Question—Would you let me know your opinion of the Northwestern Life Assurance Company, of Winnipeg? I have paid in $475 on premiums. Will I ever get anything out of it? Can you recommend one or two good sound life insurance companies?—D.J.G., Sutherland, Sask.
Answer—No doubt you have seen the report in the newspapers that an order for the winding up of the Northwestern Life Assurance Company was made by Mr. Justice MacDonald on an application made by James O. Turnbull, secretary-treasurer, on behalf of the shareholders. It is stated that the paid-up capital of $196,591 has been wiped out. An effort is being made by the representative of the shareholders to secure protection for all policyholders through an arrangement with another company. The amount of policies outstanding is stated to be $7,000,000. Representatives of an
Ontario insurance company have gone to Winnipeg to go over the affairs of the Northwestern Life, with a view to making an offer for the business. It is stated that some other companies are interested.
Shareholders of the company are also making efforts to save some of it from ultimate failure. Some new capital has been subscribed and there is talk of a reorganization under new management with prominent Winnipeg people as directors. So far no policyholder in an old line company in Canada has suffered a loss through the failure of a company. The Insurance Act compels life insurance companies to build up and maintain reserves sufficient to meet the claims of all policyholders. The Northwestern Life was operating under a Province of Manitoba license which requires these reserves to be maintained, which, in the event of failure of a company, would warrant another company taking over the insurance without loss to the policyholders. We cannot recommend any particular company in these columns. Speaking from the standpoint of the investor in insurance any of the well established life companies are safe.
Question—What is your opinion of the savings and life insurance plan of the Ontario Government, as carried through the Provincial Savings office?—P.A.M., Port Colborne.
Answer—The Province of Ontario Savings Office is a regular savings institution, backed by the Ontario Government. It pays interest at the rate of four per cent, compounded half yearly. The insurance plan is separate from the ordinary savings plan, and is a combination of a savings account and a life insurance policy. The Savings Office has made arrangement with a number of insurance companies to carry this insurance, and as these companies are all registered by the Insurance Department, and maintain the necessary deposits with the Government, the insurance is perfectly safe. Under the assured savings plan a certain amount is deposited each month—which at age 35 would amount to $9.10 a month for$1,000. The applicant agrees to pay this for 120 months. Should he desire to close his account, the insured can _ withdraw all the money he has deposited, less the amount retained to cover the cost of the insurance.
Question—Is the Merchants Casualty Company a safe one in which to insure? What is its present standing?—N.V.E., Scott, Sask.
Answer—According to the annual report of the Merchants Casualty Company, for 1913, just issued, the company has assets of $453,367 and liabilities of $290,936, leaving capital and surplus of $159,441. The total income for the past year was $866,148 of which $730,434 was on account of premium. The claims paid to date total $2,034,009. Of this $409,557 was paid in 1923. The Merchants Casualty Company is a sound concern and is very well managed by insurance men of experience. It is well regarded.
Question—Do you consider the Provident Assurance Company a safe and satisfactory company in which to insure residential property?—E.M.P., Otterville, Ont.
Answer—The Provident Assurance Company is licensed in Ontario to transact fire, accident, sickness, guarantee and automobile insurance. It also apparently transacts life insurance. The latest report of the Superintendent of Insurance for Ontario shows the total assets of the company to be $419,652.16, and total liabilities, exclusive of capital stock, at $343,346.03. Among the liabilities the company includes a reserve for life insurance contracts of $43,196.04, and for all other risks, of $210,894.26.
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