Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about the AmalgamationQ: Why amalgamate?
A: We believe that this will make us a stronger insurance company, and will enhance our ability to anticipate your needs, and build solutions to meet them. We talk about this in our Business Plan.
Q: Who do you want to amalgamate with? Why them?
A: Our amalgamation partner is Caradoc Delaware Mutual. They’ve been around since 1884, almost as long as us. In general, they serve the farm community west of London, the towns of Melbourne, Mount Brydges, Strathroy, and the city of London. We chose Caradoc for a number of reasons, mostly because they share our values and commitment to providing the best for our members.
Q: Where is Mount Brydges? Is that in the States?
A: No!! Mount Brydges is a vibrant community just off the 402 on the west side of London. It’s about the same size as Waterford.
Q: Why do you want to amalgamate with someone so far away?
A: Actually, the distance between us is one of the reasons we chose each other. In insurance, “geographical spread of risk” is a good thing. And it’s not really that far...it's only an hour and twenty minute drive between our offices. Our increased spread of risk will make us more resilient to weather events, leading to more stable results. The same tornado cannot hit both communities.
Q: Is this a takeover?
A: No. This is a coming together of equals. Two mutual insurance companies will become one bigger mutual insurance company, serving more members.
Q: Who will own the new company?
A: The same people as now. The new company will be a mutual insurer, accountable to our customers, every single one of which will be a full voting member, just like Townsend and Caradoc Delaware today. Everyone who is a customer/member of Townsend or Caradoc will also be a member of the new company.
Q: How did you come up with the name “Caradoc Townsend Mutual Insurance Company”?
A: Our name reflects the heritage of both amalgamating companies, and it indicates our intention to continue operating as a local insurer based in two locations: Waterford and Mount Brydges.
Q: That’s a long name. What’s the short form?
A: It may be Caradoc Townsend. It may be CTM. We may choose something else. We’ll use what makes the most sense. We may find that our members in the Mount Brydges area continue to call us Caradoc, and that will be okay. We may find that our members in the Waterford area continue to call us Townsend, and that will also be okay!
Q: Where will the head office be?
A: Our head office will be based in Waterford, but some senior management functions will also be in Mount Brydges. All management staff will spend time in each location.
Q: What will happen to the Mount Brydges office?
A: It will stay open, and we will soon need to increase the staffing in Mount Brydges. One third of the new company’s members are in the Mount Brydges and London area, and it would be silly to stop serving them locally. We’re not letting that beautiful building go…we need it.
Q: Will anyone lose their job as a result of the amalgamation?
A: No. We expect that the amalgamation will unlock more growth, leading to a need for increased employment.
Q: Where will the financial assets of Townsend go?
A: All the financial assets and liabilities of both Townsend and Caradoc will become the assets and liabilities of the new company. The accumulated surplus (i.e. net worth) that our predecessors worked so hard to build up over the past one hundred and thirty years will be part of the new company, which will have the same members that Townsend and Caradoc have today.
Q: Will my agent or broker change as a result of the amalgamation?
Q: Will the flexibility of my payment options change?
A: The two companies have some differences in our payment plans. Over time, we’ll bring those together with the best from both companies. For example, Townsend does not currently have a monthly credit card payment plan, but Caradoc Delaware does. We will bring that option into the new company.
Q: Will my insurance rates go up because of this amalgamation?
A: Insurance rates will not change because of the amalgamation. But we periodically adjust our insurance rates in response to our claims experience and market forces. Sometimes that adjustment is up, and sometimes that adjustment is down. We continuously reevaluate our insurance rates, whether or not we are proposing to amalgamate. We’re doing that right now.
We want the rates to be high enough to cover costs, and low enough to be competitive. Whether or not we amalgamate, we would never promise that your rates will not ever change…that wouldn’t be right.
Q: I want to talk to someone about this in person. Whom should I contact?
A: Your broker or agent is a great place to start. But if they don’t know the answer to your question, they won’t guess. We also encourage you to contact one of the members of our Board of Directors. And here are three people who will be pleased to discuss our proposal in detail with you:
Questions about the Proxies and Voting Procedures
Q: Snail mail? Really? Can't I send my proxy electronically?
A: Yes you can. Our Corporate Secretary Michael Kekes is receiving proxies from multiple channels.
- SMS a legible picture of your proxy to 519-427-7061. Be sure to include your name in a text message so that we know who you are!
- Fax to 519-443-5198
Q: Do I have to send in a proxy?
A: No, you don’t have to send us a proxy, and you don’t have to vote. But we hope that you do!
Q: What happens if I don’t send in a proxy?
A: If you don’t send a proxy or attend the meeting in person, then your choice will not be included in the tally, and you will not participate in the decision.
Q: I did not receive a proxy, or maybe I misplaced it or recycled it. How can I get another one?
A: Here is a blank proxy form, in PDF format. If you need assistance finding your policy number, give us a shout and we'll be pleased to help you. Or if you need a paper form, we can provide you with one.
Q: I don't want to read all this stuff on-line, I'd rather have a paper copy.
A: Let us know, and we'll send you the entire package by mail. And paper copies are also available in our Waterford office.
Q: What if I change my mind about this amalgamation after I send in my proxy?
A: You can revoke your proxy right up to the day of the meeting. Be sure to check with our Corporate Secretary on the right procedure to do this.Michael Kekes, Secretary
Q: Will my insurance policy or ongoing claim be affected if I don’t vote, or if I vote in a certain way?
A: No, not at all.
Q: Who is going to know how I voted? Will proxy votes be kept secret?
With the assistance of our lawyer, our corporate secretary Michael Kekes will need to examine each proxy to confirm voting eligibility. He will keep the proxies safe and secure until June 28. Mr. Kekes will not track or record how you voted, and will not reveal how you voted to anyone else. At the June 28 meeting, two scrutineers will be appointed to count the votes. One will be our auditor, and one will be our lawyer. They will not reveal to anyone else how individual members voted.
After the vote on June 28, we will call for a motion to destroy all ballots and proxies.
Q: Why did you send more than one information package and proxy to my household?
A: The rules on who can vote are a little complicated. In general, we sent a package to every unique customer combination. For example, if you and your spouse have separate insurance policies, then we would have sent two information packages and proxies. In general we tried to err on the side of sending too many packages rather than not enough.
Q: Why did you make the voting eligibility rules so complicated?
A: We didn’t! The voting rules come straight from the Corporations Act of Ontario, and we must follow them. But don’t take our word for it…here they are, in Section 162 of the Act: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90c38#BK173.
Q: Why am I being asked to vote for two different things? What is the second one (the By-law) all about?
A: The new company (and every company actually) needs corporate By-laws to govern its operations. By-laws are like a constitution, they set the overall rules that we must follow. However, we don’t get to give final approval to our own By-laws. That’s up to you, because this is your company.