Zurich Insurance to shift investment away from oil sands in broad carbon policy

The excerpted article was written by GLOBAL ENERGY REPORTER

Swiss-based Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. is blacklisting oil sands producers as well as the pipeline companies and crude-by-rail facilities that serve them, saying Tuesday that it will stop underwriting or investing in the companies within two years unless they can clearly show their business plans are consistent with a global effort to avert the worst impact of climate change.

Zurich said it is joining a United Nations compact to align its own business operations with the goal of limiting average global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in order to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change. In a report last fall, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the 1.5-degree target is necessary to avert dire human impacts and the wholesale extinction of vulnerable species.

Zurich committed to using only renewable power in all global operations by 2023, and said it will work to create financial industry standards to measure and set targets for the carbon footprint of companies’ underwriting and investment portfolio.

“As one of the world’s leading insurers, we see first-hand the devastation natural disasters inflict on people and communities,” Zurich chief executive officer Mario Greco said in a release. “This is why we are accelerating action to reduce climate risks by driving changes in how companies and people behave and [to] support those most impacted.”

The Swiss insurer has US$190-billion in investments worldwide, and is the latest institutional money manager to target the oil sands for divestment. Others include British bank HSBC Holdings PLC; France’s BNP Paribas SA and France’s giant AXA Equitable Financial Service LLC, as well as several state pension funds in the U.S. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney publicly condemned HSBC for its stand, but recently dismissed the financial industry’s increasing focus on climate risk as the “flavour of the day.”

However, an expert panel appointed by the federal government recently warned that the pressure will only increase as global financial markets respond to the growing climate emergency. The panel – headed by former Bank of Canada deputy governor Tiff Macklem – said Canada’s oil companies must scale up the pace of innovation in order to reduce their carbon footprint or see their share of the global market decline precipitously.

Companies such as Imperial Oil Ltd., Suncor Energy Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. argue they have made great strides in reducing the greenhouse-gas intensity of their new facilities, which they say are now on par with the average crude refined in North America. Over all, the industry has reduced its per-barrel emissions by 29 per cent since 2000, the Macklem panel said.

“Canadian oil and natural gas is produced in one of the most highly regulated jurisdictions globally and is among the most sustainably produced energy sources in the world. The majority of global oil and natural gas reserves are held by nationally-owned companies accountable to little, or no climate legislation,” Jon Stringham, manager of fiscal and economic policy at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said in an e-mail.

Constraining Canadian production will only result in increased market share for companies that face little or no environmental standards, he said.

Zurich’s head of sustainability, Linda Freiner, said the company moved to eliminate coal used for electricity from its portfolio two years ago, but felt it needed to intensify its effort in line with the IPCC report that warned the world must begin to reduce greenhouse gases dramatically within a decade to have any chance of meeting the 1.5-degree goal.

The Globe and Mail

Northbridge’s Silvy Wright elected Chair of the Board of Directors for IBC

June 25, 2019 (TORONTO) – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors has elected Silvy Wright to serve as Chair of the Board. Ms. Wright is President and Chief Executive Officer for Northbridge Financial, a leading Canadian commercial insurer.

“The insurance industry is changing at an unprecedented pace and facing new challenges. As the voice of Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry, IBC is uniquely positioned to help address shared concerns and forge solutions to pressing issues,” said Silvy Wright, Chair, IBC Board of Directors. “These challenges span from work advancing the country’s preparedness for severe weather events, to auto insurance reforms across Canada, to new technologies and industry disruptors. Through IBC, property and casualty insurers will continue engaging governments and stakeholders across Canada to drive changes that will benefit Canadian businesses and consumers. I look forward to continuing this important work and representing the shared values of our industry.”

Ms. Wright has been President and CEO of Northbridge since 2011. Before that, she played a pivotal role in building Markel Insurance into Canada’s premier trucking insurer, including being President and CEO starting in 2006 after holding other executive positions with the company. Prior to Markel, Ms. Wright held other senior positions in the insurance and financial services industries.

“In her new role as Chair, Ms. Wright brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to IBC, and her work in commercial insurance brings a unique perspective to the role,” said Don Forgeron, President and CEO, IBC. “We look forward to working with her to reach our goals of helping consumers and keeping Canada’s insurance industry strong and robust. With Ms. Wright’s leadership, IBC will continue to advance its strategic priorities with communities, stakeholders and governments across the country.”


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.

