Two Independent brokers launch Alberta’s #1 flood resource site

CALGARY, June 8, 2015 /CNW/ – Floodinsurance.ca is Alberta’s #1 overland water insurance resource.  This online, independent broker offers consumers’ choices in overland water coverage, especially as more insurance companies in Alberta begin offering coverage. Floodinsurance.ca is the only online resource with a blog dedicated to flood related topics, flood watch advisories, quick quote options and an online support chat feature where residents can quickly learn what coverage option best suits their needs.

Floodinsurance.ca educates consumers on flood risks, flood mitigation, and water coverage options. There is a lot of talk about flood insurance, but not a lot of information out there on what exactly is covered and what Albertans should do in the event of a claim.

Floodinsurance.ca researches rates and coverage on the behalf of the client and delivers quotes within the hour. Fast quote times and competitive pricing make floodinsurance.ca the definitive resource on all things flood insurance.

Flood insurance, as defined by the major providers of this new coverage, is water damage caused by fresh water sources which include rivers, lakes, torrential downpour, melting snow and sewer back up as the result of overland water. Many companies are finding ways to adapt to the changing environment in order to provide Albertans with better water coverage. Floodinsurance.ca is the only website that will be able to compare what each company has to offer for water protection at competitive pricing.

Floodinsurance.ca is a collaborative project between Sharp Insurance, a groundbreaking technology-oriented insurance brokerage and Rogers Insurance, one of Canada’s largest independent brokerages, who together combine the latest innovative online tools with over 40 years of industry experience, to offer Albertans easy, online overland water insurance access and expert advice.

As independent brokers, Sharp and Rogers Insurance work for the consumer to find insurance that best fits their needs and not the other way around. Independent brokers are not tied to any particular insurance company, and will work with each client to find comprehensive coverage at the best available rate.

SOURCE floodinsurance.ca

For further information: 403-296-2400, www.floodinsurance.ca, info@floodinsurance.ca

How To Call a Wrap on Top Film Insurance Claims

By Adam Grenville – Chubb Insurance

Source: Reel West

The average moviegoer only hears about film production insurance when it makes the headlines. After the tragic death of Paul Walker during the filming of Fast & Furious 7 in November 2013, the trade and popular media reported how it led to the largest movie insurance claim in history — reportedly as high as $50 million. High-profile feature films usually buy cast insurance for such rare but catastrophic claims, but all film productions face a host of other risks that don’t usually make the headlines.

Every production is unique and presents its own mix of risk factors, but common risk management issues confront all productions — from large studios with big budgets and sophisticated risk management programs to small indie filmmakers approaching production risk for the first time, from nonprofits creating educational videos to corporations investing in informational videos. The most common insurance claims in production are equipment theft, vehicle damage, damaged locations, and equipment failure in extreme climates.

Equipment Theft

Here’s a true story: A container of film equipment disappeared while being shipped from Los Angeles to Louisiana. Although no one was aware of what happened to it, the missing container illustrates one of the top film production risks. Equipment is often one of the most valuable assets involved in filmmaking. From cameras to film stock, hard drives, and microphones, production equipment is also quite portable. The risk is complicated by the fact that film sets can be mobile, too, and located in foreign or multiple locations. Workforces made up of contract employees power these productions, adding more risk to this script.

Establishing security on the set is one potential solution for equipment theft. Visible security is especially important in public and international locations, where producers might not be familiar with the locale or confident in the local police. A common security measure is to close and lock doors. Another step to protect equipment is to return it to the rental company each night – though it could be inconvenient, this step leaves the equipment in secure hands.

Vehicle Damage

Damage to a “run-about” — rental vehicles used by production assistants to run errands—are also a common claim on production sets. Production assistants are often younger employees and, due to the nature of their job, they may also tend to be in a hurry on the set. The combination of a more youthful driver and haste could mean that the next scene involves a production assistant colliding with another vehicle.

