Drive safe and save: Ontario’s new Winter Tire Discount explained

The Ontario Ministry of Finance announced in the fall of 2015 that it will require all provincial insurance companies to offer a discount for drivers who have purchased and installed winter tires on their vehicles. This mandate, effective January 1, 2016, is part of the province’s plan to help reduce auto insurance rates. The most obvious component of this initiative is the savings that vehicle owners are rewarded with for taking steps towards safer driving. But what else should you know about the new Winter Tire Discount?

  • The discount was implemented effective January 1, 2016. This means that if you are purchasing or renewing an auto insurance policy after this date, you are now able to add this discount to your policy if you qualify. If your policy renews later in the year (say, in July for example), you may be able to add the discount to your policy mid-term, but some insurance companies require that the discount be added on at your next renewal – your broker will be able to confirm this for you.
  • Winter Tires are classified as: tires recognized as meeting or exceeding the minimum snow traction requirements set by the Rubber Association of Canada, and are designed for use in both cold weather and severe snow weather conditions. Tires that meet this requirement are marked with a snowflake & mountain symbol on the sidewall.
  • Keep your bill of sale. Insurance companies vary in regards to what documentation they require as proof that winter tires have been installed. Some simply require verbal confirmation, while others will require a copy of the bill of sale for the tires, the installation, or both. Again, your broker will be able to confirm this, but it is always best practice to keep your proof of payment on file in the event that a claim occurs in the future.
  • Most importantly, how much can you save? The discount varies from company to company, but typically falls within the range of 2-5%. Below is a short list of insurers and the Winter Tire Discounts they offer:
  • AIG – 3%
  • Aviva – 5%
  • Chubb Insurance – 3%
  • Guarantee Gold – 5%
  • Intact Insurance and Novex – 3%
  • Jevco Insurance – 2%
  • RSA Insurance – 3%

Be it a small or large amount of savings, the fact that auto insurers are finding new ways to encourage road safety is a step in the right direction. Not only does it protect the lives and vehicles of those they insure, but also the driving community at large.

To find out if you qualify for the Ontario Winter Tire Discount and how much you can save, speak to one of our personal insurance experts today.

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Bodily Injury and Property Damage: A Cyber Perspective

Cyber-related risk is a hot button issue in the insurance community and the business community at large. Having a cyber component to your company’s insurance program is now the status quo, with many insurers offering stand alone cyber policies, or at the very least, endorsements and other add-ons that help in transferring this risk. These coverages protect against first party losses (e.g. system damage, business interruption, etc.) and third party losses (e.g. privacy liability if sensitive information is breached) that arise from cyber-related perils that are typically excluded under traditional property and general liability policies.

However, simply having cyber coverage in place does not mean that all areas of exposure to cyber-related losses have been covered off. While the threat of system cyber attacks are nothing new to businesses that have an online or technological component, companies may often overlook other areas that security personnel may not realize are connected to the internet or internal computing systems, such as heating and cooling systems, generators, certain pressure vessels, and other systems that have underlying controls. It is these types of systems that frequently lack basic security protocols such as user passwords, and have the potential to cause bodily injury (BI) to individuals or property damage (PD) if they are breached or tampered with in a malicious way. Furthermore, a company may be in for a rude awakening if they experience such as loss, only to find out that, depending on their policy’s wording, their cyber policy does not cover these types of losses, which are already excluded under standard property and general liability policies. For example, many property policies contain exclusions for any loss caused by “the use of a computer system as a means of inflicting harm.”Conversely, cyber policies feature broad exclusions for BI and PD. So what can be done to eliminate this gap in coverage?

“Difference in Conditions” (DIC) coverage presents one solution. Although not a typical feature of cyber policies, DIC coverage can be applied to a cyber-related BI or PD loss that (aside from its cyber-related cause) would normally be covered by a traditional property or liability policy, if not for its cyber-related exclusions – in effect, covering any “difference in conditions” between the underlying property/liability policies and the cyber policy. Unfortunately, this is not a typical offering of most cyber policies, so it is always important to review your policy wordings for any exclusions or limitations that may leave your company exposed to an uninsured cyber-related BI or PD claim.

Still trying to make sense of everything? Our experts are here to help! To learn more about cyber insurance and risk management, and to find out what exposures your company may have, speak to one of our advisors today.

 

[1] Marsh, Cyber Gap Insurance, Cyber Risk: Filling the Coverage Gap (2014) at 4, uk.marsh.com/Portals/18/Documents/Cyber%20Gap%20Insurance%20Brochure_Final.pdf

Experts In Your Field

Since our origins in 1954, The Hull Group has positioned itself as a boutique brokerage that focuses on serving the insurance needs of clients in select industries, allowing us to hone our expertise and develop partnerships that continue to be strengthened over time. Although we have successfully served clients from a broad range of industry sectors, our core focus remains on serving the insurance and risk management needs of the following industries:

