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Category: News and Events

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An increased risk of flooding for Canadian homes

The Canadian landscape is changing when it comes to floods. Climate change and society’s constantly transitioning land infrastructure are contributing to an increased risk of flooding in Canada.

We are seeing a transformation in land, which changes the impact of weather. From lush green landscapes to city grey infrastructures, we are altering the means of receiving and balancing rainfall and need to create new systems to account for both man-made changes and environmental developments.

Weather systems are slowing down and as a result leaving a more damaging effect. Canada is experiencing a new form of lingering weather with heavy doses of rain resulting in such historic floods as Manitoba’s major flood in 2011 and Calgary’s catastrophic flood in 2013.

It is important for consumers to be educated about floods to help them take precautionary steps to address the risk. Consumer awareness is fundamental to the success of avoiding disastrous conditions.

For more information on your policy’s flood insurance options, contact your broker or company agent.

Source: http://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/ca/news/flood/the-new-generation-of-floods-explained-59968.aspx

Ford makes self-driving vehicles a reality with artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems capable of performing tasks that normally require human intelligence. Ford Motor Company has announced its US$1 billion investment in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence company, to develop a virtual driving system for their autonomous vehicle launching in 2021.

Ford is expanding into an auto and a mobility company. They believe that investing in Argo AI will create significant value for their shareholders by strengthening the company’s leadership position in bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near term and creating technology that could be licensed to others in the future.

The partnership aims to deliver the virtual driver system for Ford’s SAE level 4 self-driving vehicles. Argo AI plans to join forces with Ford’s autonomous vehicle software development effort to strengthen the commercialization of self-driving vehicles.

The successful deployment of self-driving cars will fundamentally change how people and goods move. This partnership will enable self-driving cars to be commercialized and deployed at large, extending affordable mobility to all.

We will continue to monitor the use of artificial intelligence and its development. Because the journey into the use of artificial intelligence is just beginning, there is excitement to see what the future holds.

Source: http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/insurance/ford-investing-us1-billion-five-years-ai-company-develop-virtual-driver-system-1004108813/

Cyber Insurance To Disrupt Business

Cyber insurance is intended to protect individuals or companies from online risks relating to their technology infrastructures; however, is not typically included in commercial general liability policies or traditional policies. The challenge is that some insurance companies are refusing to pay out for breaches caused by ineffective security practices.

With online technology taking a larger role in personal and business’ everyday lives, Cyber insurance is becoming more of a critical requirement for safety of your online presence and technology. The premiums and payouts will be increasing with the higher need and cost for breaches which are becoming more prevalent and frequent.

Yahoo’s last hack was a prime example that cyber insurance should be at the top of all business’ minds and fit into all 2017 budgets!

Source: http://www.insurancebusiness.ca/ca/news/breaking-news/cyber-insurance-to-disrupt-businesses-218889.aspx

Government of Alberta committed additional $45 million towards flood and drought protection

The government of Alberta has announced an investment of an additional $45 million towards funding flood and drought protection. The project was scheduled to wrap up by 2017, but now will expand over the course of the next four years.

The $45 million will be split between two programs: $31 million will go toward the Alberta Community Resilience Program (ACRP) and $14 million toward the Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program (WRRP).

The added funding will help further enhance the two critical flood and drought protection programs to support the safety and protection of communities against the effects of severe weather.

Thus far, over $100 million has been invested to the resiliency projects through the ACRP. The money has gone towards flood barriers, erosion control, storm water management, safeguards for critical municipal water management infrastructure and other critical flood mitigation projects across the entire province.

If you have any further questions, make sure you speak to your broker or company agent.

Source: http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/catastrophes/government-alberta-announces-additional-45-million-flood-drought-protection-1004105577/

Why Turo’s insurance model could set a precedent for similar peer-to-peer sharing businesses

Peer-to-peer car sharing service Turo allows Canadians to rent their personal vehicle to others. The car’s owner receives 75% of the rental cost, while Turo takes the remaining 25% fee.

The company seeks to put underutilized cars to better use. It also provides an alternative for those who can’t afford to buy a car. The service launched in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec earlier this April.

Once its insurance model has been straightened out, Turo plans to go national with its services. If all provinces can agree on Turo’s insurance model, it could be a first for peer-to-peer sharing businesses.

Intact Financial Corp. currently has an agreement with Turo where users can be insured through two of Intact’s brands: Intact Insurance and Belair-Direct. Through this deal, all rentals are backed by $2 million in auto liability insurance.

Intact’s insurance model for Turo is similar to arrangements that other Transportation Network Companies have. If a registered car is being driven for personal usage, the owner’s personal insurance is in effect. When the vehicle is being delivered and rented, Intact’s commercial insurance provides coverage.

As the app grows, other insurers are expected to support Turo. In early July, La Capitale General Insurance and its subsidiary, L’Unique General Insurance, showed their support for Turo by allowing customers to use the service.

For more information on your policy’s coverage of Turo and other peer-to-peer car sharing services, contact your insurance broker or company agent.

Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s new rule: Insured cars taken without consent are uninsured

A recent case in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has brought on a new precedent in the auto insurance industry. The ruling states that vehicles covered by insurance are considered “uninsured” if a car is taken from the owner without consent.

The case, Skunk v Ketash, 2016 ONSC 2019, asked the court to decide whether uninsured or underinsured coverage applied to a policyholder’s spouse when the vehicle had been driven without the owner’s consent.

The plaintiff, Skunk, was a passenger in her spouse’s car but her spouse was not present; the vehicle was actually being driven by Ketash (the defendant). The car got into a collision and Skunk was injured. While the defendant did not have insurance, the car itself was insured with Jevco.

Skunk tried to make a claim against Jevco, but was denied coverage as Skunk’s husband had charged Ketash with theft of the vehicle. The Superior Court agreed with Jevco, citing that a plaintiff cannot make a claim when a spouse owns the vehicle. For more details on the case, see here: http://www.insurancebusiness.ca/news/auto/insured-cars-taken-without-consent-are-considered-uninsured-ontario-superior-court-212071.aspx

The moral of the story? Vehicle owners need to be very cautious as to who uses their car. Be sure to contact your insurance broker or company agent for more information on how something like this can affect your policy.

The importance of flood protection in Canada

Did you know that flooding is the most frequently occurring natural hazard in Canada? And did you know that until recently, Canada was the only G8 country without overland flood insurance for homeowners?

Following the destructive floods we’ve seen in Canada, a new publication entitled, “The road to flood resilience in Canada”, shows that flood events in Canada can potentially trigger losses exceeding CAD 13 billion with less than half of those covered by insurance. This fact can have severe economic and social consequences for all concerned.

The report said insurance covered only about one-third of the economic losses suffered as a result of the Alberta floods and about $1 billion of the almost $1.5 billion in total losses from a flood that submerged roads, railways and basements in Toronto a few weeks later that same year.

The report not only analyzes the risks confronting Canadians, but what has to be done and what should be done to alleviate those risks. The report encourages the insurance industry to launch more effective product marketing effort towards consumers. In essence, all key risk management stakeholders should act together to better protect Canadians against this risk in the future.

For the full copy of Swiss Re’s report, click here

The sharing economy and technology will have a significant impact on the insurers

The sharing economy and technology will have a significant impact on the insurers

Changes happening in the digital world are having profound effects on the insurance industry. In a new world where the average homeowner can rent out their home on their own terms, use their personal vehicle for ride-sharing and travel in a self-driving car, there is a need for new insurance policies.  Is the insurance industry ready for these technological advances and the expansion of the sharing economy?

The insurance industry has proven to be adaptable. However the speed of technological advancements and changes are now exponential. There will be more change by 2025 than there has been in the past 50 years. All of these changes in the digital world and the sharing economy will continue to affect the type of insurance policies people require. Professor Jacques Nantel from HEC Montreal, has no doubts about the ability of insurers to adapt to the rapid changes in the technology and the needs of the sharing economy.

We will continue to watch to see how the insurance industry fares in the continually evolving digital world as the sharing economy expands.

If you’re planning on completing home renovations, make sure you update your home insurance

It’s important for homeowners to frequently check and update their home insurance policies in order to protect themselves from having insufficient coverage when disaster strikes. This is particularly important when it comes to home renovations.

Homeowners can find themselves in hot water if they do not inform their insurer of renovations, as changes to the property could render the policy void. Renovations also provide the opportunity to make additional improvements that can save homeowners some money on their home insurance in the long run. Items like a sewer backup valve or an alarm system may easily be installed if other work is being completed. In addition, it may be cheaper for you to make these types of money-saving additions when renovations are ongoing.

Even if a home isn’t undergoing a major overhaul, it’s still important to review policies annually to ensure they match the homeowner’s needs. For an informative article that was recently featured on CTV, click here.

Be sure to contact your insurance broker or company agent for more information on home renovations and how they can affect your policy.

Driverless vehicle sales expected to reach $21 million globally in 2035

According to the latest forecast by IHS Automotive, global driverless vehicle sales will reach nearly $21 million in 2035, with nearly 76 million sold globally between now and 2035. This is a significant increase from previous estimates backed up by research and development by automotive original equipment manufacturers and supplier and technology companies that are investing in this area.

The global sales of autonomous vehicles are expected to reach nearly 600,000 units in 2025, with a 43% annual growth rate between 2025 and 2035. IHS believes that the United States will lead the world in the initial development and early adoption of autonomous vehicles, however China is expected to be the largest market for the new technology. Major markets in western Europe will maintain industry technology leadership through the premium segment.

The analysis by IHS Automotive forecasts that the autonomous vehicle deployment will continue to face challenges including technology risks for software reliability and cyber security, implementation of local and federal guidelines and regulatory standards, as well as legal framework for self-driving cars. For more information on the study by IHS Automotive, read the full press release here.

It will be interesting to see how this will affect insurance policies going forward.