To help mitigate the risks associated with rental vehicles, consider taking the following steps. Film productions can conduct background checks on all drivers. Safety training might also provide a measure of protection. A third important step is to be familiar with vehicle rental contracts and know who is responsible for property damage and liability if an accident occurs.

Although damage to on-set vehicles is rare, it is still an important consideration, particularly when it comes to a “hero vehicle.” If the General Lee goes down during Dukes of Hazard or the Batmobile crashes while filming, it will impact production and could lead to an insurance claim. For such vehicles, have backup parts and even a spare vehicle to prevent downtime if an incident occurs. Consider using a mock version during stunts.

Damaged Locations

Scratch the hardwood floor in a historic home during shooting, and a production — and its insurer — could be looking at $30,000 to replace it. Damage a few vintage light fixtures, and the bill could include the cost to replace every light fixture to ensure they resemble the originals. Film directors make location decisions based on their desired look and feel, but they should be aware their productions could become quite costly if care isn’t taken.

The answer is not to sacrifice that look and feel for safety but to instead take precautions. Respect and protect the private homes and other locations where filming is taking place. Ahead of shooting, film productions should also document a location. Is there pre-existing damage? All parties benefit when knowing exactly what happened if damage is claimed.

Doing stunts or pyrotechnics in a location poses its own risks. In this case, calling in loss control experts and engineering specialists, as well as the local fire department, can help ensure stunts are well planned and safe. For instance, such professionals can assist in making sure that any sprinkler system is properly disengaged for a fire-related stunt, and then turned back on when finished.

Faulty Equipment in Extreme Climates

A director filming in a frigid environment wrapped plastic around his cameras. It wasn’t to protect them from the cold; rather the plastic casing protected the equipment during breaks from condensation that could form when those cameras were brought inside. Whether in freezing or tropical locations, electronics can suffer water damage and malfunction. These extreme and isolated locations present additional risks as well, as it is unlikely that there will be a film equipment rental facility nearby to obtain replacement gear. To help prevent the loss of equipment due to climate-related issues and potential production delays, it’s important to protect equipment appropriately. Even when filming in less extreme locations, such as forests or urban areas, productions should be careful to protect equipment from dirt or anything else that could damage it. Productions should test equipment prior to traveling to the set location–try out a camera in a freezer or a sauna, or wherever else best approximates the shoot environment.

Insurance Can Be a Value Added

Insurance might be considered a budget line item for some film productions or a requirement from their distributors or financiers, but insurance professionals can also provide a wealth of knowledge and assistance. Productions can contact their insurance companies ahead of shooting, and as partners in the process, the insurer may be able to offer the assistance of risk management and loss control specialists to help establish procedures to avoid costly delays and losses. Insurance professionals specializing in the film and entertainment industry have seen the above common claims repeatedly — and those headline-grabbing, not-so-common claims as well — and can help mitigate them before and during filming.

Adam Grenville, an Underwriting Officer, Film & Entertainment

for Chubb Insurance Company of Canada in Toronto, can be reached at agrenville@chubb.com.

Source: Reel West

For more than 30 years, Reel West productions has been the one-stop source for people in film, television, video, and multimedia Production in Western Canada. With a shining reputation within the Western Canadian film industry, trade leaders turn to Reel West for credible news and analysis – information vital to their professions.

Home Insurance Industry Not Meeting Gen Y Expectations for Customer Interaction

TORONTO–(Business Wire)–As Gen Y1 customers are increasingly becoming first-time home owners and homeowners insurance buyers in Canada, not only are they more critical of their service interactions with their insurers, satisfaction among these customers is also declining at a faster rate than in any other generational group, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Canadian Home Insurance StudySM released today.

