Perth Insurance started life as a mutual insurance company based in Stratford, Ontario, in 1863. It was converted to a stock company in 1968 and purchased by Economical Insurance, one of Economical’s member companies ever since. The Economical Mutual Fire Insurance Company was, itself, founded in 1971 in Berlin, now modern-day Kitchener. The company was formed to protect people in the area from fire and lightning damage. Economical’s first policy was written on November 25, 1871, protecting a client’s house and barn. The company started buying other insurance companies in the 1930s, eventually merging its member companies’ policies into its own.
In the 1990s, Economical started to break out those member companies to handle specialty niche coverages. For example, Waterloo Insurance was reactivated to handle Economical’s group insurance products. Western General became the farm insurance provider. Perth Insurance was re-born as a special risk insurance provider. Expansion continued, including outside of Canada for the first time in 2006, though that relationship lasted only six years. Economical de-mutualized and re-organized and today provides a wide range of insurance products across Canada.
Perth High-Risk Insurance
Economical’s Perth brand has positioned itself into a rare niche in the Canadian insurance market, that of a high-risk car insurance provider. Drivers with multiple accidents or tickets on their driving records can find it difficult to obtain car insurance through conventional means. Most insurance companies have rules in place that, when a driver crosses a certain threshold of traffic offenses, the company can cancel car insurance coverage. When this happens, few conventional insurance companies will want to take on the driver, now considered high risk.
The insurance industry in Canada is required to offer insurance to anyone who can legally drive, but they are not obligated to provide it in the regular insurance market. All insurance companies in Canada are part of the funding for the Facility Association, an insurer of last resort for many high-risk drivers. The Association itself doesn’t issue policies, but it facilitates between high-risk drivers and insurers to negotiate specially written policies to cover these otherwise uninsurable drivers. While this does provide access to coverage, the cost of insurance can be astronomical compared with regular car insurance.
Perth is placed between regular insurance underwriters and the Facility Association, targeting high-risk drivers who can’t obtain regular insurance but who want to avoid the high costs of Facility Association negotiated policies. Perth can often provide rates that are better than other high-risk insurers and as specialists in this niche market, the company is noted for its customer service, treating high-risk insurance customers with a respect that is sometimes lacking from regular companies.