Cancer survivors denied insurance coverage

Excerpted article was written by Michael Franklin, Digital Producer

CTV News Calgary

They’ve come out on top in the hardest battle they’ve ever faced, but many Canadian cancer survivors are in another fight, this time with their insurance company.

Wilhelm Weinmann beat prostate cancer four years ago and, like 90 percent of men who contract it, the disease shouldn’t give him any future problems.

That is, until Weinmann got a new job and sought health insurance through his company’s plan with Sunlife.

He was looking for dental, vision and prescription coverage for his wife and four children, but was surprised to find that the company denied his application.

The company told him that his medical history, specifically his case of prostate cancer, was not considered a standard risk for the policy.

“To me, it felt really wrong, wrong to get that answer. I dunno, it kinda felt like getting cancer again.”

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, the group that Sunlife referred CTV to when asked about the issue, says the denial for cancer survivors is an ‘industry issue’.

Representatives with the Canadian Cancer Society say that it’s a common tactic for insurance agencies that isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

“As our population ages, we’re gonna have thousands of Canadians that have moved beyond their disease but have to live in a system that wasn’t designed for them, that doesn’t support them and their families as they move forward and live their lives,” said Gabriel Miller, policy director with the Canadian Cancer Society.

Miller says he’s called on the government for help with the issue.

Weinmann says he hopes that others will hear his story and be willing to help.

“I’m really hoping to shame these guys into changing their policies.”

While there are insurance policies that cater to cancer survivors, they tend to be very costly.

The Cancer Society says survivors who can’t get insurance often need to rely on financial assistance or charitable programs to fund expenses that insurance would normally cover.

Bermuda experts head to Canada to promote jurisdiction

HAMILTON, Bermuda, April 28, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) will lead a team of industry and regulatory experts to Toronto next month to detail the benefits to Canadian corporations of setting up captive insurance companies in Bermuda.

Speakers at next month’s forum in Toronto on Bermuda captive insurance, from left: Joe DaSilveira of Liberty Mutual Management; Oceana Yates of R&Q Quest Management; Mark Allitt of KPMG Bermuda; Leslie Robinson of the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA); Christiane Kenny-Post of ASW Law; Jereme Ramsay, of BDA (missing from photo David Downie of KPMG Canada)

The panel will host an informative Executive Forum in downtown Toronto Tuesday, May 10, in which representatives will outline the advantages of Bermuda-based captive insurance companies to self-insure a variety of risks, from healthcare and employee benefits to cyber disruptions. To register, go to

“Bermuda offers Canada corporations a pragmatic, cost-effective solution in a blue-chip jurisdiction to manage the many complex risks facing today’s global businesses,” said Jereme Ramsay, BDA Business Development Manager. “We hope this presentation will highlight Bermuda’s strengths as a partner jurisdiction, and we welcome questions or requests for one-on-one meetings while we’re in Toronto.”

Bermuda has been of growing interest to Canadian corporations following the June 2010 signing of the Canada-Bermuda Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA), which allows Bermuda subsidiaries of certain Canadian corporations with international operations to be eligible for Canadian tax benefits, including the tax-free repatriation of certain dividends to Canada.

The forum, scheduled for 8:30 am–11:30 am at the Shangri-La Hotel, features two sessions, moderated by Joe DaSilveira, Senior Vice President of Liberty Mutual Management. The first, “Captive Solutions & Strategies,” will explain what a captive insurer is, a captive’s structure, key reasons to set up a captive, along with common risks insured, citing several case studies. A second session will focus on tax and regulatory considerations.

Industry speakers include: Oceana Yates, Vice President, Captives of R&Q Quest Management; Mark Allitt, Advisory Services Manager, KPMG (Bermuda); Leslie Robinson Assistant Director, Corporate Authorisations, Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA); Christiane Kenny-Post, Corporate Manager, Consultant, Compass Administration Services/ASW Law; and David Downie, Partner, Tax, Financial Services KPMG (Canada).

“Canada and Bermuda have a long-standing relationship, which has resulted in many successful Canadian entities establishing a Bermuda presence,” noted panellist Oceana Yates. “As such, we are delighted with the opportunity to share our experience and present about captives, addressing critical issues and highlighting some of the benefits that Canadian corporations typically look to achieve with a captive.

“The well-established historical ties between Canada and Bermuda were reinforced by the signing of the Canada-Bermuda TIEA,” she added, “and this has further enhanced business opportunities between the countries.”

BDA will return with a team of Bermuda insurance industry representatives to Canada this fall to attend the Risk & Insurance Management Society (RIMS) Canada conference in Calgary September 11–14.

