Two Turtle Doves and a P&C Insurance Policy in a Pear Tree

Two Turtle Doves and a P&C Insurance Policy in a Pear Tree

By Sara Ametrano 

 

Holiday_P&C_eggnogIt’s the most wonderful time of the year! The decorations, the gatherings, the food – the holidays are a time to get together and celebrate. They’re also the perfect time to understand a host’s duty of care.

While gatherings can provide opportunities to mingle casually with colleagues and promote camaraderie, employers need to know that they can be held liable for property damage, accidents and injuries caused by employees who overindulge with alcohol at the party.

Just as a bartender at a restaurant can be held legally liable for over-serving a patron, an employer can also be held accountable if they serve alcohol at an event and an incident subsequently occurs. A host found himself in this sort of scenario, when a court ruling made in 2018 was overturned earlier this year.

In the case of Williams v. Richard, it was originally found that the host (Richard) did not owe a duty of care to the guest (Williams), who was involved in a vehicle collision after consuming alcohol at Richard’s event. The original decision was ruled in favour of Richard, as Williams had initially driven safely home after the event, and the collision hadn’t occurred until Williams drove away from his home after his safe return. It could be argued that the duty of care ended upon Williams original safe arrival home. However, when the case was brought to the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the initial decision was overturned, and Richard was indeed found liable.

A couple other examples liability issues that may arise at company holiday parties include:

  • An employee or his/her “plus one,” who might just be an enthusiastic dancer, slips and hits his/her head on the corner of a table resulting in a concussion;
  • Employees or their guests who don’t particularly care for each other come to blows.

Although having the proper coverage is certainly helpful in the event an injury, it does not negate the need for precautionary measures. So, how can you minimize the chances of an accident and potential lawsuit in the first place?

With the holidays finally (already) here, our gift to you is some useful tips to keep in mind for all your holly jolly events:

  • Review your current general liability insurance policy to determine your coverage before you host an event;
  • Host your party at a hotel, restaurant or bar with a liquor license, rather than at your office. That way you transfer the obligation to the provider of the liquor;
  • Ensure no one will be driving after drinking; cabs and designated drivers are great options for getting home safely;
  • Ensure any spills on floors are quickly cleaned, and have everyone avoid the area;
  • In the event of snow and ice, ensure there is sufficient snow shoveling and anti-ice measures in place;
  • Record all relevant information such as named and contact information of any witnesses who were present or have information relevant to the incident.

Throw the safest and most fun holiday bash this year! Get in touch with a Trisura Property & Casualty underwriter to learn more. Contact us here.

Happy Holidays!

 

Commercial surety market “performing well” in Canada

Commercial surety market “performing well” in Canada

This article was originally published by Insurance Business Canada on November 22nd, 2019.

Read the original article here.

Author: Bethan Moorcraft

 

Commercial surety is a broad group of bonds that are used to secure or guarantee a wide range of obligations between parties. These bonds are used in contractual agreements to guarantee that security and regulatory requirements are met in order to protect against financial risk.

In Canada, the commercial surety industry is “performing well and is growing,” according to Matt Baynton, senior vice president – surety, Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company. Why is the commercial surety market performing well in Canada? It’s partly due to the economy.

According to Bank of Canada data released in September, the Canadian economy remains resilient even as global outlook worsens. The bank announced that third-quarter economic performance was “stronger than anticipated,” with wages picking up and housing markets beginning to rebound. Overall, consumer spending was described as “soft” and business investment dropped off, but the bank described the economy as “operating close to its potential, or speed limit.”

Matt Baynton_IBC Interview“The main driver of the commercial surety market in Canada is government spending on infrastructure,” Baynton told Insurance Business. “The federal government promised a large amount of infrastructure spending in the previous election, but very little of this spending came to fruition.

“A strong economy should ultimately lead to more government spending, which is good for the surety industry. Conversely, if Canada were to head into a recession, there would likely be an uptick in corporate insolvencies which could lead to surety losses.”

Commercial surety bonds are used to guarantee performance of non-construction related contractual obligations. They differ from contract surety bonds that are used specifically within the construction industry. Typical users of commercial surety include government bodies, federal and/or provincial courts, financial institutions, and private corporations.

Unlike traditional insurance policies, commercial surety bonds are more akin to lines of financial credit that banks extend to clients. They’re tri-party agreements which require a unique underwriting skillset, Baynton explained.

“The underwrite is much more akin to a credit underwrite that a bank would do,” he said. “Ultimately we are trying to determine the financial survivability of an organization and where they will be able to meet the obligations that they are undertaking and that we are bonding.”

Once again, this observation links back to the state of the Canadian economy. If the economy is strong, the parties involved within a commercial surety bond are probably more likely to meet their obligations. They’re also more likely to consider bonds as an alternative financial risk transfer mechanism, hence the growth that Baynton has observed in the market.

He said: “I think more obligees are knowledgeable about bonds than in the past, and they’re more willing to accept bonds as an alternate form of security.”

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company and Trisura Specialty Insurance Company

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company and Trisura Specialty Insurance Company

AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Credit Rating of “a-” of Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company (Trisura Guarantee) (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), and its sister company, Trisura Specialty Insurance Company (Trisura Specialty) (Oklahoma City, OK). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.

The ratings of Trisura Guarantee reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

Trisura Guarantee’s balance sheet strength is supported by consistent growth in surplus and conservative reserving practices. Operating performance remains favorable with solid underwriting performance, and is supported further by consistent solid net investment income over the prior five-year period.

Positive rating action could occur if the company were to expand its geographic and market presence successfully while maintaining a trend of favorable operating performance in excess of peer averages. Negative rating pressure may materialize if the company were to incur significant losses in its capitalization, experience a substantial reduction in the profitability of its core book of business or encounter substantial adverse reserve development relative to peers and industry averages.

The ratings of Trisura Specialty reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate ERM.

Trisura Specialty has continued to expand its operations through 2019, meeting management’s projections to date. Underwriting performance is in line with expectations at this time, and AM Best expects greater underwriting diversification as the company continues to scale operations.

Positive rating action could occur if the company is able to demonstrate the implementation of its strategy through a trend of consistent and favorable operating results in excess of peer performance. Negative rating pressure could occur if the company is unable to leverage existing relationships to obtain favorable business or if the company demonstrates an inability to properly manage the degree of risk on its books, resulting in adverse performance.

Both companies’ ratings also consider the benefits received from the publicly traded ultimate parent, Trisura Group Ltd. [TSX: TSU]. The parent company remains well-capitalized and recently completed a $58 million equity raise; however, there is neither any rating lift nor drag afforded to the operating entities.

 

This press release references Credit Ratings published on AM Best’s website. For the latest rating, access www.ambest.com.

To view the original press release, visit AM Best’s website.

About AM Best:

Founded in 1899, AM Best is a provider of ratings, financial data and news, exclusively focusing on the insurance industry. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

About Trisura Guarantee:

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company is a Canadian specialty insurance and surety company with offices across Canada, providing customized solutions and expertise through a select broker network. Trisura Guarantee is uniquely positioned to satisfy Canadian risks in Contract, Commercial and Developer Surety, Directors’ and Officers’ Liability, Fidelity, Professional Liability including Media and Cyber Liability and Warranty products.

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company 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 has three principal regulated subsidiaries: Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, Trisura International Insurance Ltd. and Trisura Specialty Insurance Company. Trisura is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “TSU.”