General Insurance Ombudservice appoints Board Chair at inaugural meeting

TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2002 – Lea Algar has been named as Chair of the Board of Directors of the General Insurance Ombudservice (GIO) at its first meeting held today.

GIO is an independent organization established to assist in the resolution of conflicts between home, car and business insurance customers and
their insurance providers. In the event of a dispute that has
exhausted all possibilities of resolution at the company level, professional mediators and
experienced customer service officers at GIO help consumers and insurance companies work toward solutions that serve the best interests of all parties.

GIO offices are located regionally throughout Canada and mediators are
provided by the ADR Institute of Canada and le Barreau du Quebec.

GIO is free to consumers and is committed to offering the highest
standard of customer service. It provides a simple and reliable guide to assist customers through the complaint resolution procedure and recommends
compensation for losses, where deserved.

Of the Board of seven, five are independent directors including the newly
appointed Chair Lea Algar, Consultant on Consumer Affairs Issues.

The others are: Susan L. Yurkovich, Vice President of Public Affairs, Canfor;
Roger S. Smith, Professor, Faculty of Business, University of Alberta; Pierre
Meyland, Consultant, Financial Planning; and Terence Donahoe, Chairman of the
Board, Executive Vice President, Gammon Lake Resources Inc. For biographies please
visit GIO’s website at

The Board includes two industry directors – George Anderson, immediate
past president and CEO of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, and Diane Strashok, president and CEO of Peace Hills Insurance Company – appointed by the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s Board of Directors.

“We are pleased with the extent of industry support for the General
Insurance Ombudservice while equally as proud of the independence of this Board. We’re looking forward to its success,” says Lea Algar, Chair of the
Board of Directors of GIO.

All federally regulated home, car and business insurers are required to belong to a third party dispute resolution system. The Insurance
Bureau of Canada (IBC) took on the responsibility of developing the GIO, building on
IBC’s already established infrastructure of customer support. GIO provides
insurers with the opportunity to meet the legal obligation of belonging to an independent organization that deals with customer complaints that
are not resolved to the satisfaction of the customer by going through the insurers’
complaint procedures.

GIO is a regionally based dispute resolution system designed to address the unique operating environment of P&C insurers. Operating
standards have been established for GIO as a member of the Centre for the Financial Services
OmbudsNetwork (CFSON), the umbrella organization that oversees the individual dispute resolution systems for all financial services industries.

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