  • Communications and Media. Considered a pioneer in this space, The Hull Group has served the insurance needs of major industry players across telecommunications, TV broadcasting, film production, entertainment, and marketing. Serving the likes of Canada’s largest provider of cellular voice and data, one of the most prestigious and internationally recognized film festivals, as well as Canada’s largest cable television provider for several years has deepened our roots in these industries.
  • Information Technology. In today’s day and age, this is arguably an industry that ties everything together. Our particular focus stems from the recognition that IT is one of the largest and fastest growing industries, whereby competency in this area is fundamental to understanding business opportunity and risk in general. Keeping pace in such a fast moving space involves experts dedicated to staying abreast of trends and active involvement, such as The Hull Group’s sponsorship of industry organizations like AceTech Ontario, and our partnership with IT cyber security experts Watsec.
  • Professional Services. When most consumers think about insurance, mostly property damage and liability for bodily injury come to mind. However, for service oriented businesses, a primary loss exposure is the failure to perform or a defect in a service provided, resulting in financial injury to a customer. Working with clients across a broad spectrum of services, including one of the Big Four auditors, as well as one of Canada’s largest providers of talent management and staffing solutions, has solidified our position as a brokerage of choice when it comes to professional liability protection.
  • Manufacturing and Large Retail. Many businesses operating in this space are faced with several challenges when it comes to foreign sales, distribution and operations. Having an expert to guide you through the complicated waters of foreign regulations while still keeping your business fully protected is integral to maintaining smooth operations and continued growth. The Hull Group has held longstanding partnerships with industry leaders in food packaging and distribution, electronic product development and manufacturing, as well as numerous other product retail and manufacturing categories.

Taking a specialist (rather than a generalist) approach has not only allowed us to continually hone our expertise and build longstanding industry partnerships, but it has also allowed us to develop specialized insurance programs with a pool of preferred insurers who have supported us in tailoring these programs to the unique needs of clients who operate in our areas of focus.

To find out more about our specialized insurance services, contact one of our experts today.

Getting “TUF” on Cyber Risk with The Hull Group

Cyber crime is quickly becoming the number one threat to business in the 21st century. According to Insurance Journal, a recent survey conducted by The Risk Management Society (RIMS) cites the top three first party cyber exposures as: reputational harm, business interruption, and data breach response/notification costs.

The insurance industry has been quick to respond to these evolving threats by continuously innovating new coverages to help mitigate any financial burden once a cyber loss occurs. However, some damage, such as reputational harm to a business, can be irreparable, as the transfer of risk via insurance can only go so far when it comes to these “intangible” types of losses. Recent high profile examples of catastrophic data breaches, such as Ashley Madison, Home Depot, and Sony Pictures highlight the need to focus on cyber risk management and prevention.

The Hull Group has recently partnered with Watsec Cyber Risk Management to offer a comprehensive and practical cyber risk reduction solution: TUF. TUF is not an IT solution, but rather a senior leadership solution designed to provide clear insight into an organization’s true cyber risk exposure and the effectiveness of its teams’ efforts to reduce this critical business risk. The TUF program has three different options: TUF for Small Business, TUF Standard Plan for Business, and Customized TUF for Higher Risk Clients. All TUF plans include:

  • Access to Watsec’s cyber risk awareness online module
  • Vulnerability Assessment of network connections exposed to the public internet
  • High level network focused security assessment
  • Cyber Resilience Roadmap & Review of critical security policies
  • Secure access to Watsec’s client portal for your reports and results
  • Quarterly consultation with Watsec’s security specialists
  • Quarterly Executive Summary Report (QESR) and review with their executive team

TUF cyber risk reduction plans are designed to complement any cyber risk insurance policy already in place. For more information on “getting TUF” and exclusive discounts offered to Hull Group clients, contact one of our Commercial Risk experts today.

Classic Protection for your Classic Automobile

FAQ’s About Classic & Collector Automobile Insurance

  1. What qualifies my vehicle as a collector vehicle?

Vehicles that are infrequently used and in very good to excellent condition that are either maintaining or increasing in value. These vehicles are also used in car club activities, exhibitions, parades, functions of public interest or for private collection.

  1. What types of vehicles qualify for collector vehicle coverage?
  • Antique & Classic Vehicles (1800’s-1969)
  • Modern Classics
  • Exotics & Special Interest Vehicles
  • Military Vehicles
  • Street Rods & Customs
  • Replicas
  1. Are there any requirements that my vehicle must meet in order to receive coverage?
  • Qualification depends on usage, storage, and driving record
  • The vehicle must be used on a “limited” basis (typically 4,000 kilometers per year)
  • Collector vehicles valued over $50,000 should be stored in a fully-enclosed and locked garage when not in use

The above information is very broad, as the term “collector vehicle” is a broad term itself. Please contact a broker today for questions pertaining to coverage for your specific vehicle.

Prepare for the Inevitable Data Breach

Insurance is catching up with modern day business risks and evolving to address current trends. Unfortunately, data breaches have been an issue for some time, but cyber insurance is available and shaping up to be an effective tool to mitigate certain damages.

In response to the rise of smartphones, mobile payments, cloud computing, and widely publicized data breaches over the past few years, parliament recently passed the Digital Privacy Act (DPA) which expands the powers of Canada’s Privacy Commissioner and increases the burden on businesses to notify persons whose personal information has been exposed as a result of a data breach. Once the new mandatory provisions come into effect (likely sometime this summer), what will it mean for your business?

  • Increased burden and privacy breach reporting costs
  • Increased potential for third party and regulatory litigation
  • Increased risk of reputational damage as breaches will be made public
  • Increased need to talk to us about your insurance protection

Cyber Insurance can make a crucial difference in how your business continues to operate and the impact to your revenue and reputation following a data breach.

To learn more about how you can protect yourself and your company against a data breach, contact one of our Corporate Risk representatives today.

To read more about Cyber Risk in the news, click on the following articles below:

From CanadianUnderwriter.ca: Poised for Change

From Insurance Journal.com: Top 3 Reasons Firms are Buying Cyber Insurance

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