Archive for News & Events

Residents Lack “Over Land” Water

Residents Lack “Over Land” Water

Have you heard about the Overland Water coverage that was introduced this past year in Ontario? The article below is a great reason why the new coverage is so important.

 

The heavy rains last Tuesday have caused many residents in Newfoundland and Labrador to file for claims for flooded basements, but the region’s insurance association reveals that many lack proper coverage to deal with the water damage.

“I don’t know what the percentages are, but a lot of people don’t have the coverage, let’s put it that way,” Insurance Brokers’ Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (IBAN) president Kent Rowe told CBC News.

The insurance industry classifies the flooding of basements due to rising water levels on rivers, streams, brooks, ponds and lakes as “over land water damage.” There is a specific coverage for this type of damage, but Rowe pointed out that many homeowners lack the added coverage.

“The over land water flood protection has only been available in this province in the past 12-18 months,” Rowe explained. “Not every insurance company offers it.”

According to Rowe, over land water damage coverage was created in response to the increased frequency and severity of significant rainfalls over the past few years.

“Water damage claims are the number one source of claims in our industry right now,” he said. “It used to be that fire was. Water is the new fire.”

Although many initially missed out on the insurance feature when it first came out, last week’s flooding has convinced several homeowners to finally opt for over land water damage coverage. Rowe said that while it may be a little too late for some, this is a good development—more people are likely to be protected the next time flooding occurs.

CBC News reported that the added coverage could cost $60 to $90 a year in low-risk zones. High risk zones could see costs as high as $2,500 a year. Those who opt for over land water damage coverage should expect higher deductibles, as well.

Call Moller Insurance today to speak to one of our brokers to make sure you have the right coverage! (905)642-2745 or 1(800)603-4279

Source:
Adriano, Lyle. “Residents Lack “over Land” Water Damage Coverage.” Insurance Business. Insurance Business Canada, 17 Oct. 2016. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

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Yahoo Hack Steals Personal Information

Yahoo Hack Steals Personal Information

Yahoo hack steals personal info from at least 500 million accounts.

SAN FRANCISCO – Computer hackers swiped personal information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts in what is believed to be the biggest digital break-in at an email provider.

The massive security breakdown disclosed Thursday poses new headaches for Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer as she scrambles to close a $4.8 billion sale to Verizon Communications.

The breach Thursday dates back to late 2014, raising questions about the checks and balances within Yahoo – a fallen internet star that has been laying off staff to counter a steep drop in revenue during the past eight years.

At the time of the break-in, Yahoo’s security team was led by Alex Stamos, a respected industry executive who left last year to take a similar job at Facebook.

Yahoo didn’t explain what took so long to uncover a breach that it blamed on a “state-sponsored actor” – parlance for a hacker working on behalf of a foreign government. The Sunnyvale, California, company declined to explain how it reached its conclusions about the attack, but said it is working with the FBI and other law enforcement as part of its ongoing investigation.

MOST ACCOUNTS EVER STOLEN

“This is a pretty big deal that is probably going to cost them tens of millions of dollars,” predicted Avivah Litan, a computer security analyst for Gartner Inc. “Regulators and lawyers are going to have a field day with this one.”

Litan described it as the most accounts stolen from a single email provider.

The stolen data includes users’ names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, scrambled passwords, and the security questions – and answers – used to verify an accountholder’s identity.

Last month, the tech site Motherboard reported that a hacker who uses the name “Peace” boasted that he had account information belonging to 200 million Yahoo users and was trying to sell the data on the web.

Yahoo is recommending that users change their passwords if they haven’t done so since 2014. The company said the attacker didn’t get any information about its users’ bank accounts or credit and debit cards.

THE VERIZON IMPACT

News of the security lapse could cause some people to have second thoughts about relying on Yahoo’s services, raising a prickly issue for the company as it tries to sell its digital operations to Verizon Communications.

That deal, announced two months ago, isn’t supposed to close until early next year. That leaves Verizon with wiggle room to renegotiate the purchase price or even back out if it believes the security breach will harm Yahoo’s business. That could happen if users shun Yahoo or file lawsuits because they’re incensed by the theft of their personal information.

Verizon said it still doesn’t know enough about the Yahoo break-in to assess the potential consequences. “We will evaluate as the investigation continues through the lens of overall Verizon interests, including consumers, customers, shareholders and related communities,” the company said in a statement.

DELAY OF ACQUISITION?

At the very least, Verizon is going to need more time to assess what it will be getting into if it proceeds with its plans to take over Yahoo, said Scott Vernick, an attorney specializing in data security for the law firm Fox Rothschild.

