The Co-operators Insurance

The Co-operators Group Limited started in 1945 in Saskatchewan, Canada. The company is 100 percent Canadian-owned with about $42 billion in assets and annual revenues in 2010 of about $3.5 billion.

Co-operators is one of Canada’s leading suppliers of insurance and financial services specializing in property and casualty insurance, life insurance and institutional investment. The company insures more than 844,000 homes and 1.2 million vehicles.

Additionally, the firm provides more than 767,000 customers with life insurance and more than 250,000 employees with benefits insurance. The group operates as a cooperative with member companies Addenda Capital Inc., Co-operators General Insurance Company, Co-operators Life Insurance Company and Federated Agencies Limited.

Co-operators General Insurance Company offers the group’s car insurance plans.

Industry ratings

A.M. Best Co., a leading insurance company rating agency, affirmed Co-operators General Insurance Company’s financial strength rating (FSR) of A- or “Excellent” in May 2012. Additionally, A.M. Best affirmed the issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a-“ for the insurance provider.

Co-operators Insurance received a “stable” outlook rating, which means that there are no overt signs that the company’s ratings will change significantly in the near future.

A.M. Best recognized Co-operators General for its sound risk-adjusted capitalization and for good market leadership, excellent branding and a successful product line with geographic diversification. However, the ratings firm also noted that soft demand in Canada presented risks for the entire insurance industry.

Co-operators General has received recognition in Canada as an outstanding corporate business. The company won four of the top six spots in the 2012 Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada ranking made by the civic organization Corporate Knights. The criteria for the ranking take into account practices that promote social progress and environmental sustainability.

Reasons to Choose Co-operators Car Insurance

One reason to consider this insurance company is that they are one of Canada’s largest providers and they have been doing business successfully for 66 years. They have more than two million customers throughout Canada.

Co-operators also has many outstanding practices that benefit their customers. For example, the firm offers a “claims guarantee” promising customers the highest standards in service and integrity. If customers have complaints, they have access to an ombudsperson and a service review panel.

The service review panel can handle complaints involving claims of up to $20,000 although they do not deal with matters related to personal injury, claims prescribed by law, and certain other issues. The company website provides complete information on other ways to appeal claims including references for the General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).

Special Programs

For consumers that have accidents on their record, Co-operators Insurance provides an Accident Forgiveness policy if the accident was not their fault. Drivers with six years of accident free coverage, will not see their rates change with their first accident.

  • Qualified drivers with three or more Co-operator insurance products receive the Accident Forgiveness feature free of charge with some restrictions.
  • Co-operators offers insurance for a wide range of vehicles including some that other companies may not cover.
  • Cars, trucks and vans – The company provides insurance for vehicles ranging up to a gross weight of 4,500 kg or 10,000 lbs.
  • Antique vehicles – Insurance is available for cars that have retained important manufacturer specifications and that have the proper historic license plate.
  • Farm vehicles – Farm vehicles used for work or for pleasure are eligible for coverage, but there are restrictions on vehicle use. For example, the farmer cannot use the vehicle to haul property for others.
  • Commercial vehicles – Co-operators provides insurance for commercial vehicles used to ship goods including cars, trucks, vans and heavy vehicles like tractor-trailers.
  • ATVs and ATCs – Insurance is available for All Terrain Vehicles and All Terrain Cycles including those designed for use in water. Vehicles for use on public roads rate as motorcycles.
  • Motorcycles and other motorized bikes – A moped is a motor-assisted bike with a weight limit of 55 kg (120 lbs). A motorcycle or mini bike must have no more than three wheels that make contact with the ground.
  • Motorhome – Co-operators offers insurances for recreational travel vehicles that provide accommodation like campers and converted buses or other large vehicles.

Claims Processing

Co-operators Insurance allows customers to make claims in person, over the phone or online. The first step in making a claim is to contact a Claims Representative.

The Claims Representative will record details of the accident and then discuss with you the available options to settle the claim. The company has claims offices throughout Canada with contact information available on their website at the following URL: http://www.cooperators.ca/en/Claims/locate-claims-office.aspx.

The company website also provides an online form to make a claim although customers with urgent needs should contact a Claims Representative by phone or in person. The URL for online claims is https://www.cooperators.ca/en/SSLOnly/ClaimReport.aspx and the form uses industry standard encryption to insure customer privacy and security.

Co-operators Insurance requires that customers use approved shops for vehicle repairs. A list of pre-approved shops is available online at http://www.cooperators.ca/en/Claims/approved-repair-shops.aspx. The recommended shops provide a repair estimate submitted to the company’s appraiser. Co-operators Insurance guarantees approved repairs for as long as the customer owns the vehicle. The repair shops must provide a written guarantee and the company vets the shops for quality, price, procedures and other factors related to service.

If the customer has a shop that they want to use that is not on the pre-approved list, then they must await approval from Co-operators in order to receive their claim.