In this issue of Managing Risky Business, read about:
We’re thrilled to be holding our first ever Risk Management Forum on Wednesday October 26 at the Holiday Inn Toronto Yorkdale. We’re in the process of ironing out the agenda for the day, which is sure to include risk management stories from providers; advice on getting the most out of your insurance; and best practices.
To make things easy for prospective attendees, we’re holding the event alongside our popular Energy Forum (which is on October 27 at the same hotel). The hotel is also conveniently located for participants coming from out of town as well as across the Greater Toronto Area.
Registration will open in August. Registration fees for those attending both events will be discounted. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts about speakers or things you’d like to hear more about, we’d be happy to hear them.
I’m pleased to say that as of mid-June, with a little less than half the term still left, our Property Claims Trust Fund still has about $5.5M left in it. Below is a graph of its depletion since our last renewal period. You’ll note that between April and June, we’ve had an increase in claims – which is also reflected in the amount of media coverage claims to our program received (see below).
What’s interesting to note about our liability claims, which isn’t apparent in the breakdown of claims we’ve been receiving, is that we’ve seen an overall decline in the number of liability claims to the program over the past three years. Hopefully we can keep this up!
Work to renew the Group Program is now well underway. In June, HSC CEO Howie Wong and I, along with our program broker, met with current and prospective underwriters. In total, we presented our program to eight syndicates, four of which are currently not underwriting for the program. The underwriters currently involved are pleased with the performance and program improvements over the last two terms and the new ones see the potential.
The goal each year to be able to demonstrate this program is a better risk than the year before. This year, the improvements we were able to show in the management of claims made quite an impression. In fact, there was a gasp in the room when a slide came up that showed how much our claims handling expenses dropped since we brought this function in-house!
In past issues of Managing Risky Business, we talked about the benefits of a slight increase to the minimum property deductible. The benefit of such a change is that it helps stabilize the group premium and protect the Claims Fund. In our survey, 100% of respondents supported the idea. When your renewal paperwork arrives at the end of September/early October, you will notice that the minimum $1,000 property deductible has risen by $500 to $1,500. This is a small step in the right direction for our group program and helps in making the case for our program with insurers.
We’re cautiously optimistic of the results of our initial negotiations. However, this is a process that occurs over time. We will keep you posted on the results. In the meantime, electronic renewal applications have been sent out to providers and more than 100 providers have returned completed applications to Marsh Canada. Applications were due July 15. If you haven’t completed your application yet, please return it as soon as possible or contact me if you need assistance!
While disasters aren’t pleasant to talk about, they can help us get new insights into risk management and lend perspective to the human and economic cost of claims. The following are just some of the stories on incidents reported in the news since my last update:
Since my last update, HSC Insurance and Risk Management has also been on the go. In addition to our underwriter meetings for next year’s policy term, we’ve had meetings on insurance, claims and risk management with Mainstay Housing, Barrie Municipal Housing, Supportive Housing of Waterloo, YWCA Toronto, Northern Ontario Service Deliverers Association, Service Manager Housing Network and providers in Espanola, Simcoe, York, Toronto and Chatham-Kent.
We’ve also met with our Insurance Reference Group. And our Claims Coordinator, Daniel Chadwick, continues to work hand-in-hand with providers across the province in managing property claims to the program to ensure that they’re resolved in a timely and efficient manner.
In the 2016 Federal Budget, the Government of Canada established the Social Infrastructure Fund (SIF). For Ontario, SIF features a $209M Social Housing Improvement Program (SHIP) for social housing renovations and retrofits. SHIP-eligible projects include renovations and retrofits that will help improve the safety of your community and your organization’s risk profile. In particular, it will fund retrofits of:
SHIP is being administered by Service Managers. Service Managers must submit SHIP projects by December 31, with funding and project starts to occur in Q2/2017. Projects should be completed within two years of the commitment date.
HSC Technical Services can help Service Managers and providers meet these aggressive deadlines by helping identify, prioritize and deliver projects.
Tip: Hydro Vault Inspections
A provider in our program recently discovered heavy deterioration to a hydro vault located beneath their property. Due to the nature of the damages, insurance coverage was unfortunately unavailable to assist. While your local hydro provider may hold the keys to your vault(s), please remember that if they are your property; you remain responsible for regular inspections to ensure no damages have occurred. Please contact your local utility for further information.
Question on Reducing False Alarms
We recently had an inquiry from a provider in our program that had discovered a product from Safety Media called Tamper Dye.
According to the website, Tamper Dye is “used to reduce vandalism and false alarms by identifying the culprits. A very small amount of this gel-like solution is placed on the handle of a pull station and when a culprit falsely pulls the station they will be identifiable immediately. The dye is designed to activate and spread with water. Therefore, when the culprit proceeds to wash the gel off their hands, everything turns blue.”
Have you used this product before? We are interested in hearing from any providers who have experience using this product. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1.866.268.4451 ext. 314.