Unprecedented Times

Unprecedented Times

By Chris Sekine

 

The phrase “these unprecedented times” is one that has been overused during the past few months, but I can find no alternative that is more descriptive or accurate. Now that much nicer weather has arrived across Canada, many are venturing outside more often, finding that it eases some of the mental burden of being cooped up. While we all enjoy the nice weather, I believe everyone needs to remain vigilant about social distancing to protect the health of each other and to protect against further shutdowns of the economy.

While the past few months have been difficult for all of us, I’d like to provide you with an update about Trisura. We initiated our business continuity plan on March 16th, and since then, our staff have been working from home on a full-time basis. I’m very pleased that the transition was seamless and all of our service and business functionality have continued without disruption. I would like to thank the great staff at Trisura, our brokers and all of our business partners for enabling a successful transition to working from home.

One of our top priorities since the lockdown has been to keep you informed of the status of Trisura’s operations, as well as the assistance available to our brokers and insureds, including important resources. While trying not to overwhelm you with too many updates, we aimed to provide necessary and pertinent information to help you with both your business and your transactions and dealings with Trisura.

We recently reported Trisura’s Q1 results, and I am pleased that both Trisura Guarantee’s business in Canada and the consolidated business of Trisura Group Ltd. performed extremely well in the first quarter. Trisura Guarantee experienced almost 25% year-over-year growth in Q1, and we also reported an increase in underwriting income of over 30%, which produced an industry leading combined ratio of just over 82%.

On behalf of everyone at Trisura, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of our broker partners for your continued support, especially during these difficult times.

We understand it’s tough out there. The pandemic and the economic consequences are significant obstacles that every person and every business on the planet is facing. A broker friend of mine (Matt, you know who you are) recently gave me a book called The Obstacle Is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage by Ryan Holiday. The book was first published in 2014, but there is no better time to read this book than today from both a personal and business perspective. Thanks, Matt.

It is remarkable to see the number of familiar and successful businesses that were started during times of economic crisis. As cited in the book, some examples are:

  • Coors (Founded 1873 – Depression)
  • General Motors (Founded 1907 – Panic of 1907)
  • Fortune Magazine (Founded 1929 – 90 days after market crash)
  • Revlon (Founded 1932 – Great Depression)
  • Hewlett-Packard (Founded 1935 – Great Depression)
  • Costco (Founded 1976 – Recession)
  • FedEx (Founded 1973 – Oil crisis)
  • Microsoft (Founded 1975 – Recession)
  • LinkedIn (Founded 2002 – Post-dot com bubble)

In addition, a few other notable companies were started during the most recent financial crisis:

  • AirBNB (Founded 2008 – Recession)
  • Uber (Founded 2009 – Recession)

In addition, Holiday notes, “half the companies in the Fortune 500 were started in a bear market or recession. Half.”

For me, the message is that times of adversity can spawn ingenuity and be transformative for those willing to face their obstacle. Yes, times are uncertain, but we are not picking up our ball and going home. In fact, we are doing the opposite. In May, Trisura Group Ltd. raised over $60 million in new capital to support growth across all of its operations. The strong reception we received from the capital markets will allow us to navigate near term volatility confidently, support our partners and growing platforms and plan for a bigger, better Trisura.

For our broker partners, Trisura’s unwavering commitment to help support you is our essential service. We will continue to underwrite risks based on their individual merit as consistently as possible and provide you with great service. I am confident things will get better.

Wishing you and your loved ones remain safe and well,

Chris

A Message from Trisura’s Chief Operating Officer

A Message from Trisura’s Chief Operating Officer

Hello friends,

Man in blazer standing in front of marble wall.With the first quarter of 2021 coming to a close, I wanted to take the time to thank you for your continued support and valued partnership. Last year came with unique challenges and we hope we succeeded in helping make your brokerage run smoothly through it all. At Trisura, we take pride in helping our brokers be successful. In 2020 we conducted an extensive broker survey to give us insight into how we could continue to improve your experience with us. We appreciate all of the feedback received, and are in the midst of reviewing the results. We appreciate the tremendous role and responsibility that the broker community has and are honoured to support your efforts and the efforts of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada. With this is mind, Trisura is pleased to continue our support as a Full Partner of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada’s Broker Identity Program.

We are optimistic that we will be able to get together again in person later this year, and until then, we will do everything we can to bring you service that remains a step above.

 

Richard Grant
Chief Operating Officer, Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company

Contractors in a Post-Pandemic World

Contractors in a Post-Pandemic World

By Sara Ametrano and Matt Baynton

 

Picture this: it’s March 6th, 2020. There is a contagious virus wreaking havoc overseas, but in Canada it’s business as usual. We’re going to work, meeting family and friends at restaurants and even travelling. Then, a couple weeks later, we too enter a lockdown, thinking in a few days or weeks, we’ll be back at the office or on the job site – we’re preparing for our return. Well, those days turned into weeks, and those weeks into months. And now, over a year later, we’ve adapted to a new normal of social distancing and remote work for many of us.

As cases have risen and fallen over the past year, construction projects have halted and resumed. These disruptions caused confusion and stress between owners and contractors, both concerned with the delay of work and increasing budgets. Contracts between project owners and contractors often include a notice of delay and a Force Majeure clause, but the verbiage and section inclusions can change from one contract to the next. It comes as no surprise that the many starts and stops and contractual ambiguities have had an impact on a contractor’s operations over the past year.

While the construction industry has faired better than most industries, it hasn’t been without its struggles. It is important for brokers to understand any struggles their clients may be having  so that they may help ensure that their clients are set up for success post-pandemic.

