From the Blog

COVID-19 Common Insurance FAQS

Will my standard policy or business interruption insurance cover me for interruptions due to COVID-19?

Generally, commercial insurance policies and traditional business interruption polices do not offer coverage for business interruption or supply chain disruption due to a pandemic such as COVID-19. Policy Insuring Agreements require direct physical loss of or damage to property, before Time Element or, Business Interruption coverage is triggered. Illness and fear of contagion that drive patrons away from businesses or, employees who cannot work due to illness, do not create “physical loss or damage to property”.

Policies that have coverage for acts by CIVIL AUTHORITY requires an order of civil authority that prohibits access to an Insured Location, and the order must be in response to direct physical loss or damage, caused by a covered cause of loss, at a location not owned or occupied by the Insured.

Together, we can build Better Communities.

At Wilson M. Beck, our motto is “We care. We help.” And, while we live by that in our day to day lives at WMB, it also carries through many other facets of our team members’ and valued partners’ lives. Intact Insurance has created and implemented an initiative called Better Communities. Their values align closely with ours, which makes for a great connection. One of the core values of this program is to be socially responsible; they believe in making the communities where they live and work safe, healthier and happier.

This year, our WMB team members applied for two different grants through the Better Communities program for local initiatives that they are actively involved in and care greatly about. The Dixon Transition Society and the Mossom Creek Hatchery and Education Center were both awarded grants for 2020.

To learn more about the Better Communities program, as well as this year’s recipients and WMB’s connection, click “read more” below.

 

Mossom Creek Hatchery and Education Center – Port Moody

The programs offered at the hatchery give kids from pre-school to high school the opportunity to experience the wonder of nature. They can have all sorts of hands-on experiences while being out in the fresh air and can seek cover under the large open-sided tent teaching area recently installed for COVID-safe learning. At times, the hatchery also offers sessions for adults and for university students, especially teachers-in-training.

Wilson M. Beck Insurance Services has been involved with Mossom for a few years from an insurance and advocate/advisory perspective. More specifically, Glen MacRae, our Executive Vice President – Claims, has been involved with the program from many positions. Most recently, he applied for and received a grant through Intact’s Better Communities program that helped access much needed funds for the society.

Click below to learn more about this local initiative and details on how you can get involved.

Tips for Driving in the Winter

Snow and ice are very common during wintertime in Canada and can make driving conditions dangerous for even the most seasoned of drivers. A new survey conducted by Belairdirect found that 44 percent of Canadians admit to feeling nervous or anxious about winter driving, and most respondents indicated that they are not fully prepared for winter driving conditions.

Being prepared to drive in Canadian winter conditions can help keep you and other drivers safe on the road. Click below for some helpful winter driving tips and ways to be more prepared behind the wheel during winter conditions.

Comprehensive Auto Coverage

There are many factors that need to be considered when purchasing auto insurance. While auto insurance is often seen as a way to protect drivers when they get into an accident, vehicles also need protection, as there are many ways they can be damaged without actually being involved in a collision. That’s where comprehensive coverage comes into play. If you don’t have this type of coverage included in your auto policy, you may want to consider adding it in order to give yourself an extra layer of security.

Like many other types of insurance, whether or not comprehensive coverage is right for you depends on your specific situation. In many cases, having this extra layer of protection can help protect your pocketbook. Contact Wilson M. Beck Insurance Services today to learn more about comprehensive coverage and how it may be able to keep you and your vehicle safe.

Spring Home Maintenance Tips

It’s a welcome time of the year following a long winter, but springtime brings a new set of responsibilities that you should be aware of in order to keep your home in good shape. The health and construction of your home’s roof are vital for protecting your home and its contents. Wind, rain, hail and snow can slowly degrade your roof. It’s important that you know which challenges and tasks should be prioritized and when.

 

Remote Work Cyber Security

The recent significant increase in employees working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic brings with it an increased risk of cyber security threats. Cyber criminals are well aware that IT departments and cyber security groups are stretched thin during the pandemic, making them more exposed to attacks.

