Trisura’s COVID-19 Update – March 23, 2020

Trisura’s COVID-19 Update – March 23, 2020

March 23, 2020

With COVID-19 impacting all regions of Canada, we wanted to provide an update on the status of operations at Trisura and to address questions that we have been fielding over the past week from our broker partners.

Status of Trisura’s Operations

Trisura instituted a work-at-home policy for all 135 staff across our five offices in Canada on March 16. All staff are available via email and all direct dial phone numbers have been redirected to their mobile phones. We are open for business and we are here to help you.

Insured Coverage in the Event of an Emergency Declaration

In the event an emergency declaration is made by a Canadian public authority, Trisura will extend in force insurance policies that expire during the period of the Emergency Declaration if you are unable to get in contact with your clients. The terms and conditions of this extension for those insureds who are impacted by the emergency declaration can be reviewed in the following endorsements:

Fidelity and Media liability policies will have endorsements with similar language read into them.

Payment of Premiums

Premium payments to Trisura are not due until 60 days following the end of the month a policy/bond becomes effective. If you are having difficulty collecting premium from your client, please be assured that Trisura will not cancel an insurance policy for non-payment of premium as per the Emergency Declaration coverage noted above. If you have specific concerns on a file, please contact your Trisura underwriter.

Remittance of Premium to Trisura

Trisura accepts payments from our broker partners via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or Wire Transfer. For further information regarding electronic payments, please contact Teresa Galati in our Finance Department at teresa.galati@trisura.com.

Policies That Have Been Paid via a Premium Financing Company

When an insured finances their insurance policy, they provide the premium finance company with a power of attorney which allows them to cancel the policy in the event of default by the insured. As a result, Trisura has an obligation to cancel policies upon instruction from a premium finance company. We recommend that you contact premium financing companies to make arrangements in order to assist any of your clients in need of repayment relief during this time. This would be a proactive measure and may help avoid the premium financing company canceling policies for non-payment.

Issuing Surety Bonds

As many of you have made alternative workplace arrangements, we want to ensure that you can continue to issue Trisura surety bonds. Trisura has the following options available to assist:

  • Trisura e-Bond: Trisura is the only surety company in Canada to offer a proprietary e-Bond platform for all types of surety bonds. Bonds can be issued digitally, with an e-seal and e-signatures, by logging into the broker section of www.trisura.com and clicking on the e-Bonds tab.

  • Taking seals home: If needed, you can designate individuals with existing power-of-attorney to take a Trisura seal to their home and ensure that the seal is safeguarded while out of the brokerage office. Please take care in diarizing who is in possession of the seal at a given time and continuing your practice of recording issued bonds.

  • Requesting additional seals: If you think it would be prudent to have an additional Trisura seal available to you during this time, please request one by contacting Sarah Mainella at sarah.mainella@trisura.com.

Surety Indemnity Agreements

Effective immediately, Trisura will only require a scanned copy of an indemnity agreement in order to finalize surety facilities and issue bonds. We request that the original indemnity agreements continue to be sent to the local Trisura office as soon as possible, in order to complete the file.

Underwriting Continuity

Trisura prides itself on being expert underwriters in the lines of business that we underwrite. We do not anticipate any change in our underwriting appetite or in the products we offer.

Return Premiums Due to Exposure Changes

Trisura does not underwrite using retrospective rating methods for our products. During the renewal process, we will be underwriting the account based on the actual revenue figures, with the premium being commensurate with the risk.

Cancellations of Policies Mid-Term

If an insured requests cancellation of their coverage mid-term, Trisura will calculate any return premiums on a pro-rata basis. Minimum retained premiums on policies will also be waived until the Emergency Declaration has passed. With respect to claims-made policies, we recommend that you discuss with your client the impact of cancelling coverage as they will have no coverage on a going-forward basis once the policy has been cancelled, in terms of both their ongoing operations or services and for the reporting of any actual or potential claims.

Claims Services

Trisura’s claims services can be reached by contacting the following:

Insurance Claims: claims@trisura.com

Surety Claims: suretyclaims@trisura.com

Claim Payments

Trisura’s claims and finance departments are working together to ensure that claim payments continue to be made in a timely manner.

