Everything a Bride-to-Be Needs to Know About Ring Insurance

Everything a Bride-to-Be Needs to Know About Ring Insurance

With great rings come great responsibility…

Excerpted article was written by Erin Celletti | BRIDES

From the moment you say “Yes!” chances are, you’ll be rocking a shiny new addition on your left hand. While it may be the last thing on your mind during such a happy time, with great rings come great responsibilities—including insurance. Here’s what you need to know.

Why You Should Have It
Jewelry insurance can offer coverage of your precious baubles in cases of theft, loss, damage, and even disappearance. Whether you’ve left it behind on the beach, lost a stone at the gym, or had your ring stolen, ring insurance can offer financial protection and peace of mind when you need it most. While anything happening to your engagement or wedding ring is heartbreaking, knowing it’s properly insured can help to soften the blow.

Questions You Should Ask
When shopping for a ring insurance plan, you have to ask questions to know exactly what coverage you’ll be provided. Will you continue to be insured when out of the country? Are you covered for damage or just loss/theft? Will the policy adjust according to inflation? Will repairs or replacements be comparable? Can you use your own jeweler if you should need to? These and more should all be considered prior to selecting a plan.

What Will You Need?
You’ll need a certified appraisal that verifies and the size, specifications, diamond grading, cost, and purchase price—the whole nine yards. All of this information will be summed up in a formal appraisal, which jewelers and appraisers can provide. It’s a good idea to have one done whether or not you pursue insurance, but you’ll certainly need one for insurance.

When Should You Get It?
In short, the sooner the better. Your soon-to-be fiancé can insure the ring as soon as it is purchased and in his possession—much like you would insure a car prior to driving it off the lot. You might not initially be thinking of anything happening to your precious and sentimental token, but the sooner it’s insured, the sooner you’ll be protected. Once purchased, you or your fiancé can begin to shop for ring insurance providers, or purchase a rider (insurance extension) through existing homeowner or renter policies.

Canada takes out insurance against NAFTA’s collapse with Pacific trade deal

The Star | By Thomas Walkom

By agreeing to a new Pacific trade deal, Canada’s Liberal government has taken out what it hopes is an insurance policy against the collapse of NAFTA.

Canada’s decision to join 10 other nations in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership comes as negotiators huddle in Montreal in a desperate effort to keep the North American Free Trade Agreement alive.

Back in November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he was in no hurry to make a decision on the Pacific deal. But that calculation appears to have changed as prospects for a successful NAFTA renegotiation dim.

Canada did not get what it wanted in the important area of auto parts from the Pacific deal. Nor is it clear that it successfully exempted its cultural industries from the new deal’s free-trade rules.

Yet at a meeting Tuesday in Tokyo, Ottawa agreed to join anyway. The new pact, which includes Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Chile, Brunei and Peru, comprises only 14 per cent of world trade.

But for fans of free-trade deals — including most of Canada’s big business class — it is better than nothing.

And nothing is what Canada might get from the NAFTA talks. American President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he will pull the U.S. out of the three-nation pact unless Canada and Mexico meet all his demands.

Canada and Mexico have responded by saying that some of those demands, particularly one that would eliminate the right of NAFTA signatories to challenge one another’s trade practices before an independent panel, are deal breakers.

Yet Ottawa has also signalled a new willingness to bargain other Trump demands that it had once dismissed out of hand, such as his insistence on eliminating NAFTA’s investor-state dispute settlement system. This allows foreign companies to challenge domestic laws before special trade panels.

How will Canada’s decision to buy into the Pacific pact affect the NAFTA talks?

First, it will irritate the Americans. One of Trump’s first actions as president was to pull the U.S. out of this pact’s predecessor, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He will not be amused that his good buddy Trudeau is going ahead with a truncated version of that Pacific deal before NAFTA is resolved.

Second, it may make some of the NAFTA issues more difficult. Under the Pacific deal, autos and auto parts may be traded among member nations duty-free as long as 35 to 45 per cent of their content is manufactured within the bloc.

Under NAFTA, the rules of origin are far stricter, demanding 62.5 per cent North American content. Yet even then Trump thinks they are too loose.

It’s not clear how he would respond to a situation in which Canadian auto manufacturers were following two rules-of-origin regimes, with the possibility of cross-over between them.

Third, Ottawa’s decision to join the Pacific pact puts paid to the already remote possibility that Canada and the U.S. might come to an agreement without Mexico.

Mexico is part of the new Pacific deal. If Trump doesn’t want direct free trade with Mexico, he’s unlikely to accept indirect free trade with it via Canada.

In the end, Ottawa didn’t get what it wanted in the new and revamped Pacific pact. It is signing side deals with Japan, Australia and Malaysia on autos. But it appears to have acceded to Japan’s insistence that weak rules of origin for auto parts remain in place.

It did not win an exemption for Canadian cultural industries within the deal itself. But it will sign so-called side letters on cultural matters with the other 10 nations when the deal is inked.

It’s not yet known what will be in those letters.

