More than ever before, Canadians are facing financial risk

As Canada deals with a global pandemic and rising household debt, Goose Insurance warns that most Canadians can’t afford further financial setbacks caused by a life-threatening illness.

VANCOUVER, BCNov. 9, 2020 /CNW/ – Goose Insurance, a new player in the life and health insurance market warns Canadians could be out-of-pocket tens of thousands of dollars while undergoing treatment for any life-threatening illness.

Goose Insurance recently conducted a survey of over 1000 Canadians, yielding some eye-opening results. The company found that less than 5% of respondents have critical illness insurance or cancer insurance and majority of the people wrongly believe that Canada’s health care system covers all costs associated with cancer treatment or any other life-threatening illness. Overwhelmingly, women are under insured in Canada, with over 70% of the women that responded to the survey have never purchased life or critical illness insurance.

According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, nearly half of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. In fact, the CMAJ estimates that 225,000 people will be diagnosed with, and 83,000 people will die from, cancer in 2020 alone.

While Canada’s health care system covers many costs associated with life-threatening medical treatments, many patients still face out-of-pocket expenses while undergoing treatment, including some drugs not covered, childcare, rent or mortgage, and other household bills and responsibilities.  This comes at a time when Canadians are dealing with COVID-19, a global pandemic; whilst battling an all-time high household debt ratio of 176.9% according to Statistics Canada.

So why aren’t Canadians buying life and health insurance? Of those surveyed by Goose, the two most common reasons were accessibility and affordability. Specifically amongst young Canadians aged 25 to 35, over 50% didn’t know where to buy it from and over 70% found it too complicated.

“Goose is tackling the accessibility and affordability of insurance, and addressing the underserved market,” says Dejan Mirkovic, President of Goose Insurance. “We’re offering reasonable coverage limits at affordable prices, and the ability to buy policies in minutes without medical exams or the need to speak to an agent; all on the Goose app.”

Goose Insurance together with Industrial Alliance Financial Group, one of Canada’s largest Insurers, has made insurance accessible and affordable for anyone under 69 with a smartphone. On the Goose mobile app, Canadians simply become eligible by answering a few medical questions and can get up to $50,000 of Life Insurance for as low as $5 a month. Monthly premiums are based on age, gender, and smoking status.

“For decades, Special Markets Solutions (a division of iA Financial Group) has promoted voluntary insurance programs using traditional methods. While these offerings provided valuable coverage, these methods were outdated and time consuming. We are very excited to be partnering with Goose Insurance in offering voluntary products on a revolutionary digital platform.  This will allow the user to have an easy to understand, seamless and instant application experience . The future is now,” said Ed Bender, National VP, Special Markets Solutions at iA Financial Group.

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Established in 2018 and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Goose Insurance Services takes the confusing parts out of buying insurance and makes it easier than ever to get the right coverage. And it all happens in seconds, from a single app. Goose currently serves British ColumbiaAlbertaSaskatchewanManitobaOntario, Québec, and Nova Scotia in Canada as well as WashingtonOregonIllinoisGeorgiaNew Jersey, and Texas in the US. For more information about Goose, or to download the app, visit www.gooseinsurance.com

SOURCE Goose Insurance Services Inc.

https://www.gooseinsurance.com/en/

Drive Safe. Drive Less. Save Money

Canada’s hospitality businesses face new threat amid coronavirus – rising insurance

 

Canadian hospitality businesses, already reeling from the downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, are facing yet another existential threat as insurance companies spike premiums or exit the space, citing losses and the sector’s risks.

Even before COVID-19, insurers globally were scaling back from riskier businesses to improve performance. The pandemic’s profit hits have accelerated the trend and led underwriters to exit from, or raise premiums in, select categories.

Hospitality businesses, particularly those needing coverage for accidents caused by alcohol-impaired clients, were already seen as higher risk, said Karen Ritchie, vice president at Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers and president of the Toronto Insurance Council. The coronavirus exacerbated that.

“It’s a perfect storm,” she said.

Many hospitality companies were already operating on razor-thin margins before pandemic-driven lockdowns. An inability to access affordable insurance could spell the end for them, given they are barely managing to hang on amid distancing restrictions.

While these businesses carry the same risks as elsewhere, the Canadian hospitality industry has faced a bigger hit due to a much smaller insurance market dominated by Lloyd’s syndicates, Ritchie said. Far more domestic insurers cover the space in countries like the United States, spreading out risk, she said.

Toronto’s top doctor recommends lower music, reduced capacity in bars and restaurants

Toronto’s top doctor recommends lower music, reduced capacity in bars and restaurants

Lloyd’s is a marketplace that comprises various specialist insurers, or syndicates, who write policies.

Lloyd’s business volumes fell 8.6 per cent in the first half of 2020, reflecting an intentional reduction by several syndicates exposed to poorly performing business segments, the group said in a statement.

The Lloyd’s market lost 438 million pounds ($569 million), versus a 2.3 billion pound profit a year earlier, primarily driven by coronavirus-driven losses.

‘I would close’

Erik Joyal, co-owner of Ascari Hospitality Group in Toronto, was told last month that his Hi-Lo Bar’s policy would not be renewed as his insurer, part of Lloyd’s, was moving away from restaurants and bars.

