Overland flood insurance now available in Manitoba

Today, Comprehensive Water, which covers overland flood damage, is available to homeowners in Manitoba. The Co-operators Comprehensive Water insurance is the only product of its kind in Canada that provides protection from the most common causes of residential flood and water damage including storm surge, overflowing lakes, rivers and creeks, and sewer or septic backup.

Storm surge, which includes rising water levels and waves caused by storms, presents a significant flood risk, especially in coastal regions where extreme weather patterns have intensified with the changing climate. Today the product was also launched in Quebec, making this product available to homeowners from coast to coast.

“Overland flooding has been identified as the most pervasive and costliest cause of damage to Canadian homes, yet most are inadequately protected against this growing risk. As a co-operative, it’s our priority to protect the financial security of Canadians. This is why we first introduced overland flood insurance in Canada,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “Today, we are thrilled that this product is available to all Canadian homeowners, even those at the highest risk, adding another layer of protection and providing peace of mind for those who need it most.”

According to a study by Partners for Action Network, 94 per cent of Canadians living in high-risk flood zones are unaware of their risk. To get a personalized flood assessment and find out about available coverage, Canadians can visit water.cooperators.ca.

In 2015, The Co-operators became the first Canadian insurer to offer overland flood insurance in Alberta and expanded this coverage to Ontario in 2016. It is now the only insurer to offer Canadian homeowners protection against damage caused by storm surge. Today, more than a quarter of a million Canadians are covered by the organization’s Comprehensive Water product. The model The Co-operators uses to predict flood risk is recognized as one of the most advanced in Canada, and incorporates data on elevation, soil, rainfall, river flow, government-controlled defences like dams and channels, and other factors that help predict areas at risk of flooding.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $42.5 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies, it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt and Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. For more information, visit www.cooperators.ca

BACKGROUNDER: Flood facts and our flood model

Flood facts:

  • In Canada, floods have surpassed home fires as the costliest cause of damage to homes
  • 94% of Canadians living in high-risk flood zones are unaware of their risk and Less than 30% of Canadians are taking action to protect their property from flood risk, according to a recent study by Partners for Action.

THE IMPACT

  • $79,000 The average cost to homeowners that suffered losses during the 2013 Calgary flood1.
  • $40,000: The average cost to homeowners that suffered losses during flooding during the 2013 GTA flood2

The Co-operators flood model

What factors go into assessing water risk?
Working with the world’s most established and advanced flood risk modeling experts, we created a risk model that enables us to offer water damage insurance that includes overland flooding and risks associated with water, septic and sewer backup, accumulation of water from extreme rain, overflow from lakes, rivers and other nearby bodies of water, and storm surge or waves from a storm or hurricane.

This flood model is recognized as one of the most advanced tools in Canadian flood mapping. It incorporates data on elevation, soil, rainfall, river flow, government-controlled defences like dams and channels, and other factors that help predict areas at risk of flooding.

How is storm surge risk determined?
The risk of storm surge is assessed in many ways. This includes historical water and sea-level rise in coastal regions, digital elevation models and loss mitigation efforts.

Canadians can take action to protect themselves using the following tips:

  1. Inspect plumbing pipes for corrosion or leaks and make any necessary repairs. Avoid discarding fats, oils and grease down drains; they can cause clogs when they solidify.
  2. Install a water damage alarm to serve as an early warning. This will give you a chance to turn off the water to your home and minimize damage.
  3. Installing an automatic back-up pump to your existing sump pump if you have one. Batteries or a generator can be used to power the back-up pump.
  4. Installing a backwater valve.
  5. Install downspouts to direct water away from your home.
  6. Keep foundation and window wells clear of snow so melt water doesn’t accumulate.
  7. Seal any cracks in your foundation walls and basement floors where accumulated water might get in.
  8. Install window wells around your basement windows to keep water out of your basement. Check them each spring to make sure drains aren’t clogged with debris.
  9. Maintain your eaves troughs regularly to keep them clear of leaves, twigs and other debris so they can steer water away from your home.
  10. Consider using a rain barrel to collect overflow water to prevent accumulation around your home.
  11. Keep storm drains clear of leaves and other debris to keep water from accumulating outside your home.
  12. Review rain checklist for simple steps you can follow to adapt to risks during periods of heavy rainfall.