And while promoting the deal as “progressive” (Canada insisted that the pact’s name be changed to reflect this), Ottawa has raised little objection to Vietnam’s request that it be given more time to improve labour rights.

Politically, however, all of this is secondary. With NAFTA on the ropes, the Trudeau government needs to show that it can still pull off free-trade deals. The Pacific pact, however imperfect, is the one that can be most quickly done.

New report proposes national pooled longevity insurance program

Since Canadians rely on a patchwork of incomes to fund their retirement, the worry by many of running out of money is a real possibility.

A new report from the C.D. Howe Institute proposes a pooled risk savings program that could provide more security for retirees of advanced age. “Retirement will span beyond age 85 for more than half of 65-year-old Canadians,” wrote Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, senior research fellow at the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University and resident scholar at Eckler Ltd., in the report.

“Retiring Canadians want to protect their later years. We need innovative solutions now — ones that add definitive value but place no new pressures on the Canadian public purse.”

Annuities don’t always appeal to seniors, as they prefer to maintain control over their savings, the report suggested. Instead, longevity insurance could replace annuities as an income stream. However, the tax environment in Canada doesn’t favour private market longevity risk products, according to the report.

As such, MacDonald recommends a voluntary, national program — dubbed Living Income for the Elderly (LIFE) — that would allow retiring Canadians to buy into a pooled fund that would begin to provide steady income at age 85. At their discretion, Canadians would begin to allocate money to the fund at age 65, she suggests, and proportional monthly payouts would start at 85. They wouldn’t be able to make commuted-value cash withdrawals during the deferral period or the payout stage.

Those who live longer would benefit from additional security as the fund would distribute the investments of deceased participants equally among the remaining members. The so-called mortality premium would allow lump-sum bonus payouts as members age.

During the accumulation period, a members’ account in the fund would allocate investments in a relatively aggressive manner, the report noted. Upon reaching 85, the investments would revert to a more conservative portfolio designed to provide a stable, monthly payout. And the retirees wouldn’t have any investment decisions to make as a government institution would manage the fund’s capital, says MacDonald.

She stresses that the government, in addition to administering the fund, would need to address some of the proposal’s unfavourable tax implications.

Overall, the concept would increase stability for seniors living longer without putting added pressure on Canadians as a whole, says MacDonald. “LIFE will encourage retiring Canadians to proactively prepare for advanced ages while allowing them to maintain control of the vast majority of their financial savings,” she said in the release.

“The program will benefit not just Canada’s elderly population, but Canadians on the whole.”

Canadians continue to benefit from private insurance drug pooling system

The Canadian Drug Insurance Pooling Corporation (CDIPC) advised today that, in 2016, more than 20,500 Canadians benefited from the private insurance cost-sharing framework. Further, CDIPC’s cost-sharing approach benefited over 7,000 mostly small and mid-size employers by helping maintain the affordability of drug benefit plans provided to their employees and their families.

“Canadians are increasingly benefiting from the medical advances offered through the introduction of new drugs which can sometimes be very expensive,” notes CDIPC’s Executive Director Dan Berty. “The number of these new high-cost drug treatments are continuing to expand at a rapid pace. Without CDIPC’s cost-sharing approach, there is no question that a significant number of employers would have had to make changes to their drug insurance plans, potentially leaving employees and their families without access to lifesaving treatments,” added Berty.

Through the CDIPC, Canada’s life and health insurers voluntarily share the costs of pooling highly expensive and recurring drug treatments in order to shelter fully-insured private drug plans from the full financial impact of high-cost drugs. This proactive approach is helping ensure the sustainability of supplemental benefit plans for Canadians.

Additional information on 2016 CDIPC drug pooling results has been posted to CDIPCs website in the downloadable document called 2016 CDIPC Pooling Results at a Glance.

The Canadian Drug Insurance Pooling Corporation is a not-for-profit corporation created by the supplemental health insurers in Canada to help facilitate affordable drug coverage for all fully-insured supplementary drug plans while maintaining a competitive health insurance market.

SOURCE Canadian Drug Insurance Pooling Corporation

Intact Financial Corporation Announces Leadership Changes

Press Release:

Charles Brindamour, Chief Executive Officer of Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) As of Nov 14, 2017 Intact announced changes to the roles and responsibilities of members of the company’s leadership team, effective January 1, 2018.

“With consumer expectations changing at an accelerated pace and our recent entry into the U.S. market we are better positioning ourselves to adapt to our new North American scope, accelerate our customer driven transformation, optimize our distribution of services to Canadians across all channels and build on our outstanding talent,” said Charles Brindamour, CEO.

Building on his deep knowledge of all distribution channels and disruptive mindset, Louis Gagnon currently President, Service and Distribution will become President of Canadian Operations, overseeing all channels in addition to Personal and Commercial Lines and our Marketing operations.

Leveraging his extensive knowledge of specialty lines and proven track record of execution, as recently announced, Mike Miller continues as President of U.S. Operations and North American Specialty Lines.

