How Trisura Guarantee tries to “wow” brokers and customers

How Trisura Guarantee tries to “wow” brokers and customers

This article was originally published by Canadian Underwriter on March 28th, 2019

Read the original article here.

Author: Jason Contant


Offering consistency and going back to basics are just two of the ways Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company tries to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Basic things like responding promptly to brokers’ inquiries can make a significant difference, suggested Richard Grant, senior vice president of specialty insurance solutions with Trisura. Underwriting consistency also plays a key role. Other insurers may “write a class of business today, then in a year they are out of the business and then five years later, they’re back in the business,” Grant said in an interview Tuesday. “Trisura strives to be a consistent, stable underwriter that brokers can rely on.

Richard Grant interview with Canadian Underwriter“If we can make our brokers look good in their client’s eyes, that broker is going to remember Trisura, and we hope it will lead to their next piece of business being placed with us,” he said. “We encourage our underwriters to take pride in everything they do, take ownership in what they do and consistently deliver amazing service.”

This is also where one of Trisura’s values – having an entrepreneurial spirit – comes into play. To Grant, that means taking ownership, creating results and caring deeply about the overall success of the company. “We built the company from scratch by providing a step-above service and assisting our broker customers – solving their problems and helping them win business,” he said. “If our brokers are successful and we are part of that, we too will be successful.”

So, how does a smaller company like Trisura compete against some of the international behemoths and win? “We focus on wowing our brokers and their customers by providing that great service and coupling it with finding solutions for their problems with our creative underwriting expertise.”

Staff buy-in and passion is crucial. “Love what you do, and if you don’t love it, find what you do love,” Grant advised. The fortunate part of the insurance industry, he said, is that there are jobs that everyone can fall in love with – from actuarial number crunchers to front-line sales people.

“There is a job for anyone and everyone in the insurance industry. You just have to find what makes you tick and go after it.”

The Ride of My Life

The Ride of My Life

“You will never be in complete control of what happens to you in life; however you are always fully in control of the way in which you respond to what happens in your life.”

– Alexander Michael Gittens

Fourteen years ago this month, Trisura was born. It was just the germ of an idea, to create a new Canadian specialty lines insurer from scratch, but it quickly took shape. Bob Taylor, John Garner and I developed a business plan, found capital and reinsurance backing and took our concept to the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions, where we were granted our license. Two of the final ingredients were the most important: adding a superb team of industry experts and convincing the best insurance brokers in the business to support the company. Much to our pleasant surprise, we exceeded even our lofty expectations in both areas. As a result, we hit the ground running and never looked back.

Mike George farewellThe “Tri” in the name Trisura came to signify the relationship and partnership between our brokers, their customers and ourselves. It reinforces that we are a relationship company. The “sura” represents the middle letter of the word insurance, so we became the guts of insurance. Our name has served us well.

Our vision for the company became a step above and our noble purpose—our reason for being in business—is to create exceptional experiences for all stakeholders.

The support we received from our brokers from day one was incredible, and our brokers have been a key driver of our success. The team of 130 people we have assembled is, in my opinion, the best in the business and second to none. As a result, Trisura has flourished. We have consistently been one of Canada’s fastest-growing and most profitable insurers, and we have been recognized as an employer of choice with world-class employee engagement. In fact, Trisura Guarantee delivered its best year of operation in 2018.

As you know, our parent company went public nearly two years ago, and Trisura is now operating in the US and has international operations. Our little idea has grown into a significant and meaningful corporation. The organization is in great shape and the future is indeed bright.

Everything I had ever dreamed that Trisura could achieve under my watch has been delivered in spades. So, after much deliberation, I have decided this is the ideal time for me to step down as CEO. I am thrilled that my long-time colleague and friend, Chris Sekine, has been selected as my replacement. Chris will do a fantastic job in my stead and will take Trisura Guarantee to even greater heights.Mike George farewell

And what will I do now you may ask? Well, I am looking forward to taking some time off to enjoy the summer at the cottage, doing a lot of fishing and recharging my batteries, and then, I’ll be making some decisions about what I will do next.

