Arthur J. Gallagher Expands in Canada With Keyser Benefits Corp.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. AJG has acquired Keyser Benefits Corp. that will not only improve its employee benefits consulting and brokerage operations, but also strengthen its Canadian footprint. However, financial details of the transaction have been kept under wraps.

Over the past 45 years, Calgary, Alberta-based Keyser Benefits has been operating as a full-service benefits brokerage firm, providing life, disability, health and dental, critical illness, retirement and other services. The company caters to small to mid-sized businesses and individuals throughout Western Canada. The primary objective is to offer benefits that will enable the respective client businesses to enhance performance, develop loyalty and provide a better incentive to quality employees to join and stay on with the businesses. Post completion of the buyout, Keyser Benefits will be shifting to the acquirer’s benefits office in Calgary.

With this acquisition, Arthur J. Gallagher is likely to gain from Keyser Benefits’ client-focused, family-oriented and ethically strong business model. Apart from boosting the insurance broker’s employee benefits consulting and brokerage operations, the buyout is expected to expand its growing global team. Moreover, the accretion of Keyser Benefits’ operations will complement and fortify the acquirer’s already existing geographic footprint.

With respect to strengthening the Canadian footprint, Arthur J. Gallagher acquired broker Jones Brown Inc. and its subsidiaries on Jan 8, 2019. The buyout is likely to bring in substantial value addition to its business and clients across Canada.

Given the insurance industry’s all-time high capital level, insurers are aggressively pursuing mergers and acquisitions to ramp up growth, expand geographies, enhance capabilities and diversify operations. Moreover, its inorganic pipeline remains robust with about $130 million of annualized revenues in 2019. The company flaunts an impressive growth profile, driven by organic sales plus a slew of merger and acquisition (M&A) activities. It remains upbeat about its ability to tow in integration partners within its typical small tuck-in size at justifiable prices.

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE:AJG), a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm, is headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. The company has operations in 35 countries and offers client service capabilities in more than 150 countries around the world through a network of correspondent brokers and consultants.

 

Honda To Recall Almost 84,000 Vehicles In Canada With Dangerous Airbags

Tom Krisher | Associated Press via CP

DETROIT — Honda is likely to recall around 1 million older vehicles in the U.S. and Canada because the Takata driver’s air bag inflators that were installed during previous recalls could be dangerous.

Documents posted Monday by Canadian safety regulators show that Honda is recalling many of its most popular models for a second time. The models are from as far back as 2001 and as recent as 2010.

Canadian documents say about 84,000 vehicles are involved. That number is usually over 10 times higher in the United States.

Affected models include the Honda Accord from 2001 through 2007, the CR-V from 2002 through 2006, the Civic from 2001 through 2005, the Element from 2003 through 2010, the Odyssey from 2002 through 2004, the Pilot from 2003 through 2008 and the Ridgeline from 2006. Also covered are Acura luxury models including the MDX from 2003 through 2006, the EL from 2001 through 2005, the TL from 2002 and 2003 and the CL from 2003.

Transport Canada, the country’s transportation safety agency, said vehicles covered include those that were under previous recalls and others that had air bags replaced after collisions.

Takata used the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the air bags. But the chemical can deteriorate over time due to high humidity and cycles from hot temperatures to cold. It can burn too fast and blow apart a metal canister, hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers.

At least 23 people have died from the problem worldwide and hundreds more were injured.

The recalls are part of the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history. As many as 70 million will be recalled.

Honda spokesman Chris Martin wouldn’t give details Monday evening, but said the company is communicating with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “and plans to issue a public statement tomorrow.” Messages were left after business hours Monday seeking comment from NHTSA.

Owners will be told to take their vehicles to dealers to have the inflators replaced.

 

Food delivery worker’s insurance policy cancelled after collision

CTV News Toronto 

A Burlington woman, who used her vehicle while working for a food delivery service, said she was shocked to realize that damage sustained in a crash would not be covered under her current insurance policy.

Tanya Maiato said that she signed up to work with Skip the Dishes in December to earn a little extra money. She said she would do a couple of delivery runs a week.

Maiato said she used her personal vehicle to deliver food. In February, she said someone crashed into her crash, resulting in about $8,400 in damage.

Everything went smoothly when she filed her insurance claim, Maiato said, and she was provided with a rental car while her vehicle was being repaired. But after they found out she was working for a food delivery service, the claim and her policy were both cancelled.

“I was honest and let them know that I was driving for Skip the Dishes at the time and they had asked me, did I inform my insurance company about this and I said no, I had no idea I had to.”

The company said that the standard auto insurance policy does not cover commercial or for-profit use of the vehicle.

Maiato said that when she joined Skip the Dishes, she was unaware she required extra insurance. But the company told CTV News Toronto that the information was in the driver’s contract.

“When a courier joins the Skip network, they do so as an independent contractor and they’re considered to be operating their own business,” a spokesperson said. “They must abide by all legal requirements. This may include additional insurance.”

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, owners should always check with their insurance company if they use the vehicle to earn income.

“The last thing anyone wants is to be involved in a crash and find out that they are not covered because they did not tell their insurer how they are using their vehicle or if that use has changed,” said Pete Karageorgos.

Maiato now has to pay for the damage to her vehicle herself and says she regrets signing up with the food delivery service.

“I’m incredibly upset,” she said. “It’s been a very stressful time.”

“Had I known about this, I would never have signed up in the first place.”

