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Canadian Insurer Offers 10% Discount to Drivers of Hybrids

Québec-based Desjardins General Insurance, the property and casualty insurance arm of Desjardins Group, Canada’s largest cooperative financial group, is introducing an additional 10% discount on the automobile insurance premium for hybrid vehicles.

Desjardins said that the initiative is in line with the sustainable development policy it adopted in October 2005. The policy is Desjardins’ way of contributing to achieving the major objectives of the Kyoto Protocol.

In Québec, 37.4% of total greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector.

Under the circumstances, promoting the use of vehicles that have both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor is certainly a worthwhile strategy for reducing environmentally-damaging gas emissions. As a member of Desjardins Group, we are aware of the importance of being forward-thinking, especially in the social, economic and environmental choices we make. And as an insurer, we are proud to contribute to these efforts in our own way.

—Jude Martineau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins General Insurance

In the US, Travelers has implemented a 10% discount on auto insurance to hybrid vehicle owners in the United States, while Farmers Insurance Group of Companies grants a 5% discount to customers in California who own a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle. (Earlier post.)

Desjardins wants the sustainable development policy to mobilize all Group members in a continually evolving manner and to encourage them to assess the positive and negative impacts of all decisions on an economic, social and environmental level, according to the company.

Examples given by the company at the announcement in December include:

  • To encourage the development of green technologies through all their financing and investment activities and include socially responsible criteria in their investment policies.

  • To educate officers and employees through existing training programs about the issues surrounding sustainable development and potential business opportunities that could result from growing concerns for environmental conservation.

  • To target the optimal use of renewable and non-renewable resources, specifically by reducing residual waste at source, further encouraging recycling and re-use, using low-energy equipment, reducing greenhouse gases and eliminating, wherever possible, the use of toxic materials.

  • To favor the use of suppliers and sub-contractors who subscribe to the principles of sustainable development by keeping them informed of its expectations.

  • To promote sustainable development elsewhere.

In 2006, Desjardins will adopt a complete sustainable development action plan with specific objectives to be reached for each initiative put forward, as well as performance indicators to ensure the follow-up and success of its projects.

As part of the new sustainable development policy, the company also issued the Desjardins Paper Challenge. This involves reducing the quantity of paper consumed throughout the entire Group by 15% within three years, and increasing the use of recycled paper by 15% over the same period.

Comments

Mike GR

Desjardins is where I do most of my business. I like their philoshopy and would rather put my money in a cerdit union than a bank.

Nice to hear that someday when I buy a hybrid (currently don't own a car) I'll get a little extra discount.

mark

The Insurance actuaries have probably done their homework on hybrid drivers and found that their accident rates are lower than regular car drivers. Fuel efficient driving is probably safer driving, unless you get rear-ended.

Adrian

I second Mark's comment. Its all business. The demographics of Hybrid drivers lean towards conscious polite types who drive more cautiously.
In other respects, this is also a marketing hype to make DGI look like the conscious company.

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