In 2016, about 1.5 million metric tonnes of industrial, auto and vehicle parts moved through the Port of Vancouver.

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Apollo Insurance Solutions Recruits Insurance Industry Veteran Victor Lange

Vancouver, BC, July 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Victor Lange has officially joined Apollo Insurance Solutions Ltd. (“Apollo”) as Chief Operating Officer, bringing with him over 20 years of industry experience to the nascent insurtech industry. Lange has worked with Canada’s largest insurance company, Intact Insurance, and as COO of one of western Canada’s largest privately held commercial insurance brokerages, Wilson M. Beck. The significant executive move further signals a shift in the focus of insurance experts, away from organizations who foster traditional lengthy insurance processes and toward forward-thinking organizations who are focused on providing fast, convenient digital solutions of the future.

“Victor is a powerhouse in the insurance industry, and his leadership and insight will be extremely valuable in keeping Apollo at the forefront of the digital insurance space race,” says Apollo Co-Founder and CEO, Jeff McCann. “This appointment is where global insurance experience meets a nimble insurtech startup. Victor’s track record of leading high performing teams will be critical not only to our continued growth, but to our team’s ability to dial in Apollo’s sophisticated operations and accelerate our impact on this new, digital frontier.”

Victor will be joining Apollo at its Vancouver head office where he will oversee all company operations and work in lockstep with Co-Founder and CEO, Jeff McCann, as the company continues to rapidly onboard insurance brokers and successfully roll out new insurance products from multiple insurance carriers onto the Apollo Exchange.

“I’m excited to step into this role to take Apollo’s progress to the next level,” says Lange. “I identify strongly with Apollo’s entrepreneurial spirit and believe in Apollo’s vision to revolutionize this industry. This is a challenge we intend to win.” In addition to Intact Insurance and Wilson M. Beck, Lange’s resume also includes over a decade of senior management experience with international firms such as Zurich, AXA, and JLT.

Apollo Insurance is Canada’s largest online insurance marketplace. Apollo empowers the broker channel with its proprietary Exchange platform that enables brokers to instantly quote, bind, and issue policy documents for hundreds of classes of small business. Brokers using the Apollo Exchange platform are able to respond to the changing expectations of buyers and young employees.

About Apollo Insurance Solutions

Headquartered in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood, Apollo Insurance Solutions is Canada’s largest online insurance marketplace. Co-founded by Jeff McCann, David Dyck, Justin Hamade, and Drew Green, Apollo was created to empower brokers to better serve small businesses by giving them 24/7 access to digital insurance.

Apollo Exchange offers Canada’s brokers access to multiple insurance providers, with over 500 classes of insurance. Unlike the traditionally lengthy insurance policy and application process – which can take up to six weeks – Apollo users can quote, pay, and have their policy documents issued online in just under five minutes, allowing them to focus on the important stuff: building trusted relationships and offering strategic, thoughtful counsel.

Following the completion of its Beta testing in April 2019, Apollo successfully closed its angel round of funding, raising $1 million CAD with the support of notable investors, including Drew Green, Matias Marquez, Kim Kaplan, and Caliber Ventures. Acting members of Apollo’s Board of Directors are leading industry and entrepreneurial figures Drew Green, Steve Albiani, Tim Gamble, and Jeff McCann. In June 2019, the company launched a first of its kind, digital, monthly subscription service. For more information, visit: http://story.apollocover.com

Online Distribution Of Insurance: A New Framework For Québec

Article by Catherine Jenner, Stuart Carruthers, Fabian Firas Bargout and Andrew S. Cunningham

On June 13, 2019, the main provisions of the new Québec Insurers Act and amendments to the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services (“Financial Products Act”) came into force. Among other things, these provisions set out the regulatory requirements for insurers and insurance intermediaries selling insurance online in Québec (online insurance has been sold in Québec for many years, but without formal regulation).1

The finalized Regulation respecting Alternative Distribution Methods (“Online Insurance Regulation”) sets out details of the new obligations on insurers and insurance intermediaries. The draft regulation (“Draft Regulation”) that was published in 2018 has undergone a number of changes in response to industry comments.

Insurers and insurance intermediaries have until June 2020 to comply with certain of their new obligations as set out below.

Framework for the Sale of Online Insurance

The Online Insurance Regulation regulates:

  • online offers of insurance by intermediaries and insurers registered as a firm under the Financial Products Act (intermediaries and such registered insurers, collectively, “Firms”) without the intermediary of a natural person; and
  • offers of insurance through a distributor.

The finalized regulation (taken together with the AMF’s commentary on it) excludes non-transactional websites, such as most websites that facilitate comparison shopping, unless, in consideration of a commission or any other remuneration, such websites redirect users to a Firm’s website to conclude an insurance policy. [s. 2; Financial Products Act, s. 71, para. 3] This exception was absent from the Draft Regulation.

