Flood in entrepreneur’s home could have sunk her business

When a winter melt in 2010 flooded entrepreneur Dawn Mucci’s basement – where she was running her franchise operation – it was her business insurance that helped her bounce back quickly.

“Everything was taken care of. I was pleasantly surprised. The only thing that wasn’t taken care of was my stress,” says Ms. Mucci, founder and chief executive officer of Lice Squad, which offers eco-friendly products and services across Canada to cope with lice.

About 45 centimetres of water filled the bottom of her Innisfil, Ont., home, damaging everything from electronics to her company’s products and forcing her to move the operation to her dining room one floor up.

“It was very upsetting,” Ms. Mucci recalls. “But you have to keep your operation going. You’re not just supporting yourself, you’re supporting your franchises. Having a reliable and good insurance provider was critical. You have to think of these things when you’re a business owner.”

Some home-based entrepreneurs forget to add business coverage to their personal policies, including property and contents insurance, says Pete Karageorgos, director of consumer and industry relations at the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

It’s an additional premium, he says, but it can save entrepreneurs a lot more if they are hit by a fire, flood or other incidents.

Mr. Karageorgos uses the example of an entrepreneur with a home-based computer-repair business whose customers’ equipment was damaged in a flood on his property. The business owner didn’t have business coverage on his home policy, so the losses weren’t covered. “That was an expensive lesson,” Mr. Karageorgos says.

The same lesson applies to business owners who use their personal vehicles for work. If they have customer products in the car, and the vehicle is stolen, for example, those contents aren’t covered without business coverage on the car.

Entrepreneurs should also consider other insurance products, experts say, whether they work at home or in a commercial or industrial space, such as business interruption insurance, which covers the loss of earnings if the operation has to shut down due to a flood or fire, for example.

Insurance is not something you can set and forget.

— Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Many businesses also buy liability insurance to cover on-site injuries to clients or staff, as well as product liability that protects them if their product is found to be defective or causes harm to a user. Professional liability, which protects business owners who are sued for errors, omissions or negligence in their work, is also becoming more common, as is cyber liability, which covers a company for an electronic security breach.

Some startups wait to buy business insurance until after their company has gained momentum, which could be too late.

Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), advises entrepreneurs to buy insurance early on and recommends they revisit their policies regularly, such as every three years. “Insurance is not something you can set and forget,” Mr. Kelly says.

To ensure owners have the right amount of coverage for their particular company – not too much or too little – Mr. Kelly suggests using an insurance broker. “You need someone in your corner who can share with you the risks you may be taking on and ensure you have proper protection,” he says.

Business owners who belong to certain associations might have access to group coverage plans that can reduce their premiums and deductibles. For example, CFIB members can sign up for an insurance package from Northbridge Insurance that also provides certain types of free legal advice for a year.

Toronto-based Foxquilt Inc. is a financial technology company that offers small-businesses group purchasing power for insurance. The company caters to the many small businesses and consumers who can’t access group insurance.

Foxquilt co-founder and chief financial officer Karim Jamal says many entrepreneurs don’t realize how quickly a flood, fire or liability case could derail their company’s growth if they don’t have proper coverage. “Small businesses are so mired in growing and making revenue that [they] tend to overlook some of the things that could disrupt the business,” Mr. Jamal says. “It’s a cliché, but having insurance is about having peace mind.”

While the flood of 2010 was devastating for Ms. Mucci, having the right insurance helped her to recover and, not too long after, she expanded into a commercial office space. Her company has been growing ever since.

“Nobody likes insurance,” says Ms. Mucci, but for business owners, “you’d be insane not to get it.”

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance announced its Motor Truck Cargo Legal Liability policy

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Cargo theft program launches in Western Canada

EDMONTON, Dec. 8, 2015 /CNW/ – Today, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), along with law enforcement and provincial trucking associations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba announced that the highly successful cargo theft reporting program currently operating in Eastern Canada is expanding to the four western provinces. According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, the rapidly escalating crime of cargo theft is costing Canadians up to $5 billion a year and is a significant problem in transportation hubs in Western Canada, southern Ontario and Montreal.

The effects of cargo theft reach beyond its direct impact on the Canadian economy. Cargo that is stolen and sold in illegal markets shifts revenues from legitimate businesses to criminals and depletes tax revenues. There is also the potential for violence in perpetrating cargo crime, putting the well-being of truck drivers and other industry employees at risk.

Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western & Pacific, IBC, said, “Cargo theft is a serious crime. It is costing the Canadian economy billions of dollars and can be dangerous. The cargo theft initiative brings together the many different parts of the transportation system to help curb this type of criminal activity, protect people in our communities and save Canadians money.”

Today IBC announced the launch of a new national database with an improved feature, which is available to all insurance companies and members of all provincial trucking associations across Canada. Strategic partners can immediately submit cargo loss details to IBC through an online form on www.ibc.ca. The information is then added to a cargo notice report that is distributed to local and national law enforcement, including Canadian and American border agencies.

The new database allows for the capture and storage of cargo theft data received from insurance and trucking industry sources and provides 24/7 access for law enforcement agencies.

Historically, cargo theft has often gone unreported. Unfortunately it can be easily overlooked due to the many different parts of the transportation process. That is why, in 2014, IBC teamed up with the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) to launch the Cargo Theft Initiative. This initiative aims to raise awareness of the dangers and costs associated with cargo theft, and to assist in the recovery of stolen goods.

Last summer, the cargo theft reporting database – the heart of the program – facilitated communication between insurance companies and law enforcement leading to a police raid. As a result, the owners of approximately $1.4 million in stolen goods were identified.

To date, this program has launched in Ontario and Atlantic Canada and has seen great success. More and more often, individuals are being reunited with their stolen goods, saving consumers money.