Apollo Insurance launches online marketplace for SMEs after $1m angel round

Apollo Insurance Solutions Launches Industry-First Online Monthly Subscription Service, Following Close of $1M CAD Angel Round … an e-commerce marketplace that enables brokers and their small business clients to instantly

Vancouver, BC, June 25, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Apollo Insurance Solutions (“Apollo”), Canada’s largest online insurance marketplace, officially launches today, unveiling an industry-first monthly small business insurance subscription available in Canada through the groundbreaking Apollo Exchange – an ecommerce marketplace that enables brokers and their small business clients to instantly quote and purchase insurance products entirely online. The announcement follows Apollo’s angel round of funding, which, after the completion of beta testing on April 1, 2019, successfully closed at $1 million CAD with support from notable investors, including Drew Green, Matias Marquez, Kim Kaplan, and Tim Gamble. This news comes at a critical time when the existing process for insurance policies lacks efficiency and results in gaps in suitable coverage, particularly for small businesses.

“Today’s launch is a defining moment in the Apollo story, and a memorable day for the entire team,” said Jeff McCann, Co-founder and CEO of Apollo Insurance Solutions. “We wanted to make it easier for Canada’s small businesses to operate, and a major pain point with starting and growing a small business is insurance. With the small business insurance subscription, we make it fast, easy to access, and affordable, empowering insurance brokers by streamlining their workflow so that they can spend more time offering strategic advice and counsel. It seems simple considering we subscribe to almost everything else, but it has yet to exist – until today.”

Current insurance policies require long application forms and wait times for quote turnaround, manual renewal or reapproval by a broker upon expiration, and limited access given 9-5 office hours – major pain points for small businesses. Apollo offers a simple solution that streamlines the process and alleviates the labour intensive paperwork for both brokers and their small business clientele.

“Incidents of complex new risks such as cyber breaches, natural disasters, massive supply chain inefficiencies, and a lengthy application process, are having a negative impact on Canada’s small businesses,” added McCann. “As it stands, it currently takes roughly six weeks to process an insurance application through to policy issuance and payment settlement. By leveraging innovation and technology, Apollo is able to expedite the entire process to just five minutes.”

Apollo helps insurance brokers close deals faster, accelerate revenues, and reduce costs. By simplifying the insurance application, quoting, and buying process through digitization – all of which is currently done on paper or PDF – brokers can access multiple insurance products, covering over 500 classes of business (from studios, to retail stores, to accountants, and hair salons) on one central platform, freeing up to 45 per cent of brokers’ time from administrative tasks. Since launching Beta testing, over 300 registered individual broker users have signed up on the Apollo Exchange marketplace, transacted 800 small business policies, and processed over 3,600 digital insurance applications.

The company is led by Insurance Broker Magazine’s Top 10 Under 40 recipient and former broker, Co-Founder and CEO, Jeff McCann. The Apollo leadership team is made up of award-winning journalist, Co-Founder and Editor in Chief, David Dyck; Co-Founder and CTO, Justin Hamade; and 2018 Young Gun of the Year, Head of Broker Engagement, Margo Lyons. Supported by some of Canada’s top entrepreneurial talent, Apollo’s Board of Directors includes Drew Green, CEO of Indochino; Tim Gamble, Founding Partner at Thunderbird Entertainment; and Steve Albiani of Stratum Advisory Group.

About Apollo Insurance Solutions

Headquartered in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood, Apollo Insurance Solutions is Canada’s largest online insurance marketplace. Co-founded by Jeff McCann, David Dyck, Justin Hamade, and Drew Green, Apollo was created to empower brokers to better serve small businesses by giving them 24/7 access to digital insurance.

Apollo Exchange offers Canada’s brokers access to multiple insurance providers, with over 500 classes of insurance. Unlike the traditionally lengthy insurance policy and application process – which can take up to six weeks – Apollo users can quote, pay, and have their policy documents issued online in just under five minutes, allowing them to focus on the important stuff: building trusted relationships and offering strategic, thoughtful counsel.

Following the completion of its Beta testing in April 2019, Apollo has successfully closed its angel round of funding, raising $1 million CAD with the support of notable investors, including Drew Green, Matias Marquez, Kim Kaplan, and Caliber Ventures. Acting members of Apollo’s Board of Directors are leading industry and entrepreneurial figures Drew Green, Steve Albiani, Tim Gamble, and Jeff McCann. In June 2019, the company launched a first of its kind, digital, monthly subscription service. For more information, visit: http://story.apollocover.com/

Sask. Government Insurance says cleanup expenses could be covered by claim

Read more

DYK: Medical reasons make up one-third of Canadian’ travel claims

NEWS PROVIDED BY

RBC Insurance

Highlights:

  • Canadians’ biggest pet peeves while travelling by air include bad travel etiquette, followed by flight delays and going through airport security. And when it comes to the worst things they’ve lost while travelling, the top three items are baggage, their passport and their travelling companion.
  • Over a quarter of Canadians have made an insurance claim as a result of something that happened to them while travelling, with visits to the doctor accounting for 33 per cent of those claims, followed by flight delays.
  • When asked the most important item to insure while on vacation, almost three-quarters had said themselves, followed by luggage, rental car and mobile phone.

