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Alberta economy drives layoff insurance

With thousands of layoffs in and related to Alberta’s energy industry, one Alberta company is hoping to help, and cash in.

Plan covers mortgage payments for 6 months, roughly $50 a month per person

A standalone layoff insurance is now available in Alberta, another sign of the economic downturn in the province. (Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press)

With thousands of layoffs in and related to Alberta's energy industry, one Alberta company is hoping to help while cashing in.

An Edmonton-based company is now offering standalone layoff insurance for hourly and salaried employees who are laid off for roughly $50 per person for an average-sized mortgage, said Gordon McCallum, president of First Foundation.

"We would prefer it if there was no need for this type of coverage, but the slowing Alberta economy, the low price of oil, and the rising unemployment rate have all led to high demand for this product," he said.

The insurance covers six months of mortgage payments and is not taxable.

This type of insurance is sometimes offered by mortgage underwriters but to McCallum's knowledge, not as a standalone product that can be transferred if a property owner transfers a mortgage between financial institutions.

The company says job loss is one of the most common reasons for mortgage default.

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