Bob Lawrie Named CEO of the Lawrie Insurance Group

Press Release:

Bob Lawrie Named CEO of the Lawrie Insurance Group, David Leadbetter President Ensuring the Next Generation of Trusted Leadership

Hamilton, Ontario (December 13, 2019) – The Lawrie Insurance Group is pleased to announce that effective Jan 1, 2020, Bob Lawrie will assume the role of CEO
and David Leadbetter the role of President. Founder Dan Lawrie will serve as Chair over the next couple of years in the transition of the company leadership to the next generation.

The Lawrie Insurance Group Inc. known as The Name You Can Trust for Insurance, is one
of Canada’s leading, privately owned, multi-disciplined insurance brokerages, specializing in personal and commercial insurance, employee benefits, life and group retirement solutions. The company also has a long history of community involvement. In 2007 the company donated $125,000 toward Mohawk College’s new Centre of Excellence in Insurance and Financial Services. To increase the public’s accessibility to visual arts Dan Lawrie established the Dan Lawrie Family Foundation in 2013.

“Dan has been an incredible mentor both in the leadership of the company and within our community. As his business partner it has been an honour to work with him over the past 30 years as we have grown the company into one of the largest and most trusted
insurance brokers in Canada,” said Bob Lawrie, incoming CEO. “With the talent of our team of over 100 dedicated professionals and through fierce broker independence, we are strategically focused and well-positioned to achieve long-term exponential growth domestically and internationally through our multi-disciplined, holistic approach in working with clients.”

The appointment to President of David Leadbetter marks an exciting time in the history of the Lawrie Insurance Group. Since joining the company in 2017, David Leadbetter has brought vital expertise and dynamic leadership to the team.

Leadbetter said he is looking forward to his new role. “Our combination of caring for employees, clients and insurers make for a complete circle of security. I pledge to maintain the Company’s high level of stewardship and to expand it as we go forward, ensuring the high standards established by Dan Lawrie since 1982 and build upon them in a way that will ensure the strength of the brokerage in the years ahead.”

In his new role as Chair, Dan Lawrie will continue to be involved in both leading the company and supporting several ongoing, company and community projects.

“As Chair, I look forward to working closely with Bob Lawrie, CEO and David Leadbetter, President over the next couple of years to ensure the continuance of the vision of the Lawrie Insurance Group to remain in the top 5% of independent brokers in Canada and to be the most trusted multi-disciplined insurance and risk management firm in the region.”

About Lawrie Insurance Group

The Lawrie Insurance Group Inc., is one of Canada’s leading, privately-owned, multi-disciplined insurance brokerage, specializing in commercial and personal insurance, employee benefits and group retirement solutions. With a staff of over 100 dedicated professionals, the Lawrie Insurance Group has become one of the largest and most trusted insurance organizations in Canada and ranks in the top 5% of insurance brokerages in Canada. The Lawrie Insurance Group is a member of the Canadian Broker Network (CBN), Intersure and Globex International, giving it affiliated offices across Canada, the United States and globally.

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To learn more, visit danlawrie.com.

Desmarais brothers to step down as CEOs in overhaul of Power Corp

Massive reorganization at one of the country’s largest financial services firms

By David Scanlan | Bloomberg.com

Billionaires Andre Desmarais and Paul Desmarais Jr. are stepping down as co-chief executive officers of Power Corp. of Canada as part of a massive reorganization at one of the country’s largest financial services firms.

The Desmarais brothers, sons of the family who runs the Montreal-based firm, will stay on as chairman and deputy chairman. Jeffrey Orr, current CEO of the Power Financial Corp. unit, takes the top job at a new entity combining the two main units of the insurance and asset management company.

“The reorganization is a natural step that reflects our evolution from a diversified holding company into one that is primarily focused on financial services,” Andre Desmarais, 63, said in a statement Friday.

Shares of Power Corp. surged as much as 7.5 per cent, heartened also by a 10 per cent increase in the dividend, while Power Financial was up as much as 9.4 per cent. Both were the biggest intraday increases in a decade and handing the brothers an immediate payoff. The family was worth $8.38 billion in 2018, putting them seventh among Canada’s wealthiest families according to Canadian Business magazine.