The annual study examines customer satisfaction with their homeowners insurance company by examining five factors (in order of importance): non-claim interaction; policy offerings; price; billing and payment; and claims. The non-claim interaction factor includes three subfactors: local agent or broker; call centre representative; and website. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

Gen Y customers are the least satisfied among the generational groups with their home insurance service experience. Satisfaction among Gen Y has declined significantly, by 12 points to 745 from 757 in 2014, compared with a 10-point decline among Boomers—the largest generational group—and a 1-point decline among Gen X customers. The erosion in satisfaction levels among Gen Y customers is largely driven by a significant 14-point decline in the most important factor, non-claim interaction.

“Satisfying Gen Y customers with the service interaction experience is critical for insurers to remain competitive in the marketplace,” said Valerie Monet, director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power. “Insurers need to educate customers regarding the issues they most frequently contact their insurer about: policy coverage options; bill payment options; and what to do and expect in the event they have to file a claim.”

Understanding the billing statement is one aspect of the interaction experience that Gen Y customers are struggling with more than other generations, with only 55 per cent saying they “completely” understand their billing statement, compared with the industry average of 66 per cent. Notably Gen Y experiences more billing errors than the other generations (15 per cent vs. less than 10 per cent for each of the other groups), leading them to turn to their agent or a call centre representative for help.

Satisfaction Rankings

The Co-operators (789) ranks highest in the Atlantic/Ontario region, followed by State Farm (776) and RBC Insurance (773).

The Personal (814) ranks highest in the Quebec region, followed by Intact Insurance(788) and La Capitale (782).

BCAA ranks highest in the Western region for a fourth consecutive year, with a score of 815. Following BCAA in the rankings are Portage Mutual Insurance (774) and Intact Insurance (763).

KEY FINDINGS

  • Overall satisfaction declines by 11 points nationally to 759 from 770 in 2014. Regionally, satisfaction declines to 745 from 752 in the Western region; declines to 759 from 771 in the Atlantic/Ontario region; and declines to 777 from 794 in the Quebec region.
  • Overall, the decrease in satisfaction in 2015 is driven by a significant 14-point decline in the non-claim interaction factor.
  • Non-claim interaction satisfaction has declined significantly due to challenges with the call centre. In this regard, 41 per cent of customers indicate having to wait one minute or longer to speak with a representative, and 34 per cent of customers indicate that their issue was not resolved on the same day.
  • Satisfaction with homeowners insurance among Gen Y customers is lower in non-claim interaction (768) and claims (749), compared with satisfaction among Boomers (815 and 812, respectively).

The 2015 Canadian Home Insurance Study is based on responses from 7,466 home insurance customers. The survey data was collected from March 2015 through April 2015.

Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Rankings
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

J.D. Power.com Power Circle RatingsTM
For Consumers

Atlantic/Ontario Region

The Co-operators 789 5
State Farm 776 4
RBC Insurance 773 4
The Personal 771 4
RSA Insurance 766 4
Allstate 765 4
Gore Mutual 759 3

Atlantic/Ontario Region Average

759 3
Intact Insurance 758 3
Aviva Insurance 757 3
Travelers 755 3
Belairdirect 750 3

Johnson Insurance

745

2

Economical Insurance

742

2

Wawanesa

742

2

TD Insurance

737

2

Note: Included in the study but not ranked due to sample size are CAA Insurance, Chubb Insurance, Desjardins General Insurance, and Portage Mutual Insurance.

Quebec Region

The Personal

814

5

Intact Insurance

788

4

La Capitale

782

3

Belairdirect

777

3

Quebec Region Average

777

3

SSQ General

774

3

Desjardins General Insurance

773

3

Industrial Alliance

772

3

Aviva Insurance

768

3

TD Insurance

745

2

Note: Included in the study but not ranked due to sample size are Allstate and RSA Insurance.

