The Co-operators introduces program to support Alberta’s non-profit and voluntary organizations

CALGARY, Sept. 10, 2007 – The Co-operators has launched a first-of-its-kind insurance and risk management solution designed specifically to address challenges affecting the non-profit/voluntary sector. With the support of Volunteer Alberta, The Co-operators introduced Community Guard as a pilot project available to non-profit and volunteer-run organizations in the province.

“For years, these organizations have struggled with the lack of affordability, availability and price stability of insurance in Alberta and right across the country,” explains Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “Considering how important these organizations are to Canadians’ quality of life and to the fabric of our society, it was incumbent upon the insurance industry to respond to these challenges. As a co-operative organization with a long history of support for non-profits, The Co-operators is very pleased to be able to support the sector by addressing their long-term needs.”

Community Guard is more than insurance protection. It includes detailed assessments of each organization’s risk exposures, potential risk management solutions, and their particular insurance needs. Specially trained Co-operators agents in Alberta will use a needs analysis tool designed specifically for the sector to assess each client’s situation. Participating organizations will also have free access to The Co-operators risk management workshops, online resources and staff. These measures will help them manage their risks and access the insurance coverage they need while controlling their costs.

“Affordability and accessibility of insurance coverage affects Alberta’s 19,000 non-profit/voluntary organizations. Volunteer Boards want to concentrate on meeting the mission of their organization whether it is social services, environmental awareness, or amateur sports. Community Guard offers Boards that opportunity,” says Karen Lynch, executive director of Volunteer Alberta. “Priced affordably, Community Guard packages insurance products, including Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, in one place – a place where The Co-operators understands the complexities, challenges, and unique needs of non-profit community-based organizations.”

Non-profit/voluntary organizations are particularly vulnerable to premium volatility because many of them are quite small and operate on very tight budgets. The Co-operators has committed to working closely with participating organizations by reviewing their policies annually and providing tailored risk management advice in order to avoid large premium increases. If an increase of more than five percent is required, The Co-operators has pledged to provide a minimum of 12 months notice to the organization.

The insurance needs of voluntary and non-profit organizations are many and varied, including commercial property insurance, crime coverage, liability protection for members serving on board of directors, sexual misconduct liability, and more. Community Guard features a specially designed application form that clarifies coverages and simplifies the process.

To further support Canadian voluntary and non-profit organizations, The Co-operators will establish a fund through which a portion of any profit made by the Community Guard initiative will be reinvested back into the sector. In addition, The Co-operators will cover the costs of a one-year membership in Volunteer Alberta for each participating organization.

About The Co-operators:

The Co-operators is a Canadian-owned multi-product insurance company. It is co-operatively owned by a group of Canadian co-operatives, credit unions, and like-minded organizations.