TRISURA E-BONDS Q AND A

TRISURA E-BONDS Q AND A

With Matt Baynton, Vice President, Surety (National)

Q: How do I gain access to use Trisura Online’s e-bond platform?

A: If you have not done so already, you can request access to Trisura Online e-bonds by clicking the “Get Started” tab.

Q: What is the cost to have an e-Bond processed through Trisura Online?
A: There is no cost to use Trisura’s e-Bond Platform. This is a free service to all of Trisura’s existing brokers and contractors.

Q: Has Trisura Online’s e-Bond Platform been endorsed by SAC and accepted by electronic tendering service providers (MERX, Biddingo, etc.)?
A: Yes, e-bond was created through Trisura Online has been endorsed and accepted by all stakeholders.

Q: What does the e-signing process look like?
A: The broker uploads the document(s) to be signed to Trisura Online e-Bond, then uses a graphical signature placement tool to prepare the document. Signer information is added to the document(s) and then the transaction is sent to the client with the click of a button. The signer then receives an email with an embedded and secure link that they can click to sign the document(s). Once signing is complete, all parties are notified by email that the document has successfully been e-signed and have access to download the document to their device.

Q: Can documents be signed using a mobile device?
A: Yes, once signature and seal placeholders are positioned over the document(s) by the broker and are sent out via email, the client is able to sign the document through on their mobile device by touching the location that their signature placeholder was placed.

Q: Are contractors required to sign-up or register for an account in order to sign the document(s)?
A: No, clients signing as the principal on the document(s) are not required to sign up or register for any accounts. Once a document is sent by the broker to the client, they simply click the link embedded in the email and they are ready to sign.

Q: Are contractor seals required? How are they affixed onto the document(s)?
A: A digital image of the Principal’s seal is required to be uploaded and managed by the broker. Once a seal is assigned to a Contractor, the seal will be affixed to the document as they are e-signing the bond.

Q: What is the size limit per document?
A: The maximum file size per document is 10 MB.

Q: How is document integrity assured?
A: Adobe Reader and industry leading specialized software is used to verify a document’s integrity and audit trail. When a document is opened, the integrity check is automatically performed and it is indicated at the top of the document if it is still secure. Simply clicking any signature will validate the document and the signature and provide access to detailed information about the signature.

Q: How are documents stored?
A: The documents are stored within the Silanis e-Sign Live database.

Q: How are the documents delivered?
A: After the document(s) is/are signed, the client can then download the signed document(s) and then submit the file to the appropriate electronic tendering service providers (MERX, Biddingo, etc.).

Q: What web browsers does Trisura Online e-Bond support?
A: The following browsers are supported by Trisura Online e-Bond (cookies-enabled)
Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, 10; JavaScript-enabled
Google Chrome (latest version)
Mozilla Firefox (latest version) (latest version)

A NEW CHAPTER

A NEW CHAPTER

“IT IS GOOD TO HAVE AN END TO JOURNEY TOWARDS, BUT IT IS THE JOURNEY THAT MATTERS, IN THE END.”

-ERNEST HEMINGWAY

For the past 11 years, the team at Trisura Guarantee has been on a journey to build the best specialty lines insurer in Canada with the end goal of becoming THE Canadian specialty lines leader. We appreciate you sharing our journey along the way, and we still feel like we are just getting started!

Last month, we announced a new chapter and upcoming change in the corporate structure of Trisura Guarantee which we believe will help us along the journey. However, based on some of the responses I received from a number of folks, it quickly became apparent that I had not done a very good job of explaining exactly what is to transpire. Let me try again.

In a nut shell, Brookfield is divesting its interest in both Trisura Guarantee and Imagine Re by spinning those businesses out into a new public company that will be owned by Brookfield shareholders (to start) and listed on the TSX. This new global platform will be called Trisura Group Ltd. One of the key strategic priorities of the group will be incubating a new start up P&C insurer in the US.

More precise details are as follows: Brookfield will be moving its 60% ownership interest in 6436978 Canada Limited, (the company that owns 100% of Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company) into a new company that it just incorporated. Trisura management and employees will continue to hold our 40% interest in 6436978 Canada Limited. At the same time, Brookfield will also transfer its 100% ownership interest in Imagine Re, a Bermuda/Barbados based reinsurer currently in run-off which will eventually be resurrected into the same new company. To begin with, the new company will effectively own 60% of Trisura Guarantee and 100% of Imagine.

Brookfield will then spin-out its ownership of the new company by way of a special dividend to all existing shareholders of Brookfield. Existing shareholders of Brookfield will be the initial shareholders of the new company, but of course this will begin to change as the shares start trading. Brookfield as a corporate entity will no longer have any ownership in Trisura. The new company will be listed on the TSX (a draft prospectus has been filed and made public in February) and will be called Trisura Group Ltd. Soon after, Trisura Group Ltd will support an initiative to enter the US P&C marketplace through a new start-up operation called Trisura Specialty Insurance Company (or Trisura US).

