Benefits and Life Insurance Agencies Joining Forces for Continued Growth and Innovation

Effective January 1, 2020, SC Insurance and RRJ Benefits Inc. are coming together to form a new venture to strengthen and grow the benefits and life business between the two companies.

This new venture will provide access to innovative resources and cutting-edge proprietary tools.  Clients will have access to the SC Hub: a digital administration tool to manage their benefit plans on a paperless platform, as well as A.I. driven solutions to simplify the life insurance application and underwriting process.

Abraham Baboujian, Chairman and CEO of RRJ Benefits, “This venture between our organizations will serve as a catalyst to expand our offering in a strategic manner”. Jessica Bowler (née Cassano), who manages RRJ Benefits will be joining the SC Insurance as Senior Manager of Sales providing continuity to clients and the rest of the team.

The SC Team is excited to add resources and scale with the RRJ connection. “As a result of this venture, we are delighted to be able to offer our clients best-in-class solutions across the entire insurance and risk-management landscape” said SC Insurance President, Darren Abrahams.

About SC Insurance

Originally founded in 1979 as Steven Cohen Insurance Agency Inc, SC Insurance has consistently remained among the most highly respected Life & Benefits agencies in the Toronto area. Current President, Darren Abrahams, has been with SC since 2004, and under his stewardship the firm has forged an exciting path, leveraging the same high-touch level of service and advice, while embracing innovation and technology to streamline and enhance each stage of the client experience.

www.scinsurance.ca

About RRJ Benefits Inc. (RRJ Insurance Group Ltd)

As one of Canada’s largest independent brokerages, RRJ has been providing Property & Casualty insurance solutions to thousands of clients across Ontario for over 110 years. RRJ has 7 offices (Toronto, Oshawa, Peterborough, Lindsay, Orillia, Bracebridge and Kitchener) and nearly 200 staff.  In 2012, RRJ Benefits was introduced, providing Life Insurance and Group Benefits solutions to client within the organization. In 2020 RRJ’s property & casualty insurance operations will be re-organized under a single brand to be called “KRGinsure”.

www.krginsure.com

SOURCE SC Insurance

Completion of Brown & Brown, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Special Risk Insurance Managers, Ltd.

News Release:

Update on previously ran an article by ILSTV Dec 9th, 2019

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE:BRO) today announced the completion of the previously-announced acquisition of Special Risk Insurance Managers, Ltd. by Brown & Brown, Inc.

Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE: BRO) is a leading insurance brokerage firm, providing risk management solutions to individuals and businesses. With more than 80 years of proven success and thousands of teammates, we offer the knowledge you can trust and strive to deliver superior customer service. For more information, please visit bbinsurance.com.

This press release may contain certain statements relating to future results which are forward-looking statements, including those associated with this acquisition. These statements are not historical facts, but instead, represent only Brown & Brown’s current belief regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of Brown & Brown’s control. It is possible that Brown & Brown’s actual results and financial condition may differ, possibly materially, from the anticipated results and financial condition indicated in these forward-looking statements. Further information concerning Brown & Brown and its business, including factors that potentially could materially affect Brown & Brown’s financial results and condition, as well as its other achievements, is contained in Brown & Brown’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such factors include those factors relevant to Brown & Brown’s consummation and integration of the announced acquisition, including any matters analyzed in the due diligence process, and material adverse changes in the business and financial condition of the seller, the buyer, or both, and their respective customers. All forward-looking statements made herein are made only as of the date of this release, and Brown & Brown does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or correct any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that subsequently occur or of which Brown & Brown hereafter becomes aware.

R. Andrew Watts
Chief Financial Officer
(386) 239-7550

See the original article here:

Brown & Brown, Inc. Enters into Agreement to Acquire Special Risk Insurance Managers, Ltd.

Sorry snowbirds, provincial health plans should not help CDN’s cover their out-of-country medical costs

OPINION

The excerpted article was written by CARRICK | The Globe and Mail

With their endless premium increases, insurance companies are on their way to positioning themselves as the Number One villain in personal finance.

So it’s easy to sympathize with the anger of snowbirds over the Ontario government’s move to stop making a contribution toward emergency medical costs incurred when residents are out of the country, effective Jan. 1. This change is expected to result in higher premiums for private out-of-country medical insurance, which is already plenty expensive.

