Commonwell Mutual, Red River Mutual partner to launch agriculture insurance start-up

Lindsay, ON (Jan. 26, 2021) – The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group and Red River Mutual have created a new joint venture to focus on advancing innovation and digital responsiveness around agri-business and related risks through a new Managing General Agent (MGA) structure.

Unrestricted by existing products and business, this new MGA will assist The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group and Red River Mutual address existing challenges around customer expectations and ease of access to knowledge and coverage in the agriculture space. Supporting the broker channel, the MGA structure will focus on supplementing existing relationships and experience with new approaches and products, while creating opportunities for expanding broker relationships and increased growth.

“We are excited to look at the agriculture space in a new and focused way and address the complexity of the farming industry today,” says Brian Esau, President & CEO of Red River Mutual. “There is no one size fits all when it comes to farm insurance, so this start-up will focus on insights and cutting-edge technology to help us develop products and services that complement our existing offerings and address unmet farming and agri-business operations’ needs.”

“Our goal is to provide any broker with the tools and knowledge in the manner they need to grow with the dynamic opportunities offered in the fast-moving agriculture space,” says Tim Shauf, President & CEO of The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group. “Both of our companies see this as an opportunity to take a step forward and support Canadian farmers and agri-business owners with more solutions provided by Canadian insurers that have over a century of experience protecting Canadian farmers.”

The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group and Red River Mutual have appointed Robin Shufelt as the start-up’s CEO.

“I am excited to work with these companies to be a leader in farm insurance,” says Shufelt. “Technology has become a huge part of this market, and I am excited to use my experience with cyber and tech innovation to create insurance solutions that will keep ahead of any change curves.”

Shufelt earned a Masters of Innovation and Technology from DeGroote School of Business and has experience in underwriting and digital innovation with multiple large insurance providers. She led the team at Canadian digital insurance company, Duuo, to explore digital direct offerings for emerging areas in Canada such as on-demand insurance.

More information will be available in the weeks ahead as branding and product development work progresses.

About The Commonwell

Established January 1, 2014, The Commonwell is a merger of three longstanding mutual insurance companies that has been built on more than a century of hands-on commitment to the local communities it serves. Since its founding seven years ago, The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group operates on the same historical premise of its three legacy companies – maintaining a focus on local presence and service that builds strong long-term relationships for the benefit of the greater community. For more information, visit

About Red River Mutual Insurance

Red River Mutual believes everyone has a right to feel safe and protected and to know that someone is looking out for them – while they’re watching out for others. With over 70,000 policyholders with businesses, farms and homes, all the way from Thunder Bay to the Rockies, we are committed to providing competitive insurance products that meet the changing needs of Canadians. We value our relationships with the brokers who represent us across the country because their knowledge and expertise ensure our customers receive the best coverage for their specific needs. As a company, we know that it’s the people we protect that matter most. That’s why we’ve strived to be a positive force in the lives of our customers and their communities since 1875. To learn more, please visit

Source: The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group

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