Archive for January, 2011

What a difference a year makes?

January 21, 2011

It was not that long ago, or so it seems, that we were in the midst of a severe recession and it was so very difficult to find work – profitable work – to handle. Most of my efforts were spent in planning, looking ahead, researching and continuing to learn about this interesting (yes, I did use that description) and ever-changing business of Insurance and Risk Management. During the last half of 2010, it seemed that something changed and the first month of 2011 indicates that I am looking at the best year I’ve seen in many. Don’t ask why because I was taught to only change bad behavior, not good habits and that’s what I plan to do – continue with my exceptional behavior and results.

What are we seeing in the Canadian, particularly Ontario, Commercial Insurance marketplace? As I have found out, it is not worthwhile for businesses that are doing anything different (hmmm, what do I mean by different? OK – stores and offices) to try and obtain their best coverage and premiums from smaller insurance brokers.

Examples include Accountants who require Errors & Omissions insurance like one I insured this week. They had office insurance with a broker who was able to offer as “normal” a policy as anyone (I use this term because I do feel offices are easily written by most people in our industry) and their E&O coverage through another broker. This other broker was familiar with a Lloyd’s market offering such coverage and both brokers are losing because they missed the chance to cross-sell the client. Where else have they missed that I have not? The firm has referred a client, a manufacturer, to me who has already purchased one policy and will be moving another five or six policies during the course of this year and I plan to cross-sell personal insurance to the accountant, too.

If you’re in the Engineering or Architectural sector, we now have an eager market offering coverage and would enjoy quoting on your businesses, including Errors & Omissions Liability.

Another example is a large developer/investor in properties who was never offered personal or commercial umbrella insurance by their prior agent and brokers (yes, they were insured with multiple firms). I have met with the client on numerous occasions to discuss the many different exposures they face and have moved most of their business during the past six months with the balance to come during 2011. The client even made a phone call to a business partner on one of their projects to introduce me and insist an appointment be given to me. Saving the client 20+% from their prior year’s insurance costs did not hurt, either, especially when they were paying in excess of six figures. We have now developed a program for this class of business and have been insuring several other property owners in this field of endeavor.

For anyone in the pursuit of unique business opportunities we can obtain superb coverage for you. I wrote a golf simulator’s insurance at rates that were exceptional, especially when compared with what he had been offered elsewhere. I am working with another insurance broker who is unable to offer coverage to two of his clients in construction due to a lack of competitive markets with other brokers, one being a residential multi-family project and the other performing single family renovation and remodeling. A new client, whom I have known for many years, has placed their High Value Home (with some unique requirements) through me. As noted in a prior blog or one of my social media announcements, I have written a Flea Market Vendor, Student Housing properties, a Residential Mover and many different types of business entities.

With the markets we have available to our brokerage, we can write Martial Arts Studios, Fitness Clubs, Tanning Studios, Hobby Clubs, Spas, Vacant Properties, Sports Bars, Franchises, Cargo, Marinas, IT Professionals, Contractors Pollution Liability, Directors & Officers Liability – the field goes on and on. Just let us see what you do and we’ll do our best to offer a package of protection that you will be pleased to purchase.

I attended a seminar this week and was astounded to hear my competition discuss how difficult their lives have been – being declined and policies being non-renewed, rates increasing, etc. If you’re not thoroughly pleased with your policy/provider, I suggest you contact me immediately at .

Have a great 2011! I know I am and will be.

Commercial Insurance (for a wide range of industries and business classes)

January 18, 2011

Discussing insurance and thinking of selling insurance always seems easy for me, natural, but when I review the many different types of risks that can be insured, I almost stop in bewilderment!

For example, I was just reviewing an e-mail from one of our markets and here is a sampling of the unique classes they insure for us:

  • Individual personal trainers;
  • Fitness studios;
  • Mixed martial arts;
  • Injectable treatments like botox and collagen;
  • Lipo-laser operations;
  • Laser hair reduction;
  • Teeth whitening;
  • Tanning salons

If that is not a diverse enough sampling, I am happy to try:

  • Demolition contractors;
  • Environmental remediation and abatement;
  • Restoration and emergency spill response;
  • Environmental consulting and assessment.

Or maybe:

  • IT consultants;
  • Website developers;
  • Network support services;
  • Software developers;
  • Data storage/retrieval services;
  • Web hosting services;
  • Computer training.

And if that is not your “cup of tea”, how about:

  • Builders risk and wrap-up liability;
  • For-profit and not-for-profit directors and officers liability;
  • Professional errors and omissions/malpractice liability;
  • Environmental liability;
  • Surety including bid and performance bonds;
  • Trade credit/accounts receivable;
  • Employee dishonesty/fidelity bonds;
  • Product recall expenses;
  • Umbrella liability;
  • Contingent business interruption of a customer or supplier;
  • Franchising, nationally and internationally.

If you are operating a business in Ontario, CANADA – why worry about finding a suitable insurance provider? Avoid worry, save time and guarantee yourself peace of mind by dealing with knowledgeable and reputable providers – broker(s) and insurance companies. Don’t look further than here – A-rated insurance carriers with Canada’s oldest insurance brokerage. We specialize in Commercial Insurance so you don’t need to do the same!

If you operate a franchise in Canada that has franchisees in Ontario, we can provide coverage nationally and internationally, for you. There are many different types of policies available and we have the necessary experience to recommend the one best suited for you.

I can be reached at

I hope you have as wonderful a year as possible. I am certain to do the same.

Just a Thought – But Can You Imagine?

January 7, 2011

This post will probably generate replies from the legal profession (I do not want anyone to think he/she must be a lawyer to continue, however) but might also from insurance company claims personnel, as well. Why? Read on – and I promise not to bore anyone with this thought!


I was enjoying a phone conversation with a prospective client and long-time acquaintance of mine (yes, I’ve known him for 15+ years but really never pursued his business until now). This prospect is wishing to expand his business by opening other locations. I will call him “A” so that you can readily identify him. What is “A’s” business? A licensed pub is what it is and one of the locations we discussed is a former pub site that I have known well for 15+ years, too. The reason it became vacant is that the landlord/property manager increased rents to such an extent that the tenant decided to close up their business. What I enjoyed about the discussion with “A” is that he mentioned an idea that gave rise to my mind thinking of potential lawsuits – now, is that not a great way for a Risk Manager/Insurance Broker to begin 2011? At the minimum, it will encourage growth of my business, right?!


“A” suggested that a landlord might have a rental escalation clause after an introductory period that might be significant and could result in a tenant being forced into bankruptcy. I started to think that potential creditors might receive counsel that the landlord/property manager may have contributed to the demise of a tenant’s business; if that were the case, would it not then be possible the landlord/property manager might then be named in any lawsuit? I am curious to know if anything like this has ever happened or whether my expert and learned readers might agree with me that there is a chance that lawyers might be drawn into this type of arrangement?


Example – introductory rents for 6 months of $15/sf (OK, I’m not really serious about the amounts but I’m using this for ease in working with) which then escalate to $25/sf of a long-term lease? This example means an increase of approximately 65% which is quite sizable. Would this not be significant enough to cause default if incomes were not increasing, especially if the landlord/property manager had a prior tenant with the same style of business occupying their properties previously and/or if the increased amount was out of line with comparable real estate in the area? Could this not be a cause for a creditor to then sue the landlord/property manager or include its Directors and Officers (D&O) in a claim for payment of a defaulted contract? I propose that it could be, especially with the circumstances I am proposing here. We all know that lawyers’ fees can be significant so is this not another reason to purchase D&O Liability Insurance?


Your thoughts are most welcome and encouraged!


Happy New Year to all.