When your contractors are about to begin a new project or resume former operations, it would be a good idea to cover the following topics with them:

  • Have on-site social distancing or supply chain delays lead to increased costs and profit fade?
  • Are construction owners coming to the table with financial relief under their contracts?
  • Are they considering amending new contracts to address potential future lockdowns or delays?
  • Have they communicated their existing circumstances to their bank and is the bank supportive?
  • Have they been able to replenish their backlogs with profitable new contracts?

Brokers will play an important role to help contractors navigate through the balance of the pandemic and should start working with them now to ensure they are prepared to take advantage of any stimulus spending that may be part of the government’s economic recovery plan.

Bonus tip for contractors:

Communicate with advisors, such as construction lawyers. They will be able to provide advice on the best language to use in your notice of delay, as well as give guidance on how to approach a new project when the pandemic dust settles.

What Trisura can do:

As we do with our other products, Trisura can tailor the professional liability coverage to fit each specific class of professional that we insure. Trisura takes a unique approach to all claims and provides expertise and solutions so organizations and individuals can quickly return to their business.

What about federal support?

The Government of Canada recently announced its plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The Government is turning to the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to help reach the goal, requiring support in five main areas: public transit, green infrastructure, trade and transport, broadband and clean power. CIB has already taken steps toward the ambitious goal, announcing a plan to invest $10 billion over the next three years, which will support economic growth and create new jobs in many sectors, including construction.

Looking for more information? Contact your Trisura surety representative today! Contact us.

 

The views expressed in this article are exclusively those of the author;  they do not necessarily reflect the views of Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, its affiliates or partners.

Happy Holidays from Trisura!

Happy Holidays from Trisura!

Happy Holidays 2020

Dear friends,

Thankfully we are nearing the end of what has been a challenging year. Regardless of your traditions, we will all spend the holiday season differently this year. What will remain consistent is the holiday spirit and it being a time for hope, rest and reflection. There is much hope for 2021 as vaccines should be made available to many. Please encourage your friends, family and colleagues to remain resilient and to be patient as there is light at the end of the tunnel.

As Trisura looks to 2021, we are committed to our brokers and striving to be a step above. This past summer many of our brokers graciously completed our survey and provided us with valuable insights. Your message to us was clear:

  • You trust Trisura and rely on us for consistency, strong personal relationships, enthusiasm, our willingness to listen and collaborate, being solutions focused and remaining a broker-only company;
  • We must remember our roots and maintain the identity that has brought success as we continue to grow our specialty lines company, while keeping an entrepreneurial spirit that cares and provides unparalleled service;
  • You want more of Trisura, which includes capacity, products and great people.

As we create our roadmap for the future, your insights will form the foundation of our plans. Although 2020 has been a challenging year on many fronts, for Trisura it was transformative in many ways. The pandemic sharpened our focus, and my great colleagues at Trisura soldiered on and continued to deliver. We raised a significant amount of capital to facilitate the growth of our business, increased our revenue base in Canada by almost 60% through the third quarter, planned and announced our January 2021 entry into the U.S. surety market and facilitated new insurance capacity in Canada through unadmitted reinsurers, all while delivering an industry-leading combined ratio of 85%.

Last year at this time (pre-covid) I shared a passage entitled “Man in the Arena,” which was an address delivered by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. In 2020 I have replaced the word man with person. As a reminder, it goes like this:

It is not the critic who counts; not the person who points out how the strong person stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends themself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if they fail, at least fails while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

I can think of no better time to recite this passage. For Trisura, this passage rings true; especially during the pandemic. I hope it helps to inspire you as it has for us. Our team stayed in the arena and you can always count on us being there, helping you succeed and striving to create an exceptional experience.

Thank you for continuing to place your trust in Trisura and in our people.

There is much to look forward to in 2021 and I am hopeful there are better times ahead. May the holiday season provide you with some respite. From our families to yours, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season and good health and success in 2021.

Best wishes,

Chris

Happy Thanksgiving from Trisura!

Happy Thanksgiving from Trisura!

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear friends,

It’s hard to believe we are now in October. Although COVID-19 impacted many summer plans, I hope you were able to make the most of the warm weather and sunshine. Unfortunately, active cases are again on the rise in most provinces, and I wish you and those close to you good health and safety.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I find myself reflecting on the events that have taken place in 2020 thus far. Even during these difficult times, I have so much to be thankful for, including my wonderful family and friends, my fantastic, resilient co-workers and that we have all remained in good health. On behalf of everyone at Trisura, we are thankful for having you as our business partners and for your continued support. We hope that we’ve been able to serve and support your needs, even from a distance.

Like most of you, we’ve been working remotely since March. Although we miss our face-to-face interactions, our top priority has been to continue to strengthen our relationships to ensure that we deliver on our promise of providing you with “a step above” experience.

Over the summer, we conducted a broker survey to provide us with insights to serve you better and enhance your experience with Trisura. The response rate was overwhelming, and I’d like to express our sincere gratitude. We are currently reviewing the data and will soon provide a summary of the results.

We have been busy working on many exciting initiatives this year, with the most significant being our official entry into the US Surety market beginning in January 2021. I am pleased to announce that George James will be joining Trisura on January 4, 2021, to lead our US Surety business. George joins Trisura with over 20 years of industry experience, with the last five years as Executive Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer at International Fidelity Insurance Company. George will bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and relationships to Trisura, and we are very excited for him to begin his new journey. We will be sharing more on this exciting news over the coming months.

Even during these difficult times, Trisura’s business continues to thrive and that is because of you. We sincerely thank you for your trust in Trisura and for your continued support. On behalf of everyone at Trisura, I wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

 

Chris Sekine
President & CEO