“This is going to slow things down. There is going to be a lot of blood, sweat and tears shed on this,” Vernick said. “A buyer needs to understand the cybersecurity strengths and weaknesses of its target these days.”

Investors evidently aren’t nervous about the Verizon deal unraveling yet. Yahoo’s stock added a penny Thursday to close at $44.17. But the Verizon sale represents a sliver of Yahoo’s total market value, which primarily consists of a stake in Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group currently worth $42 billion.

 

 

Contact a broker at Moller Insurance Ltd. today to learn more about cybersecurity and how to protect your personal information.

Source:

Liedtke, Michael. “Yahoo Hack Steals Personal Info from at Least 500 Million Accounts.” Canadian Underwriter. Associated Press, 23 Sept. 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.

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Young Drivers: Emoji Road Signs

Young Drivers: Emoji Road Signs

It’s a sign of the times: younger drivers better understand road signs in emoji form over the traditional ones. This was revealed in a survey of 1,000 young drivers by insurer more than a subsidiary of RSA.

More than six in ten (61%) of drivers aged 17-25 understood emoji road signs better, showing how embedded emojis are in the current lexicon of millennials.

The surveyed drivers had difficulty correctly identifying the standard road signs for zebra crossings, ring roads, no bicycles and steep hills—but had no problems understanding road signs that indicated emojis. In fact, 37% of young drivers would be open to having emoji signs on the UK’s roads and highways.

Young drivers’ misinterpretation of real-life road signs is a cause of concern. The sign for a ring road was mistaken by 27% of those surveyed as a sign for a ‘carbon neutral road’. Meanwhile, 25% thought that the sign for ‘no vehicles carrying explosives’ was a warning of spontaneously combusting traffic.

According to Kenny Leitch, director of telematics for more than: “Emojis have changed the way the younger generation converses, so it’s understandable they can comprehend these symbols with ease. However, emojis have no place on our roads. Thankfully, there is little prospect of official road signs ever becoming like emojis, but we still find ourselves in a situation where a significant number of young drivers do not understand the meaning of authentic road signs.”

The 63% of those who disagreed with using emoji road signs cited that they were too frivolous, confusing for older drivers, or would encourage use of mobile phones while driving.

The last reason is particularly problematic, as 32% of those surveyed admitted to using their phone behind the wheel, and one in 20 (5%) had an accident or nearly missed one due to being distracted by their gadget.

 

Source:

Olano, G. (2016, May 20). Young Drivers “Understand Emoji Road Signs Better Than Real Ones” Retrieved September 22, 2016, from http://www.insurancebusiness.ca/news/auto/young-drivers-understand-emoji-road-signs-better-than-real-ones-207660.aspx?keyword=telematics

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Airbnb Insurance Even More Essential

The sharing economy is growing and Airbnb is one of the most popular in the industry. However, the following article might make you think twice about renting out your own place.

airbnbtoronto2

Samia Bendhamane only found out that her apartment had been robbed by her Airbnb renter when she received a call from police last Friday, Aug. 12. Bendhamane assumes that the robbery took place between Thursday and Friday of last week, with the robber making off with a Canada Goose jacket, a Louis Vuitton purse and a games console.

Anyone who’s been the victim of a robbery knows how awful it feels; it’s not just the loss of material goods – it runs deeper.

But for Bendhamane, things then got weird. On Saturday she discovered that her cousin, Othmane Zniber, had also been robbed… by the same renter.

“Airbnb had hours to alert us to let us know that this guy had robbed my cousin – to let me know and anyone else know that he was a thief. And they did nothing,” Zniber told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak.

Zniber said he is charging Airbnb $8,000 for his valuables and loss of income incurred after having to cancel a visitor who wanted to rent his apartment for 20 days.

It’s just the latest in a string of sharing economy stories that has insurance implications.

“It’s a challenging space for brokers, because most insurance companies are reluctant to insure clients’ homes if they’re renting it through Airbnb,” explains Daniel Mirkovic, President at Square One Insurance. “In most cases, the broker needs to direct the customer to a commercial insurance provider. We do insure homeowners that participate in Airbnb but we don’t resell that product, we sell directly to consumers. There is a higher deductible for crime related losses.”

Mirkovic believes brokers have a responsibility to remind their clients about informing their home insurance provider if they intend to rent their property, otherwise the policy could be void. He also sees a couple of major insurance challenges in the short-term rental space. “There is an Airbnb Host Guarantee, but it’s unclear what type of protection it provides: how does it work with what a client’s home insurance provides – should it replace it?” he says. “The reality is that the Host Guarantee is meant to supplement home insurance and pick up where it leaves off. Home insurance is there to protect against sudden and accidental loss and damage caused by you or your renters. The Host Guarantee kicks in if there is intentional damage by a renter.”

