The Co-operators Group Ltd. announced on Tuesday that it has purchased a majority interest in Newmarket, Ont.-based living benefits insurance agency The Edge Benefits Inc.
The transaction beefs up the Co-operators’ health insurance offerings, alongside its other insurance lines, which include home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance.
The Edge Benefits distributes living benefits products designed for small business owners and self-employed individuals, including disability insurance, critical illness insurance and health and dental benefits, among other products. Its products are underwritten by a variety of insurance companies, including the Co-operators.
The firm has 80 employees and more than 45,000 policyholders, and distributes its products through approximately 14,000 licensed insurance advisors. It will benefit from the backing of a larger, national firm, according to David Prince, one of two co-founding partners of the EDGE, along with Jeff Neale.
“With The Co-operators, we foresee significant synergies that will build on the legacy we have established over the past 30 years,” said Prince.
The two organizations have worked together since 2013, with Co-operators Life Insurance Company supplying disability products through The Edge Benefits.
The Edge Benefits will continue to operate independently, and the current management team will remain in place, the companies said.
“This was a natural fit, as the two organizations share similar values and have an established successful relationship,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “We look forward to the future, as The Edge Benefits will continue to operate independently, with the same business model and management team.”
To enable business continuity, Prince will continue as chairman of the board of directors of The Edge Benefits until December 2017.