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Canadian Underwriter - November 2014

Features

Under Development
Several Canadian communities have started incorporating land use planning tools, such as development permits, into their wildland fire management strategies. The idea is that these permits, which can be used to combine management of zoning and site planning, can help reduce potential future losses associated with wildfires.

Canadians Go International
Civil unrest in various regions has raised awareness in Canadian C-suites about the need for robust credit and political risk insurance protection. It is vital that Canadian corporations with an international footprint fully understand the full spectrum of risk associated with pursuing opportunities in these regions.

Who Decides?
A broker is left feeling uneasy after a visit from an elderly client and the client's daughter. Relying heavily on the daughter, who appears to be annoyed, the client comes across as confused and seems to be acquiescing to the daughter's advice about changes to her homeowner's policy, although there is no power of attorney. What should the broker do to ensure the client understands the changes and is protected?

Interpreting Exclusion
A recent ruling by the Court of Appeal for Ontario includes some interesting observations with regard to how to address what constitutes a multi-causal loss and how the pollution exclusion in a property policy should be interpreted.

Still Movement
As always, things are changing on both the insurance and reinsurance fronts. Players in the Canadian market need to consider conditions at home and abroad to get a complete picture of things that remain the same and those poised to change.

Quake Stakes
Experts agree a big earthquake is coming to Canada. So why are people not getting prepared? Exactly where and when the "big one" will hit can only be surmised, but preparedness has been lackluster for an event that will undoubtedly prove costly for everyone from governments to consumers, insurers and reinsurers.

Calming Influence
Major disasters - natural or man-made - can damage both the immediate assets and operations of a business, as well as those far beyond. A major crisis serves as a moment of truth that tests the readiness, resilience and character of a business.

Taming Risk
A number of markets have recently commenced underwriting onshore energy in the Canadian property market. While the energy business in Canada has historically been quite profitable, current conditions make risk selection and placement position critically important.

Virtual Coin
Bitcoin is not a recognized currency and is not backed by any principal authority. Still, thousands of firms use the payment system launched in 2009, opening the door to discussions about how clients using bitcoin should best provide security for the storage and transfer of funds.

Readying for the Future
Dealing with the challenges of today, but always keeping an eye to future developments, is critically important to ensure that independent brokers not only maintain, but hopefully improve, their positions as trusted advisors.


Departments

Moves and Views

Cover story

Remnants of Change
The catastrophe splash of 2013 has given way to a decidedly more muted experience in 2014. For the reinsurance market, what are the remnants of change? Can the existing pieces be patched together to construct even greater strength or do emerging pressures threaten to produce threadbare cover?

Marketplace

Profile

Art Form
With one of life's turns, Philomena Comerford, incoming president of the Toronto Insurance Conference, went from thinking she would be a visual artist to having a 40-year career in insurance.

Editorial