But Ontario is in the right here. Payments by provincial health plans to people requiring emergency medical care out of the country are miserably inadequate and thus a poor value for taxpayers. Worse, these payments help perpetuate the idea that you don’t need travel medical insurance when you leave Canada. It’s not up for debate – this coverage is essential.

The Canadian Snowbird Association has launched a court challenge of Ontario’s new policy on out-of-country medical expenses. The argument is that the new rule goes against provisions in the Canada Health Act that make your medical coverage portable when you travel outside your home province.

Portability may have practical value when travelling within Canada, but it’s largely fictional if you leave the country. Expect this coverage to amount to less than 10 per cent of the cost if you get sick or are injured outside Canada.

The exact amount paid by provincial health insurance plans for out-of-country emergency medical care varies, but an insurer used by Marty Firestone of Travel Secure Inc., a company selling travel insurance, has reported that typical payments would be $50 for an outpatient doctor visit, as little as $7 for a simple X-ray and $75 to $400 a day for in-patient admissions.

In Boca Raton, Fla., there’s a walk-in clinic that advertises rates on its website of US$99 to US$139 for minor illnesses and injuries. A serious illness could cost you a lot more than that. Mr. Firestone said he was told by a travel insurance contact that the full cost of intensive care in the United States can start at $5,000 a night and go well over $50,000 a night, depending on the hospital, the state and the diagnosis.

An actual case handled by this insurer: A 60-year-old man lost a finger in an accident maintaining his boat at a U.S. marina and the total medical bill came to $58,301 (Canadian). Provincial health care paid $76.30 of that amount.

Mr. Firestone said he has been getting phone calls from Ontario residents who say they need travel insurance because they’re no longer covered by the provincial health insurance plan. “I say to them, with all due respect, you were never covered by the provincial plan. That’s not coverage, it was a meagre pittance.”

One insurer offered an online quote this week of $750 for a 70-year-old Ontario male with high blood pressure who plans to spend 98 days in the U.S. this winter. So far, Mr. Firestone hasn’t seen any premium increases for travel medical insurance coverage as a result of the changes for Ontario residents. But he has heard that increases of 7 per cent to 9 per cent are possible in the near future.

Ouch, right? With home and vehicle insurance premiums rising sharply in many cases, the thought of yet another increase is sure to annoy. There’s always an excuse – repair costs are driving up car insurance premiums, while storms driven by climate change are pushing house and condo insurance premiums higher. Now, Ontario’s move on out-of-country emergency medical costs is set to push travel insurance costs higher.

How much higher can premiums go before people change their lifestyles? High vehicle premiums are a great incentive to try car sharing and a monthly transit pass. But it doesn’t seem likely that snowbirds will have to give up their winter getaways because Ontario stopped paying a small fraction of the cost of emergency medical care outside the country.

As for the rest of the population, many people have group travel medical coverage through their benefits plan at work. Premium credit cards often include travel medical coverage among the benefits they offer.

Warning: Travel emergency medical insurance may not pay out on claims if you have undisclosed pre-existing medical conditions. It’s not bullet-proof coverage, but it’s still essential. This applies whether or not your province offers token payments for out-of-country emergency medical care.

Source: The Globe and Mail

 

IBC to hire risk manager to assist condominium corporations

EDMONTON, Jan. 7, 2020 /CNW/ – To address issues that have arisen in the commercial insurance market, and especially in condominium insurance in Alberta, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) will be engaging an expert in risk management to assist those having trouble accessing affordable insurance.

IBC will make the risk manager available to assist condo corporations that are having trouble acquiring insurance. The risk manager will make practical recommendations that will reduce condo corporations’ risk and help improve the availability of insurance. For example, if a condo corporation can’t obtain insurance because of numerous water damage claims, the risk manager will identify that as the obstacle for the condo corporation and advise them on the maintenance required to reduce that risk.

While the commercial insurance market has been hardening globally, there are a number of condominium corporations in Alberta that are feeling the pressures more significantly than others. The IBC risk manager, to be hired early this year, will work closely with the insurance industry, the provincial government and condominium corporations to understand risks facing condos and how they can prioritize actions needed to access much-needed insurance.

“We recognize the seriousness of the issues facing a number of condominium corporations in Alberta, especially in Fort McMurray, and want to help all stakeholders find solutions,” said Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, IBC. “Insurance is all about understanding and pricing for risk. Engaging with a risk manager will help those who are having difficulty finding insurance to take steps that will help them get the insurance coverage they need.”