To learn more about cargo theft and other types of insurance crime, visit www.ibc.ca.



Cargo theft involves a sophisticated network of criminals who commit the thefts and distribute the stolen goods. The stolen goods are usually items that people use on a daily basis, such as laundry detergent, T-shirts, dry goods and electronic components. Well organized systems are in place to move the products for quick sale in the underground economy. Often the products are parcelled out and sold well before the theft is reported. A thriving black market keeps sophisticated and networked thieves in business.

The reporting of cargo theft has been sporadic, which makes property recovery and prosecution a challenge. Although some trucking companies do report their losses, others do not for fear of a damaged reputation, a negative impact on their business and customer confidence, and increased insurance premiums. When losses are not reported, stolen property cannot be identified or recovered, and thieves are not prosecuted.

The Cargo Theft Initiative began as a pilot reporting project in 2011 in Ontario and Quebec. Working with CTA and member companies, IBC collected, analyzed and shared cargo loss information with law enforcement agencies. The project was an important first step in gathering consistent information on these crimes and led to several recoveries of stolen trailers and consumer goods.

IBC urges citizens to report cargo theft. Anyone witnessing a crime should immediately call the local police. Anyone with general information that would assist in combating cargo theft can call IBC’s confidential 1-877-IBC-TIPS line (1-877-422-8477) or go online at www.ibc.ca to fill out a tip form that can be sent to IBC anonymously.

Benefits of new national database

  • Assists IBC strategic partners in identifying and recovering stolen cargo, tractors and trailer units in a timely and expeditious manner
  • Provides the IBC crime analysts the ability to identify trends, to prevent and detect cargo crime, and ultimately assist in the prosecution of those involved
  • Facilitates the extraction of information to assist with reporting and tracking the success of the program particularly with regard to tracking recoveries
  • Aligns very well with the Ports Program currently in place with Canada Border Services Agency and will complement their efforts in identifying and seizing stolen property
  • Provides access to cargo theft information outside of regular business hours for authorized stakeholders
  • Provides improved and flexible reporting capabilities.

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 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.

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

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

National reporting program to help battle cargo theft in Atlantic Canada

Source: Journal Pioneer

The Cargo Theft Initiative, which IBC and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) launched in Ontario in 2014, brings together industry stakeholders to raise awareness of the dangers and costs associated with cargo theft and to assist in the recovery of stolen goods.

Historically, cargo theft has often gone unreported because there are so many different parts of the transportation process that it can be overlooked.

The success of the program is illustrated in a case that occurred last summer in Ontario. The cargo theft reporting database – the heart of the program – facilitated communication between insurance companies and law enforcement regarding the return of goods. This communication led to a police raid in which the police were able to identify the owners of about $1.4 million in stolen goods.

“To fight cargo theft, we must be as organized as the criminals,” said Amanda Dean, vice-president, Atlantic, IBC. “Cargo theft is not a victimless crime. It is exacting a human toll, costing the Canadian economy billions of dollars and threatening the security of Canadians.

Officials say reporting crime as soon as possible is one of the most effective ways to solve and prevent further incidents.

“As the police, we need that information. By knowing where and when criminals are active, we’re able to investigate and do the analysis required to catch and charge those responsible and help prevent further incidents,” said RCMP Chief Superintendent Wayne Gallant.

Transportation officials and police report that cargo theft involves a sophisticated network of criminals who commit the thefts and distribute the stolen goods. The stolen goods are usually items that people use on a daily basis, such as laundry detergent, T-shirts, dry goods and electronic components.

Well-organized systems are in place to move the products for quick sale in the underground economy. Often the products are parcelled out and sold well before the theft is reported. A thriving black market keeps sophisticated and networked thieves in business.


Frost damage in Manitoba drives up canola prices

By Rod Nickel

Source: Reuters

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Frost late last week in the Canadian Prairie province of Manitoba wiped out many canola fields, driving up the oilseed’s price and generating hundreds of insurance claims from farmers.

The damage from unseasonable freezing temperatures on Friday and early Saturday was worst in western Manitoba, Angela Brackenreed, agronomy specialist in Manitoba for the Canola Council of Canada, said on Monday.

“There’s a lot of fields that are completely written off, that need to be re-seeded,” she said.

Brackenreed said it is too early to estimate the number of acres lost as damage varied widely from one field to another.

ICE Canada November canola futures jumped 3.4 percent on Monday.

The frost compounded worries about the size of the crop in Canada, the biggest producer and exporter of canola, a futures trader said. Some crops on Western Canada’s Prairies have struggled with too little moisture, and the number of acres planted was already smaller than expected.

Canola is crushed to produce vegetable oil, used in foods such as margarine and salad dressings.

Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp, the provincial government corporation that sells crop insurance to farmers, recorded 700 claims on Monday, nearly doubling the total for the whole year, said David Van Deynze, manager of claims.

The claims are mainly for canola, and Van Deynze said he expected more to flow in this week.

“Honestly, our phones are ringing off the hook.”

He said the corporation had not tallied how many acres are included in the claims.

Cereals such as wheat, barley and oats are better able to withstand cold than canola.

The frost hit early enough in the growing season that farmers still can re-plant their crops if they choose, Brackenreed said. Some traders said, however, that farmers may find it difficult to buy seed, which is typically in low supply after planting season.

Damage hit most of western Manitoba and parts of eastern Manitoba, Van Deynze said. Farmers in the southern half of the province must plant canola by June 20 to qualify for crop insurance, while the deadline is June 15 for northern areas.

Damage was also visible in some fields on Monday in northeastern Alberta, where light frosts hit last week, said Lawrence Yakielashek, general manager of FarmLink Marketing Solutions, who was driving across the Prairies.

Update: The Sprout: Western farmers running out of canola seed 



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