By combing the two companies, Power Corp. says it will simplify its corporate structure, eliminating the dual-holding format and reducing costs. That may help unlock shareholder value. Neither Power Financial nor Power Corp. have regained their pre-2008 financial crisis highs, unlike the country’s big banks.

Power Corp. also said the new structure should allow the company to focus on financial services, where it faces relentless pressure on fees from ETFs and robo advisers, and from declining interest rates for its life insurance business. Power businesses include insurer Great-West Lifeco Inc. and money manager IGM Financial Inc.

“Canadian banks have been able to take advantage of their booming individual, or retail, businesses in Canada to substantially grow their earnings and balance sheets,” Paul Desmarais Jr., 65, said in a May 2018 speech. “By contrast, during the same 10-year period, the individual businesses of the three major Canadian life insurance companies – including our subsidiary Great-West Lifeco – have more or less stagnated.”

PAUL’S SON

As part of the reorganization, Power Financial shareholders will receive 1.05 Power Corp. subordinate voting shares, or $33.50, and some cash for each share they own. That’s little more than the $32.77 Power Financial last traded at. Power Financial is currently controlled by Power Corp.

“There’s change but it’s evolutionary change and it’s continuity,” Orr told analysts on a conference call. “It’s just part of an ongoing strategy that we’ve been pursuing to create shareholders value.”

The shake-up makes no mention of Paul Desmarais III, 37, son of Paul Jr. and a senior vice president of Power Corp. who oversees the company’s startup strategy, which includes majority-owned robo adviser Wealthsimple Inc. He is also the executive chairman of Sagard Holdings, a subsidiary of Power Corp. which has invested in public and private equity since its founding in 2005 and has moved into private credit last year.

The Desmarais family will continue to control the company through its Pansolo Holding Inc.

With assistance from Sandrine Rastello, Paula Sambo and Doug Alexander

Bloomberg.com

Canada’s farms reap precision data to cut lending, insurance costs

Ashley Robinson, Bloomberg News

Canadian farmers — grappling with lower crop income, adverse weather and a trade dispute with China — are using precision-agriculture technology aimed at reducing lending and insurance costs.

Collecting intricate crop data allows individual farmers to outline potentially limited risk to banks and insurers, Tristan Skolrud, an assistant professor in the agricultural and resource economics department at the University of Saskatchewan, said in a telephone interview.

In an industry facing tight margins, the savings can mean the difference between making a profit and wrestling with lower income or losses for grain and canola. Companies including Bayer AG, Deere & Co. and Cargill Inc. have expanded in precision agriculture.

Farmers Edge, a Winnipeg, Manitoba-based precision agriculture company, is debuting a platform to allow customers to use data for bank loans. The new offering, along with the firm’s InsurTech product that began in July, takes the focus away from equity and spotlighting “best-in-class farmers” with top yields, Chief Executive Officer Wade Barnes said in a phone interview.

 

Halloween Storm Across Eastern Canada Caused Over $250 Million in Insured Damage

TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2019 /CNW/ – The storm that hit Eastern Canada between October 30 and November 1, caused over $250 million in insured damage, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).*

Province

Insured Damage

Ontario

$55 million

Quebec

$189 million

New Brunswick

$3 million

Nova Scotia

$2 million

Prince Edward Island

$150,000

Newfoundland & Labrador

$480,000

TOTAL

$250 million

Significant rainfall and damaging winds hit much of Eastern Canada causing power outages and leaving nearly one million Hydro-Québec customers without power. The Niagara and Montreal areas were the hardest hit, both in terms of wind and water damage.

Rain, snow and high winds in Ontario brought over 60 mm of rain to Cornwall and 17 cm of snow to Sudbury.

Heavy precipitation was widespread across southern Quebec. The most rainfall occurred in the Eastern Townships: Stratford received 109 mm and Sherbrooke 93 mm. Montreal and Laval both recorded 63 mm, and Quebec Cityreceived 71 mm. Val-d’Or and Chibougamau recorded 19 and 30 cm of snow, respectively.