SOURCE The Co-operators

Battle over insurance payout for missing gold and diamond covered eagle statue

VANCOUVER _ A major insurance company is fighting back after a British Columbia court required it to make good on a policy covering a gold, diamond-encrusted eagle statue allegedly stolen in Metro Vancouver more than two years ago.

The B.C. Supreme Court issued a default judgment against Lloyd’s Underwriters last month, ordering it to pay the plaintiff, Forgotten Treasures International Inc., and its president, Ron Shore, damages and costs for the loss of the pricey statue.

But court documents show Lloyd’s intends to return to court in February to ask for the default judgment to be overturned, arguing Shore violated the insurer’s conditions.

The court issued the judgment after Lloyd’s failed to formally answer Shore’s civil suit, but Lloyd’s says in documents filed last month that Shore’s lawyer was well aware the insurer wanted more detail before filing its notice of response.

Lloyd’s says in the documents that its lawyers also urged Shore’s counsel to confirm default proceedings were not underway, but the insurer says it only learned of the judgment four days after it had been made.

The insurer says it has “not wilfully defaulted” and is seeking special costs as an indication “a party’s litigation conduct is reprehensible.”

Documents filed when Shore launched his suit last year show the eight kilogram, solid gold eagle statue studded with 763 diamonds weighing a total of 56 karats was appraised at $930,450 in May 2016.

That was when police in Delta, B.C., reported Shore had been attacked and robbed as he carried the statue and a similar silver one to his car following a presentation about an international treasure hunt he was operating.

The jewel-covered statue and the silver version were prizes in the hunt, which was a fundraiser for cancer research, the statement of claim says.

The treasure hunt involved finding 12 certificates hidden in locations around North America and Europe with the first person to find the clue awarded one of 12 solid silver eagles.

Five of the silver eagles, worth an estimated total of $175,000, had already been awarded at the time Shore was attacked, hit over the head and robbed of the statues that he was carrying in a backpack, his claim says.

The gold eagle was to be sold at the end of the treasure hunt to finance the winner’s $1-million prize, say Forgotten Treasure’s documents, and the insurance policy for the jewelled bird set liability at $400,000, while liability for loss of the silver statue was set at $53,750.

Documents filed in November by Lloyd’s say the policy limits of liability for the articles were $710,000 and $53,750 respectively.

The insurers formally denied coverage in October 2016, says Shore’s civil claim.

Insurance broker The Hub, which is also listed as a defendant in the suit, alleges in its response that the eagle statues were being transported in a manner Shore  “knew or ought to have known was in contravention of the policy.”

Lloyd’s supports that allegation in a notice of application seeking more information from Forgotten Treasures about its claim.

The policy contained conditions, one of which provided that coverage is excluded unless the insured articles are in the close personal custody and control of the assured and an officer or representative of the assured at all times, says the application.

Shore’s claim says he had an associate with him the night the statues disappeared but Lloyd’s disagrees, noting in its documents that Shore was accompanied by Tanya Merx, a friend and practising psychologist, who was not trained in security.

“It is also clear from Ms. Merx’s statement that she was not with Mr. Shore during the reported mugging; rather, she had driven away from the scene and did not see the reported theft. Therefore, two persons for the plaintiff were not accompanying the insured articles at all times,” says the Lloyd’s filing.

Shore’s claim seeks a ruling that the policy was validly issued and  “covered all losses during the policy period.”

He is also seeking special, punitive and general damages, including $400,000 for the gold and diamond-covered eagle, and $53,750 for the silver statue.

A hearing regarding the default judgment is set for Feb. 26 in Vancouver.

Navacord Continues Expansion in Western Canada & Strengthening of National Construction Practice

Navacord continues expansion into Western Canada with the acquisition of a team of industry veterans and their book of business from BMS Canada, effective December 31, 2018.

The Vancouver team, led by Shaun Johnston, BMS Canada’s Managing Director, Construction & Development, joined Navacord’s Vancouver based Broker Partner, Wylie-Crump Limited. Wylie-Crump are experts in providing innovative insurance solutions and leading client service to the construction and development industries.