The BDA encourages direct investment and helps companies start up, re-locate or expand their operations in our premier jurisdiction. An independent, public-private partnership, we connect you to industry professionals, regulatory officials, and key contacts in the Bermuda government to assist domicile decisions. Our goal? To make doing business here smooth and beneficial

Rosemary Jones
Communications Manager
441 278-6558
441 337-4696

Father feels like he was ‘fighting the giant’ after son’s finger lost in shops accident

Excerpted article writen By Riley Laychuk, CBC News

A Brandon father says he was shocked when an insurance company offered him a $30 settlement after his son’s finger was partially amputated in a shops class accident earlier this year.  Tim Reaves says he’s now received another $720 but he’s still upset about the hoops he had to go through.

“It seems like I’m fighting the giant,” he said.

Reaves’ son, Timmy John, was using a joiner in a woodworking class at a Brandon junior high school in February.

The 13-year-old hit the kill switch on the machine, but his glove was sucked into the blade and a portion of his ring finger on his left hand was sheared off, Reaves said.

He says he was taken aback when he finally received a cheque from the company in late March.

“It shows $30,” Reaves told CBC News. “I was pretty upset. It was a slap in the face. You think of this being a big situation.”

“I was pretty upset. It was a slap in the face.”– Tim Reaves, after receiving $30 insurance settlement 

Timmy was insured though the school by Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services with student accident insurance.

The company acknowledged that the initial $30 payment was made based on the initial information available at the time.

“We adjudicate based on the information we have. It sounded like he had a partial loss of his finger,” said Ed Bender, a regional vice-president with the company. “They looked at the loss and said, ‘Well, it’s not a total loss of finger so the fracture schedule allowed for a $30 payment.”

Reaves called the insurance company back and questioned the low payment. Weeks later the second cheque for $720 arrived. He was told the company misread the paperwork that was submitted on the accident.

Bender said the company will also cover the cost of the ambulance bill on top of that payment.

WCB, MPI payouts in the thousands of dollars 

CBC News asked a number of organizations for rough estimates of what their payout and coverage would be for a similar injury.

If Timmy had lost part of his left ring finger in a car accident, Manitoba Public Insurance said it would result in a permanent impairment payment of about $4,500.

When rehabilitation and other costs covered by MPI are factored in, the total would be estimated at more than $6,000, according to an MPI spokesperson.

If Timmy had lost his finger in a work-related accident, the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba said a payment of about $1,300 would be awarded . Loss of wages, rehabilitation and other costs would be covered on top of that.

Industrial Alliance responded to the comparison by saying the company is not Workers Compensation.

“We’re a student-accident insurer,” Bender said. “I don’t know what Workers Comp charges for their coverages but I’m going to guess it’s a lot more than we do.”

Physiotherapy to be covered 

At first, Reaves was under the impression rehabilitation would not be covered based on what he received from the insurance company.

“If he was working, he would get rehabilitation [covered],” Reaves said on Friday. “But because he’s not working, he gets no rehabilitation to use his hand.”

“Timmy has had problems with not using his hands properly [since the accident],” said Reaves. “So he has hurt his pinky several times. So he really does need rehabilitation.”

However after CBC News contacted the company, Reaves got another call on Monday in which officials assured him that physiotherapy would be covered up to $500 and that that it has always been the case. Bender said any thought that it wasn’t was simply a misunderstanding between Reaves and the company.

Company sympathizes with family   

“I’m feeling that at least there is a little more than I originally thought or was originally given,” Reaves told CBC News on Monday after talking to the insurance company. “It’s all workable and it’s all okay, [but the amount] is still pretty low.”

Bender vowed to personally work with the Reaves family to make sure they are looked after.

“I sense that he felt he had been let down by everybody,” said Bender. “I said look, I have children as well. I know how you feel.”

Reaves said he’s not sure whether he will continue to fight for more compensation for his son.

“I just wish that maybe it could have been handled a lot smoother than what has happened,” he said.

Regulator eyes peer-to-peer insurance startups, warns of potential risk

Excerpted article written by JACQUELINE NELSON

The Globe and Mail

Imagine joining a social network that’s not for pictures of people’s kids and pets, but for home and car insurance.

That kind of thinking is at the heart of several “peer-to-peer” insurance startups, which promise a less bureaucratic and expensive way to share risk. It’s an idea that’s gaining traction in the United States and Europe. But as Canada’s insurance industry readies itself for digital disruption, one regulator warns that some customers could get burned by unlicensed and unregulated businesses.

This new way of protecting against health, travel and job-loss risk is emerging as financial technology advancements force more banks and investment firms to rethink the way they attract and serve clients. Companies such as Amazon, Netflix and Uber have proven that entire industries can be uprooted by the right digital concept, and the country’s largest insurers are watching closely. They have also been investing in new systems to improve and simplify their application and claims processes.