Building on his considerable knowledge of claims, IT, data and large operations, Mathieu Lamy will become Chief Operating Officer for IFC, with North American accountability for Claims, Technology, Intact Lab and Data Lab, Ventures and People operations.

Louis Gagnon, Mike Miller and Mathieu Lamy will report to Charles Brindamour.

Jean-Francois Blais currently President of Intact Insurance will be retiring from Intact, following a considerable contribution to the business. He joined the company six years ago through the AXA Canada acquisition, playing a pivotal role in the successful transition of employees and brokers.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank Jean-Francois Blais for his contributions over the past six years. He has made a strong impact in the broker network and played a pivotal role in the development of Intact Insurance,” added Charles Brindamour.

About Intact Financial Corporation

Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) is the largest provider of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America, with close to $10 billion in total annual premiums. The Company has over 13,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than five million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada and the U.S. In Canada, Intact distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly-owned subsidiary BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect. In the U.S., OneBeacon Insurance Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary, provides specialty insurance products through independent agencies, brokers, wholesalers and managing general agencies.

SOURCE Intact Financial Corporation

Media Inquiries: Canada: Stephanie Sorensen, Director, External Communications, 416 344-8027, stephanie.sorensen@intact.net; U.S.: Carmen Duarte, Director, Marketing and Communications, 781 332-7268, CDuarte@onebeacon.com; Investor Inquiries: Ken Anderson, Vice President, Investor Relations and Treasurer, 855 646-8228 ext. 87383, kenneth.anderson@intact.net


Insurance Regulators to Introduce Full Cost Disclosure for Segregated Funds

The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) published its position paper on segregated funds which outlines the regulators’ expectations regarding the information that is to be provided to segregated fund contract holders. The position paper follows a significant amount of research and stakeholder engagement on potential gaps in the information currently provided for segregated funds, behavioral economics and disclosures provided for similar financial products.

The new expectations for segregated fund disclosure come at a time of increasing demands and requirements for a greater degree of transparency in the financial services industry. Consumers and regulators around the world are calling for more detailed and practical information to assist in decision making as well as to promote a better understanding of product suitability and performance.

“Times are changing and so are consumer needs. Consumers want to understand and be able to compare the products that are available to them. But, they also want to know what it is going to cost,” Patrick Déry, Chair of the CCIR said. “The new disclosure framework will ensure that consumers are informed of not only the performance of their segregated funds, but also all of the details of what it costs.”

The new disclosure framework to which Mr. Déry refers introduces a significantly heightened degree of information consumers will receive in terms of the costs. Currently, consumers are provided with information on the key features of the insurance contract as well as the risks and past performance of the funds included in the contract when purchasing a segregated fund. Additionally, consumers receive periodic statements regarding the performance of their funds. With the new increased disclosure requirements, consumers will continue to receive this information, however they will also receive additional details regarding the costs related to the contract’s insurance features as well as the distribution and administration costs of the segregated fund.

The position paper outlines a host of other measures intended to improve consumer protection beyond cost disclosure. These include an expectation that needs-based sales practices should be adopted with copies of the rationale for sales advice being provided to consumers and a requirement to disclose incentives related to travel and accommodations.

Segregated funds are often compared to mutual funds as they both involve the pooling of financial assets, diversification and professional management. However, segregated funds differ significantly from mutual funds in that segregated funds are life insurance contracts that guarantee 75% to 100% of the contract holder’s contributions, thereby mitigating the risk of loss for the contract holder.

With the introduction of the “Client Relationship Model Phase 2” or “CRM2” for mutual fund disclosure, the information provided to consumers also differed between the two products. With the expectations outlined in the CCIR position paper being introduced, consumers can now expect a more consistent experience when purchasing segregated funds and mutual funds. The similarities in requirements extend beyond the disclosure of distribution costs and will also include aligning the requirements for the delivery of updated Fund Facts, establishing consistent risk classifications used for the funds and promoting an equivalent standard of care for those dealing in segregated funds and those dealing in mutual funds. The position paper also recommends that insurance regulators consider harmonizing or adopting the Know-Your-Product due diligence requirements that currently apply to mutual funds.

In early 2018, the CCIR also intends to publish a prototype disclosure document for segregated funds. The prototype will provide an example of what compliance with the new disclosure requirements will look like. The content and structure of the prototype form were subject to extensive consultation with industry members and through comprehensive consumer focus group testing.  It is important to note that the insurance regulators will not introduce a prescribed form for segregated funds disclosures. Insurers will be required to ensure that consumers are provided with all of the new information outlined in the CCIR’s position paper, however they will have flexibility in terms of the layout and look of their disclosure documents.  In addition, insurers will be able to adapt their disclosures to ensure that the language and terminology are consistent with the insurance contract and Fund Facts documents.

Further information on the segregated funds initiative is available on the CCIR’s website (www.ccir-ccrra.org).

About the CCIR:

The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators is a national association of insurance regulators that traces its roots back to 1914. The mandate of the CCIR is to enhance insurance supervision and regulation to serve the public interest and to foster increased cooperative supervision and information sharing among regulatory authorities.

SOURCE Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR)

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