Disclosures to the AMF

Initially, Firms must disclose certain information about their website and the products offered on it to Québec’s insurance regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”). [s. 4] Firms are also required to make annual disclosures with respect to the:

  • Amount of premium written;
  • Number of policies issued;
  • Number of financial plans prepared;
  • Number of claims settled; and
  • How often clients cancelled their policies within the 10-day period provided for by s. 64 of the Insurers Act. [s. 5]

Disclosures to clients

The final Online Insurance Regulation makes several changes to a Firm’s disclosure obligations, including:

  • Firms are required to ensure that the means to interact with one of its representatives (e.g., a chatbox) is visible at all times [s. 8, para. 1]; and
  • Firms are required to inform the client about his/her right of rescission or cancellation and the procedures for exercising it after the conclusion of the contract, not before. [s. 12, paras 1(3), 2]

Website

The Online Insurance Regulation also contains provisions relating to the design, operation and monitoring of Firms’ websites. The Regulation makes the following notable changes:

  • The scope of a Firm’s confidentiality and security obligations is broadened with respect to the storage of clients’ information as well as its collection, use, and delivery; [s. 13, para. 3]
  • Firms are required to interrupt offers of insurance of persons that are likely replacing other contracts where the replacement cannot proceed through the website in accordance with s. 22 of the Regulation respecting the pursuit of activities as a representative; and [s. 14, para. 2]
  • Firms are required to suspend proposals for insurance of persons where no representative can immediately interact with a client who has asked to interact with a representative and where there is a risk that the client, despite the information that the Firm sent to him or her, is unable to make an informed decision. [s. 14, para. 3]

Related advertising permitted

In a significant change from the Draft Regulation, the finalized Online Insurance Regulation does not prohibit advertising when the client is in the process of completing his application, unless it is “unrelated to the product or service”. While the AMF had previously argued for an outright prohibition, the government appears to have accepted industry submissions that related advertising could provide valuable information to a customer. [s. 18(1)]

Offers Through a Distributor

With respect to the distribution method of offering insurance, the Online Insurance Regulation modifies the obligations of both insurers and distributors.

Medical/lifestyle information

With respect to the collection by distributors of a client’s medical or lifestyle-related personal information, the finalized Online Insurance Regulation requires the distributor to deliver a notice of specific consent to the client, but only if the distributor wishes to use the information for purposes other than those for which it was collected. [s. 25] The Draft Regulation included a broader notice requirement.

Disclosure to the AMF

Insurers must disclose to the AMF information that is similar to what must be disclosed in the case of online insurance (see above):

  • Amount of premium written;
  • Number of insurance policies and certificates issued;
  • Number of claims and amount of indemnities paid;
  • Number of rescissions and cancellations; and
  • Remuneration paid to distributors and third parties. [s. 21]

If an insurer removes a distributor from its distributors’ list, it must inform the AMF of the reason. [s. 20, para. 3] One other change from the Draft Regulation is that insurers will be given 30 days to disclose any changes in their initial disclosure. [s. 20, para. 2]

Disclosure to clients

The Online Insurance Regulation requires insurers to require distributors to deliver a product summary at the time they offer the product to clients, together with a fact sheet in a form prescribed by the Online Insurance Regulation. The fact sheet is a document prepared by the AMF that lists relevant consumer rights, whereas the summary is a concise document that is prepared by the insurer to explain its product, both broadly and through such specific information as the product coverage, exclusions, and limitations. [ss. 22, 28–29, Sched. 2] A summary and a specimen of an insurance product policy should be available on the insurer’s website if the product is offered by distributors. [s. 32]

Monitoring

As part of insurers’ obligation to supervise and monitor their distributors’ offering of products, insurers are required to adopt and implement procedures to supervise and train distributors and their representatives [s. 33]. These procedures may be helpful because insurers are liable for any acts of distributors or their representatives in connection with underwriting an insurance policy or enrolling a participant [Insurers Act s. 65].

Prohibitions

Finally, the Online Insurance Regulation establishes several prohibitions relating to how insurers pay distributors, including a prohibition on profit-sharing and bonuses. [s. 35(2)]

Next Steps: Effective Date and Transitional Provisions

The Online Insurance Regulation came into force on June 13, 2019, with the exception of certain provisions that will not take effect until June 13, 2020. These include the requirements:

  • to make readily accessible on their websites a specimen of the policy for each offered product and any available endorsement, if applicable;
  • to adopt and implement a procedure regarding the design, use, and maintenance of their websites and regarding the management and mitigation of risks; and
  • to adopt and implement procedures to supervise and train distributors and their representatives.

In addition, until June 13, 2020, the insurer’s new obligation to deliver a summary and a fact sheet to distributors is deemed to be satisfied by delivering to clients a distribution guide that was provided to the AMF before June 13, 2019 in accordance with the requirement that existed prior to the coming into force of the new regime.

Footnotes

1. The amendments also set out rules for offering financial planning and claims adjustment services online which will not be summarized here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Source: Mondaq

Ottawa criticizes Ontario for eliminating out-of-country health insurance

TORONTO — Eliminating out-of-country health insurance could jeopardize access to necessary medical care and become a hardship for some travellers, the federal health minister warned Wednesday in a letter to her Ontario counterpart.

Ginette Petitpas Taylor said the move announced by Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government will hurt people who travel regularly to the United States.

