Desjardins : Everything you need to know

Desjardins: Everything you need to know

  • Headquarters: Lévis, Québec, Canada
  • Net premiums: $11.3 billion (2021)
  • Surplus earnings: $3.8 billion (2021)
  • Total assets: $397.1 billion (2021)
  • Size (employees): about 52,000
  • Underwriting expertise: Auto, home, travel, life and health, business insurance
  • Key people: Guy Cormier (chair of the board, president, and chief executive officer), Réal Bellemare (senior executive vice-president and chief operating officer), Éric Lachaîne (executive vice-president, Caisse network and member and client services) Nathalie Larue (executive vice-president, strategy, marketing and personal services), Jean-Yves Bourgeois (executive vice-president, business services), Valérie Lavoie (president and chief operating officer, Desjardins General Insurance Group and executive vice-president, property & casualty insurance, Desjardins Group), Denis Dubois (executive vice-president, wealth management and life and health insurance, Desjardins Group and president and chief operating officer, Desjardins Financial Security), Marie-Huguette Cormier (executive vice-president, human resources and communications), Alain Leprohon (executive vice-president, finance, treasury and administration, and chief financial officer), Francine Champoux (executive vice-president, risk management), Johanne Duhaime (executive vice-president, information technology)

Pros

  • Well-known for offering affordable insurance rates
  • Provides clients with a wide range of optional coverages and intuitive discounts
  • Given solid credit ratings by different rating agencies – A+ from Standard & Poor’s, Aa2 from Moody’s, AA from Dominion Bond, and AA- from Fitch – indicating excellent financial health

Cons

  • Receives less than positive customer reviews on independent insurance review sites, including InsurEye and the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • The biggest complaints relate to lack of timely customer service and difficulty of getting claims processed

 

Common coverage types

Auto insurance

Coverage type

What it pays for

Third-party liability coverage

Accidental property damage or bodily injury caused to others

Collision coverage

Damage to an insured vehicle caused by collision with another vehicle or object, or a vehicle rollover

Comprehensive coverage

Loss or damage caused by non-collision events such as fire, vandalism, theft, wind, hail, flood, flying or falling objects, and impact with an animal

Accidental benefits

Medical, rehabilitation, and funeral expenses; death and loss of income benefits

Uninsured automobile coverage

Accidents caused by uninsured drivers

Family protection

Additional protection for eligible claimants in the event of injury or death caused by an underinsured motorist

Direct compensation property damage (DCPD) coverage

Damage to the vehicle if the policyholder is not or only partially at fault for an accident

Optional coverages

5-year new vehicle protection

Costs to protect the vehicle against depreciation for up to five years

Trouble-Free Option®

A special package that combines popular optional coverages, namely loss of use, liability for damage to non-owned automobiles, and emergency road services

$0 deductible

Removes deductible payment when making a claim in the event of theft, vandalism, or an at-fault accident

Liability for damage to non-owned automobiles

Damage to vehicles the policyholder rents or borrows for short-term personal use in Canada or the US

Transportation replacement coverage

Transportation replacement costs if the insured vehicle is no longer drivable after a loss or damage covered by the policy

Accident-free protection

Accident waiver coverage that ensures the policyholder would not be penalized for their first at-fault accident

 

Desjardins’ auto insurance discounts:

  • Multi-line discount – Up to 35% discount for policyholders bundling their car and home insurance
  • Multi-vehicle discount – For policyholders with two or more vehicles insured
  • Winter tire savings – Up to 5% discount for vehicles equipped with four winter tires
  • Loyalty savings – For customers who are continuously insured for three or more years with their previous insurer
  • Student rates – Up to 10% discount for policyholders who are under 25 and full-time university or college students, or recent graduates
  • Electric or hybrid vehicle savings – For drivers of fuel-efficient hybrid or electric vehicle

2021 auto insurance customer satisfaction rating
BBB: A+ rating
InsurEye: 1.5 stars out of 5 stars

 

Homeowners insurance

Standard coverage type

What it pays for

Liability coverage

Unintentional bodily injury or property damage that the policyholder causes to others

Fire, theft, and vandalism coverage

Losses or damages caused by fire, smoke, forest fires, theft, and vandalism

Water damage coverage

Damages caused by water service pipe leaks or overflows

Storms and natural disaster coverage

Damages caused by tornadoes, freezing rain, hail, wind, and lightning, and fire, explosion and smoke damage caused by an earthquake

Belongings coverage

  • Cost to replace or repair belongings and furniture in an event of a covered loss
  • Damage to the home and its installations, whether temporary or not, including fences and car shelters
  • Materials and supplies intended to be used to renovate or repair the home and attached structures
  • Cost to repair or replace structures that are located within the premises but not attached to the home
  • Cost to replace a personal property owned by a dependent student

