Canadian Underwriter

Canadian Insurance, Reimagined

June 23, 2017   by Compiled by Gloria Cilliers

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As we celebrate 150 years we celebrate all things quintessentially Canadian with a look into how insurance relates, whether real or imagined…

“A squirrel stole my chocolate.”

In January, it came to light that squirrels have been snatching chocolate bars from inside a Toronto convenience store. Video recordings from October and November last year, respectively, show the squirrels stealing chocolates from a bottom shelf in Luke’s Grocery & Snack Bar, and making off with the loot. A candy here and there is one thing but, almost 50 stolen chocolate bars later, one would imagine the owners in this case could claim for property damage, theft and business interruption.

“My toboggan was banned.”

It may sound like a personal insult to Canadians all over the continent but, due to increasing liability risk, cities across North America are banning tobogganing in an effort to curb risk exposures. This, after the cities of Hamilton, Ont. and Edmonton, Alta. were hit with $900,000 lawsuits, respectively, after tobogganing accidents in 2004. Considering that 70% of accidents happen on non-designated hills, one Manitoba father even called for tobogganing to be regulated the same way that driving is.

“A beaver made me miss work.”

In May, police officers in Barrie, Ont. were called to a roadway to remove an angry beaver that was stopping traffic. Police coaxed the beaver off the road but it returned, causing another traffic jam until animal control arrived and released it back into the wild. In the U.K., corporate absenteeism is costing businesses £11.6 billion a year. One can’t help wondering what types of clauses Canadian companies might start including in their absence policies to cover typically Canadian scenarios…

“My backyard rink flooded my neighbour’s basement”

This could get pretty serious. The liner rips and melt water from your rink floods a nearby basement. Or, your kid’s friend gets badly hurt on your ice. But since you don’t require special insurance for your swimming pool, do you need it for your backyard ice rink? One State Farm Insurance agent recommends clients have a Personal Umbrella Liability Policy (PLUP) of about $1 million in liability coverage in addition to their existing home insurance coverage.

“My coffee machine caused a cyberattack.”

This one’s no laughing matter. Internet of Things devices, like smartphones and even coffee makers, are increasingly being used in cyberattacks, whether you’re aware of it or not. That means it’s not only businesses that need cyber liability cover. Perhaps that PLUP might come in handy sooner than you thought…

Sources:,,, Frank Cowen Company,,

Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the June/July 2017 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.