Legally growing pot in Canada could void your home insurance

Digital Journal | Excerpted article was written By KAREN GRAHAM

Vancouver – A recent court ruling in British Columbia, Canada that focused on the “material change” clause in homeowners insurance policies could have the potential to shed a spotlight on the incompatibility of such a position with new federal cannabis laws.

According to the Globe and Mail, The decision of Vancouver Supreme Court Justice Margot Fleming in February 2019 could very well have far-reaching effects for all homeowners in Canada who grow even a single marijuana plant inside their home.

Justice Fleming ruled in favor of Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company after hearing evidence from the insurance company’s underwriting expert, Liz Strocel, retained by Wawanesa, on the risks of growing cannabis. Based on her testimony, a cannabis grow operation on a homeowner’s property constitutes a “material change” sufficient enough to void the insurance policy.

Strocel testified the company “did not and does not insure any property with a marijuana grow operation, whether or not it is legal, because of the inherent risk. She identified the risk as including drywall being susceptible to mold from the humidity, fire (for a number of reasons), the risk of robbery or a break in, and additional liability issues. She also testified that Wawanesa would void a homeowner policy if it learned the insured had a grow operation and refund the premiums.”

Surprisingly, the underwriting expert also testified that she was “not aware of any general insurer in Canada that would take on the risk of any cannabis grow operation, or even the presence of a single marijuana plant.” This one line of testimony was emphasized in the judge’s ruling.

The Schellenberg case

The Schellenbergs had a fire in an outbuilding on their property in Chilliwack, British Columbia in 2014. The outbuilding was constructed in 2012, with Mr. Schellenberg notifying the insurance company he wanted the building added to his homeowner’s policy. He apparently failed to mention he also had a legal cannabis grow license and the building in question housed the operation.

The failure of the Schellenbergs to tell their insurance company the building contained 310 marijuana plants was used by Wawanesa to void the homeowner’s policy. Wawanesa claimed that the marijuana grow constituted a “material change”—a change to the property that would have led to either higher premiums or denial of coverage if it had been reported.

The insurance company’s decision to void the insurance policy led to the Schellenberg’s suing the company, claiming it did not have grounds to void the policy. With the court ruling in favor of the insurance company, it remains to be seen if we may hear of more court cases involving homeowner insurance claims.

It might be a good idea if homeowners growing marijuana on their property, even just one plant, check with their insurance companies – just to be sure of their coverage.

Cyber Insurance Course – New General CE

Cyber Insurance Course – New General CE

Cyber Insurance Course

3 General/Adjuster – Technical CE Credits

New Cyber Insurance Course now available to all ILScorp General CE and Adjuster CE Subscribers

During this online course we will begin by discussing recent changes made to the Personal Information Protection Electronic and Documents Act. This is a natural spring board when discussing cyber insurance with clients.  Next, we will briefly look at today’s cyber insurance market place to review common challenges.

Then we will roll up our sleeves and get into the actual coverage forms most common in our market.

Data Compromise Coverage, Computer Attack Coverage and Network Security Liability Coverage are the three major coverage form topics

Cyber insurance coverages are some of the newest innovations in the insurance industry.  As the criminal element becomes more proficient, the insurance industry has responded.  As with all new products, there will be challenges and changes forthcoming. This course looks at a few of the major issues facing us today.

Cyber losses are really just a new type of crime loss.  Some policies are beginning to include cyber losses within their wordings.  Many are just silent on the topic.  Because automation is playing a roll in many parts of business operations, insurers may be inadvertently providing coverage unintentionally.  Broad insuring agreements in both property and liability wordings may be the culprit.

To learn more about the new Cyber Insurance course click on the button below.

More Info

Cyber Insurance

Credit Hours: 3
Credit Type: General/Adjuster – Technical and RIBO – Technical
Credit #: AIC#50977;MB32089
Accrediting Provinces: BC, AB, SK, MB, ON

NS senior shocked by $25K air ambulance bill from Alberta

By Bruce Frisko | CTV Atlantic

A Nova Scotia retiree who needed medical attention during a trip to Alberta is upset after receiving a $25,000 air ambulance bill, which has since been lowered to $14,000.

Robert Carroll was visiting family last year when he became short of breath. He was flown from Grande Prairie to Edmonton, but his surgery was cancelled. He made a second trip later that week.

Carroll says he expressed concerns to a doctor about the possible air ambulance costs, but was assured the service was covered.

“The government pays for it, don’t worry about the cost,” Carroll says he was told. “That made me feel better.”

Four months later, the $25,000 bill from Alberta Health Services arrived. After family intervened, the provincial agency knocked about $9,000 off the total owing. But that’s still a lot to Carroll, who says it has caused him “terrible worry.”

“I thought it was all covered,” his wife, Pat Carroll, said. “And you know, something like that could affect your (credit) rating.”

A Nova Scotia government spokesperson said that ambulance services are not covered or subsidized when travelling out of province. “Residents who travel outside of Nova Scotia or outside Canada are encouraged to purchase travel health insurance,” Nova Scotia warns.

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association says that coverage differs from province to province, so people who travel outside their home provinces should make sure they have extended coverage through their employers or by purchasing it.

Carroll isn’t the first person to be surprised by a large ambulance bill while travelling. Last year, an Ontario woman received a $12,000 air ambulance bill after having a heart attack in Nova Scotia.

In 2015, an Alberta woman received a $30,000 bill after going into labour in northern Ontario. The case caused outrage and the two provinces eventually agreed to split the cost, but both continue to bill non-residents for air ambulance services.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from ILSTV

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest