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2013 Desjardins Financial Security Summary


Life Insurance Companies Acquired and Merged*
  • 1994 - Imperial Life Financial Services purchased with Laurentian Life to become known as Desjardins-Laurentian Life Assurance
  • 1993 - Laurentian Life was absorbed by Imperial Life
  • 1997 - Laurier Life Insurance Company
  • 2001 - Dejardins Financial Security was formed by merging two of its subsidiaries - Imperial Life and Desjardins-Laurentian Life Assurance
  • 2011 - Western Life Financial which is still operated as a separate company.

2013 Desjardins Financial Security Review*

Desjardins Financial Security is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada with almost 6 million members and is the 4th largest life and health insurance company in Canada and the largest in Quebec. It was founded in Levi Quebec as a Caisse Populaire in December 1990 and by 1944 there were 877 Caisse Populaires in Quebec. By the end of the 1980's there was more unification of cooperatives including francophone federations in Ontario, Manitoba and Acadia and the legislation was changed to reflect the growing and diverse nature and needs of the company.

Desjardin Financial Security is now a huge cooperative made up of a network of Caisses, credit unions and business centres in Ontario and Quebec plus 20 subsidiaries in securities brokerage, general and life insurance, and venture capital and asset management across Canada. They raise capital by offering shares to caisse members and dividends are paid to caisse members. Since 1989 Desjardin members have subscribed for $2.1 billion in shares and in June of 2012 they offered another $1.2 billion in shares. They do not have the same short term profit requirements that a traditional insurance company has to their shareholders although they are responsible to a board.

Over the years they have purchased and created one of the broadest product offerings in Canada. This includes a complete line of whole life, universal life, term life, disability and accidental insurance plus critical illness, travel and long-term care insurance. They have unique products for creditor insurance and offer bundled products focused on different age groups and life stages. On the investment and money management side, the segregated funds and guaranteed deposits.

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* Desjardin web page www.desjardins.com/en/index.jsp

Strengths

Products

  • They offer a large number of traditional life, disability, critical illness and long-term care insurance products as well as some unique products that offer excellent value. Some that we appreciate are:
    • Solo disability insurance - is well priced, offers a number of riders and options, and $1,200 per month is guaranteed to be paid with no offsets for the first 36 months of disability.
    • Enhanced term 10 - both a critical illness and term life insurance. A comparison with other options is recommended to ensure that the price is competitive.
  • Many of their bundled products offering both CI and Life insurance are significantly less expensive than putting the bundle together using other companies. For example their 20 pay (after 20 years of payments the policy is fully paid for) policy in the amount of $50,000 for a 5 year old child offering both a 28 illness Critical Illness and Life insurance is $36.55 per month. The same from traditional companies would be over $90 selecting the best prices for a 20 pay life and CI policy for $50,000 each for a 5 year old. For an additional premium three more diseases can be added.

    Increasing the coverage to $100,000 yields a Desjardins Financial Security price of $66.78 with the best rate for two individual policies being almost $120. Clearly, for people looking to protect their children for life and CI for life and pay for it in 20 years this product is outstanding. Even people wanting to put permanent life insurance on their child with a quick pay would benefit from this product.
  • A similar bundle for a 35 year old male is not as favorable but the difference in price is only about 5% more for Desjardin and their Critical Illness policy has covered illnesses and features that might make it worth the extra cost.
  • The prices for some of their basic term life products have not been that competitive over the years so our experience with Desjardins Financial Security is limited. Having said that, when we have used Desjardins Financial Security we have found the process a little slower than average with a few disappointing decisions and ratings.
  • Reasonably priced almost guaranteed issue critical illness insurance subject to a few conditions particularly in the first six months of policy issue. They offer $25,000 for people from birth to age 54 and $12,500 from age 55 to 69. The limiting questions only relate to eliminating people who have had cancer, undergone radiation or chemotherapy, have a positive HIV or HIV screening test, or two or more immediate family members had colon, breast or ovarian cancer before the age of 60.

Weaknesses

  • Their pricing for term products and combination of term and Critical Illness products for adults is more expensive than the companies we tend to use.
  • Their non-medical plans are also expensive compared to the companies we use.

2013 Desjardin Financial Security Information

Mailing Address:
One Westmount Road North
P.O. Box 1603, Stn Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario N2J 4C7

Phone Number
Toll Free: 1.800.668.4095

Email Contact
customer-service@equitable.ca

AM Best Rating
Not rated.

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Money Saving Advice
IDC Tips
Universal Life Policies also have various bonuses built in that can increase the returns by 1.5% or more under certain circumstances. These circumstances usually relate to how much you are putting into the policy (referred to as funding), and how long the policy has been in effect. There are very significant differences between companies so ask to see illustrations from several companies.

I.D.C. Insurance Direct Canada Inc. is a BBB Accredited Business. Click for the BBB Business Review of this Insurance Services in Langley BC