SSQ Financial Group

SSQ Financial Group is a Quebec based mutual insurer. The initials stand for Services de Santé du Quebec.

SSQ Financial Services Offered

SSQ has its roots in health insurance, but it also offers a number of other insurance options including auto insurance, home insurance, long term care and life insurance. Its Health InSight program aims to increase the well being and health of the people it covers, and it sells this as a particular feature that defines it from its competition. Like many other life insurers SSQ also offer a number of financial investment products such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans, fund management and annuities. SSQ Financial has a specialty in real estate, both in helping in the management of real estate and helping in its development.

SSQ Financial Group Insurance

Although it actively markets to individual policy holders, particularly through its Privilege brand, its real strength and market presence is in selling group insurance to both employers and trade unions. It has focused on the group market since the 1950s. It offers add on individual insurance products to members of its group policies at discounted rates under its Well Protected Coverage Plan.

SSQ Financial Market Presence

SSQ is based in Quebec, its headquarters are in Quebec City, and most of its business is still there. It aims to have a pan-Canadian presence. It has achieved this in the group insurance market with clients such as Air Canada. It also has offices in some major English speaking cities such as Toronto.

Competitors of SSQ Financial Group

Although it aims to take on a pan-Canadian presence its main competitors are still Quebec based groups such as National Bank Insurance, The Personal and the Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company. It also competes with specialist pan-Canadian group providers such as Economical Life.

SSQ Financial Mutual Status

SSQ aims to differentiate itself as a mutual insurer that will stay mutually owned. It claims that its mutual status improves its customer service. It was set up as a means of offering health care to people too poor to afford it. Unlike other large co-operatives based in Canada’s French speaking population it does not have extensive roots in the social activism of the Catholic Church. Due to a financial crisis in the early 1990s its main shareholder is the Quebec solidarity fund. However it still has a democratic mode of governance with policy holders able to elect delegates who in turn decide policy and elect the board of directors.

Size of SSQ Financial Group

It has more than 1 million general clients including 913,000 contract and policy holders. It has in excess of $4 billion in assets and over 1,500 employees.

History of SSQ Financial Group

SSQ Financial was set up in 1944 by a campaigning surgeon, Dr. Jacques Tremblay. It was set up as a result of his campaign in the early 1940s to bring health care to Quebec’s working class population who could not afford it. In the 1950s it quickly developed a more commercial culture.

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