Beazley launches specialist design build liability insurance

Beazley has launched a comprehensive professional liability insurance offering designed to meet the needs of construction contractors and design/build firms in Canada.

Design Build provides comprehensive first- and third-party liability cover including full access to Beazley’s market-leading breach response team, BBR Services, in the event of a cyber or data breach.

The policy covers firms’ costs to rectify defects arising out of work carried out by themselves or their subcontractors and for emergency pollution clean-ups that occur during the course of the building work.

Third-party liability coverage protects policyholders against claims arising from design work done either by their team or a sub-contractor. In addition to contractor’s pollution liability, transportation pollution and non-owned site pollution are included in the policy as well as coverage for mould and technology and advertising.

The cover is available to Canada-domiciled firms on a primary and excess basis.

Coverage enhancements also include:

  • Consent to settlement (softened hammer) clause – enables Beazley and insured to equally share costs incurred after insurer settles a claim
  • Asbestos and lead paint coverage
  • Mediation credit
  • Definition of insured – to also include licensed or similarly qualified professionals
  • Waiver of subrogation against the insured’s clients here contractually required
  • Worldwide territorial coverage for Canadian domiciled firms

With the threat of a cyber-attack now a reality for all organisations, Design Build provides firms that suffer a breach with access to BBR Services’ team of cyber breach professionals to assist at every stage of an incident investigation and breach response.

Nancy Brady, Beazley underwriter and product lead, said: “Over three decades of underwriting liabilities for building and design firms, Beazley has developed a deep understanding of the liabilities that design professionals and construction contractors face. In Canada, and globally, we help firms of all sizes, from sole proprietors to some of the country’s largest design firms, to manage the evolving risks they face. Bringing together underwriting, claims and risk management expertise across cyber, pollution and construction risk, the Design Build coverage provides extensive coverage to protect contractors and design/build firms in today’s highly regulated and often litigious environment.”

Note to editors:
Beazley plc (BEZ.L) is the parent company of specialist insurance businesses with operations 
in Europe, the US, CanadaLatin AmericaAsia and Australia. Beazley manages six 
Lloyd’s syndicates and in 2018 underwrote gross premiums worldwide of $2,615 million. All Lloyd’s syndicates are rated A by A.M. Best.

Beazley’s underwriters in the United States focus on writing a range of specialist insurance 
products. In the admitted market, coverage is provided by Beazley Insurance Company, Inc., 
an A.M. Best A rated carrier licensed in all 50 states. In the surplus lines market, coverage is provided by the Beazley syndicates at Lloyd’s.

Beazley is a market leader in many of its chosen lines, which include professional indemnity, property, marine, reinsurance, accident and life, and political risks and contingency business.

For more information please go to: www.beazley.com

SOURCE Beazley

IBC issues warning for Atlantic Canada to prepare for spring storm

Environment Canada issued a mixture of snowfall and rainfall warnings for Nova ScotiaNew BrunswickPrince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. Atlantic Canadians are encouraged to monitor their local weather. The region has seen rain and snow combined with high winds overnight and is expected to continue throughout the day.

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) would like consumers to prepare for potential flooding to protect themselves from harm. During a severe weather event, everyone’s priority must be their personal safety and the safety of loved ones and neighbours.

Many Canadian insurers now offer some form of overland flood insurance for homeowners which, along with sewer backup coverage, helps reduce the financial hardship of these events. However, most often these products are optional and may need to be added to your home insurance policy, so it’s important to check with your insurer to confirm whether you have coverage or if you are able to purchase it.

What to expect from insurance coverage for water damage

  • Damage as a result of sewer backup may be covered by home insurance if the coverage was either included in your home policy or you purchased it as an add-on to your policy.  Varying amounts of sewer backup coverage might be available to you, so contact your insurance representative to discuss.
  • Damage to vehicles caused by water is usually covered if you carry comprehensive or all perils coverage, but remember this  coverage isn’t mandatory, so check your policy or talk to your insurance representative.
  • Not all home insurance policies in Canada cover overland flooding and only some offer coverage for groundwater seepage.
    • Overland flooding usually occurs when bodies of water, such as rivers, streams, lakes, dams and other watercourses, overflow onto dry land and cause damage.