So, in the case of the two unfortunate hosts in Montreal: are their losses covered? “I suspect they would be covered because this was an intentional act by a criminal,” Mirkovic says.

 

Contact a broker at Moller Insurance Ltd. if you want further information on how to protect yourself, your home and your belongings.

Phone: (905) 642-2745

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Rio Olympics: One of the Riskiest Games Event Ever

Rio Olympics: One of the Riskiest Games Event Ever

Special Coverage Needed for One of Riskiest Olympics Ever

Olympics

 

The Olympics are underway, putting the pressure on thousands of businesses and associations to ensure the events go off without a hitch – no small feat, considering this is one of the riskiest Games ever, says an expert.

“With this Olympics in particular, with the heightened risk and awareness of potential terror threats and there being some circumstantial or anecdotal evidence of there being less-than-pristine conditions in Rio, it would be wise for anyone with a financial stake in the event happening as scheduled to have insurance,” says Jared Zola, partner at Blank Rome’s policyholder-only insurance coverage practice.

“Certainly the potential risks appear to be higher, whether they actually happen – everyone is hopeful they won’t – it really is just where the world is, and in the present day, there actually does seem to be greater potential for risks at this Olympics.”

While event cancellation coverage is often overlooked or hedged by entertainment venues, the Olympics are of such a scale that it’s vital all stakeholders protect themselves, Zola adds.

“Any entity with a financial stake in the Olympics happening, and happening as scheduled should be taking out a broad form event cancellation policy,” he says. “The event is so big in terms of not just for the IOC but for the media, the television networks, the merchandise vendors, even the local hotels and restaurants – everyone is going to see a huge uptick in finances as a result of the event happening as scheduled.”

And, while extreme precautions have been taken to prevent terror, health or crime crises, Zola says an interesting insurance precedent could be set should such an event occur.

“An interesting question will be if something does happen in terms of the quality of the facilities, or the standards of the venues, whether there was any information known by the IoC that would affect whether they should move forward with the games,” he says.

“If, for example, one of the venues where an event takes place is shut down, and there ends up being damage or potential for bodily injury, or if people end up bringing claims against the IoC for negligence for bringing the games to a place that has such a low standard and conditions – whether or not they have any merit – there could be some interesting insurance questions that arise from this.”

Moller Insurance Ltd.

 

 

Graham, Penelpe. “Special Coverage Needed for One of Riskiest Olympics Ever.” Insurance Business Canada. Insurance Business Canada, 08 Aug. 2016. Web. 08 Aug. 2016.

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Virtual Craze Opens Up Real World Risk

Virtual Craze Opens Up Real World Risk

Pokemon GO – Gotta Catch ’em All…Carefully

“Third-party liability coverage – I choose you” are words that have been hopefully uttered by Pokemon Go developers, as today’s hottest virtual app can lead to real world dangers.

Pegged as the first augmented reality experience, the new app – which utilizes a smartphone’s location tracking, GPS and digital image camera overlay – sends users on a digital monster hunt in their immediate surroundings. That means thousands are literally taking to the streets – often with gazes glued to their phones – to seek out Pikachu in the digital flesh.

Along with the app’s overnight popularity – Nintendo’s stock has soared U.S. $7.5 billion in the days since launch – safety concerns have been mounting, with images of game-induced injuries being uploaded on social media.

As well, the game has designated certain buildings, landmarks and businesses as Pokemon ‘training gyms’, without the knowledge or consent of owners, driving thousands of unwanted visitors to trespass or disrupt businesses. Criminals have also taken advantage of the game’s potential, with three St. Louis men allegedly using it to lure unsuspecting players with the intention of robbing them.

All said, Nintendo and app developer Niantic Inc., had better have air-tight liability coverages – an area often overlooked by smaller developers and businesses when launching new technology says an underwriting expert.

“Consumers use apps in ways that one cannot always predict and thus claims are brought that insureds cannot always predict,” stated Charlie Murray, technology underwriter at CFC Technology limited in a previous interview with Insurance Business. “Therefore, app developers should be seeking a broad E&O wording, covering exposures such as user generated content, bodily injury, property damage, breach of contract and civil liability, which can give insured’s peace of mind and balance sheet protection in the event an allegation is made against them.”