Peer-to-peer insurance is a form of risk sharing where small groups of people gather through apps or online. Typically, participants decide what kind of losses they want to protect against, and what kind of claims will be allowed. By stripping out the administration costs and broker fees that large insurers are saddled with, these upstarts pledge to reduce monthly premiums and put more of customers’ money toward covering losses. Since participants often know each other, this model could also help reduce fraud.

But last week, Quebec’s financial sector regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), warned consumers to be careful when using these platforms.


Kanetix Ltd. partners with ClientDesk to Help Insurance Industry Engage Customers Digitally

Kanetix Ltd. partners with ClientDesk to Help Insurance Industry Engage Customers Digitally

Press Release:

Kanetix Ltd. has partnered with ClientDesk Inc. to offer a new insurance solution to insurance providers, intermediaries and their customers – a mobile self-service technology for policyholders that allows insurance providers to connect with their clients via a mobile app.

Kanetix Ltd. is the exclusive technology partner for the ClientDesk platform, providing their years of expertise in hosting and implementation services within the insurance industry to add value to the offering.

“As a business strategy advisor at the Ryerson’s DMZ, I’ve been able to see the evolution of this platform from the beginning,” saysAndrew Lo, Chief Operating Officer, Kanetix Ltd. “ClientDesk is enabling the insurance industry to engage with their clients on their mobile devices, something that Kanetix is pleased to be apart of.”

A startup incubated at the DMZ, ClientDesk is a cloud-based solution that helps brokerages, broker-based insurers and direct writers digitize their client experience and internal operations using web and mobile technologies. The platform is built on three core modules: policyholder engagement, mobile self-serve and claims management.

“Innovative business solutions are needed in insurance,” says Randy Carroll, Chief Strategy Officer, ClientDesk Inc. “Policyholders want an experience that is consistent with how they interact with other services and industries.”

Launched in October 1999, KANETIX was Canada’s first online insurance marketplace and today provides over a million quotes per year to consumers looking for insurance, as well as comparisons for mortgage rates and credit cards.

The comparison service is a one-stop shopping environment for consumers. Each day, thousands visit the KANETIX website to comparison shop their various financial needs. Shoppers choose what they want to compare, obtain a quotation and complete an online application or, with the help of KANETIX connect with the provider to purchase or apply for the product over the phone.

Through its Software as a Service team, KANETIX is also the leading provider of online insurance quotation technology, developing online quotation systems, mobile solutions, actuarial tools and websites for many of Canada’s largest insurance brands.

About ClientDesk Inc.

ClientDesk helps brokerages, broker-based insurers and direct writers digitize their client experience and internal operations using web and mobile technologies. A SaaS based company, ClientDesk provides a cloud-based platform built to scale with the technological evolution happening within the insurance industry. That platform is built around three core modules: policyholder engagement, mobile self-serve and claims management. ClientDesk digitizes insurers and brokers with applications on a device and enables companies to take advantage of the future, which includes wearables and the connected car through the Internet of Things.

About the DMZ at Ryerson University
The DMZ is one of Canada’s largest business incubators. The top-ranked university incubator in North America and third in the world, the DMZ is a hub of innovation, collaboration and commercialization. Since opening in April 2010, the DMZ and Ryerson Futures Inc. – its affiliated accelerator program – have incubated and accelerated 240 startups, which have collectively raised more than $168 million in funding and fostered more than 2,152 jobs. For more information about the DMZ, visit

SOURCE Kanetix

Manulife to begin offering life insurance to HIV-positive Canadians

TORONTO — Manulife has started to offer life insurance for people who are HIV-positive, a first for a Canadian company, the insurer said Friday.

The company (TSX:MFC) said it made the decision after it reviewed the latest mortality and long-term survival rates of HIV-positive Canadians and gained a better perspective on individual risk profiles.

“Manulife was the first insurer to underwrite people with diabetes, and we are continuing in that tradition by making life insurance a possibility for the more than 75,000 Canadians who have tested HIV-positive,” Manulife Canada chief executive Marianne Harrison said.

“This is the result of work completed by our research and innovation team and working closely with our colleagues in the United States at John Hancock.”

The company said applicants who have tested HIV-positive, are between the ages of 30 and 65, and meet certain criteria, can apply for individual life insurance for up to $2 million.

A revolution in drug treatments in recent years has changed an HIV-positive diagnosis from one of a quick death sentence to a chronic disease that can be managed with proper medication.

A report last year by the Canadian Observational Cohort Collaboration said the overall life expectancy of Canadians undergoing antiretroviral treatment for the AIDS-causing virus had climbed to 65 years.

Gary Lacasse, executive director of the Canadian AIDS Society, said he wanted to see the specifics of what Manulife is offering, but called it good news.

“If they look at the scientific data it’s a chronic disease now,” he said. “It’s not a deadly disease.

“We hope that the rest of the industry will follow suit.”


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