Why are we called belairdirect? How was our company created? What is one of our great North American innovations? We’d love to tell you a bit more about ourselves and the important dates of our history.
True or false: belairdirect’s founder was from Bel Air, California. Answer: false!
No, the company wasn’t named after someone from Bel Air; the name is a tribute to the Chevrolet Bel Air, the best-selling car of the 1950s.
True or false: A taxi association is behind the creation of belairdirect. Answer: True!
Belair Insurance Company Inc. was founded in 1955 by the Taxi Diamond Association of Montréal. Their goal? Help the association’s 2,000 members because they often had trouble getting insurance for their taxis.
In which year was Belair inc. insurance offered to the general public?
For the first few years, the company provided insurance only to taxicab owners. Then, in 1963, it began offering insurance to all vehicle owners. And in 1970, it added home insurance to its product line.
What North American premiere are we known for?
belairdirect became in 1997 the first to offer the online purchase of car insurance in North America!
A few other important dates along the way . . .
belairdirect opens 11 branches in response to the passing of Bill 67 (the “Payette Reform”), which made car insurance mandatory in Quebec.
Groupe Commassur (a company composed of belairdirect and Groupe Commerce) acquires Belair Insurance Company Inc.’s shares.
belairdirect divests from the Taxi Diamond Association of Montréal.
Commassur inc. is acquired by Nationale-Nederlanden (known since 1991 as ING Group).
belairdiect’s first Ontario branch opens in Ottawa and acquires the Constitution Insurance Company of Canada.
ING Group’s four Canadian insurance companies are grouped under the banner of ING Canada (now Intact Financial Corporation).
The first belairdirect website launches, confirming the company’s status as an Internet pioneer.
The BELAIRdirect brand launches in Ontario and in Quebec one year later.
The company becomes the first to offer the online purchase of car insurance in North America.
The company’s distinctive “Little Knight” character is introduced.
belairdirect launches its quick quote for car insurance. A quote can now be obtained in less than 3 minutes. The company also arrives in Alberta.
belairdirect offers insurance in British-Columbia!
belairdirect has more than 2000 employees serving 900 000 clients across Canada..
Thanks for being part of our history . . . and our success!