He adds that given the rapid growth enjoyed by some apps, insurance is an immediate need for any developer bringing a new app to market.

“It doesn’t always post a problem to small businesses when not purchasing insurance from the offset; when very small the exposure to a business is generally minimal. However, the growth you see in the Tech sector is profound, they can go from zero users to widespread adoption almost overnight, and so insurance should be sought from day one.”

While it’s unclear what type of coverages Nintendo and Niantic currently have, the latter web developer has taken extensive protections via disclaimer in the past. Niantic’s earlier game Ingress, upon which the location and gameplay technologies of Pokemon Go are based, urged players to be aware of their surroundings, not to trespass while in gameplay, and protected the developer from all liability for injuries or losses incurred during gameplay.

Just goes to show – when it comes to liability coverages, it’s smart to catch em’ all.

 

 

Graham, P. (2016, July 13). Virtual Pokemon Go Craze Opens Up Real World of Risk. Retrieved July 13, 2016, from http://www.insurancebusiness.ca/news/virtual-pokemon-go-craze-opens-up-real-world-of-liability-210319.aspx

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Uber Gets The Green Light

Uber Gets The Green Light

Intact’s Commercial Ridesharing Insurance Policy Gets Approved in Ontario

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has approved a commercial ridesharing insurance policy offered by Intact Financial Corporation (IFC) in partnership with Uber Canada.

Effective July 7, 2016, IFC reports in a statement that the product will provide protection to all drivers and passengers who participate in ridesharing with Uber in the province. “Every ridesharing driver operating on the Uber platform in Ontario will automatically be covered under the commercial policy provided by Intact Insurance Company, a subsidiary of IFC, and purchased by Uber.”

The coverage will “apply from the moment drivers make themselves available to accept a ride request until passengers have exited the vehicle,” the statement notes. IFC’s Intact Insurance and belairdirect “have modified their underwriting guidelines to allow customers to participate in ridesharing at no additional cost for drivers. Customers simply have to call their broker or agent before participating.”

This is the same approach currently being used by IFC in Alberta.

That province became the first in the country, as of July 1, to offer a new insurance policy for transportation network companies (TNCs) to insurance companies licensed in Alberta. Alberta’s Superintendent of Insurance has approved the policy for TNCs and their drivers.

Of Intact’s latest offering in Ontario, “this unique product will benefit both drivers and passengers, and speaks to how insurance is evolving to meet the needs of consumers,” says Karim Hirji, IFC’s senior vice president, International & Ventures.

“It will also now be easier for other personal lines insurers to permit drivers to participate in ridesharing using their personal automobile given that the commercial portion of rides are covered by Intact,” Hirji continues.

Aon Risk Solutions explains that as Uber’s insurance broker, it has “developed a comprehensive understanding of the business, driver tendencies and coverage requirements, resulting in a personal insurance product unlike others available in the marketplace.”

Developed in partnership with Intact, the solution is not restricted by driver age, years licensed or number of weekly ridesharing hours, Aon Risk Solutions, the global risk management business of Aon plc, notes in a statement.

It points out that the company created an online quoting tool for Uber drivers, which allows drivers of the ridesharing company to receive a quote in seconds by taking a photo of their licence or entering their driver’s licence number.

“Ridesharing continues to grow at a rapid pace and is changing how we travel,” Caroline Mills-White, senior vice president of personal lines for Aon Risk Solutions in Canada, says in the statement. “As a result, insurance must evolve to meet the changing needs of drivers and passengers alike in Ontario.”

Both IFC and Uber “remain engaged with regulators across Canada to bring new ridesharing insurance policies that offer a smart, seamless and simple solution for driver-partners,” notes Uber Canada general manager Ian Black.

“As the Ontario government introduces legislation related to the sharing economy in the coming months, this product will continue to evolve,” the statement adds.

Effective Thursday, the Ontario government approved a regulatory change allowing “commercial fleet insurance to be offered for vehicles that can be hired through an online application.”

Ontario auto insurers “can now develop insurance policies for purchase by ride-share companies,” notes a statement from the provincial government. “This closes the gap in auto insurance coverage for those drivers carrying paying passengers through ridesharing services.”

Among other things, the definition of “fleet” has been changed to a “group of not fewer than five automobiles” that meets the several requirements.

 

Please contact one of the brokers at Moller Insurance Ltd. for more details on what your policy covers and the limitations of Intact’s new commercial policy.