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) also received heavy amounts of precipitation. The highest amount recorded in the province was 82 mm in Cow Head. Goose Bay, Labrador, recorded 24 cm of snow.

Damaging wind gusts exceeded 100 km/h in multiple locations along the shores of eastern Lake Erie and eastern Lake Ontario, causing high waves and storm surges. In Port Colborne, a 129 km/h wind gust was recorded. Strong winds affected southern Quebec: Montreal and Trois-Rivières recorded winds gusts of 105 km/h and 104 km/h, respectively. In Atlantic Canada, gusts of 107 km/h and 100 km/h were felt in Wreckhouse and St. John’s, NL, respectively. Halifax Stanfield International Airport recorded a maximum gust of 102 km/h and Charlottetown recorded 91 km/h. The strong winds downed trees, damaged roofs and siding, and led to road closures and power outages.

As the financial cost of severe weather rises, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is advocating that all orders of government increase their investments in mitigating the impact of extreme weather and building resilience against its damaging effects. This includes investing in upgraded infrastructure to protect communities from floods and fires, improved building codes, better land-use planning, and incentives to shift the development of homes and businesses away from areas at highest risk of flooding.

IBC reminds Canadians that it is not only insurers that foot the bill for severe weather damage, but also taxpayers. That’s why all stakeholders should come together to reduce the financial strain caused by flood events. For every dollar paid out in insurance claims for damaged homes and businesses, Canadian governments and their taxpayers pay out much more to repair public infrastructure damaged by severe weather.

Visit IBC’s website for information on how to prepare for a disaster and ways to prevent flood damage to your home.

*CatIQ estimated the amount of insured damage under licence to IBC. For more information on CatIQ, visit www.catiq.com.

Quotes

“Severe weather events driven by climate change are happening more regularly and with greater strength. In particular, heavy rainstorms that cause flooding are becoming more common. While the insured damage from these storms is significant, the total economic cost to homeowners and governments is even greater. It is important that property owners take precautions to minimize potential damage. They should also understand their insurance policies and know what type of flooding and water damage their policies cover.”
Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC

“As a society, we have to adapt to this changing climate that’s resulting in an increase of extreme weather events. Better building codes, increased risk awareness and infrastructure improvements are all needed to make our communities more resilient. Homeowners will also benefit from a better knowledge of what they can do in and around their homes to protect against the wrath of Mother Nature.”
Pierre Babinsky, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Quebec, IBC

“With climate change, we’re seeing extreme storms that involve floods and severe wind more frequently, and they are hitting with greater intensity. The insured damage from these storms is just part of the equation; the economic cost to homeowners and governments also needs to be factored into the total cost to society, not to mention the disruption to people’s lives and the emotional cost of seeing personal property destroyed. Consumers need to take precautions and secure their property to minimize potential damage.
Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 126,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $54.7 billion.

If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and Facebook Insurance Bureau.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: Media contacts: Vanessa Barrasa 416-550-9062 vbarrasa@ibc.ca; Québec: Pauline Triplet 514 288-1563, poste 2277 PTriplet@bac-quebec.qc.ca

Related Links

www.ibc.ca

FortisBC sues insurers and designers of incinerator system after 2017 LNG plant fire

The excerpted article was written by  Business In Vancouver

FortisBC Energy Inc. is suing a group of insurers and the designers of an incinerator that failed after a fire at the Tilbury liquefied natural gas plant in Delta in 2017.

FortisBC filed two notices of civil claim in BC Supreme Court on November 22, one lawsuit naming AIG Insurance Co. of Canada, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Co. of Canada, Starr Insurance & Reinsurance Ltd., Temple Insurance Co., Zurich Insurance Co. Ltd., Ironshore Canada Ltd., XL Specialty Insurance Co., Catlin Canada Inc. and Lloyd’s Underwriters as defendants.

The other lawsuit, along with co-plaintiffs Bechtel Canada Co. and Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals Inc., names Chart Energy & Chemicals Inc., Chart Energy Services Inc. and Thermo Design Engineering Ltd. as defendants.