Western Region

BCAA

815

5

Portage Mutual Insurance

774

4

Intact Insurance

763

4

Wawanesa

759

4

The Co-operators

749

3

Western Region Average

745

3

Economical Insurance

738

3

SGI Canada

738

3

Peace Hills General Insurance

736

3

Alberta Motor Association

732

3

Travelers

724

2

TD Insurance

719

2

Aviva Insurance

713

2

Note: Included in the study but not ranked due to sample size are Allstate, Canadian Direct,

CNS Insurance, Johnson Insurance, RSA Insurance, and RBC Insurance.

Power Circle Ratings Legend
5 – Among the best
4 – Better than most
3 – About average
2 – The rest

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules www.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info
About McGraw Hill Financial www.mhfi.com

1 J.D. Power defines generational groups as Pre-Boomers (born before 1946); Boomers (1946-1964); Gen X (1965-1976); Gen Y (1977-1994); and Gen Z (1995-2004).

Contacts:

Cohn & Wolfe
Beth Daniher, 647-259-3279
beth.daniher@cohnwolfe.ca
or
Gal Wilder, 647-259-3261
gal.wilder@cohnwolfe.ca
or
J.D. Power
John Tews, 248-680-6218
media.relations@jdpa.com

 

The Co-operators recognized as one of the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada

GUELPH, ON, June 4, 2015 /CNW/ – For the third consecutive year The Co-operators has been listed among the 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada. The companies on the list, compiled by global sustainability analysis and research firm Sustainalytics for Maclean’s, rank atop their respective industries based on their strong performance across a broad range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) indicators.

The organizations’ evaluations included such considerations as their environmental initiatives, impact on local communities, treatment of employees and supply-chain management. They must also have demonstrated strong public disclosure on ESG management and performance. Once again, there is strong representation on the list from co-operatives and credit unions, whose principles and governance models lend themselves well to sustainability.

The Co-operators has taken a lead role in helping build more resilient communities through its research and advocacy work, in order to better protect Canadians and their property. In 2014, the organization hosted the Partners for Action Roundtable, where a wide range of stakeholders collaborated to identify and prioritize actions needed to strengthen flood resiliency in Canada. On May 25, The Co-operators became the first Canadian insurance company to offer insurance against overland flooding for homeowners, when it launched its groundbreaking new coverage in Alberta.

The development of more resilient and sustainable communities is also supported through the organization’s community programming. In 2014, The Co-operators contributed more than $4.9 million to Canadian co-operatives, non-profits and charities.

“Creating resilient communities is about looking at the economic, environmental and social needs of Canadians. Putting those needs first is inherently part of our identity as a co-operative insurer and is embedded in our day-to-day decision-making” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “We are committed to sustainability and, through the determination and support of our employees and advisors, are helping to create a healthier and more sustainable world.”

The complete list of the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada is published in the June 15 edition ofMaclean’s, and the July issue of L’actualité, both of which are available on newsstands this week. For more information on The Co-operators and its social, economic and environmental performance, please see its recently released Sustainability Report at www.cooperators.ca/sustainability_report.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $40 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 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations inCanada by Sustainalytics and Maclean’s magazine. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, 519-767-3937

Manitoba: Western Canada farmers scramble for canola seed to re-plant after frost

By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Western Canadian farmers are scrambling to find scarce canola seed as they re-plant crops snuffed out by frost and insects.

Farmers have until mid- to late June to plant ahead of insurance deadlines, but the later they sow canola, the higher the risk of damage later from heat or frost. Canada is the biggest producer and exporter of canola, used to produce vegetable oil.

Western Canada’s Prairies are prone to crop-damaging weather, from floods to drought, but severe frost last week arrived unusually late in spring.

“We’ve never seen an event like this,” said Rob Schultz, vice-president of sales and commercial operations for Bayer CropScience Canada, whose InVigor brand makes up about half of Western Canada’s canola seed sales. “We’re trying to go as fast as we can to manage the demand.”

Since last week’s frost, government crop insurance corporations in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have registered 1,500 and 900 crop insurance claims respectively, mostly for canola.