We are Open for Business

All of our staff continue to be available and we are open for business as always. Our appetite for business has not changed and we are here to help you in any way we can. We recognize and applaud how hard the brokerage community is working to provide information, advice, and seamless service to your clients. We appreciate your efforts and we thank you for your understanding and support during these difficult times. We are confident that Trisura will continue to deliver service that is “A Step Above”.

We will be monitoring COVID-19 developments and will provide updates via email and on our web-site at www.trisura.com. You can also contact any member of our team if you have additional questions.

Navigating Business through a Global Pandemic: Advice for Contractors

Navigating Business through a Global Pandemic: Advice for Contractors

By Stuart Detsky

 

The COVID-19 virus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Everyone in the world has been affected in some way by the virus, be it the restrictions on travel, requirements for self-isolation, cancellation of events or disruption of normal business operations. The construction industry is not immune to the potential ramifications of this pandemic. Although there is still much uncertainty about the progression and effects of the pandemic, there are steps that your contractor clients can take to minimize the impact of this event.

Global Pandemic Advice for Contractors

Communication & Information Gathering:

Contractors should contact all of their employees, sub-contractors and suppliers in order to determine how each are modifying their normal workflow due to the pandemic. Will employees be coming into the office or attending at a job site as normal? Can employees still perform their duties remotely? Do any employees need to travel in order to perform their duties and can that still be done? Contractors should be asking their sub-contractors many of these same questions in order to gauge their ability to continue to perform their sub-contracts. Are suppliers able to make deliveries as scheduled? These questions should not just be asked once, but continually throughout the next few weeks or months as plans can change drastically based on a number of factors.

Schedule:

Once a contractor has gathered the above information, it should work to update its own schedules for all projects being undertaken as well as those which were supposed to commence over the next several months. Be realistic with these schedules and maintain appropriate buffers for unforeseen events. Communicate these schedules with all relevant parties, including owners and their consultants.

Review the Contracts – Notice of Delay & Force Majeure:

Construction contracts are not consistent in how they deal with schedule changes. Most contracts will require a contractor to provide timely notice to the owner in the event of delays. For example, both the CCDC 2 and DCC DCL 250 contain requirements (in section 6.5) for notice in writing of delay. Force Majeure clauses, which are contractual provisions which provide for time extensions due to factors beyond the contractor’s control, are also inconsistent in their wording and applicability. Many contracts do not contain a force majeure clause (such as the CCDC and DCC contracts mentioned above) and even those that do may not have specific language which would be triggered by an event such as COVID-19. Although owners and consultants may be more lenient in their attitude in the near future, it is always good practice to follow the language of the contract.

Utilize Advisors:

Most construction lawyers have been writing articles, reviewing contracts and preparing action plans for their clients due to the pandemic. Nothing is simple and certain in these difficult times, and therefore it is crucial that contractors utilize their construction lawyers (or retain one if they have not used one before) for timely advice and guidance.

 

Utilizing the above best practices may take effort and resources, but will undoubtably provide value in the coming days and for the future. If you or your clients have further questions, please reach out to your surety contacts at Trisura.

 

Trisura’s COVID-19 Update – March 23, 2020

Trisura’s COVID-19 Update

March 16, 2020

Yesterday, our Business Continuity Response Committee met and we have enacted further changes in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. As of March 16, 2020 we have:

  • Suspended all business travel
  • Suspended in-person meetings
  • Instituted a mandatory work-from-home policy

All of our staff will continue to be available as always. We will be monitoring COVID-19 developments and will provide updates via email and on our web-site at www.trisura.com. You can also contact any member of our team if you have additional questions.

Thank you for your understanding during these difficult times. We are confident that Trisura will continue to deliver service that is “A Step Above.”

Woman Up!

Woman Up!

By Sara Ametrano

Every year on March 8th, countries all over the world celebrate International Women’s Day. It’s a day to recognize women’s personal and professional achievements as well as the daily challenges they face. The event’s theme this year is #EachforEqual.

Marilyn vanGansewinkel, vice-president, specialty insurance solutions, Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company“I look at the team we have [at Trisura] and am proud of the diversity of the team and the skillset that they bring to the table,” Marilyn vanGansewinkel, Trisura’s senior vice president of specialty insurance solutions, says. Over her 23-year career in the specialty insurance industry, Marilyn has seen a great deal of change. She began as an underwriting assistant, and at that time, nearly all administrative/assistant positions belonged to women.

