On June 3, 1944, the Québec Legislative Assembly passed a law enabling the creation of the Société d'assurance des caisses populaires (SACP), which began its activities in May 1945.
The purpose of the new company was to insure caisses for fire, theft and fraud. It also was to protect the members of the caisses, in particular in rural zones that were poorly served by fire services and where it was difficult to obtain proper coverage.
In 1961, SACP diversified the types of protection offered by offering its very first automobile insurance contracts.
In 1965, SACP created a safe keeping and inquiry service for the caisses. The Service de sécurité CPD was attached in 1980 to the Confédération and was named Sécurité Desjardins. In 1982, it undertook securities transportation and in 1986, became SÉCUR with the acquisition of Brink's Québec based activities.
Acquisition of La Sécurité
On November, 27 1963, Desjardins acquired La Sécurité, a general insurance company founded in 1940.
In November 1979, the Group undertook the administrative consolidation of the SACP and La Sécurité. Some months later, in January 1981, both companies merged into a new share-capital corporation called Groupe Desjardins, assurances générales. At the same time, a corporation under provincial jurisdiction was created which would be called La Sécurité, to specialize in surety contracts.
Creation of the AGCD
In 1987, Desjardins created the Assurances générales des caisses Desjardins (AGCD) to distribute home and automobile insurance through the caisses rather than through brokers. In October 1987, the AGCD agents offered these products in the caisses. La Securité, on the other hand, concentrated on group insurance.
Three years later, in 1990, a new subsidiary of AGCD, NorGroupe, undertook general insurance operations concluded through brokers. The activities of NorGroupe were sold in January 1993 to AXA company.
In 1998, the AGCD and La Sécurité were recognized for their efficiency in processing the some 110,000 claims related to the famous ice storm.
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Interesting market shares
Created in 1989 to manage the assets of AGCD and La Sécurité, the Société de portefeuille du Groupe Desjardins, assurances générales counted among the most important general insurers for property and personal insurance in Québec with around 11% of the market. It sells 17% of all home and car insurance contracted by individuals.
Desjardins Life Assurance (DLA) was founded on March 11, 1948 and began operations in September 1949. At the time, personal insurance was the only service available.
In 1952, DLA provided Mouvement employees with their first retirement and group insurance plans.
In 1953, it offered family insurance to the public and, the following year, it launched savings life insurance and loan insurance. In 1955, it began to offer group insurance products (life, salary, accident, illness insurance) outside the caisse milieu.
In 1958, DLA sponsored the television program called Joindre les deux bouts (Making Ends Meet), about family budgets. The same year, it created accident insurance for school children; this product was named Accirance in 1964. Finally in 1978, DLA launched Assurance populaire Desjardins.
On August 7, 1962, Desjardins purchased La Sauvegarde, a life insurance company founded in 1901. Then the company purchased Économie Mutuelle-Vie in 1985.
In October 1989, DLA acquired Laurier Life Insurance of Toronto, following in January 1990 with the purchase of another Toronto company called Annuity Life Insurance, specialized in underwriting pensions. It also bought Compagnon Assurance Voyage company in January 1990.
On July 1, 1990, La Sauvegarde merged with DLA. This company took possession two years later of the individual and accident insurance portfolios of the Coopérants company from which it also acquired group insurance contracts.
In 1994, DLA integrated the personal insurance activities from the Laurentian Group Corporation and became, at the end of that year, Desjardins-Laurentian Life Assurance (DLLA).
The acquisition of the Laurentian Group also brought to the Mouvement the Imperial Life Insurance Company founded in 1896. A the time of its centennial, in 1996, this company took on the name of Imperial Life Financial Services. Some months later, in August 1997, it took control of the Laurier Life Insurance Company.
In January 1995, DLLA acquired Æterna Life Insurance Company. In 1997, it acquired shares previously held by Desjardins in the Centre d'autorisation et de paiement des services de santé (CAPSS), created in 1990.
Life and Health Insurance at Local Caisses
In fall of 1999, the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services took effect in Quebec. This act makes it possible for Desjardins to sell its full range of life and health insurance products through its network of caisses, subject to certain restrictions. Since the act took effect, DLLA has worked at making its full range of life and health insurance products available at local caisses, including by putting together a team of financial security advisors for the exclusive benefit of caisse members.
New Agreements and Mergers
In October 2000, Canada's second largest pharmacy benefit management company, ESI Canada, announced that it had signed an agreement for the acquisition of CAPSS. The acquisition process was completed in March 2001.
In December 2000, DLLA merged with the Laurentian Life amp; Health Insurance Corporation, a company acquired by the Desjardins group of companies in late 1993. The corporation had been gradually reducing its insurance and annuities portfolio since 1991. This merger made DLLA the only Desjardins life and health insurance company active in the province of Quebec.
In December 2001, DLLA and Imperial Life merged to create Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company (Desjardins Financial Security). This new company oversees the financial security of some 5 million Canadians and is ranked the eighth largest life and health insurance company in Canada. It has 2,500 employees and has some 6,200 representatives.
An Industry Leader
Desjardins Financial Security is the top-rated company in Quebec and eighth in all of Canada for direct written premiums.
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