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Managing Risky Business: Winter 2019

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In this issue of Managing Risky Business, read about:


State of the Union on Renewals

As I mentioned in my previous newsletter, we knew that negotiations would be tougher than usual given the hard market for insurance. And we knew that premiums would almost undoubtedly go up. However, we did not anticipate that the hard market would impact the amount of time it would take to secure property insurance underwriters this year – and nor did our broker.

As a result, we were one week late in issuing quotes. Our apologies to those who were inconvenienced by the delay!

That aside, we were pleased with the result. Though we did need to raise the minimum deductibles, the overall rate increase of 14% is modest, relative to the program’s five-year claims performance, the risk we carry and the current market conditions. Climate change claims are also playing a significant factor in property insurance right across the board. We have been told by providers in other programs that they have seen increases of 60% or refusals to renew. Private residential buildings are also seeing big increases.

The minimum property deductible for Stream A providers (total insured values under $100M) is now $5,000 and is $25,000 for Stream B (values over $100M). As is always the case, individual premiums will reflect a number of factors, including:

  • Claims activity
  • Changes in property values
  • Changes in revenue
  • Construction type
  • Risk measures implemented

To help control insurance costs for next year, this term we will:

  • Continue risk management outreach across the Province
  • Prioritize loss prevention inspections for providers with challenging claims histories
  • Report on program trends to providers and Service Managers and continue to promote the adoption of basic risk measures
  • Encourage providers to add appropriate legal wording to snow removal contracts (details below)

I’m pleased to say that we are making progress in managing risk. This year, 49% of the providers in our group have indicated that they have a mandatory tenant insurance policy for their building; 31% of the group are actively monitoring compliance of this policy; 34% of our providers have implemented smoke-free policies; and 13% of our providers have buildings equipped with stovetop safety elements. As a result, our residents and buildings are safer. These providers are also benefitting from almost $1M in risk credits on their insurance costs. Our goal is to continue to raise these numbers even higher.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at insurance@hscorp.ca

 

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Snow Removal Contracts

Slip, trips and falls make up a significant portion of our liability claims. And this came up in our meetings with liability underwriters during our renewal. They suggested that consistent language in snow removal contracts could have a positive impact on program claims – and have subsequently provided us with preferred contractual snow clearing wording. We recommend using this wording in your contracts:

LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY

Proof of Liability Insurance is required. The snow removal contractor agrees to purchase and maintain in force, at its own expense, including payment of all deductibles, and for the duration of this contract, the following policy(ies) of insurance, which policy(ies) of insurance shall be in a form acceptable to INSERT PROVIDER NAME and be specific and exclusive to this contract, in the amount of TWO MILLION DOLLARS ($2,000,000) per occurrence, with a Certificate of these policies originally signed by an authorized agent of the insurance company issuing the policies and a certified copy of these policies being delivered to INSERT PROVIDER NAME upon the snow removal contractor’s execution of this contract.

                (1)   Commercial General Liability, with

(a)        INSERT PROVIDER NAME added as an additional insured;

(b)        Provisions for cross-liability and severability of interest as between the snow removal contractor and INSERT PROVIDER NAME;

(c)        Not less than THIRTY (30) days’ prior written notice to INSERT PROVIDER NAME of any cancellation, termination, expiry or amendment of or change or revision to the policy.

LIABILITY AND INDEMNITY

The snow removal contractor shall indemnify, save harmless and defend INSERT PROVIDER NAME, its officials, officers, employees and agents against and from all actions, causes of action, interest, claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses including defence costs or loss which INSERT PROVIDER NAME may bear, suffer, incur, become liable for or be put to by reason of any damage to property or injury or death to any persons by reason of, arising out of, or in connection with the work covered by this contract, or by reason of or arising out of the use of the premises or in connection with the work covered by this contract.