READ FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE

The Co-operators acquires Assurances Madelein

The Co-operators announced today it has purchased Assurances Madelein Inc. (Assurances Madelein) in Laval, Quebec.

The brokerage’s portfolio includes personal and commercial insurance policies. Any existing insurance coverage a client has will remain unchanged and in effect for the current term of their policies.

“This acquisition further strengthens our distribution system and the co-operative presence in Quebec,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “With our continued growth in the province, we are able to deepen our connection to our Quebec clients helping us better understand their unique needs and help them accomplish their financial goals.

Clients will benefit from the exemplary service of a leading national insurance co-operative and have access to a full suite of insurance products including home, auto, life, wealth, travel and commercial.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $42.5 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies, it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt and Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. For more information, visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

www.cooperators.ca

Should Alberta adopt similar distracted driving legislation as Ontario?

Some Alberta drivers are calling on the province to adopt similar penalties for distracted driving as Ontario.

Stiff penalties passed by the Ontario government came into effect on Jan. 1. Under the new law, an Ontario motorist caught distracted driving for the first time could face a $1,000 fine, three demerit points and a three-day license suspension.

If there are second and third convictions within five years, the fines double and triple, respectively. Each instance would also result in six demerit points. Drivers would lose their licence for seven days upon the second conviction, and 30 days upon the third conviction.

In Alberta, the fine for distracted driving is $287 and three demerits, but some drivers say that is not a steep enough penalty.

“I’ve seen it all … doing their make-up. I don’t care what it is, if you’re going to drive like that, you deserve what you get,” driver Sherry, who didn’t give a last name, said.

“I would support the position that Ontario has taken because I think that distracted driving is incredibly dangerous,” another driver, who didn’t provide a name, said.

According to Alberta Transportation, distracted driving convictions in Alberta have gone down. But the numbers are still significant, with the latest statistics showing 23,546 fines in 2017-2018.

The highest number of offenses (18,659) relate to drivers using handheld devices like phones to communicate while behind the wheel. People have also been caught reading, writing and grooming while driving.

Lee Brooks is a retired class-one commercial driver. He has driven many kilometres on highways and says he has seen multiple collisions because of distracted driving. He wants the penalties to be much stricter across the country.

“I believe fully it should be Canada-wide. As a matter of fact, I don’t even think $1,000 is enough. I think it should be a three-month suspension automatically,” Brooks said.

In November, Manitoba increased its distracted driving fine to nearly $700 and a three-day licence suspension, but so far it has not had an impact on the habits of some drivers.

According to Manitoba Public Insurance, a total of 237 drivers province-wide had their licenses suspended for the minimum three-day period within in the first month of the new penalties coming into place.

Source: Global News

The Co-operators and Aldergrove Insurance welcome Envision clients

Credit Union Agencies Alliance Limited (CUAAL)*, a strategic alliance between The Co-operators, First Credit Union and Aldergrove Credit Union, announced today it has purchased Envision’s book of business in Aldergrove, British Columbia.

The current Envision, Aldergrove building was earmarked for a new community centre, and has closed to enable the development. CUAAL’s purchase of this book of business will allow clients to continue to receive local service that is rooted in co-operative values.

“As part of CUAAL, The Co-operators is happy to help facilitate a transaction that showcases how co-operative organizations work together to ensure the best experience for their members,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “We look forward to helping our new clients get the insurance and investment products they need to achieve financial security, and ultimately, peace of mind.”

Current clients’ insurance coverage will remain in effect with no changes to their premiums or coverage for the current term of their policies; as current policies expire, clients will be offered comparable policies from The Co-operators.

Envision Insurance Services is a division of First West Insurance Services Ltd, which is owned by First West Credit Union. First West Insurance / Envision Insurance will continue to serve insurance clients at its remaining locations.

*CUAAL is a company that is owned jointly by The Co-operators (50%) and participating credit union partners (share 50%). This unique model brings together strong co-operative organizations to leverage efficiencies and better serve the interests of credit union members.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $42.5 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies, it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt and Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. For more information, visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

www.cooperators.ca

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