Canadian Underwriter
Feature

Spotlight On: Errors and Omissions


September 14, 2018   by David Gambrill



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An emerging class of professional consultants is a new area of opportunity for brokers seeking to place errors and omissions insurance.

“We as a society have changed to become more service-oriented,” says Marilyn vanGansewinkel, vice president of specialty insurance solutions at Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company. “Where we used to do things ourselves a little more often, we’re more likely to hire someone who knows what they are doing to provide those services for us.”

Specifically, vanGansewinkel sees three new areas of growth for E&O – technology, health care (particularly in the care of the elderly), and in the environmental field (climate change and consciousness). And who knows what sorts of professional business consultants may arise after cannabis officially goes to market on October 17?

In the IT space, as we move towards artificial intelligence and insurtechs, “you are going to see a lot of professionals who are required to do the programming behind the scenes, and fix things when they don’t work out well,” says vanGansewinkel. Also, the role of system database management is expected to grow.

In health care, Canada’s aging population of Boomers will accentuate the need for health care services to be provided in specialized care facilities, as well as through home care assistance. Canada’s 2016 census showed there are 5.9 million Canadians older than 65 and 5.8 million Canadians 14 and younger. For the first time, seniors have outnumbered children in Canada.

“I think we are going to have a lot of opportunity in the aging population’s health care,” says vanGansewinkel. Different classes of workers will need E&O coverage, including aid workers, physical therapists, health care providers, workers in retirement homes, registered nurses (RNs), and people who assist aging people to stay in their homes longer.

In the environmental space, a new breed of professional is expected to arise out of concerns people have about the environment. Consultants are expected to advise on emerging issues in the handling of recycling, for example, or on carbon tax, or the looming water shortage. Underwriters in this area will be looking at an environmental professional’s experience in the field, relevant education or certifications, business skills, and so on.