Cyber security is a serious issue for your organization and its employees. As such, it’s important that you recognize potential vulnerabilities and take steps to prevent a cyber attack on your workplace.

Protecting Your Workers From Coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has impacted a number of businesses across a variety of industries, forcing them to rethink their daily operations to ensure the safety of their employees and the general public. This is no different for construction firms, where multiple contractors and tradespeople on a job site may be working in the same space at any one time. In these instances, just one misstep can lead to the quick spread of COVID-19, jeopardizing the well-being of workers.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard your staff, consider the strategies highlighted in this blog post.

Considerations When Starting a Delivery Service

For restaurants, offering delivery service provides a convenient food option for your customers. It can also lead to increased business opportunities for your restaurant.

However, delivery services aren’t without their share of risks, particularly when it comes to driver safety. When making deliveries, employees could slip, trip and fall going to a customer’s door; become the victim of a crime (e.g., robberies); or injure themselves or others in an auto accident. If your restaurant is starting a delivery service, it’s critical to keep these risks in mind and take the proper steps to safeguard your employees and prevent potential claims.

Do You Have Adequate Cyber Insurance?

Given the number of variables, picking a cyber insurance policy can be a difficult task. Furthermore, while an organization may think it is protected by its current policy, new developments in cyber security and ventures by the organization itself may make those policies inadequate. Consider the following when creating or reviewing your existing cyber insurance plan.

Business Interruption Policies and Coronavirus

As a result of the unprecedented challenges COVID-19 brings, many businesses are turning to insurance, like business interruption insurance, for help. In the event of a loss, business interruption insurance provides coverage for income a business would have earned had it been operating normally. It can also help pay for expenses like employee wages, taxes, rent, loan payments and relocation expenses.

However, these policies are complex, and protection may not be available for losses stemming from COVID-19. This blog post highlights characteristics and types of businesses interruption insurance, examining how they may or may not respond to the outbreak.

Maintaining Mental Well-Being During A Quarantine

Public health officials are recommending that healthy individuals practice social distancing, staying at home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Following the advice of public health officials can help stop the spread of COVID-19, but if you don’t take proper precautions, your mental well-being could suffer while you’re quarantining.

If you’re self-quarantining or practicing social distancing, keep the following tips in mind to maintain your mental well-being.

These six suggestions may help you maintain your mental well-being during a quarantine, but shouldn’t be considered as medical advice.

If you have concerns about your mental well-being while you’re in quarantine, please contact your mental health professional or find and contact your nearest Canadian Mental Health Association branch here.

Letter to Our Valued Clients Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Dear Valued Client,

As we continue to monitor Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments closely, the health and well-being of our clients, their employees and our staff is of utmost importance to us.

As a privileged partner to your business, we also understand that limiting any impact this health event could have on our service to our clients is imperative. We have a dedicated team of experts who are committed to keeping our operations running smoothly so that we can provide you with the best possible service. These measures include:

Reduced in office presence by enabling work from home capabilities for our employees. We encourage you to use email as the preferred communication method.

In BC, we are waiting for ICBC to announce their contingency plan. We will have ICBC Representatives available to service your Auto/Fleet needs.

Understanding Riggers Liability Insurance

For contractors, every worksite is full of moving parts and possible accidents. Even a small mistake can result in a costly problem. For contractors who use rigging equipment to install property, job sites are even more complex.

Riggers liability insurance provides protection when moving property or equipment that belongs to another party. It is an important type of coverage that should be considered by contractors who use cranes or other equipment to move or haul equipment belonging to others. In the event of an accident or damage to the property occurring while being lifted, having riggers liability is key to limiting the consequences for your company.

COVID-19 Coronavirus and You

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is a virus that is transmitted from person to person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). It is transmitted via respiratory droplets from an infected person when they cough or sneeze.

