Canadian Underwriter


Environmental Insurance Insuring the Deal

March 1, 2002 Mary Ann Susavidge, managing underwriter, and Susan Barry, an un

Not long ago, environmental insurance met with a lot of skepticism from businesses. Coverage was too expensive. The policies were too limiting. However, the perception and uses of environmental insurance have changed substantially


Reinsurance Strategies 2002: Bargain Days Over

November 1, 2001 Sean van Zyl, Editor

Prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, reinsurers operating in Canada were adamant that 2002 treaty renewals would have to reflect general rate adjustments in the order of 15% to 25%. Most companies were mindful, however, of the prevailing and excessive competition within the Canadian marketplace, and in this respect seemed more hopeful than resolved that the rate adjustments they hoped to seek for next year would be achieved. The post-September 11 reinsurance landscape has changed dramatically. Covers available at “less-than-cost” pricing have vanished to be replaced by a steely attitude to both the terms and pricing of coverage. Reinsurers partaking in CU’s annual “Reinsurance Strategy Outlook” offer little hope for cheap pricing as the global cost impact of the terrorist attacks begins to bite. The message is clear: “The bargain days are over”.


Commercial Liability Lines: Bright Sunshiny Days?

September 1, 2001 Sean van Zyl, Editor

With the sharp rise in property related insurance losses, particularly on personal auto which by far accounts for the lion’s share of premiums in Canada, many insurers have shown renewed interest in commercial liability lines. Recent acquisitions have resulted in specialty operators with dominating interests in specific liability classes, while some of the major general underwriters have created dedicated liability risk departments with the intent of pursuing new business. But, while the commercial liability landscape may appear at this point to be more inviting than the “dog eat dog” competitive environment on the property side, some within the industry believe that the “tail” of liability coverages will eventually sweep back in the faces of Canadian insurers similar to the adverse developments underway in the U.S. market.


Attak of th Black Mold

September 1, 2001 Glenn McGillivray, assistant vice president and head of corporat

In 1928, while working on the influenza virus, Alexander Fleming observed that mold had developed accidentally on a staphylococcus culture plate and that it had created a bacteria-free circle around itself. He was inspired to further experiment and later found that a mold culture prevented growth of staphylococci, even when diluted 800 times. He named the active substance penicillin. And the rest, as they say, is history.


Managing Global Risks: Running for Cover

August 1, 2001 Vikki Spencer

An earthquake in Peru. The fall of the argentinean economy. tropical storm allison strikes several american states. Political tensions flare in the middle east. for the average canadian, these events seem a world away, having little impact on day-to-day life. But, for the average canadian company, these events can have a profound effect on the bottom-line. With the growth of canadian exports and domestic companies stretching their wings to establish operations beyond the border, managing these new international risks is a minefield of potential losses. and, with insurance rates hardening on a global scale and few companies willing to offer bundled international coverage, today’s corporate risk managers could find themselves scrambling for cover.


Asbestos and tobacco liabilities loom

March 1, 2001 by Canadian Underwriter

Asbestosis, tobacco and pollution related liability exposures were identified by panelists at the recently held Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) annual meeting as being the top three risks facing U.S. insurers in coming years. Although asbestosis claims subsided in the early


Walkerton: a risk management nightmare

September 1, 2000 William Blakeney, senior partner at Blakeney Henneberry Baksh

The dramatic incident that took place in Walkerton, Ontario during the final two weeks of May, 2000 will go down in history as a tragic example of the suffering and disruption that can occur when municipal and provincial agencies fail to act on system safeguards. The events that led up to the contamination of Walkerton’s water supply present valuable lessons in risk management as well as serious considerations for insurers underwriting municipal risks.



September 1, 2000 Vikki Spencer

Counting the costs of risks associated with the rapid rise of computer technology is no simple task, say risk managers. But, recent surveys say “cyber risks” will be the next big challenge. Are today’s risk managers prepared to stay afloat in these dangerous waters, or will they be sitting ducks?

source: icbc

The Safety Equation

June 1, 1999 Sean van Zyl, Editor

Recent months have seen increased pressure being brought to bear by the private property and casualty insurance industry to deregulate the monopoly positions of provincial government insurers. Due to its sheer size and control of one of Canada’s largest consumer



February 1, 1999 Shelley Boyes

Bugs, big deals, bad spills and a certain public official’s sexual high crimes and misdemeanors were all key factors driving the corporate insurance market throughout 1998. And the same scary financial exposures will likely be very much in the minds


Claims management and the Environment

January 1, 1999 Cecil Jaipaul,

In the early days of environmental underwriting companies were often unaware of the full risk involved. For many companies the risks they took on and subsequent claims were not foreseen. For others, while the possibility of large claims may have