Tips for starting the claims process

When it is safe to do so, take these steps to begin the insurance claims process:

  • Assess and document potential damage. Taking photos can be helpful.
  • Call your insurance representative to report your damage.
  • Keep good notes and be as detailed as possible when providing information. Be sure to keep all receipts related to cleanup.
  • Contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422 ext 228) if you need further information about home, business or car insurance,

For more information on how to protect property against severe weather, floods and other disasters, visit IBC’s website.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 126,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $54.7 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Lawyers file court challenge over ICBC’s new limits on auto insurance payouts

By Justine Hunter | The Globe and Mail

A group representing B.C.’s trial lawyers is asking the courts to overturn new limits on automobile insurance payouts that they say discriminate against people with disabilities.

Effective Monday, the provincial government imposed new rules to curb skyrocketing payments for minor-injury claims by capping settlements for pain and suffering at $5,500 and limiting when accident victims can sue.

The province is the last in Canada to abandon a system in which victims could sue for any type of injury − known as a full tort system.

But the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia filed a constitutional challenge on Monday. They say the challenge is to protect the Charter rights of British Columbians because the right to sue is a basic human right.

Rather than waiting for an individual complainant to challenge the law, the case is filed on behalf of “Jane Doe,” an individual whose identity is not yet known who suffers a “minor injury” as a result of an accident and has to follow the new rules.

Attorney-General David Eby said he is confident the amendments will stand up in court. “We believe the amendments we have made are not just constitutional, but good public policy,” he said in an interview.

Basic auto insurance in the province is only available through the Crown-owned Insurance Corp. of B.C., which is on track to post its second $1-billion deficit in a row. Without the caps, he said, insurance rates would have had to climb significantly this year.

Mr. Eby said the changes are expected to restore ICBC’s fiscal health, even after the province has boosted support for those needing medical services after an accident.

“We need to stop the bleeding at ICBC and this is a $1-billion reform that will actually increase benefits for British Columbians,” he said.

The diagnosis of injuries are made by a doctor and ICBC will then assess whether the injury falls under new definitions for a minor injury.

British Columbians with motor-vehicle-accident claims totalling $50,000 or less will have to resolve them through an online dispute resolution tribunal, without the opportunity to go to court.

Shelley Howard, executive director of the non-profit Campbell River Head Injury Support Society, said she is concerned that some accident victims may be caught under the new cap before they realize the extent of their injuries.

“The medical world doesn’t always recognize brain injuries right off the bat. It’s a complex injury,” she said. “I don’t know how the system will be able to go back and rectify the situation.”

The advocacy group wants assurances that people who suffer head injuries won’t fall through the cracks if their injuries are not promptly diagnosed.

Under ICBC’s rules, individuals have two years to settle their claims. Injuries can be switched from the minor classification to the non-minor category if new symptoms emerge in that time and if the file is still open. However, once an individual settles their claim, there is no opportunity to reopen their case.

“People who have a concussion will likely receive legal advice to not settle until that time period is over and it is clear the extent of the injury,” Mr. Eby said.

The trial lawyers association consulted with former NDP premier and attorney-general Ujjal Dosanjh on the case.

In an interview, Mr. Dosanjh said the government is violating the intent of the ICBC system when it was created in the 1970s.

“What you have now is the NDP government of British Columbia saying, ‘we will continue public auto insurance but we will increase rates and diminish your rights,’” he said.

“Taking away tort isn’t modernization, it’s going to medieval times without the right to go to court.”

Insurance giant Great-West Life changing name to Canada Life

By  | Global News

An iconic Winnipeg insurance company is changing its name.

Great-West Life, which had its start in the city 128 years ago, is undergoing a rebrand under the Canada Life name, which is set to encompass all of the organizations under the current Great-West Life, London Life, and Canada Life brands.

Canada Life’s president said Wednesday the change isn’t expected to impact any of the group’s 11,000 employees in Winnipeg and four other Canadian cities.

Great-West made the news in 2017 after slashing 1,500 jobs across Canada, including 450 here in Winnipeg.

“Our employees are central not only to our companies’ growth, but to the relationship of trust that we’ve built with our customers, advisors and consultants,” said Jeff Macoun.

“Under the new Canada Life brand, we’ll make it easier for them to deliver for our customers, advisors, consultants, and their communities.”

The rebranding is expected to take place over the next year, with the three companies’ offices across the country – including Winnipeg’s Osborne Street landmarks – taking on the new name and logo.

Hub International Acquires Alberta-Based Del Fisher Insurance Inc.

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

Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Del Fisher Insurance is an independent insurance broker providing personal and commercial insurance solutions, including home, auto, business and contract bonding to area residents and businesses since 1981. Del Fisher Insurance represents some of the largest and most respected insurance companies in Canada.

