Prairie storm in June tops $45 million in insured damage

EDMONTON, July 16, 2015 /CNW/ – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that the hail and windstorms that swept across parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba on June 12 caused more than $45 million in insured damage, according to the preliminary estimate by Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ)*.

The storms brought wind gusting as strong as 116 kilometres per hour, with hail up to 6 centimetres in diameter reported throughout Medicine Hat and surrounding areas. The storm also knocked down and damaged many trees in the area. As many as 4,000 people lost power. Similar to Alberta, Saskatchewan experienced up to 6-centimetre diameter hail, powerful winds and heavy rain. The most significant damage occurred across southern Saskatchewan, in an area from Fox Valley, near the Alberta border, to Carlyle and Storthoaks in the province’s far southeast.  Claims were also reported in Manitoba, south of Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, around Lafleche and Assiniboia, and extending eastward to Crane Valley, Ogema, Radville and Pangman.

The majority of claims reported were the result of hail damage to vehicles, residences and commercial buildings.

“We have seen firsthand that, year after year, severe weather events continue to take their toll on Canadians and communities right across the country,” said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC. “In 2014, weather-related damage in the Prairies alone resulted in more than half a billion dollars in insured losses. The insurance industry continues to speak to all levels of government about the need to continue investing in infrastructure to make communities more resilient to increasingly frequent and severe weather events.”

Insurers continue to provide individual consumers with advice and counsel them on the need to better understand their risks and take action to reduce their vulnerability to property damage. Before storms hit, consumers should proactively contact their insurance representatives for information about their policies and what types of coverage are best suited to their individual circumstances. For more information about home, car or business insurance, phone IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1‑844‑227‑5422) or visit www.ibc.ca.

* CatIQ compiles and combines comprehensive insured loss amounts and related information to serve the risk management needs of the insurance and reinsurance industries.

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 inCanada. 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.

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

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Appoints Industry Veteran Bernard McNulty as Head of Claims in Canada

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Allianz Group’s specialist corporate insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) announced Monday 13, 2015 that Bernard McNulty has been named the head of claims Canada effective immediately. Based in Toronto, he will report directly to Ulrich Kadow, chief agent Canada, with a matrix report to Terry Campbell, regional head of claims North America.

“AGCS is extremely pleased to welcome someone with Bernard’s impressive technical expertise and industry reputation to head our Canada Claims team. As a trusted industrial insurer, AGCS Canada is positioned for growth with multiple lines of business and strong capital and capacity,“ said Mr. Kadow.”

Mr. McNulty is responsible for AGCS’s Claims division throughout Canada, leading a team of 14 professionals. AGCS Canada is one of the country’s largest industrial insurance carriers, insuring almost half of the top 100 companies in Canada.

Mr. McNulty is a respected industry veteran with strong technical expertise and over 22 years of experience in the insurance sector in underwriting, claims, and management roles. Most recently, he served as vice president, strategic broker and customer development, at RSA Group. Mr. McNulty previously held a variety of claims leadership roles at GCAN Insurance Co. and the ACE Group.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Economics at the University of Toronto and holds both Associate (AIIC) and Fellowship (FIIC) designation levels from the Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC).

About Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) is the Allianz Group’s dedicated carrier for corporate and specialty insurance business. AGCS provides insurance and risk consultancy across the whole spectrum of specialty, alternative risk transfer and corporate business: Marine, Aviation (incl. Space), Energy, Engineering, Entertainment, Financial Lines (incl. D&O), Liability, Mid-Corporate and Property insurance (incl. International Insurance Programs).

Worldwide, AGCS operates in 29 countries with own units and in more than 160 countries through the Allianz Group network and partners. In 2014 it employed more than 3,500 people and provided insurance solutions to more than half of the Fortune Global 500 companies, writing a total of €5.4 billion gross premium worldwide annually.

AGCS SE is rated AA by Standard & Poor’s and A+ by A.M. Best.

For more information please visit www.agcs.allianz.com or follow us on Twitter @AGCS_Insurance and LinkedIn

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Contacts

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Jacqueline Maher, 646-472-1479
jacqueline.maher@agcs.allianz.com
or
Harden Communications Partners
Erin Burke, 631-239-6903
eburke@hardenpartners.com

Intact Insurance Ranks Highest in Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction

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Real stories that make you wonder, is that covered by insurance?

Real stories that make you wonder, is that covered by insurance?

 

Compiled insurance stories by KANETIX.ca.

Bet you thought insurance was boring? It’s not (at least it’s not all of the time.)

