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.

www.falveycargounderwriting.com

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.

www.falveyinsurancegroup.com

Hub International Acquires Ontario-Based Proteus Performance Management Inc.

 Hub International Limited (Hub), a leading global insurance brokerage, announced today that it has acquired Proteus Performance Management Inc. (Proteus). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Proteus provides specialized pension plan governance and investment consulting to corporate plan sponsors, not-for-profit organizations, trusteed plans, public plans, foundations and endowments. Proteus has ranked in the top decile for overall quality of investment consulting services in the 2017 Greenwich Associates Survey for U.S. and Canadian Institutional Investors Research.

“Proteus is considered among the leaders in the field of governance and investment consulting, and prides itself in providing trusted advice to clients,” said Gregory Belton, Executive Chairman of Hub Ontario. “They have a talented team whose experience will bring a unique perspective and substantially strengthen our Canadian pension consulting capabilities.”

The move further demonstrates Hub’s ongoing Canadian employee benefits and pension consulting growth strategy to assemble best-in-class capabilities and entrepreneurial talent across Canada to develop a complete employee benefits and pension solution.

Peter Henry, President of Proteus, and Senior Vice Presidents Gord Lewis and Ryan Kuruliak, will join Hub Ontario and report to Mr. Belton.

“This is an exciting and significant move for Proteus,” said Mr. Henry. “Proteus can continue to focus on our core mission – providing award winning pension plan governance and investment consulting services to our clients, but now with the added benefit of Hub’s leading corporate reputation, presence across the country and similar entrepreneurial culture. Our partnership with Hub will further strengthen the quality of service we provide our clients and the confidence our clients have with our firm.”

About Hub’s M&A Activities
Hub International Limited is committed to growing organically and through acquisitions to expand its geographic footprint and strengthen industry and product expertise.  For more information on the Hub M&A experience, visit WeAreHub.com.

About Hub International
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Hub International Limited is a leading full-service global insurance broker providing property and casualty, life and health, employee benefits, investment and risk management products and services. With more than 11,000 employees in offices located throughout North America, Hub’s vast network of specialists provides peace of mind on what matters most by protecting clients through unrelenting advocacy and tailored insurance solutions. For more information, please visit www.hubinternational.com.

SOURCE Hub International Limited

B.C. allows gender X on ID for people don’t identify as male or female

VICTORIA _ People who consider themselves neither male nor female now have the right to use an X to designate their gender on British Columbia-issued identification including a driver’s licence, birth certificate, identity card and BC Services card.

The ministries of Health, Attorney General and Citizens Services say they have worked together on changes to government documents as a way to respect issues of gender identity.

Attorney General David Eby says in a news release a lack of an alternative for people who do not identify with the male or female designation has resulted in cases that were being considered at the Human Rights Tribunal.

Gwen Haworth, a member of the trans community and project manager for Trans Care BC, says in a statement having identification documents that reflect who they are positively affects access to services, such as education, employment and housing.

People born in B.C. can change their gender designation on an identity document by submitting a Change of Gender Designation application, along with a copy of their doctor’s or psychologist’s confirmation form, to the Vital Statistics Agency.

Those who were born outside of B.C. but are now residents of the province can submit a BC Services Card Change of Gender Designation application, with a copy of a doctor or psychologist’s confirmation form, to Health Insurance B.C.

Accident victims pursue $600 million in lawsuits

Written By Aidan Macnab | Law Times

Six Ontario automobile insurers have been named in a series of class-action lawsuits by accident victims who are seeking millions in benefits they say they were denied because the insurer improperly subtracted the harmonized sales tax from their benefits packages.

Lawyers for the class members are seeking an injunction to have the insurance companies cease subtracting the HST from payable benefits. They are also asking the court for a damages assessment to have the insurance companies pay back to injured claimants the HST they charged them since 2010, when the tax was introduced. They are asking for punitive damages as well.

Six insurers are named in the suit: Aviva Insurance Company of CanadaIntact Insurance CompanyCertas Home and Automobile Insurance Company, Belair Insurance Company Inc.Allstate Insurance Company of Canada and Unifund Assurance Company.

The claim also accuses the Financial Services Commission of Ontario of turning a blind eye to the practice of the insurers after they were notified that their policies regarding the HST were not being followed properly.

Acting for the insurance claimants is Paul Harte of Harte Law PC, Kevin Kemp of Kemp Law PC in Alliston, Ont. and Jay Ralston of Murray Ralston PC in Barrie, Ont.