“If all publicly financed reimbursement of out-of-country physician and hospital services is eliminated, private health insurance premiums for travellers will inevitably rise for all Ontario residents,” Petitpas Taylor said in her letter to Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott. “Even modest increases could pose a hardship for some individuals.”

The program currently covers out-of-country in-patient services up to $400 per day for a higher level of care, such as intensive care, as well as up to $50 per day for emergency outpatient and doctor services.

In May, Elliott announced the decision to scrap the program following a six-day public consultation, saying it is very costly and does not provide value to taxpayers.

The change is expected to come into effect Oct. 1.

A spokesperson for Elliott confirmed Wednesday that the government intends to wind down the program and strongly encourages people to purchase travel health insurance.

“The program’s coverage is very limited with only five cents of every dollar claimed,” Travis Kann said in a statement. “With this limited coverage and low reimbursement rate, OHIP-eligible Ontarians who do not purchase private travel health insurance can be left with catastrophically large bills to pay.”

Elliott has said the province spends $2.8 million to administer approximately $9 million in claim payments through the program every year.

On Wednesday, Petitpas Taylor stressed that if Ontario moves ahead with its plan, it will be the first jurisdiction in the country to provide no coverage for emergency hospital and physician services received out of country.

The minister said this would be “inconsistent” with the Canada Health Act, which stipulates that all Canadians are entitled to continuing coverage of their provincial health plans when they are temporarily absent from home.

“Ontario’s approach will mean that Ontario residents will have to cover the costs of care out of pocket, should they require medical attention while travelling,” she said.

Opposition politicians have said ending the program will hurt frequent travellers. In April, NDP health critic France Gelinas wrote Petitpas Taylor and asked her to intervene and stop Ontario from eliminating the coverage.

“I am urging you to follow through on the prime minister’s commitment … where he affirmed the federal government’s responsibility to ensure provinces follow the requirements of the Canada Health Act,” she said.

The Canadian Snowbird Association has urged the government not to make the move and said it would not only impact seniors who travel south during the winter months, but also cross-border shoppers and anyone planning a family vacation.

In her 2018 report, auditor general Bonnie Lysyk said the Ministry of Health processed an average of 88,000 out-of-country claims per year over a five-year period and paid an average of $127 per claim.

Lysyk also noted the high administrative costs of the program, but said they arise because staff must check varying physician services fee rates and process claims manually. She recommended that the government seek ways to reduce administrative costs by adopting a single reimbursement rate for all health services obtained out-of-country.

She also recommended the government bolster efforts to inform Ontarians of the limit on reimbursement rates under the program and on the need to purchase private health insurance before travelling.

 

Judge rules employees can speak to media about human rights abuses; Allstate says it might appeal ruling

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Are you unsure of what your insurance covers in Brampton? If you are, you’re not alone!

According to a national survey conducted by Belairdirect, nearly a quarter of Canadians have not read their home (23%) or car (25%) insurance policies.

Despite this, the main worries that keep them up at night about insurance are what their policies cover and how much they cost.

Three-in-ten Canadians told Belairdirect that understanding their insurance is like a daily commute; tedious, but necessary.

Another 16% feel it’s like watching a boring movie, you want to turn it off, but you want to know how it ends.

“Canadians are becoming savvier when it comes to an understanding of their insurance policies, but we know that they still have questions. Insurance is complex, and we are committed to simplifying that experience to help educate consumers,” said Anne Fortin, the Senior Vice President, of Direct Distribution and Chief Marketing Officer. “Having proper coverage is key to protecting the things that you care about, and our goal is to ensure Canadians understand what they need for home and auto insurance.”

The survey also revealed some other interesting facts, such as:

  • 31% of Canadians with home insurance never take inventory of their property.
  • Nearly one-in-ten Canadians wonder if they are covered by animal damage – either by rodents to their home (8%) or large animals, like a moose, to their car (10%).
  • Four-in-ten Canadians with home insurance believe their policies automatically protect all of their valuables, while only 36% think they’re covered for a sewer back-up.
  • 39% of Canadians think they are covered for their golf bag if it’s in their car when stolen,  and 38% think they are covered if a drone crashes into their car windshield.

Most home or tenant insurance policies cover the most important items people care about. The only exceptions may be for specific items, such as jewellery, bicycles, collections, boats, or money, which vary by policy.

Personal belongings are worth more than you may think. It is recommended to create a complete inventory of your possessions and share it with your insurance provider. The agent can help tell you if you own the coverage that fits your needs, including adding special protections as necessary.

Nearly all Canadians with car insurance (98%) know at least one thing that affects their insurance premiums. The most common include:

  • Driving records (87%)
  • History of claims (85%)
  • Driving experience (77%)
  • How often you drive
  • Location and the risk of theft

Only 47% of Canadians with car insurance believe if someone borrows their car, they are covered by their insurance.

In reality, when you lend your car, you share your insurance as well.

Lots of people with a home or car insurance plan understand its importance, but many (52% and 48% respectively) find it challenging to understand their policy.

The best advice for anyone who doesn’t understand their policy is to speak to their insurance providers.

They may also visit a client centre online to review their policies.

Do you know what your insurance policies cover in Brampton?

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