 

Understanding Contingent Business Interruption Insurance

Standard business interruption policies are vital, providing protection against a variety of common interruptions, including natural disasters, equipment damage and vandalism. But what happens when one of your suppliers or customers experiences an interruption that derails your operations? To help address this concern, contingent business interruption (CBI) insurance is crucial.

3 Biggest Risks to Watch in 2020

The most relevant risks to Canadian businesses are constantly in flux. Only by observing trends and planning appropriately is it possible to reduce these risks and prevent being caught unprepared. According to experts, the following are the biggest risks for Canadian businesses to watch out for in 2020.

 

Winter Construction Hazards

The winter season brings with it many challenges for the construction industry, including amplifying existing hazards and introducing new ones. Snow, ice and below-freezing temperatures all contribute to an increased risk of illness and injury on the job site.

Find out five of the most common winter hazards for the construction industry and how to avoid them.

Weather Damage and Your Home Insurance Policy

The winter weather can be harsh on your home. Freezing temperatures, harsh winds, snow and ice can all lead to excessive wear and tear on your property.

Depending on the terms of your home insurance policy, some weather-related damages may not be covered. To ensure you have sufficient coverage, you must first understand what weather claims are typically covered under a standard home insurance policy.

International Travel Medical Insurance

Travelling around the world can be a rewarding experience. However, if you become ill, your regular health coverage will not cover your medical expenses. Contact us today to learn more about international travel health insurance.

Emergency Roadside Kit

Close your eyes and picture this scenario: You are driving late at night on a country road and your vehicle becomes hard to control. If your vehicle is equipped with a roadside emergency supply kit, you will have all that you need at your fingertips to get back on your journey in no time!

Before you need to use your kit in an emergency situation, it is wise to thoroughly familiarize yourself with its contents. Take the time to discuss with your entire family how each item in your kit will assist in an emergency and make sure that everyone knows how to use the contents properly and safely.

Contractors Pollution Liability Insurance

Regardless of specialty, all contractors should be mindful of the pollution risks associated with their work. A CPL insurance policy can provide much-needed security in the event of a pollution incident, even in the most unlikely of circumstances.

CPL insurance is not only good for business, but it also provides peace of mind in industries that are full of surprises and risks. Let us work with your organization to find the CPL coverage that is right for you.

Tenant Insurance Myths

We spend a lot of time and energy filling our living spaces with items that make it feel like home—it only takes one unexpected event to have it all stripped away. Tenant insurance can give you peace of mind knowing that you and all of your belongings are covered.

 

Product Liability Insurance for the Cannabis Industry

Those operating in the legal marijuana sector face innumerable exposures related to things like motor vehicle accidents, bodily injuries and property damage. Of all the risks associated with the cannabis industry, product liability is one of most substantial.

Whether you’re a wholesale grower or a retailer, there are a variety of product liability concerns to consider. Edibles, vaporizers, pesticides, breaches of warranty, misrepresentation, label claims and deceptive practices all present a real risk of litigation, even for a cautious business.

To learn more about your business’s unique risks and to secure the appropriate protection, contact our team of experienced insurance brokers today.

Errors & Omissions Insurance for Contractors

Almost every contractor carries some form of general liability coverage. While these policies provide much-needed protection for bodily injury and property damage claims that occur as the result of a contractor’s work, they typically don’t account for all forms of negligence.

That’s where errors and omissions (E&O) insurance designed for contractors comes into play.

Benefits of Commercial Auto Insurance

Whether transporting materials and tools to work sites, hauling goods for deliveries or driving to meet clients—companies of all kinds rely on safe and functioning vehicles to serve customers and generate profit. As such, it’s important to protect your drivers and vehicles through the proper insurance coverage.

Is It Time to Review Your Insurance?

As a business owner, you turn to insurance to help you identify and address the unique threats to your goods, property, customers and bottom line. However, many wrongfully assume that once they’ve secured the proper coverage, all of their exposures are addressed and they no longer need to review their policies.

The truth is that, as your business changes, so do your exposures.

