swimming pool accidents before they occur. Learn more about swimming pool safety .

    The Grill

    During warmer months, you might enjoy having a backyard barbecue. But according to the latest statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, gas and charcoal grills have been involved in an average of 8,800 home and outside fires per year. Some of the main causes of grilling fires are:

    • Placing the grill too close to combustibles, such as siding or an overhang.
    • Failure to keep the grill clean. Grease or fat buildup can catch and spread fire quickly.
    • A leak or break in the grill’s gas hose.
    • Leaving equipment unattended.
    • Misuse of material or product, including using incorrect starter fluids.

    Cook safely outdoors this summer by reading our grilling safety tips .


    Trampolines can be fun for kids, but according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, they are the cause of nearly 100,000 injuries each year. Avoid being a statistic:

    • Limit the number of jumpers to one at a time.
    • Supervision is needed for children at all times.
    • Remove trampoline ladders after use to prevent unsupervised access by young children.
    • Anchor the trampoline and enclosure to the ground by using a trampoline anchor kit.


    Playsets can be enjoyed by children of all ages, but damaged or weather-worn playsets can cause accidents. Stay safe by:

    • Supervising children.
    • Regularly checking for sturdiness, rusty bolts and wood rot, and making necessary repairs.
    • Ensuring playsets do not have openings between pieces that could trap a child’s head or neck.
    • Placing playsets securely on level ground and on wood chips or other soft materials to cushion falls and help prevent injuries.

    Fire Pits

    Warm nights are the perfect time to roast marshmallows. But out-of-control fires can cause injury. Be smart:

    • Place the fire pit in a safe spot away from your home, backyard deck or low-hanging tree branches.
    • Always require adult supervision around the fire pit while it is in use and until it has cooled off.
    • Never leave the fire unattended.
    • Use sand to fully extinguish the fire.
    • Let the coals cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container.

    Lawn mowers

    During the spring and summer months, lawn mowers can easily cause injury. Follow these tips for safety:

    • Read the mower’s manual, heed safety and operating instructions and learn the controls.
    • Do not allow children to ride as passengers on a lawn mower, and be sure to keep children out of the yard while mowing.
    • Clean up toys and other objects, such as rocks, from the yard to help prevent injuries from flying objects.
    • Never leave a running mower unattended.
    • Never operate the mower in an enclosed place where carbon monoxide can accumulate.
    • Never unclog or work on a lawn mower while the engine is on or when the spark plug is connected.
    • Wear non-slip shoes (no open toes or heels), long pants and hearing and eye protection.

    This article was exported from Travelers Insurance Company. [https://www.travelers.com/].