You will note that this wording:

  • Sets out clearly the contractor’s responsibilities and duties
  • Contain indemnity and defence provisions in the provider’s favour
  • Requires the contractor to have the provider added as an additional insured under the contractor’s insurance policy
  • Sets out the type of insurance policies required and minimum limits
Download this wording (MS Word format) Email HSC Insurance to find out more

 

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Tenant Insurance Premiums Are Changing

Renewal premiums are changing for the HSC Tenant Insurance Program. The change applies to residents with new and renewing policies. The increase will come into effect February 1, 2020. For most residents, the increase will be less than $2/month. HSC’s program still remains the lowest cost option in the marketplace, despite the current hard insurance market.

Ontario Rates:

Option 1 Option 2
Coverages: •    $10K content

•    $2K living expenses

•    $500K liability

•    $20K content

•    $4K living expenses

•    $1M liability

Cost for policies starting February 1, 2020 (taxes & fees included): •    $199.27/year ($16.60/monthly) •    $257.74/year ($21.47/monthly)
Cost for policies renewing February 1, 2020 (taxes & fees included): •    $199.27/year (initial payment of $33.21, then 10 payments of $16.60/monthly) •    $257.74/year (initial payment of $42.96, then 10 payments of $21.47/monthly)

Caseworkers with OW/ODSP clients that pay for tenant insurance from their shelter allowance on a monthly basis should watch for the tenant insurance renewal notice to ensure that the amount deducted is adjusted. This will start with clients whose insurance expires on January 31, 2020 and will complete with clients whose insurance expires on December 31, 2020

Housing providers that require tenants to carry insurance and those that monitor compliance for risk management credits in HSC’s Group Program or otherwise should be mindful of this change. Housing providers can receive reports from HSC relating to active tenant insurance policies in their buildings by contacting HSC. Brochures with updated prices are now available for order.

For the new rates in other provinces or for further information about this program, please visit the HSC Tenant Insurance Program website.

 

Download our Fact Sheet on the Change and its Impacts

 


HSC Claims Contact

If you have an open claim(s) with the HSC Group Insurance Program, please be advised as Katherine Perrino-Smith is no longer at HSC. If you have any questions regarding the current status of your claim, you can email insurance@hscorp.ca or contact me at 1.866.268.4451 x314.

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In the News

Claims in the news

There were, of course, many other property claims that don’t hit the news. Since our last update, we’ve seen a number of water damage claims (19) and several vehicle impact claims (5).

There were also a few other items in the news worth noting relating to some of our group members. City of Greater Sudbury city councillors have voted in favour of a business case to examine increased security measures for residents of City-owned housing. Toronto Community Housing embarked on a safety campaign to reduce unattended cooking. The City of Windsor Fire Department is also launching its first safety campaign to reduce smoking related fires, after seeing the highest number of deadly fires related to this cause in 16 years. Finally, there was a story on how the reconstruction of Barrie Housing’s 100 Little Avenue site is taking shape, which we featured in a video we did last year. The building is on target for re-occupancy in the Spring and will have a new floor, with 11 additional units.

There have also been several interesting articles relating to climate change and its impacts on property and municipal infrastructure. Municipal leaders in the Quinte region in eastern Ontario are concerned about high water levels and flooding. In Toronto, some condo corporations are seeing insurance increases of up to 40% even though they’ve never had a claim due to the volume of flood claims and aging infrastructure. Municipalities are taking different approaches to responding. The City of London, for example, recently declared a climate emergency and council is looking to move forward on a report of staff recommendations, which will include an evaluation tool to review all major existing programs and projects.

Finally from the “did you know?” files – an article on household items that can spontaneously combust. If you have a resident newsletter, there is some great content here!

 

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Understanding Boiler & Pressure Regulations

Back in 2018, I wrote about how the Technical Standards and Safety Authority was introducing new regulations for boiler and pressure vessels (tanks). The regulations changed how providers get the inspection certificates they need for boiler coverage.

We’ve received an inquiry about the criteria used to trigger inspections and certifiable objects – so we are sharing a helpful presentation from Munich Re: that answers common questions providers might have.

View the Presentation

Have you got an insurance question you need answered? Contact us!

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