New CEO for Kitchener-based Allianz Global Assistance Canada

Waterloo Region Record

KITCHENER — Travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance Canada has a new chief executive officer.

Chris Van Kooten

Chris Van Kooten is the new CEO of Allianz Global Assistance Canada. – Allianz Global Assistance Canada

Chris Van Kooten was most recently managing director at Guy Carpenter Canada, and has also held actuarial roles at The Co-operators General Insurance Co. and Economical Insurance.

Kitchener-based Allianz Global Assistance Canada provides travel insurance and assistance services, and also serves as an outsource provider for inbound call centre services and claims administration for insurers and credit card companies. With more than 800 employees, Allianz Global Assistance Canada is part of the Allianz group of companies.

Tactics used to sell credit card balance protection ‘problematic’ and ‘high risk’ to consumers, watchdog says

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B.C. government rolls back speed limits but group says that doesn’t make sense

VICTORIA _ The British Columbia government is rolling back speed limits on sections of more than a dozen highways where crashes have climbed since 2014, when the highest speeds in Canada were permitted.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said Tuesday a three-year review of crash data from 33 routes shows the top three factors for increased collisions are driver inattention, road conditions and driving too fast for those conditions.

Serious crashes jumped significantly after speed limits went into effect, said Trevena, citing an “alarming” increase on several routes, including Highway 19 between Parksville and Campbell River, where speed-related accidents jumped by one-third.

Fifteen sections of highway will see speeds cut by 10 km/h. Stretches of Highway 1 and Highway 5A in the southern Interior were already rolled back in 2016 when crash rates jumped after the speed limit change.

Speeds on sections of 16 routes, including the Coquihalla Highway, won’t be changed because they haven’t shown higher accident rates over the last four years, Trevena said.

Nearly half of all serous accidents over the three years were caused by driver inattention and road conditions, she said.

“The combination of those factors, along with wildlife and people driving too fast for conditions, were responsible for 43 per cent of all highway collisions on B.C. highways.”

RCMP Insp. Tim Walton, who is in charge of Island District Traffic Services, warned at the news conference that police will be boosting enforcement on all corridors where collisions increased to ensure drivers are respecting the new limits.

Walton said he decided four years ago that he’d wait to respond to the hike in speed limits until the research was completed.

‘Slowing down can significantly reduce the impact of any collision and reduce the chances that you’ll be severely injured or killed,” he said, adding that as winter driving conditions approach, Mounties are reminding motorists to obey speed limits, drive sober and free of distractions.

Trevena said there were no statistical increases in accidents after the first year of higher speed limits but the subsequent two years have shown “shocking” jumps, prompting the government to respond to a study released last month showing a link between higher speed limits and crashes leading to injuries and fatalities.

“Nobody should die on our highways,” she said.  “It’s horrible, the fact that there have been serious accidents and there have been deaths.”

The study, published in the journal Sustainability, was led by Vancouver General Hospital emergency room physician Dr. Jeffrey Brubacher and road-safety engineers at the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia.

The study, funded by the federal government, concluded fatal crashes more than doubled on roads with higher speed limits, affected roads had a 43 per cent increase in total auto- insurance claims and a 30 per cent jump in auto-insurance claims for injuries.

“Other jurisdictions, especially those with harsh winter climates or with highways that traverse mountainous terrain, should learn from this experience and resist pressure from pro-speed advocates to raise speed limits without due consideration of road safety,” it says.

Gordon Lovegrove, an associate professor at the university’s school of engineering, called the speed-limit increases a “failed experiment.”

However, Ian Tootill, co-founder of the group Safety by Education Not Speed Enforcement, said lowering the limit is based on oversimplified data by an irresponsible group of academics and health-care professionals.

“The whole group of people that have input on this, that are in the so-called stakeholders’ group, are all people with a dog in the race,” he said.

Truckers don’t want people driving faster than them and police are writing speeding tickets for the profits of municipalities, Tootill said.

“We advocate traffic engineering and enforcement decisions that legalize safe and reasonable actions of the reasonable majority of motorists so they don’t get used as money bags.”

Highways where speed limits will be cut:

_ Two stretches of Highway 19 on Vancouver Island.