Managing Volunteers in Your Organization

As a non-profit organization, most of your workforce is probably comprised of volunteers. These individuals are devoting their time and energy to helping the community through your organization. Though these individuals are offering their services without expecting compensation, they still require supervision to ensure that their jobs are done correctly. Furthermore, it is essential that your organization manages its volunteers to minimize the risk of harm to the community members you are attempting to serve and to the volunteers themselves.

Cyber Threats to Canadian Businesses in 2019

Recently, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security published its National Cyber Threat Assessment to detail its analysis of current cyber threats to Canada and Canadians. Part of this assessment examines the biggest cyber threats to Canadian businesses in 2019. These threats can lead to financial losses, damages to the organization’s reputation, loss of productivity, theft of intellectual property and disruptions to operations.

The Importance of Certificates of Insurance

For the insured, COIs serve as proof of coverage—proof that can be provided to customers, contractors or other third parties quickly and efficiently.

ICBC Drivers Renewal

From September 2019, when you renew your insurance, you’ll be asked to list the people who drive your car. Why? It’s part of our move to an insurance model that’s more driver-based. This means driver experience and crash history will play a bigger role in determining premiums. Plus, crashes will follow the driver, not the vehicle and all drivers will be held more accountable for their driving decisions.

Under the new model, if an unlisted driver borrows your car and causes a crash, there may be a one-time financial consequence. By letting your broker know who else drives your car, you’ll be protected from this financial consequence because their crash history and driving experience will have already been factored into your premium.

Live Well, Work Well

According to a recently published study, 11 million deaths in 2017 were attributable to dietary risk factors. That total number translates to one-fifth of the world’s total deaths. The study defines dietary risk factors and poor diets as ones that are heavy in sugar, salt and trans fats.

While this study reveals startling numbers, it’s a well-known fact that eating healthy can help reduce your risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease or Type 2 diabetes. By keeping such conditions at bay, you can maintain your overall health and be well on your way to living a long, healthy life.

Tips to Prevent Drinking and Driving

Driving while under the influence is not only dangerous for the impaired driver; other motorists and pedestrians are put at serious risk, too. Before you get behind the wheel, consider that your poor decision could permanently change the lives of others.

Insurance Considerations for Strata Unit Owners

Stratas are a popular choice for many Canadians, as they offer convenience, security, unique amenities and value prices. In fact, in British Columbia alone, over 1.5 million people live in stratas. To protect their investment, strata unit owners must purchase coverage that works in conjunction with a strata corporation’s master policy.

Reduce Your Exposures During Work Events

Businesses host parties for a variety of reasons, including the holidays and organizational accomplishments. While these events are fun, team-building opportunities, they can create a number of risks for the hosting company. In fact, in the event that an employee is injured at the party or causes property damage, the employer is usually the one held responsible. This can lead to costly litigation and reputational harm that can affect a company for years.

To avoid major losses, it’s not only important for employers to secure the right insurance coverage for every individual risk, but to also have a thorough understanding of common holiday party exposures.

B.C. Winter Driving Rules Are Now in Effect

As of Oct. 1, 2018, a number of winter driving rules are in effect in British Columbia for both passenger and commercial vehicles. Winter tires or chains are required on most routes in B.C. from Oct. 1 to March 31, and those who fail to comply may be issued significant fines.

This blog post provides an overview of the requirements and a number of additional safety considerations to keep in mind.

Construction Sites and Attractive Nuisances

Attractive nuisances are man-made conditions on your property, vacant site or active site that draw after-hours trespassers. If children trespass on-site due to these conditions, the general contractor on the site can be held liable for any injuries they sustain.

Protect Yourself From Wildfire Smoke

On average, Canada experiences about 7,500 wildfires annually, and they’re only becoming more common. Not only can these fires lead to major property damage, but they can also cause adverse health effects, particularly in those who inhale the smoke.

In order to protect yourself from the dangers of smoke inhalation, it’s important to stay tuned to the news and follow any guidance issued by local officials and your doctor.