“Intact’s Commercial Ridesharing Insurance Policy Gets Green Light in Ontario.” Canadian Underwriter. Canadian Underwriter, 08 July 2016. Web. 13 July 2016

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The Insurance Side of a Home Explosion

The Insurance Side of a Home Explosion

Insurers Await Cause of Loss in Mississauga Explosion Aftermath

As residents begin to return home following the mysterious house explosion that destroyed swaths of a Mississauga street, uncertainty remains surrounding the blast’s cause.

Pete Karageorgos, director of consumer and industry relations‎ at the Insurance Bureau of Canada, says that’s the burning question for insurers and adjustors, many of whom are awaiting access to affected areas.

“Part of the question that has yet to be answered for the insurers and the community is the cause of the loss,” he says. “The impact and damages are due to an explosion – but explosions don’t just happen. What was the factor that triggered that, and might there be any liability for another third party as a result of that explosion?”

Suspicions of foul play behind the blast have arisen, as it was revealed one of the deceased residents of the house was convicted of murder in the city in the 1980s. Handwritten notes with troubling messages found at the scene are currently being analyzed as evidence by Peel Region Police. Should criminal actions be a factor, it will complicate any resulting claims, says Karageorgos.

“Like any insurance claim, if the cause of loss was due to the intentional actions of an insured, or criminal actions, then the property the insured was affiliated with will likely have its claim denied,” he says. “Neighbouring properties would be fine. But if it was determined that it was an intentional and criminal act, odds are the insurers will deny any coverage.

“If there are mortgages in place and lenders who may have a claim, that would be the next step in terms of assessing who may have a valid claim.”

The full extent of damage has yet to be determined by adjustors, as roughly 69 addresses remain uninhabitable. However, progress should move quickly, stated Mississauga Fire Marshal Tim Beckett to the media, now that response teams have entered the ‘recovery phase’. Sections of the site will be released to residents and insurers over the coming days, allowing adjustors to board up affected houses and being their assessments.

Karageorges adds the incident holds a valuable lesson for brokers, as many area residents, while knowledgeable about who their insurance was with, seemed in the dark concerning their specific policies. “It’s worthwhile for the broker community to note… this really highlights that events like this do happen, and it’s incumbent of those in the industry to continually eduate customers to help them understand what their policies have and cover,” he says.

“As an industry we have to do a better job of educating people because the types of coverages within a policy that people don’t understand such as coverage for the dwelling, the contents, the additional living expenses, there are various layers of the policy that people don’t understand and take for granted.”

Graham, Penelope. “Insurers Await Casue of Loss in Explosion Aftermath.” Insurance Business Canada. Insurance Business Canada, 05 July 2016. Web. 05 July 2016.

Posted in: Home Insurance, Insurance, News & Events

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Need To Know! NEW Auto Insurance Changes

Need To Know! NEW Auto Insurance Changes

Ontario’s NEW Auto Insurance Reform

Auto reform changes come into effect this year: the winter tire discount was effective as of January 1st  but most changes come into effect June 1st.

In a nutshell, new regulations include lower accident benefit limits in standard insurance policies, new options to increase coverage, new procedures for payment and a mandatory Winter Tire discount offered by insurance companies across Ontario.

Why does any of this matter?

Car insurance can sometimes come with negative connotation – monthly expenses could be used elsewhere (for that vacation you need, for example). It’s perhaps only at renewal when you might think about the greater issues at play: insurance as a safety net, protecting against risk; insurance as a critical factor in individual and collective welfare. If you, a friend or loved one is involved in an accident, it’s at that point your outlook changes to one of appreciation. What would have happened if a policy hadn’t been in place?

The opportunity with this new set of measures is to step back and reflect on what you really need. Does your employer provide a Group Insurance Plan? Look into what your policy covers… most benefit packages are limited to $500/year per practitioner, which can be exhausted quickly even in cases of minor accidents. If you have children or elderly parents that depend on you, who would care for them if you were injured? If you had to hire someone to carry out household responsibilities, how would you subsidize the expense?

Standard policies are just that – standard. They don’t include benefits like dependent care, which reimburses additional expenses to care for your dependents. While auto insurance products are becoming more affordable for consumers, gaps might exist depending on your lifestyle. The good news is there’s opportunity to fill those gaps by increasing coverage or adding options to cover specific areas of your life. Purchasing appropriate coverage is an investment in your family, your children, your parents… ultimately it’s an investment in your lifestyle. What could be more important?

Watch for awareness mailers from your insurance company, and make sure to talk to your broker at Moller Insurance Ltd. to ensure you have the best possible coverage based on your lifestyle.

The following link contains an introduction video to the changes taking place June 1, 2016.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhpS7dzJsBM

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