Today, the industry has considerably changed, with women holding many senior positions at insurance companies and brokerages alike. Hiring a candidate has transitioned from the gender associated with a specific job to focusing more on the qualifications of the individual applying. The opportunities in the workforce continue to grow, and Marilyn is excited to see how women will seize them. “While hiring people, I am continually impressed with how driven women are now. They know what they want and where they want to go.”

Women have a critical role in their own success and the success of their peers. In fact, there are certain advantages that come with being a woman. “Women are excellent at being empathetic,” she explains. “This makes them good at listening to any challenges the person that they are talking to might be dealing with.”

Marilyn firmly believes it is important to surround oneself with influential and dynamic people – and there’s no shortage of this in the insurance industry. In fact, the people she crosses paths with while working is one of the things she likes most about the industry. Along with hard work, she credits several female and male colleagues and managers she’s worked with over the course of her career with helping her get to where she is now. She believes that she was given opportunities throughout her career to move into more challenging roles as they presented themselves.

Speaking from her own personal experience, Marilyn acknowledges that although being a mother while working can appear daunting, it’s all about finding the right balance. “Be present wherever you are, whether it’s at work or at home,” she advises.

Trisura’s President & CEO, Chris Sekine, has known Marilyn for over two decades. He applauds her support of those around her and is excited to see the impact women will continue to have in the workforce:

I have known Marilyn for well over 20 years, and as one the original Trisura employees from 2006, her leadership qualities and character are an integral part of Trisura’s DNA today. She is and has always been a tremendous mentor to many of our employees, both women and men. In addition to Marilyn, Trisura has been fortunate to attract many empowered and strong women into senior leadership positions since our beginning. Janet Mascitelli, who is now retired, ran our surety business in Toronto and Donna Anderson started our surety business in the Prairies. Rebekah Alberga, is our General Counsel and started our claims team in Toronto. The list goes on, and it also includes Cindy Grant, our Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Pina Mazzoli our Senior Vice President of Digital Distribution and Marketing.

 

As a father of two daughters nearing the start of their own careers, empowering women is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Our next generation of leaders have to be comprised of more women—our daughters. The more women we can inspire to be leaders, the greater the talent pool that organizations can draw from will be, which will bring diversity in thinking and formulation of strategy. Organizations that can effectively empower women will have a great strategic advantage.

From the start of her career to now, Marilyn has seen women’s confidence flourish, and it’s one of the things she’s most proud of, saying, “Women know what they want, and now they go for it.” She encourages women to continue to seize the opportunities that come their way. “Be confident. Don’t be scared to ask for what you want–there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious. Rise up and deliver.”

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company remains a Full Partner of the Broker Identity Program for 2020

Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company remains a Full Partner of the Broker Identity Program for 2020

Toronto, March 2, 2020 – The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) is pleased to announce that Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company has maintained its support of the Broker Identity Program (BIP) at the Full Partner level.

Trisura’s sponsorship will support IBAC’s Broker Identity Program (BIP), a national advertising campaign that raises awareness of the significant value that insurance brokers provide for their clients – choice, advice and advocacy.

In addition, their investment will contribute to important IBAC initiatives including IBAC’s technology leadership, professional development of the broker workforce, and our strong and effective federal advocacy to maintain the separation of banking and insurance, which protects consumers and promotes a fair and competitive marketplace.

“At Trisura, our brokers are our customers, and their success is our top priority. They entrust us to help them provide great service and find solutions for their clients. We are proud to continue our investment and participation as a Full Partner with IBAC’s Broker Identity Program, as it aligns with our efforts to support our brokers and IBAC plays a critical role in supporting insurance brokers across Canada.” said Chris Sekine, Trisura’s President & CEO.

IBAC Chief Executive Officer Peter Braid added: “Trisura’s commitment to distributing their specialty insurance products exclusively through brokers is a strong endorsement of the significant value that brokers bring to the insurance experience. We greatly appreciate their continued support.”

 

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.”

 

About IBAC:

Founded in 1921, the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada is the national voice of over 38,000 property and casualty insurance brokers, advocating for the interests of both insurance brokers and consumers to the Government of Canada. The Broker Identity Program (BIP) was launched in 1988 to promote the value and professionalism of the insurance broker to consumers, insurers and governments.