Jeff Alderman, Office Manager/Partner of Del Fisher Insurance, will join Hub International Barton Limited and will be a member of the Prairie Arctic leadership team. John Dewit, President/Partner of Del Fisher Insurance, and L.M. (Mike) Santiago, Vice President/Partner of Del Fisher Insurance, will be retiring.

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

AIG exits auto and home insurance in Canada amid industry shakeout

 | The Globe and Mail

AIG Insurance Co. of Canada is quietly exiting the domestic home and auto insurance business, the latest player to quit the domestic market amid a consolidation trend that’s contributing to a rise in insurance rates.

The Toronto-based division of American International Group Inc., one of the world’s 20 largest insurers, decided earlier this year to shut down a business that catered to wealthy Canadian clients. Policies will not be renewed as they expire over the next 12 months.

The unit was an offshoot of a successful service that AIG offers ultrahigh net worth customers in the United States and Europe. New York-based AIG published a report on the needs of the wealthiest Americans showing these customers typically own nine homes, 19 automobiles, US$19-million of art and US$1.7-million of jewellery. The annual cost of insuring these possessions runs to US$250,000 or more. In Canada, this would be a small segment of the high net worth market.

“The individual personal insurance line of business represents a small percentage of our portfolio in Canada and based on market conditions, we have decided not to underwrite new policies in this area,” AIG Canada spokesperson Lynn Woodburn said. “This decision does not affect the rest of AIG Canada’s portfolio.”

In Canada, AIG ranks as the country’s 13th-largest property and casualty (P&C) insurer, with a 2.2 per cent market share, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The company has 35,000 Canadian clients and 425 employees in the country.

Filings to federal regulators show its Canadian clients paid $54-million for home and car insurance in 2017, the most recent available data. Property insurance claims from AIG’s clients outstripped premiums by $13-million, which would imply the division lost money, while the company took in $8-million more in car insurance premiums than it paid out in claims.

AIG is sticking with its core Canadian corporate clients, which paid the company approximately $400-million annually over each of the past three years for products such as liability insurance. Globally, AIG restructured after suffering significant losses during the global financial crisis and is now on secure financial footing: The company posted a US$1.4-billion profit in 2018.

AIG’s exit comes amid increased consolidation of the auto and home insurance sector. Intact Financial Corp., the country’s largest P&C insurer with 15-per-cent market share, has acquired a string of rivals over the past decade, including the $2.6-billion acquisition of AXA Canada in 2011. In 2015, Desjardins Group bought the Canadian P&C arm of State Farm Life Insurance Co. for an estimated $1.3-billion, and is now rebranding the unit.

Privately owned Economical Mutual Insurance Co., the country’s eighth-largest P&C company, plans a $1.9-billion initial public offering in large part to access the capital the Waterloo-based company needs to acquire rivals.

Foreign companies are also consolidators in Canada. The country’s second-largest P&C insurer is Aviva Canada Inc., which has a British parent, and the company spent $582-million to buy Royal Bank of Canada’s P&C insurance operations in 2016. New York-based Travelers Co. Inc. acquired Dominion of Canada General Insurance Co. for $1.1-billion in 2013, vaulting the company into 10th spot in the domestic market.

For the remaining Canadian P&C insurers, consolidation translates into greater scale and pricing power, according to analysts. In a recent report on Intact, CIBC World Markets analyst Paul Holden said, “Industry return on equity has been running well below historical averages (2018 could be around 5%), but rates are firming across many markets (personal auto, personal property and commercial lines).”

Analysts expect the largest insurers to continue snapping up smaller rivals. Mr. Holden said at Intact, “management views the current environment as very favourable for Canada M&A. … Our impression based on the [fourth quarter] conference call is that Intact expects to do a deal this year.”

For drivers, fewer P&C insurers is expected to translate into rising auto insurance rates in provinces served by private companies. There are government-owned auto insurers in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec.

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario, a government agency, signed off on a 3.35 per cent average increase in the price on car insurance in the last three months of 2018. The provincial watchdog said further hikes are expected, as “insurance companies are reporting an increase in claims costs for repairing vehicles.”

The Ontario agency said the P&C insurance industry also highlighted “growing concern related to distracted driving. As the number of accidents due to inattentive driving increases, so too do the claims costs.”

Editor’s note: (March 29, 2019) The headline on this story has been changed. An earlier headline incorrectly said AIG Insurance Co. of Canada was exiting the Canadian property and casualty (P&C) insurance market. AIG exited the personal P&C business but remains in commercial P&C insurance in Canada.

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