After approval of the public listing, Trisura Group Ltd will have three principal regulated subsidiaries: Trisura Guarantee (the Canadian operations), Imagine Re, which will be renamed Trisura International Insurance (the reinsurance arm), and Trisura Specialty Insurance (the US operations). Trisura Group Ltd intends on becoming a significant global insurance platform over time.

Trisura Group Ltd’s CEO will be Greg Morrison, a Canadian living in Bermuda who has extensive experience in reinsurance and other facets of the insurance business. I will remain CEO of the Canadian operation and as I mentioned before, we expect little change in the day to day operations of Trisura Guarantee, although we do expect the formation of Trisura Group Ltd to help fuel our future growth.
The benefits to Trisura Guarantee include access to capital via Trisura Group Ltd which will also provide an increased strategic focus on growth opportunities within the insurance space.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your significant and strong support of Trisura over the past 11 years as we have continued on our journey towards becoming Canada’s leading specialty insurer. It has been a wonderful story, full of twists and turns and a whole lot of laughs along the way, and I look forward to sharing this next chapter together.

Should you have any questions at all please give me a shout. Thanks again.

THE PENALTY BOX

THE PENALTY BOX

THE PENALTY BOX

Posted: March 15 2017

BY MICHAEL CAMPBELL

There’s a room inside Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company’s Toronto office called the Penalty Box. No, it’s not what you’re thinking. Trisura’s Penalty Box is one of several sports-themed meeting spaces named by staff as part of an inclusive Human Resources initiative, certainly not an obtrusive Human Resources prohibitive against mischievous employee behavior.

Inside the Penalty Box is a table, three chairs, a TV; standard meeting room fare – sans Gatorade, for now. The walls are adorned with framed artistic depictions of retired NHL goaltending greats: Johnny Bower, Glenn Hall, Gerry Cheevers, Gump Worsley. These net minders made their living attempting to block the routinely howitzered disks of vulcanized rubber from finding the gaps in their minimal equipment.

Fittingly, the Penalty Box was the meeting room where I booked a chat with Rob Litt, a member of Trisura’s Risk Solutions department, to talk about a product referred to as “GAP coverage”.

Gaps. Ok, let’s focus on that word, or rather two versions of that word. There’s the word “GAP” and then there’s the word “gap”. Don’t worry, I’m not taking your ability to read regular-sized letters for granted. A “gap” is an empty space or a void. “GAP” coverage is a Risk Solutions product (definitely not the popular retail fashion outlet) that stands for Guaranteed Asset Protection. It’s a product that protects consumers from negative equity when their vehicle is a total loss due to accident or theft.

Let’s rewind. Sometimes referred to as the “black box” of the insurance business, Risk Solutions is best defined as a way to respond to non-conventional exposures by providing coverage that caters to circumstances in which conventional insurance is difficult to source. The main function is to protect the consumer from gaps in insurance, or if you’ll entertain my goalie metaphor once more, well…you get the idea: Protection, coverage, etc. (This stuff writes itself).

Fast forward to my conversation with Rob Litt, who begins the discussion by quoting an old adage that’s familiar to those who own a car and to those who don’t.

“A new vehicle depreciates in value as soon as you drive it off the lot. An auto insurer will only pay depreciated value so they may not cover enough to repay your full loan balance. Trisura offers a product to fill the remaining balance,” he said.

No more ugly surprises, in other words.

“PERHAPS YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS HAD A VEHICLE WRITTEN OFF, AND THEIR INSURANCE SETTLEMENT WAS LESS THAN THEIR LOAN BALANCE. IT’S NO FUN OWING SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS ON AN ASSET THAT HAS BEEN SCRAPPED.”

‘Gap-filling’ coverage has accounted for a healthy portion of Trisura’s Risk Solution revenue over the years. Litt states that innovation and diversification are mandatory for the continued evolution of the business. He cites the 2008 financial crises and the associated automotive industry collapse as a cautionary example.

If this were a classroom, now would be the time when I throw my chalk at all the sleeping students to force them to pay attention (probably a good thing I didn’t end up a teacher).

“CONSUMERS ARE MORE SAVVY, THEY HAVE UNLIMITED ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND ARE MORE EDUCATED. THEY DON’T WANT TO BE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF,”

…said Litt, making his pitch for businesses to assess consumer’s needs based on a sense of practicality that’s necessarily personalized.

What separates one insurer from the rest is an expressed commitment to act upon transparent intentions that help brokers become and stay relevant. Litt’s comments support the notion that the broker network will always be required to help consumers find the right insurance that adequately fills gaps in coverage. Constantly shifting trends such as the big-bad-wolf of direct-to-consumer insurance create convenience for the consumer, but also deprive the consumer of professional, personalized advice. It’s true that data is more accessible than ever, but who will act as guide through the myriad of information? How can the consumer separate gold from sand? Brokers specialize in finding gold. Insurers need to embrace hard work in order to forge valuable products. Litt and the Risk Solutions team at Trisura understand.

“Trisura’s approach to business today is that there’s got to be fair value for the consumer. What’s the reputation of the administrator? Are they charging enough premium to cover future liabilities?”

Litt continued to wear passion on his sleeve, and I wasn’t about to stop him.

“People don’t like a bullshitter. It’s not that difficult to understand. They want to be treated fairly and with respect.”