_ Sections of Highway 1 on Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley and into the north Okanagan.

_ A portion of Highway 3 outside Princeton.

_ Highway 7 from Agassiz to Hope.

_ Highway 99, the Sea-to-Sky Highway, from Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton.

_ Portions of highways 97A and 97C through the southern Interior.

BCSC alleges $47 million investment fraud by insurance group’s top officers

The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) has issued a notice of hearing alleging that three leaders of a once fast-growing insurance group committed fraud by getting hundreds of people to purchase unsecured loan agreements.

The BCSC alleges that Aik Guan “Frankie” Lim and Scott Thomas Low, the directors and founders of FS Financial Strategies Inc. and related companies in the FS insurance group, dishonestly raised over $47 million between 2012 and 2017 by failing to disclose to investors that the company wasn’t profitable, its financial situation was deteriorating, and it survived by raising money from investors to cover its expenses.

The notice says that Darrell Wayne Wiebe, the company’s general manager, was aware of the FS insurance group’s true financial condition and contributed to the fraud by routinely advising Lim and Low how much the company needed to raise from investors to stay afloat.

The BCSC says investors were promised interest payments of 10 per cent to 12 per cent, payable monthly. Lim and Low “created an illusion of profitability” by opening new offices in rapid succession; donating money to charities; telling customers that they planned to take the insurance group public; and hosting parties for clients and staff at expensive hotels.

The notice of hearing names six additional people – Chun Ying “Jim” PanChung-Sheng “Johnson” KaoGeorge LayGagan Deep BachraChi Kay “Dixon” Wong and Meng Cher “Philip” Tsai who were appointed by Lim and Low as directors of related companies in the FS insurance group that also sold the unsecured loans. The related companies are alleged to have sold securities without a prospectus and without being registered to do so.

The BCSC alleges that Lim and Low, in addition to committing fraud, selling securities without a prospectus and selling securities without being registered, also violated the B.C. Securities Act by continuing to trade and sell securities after making a legal promise to the BCSC’s executive director, in 2014, that they would stop.

A hearing on the matter will be held Dec. 4, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., which all of the individuals named in the notice, or their counsel, have been invited to attend.

The notice of hearing can be viewed on the BCSC’s website,, by typing the names of any of the respondents or 2018 BCSECCOM 330 in the search box. Information about disciplinary proceedings can be found in the Enforcement section of the BCSC website.

Please visit the Canadian Securities Administrators’ (CSA) Disciplined List for information relating to persons and companies disciplined by provincial securities regulators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada(IIROC) and the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA).

About the British Columbia Securities Commission (

The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:

  • A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
  • A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital

Learn how to protect yourself and become a more informed investor at

SOURCE British Columbia Securities Commission

BC Lawsuit For Alberta Car Crash Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction

Reasons for judgment were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Victoria Registry, dismissing a BC lawsuit on grounds that it had no jurisdiction over an Alberta based collision claim.

In today’s case (Brooks v. Leithoff) the Plaintiff was involved in a total of 5 collisions.  Four of the five occured in BC.  The third occured in Alberta.  The Plaintiff sued the Alberta motorist in BC alleging the crashes all gave rise to a single indivisible injury.

The Defendant sought to have the claim dismissed on the basis that there was no connection to BC to the crash.  The Court agreed with the Defendant and dismissed the lawsuit.  In doing so and finding the claim should have been filed in Alberta Madam Justice Power provided the following reasons:

[49]         When I consider the plaintiff’s arguments, I am not persuaded that the facts that the plaintiff points to are sufficient to displace what I view to be the clear weight of case law in British Columbia:  neither the plaintiff’s residency in British Columbia, nor the fact of indivisible injuries, nor the fact that the plaintiff is suffering ongoing damages in British Columbia, are, by themselves, sufficient to establish a clear and substantial connection to British Columbia.  When these three elements are combined, do these elements together then prove sufficient to ground jurisdiction?  I cannot conclude that they do.

[50]         During the course of argument, the plaintiff fairly conceded that some of the plaintiff’s arguments related to forums conveniens, which is not something I should take into account at this stage.  The plaintiff may have to mount two separate trials on substantially the same evidence as a result of this ruling, but again, that is not a factor I should take into when determining whether jurisdiction has been established.