There are about 9,000 condominium corporations across Alberta, and recent media reports suggest at least a handful are having trouble accessing insurance or are seeing increased rates. Being better informed will help condominium boards to examine and respond to these concerns. The risk manager hired by IBC will be able to increase boards’ awareness about how insurers view risks and evaluate properties. The risk manager can also provide advice on how claims history, building materials and location can affect insurance rates.

“We understand this is an incredibly stressful situation for Albertans in the affected condos. We do not want to see any Albertan lose their home or have difficulty paying their bills. We are hopeful that this first step will help inform those affected and improve the situation,” Power added.

This is just one step of many that the insurance industry is taking to address this issue. IBC has brought together industry representatives and key stakeholders to take action and is also working closely with the provincial government.

“It is essential that all stakeholders work together to find common-sense solutions to relieve the pressure in the condominium market right now,” Power concluded.

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 128,000 Canadians, pays $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @IBC_West 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.

Backgrounder

How insurance for condominium corporations works

Tough market conditions have led to companies re-evaluating their risk appetite for writing new business and having more discipline in commercial underwriting. Many insurers across Canada, and in Alberta in particular, have seen more frequent and more severe weather losses, including losses as a result of the 2013 floods in Calgary, the 2016 wildfires in Fort McMurray and the 2019 fires in High Level.

  • 7 of Canada’s 11 most-costly insured disaster events have taken place in Alberta, and this has contributed to changes in the way companies underwrite risk and price premiums.
  • Several lines of insurance business are currently experiencing high losses. A hardening insurance market – a period where claims payouts have increased – makes insurers less inclined to write new business, making it more difficult for commercial consumers to obtain insurance.

Insurers look at a number of factors to assess risk and price premiums, including the following:

  • Type of construction and the materials used in the building’s construction, including whether materials are fire resistant, e.g., wood frame structures are considered higher risk.
  • Location of the condo, e.g., buildings located on flood plains pose a greater risk of water damage due to overland flooding, and in the northern parts of Alberta, water damage from burst pipes is more prevalent.
  • Multi-unit condos are prone to water damage through accidental overflowing of toilets and bathtubs, as well as burst pipes and supply line failures.
  • Claims history, such as repeated water damage claims or multiple other claims, will affect the availability and affordability of insurance coverage.

There are unique risks to consider when insuring condo corporations, including the following:

  • Difficult economic conditions have led to higher vacancy rates, which pose significant risks.
  • A unit occupied by tenants, as opposed to the unit owner, may not be maintained as adequately and repairs may not happen as quickly.
  • Higher tenancy rates can often lead to less oversight from the board of directors, which could lead to irregular maintenance or substandard repairs in the condo building.

What you can do now:

  • Talk to your insurance representative about what risk management strategies will help protect your condo. An efficient and effective maintenance program will help to mitigate many of the risks your condo corporation faces.

If you are a condo unit owner:

  • Ask your condo corporation about its maintenance strategy and what it is doing to mitigate risks.
  • Ask your condo corporation about the condo’s claims history and whether there are maintenance issues that need to be addressed.
  • If you have questions about insurance, call IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844‑2ask‑IBC for more information.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

www.ibc.ca

HUB International Acquires British Columbia-Based RHC Insurance Brokers

NEWS PROVIDED BY

Hub International Limited

Hub International Limited (Hub), a leading global insurance brokerage, announced today that it has acquired RHC Insurance Brokers Ltd. and RHC Insurance Brokers (Cranbrook) Ltd. (RHC). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada with nine additional offices across the province, RHC is an independent insurance brokerage that provides personal and business insurance. Tammy Darough, CEO and CFO of RHC, will assist Hub International Insurance Brokers, a division of Hub International Canada West ULC (Hub Canada West), in an advisory role to ensure a seamless transition.

“RHC is an excellent addition to Hub,” said David Moon, President of Hub Canada West. “With RHC, we will continue to support long term growth throughout British Columbia and Western Canada. We are pleased to be able to meet the growing needs of both commercial and personal clients with our ever strengthening suite of insurance solutions and risk management services.”

“Hub has a stellar reputation in the industry, and I know our clients will benefit from Hub’s extensive platform,” added Ms. Darough. “We are dedicated to providing and maintaining a comprehensive, competitive and holistic insurance program.”

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.

It’s that time of year again for our annual review of case law from across Canada that had an impact on the landscape of insurance litigation.

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