Maybe it’s just us here at kanetix, but this story got the creative juices going. If we’re interested in these odd types of stories, then wouldn’t others be as well? So we searched, and looked around online to compile a list of some of the oddest, most bizarre, and in some cases downright strange insurance claims out there. But here was the twist; we didn’t want urban legends, or claims that have been identified as fraud. We wanted honest-to-goodness real claims that might have you scratching your head at the end of it. And we found some; enjoy.

Zany Zebra

You know those safari parks, where you drive through to get up close and personal with animals like lions, tigers, and zebras? Here’s why you invite another family to go and have them drive; do you want to tell your friends that a playful zebra collided with your car while at the safari park? No thanks.

How would you claim this through insurance?

    In most cases, if your car hit or were hit by a zebra at a safari park, the claim would likely go through your comprehensive coverage even though it’s technically considered a collision. Comprehensive coverage is an optional coverage that typically applies in the case of loss or damage from falling or flying objects, theft and vandalism – but getting run into by a zany zebra is anything but typical.

Cow Car Wash

We don’t know what’s in a cow’s saliva, and to be honest we don’t want to know, but apparently it can cause damage to a car’s paint job. Not sure where this person was parked, but how would you like to have to admit to your insurer that a herd of cows licked your car and caused damage to the paintwork?

How would you claim this through insurance?

    Through your car insurance policy under the Comprehensive coverage you’ll have hopefully purchased (because it too is optional.) Comprehensive coverage usually applies in the case of loss or damage from falling or flying objects, theft, and vandalism. While you might think it falls under vandalism by domestic farm animal, it doesn’t; luckily, ‘all-perils coverage’ covers what is not excluded.

Potato Payback

Reason number one to place your groceries in the trunk; you never know when a pesky potato will role out the bag and find it’s way behind your brake pedal. Of course the consequences are obvious; the driver couldn’t apply their brake and ended up getting in an accident.

How would you claim this through insurance?

    Through your auto insurance policy under the Collision coverage, you’ll have hopefully purchased. Collision is an optional coverage that is the part of your auto insurance policy that protects your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident.

Wasp Worry

Chances are bees, hornets, wasps and yellow jackets have caused many an accident. So it comes as no surprise that a driver got in an accident because a wasp flew up their pant leg causing the person to panic and hit the accelerator. Too bad they didn’t keep their foot on the brake; because the person was waiting at a traffic light with cars ahead of them.

How would you claim this through insurance?

    Through your auto insurance policy under the Collision coverage, you’ll have hopefully purchased. Collision is an optional coverage that is the part of your car insurance policy that protects your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident.

Redesigning Rover

In case it wasn’t obvious to you, if you own a dog and have just painted the living room, don’t leave the dog alone without getting rid of the paint tray you’ve been using. Otherwise, you might find that your favorite pooch will use his tail as a paint brush and paint more than just the walls; maybe your carpet and furniture too.

How would you claim this through insurance?

    Through your property insurance policy with the Contents coverage, you’ll have purchased. Hopefully, you got ‘all-risk’ contents coverage and not ‘named-perils’. Because with named-perils you’re only covered for losses that resulted from common perils like fire, theft and water damage.

Bull!

The country life is nice unless you live next to a farm with bulls that love to roam the countryside. It’s gets worse when three of your local farmer’s bulls end up in your backyard getting into a fight destroying your garden, your fence and all your trellis’ in the process; and that ain’t no bull!

Source: KANETIX.ca.

 

 

Failure to Serve a Statement of Claim May Be Fatal

By Jennifer Biernaskie, Partner, and Andrea MacLean, Summer Student

A recent Alberta Court of Appeal decision reiterated the importance of timely service of a statement of claim.

In McGowan v Lang (“McGowan“) the Court found that a plaintiff must formally serve a statement of claim upon the defendant(s) – even in instances where the defendant’s insurer had been provided with a copy of the statement of claim. Failure to do so may be fatal to the action.

The Alberta Rules of Court require that a statement of claim be served on a defendant within one year of its being filed, unless the Court grants an extension.

In McGowan, the plaintiff missed the one-year deadline for service. The statement of claim – relating to a motor vehicle accident – was filed and a copy forwarded to the insurance adjuster who was handling the claim. However, it was not formally served on the defendant until several months after the service deadline.

At no point did the insurance adjuster indicate to the plaintiff that:

  1. service was accepted on behalf of the defendant;
  2. liability was not contested; or
  3. the time limit was waived.

Thus, there could be no extension of service granted under Rule 3.27(1)(a).