In its case against the insurance companies, FortisBC alleges the firms wrongfully denied a $16 million claim under a builder’s risk policy for delay costs and other expenses. FortisBC claims that a fire in August 2017 damaged the gas plant during construction work on an expansion project, shutting down the facility until it could be repaired. As part of the shutdown process the plant’s thermal oxidizer, also called a thermal incinerator, was turned off.

But FortisBC claims the unit suffered a mechanical breakdown when the system was started up again in November 2017. The company claims the oxidizer’s breakdown “significantly delayed” operations at the Tilbury plant, causing “losses of revenue and profits.”

In the second case, FortisBC and contractor Bechtel claim Chart Energy and subcontractor Thermo Design were retained as designers for the incinerator, which failed due to alleged “design defects, oversights and deficiencies of the Incinerator.”

FortisBC and Bechtel seek unspecified damages for negligence, breach of contract and breach of duty of care. The allegations in both lawsuits have not been tested or proven in court, and none of the defendants had filed responses by press time.

— Business in Vancouver

How to avoid a massive holiday health care bill when OHIP out-of-country coverage ends

The excerpted article was written by Solarina Ho CTV News

TORONTO — If you are an Ontario resident planning to travel outside of Canada over the holidays and will be out of the country after Jan. 1, make sure you have adequate travel health insurance coverage or risk dealing with a crippling medical bill should a medical emergency arise.

The Ontario government’s decision earlier this year to scrap its “inefficient” out-of-country health insurance coverage takes effect January 1, 2020. This means Ontarians who end up requiring major inpatient emergency care, for example, can no longer claim the $400-a-day maximum that OHIP currently provides and the $50-a-day maximum allowed for emergency outpatient services, such as an MRI or a CAT scan.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott announced the decision in May following a public consultation, pointing to the inefficiency of the province spending $2.8 million administering $9 million claims each year.

The existing OHIP coverage is quite minimal given the cost of medical care abroad, said Robin Ingle, chief executive of travel insurance firm MSH Ingle International, especially in countries such as the United States, the most popular destination for Canadians.

“Today they cover about five per cent of your global health bill,” Ingle told CTV’s Your Morning, noting that the province used to cover some 80 per cent of a traveller’s out-of-country medical bill. The province was forced to change its coverage in 1991 due to the cost of the U.S. healthcare system.

A hospital stay in the U.S. could cost $5,000 a night, said Ingle. An MRI typically costs US$1,000 to US$5,000, an X-ray can range from US$150 to US$3,000.

Some locations might require a cash payment up front or refuse treatment altogether without proof you can pay or have adequate coverage.

“There was a recent example of a Canadian who was in Thailand, fell off a ladder, was stuck in the hospital because the family didn’t have travel insurance,” Ingle said Monday.

“The bill starts ramping up, and if you need an air evacuation, it’s not just the hospital bed cost. An air evacuation back to Canada from Thailand would be about US$150,000; from the Southern U.S., it would be about US$20,000.”

Ingle argued the new set-up will actually be better in the long run and expects other provinces will follow Ontario’s lead.

“As an insurer, for example, it’s a major hassle for us to actually get compensation back from the provincial government. So you might get a little bit of a rate increase now, but you will have it go down over time, because the processes will be simpler for the travel insurer,” he said.

Patients living with kidney failure will continue to have the same partial coverage for out-of-country dialysis care under a new program.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

You can ask about travel insurance through your credit card company, your employer’s insurance provider, a broker, or a travel agent, for example. Shop and compare insurance plans, and make sure you understand any requirements, conditions, and exclusions. Ask questions, such as:

• What does it cover? Does it include hospitalization while abroad?

• Ask specifically for the kind of products that you will need.

• What is the deductible, if any?

• How comprehensive is the plan? Are there coverage limitations or exclusions for certain destinations?

• Is the coverage renewable while you are out of the country?

• Who pays the bills upfront?

Regardless of your destination, the federal government recommends that your insurance covers the following:

• Medical evacuation to Canada or the nearest place with appropriate care, as well as the cost of a medical escort.

• Your pre-existing condition and have it in writing. Find out how your insurer defines “pre-existing condition” and what the limitations and restrictions are, and make sure the agreement covers a compassion clause and change of health clause.

• Preparation of your remains and repatriation to Canada in case of death.

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