For the year, Manitoba has received 2,550 claims for re-seeding covering 800,000 acres (324,000 hectares), mostly since last week, said claims manager David Van Deynze.

David Hansen, chief executive of Winnipeg-based Canterra Seeds, estimates that farmers are re-sowing 1 million acres of canola across the Prairies.

Both Bayer and rival Monsanto said they moved quickly to transfer seed inventories to short areas such as southwestern Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan, as well as treat additional seed.

“The supply isn’t really the issue, it’s more around getting it in the right place at the right time,” Schultz said.

Kyle Holman usually buys seed near his Crystal City, Manitoba farm. But this week he drove 90 minutes for most of the seed he will need to replant 560 canola acres.

He planted those acres during the first week of May, earlier than usual. That canola survived flea beetles and a cold blast around mid-May before frost destroyed it last weekend.

“It’s very frustrating and disappointing to lose it this late,” Holman said.

Others have it worse. Some of Holman’s neighbors are planting canola for the third time this spring.

Typically, about 0.4 percent of the canola seed Monsanto sells for spring planting is re-seeded, but this year that percentage may be 3 percent, said Neil Arbuckle, Monsanto Canada’s national sales and strategy lead.

“We’ve done our best to get product into the hands of farmers, who are quite antsy to get product into the ground,” he said.

Gamble Insurance acquired by Hub International

By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer

Gamble and Associates Insurance, a company that began in Sarnia in 1948, has become part of the Chicago-based insurance brokerage, Hub International.

Hub’s acquisition of Gamble, a company with 75 employees working at nine locations in southwestern Ontario, was announced this week.

Gamble president Barry Hogan will join Hub Ontario as president of its new Hub Gamble division.

“We’ve been in the Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent, London community for years and years and years,” Hogan said.

“This just allows our business to continue to grow, while at the same time not disrupting our client base.”

Hogan said will be “business as usual” for Gamble’s clients and staff, following the change.

“But we have a whole depth of tools now available to us we can utilize to help grow the business.”

Hub said in a press release the acquisition doubles the company’s offices in Ontario to 18, with more than 650 employees.

Hogan said the name of the division will change to Gamble Hub International Insurance Brokers.

“We’ve already started ordering some signs, and that process will slowly happen,” he said.

Notices will also be sent to Gamble’s customers in the coming weeks to let them know about the change and “assure them that it’s business as usual from the standpoint of their daily needs,” Hogan said.

“It’s the tools behind the scenes that are really going to help us grow.”

Along with Sarnia, Chatham-Kent and London, Gamble has offices in Petrolia, Forest, Wallaceburg, Ridgetown, Thamesville and St. Thomas.

“Southwestern Ontario is an important community to the economic development of Ontario and Hub is excited to be making the Sarnia-Lambton area a new home for our organization,” Robert Keilty, president and CEO of Hub Ontario, said in a press release.

Bill Gamble started Gamble Insurance in 1948 out of his house in Sarnia.

“Bill was well, well known around the community,” Hogan said.

In the early 1970s, Hogan’s father, Barry Hogan Sr., purchased Gamble Insurance and it continued to expand in the following years.

Hogan, 42, has been involved in the business for more than 20 years.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Hogan said that along with the opportunity to continue growing, a key consideration in the decision to become part of Hub International was a desire to provide stability.

“We wanted to make sure that we were committed to the area,” he said.

“We plan to be here.”

Hogan said a photo of Bill Gamble is still on display in the company’s lobby.

“We don’t want to forget our roots,” he said.

“We just want to continue to grow on where we’ve come from.”

Hub International was formed in 1998 with the merger of 11 Canadian insurance brokerages and expanded the following year to the U.S. and Western Canada. The headquarters moved to Chicago in 2001 and the company’s website says it is now ranked among the largest insurance brokers worldwide.

“It’s very exciting times,” Hogan said.

“When we look out we just see there’s great opportunity, and that’s why we wanted to partner with such a great organization.”

 

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