I have been a very lucky guy. I have been incredibly fortunate in my career journey, and the past nearly 14 years has absolutely been the ride of my life. I have loved every minute and am extremely proud of the team we have assembled. I am forever grateful for my colleagues’ dedicated effort and for the wonderful support of our broker partners. I have been absolutely blown away by the outpouring of positive sentiment and congratulations from so many of you, my friends, over the past few days. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I look forward to seeing all of you again when our paths next cross. Until then, farewell.

Mike George farewell


What happens when a construction project is delayed by the owner?

What happens when a construction project is delayed by the owner?

By Samin Bidhendi


The notion of delay in construction projects has been the subject of many discussions and debates. When can an owner be deemed to have delayed a project and what happens next?

Before a contractor can assert that the owner has delayed the project, several boxes must first be ticked. The result not only depends on when the delay occurred, but also when the contractor became (or should have become) aware of the delay and took corrective measures.

What happened, what must happen and what will happen are all contingent on numerous variables. What is eminent, however, is that the contractor cannot “walk off” the project on the account of owner-imposed delays without taking appropriate and reasonable actions that are specified in the contract and are in accordance with applicable laws governing the project.

Alleviating impact costs from this sort of delay, depends on the timing, language and terms and provisions of the signed contract between the contractor and owner. The contractor’s rights and remedies in recovering its impact costs varies significantly depending on the time in the project timeline. The terms of the  contract with the owner also governs the contractor’s entitlement and its ability to recover potential impact costs. It must be kept in mind the contractor has a duty to mitigate these impact costs as well.


What happens if an owner delays a project just after tender closing?

What happens if an owner delays a project just after tender closing?When an owner delays a project just after the time of tender or defers the award of the contract and delays the commencement of the work, the contractor is bound to the terms and conditions stipulated in the Form of Tender or any other tender document(s) provided to all bidders. The tender documents typically comprise an “acceptance” period, during which the owner can review and select the bids and award the project based on its prescribed tender terms but most likely to the lowest price bid. Although most tender documents are quite one-sided and only speak to the owner’s rights and remedies in the event of a failure by a bidder, the contractor can rely on the same timelines and the stipulated period of validity of the bid to invalidate the tender agreement. Contractors need to be mindful of any overlap between the proposed period of Work and the Tender Acceptable period specified in the Contract documents.


What happens when an owner delays a project after award?

When an owner delays a project after the issuance of the Notice of Award/Notice to Proceed and signing of the contract documents, the contractor has entered into a new agreement/contract with the owner. The terms and conditions that either party is required to follow, therefore, depend on the provisions of the contract documents and not the tender documents. Once a tender is awarded and a contract is executed, the acceptability or validity of the bid is no longer of question nor the determining factor. Once a contract is signed and a commencement date is agreed upon—whether by a Notice to Proceed or an accepted construction schedule (or perhaps submitted schedule)—both parties must begin and complete the project within the specified or otherwise agreed upon time frames including applicable milestones.

When an owner causes delays to the commencement of the project, the contractor must first establish the cause of the delay. What happens when an owner delays a project after award?If the root cause is that the owner requires changes in the scope of the work, the contractor must follow the provisions of the contract for changes in the work and satisfy any requirement regarding changes, to seek compensation and to amend the contract price for the cost associated with the changes. This also ensures the contractor’s entitlement to any necessary adjustments in the contract time to reflect the additional time required due to the delay imposed by the change in the work. This might also reflect additional time due to the seasonal restrictions of the new or original contract work.

When the nature of an owner-imposed delay is unknown or not associated with changes in the scope of the work, the contractor must follow the contract provisions for delay in the work. The contractor must follow any notice provisions in the contract to ensure entitlement for a time extension and additional compensation. Notices must be submitted in writing and must clearly identify as such. Notices covered within other forms of correspondence may not be deemed acceptable, thereby jeopardizing the contractor’s ability to pursue any rights it may otherwise have under the contract. It is also the responsibility of the contractor to ensure that a discrete notice is submitted for each individual issue.