However, prior to the service deadline, there had been ongoing negotiations between the adjuster and the plaintiff’s counsel. The adjuster had notified the plaintiff’s counsel that he would file a statement of defence if he did not receive medical documents. The plaintiff argued that this conduct created “special or extraordinary circumstances” which should give rise to an extension of the time for service under Rule 3.27(1)(c).

The Court of Appeal found that the actions of the adjuster did not create special or extraordinary circumstances. Further, plaintiff counsel’s reliance on the adjuster’s statement was found not to be the reason for the failure of service; it was simply a matter that the plaintiff’s lawyer had neglected.

The Court found that an extension of time for service of a statement of claim under Rule 3.27 should not occur where the failure to serve is caused by the plaintiff lawyer’s inadvertence, even in situations where there is no demonstrated prejudice to the defendants.

The takeaway is that according to the Court, a lawyer acting for a plaintiff should file the statement of claim in a timely fashion and thereafter serve it upon the defendant(s) pursuant to the timelines in the Rules of Court, regardless of any ongoing negotiations with a defendant’s insurer.

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Carefully Consider That Additional Insured Endorsement- It May Still Protect You!

Article by Melissa Wright

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently held that an additional insured was covered by a policy, where there was no direct claim against the named insured, even though the coverage was limited to claims arising from the negligence of the named insured.1 The most common additional insured endorsements are generally speaking very restrictive in their application. As this case demonstrates, such an endorsement may still provide protection to an additional insured even where the plaintiff has no direct claim against the named insured.

The plaintiff hired Davis Systems of North Bay Nipissing (“Davis Systems”) to repair damage to a hotel that was caused by a fire. Davis Systems in turn subcontracted that work to Crystal Clean Carpet & Upholstery Specialist (“Crystal Clean”). Crystal Clean allegedly left a window open in the middle of winter, causing the pipes to freeze and burst.

The plaintiff sued both Davis Systems and Crystal Clean for damages resulting from Crystal Clean’s alleged negligence. Davis Systems cross claimed against Crystal Clean and brought a third party action against Crystal Clean’s insurer, Economical Insurance Group (“Economical”). Under the policy of insurance Davis Systems was listed as an additional insured.

While the plaintiff eventually consented to a dismissal of the action against Crystal Clean, the cross claim and third party claim continued. Economical and Crystal Clean together brought a Rule 21.01(1)(b) motion seeking a dismissal of the third party claim on the basis it disclosed no reasonable cause of action.

In order for Economical to have a duty to defend the action against Davis Systems, there must be the possibility of a duty to indemnify.

Economical and Crystal Clean argued that since the action against Crystal Clean had been discontinued, the true nature and substance of the claim was with respect to Davis Systems’ negligent acts and not with respect to liability arising out of the operations of Crystal Clean. It argued that the discontinuance was an acknowledgement by the plaintiff that the factual allegations could not support its claim; accordingly coverage for Davis Systems’ omissions relating to Crystal Clean’s operation could not be triggered.

The court did not accept Economical and Crystal Clean’s argument for the following reasons. First, the court did not know the reasons why the plaintiff discontinued its claim against Crystal Clean. Second, even if the discontinuance could be said to be an admission, it was not binding on Davis Systems. Third, the discontinuance could only be said to be an acknowledgment that the plaintiff’s claim against Crystal Clean could not succeed. It was not an acknowledgment in respect of the plaintiff’s claim against Davis Systems.

The pleadings alleged that Davis Systems was liable to the plaintiff for breach of contract as a result of Crystal Clean’s negligence. This allegation was, in the court’s view, within the coverage provided by the policy. Notably, the exclusion in the additional insured clause was restricted solely to Davis Systems’ own negligent acts. The clause read as follows:

[..] Davis Systems are hereby added to the policy as additional Insureds but only with respect to liability arising out of the operations performed by or for the named insured but excluding any negligent acts committed by such additional Insured. (Emphasis in original)

As there was no other factual basis for Davis System to be liable other than Crystal Clean’s negligence, the discontinuance against Crystal Clean did not change the factual basis upon which the plaintiff was seeking to find Davis Systems liable. The policy covered damages for Crystal Clean’s negligence when those damages were sought from Davis Systems. Accordingly, the motion was dismissed.

In this case, there was real value added by the additional insured endorsement even though the language of the clause itself was restrictive. Additional insured endorsements should be carefully reviewed by your counsel to ensure that your interests are being protected.

Footnote

1. Innvest Real Estate Trust (o/a Travelodge Airport North Bay) v. 1328151 Ontario Inc. (o/a Paul Davis Systems of North Bay Nipissing) et al., 2014 ONSC 5891

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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