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Canadian Underwriter - August 2014


Risk and Opportunity
A recent KPMG survey on risks and opportunities in the Canadian insurance sector shows both some familiar patterns and some surprises. Management of both, however, is necessary to ensure the insurance industry evolves as rapidly as the risk environment it faces.

Who to ask?
A junior underwriter is being tested by ethical dilemmas, but her manager does not seem open to providing guidance. On one occasion, she feels compelled to seek advice from a manager in another department, which creates tension between her and her manager. Is it okay for her to seek advice from someone other than her manager?

Lessons from a Disaster Zone
Lessons learned on the ground from the EF2-rated tornado that touched down in Essa Township June 17 could prove of value to communities, responding agencies and insurers in future disasters.

Of Interest
Interest rates in Canada have been at historic lows for five years, and an increase could lead to both falling asset values and rising claims costs.

Fleets of Fancy
A recent case out of Alberta considering relief from forfeiture illustrates the need for fleet and risk managers to carefully consider vehicle fleet lists provided to and by insurers to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Substance over Convenience
A 2014 ruling by the Court of Appeal for Ontario, which considers the province's "pay first, dispute later" regime for insurance, demonstrates the importance of substance over convenience in determining what contracts fall within the ambit of this regime.

Spam Alert
Although brokers and insurers generally do not send mass e-mail solicitations, some industry activities - such as prospecting, use of third-party marketing services and even social media - may get caught in the web of Canada's new anti-spam legislation.

Fire Defence
Western Canada is wildfire country - and no stranger to the displacement, damage and complete loss that such fires can bring. With more building in densely wooded areas, the potential for associated loss also rises. But there are steps homeowners can take to protect their homes during the hot summer months.

Cooling Meltdown
Hotter, intermittent summer temperatures, mixed with equipment complexity and inadequate maintenance, make cooling systems the number one source of equipment breakdown claims.


Cover story

Risk Elements
While not every organization has launched enterprise risk management (ERM), there is growing awareness of its value among risk managers who recognize essential elements must be identified to reach a core understanding of the challenges their respective organizations face.



Risk Ready
RIMS president Carolyn Snow advises that risk managers and their organizations can work together to keep pace with the quickly changing risk scene.