Notwithstanding the nature of an owner imposed delay, in the event of a dispute between the owner and the contractor, the contractor must refer to the dispute resolution mechanism stipulated in the contract. The dispute resolution process will outline the steps which must be taken by both parties and what the contractor’s rights, remedies and obligations are under the contract. It should be noted that the contractor must continue with the work in dispute until and unless the contractor is instructed otherwise. In some contracts, it is stipulated that the dispute resolution process may only commence once the affected work, or the project as a whole, is completed.

Undoubtedly, the timing of the delay plays a significant role in the extent of the delay and the quantum of damages incurred. However, regardless of when the delay begins, the contractor would be in default of the contract for abandoning work and “walking off” the job if they do not adhere to proper processes and avenues granted for changes, delays and disputes in the contract. If the contractor is deemed in default of the contract, the owner can pursue damages its suffers through legal proceedings or make a claim on the contractor’s performance bond or other performance security it might hold or retain its damages from unpaid contract funds.

The contractor must always read its contract and protect its interest with prompt written notice to the owner of any changes it faces during the course of a project that are different then what was tendered.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Frequently asked questions1. Can a contractor walk away from a project if the owner delays award?

Most tender forms stipulate a period of validity of the bid. If an owner exceeds the specified time frame in awarding a contract without any negotiations with the bidder and the tender security facility, the contractor can either assume that its bid was unsuccessful, or open negotiations with the owner if possible. However, within the period of validity, contractors are bound to their submitted bid, and refusal to enter into a contract or perform the work may open them up to damages and claim on its bid security.


2. Can a contractor walk away from a project if the owner delays commencement of the work?

No. Once a contractor submits a bid, it enters into an agreement with the owner and forms a binding contract. That contract is further followed by a second agreement upon award of a project. This then forms a second contract between the owner and the contractor. Once either of these contracts are formed, neither the contractor nor the owner can walk away from the agreements without recourse.


3. Can a contractor walk off a job if the owner delays the work for extensive changes?

Frequently asked questionsNo. Most contracts include provisions on how to address changes in the work and what measures and remedies are available to the contractor. To reserve its right and ensure entitlement, the contractor is required to follow the contract provisions closely and provide the required written notices and other documentation to preserve its rights. Although some changes may result in a material change to the scope of work, contractors must honour their contracts with the owner and follow the stipulated procedures to terminate the contract effectively. Failure by the contractor to adhere to contract requirements regarding changes or delays in the work could result in default by the contractor, which may ultimately prompt a lawsuit and claim on the contractor’s performance bond.

Is your business protected against fraud?

Is your business protected against fraud?

By Sara Ametrano


Fraud isn’t a crime that only targets individuals. Some scammers set their sights on businesses. Is yours prepared for a potential attack?

Is your business protected against fraud?As technology continues to evolve and our reliance on it grows, so does our vulnerability to being hacked. In fact, the FBI reports that there are roughly 4000 cyber-attack attempts in the US every day.

On a global scale, 2018 saw the creation of 245 million new viruses, with over 680,000 created each day. The Ponemom Institute reported that 54 per cent of companies experienced one or more successful attack last year. The year before, the Canadian economy took a hit of 3.1 billion, as recorded by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

To truly grasp the magnitude of cyber fraud, Trisura Guarantee spoke with IT Weapons’ director of marketing and communications, Jeremy MacBean.

We asked MacBean what the most common error leading to these costly attacks is. “It’s in between the keyboard and chair – the people,” he revealed. “User awareness is the primary threat vector. That represents the biggest risks. It’s safe to say the majority of cyber-attacks begin with people clicking things they shouldn’t.”

Let’s take a look at some of the main types of scams that can impact businesses:


CEO scams:

Who’s at risk? Employees who work closely with a CEO or whose jobs include financial responsibilities are most at risk.