Benefits of Equipment Breakdown Insurance

Companies need safe and working equipment to operate efficiently and generate revenue. In fact, some organizations rely exclusively on a few pieces of equipment to run their entire business. Following a breakdown, major losses can occur, and many organizations turn to equipment breakdown insurance (sometimes referred to as boiler machinery insurance).

Equipment breakdown coverage is a form of property insurance designed to protect a company’s mechanical, electrical and computer equipment from unexpected breakdowns. These policies are flexible, and help organizations recoup financial losses related to property damage, business interruption and spoilage.

The Top Four Construction Hazards

You’re good at your job and you love what you do. However, every time you come to work, you risk suffering an injury. The construction site is one of the most hazardous workplaces, and many of the injuries that occur there are caused by these top four hazards: falls, struck-by, caught-in/between and electrocutions.

When you have sufficient knowledge, preventing accidents caused by these hazards is easier than you might think. Here are some basic safety tips to keep you injury-free.

Avoiding Construction Defect Claims

Construction defect claims are a common risk architects, engineers and contractors face with every project they take on. A construction defect claim occurs when a building system or component fails and is often the result of improper installation, design or material selection.

Not only are these claims incredibly costly to correct and defend, they can also damage your reputation and negatively impact future opportunities.

Cyber Liability Insurance

As technology becomes increasingly important for successful business operations, the value of a strong cyber liability insurance policy continues to grow. The continued rise in the amount of information stored and transferred electronically has resulted in a remarkable increase in the potential exposures facing businesses.

In an age where a stolen laptop or data breach can instantly compromise the personal data of thousands of customers, protecting your business from cyber liability is just as important as some of the more traditional exposures businesses account for in their commercial general liability policies.

 

Canada Counters U.S. Tariffs on Aluminum and Steel

On July 1, 2018, the federal government imposed tariffs on nearly $13 billion ($16.6 billion CAN) of U.S. goods. The tariffs were outlined in the Department of Finance’s publication, Countermeasures in Response to Unjustified Tariffs on Canadian Steel and Aluminum Products. These tariffs are in response to similar ones placed by President Donald Trump’s administration on Canadian aluminum and steel back in May 2018.

Preventing Job Site Theft

Although it is important for companies to trust their workers and the general public, the unfortunate reality is that theft can happen at any time. This is particularly true in the construction industry, where expensive tools and machinery are often left in plain sight or are easily accessible to criminals.

Construction site theft is especially damaging, as the theft of materials and tools can quickly delay a project, sometimes bringing production to a halt.

Personal Lines Perspectives

If you don’t take the proper precautions, the sun can severely damage key components of your vehicle. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the exterior of cars to reach 90 C when exposed to direct sunlight in the summer. This amount of heat can not only wreak havoc on your car’s finish, but its interior as well.

Professional Liability Insurance for Design-build Firms

Design-build construction is an increasingly popular approach with many benefits. However, using this method increases professional liability exposures and creates a variety of risk management challenges. When taking on design-build projects, firms have a lot to consider, including performance guarantees, licensing requirements and appropriate coverage. Contact us today to learn about your firm’s identification options, review your exposures and bolster your risk management options.

Protect Yourself Against Illegal Acts with Crime Coverage

You may feel that your employees would never steal from you or that your business would never be the victim of theft, but the harsh truth is that nearly every business is eventually victimized by fraud or theft. In this day and age, thieves (including your employees) do not need direct access to cash to steal from you; merchandise, supplies and securities are all fair game. You may also be susceptible to losses if finished products or even raw materials are stolen from you. Essentially, any product can be a target for thieves if there is an opportunity to make a resale profit.

The Cannabis Act and How Employers Should Respond

In the near future, the use of cannabis for recreational (non-medical) purposes will be legal across Canada. To respond effectively to the legalization of marijuana, employers need to have a basic understanding of the impact of the Cannabis Act itself and what steps they should take to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

Wildfires – Are You Prepared?

