Wawanesa sells U.S. subsidiary

Sept. 11, 2023 – WAWANESA Insurance has pulled the plug on its successful operations in the U.S., citing a need to concentrate on the Canadian market.

The p&c mutual’s San Diego-based Wawanesa General unit, which reportedly generates roughly $550m in annual revenues, has been sold to an insurer affiliated with the Automobile Club of Southern California called the Interinsurance Exchange of the Auto Club for an undisclosed sum.

“It’s the right time to focus our efforts on our home market in Canada, where we have operated for nearly 127 years,” Wawanesa CEO Jeff Goy said in a release earlier this summer.

The Winnipeg-based company established its U.S. branch in 1975, making it the first Canadian general insurance company to successfully crack the U.S. market.

In its first month there, the insurer inked just 102 policies. But by the year 2000, Wawanesa’s U.S. operations had grown substantially and it then started offering auto insurance in Oregon. In 2020, it opened a claims office in Colorado.

Consumer research firm J.D. Power recognized Wawanesa’s U.S. operations as No. 1 in customer service in California for the past four years in a row.

The Interinsurance Exchange of the Auto Club was formed in 1912 and is based in Costa Mesa, Calif. It operates as a reciprocal exchange, providing auto, home, RV, motorcycle and watercraft coverages.

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