In this type of scam, someone is impersonating the CEO through email. These messages typically have a sense of urgency to them and are labelled “confidential.”

A CEO scam can cost businesses anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars.


Business scams:

Who’s at risk? Company size doesn’t matter; any organization can find itself on the receiving end of a potential scam.

For these scams, there are a few different approaches the fraudster can take.

Directory: Here, the attacker sends your company a proposal for an advertising opportunity. First, the fraudster gathers the details needed to execute the crime. Then, he or she sends an invoice to the accounting department, who are unaware that the service was never approved.

Health and safety products: In this type of scam, you may receive a telephone call from the scammer. He or she impersonates a government official, informing you to quickly update your first-aid kits and health and safety training.

Office supplies: For this scam, the attacker will send over items the company didn’t order and then bill the business for them.


Phishing and smishing scams:

Who’s at risk? All employees. Phishing emails and smishing text messages appear to be sent from an authorized organization. They often use a similar tone and the logo of organizations you trust to trick you into providing personal information.

Fraud is an ongoing issue with new cyber viruses created and spreading daily, and different angles for attack. MacBean offers some helpful tips for individuals and businesses to protect themselves and their company as much as possible:


  • Identifying the sender of an email is critical. To do this, hover your mouse over an email or URL to see what it links to;
  • Think before you click;
  • Do not click any attachments;
  • Installing antivirus and antimalware can help pre-scan.
  • Regular user awareness training;
  • Regularly reminding staff to be vigilant;
  • Regular training and possibly issuing a test phishing email quarterly or bi-annually.


To learn more about protecting your business against cyber fraud, click here.

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company announces appointment of Chris Sekine as President and CEO, consulting arrangement with Mike George

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company announces appointment of Chris Sekine as President and CEO, consulting arrangement with Mike George

Chris Sekine appointed new President and CEO of Trisura Guarantee

TORONTO, March 19, 2019 – Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company (“Trisura Guarantee”) announces the appointment of Chris Sekine as President and Chief Executive Officer of Trisura Guarantee. Chris succeeds Mike George, who will continue to work with Trisura Guarantee on a consulting basis.

Chris Sekine has led Trisura Guarantee’s surety group since its inception, and he is well-known to our employees, brokers and reinsurance partners. Chris has been an integral part of the success of Trisura Guarantee, helping set executive and strategic direction, including our Broker Strategic Initiative, reinsurance placement and overseeing underwriting decisions. Under Chris’ leadership, our surety business has consistently delivered exceptional results.

I’ve known and worked with Chris for over 25 years and have valued his expertise, friendship and passion for the business. He has been part of the Trisura family from the beginning, and I’m confident that under his leadership, Trisura will continue to deliver exceptional experiences and results, while building on our success story, said Mike George.

Mike has been instrumental in the development of Trisura Guarantee from its inception in 2006 through its most successful year in 2018. He has built a strong team respected for their underwriting expertise, responsiveness and cultural values, while navigating the competitive specialty insurance market. Mike will continue to work with Trisura Guarantee on a consulting basis to facilitate the leadership transition. We cannot thank Mike enough for his contributions to Trisura as a founder, a leader and a friend. We wish him every success in the future.


About Trisura Guarantee

Trisura Guarantee is a Canadian specialty lines insurance and surety company. Through a select network of national and regional brokerage firms, Trisura Guarantee provides innovative solutions and expertise in Contract, Developer and Commercial Surety, Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, Fidelity, Professional Liability including Media, Technology and Cyber Liability, Property, Casualty and Warranty products. Trisura Guarantee is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company.

Trisura Guarantee is a subsidiary of Trisura Group Ltd., a leading international specialty insurance provider operating in the surety, risk solutions, corporate insurance and reinsurance segments of the market. Trisura Group has three principal regulated subsidiaries: Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, Trisura International Insurance Ltd. and Trisura Specialty Insurance Company. Trisura Group is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “TSU.”

For more information, please contact:
Sandra Henkel
Vice President, Marketing & Distribution
Tel: 416 607 2092