From the Blog

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?