Many homeowners face the risk of wildfires, which are usually triggered by lightning or accidents. They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and homes. Some homes survive, but unfortunately, many others do not. Those that
survive almost always do so because their owners had prepared for fire. Reduce your risk by preparing now to
protect your family, home and property.

Preparing Your Business for Flooding

The fickle nature of Canadian weather only exacerbates the unpredictability of floods, and with so many areas susceptible to flooding, one unexpected severe storm can trigger widespread, damaging floods. Neglecting to prepare your property for possible flooding can sink your business. Stay afloat with solid preparation and a thorough flood plan.

Asphalt Dangers

Used in paving, roofing, waterproofing and some glue products, asphalt is a sticky substance derived from crude oil. The material is mixed with solvents to change it into liquid form and make it easier to work with. Unfortunately, these substances can be hazardous and flammable, and they increase the risk of occupational injuries. In fact, road workers, roofers, hot-mix facility employees and general construction employees are at risk of asphalt-related health problems.

Water Damage Risk

The key to a satisfactory outcome of a disastrous water damage loss is frequent communication between stakeholders. The insurance broker should see that owner’s representatives, general contractors, consultants, trade contractors and insurance adjusters meet and plan the shortest and most cost effective route to bringing the project to its delivery. If they have done their job correctly, the adequacy of insurance coverage to pay repairs, extra expenses, delay in startup and, project soft costs will never be a source of concern.

Does Your Builders Risk Policy Cover Soft Costs?

Builders risk insurance provides valuable protection in the event of a direct property loss experienced by a contractor, project owner or other insured party during the construction process. However, when a catastrophic loss delays a project, indirect costs, such as soft costs and lost business income, can create substantial financial exposures for the businesses involved. Complicating matters further, many builders risk policies do not include coverage for soft costs or lost income related to construction delays.

Thankfully, firms can close this insurance gap with the addition of a soft costs endorsement to their builders risk insurance policy.

Cryptocurrencies and What They Mean for Businesses

Technology has added efficiency and modern conveniences to daily life. Among these conveniences, computer experts have managed to apply digital traits to new, online currencies in what is called cryptocurrencies.

Auto Insurance Changes in B.C. Come into Force April 1, 2019

In an effort to combat climbing auto insurance rates and industry instability, the British Columbia government is implementing a $5,500 cap on pain and suffering, particularly for payouts to vehicle accident victims. This change—along with other accident benefits amendments—will come into force April 1, 2019.

Up to 100,000 Bell Customers Impacted by Data Breach

Bell Canada, one of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies, announced Tuesday, Jan. 23 that up to 100,000 customers were affected by a data breach. The company has said that hackers likely obtained sensitive customer information, including subscriber names, phone numbers, account names and email addresses.

Plan Your Company Holiday Party With Care – Especially if it Includes Liquor

Before your company hosts its next event, contact Wilson M. Beck Insurance Group. We can review your coverage and assist in developing a risk management plan that keeps safety a top priority at your company-sponsored events.

Benefits of Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance is designed to give business access to the assets they need when they need it most. However, these policies can be complex, and it’s important to work with your insurance broker closely when seeking coverage. To learn more, contact us today.

Auto and Driver Risk Management Tips

Wintery conditions can make roads difficult and even dangerous to traverse. In fact, winter driving can be so hazardous, some provinces like British Columbia have made winter tires mandatory on some roads. Prior to purchasing winter tires, it’s critical to understand your options and some general best practices.

BC Wildfires: Protecting What Matters

British Columbia is in a State of Emergency. Since the BC Wildfires began a few months ago, over 24,000 people have been evacuated with many more evacuation alerts in place. Since BC’s fire season began its 2017 reign, over 458,000 hectares of land and communities have been affected. If you live near a fire area or if you have friends and family that do, it’s important to ensure that you know what to do in the event of an evacuation.

Changes to Cyber-Security in Canada

To protect your business – there are some ways to develop a cyber security system that gets your team engaged while ensuring you have protection.

Cyber Risks: Impact

2017 is already proving to be a year with increased cyber risks. What does this mean for your business?