TORONTO, June 19, 2019 /CNW/ – Tight airport security and flight delays can definitely be a downside to air travel, but the biggest pet peeve for over a quarter (27 per cent) of Canadians is bad travel etiquette, according to a recent RBC Insurance survey. And when it comes to the worst things they’ve lost along the way, the top three items are baggage (20 per cent), followed by their passport (13 per cent) and, interestingly, their travelling companion (6 per cent).

However, the overall pleasures of air travel seem to outweigh the pet-peeves. Canadians are often on the move, travelling outside of their home province by air roughly once every six to seven months.

Before you go, ensure you’re insured
Along with such frequent travel comes a greater opportunity for mishaps to occur that could result in expensive bills. In fact, one-quarter (26 per cent) of Canadians have made an insurance claim as a result of something that happened to them while travelling. One-third (33 per cent) of those claims were related to visits to a doctor, hospital or clinic, while flight delays account for one-quarter (24 per cent) of claims.

“Travel is a wonderful, educational experience and it’s great to see that Canadians are exploring the world outside their own province or country so frequently,” said Stacey Hughes-Brooks, Head of Travel, RBC Insurance. “However, given the data from the survey, a quarter of Canadians have needed to make an insurance claim so it’s best to make sure not only that you have coverage, but that you have enough.”

When asked the most important item to insure while on vacation, almost three-quarters (72 per cent) responded themselves – and this increases among travellers aged 55 and over (81 per cent) as compared to younger travellers (64 per cent). When it comes to insuring physical belongings, 12 per cent stated luggage is the next most important item, followed by a rental car (7 per cent) and mobile phone (5 per cent).

Barriers to filing travel insurance claims
Of those Canadians who have never made a travel insurance claim, 79 per cent have been lucky enough to say they have never been in a situation where they needed to make one. However, the remaining 21 per cent said they needed to file a claim but did not or were unable to do so. The top reasons for not making a claim include that it was too much of a hassle, they were underinsured, they incorrectly assumed they were covered by their insurance policy or their credit card or they didn’t know where to go.

“With so many credit cards offering travel insurance many Canadians may assume that they are covered if something happens while travelling,” adds Stacey. “It’s important that Canadians do their homework to understand their coverage otherwise they could find themselves out-of-pocket for minor or major expenses.”

RBC Insurance offers the following tips for Canadian travellers this year:

  • Consider purchasing travel insurance even if traveling within Canada.
  • Ensure you understand what your policy does and does not cover and what other coverages you may have through work or credit cards.
  • Label luggage by putting your name and contact information on the inside and outside of the bag.

About the RBC Insurance Survey
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 23-27, 2019 on behalf of RBC Insurance. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 years and over were interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About RBC Insurance
RBC Insurance® offers a wide range of life, health, home, auto, travel, wealth, annuities and reinsurance advice and solutions, as well as creditor and business insurance services to individual, business and group clients. RBC Insurance is the brand name for the insurance operating entities of Royal Bank of Canada, one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC Insurance is among the largest Canadian bank-owned insurance organizations, with approximately 2,900 employees who serve more than five million clients globally. For more information, please visit rbcinsurance.com.

SOURCE RBC Insurance

AXIS Capital Announces Publication of the Company’s 2018 Loss Development Triangles

EMBROKE, Bermuda–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (“AXIS Capital” or the “Company”) (NYSE: AXS) today announced the publication of the Company’s 2018 Loss Development Triangles. A copy of this document is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website, www.axiscapital.com.

The data is presented as of December 31, 2018, on an accident-year basis and includes paid, incurred and ultimate losses on a net and gross basis. Development triangles for paid, incurred and ultimate losses are provided on a net of reinsurance basis, thus allowing for a more direct reconciliation between the triangles and the Company’s published net financial information. The information for the development triangles is provided for 11 reserving classes of business that fall under the Company’s two reportable segments, Insurance and Reinsurance.

Consistent with the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, financial information related to the accident & health lines of business is included in the Property and Other triangles of the Insurance and Reinsurance segments. The Company’s accident and health lines of business were previously included in the Property and Other triangle of the Company’s Insurance segment.

About AXIS Capital

AXIS Capital, through its operating subsidiaries, is a global provider of specialty lines insurance and treaty reinsurance with shareholders’ equity at March 31, 2019, of $5.3 billion and locations in Bermuda, the United States, Europe, Singapore, Middle East, Canada and Latin America. Its operating subsidiaries have been assigned a rating of “A+” (“Strong”) by Standard & Poor’s and “A+” (“Superior”) by A.M. Best. For more information about AXIS Capital, visit our website at www.axiscapital.com. Follow AXIS Capital on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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