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Monthly Archives: July 2020

Insurance considerations for manufacturers pivoting to personal-protective-equipment production

The COVID-19 has moved the course of everything, including Canadian businesses. Canada Goose, Bombardier Inc, Ontario Power Generation, the Labbatt Brewing Company, are some of the manufacturing firms that have joined the list to pivot their operations to non-traditional production amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawyers have suggested manufacturers restructuring their business operations and pivoting to the production of PPE or medical equipment, should reach out to their brokers in advance of making any changes in order to ensure they’re adequately protected.

“They might be bringing larger volumes of chemicals and/or brand-new chemicals and resins onto their sites. A lot of them are going to be switching into industries that involve a lot of plastic, whether that’s in handling, fabricating or production, which could pose new risks. These are all things that may not have been conceived of or contemplated in their initial risk management strategy.” told Karim Jaroudi, environmental specialist at Burns & Wilcox Canada.

Another thing for manufacturers to consider from an environmental exposure standpoint – which many probably aren’t because of the fast-evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic – is what happens when things eventually get back to normal. Is it safe to convert your plant back to its original use? Are you still storing different chemicals or hazardous materials? How has your environmental exposure changed since you made the switch? Are you going to switch back or do you plan to keep producing PPE?

“I think we cross that bridge when we get to it,” Jaroudi commented. “There is absolutely an underwriting endeavour to be had there. Brokers will have to work closely with their manufacturing clients to understand their way back and what is being done to facilitate that.”


Majority of Fort Vermilion residents affected by flooding lack insurance.

The community of Fort Vermilion, Alberta, was evacuated on April 26 when the nearby Peace River overflowed due to an ice jam. About 750 people were forced to flee from their properties.

Over 150 structures in Fort Vermilion were damaged by the disaster, and to complicate matters, the majority of Fort Vermilion residents do not have flood insurance. Even though the community is on a known flood plain, insurance is too expensive for many.

In an advisory published shortly after the northern Alberta flooding, the Insurance Bureau of Canada offered a reminder to homeowners in the area that overland flood insurance is an optional add-on to regular homeowners’ and/or business insurance.

Fort Vermilion is expected to receive about $47 million of the funding allocated for northern Alberta communities affected by flooding.