Harte says that, aside from the class-action lawsuits, the issue will require a response from the provincial government. He says it is a widespread industry practice and they are still investigating in order to add insurers to their list.

“You cannot sell auto insurance in this province without a licence from FSCO,” Harte says. “So, if the government wanted to stop this practice, they could stop it immediately by directing FSCO to take disciplinary action against the insurance companies that continue this practice and ultimately threaten their licence to sell insurance.”

NDP member Gurratan Singh has expressed interest in the issue, says Harte, but he has not heard anything from the Liberals or Progressive Conservative Party.

“We certainly hope that the new government has a lot more concern for the little guy — the small individual that’s injured in these accidents, because there are over 60,000 a year in the province that are injured,” says Ralston. The six claimants have claimed “general, special and aggravated damages” of $100 million each, for “personal injury costs and economic loss,” which would total $600 million.

According to an email from Teri Lehmann of Intact Insurance Company, which was part of a media brief provided by lawyers for the class action claimants, Intact modified its system so that HST no longer comes out of its customers’ benefits.

Ralston says Belair has also reimbursed some of its customers who were charged the HST.

In 2016, on behalf of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, then-president Adam Wagman wrote to CEO and superintendent of the FSCO, Brian Mills, to alert him of the practice by insurers regarding the HST.

Ronald Bohm, president of the OTLA, says that prior to that, members raised the issue within the OTLA.

“While individually they were often small amounts, it seemed like it was wrong and it ought not to have been taking place,” he says. “So, once we looked into it a little bit, [we] realized that the concerns were well founded.”

Bohm says the FSCO told the OTLA it was aware insurers had been misapplying the HST, that it had contacted them and those insurers had ensured the regulator they would not subtract the HST from benefits in the future.

In two 2017 decisions from the Ontario Licence Appeal Tribunal, Aviva was forced to pay the HST for injury claimants. In another Licence Appeal Tribunal decision between an injured claimant and the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund, adjudicator Ian Maedel wrote, “It has long been FSCO’s policy that H.S.T. is payable in addition to any rehabilitation benefit.”

Responding to a request for comment, Aviva said via email that it is seeking clarification from the government on how the tax is applied to its customers.

“In fact, this is part of our commitment to continually explore ways to reduce or eliminate complexity for them and to increase trust in the insurance industry overall. We exist to help our customers in their time of need,” says Aviva Canada spokesman Fabrice de Dongo.

As the issue is before the courts, it is inappropriate to comment on the details, says de Dongo. In an emailed statement, Sarah Kennedy, director of corporate communications for Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada, which controls Unifund Assurance company, said, “As this matter is before the court, we cannot provide comment.”

Certas Home and Automobile Insurance Company is controlled by Desjardins. Its spokesman,  John Bordignon, said via email that the company was “unable to comment further.” Intact Insurance Company, Belair Insurance Company Inc. and Allstate Insurance Company of Canada could not immediately provide comment.

Malon Edwards, senior communications officer for the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, said via email, “FSCO is aware of the statements of claim involving FSCO. As the matter is before the courts, FSCO is unable to comment further.”

6 out of 10 young Canadians admit to texting while walking

Most Canadians will be enjoying an extra hour of sleep this weekend as clocks ‘fall back’ to daylight standard time. However, the extra morning light means dusk comes sooner making the afternoon drive riskier for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Time-changes are known as a dangerous period for pedestrian and cycling injuries and fatalities. In autumn, it becomes riskier for pedestrians and cyclists to travel between 4:30 and 7 p.m. as they and drivers adjust to lower light visibility. A Carnegie Mellon University study found pedestrians were three times more likely to be killed in traffic collisions after the fall switch.

Desjardins Insurance promotes education and awareness to help keep road users of all ages safe, including the most vulnerable: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. According to the latest national survey from Desjardins Insurance, almost two thirds of Canadians say that pedestrians, cyclists and motorists all have a roll to play to ensure safety on our roads.

Distracted Walking

3 out of 10 respondents admitted to texting while walking near a public road, which is cause for concern, but for Canadians aged between 16 and 24 that number jumps to 6 out of 10 (61%). For jaywalking, 47% of 16-24-year-olds reported doing so compared to the average of all age groups at 38%, and when it comes to wearing headphones and listening to music near a public street, 57% of 16-24-year-olds admitted to doing so compared to the average of 26%.

Responsibility

When asked ‘Who is responsible for pedestrian and cyclist safety on the road?’, a majority (64%) believe it is the responsibility of all parties (cyclists, pedestrians and drivers) to ensure they are obeying traffic laws, being courteous to others and not walking or driving while distracted.