His broker found a policy through another insurer at more than three times his current C$9,000 annual premium, even though the restaurant had never filed a claim.

“I would close the business before I signed on to that,” said Joyal, who is continuing to search for an affordable policy.

Insurers, like other businesses, need profits, said Pete Karageorgos, director of consumer and industry relations at the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

And there is still capacity and affordable coverage available for businesses that can show measures to minimize risks, he added.

Arron Barberian said his Harry’s Steak House in Toronto was dropped by his insurance company, Groupone Insurance Services, although he paid premiums when the business was shut.

Groupone declined to comment.

Barberian found a policy through Intact Financial Corp , which insures his other Toronto restaurant, Barberian’s Steak House. While cheaper, it offers slim, possibly inadequate, coverage, he said.

Intact’s underwriting criteria for restaurants haven’t changed, and it continues to renew policies and write new ones, a spokeswoman said by email.

B.C. bar and restaurant owners say mandatory 10 p.m. shutdown rule is seriously hurting business

B.C. bar and restaurant owners say mandatory 10 p.m. shutdown rule is seriously hurting business

A Nova Scotia hotel owner, who said he was quoted a 50 per cent increase in premiums to renew his policy, also found more affordable coverage through Intact.

Even so, the owner, who declined to be identified as he is negotiating the return of some premiums paid during the shut-down, said he is bracing for thousands of dollars in additional expenses, as a change in insurers is accompanied by an inspection and, often, demands for changes.

His previous insurer, Wawanesa Insurance, attributed the premium increase to higher fire and storm-related losses even before the pandemic.

Despite limited ability to operate, “many bars and restaurants https://www.alignedinsurance.com/restaurant-insurance-overview still had contractual obligations and real risk that needed to be insured and insurance had to be maintained,” said Andrew Clark, chief executive of mortgage broker ALIGNED Insurance.

“The unfortunate reality is that the insurance companies aren’t willing to insure some businesses right now and they don’t really have many other options than to close,” Clark said.

Source: Global News

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B.C. seeks to mitigate rising cost of strata insurance

B.C. seeks to mitigate rising cost of strata insurance

The Government of British Columbia says it is taking action to help stratas better mitigate the rising costs of insurance.

Actions include bringing more transparency to the strata insurance industry, closing loopholes related to depreciation reports, ending referral fees paid to property managers and giving strata owners and corporations the tools they need to do their part, a Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing media release stated.

“The rising cost of strata insurance is a major financial pressure facing thousands of British Columbians during an already challenging time,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “This is an extremely complex issue playing out in the private insurance industry, but that doesn’t lessen our government’s commitment to doing what we can to make the situation better. Everyone has a role to play in returning the market to balance and today our government is taking a first step, with the understanding that we will take further action as needed.”

Through amendments to the Strata Property Act and Financial Institutions Act, as well as associated regulatory changes, the government will:

* end the practice of referral fees between insurers or insurance brokers and property managers or other third parties;

* set out clear guidelines for what strata corporations are required to insure to help strata councils make informed decisions on their insurance policies;

* require strata corporations to inform owners about insurance coverage, provide notice of any policy changes, including increasing deductibles, and allow stratas to use their contingency reserve fund when necessary to pay for unexpected premium increases; and

* protect strata unit owners against large lawsuits from strata corporations if the owner was legally responsible for a loss or damage, but through no fault of their own.

The legislation also paves the way for the government to make further regulatory changes to:

* identify when stratas are not required to get full insurance coverage;

* strengthen depreciation reporting requirements, including limiting the ability to use existing loopholes in the legislation to avoid completing depreciation reports;

* change the minimum required contributions made by strata unit owners and developers to a strata corporation’s contingency reserve fund;

* require brokers to disclose the amount of their commission, which has been reported to be at times in excess of 20%; and

* strengthen notification requirements to strata corporations of changes to insurance coverage and costs, or an intent not to renew.

These regulatory changes will be made after further consultation with strata community stakeholders.

“We understand the difficulty people living in stratas face when they experience a large increase in insurance costs or have challenges finding insurance at all,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This legislation is a first step to help strata corporations now as we continue to work on this complex issue. I look forward to the BC Financial Services Authority’s final report in the fall, which will help identify further actions government can take to support people living in strata properties.”

Government’s actions were guided in part by input from key stakeholders, including Condominium Home Owners Association of BC; Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association; Insurance Brokers Association of BC; Insurance Bureau of Canada; Insurance Council of BC; Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate; Real Estate Council of BC; Mortgage Brokers Association of BC; BC Real Estate Association; and the interim report of the BC Financial Services Authority.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of Finance will also review the final report from BC Financial Services Authority in the fall to determine what further changes the government can make to help lower strata insurance costs for people.

Over 1.5 million people live in strata housing in B.C.

At the direction of the minister of Finance, the BC Financial Services Authority released its interim report on the rising cost of strata insurance in British Columbia on June 16, with a final report expected in fall 2020.

The report found that premiums have risen by approximately 40% throughout the province on a year-over-year basis, with deductibles experiencing up to triple-digit increases over the same period.

The BCFSA is the regulator responsible for the private sector insurance industry in British Columbia.

Source: e-KNOW

Edited for ILSTV

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