How’s that for transparent intentions? You might be tempted to play the role of zebra, dishing out 2 minutes for a comment like this, but we were already in the Penalty Box, with our 2 minutes coming to an end.

“WE’RE STAUNCH ABOUT DRAWING A LINE IN THE SAND ABOUT WHAT WE’RE WILLING TO DO. WE DO A TON OF DUE DILIGENCE. WE ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS. WE DO THE WORK AT THE FRONT END.”

Finding ways to close the gaps in coverage is no easy task. It takes grit, and a sense of “staunchness”, to borrow Litt’s word. Harder still is the role of the broker to compete with the insurance robots of the future. GAP coverage is a product created by people with a passion for protection. The ultimate goal is benefiting the consumer; a goal that could mean the difference between a devastating loss and a cup-winning shutout. Plan the parade, I say.

If you enjoyed reading this article, there’s more of the same on our blog. Check it out at Trisura.com/resources/blog, or follow us on Linkedin and Twitter to stay in the loop on when we come up with something new to share.

Employee Feature – Liette Desrosiers

Employee Feature – Liette Desrosiers

Commercial Surety profileQ: How did your insurance career begin?

A: Honestly, I had never considered a career in insurance during my academic background. While I was finishing my CEGEP in Quebec City and had to enter University in the fall to do a major in German translation, I accepted a summer job in reinsurance. I thoroughly enjoyed my work experience and the management asked me if I wanted to continue with them…and I agreed! Three years later, the company made the decision to transfer all its “international” business lines to Montreal and we had the opportunity to follow or not, which I did. In 1990, following several major losses, management closed the reinsurance department and relocated employees to various sectors, that’s when I started my career in Surety.

Q: What has been the biggest change in the insurance industry since you started at Trisura?

A:  Our industry has changed a lot in the last several years, except our interpersonal relations with brokers, which remains the essential element; the heart of our business relationships. I would be tempted to tell you that everything is very different, especially technologies that have greatly evolved and which have also improved our working methods. It goes without saying that the needs of our brokers / clients are very different and evolve rapidly according to the economic situation, and at the world level. The ways to transact business have been refined and are much more structured: objectives, action plans, business development strategies, education, training and presentation…we must combine our underwriting skills with those of sales in order to maintain profitable growth and to be able to acquire more market share. Competition is a more present element these days. The automation of clerical tasks allows us to devote ourselves more actively to the development of business and the search for new products.

Q:  What is one thing brokers need to learn about underwriters?

A: The principal role of the underwriter is to perform pre-qualification work, deciding which risks to accept or decline according to several criteria, and determining the appropriate premium according to our obligations related to our different products. Our decisions are made according to our different appetites and to ensure profitable growth. Our biggest concern is to listen to the needs of our brokers and find profitable solutions for their clients in order to establish sustainable  relationships and share our expertise to achieve our common goals.

Q: What is one thing underwriters need to learn about brokers?

A: As an underwriter and business partner, we must keep in mind that our brokers expect us to provide excellent service. Speed of execution is essential. We must work to satisfy these requirements, have an open mind and look at all possible opportunities. I believe that our primary concern is to ensure that we get to know each broker firm closely in order to best determine their needs and to be able to provide innovative solutions adapted to their clients. In my opinion,  our approach needs to be more receptive and imaginative, in order to stand out from other markets.

Q: What role will technology have in the future of commercial surety?

A: The pace of technological change, since  the time I’ve been working,  is only a shadow of what we will see over the next 15 to 20 years. This next wave of change will fundamentally reshape all of our careers. Administrative functions as well as production roles will experience considerable declines. Conversely, business and financial operations, as well as computer and mathematical functions, will experience significant increases. Especially in the area of commercial bonds, I believe that Trisura has judiciously positioned the company by developing a portal to facilitate the work of our brokers. We consider this tool to be the best solution for them in order to increase their business volume, reduce administrative burdens while promoting good environmental values. At Trisura, we see ourselves as a leader in how we use technology and we commit ourselves to remain so.  We are positioned for the future, particularly for the issuance of electronic bonds; a practice that will soon become the norm in our industry. Systems such as our portal allow us to facilitate program management and increase productivity with less staff footwork, more cost reduction and increases in growth.

Q: What do brokers need to do to prepare for success in the future?

A: Our brokers will necessarily have to revisit their way of doing things and move on to business at higher speeds by using the advanced technologies we can offer them. Considering that many insurers now offer their products online and give direct access to consumers, our insurance brokers will have to make choices by partnering with the best insurers who will likely be able to help them to conserve and serve their customers well.

 

Q: Finally, what is your favourite thing about the city of Montréal?

A: This is an excellent question, very difficult to just have one favorite! Montréal has so many attractions, all of which are different and interesting, for which we love this city! There is a lot of diversity: gastronomy, wines and nightlife – concerts, shows – parks and nature – Old Montreal, Little Italy, etc …However, since I am a girl who appreciates nature and the outdoors, I would say that Mount Royal would be one of my favorite places! This beautiful natural park allows us to escape in the middle of nature .. and this, in the heart of the city!