What makes co-ops different?

While “co-op” is in our name, you may not know that The Co-operators Group Limited is, in fact, a co-operative. Our unique heritage and approach to business provide us with an opportunity to differentiate ourselves and is an important part of our clients’ experience. So, why is that important to you?

People before profits

Co-operatives measure success beyond our financials. We make business decisions based on doing what’s right and healthy for our clients and communities by:

  • Providing financial security to all Canadians: We strive to stay in challenging markets, even when our competitors leave. We work with all levels of government so that we can operate in the best way for our clients, our communities and our business.
  • Looking for claims coverage: If there is a way to pay a claim, we will work to find it. As in the aftermath of the fires that devastated Slave Lake in 2011 and Fort McMurray in 2016, we’re often on the ground to help before anyone else, providing financial relief and counselling to help get families back on their feet -- sometimes even when they’re not our clients.

Community partnerships

Supporting communities isn’t just about giving money, but also rolling up our sleeves and getting involved. Some of the ways we do that include:

  • Investing locally to help stabilize communities economically and socially, which in turn protects our clients’ homes and investments.
  • Encouraging healthy and resilient communities through strategic partnerships and volunteerism. As a national insurer, we see firsthand some of the challenges Canada is facing. An issue like distracted driving, which has become a factor in one in every four crashes and mental wellness for young people needs resources like BroTalk, a Kid’s Help Phone initiative and our In Your Face and Interactive program that promotes responsible choices and emotional well-being.
  • Contributing no less than 1% of our pre-tax profit to charities and non-profits as a member of Imagine Canada.
  • Leading sustainability initiatives is part of how we do business, including a comprehensive education program.
  • Establishing Community Advisory Panels in which community members provide input on our corporate strategy, product development and local-giving programs.

Transparency and education

Providing open communication and sharing knowledge helps our clients make the best choices for their protection needs. Our people-focused values are rooted in co-operative principles and are demonstrated by:

People have a voice

Decision making through democracy and open forums are mainstays of co-operation. This means looking for more than just client feedback; it also means creating ways for our clients and our communities to influence our business and our decisions. We are the only Canadian insurer to have Service Review Panels, which give clients a voice to appeal claims when they are not happy with the outcome. This completely democratic process involves a panel of our clients who review cases and make final decisions.

Mutual benefits for members

Our profits are shared among members and employees, invested in improving service to clients and used to promote the well-being of our communities. For example, we offer:

  • A co-op housing life insurance product that covers all members of a housing co-operative if a family’s bread-winner passes and they are unable to make housing payments. This policy covers the mortgage for a certain term to allow the family to recover and the co-op to stay financially sound.

Learn more about our co-operative structure and why co-ops are better.