Respondents also stated that municipal governments have a responsibility in ensuring road safety (56%) with 72% indicating that city planning, and updated infrastructure play an essential role in keeping pedestrians and cyclists safer.

Vision Zero

Since 2008, Desjardins has partnered with Parachute (www.parachutecanada.org) to bring more awareness to transport-related incidents, one of the leading causes of injury and death in Canada. Each year 2000 Canadians are killed and 165,000 are injured using our roads. Parachute is committed to reducing these incidents to zero by adopting the strategies of Vision Zero. (www.parachutevisionzero.ca).

Additional Resources

Desjardins Insurance sponsored the following fact sheet compiled by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (www.tirf.ca) which examines the degree of fatalities among young vulnerable road users in Canada from 2000 to 2010 – http://tirf.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Young-Vulnerable-Road-Users-5.pdf

Infographic

About the Survey

The online survey, conducted in March 2018, polled 3,020 respondents of driving age across Canada.

Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of $290.1 billion. It has been rated one of the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Counted among the world’s strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.

Parachute
Parachute is Canada’s national charity dedicated to reducing the devastating impact of preventable injuries. Injury is the No. 1 killer of Canadians ages 1 to 44, where one child (0-19 years) dies every nine hours. The financial toll is staggering, with injury costing the Canadian economy $27 billion a year. Through education and advocacy, Parachute works to save lives and create a Canada free of serious injuries. For more information, visit us at parachutecanada.org and follow us on Twitter Facebook Instagram and LinkedIn.

SOURCE Desjardins Group

Proposed class actions allege Ontario insurers broke payment rules

By Shawn Jeffords

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ A series of proposed class-action lawsuits launched against major insurance companies in Ontario claim the firms have been shortchanging auto-accident victims for years by breaking rules that govern payouts.

Statements of claimed filed in the suits allege the companies did not pay or reimburse HST on benefits in some cases and included HST in the calculation of benefit entitlements in others  all in violation of rules set up in 2010 when the tax combining the federal goods and services tax and the regional sales tax was introduced.

“The insurers shortchanged thousands of auto-accident victims, reducing care benefits to injured individuals to boost already record profitability,” lawyer Paul Harte, who is part of the team that filed the legal action, said Thursday.

Insurance companies Aviva, Intact, Belair, Allstate, Unifund and Certas are named in the suits, which contain allegations that have not been proven in court.

The legal action also alleges Ontario’s insurance regulator _ the Financial Services Commission of Ontario _ has known about the HST issue for years but has failed to take action against it.

“They’re responsible for protecting the public and policing the industry,” Harte said. “The claim alleges that FSCO turned a blind eye to unfair industry practices even when they knew that members of the insurance industry were wrongfully denying the public benefits.”

According to the lawsuits, the insurance regulator directed insurance companies to pay applicable HST in addition to the costs of goods and services provided under accident benefit agreements, and told them not to include applicable HST within calculation of caps on benefits.

The lawsuits seek a combined $600 million in compensation and an injunction to prevent further alleged breaking of the rules around payments of the HST.

Harte said 60,000 injuries occur every year in Ontario as a result of vehicle accidents. And while six companies are named in the series of lawsuits, the alleged issue could be more widespread, he added.

Jill Nicholson, a 34-year-old Ottawa resident who works in law enforcement and is a plaintiff in the legal action, said she was involved in a serious accident while riding her motorcycle home from work in June 2012.

Over the past six years she has had six surgeries and exhausted the benefits available to her through her insurance, she claimed. Her lawyers alleged her insurer had not paid the HST on her benefits as they should have and deprived her of needed money for treatment she still requires.

“As I’ve run through all my benefits to this point, I no longer see a psychologist and I only see a massage therapist minimally so that I can afford to continue going,” she said. “However, I suffer from chronic pain so every day that I don’t get therapy is just more pain added to me for the next day.”

A spokesman for Aviva said the company has sought to clarify rules around HST with the government.

“This is part of our commitment to continually explore ways to reduce or eliminate complexity (for customers), and to increase trust in the insurance industry overall,” Fabrice de Dongo said in a statement.

Certas and Unifund said they couldn’t comment on the legal action as it was before the courts while the three other companies named in the suits did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A spokesman for the Financial Services Commission of Ontario said the agency was aware of the lawsuits but couldn’t comment on them as they were before the courts. Finance Minister Vic Fedeli, whose ministry oversees the agency, also declined to comment.

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