Economical Mutual Insurance Company, one of Canada's leading property and casualty insurance companies, announced its intention to acquire Desjardins Group's pet insurance business, Western Financial Insurance Company (WFIC) and its flagship brand Petsecure.

WFIC is Canada’s largest pet insurance company with net written premiums in 2015 exceeding $50 million. For more than 25 years, it has provided Canadian pet owners with innovative coverage to meet the diverse needs of their pets.

WFIC offers comprehensive, veterinarian-recommended coverage for dogs and cats.

"Economical is an insurer with significant momentum right now thanks to our dedicated people, bold strategy, and focus on growth, both organically and by acquisitions," said Karen Gavan , president and chief executive officer of Economical Insurance.

"We are acquiring the market leader in the Canadian pet insurance industry, which will further diversify our business, and we are pleased to welcome WFIC management and employees to the Economical family."

"For Desjardins, this is the result of an ongoing strategic review of our activities and, as part of this decision, it was important to identify a prospective acquirer that would be in a position to continue growing the business," said Sylvie Paquette , Desjardins’ Senior Executive Vice President and General Manager of P&C Insurance.

"We believe WFIC and its employees will have a promising future under new ownership that will further develop the full potential of the business."’

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals.

Following the closing, WFIC will remain headquartered in Winnipeg , ensuring consistency of service in maintaining its industry-leading products, sales force, customer experience and relationships with veterinarians, shelters and breeders.

Desjardins will continue to distribute WFIC’s pet insurance product through its Desjardins Insurance and The Personal Insurance brands.

Founded in 1871, Economical Insurance is one of Canada’s leading property and casualty insurers, with $2.0 billion in premiums during 2015 and $5.3 billion in assets as at March 31, 2016 .

Based in Waterloo , this Canadian-owned and operated company services the insurance needs of more than one million customers across the country. Economical Insurance conducts business under the following brands: Economical Insurance, Economical, Western General, Economical Select, Perth Insurance, Sonnet, Family Insurance Solutions and Economical Financial.