[51]         During arguments, counsel for the plaintiff also suggested that if I did not accept that there was jurisdiction under s. 3(e) of the CJPTA, I could nevertheless exercise my residual discretion under s. 6 of the Act to find that this Court has jurisdiction.

[52]         In my view, this argument must fail because the exercise of discretion under s. 6 requires that either a) there is no court outside British Columbia in which the plaintiff can commence the proceeding, or b) that the commencement of the proceeding in a court outside British Columbia cannot reasonably be required.  The fact that the plaintiff has already commenced an action in Alberta leads me to conclude that it is open to the plaintiff to continue litigation of this matter in that jurisdiction.

[53]         During the arguments before me, counsel for the plaintiff also pointed to concerns relating to fairness, and the practical difficulties that Ms. Brooks would face in bringing two separate but essentially identical claims in two separate jurisdictions.  While I appreciate these practical difficulties, there are times when appeals to fairness in the law must yield to the demands for clarity and order in the law.  The words of Mr. Justice La Forest in Tolofson v. Jensen, [1994] 3 S.C.R. 1022 at 1058, although made in a somewhat different context, are nevertheless applicable here:

While, no doubt … the underlying principles of private international law are order and fairness, order comes first.  Order is a precondition to justice.

[54]         Overall, it is my view that the weight of the case law clearly establishes that the facts here are not sufficient to establish a real and substantial connection to British Columbia.

[55]         In the result, the defendant’s application to strike and dismiss the plaintiff’s claim for want of jurisdiction in British Columbia is granted.


Falvey Cargo Underwriting Enters Cannabis Insurance Market in Canada With Greatest Capacity

Recreational Cannabis is officially legal in Canada and Falvey Cargo Underwriting is proud to announce its newest product offering of a customized, fully tailored solution of Stock and Transportation Insurance for the Canadian Cannabis industry.

Isabelle Therrien, Vice President of Falvey Cargo Underwriting, is the designated Underwriter for this new offering. Therrien commented, “At Falvey Cargo Underwriting, we pride ourselves in offering a quality insurance product. Because of our expertise in the Life Science and Pharmaceutical field, the Cannabis industry is a natural fit for us. We feel we can bring our supply chain expertise to the table and work closely with the clients to ensure safe movement of the product.”

Mike Falvey, President and CEO of Falvey Insurance Group adds, “We’re excited to apply our specialization of Life Science, Pharmaceutical, and Government-Regulated Drugs to enter this new market.” Falvey Cargo Underwriting is a division of Falvey Insurance Group, founded by Falvey.

With greater capacity than any other local market, recognition as the industry’s go-to solution for Life Science products, and a proven track record of Underwriting and Claims, Falvey Cargo is prepared and excited to take the lead on underwriting transportation and stock insurance for the Cannabis industry in Canada.

About Falvey Cargo Underwriting

Falvey Cargo underwrites marine cargo coverage in three cargo industry segments: General Cargo, Life Sciences, and Technology. Founded in 1995, Falvey Cargo Underwriting has evolved into the largest cargo covernote holder at Lloyd’s of London, offering the highest capacity in the marine cargo market. Falvey Cargo has over 150 years of combined marine cargo underwriting experience, global reach with local expertise servicing clients around the world from offices in Rhode IslandCaliforniaWashingtonToronto, and London, and dedicated loss prevention, claims processing, and recovery services in-house.

About Falvey Insurance Group

Falvey Insurance Group began as a single division, Falvey Cargo Underwriting, opening its first office in 1995 in Wakefield, RI. After 20+ years, the company has evolved into Falvey Insurance Group, comprised of three divisions: Falvey Cargo Underwriting, Falvey Shippers Insurance and Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance becoming, “The Specialized Insurance Experts” in maritime coverage. Falvey underwrites on behalf of Lloyd’s of London, C.V. Starr, Berkshire Hathaway and Argonaut Insurance Company. The flexibility, proactive customer service, claims processing excellence, and comprehensive knowledge that Falvey companies are known for is unparalleled in the insurance industry.

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