Optional coverages

Ground water and sewer back-up (part of water damage coverage)

Sudden and accidental damage to the property caused by water leaks, overflows, or backs up from places like sewers and septic tanks

Flood (part of water damage coverage)

Sudden and accidental loss or damage caused by flooding

Rain, snow, or sleet (part of water damage coverage)

Sudden and accidental damage caused by:

  • Rain or snow seeping through walls, roofs, doors, and windows
  • Water discharging, backing up, or overflowing from eavestroughs or downspouts
  • The weight of ice, snow, or wet snow

Earthquake (part of storms and natural disasters coverage)

Damage to the property caused by an earthquake

Home under construction (part of belongings coverage)

Theft or vandalism occurring during the construction of the property

Pool and spa (part of belongings coverage)

Damage to the swimming pool or hot tub caused by events such as freezing temperatures, or heavy ice or snow

Home-based business or short-term rental coverage

Damage resulting from business or professional activities in the home, including farming

Fuel oil coverage

Damage to the policyholder’s belongings caused by fuel oil tank leaks or spills, soil decontamination, and unintentional damages caused to a third party

 

What’s not covered by Desjardins’ homeowners’ policy:

  • Damage caused by repeated water seepage or leaks
  • Damage caused by a landslide, subsidence, or other events
  • Gradual damage caused by defects, deterioration, or wear and tear
  • Damage caused by some types of animals or insects, including vermin, birds, rodents, racoons, or bats

Desjardins’ homeowners’ insurance discounts:

  • Multi-line discount – Up to 35% discount for policyholders bundling their home and auto insurance
  • Security system discounts – For homes installed with security and safety devices such as fire and burglar alarms or water damage prevention system

 

Life insurance

Coverage type

Features and benefits

Term life insurance

  • 10, 20, or 30 years, or to age 65 term length options
  • Option to convert term coverage into permanent coverage without having to provide proof of good health
  • Can switch to a longer-term to save on premiums
  • Get preferred rates when taking out more than one coverage at a time

Permanent life insurance

  • Choice of $5,000, $7,500, $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 in insurance tax-free for natural death
  • Five times the benefit for accidental death before age 85
  • Advance payment of up to 50% of the benefit if the life expectancy declared by a physician is less than two years
  • Lifetime coverage as long as premiums are paid

Participating life insurance

  • 10 or 20 years, or to age 100 term length options
  • Tax-free death benefit
  • Option to use dividends to purchase additional life insurance or reduce annual premium
  • Option to stop paying premiums while maintaining coverage

Universal life insurance

  • Option to amend the policy whenever the insured’s needs change penalty-free after five years
  • More than 30 diversified investment options

 

About

General background

Desjardins Group is a Canadian financial services cooperative and the largest federation of credit unions (caisses populaires) in North America. The company also has the largest regional presence of any financial institution in Québec and has a strong presence in Ontario, with 215 local caisses, 851 points of service, 73 business centres, and 1,687 ATMs spread across the two provinces.

To date, Desjardins has around 52,000 employees, including 2,456 directors, and more than 7.5 million members and clients. Its legal headquarters remain in Lévis, where it was founded by Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins in 1900, although most of the executive management, including CEO Guy Cormier, holds office in Montréal.

Desjardins Insurance

Desjardins Insurance is a brand distributed by the company’s insurance arm Desjardins General Insurance Group (DGIG), which was founded in 1944. Today, the group ranks as among the leading personal and business insurance providers in Canada, boasting a workforce of 1,800 employees and almost 500 agents servicing more than two million policies and accounts across the country.

Under the Desjardins Insurance brand, policies are underwritten by Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company. These include auto, home, travel, life and health, and credit insurance.

In January 2014, Desjardins announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire the Canadian operations of State Farm. One year later, State Farm’s P&C and life insurance operations, as well as its mutual fund, loan and health insurance subsidiaries were transferred to Desjardins. State Farm and Crédit Mutuel, a French cooperative, also made investments in Desjardins’ P&C insurer as part of the deal. This resulted in the company’s P&C insurance arm becoming the second largest in Canada.

Desjardins at a glance – 2021

  • Desjardins Group ranked among Canada’s 100 best employers, according to Forbes Magazine, placing 74th in the list and second among all banking and financial institutions.
  • The company was also named the sixth safest financial institution in North America and 34th in the world by Global Finance Magazine.
  • Desjardins was also included in Corporate Knights’ list of the 50 best corporate citizens in Canada.
  • For the six months ending in June, Desjardins’ wealth management and life and health insurance ranked first in Canada and Québec for market-linked guaranteed investments.
  • During the same period, direct written premiums from its property and casualty insurance segment reached $5.7 billion, ranking second in both Canada and Québec.

Desjardins : In the news