Keeping Your Insurer Informed

LAURIE WALSH, CAIB (CANADIAN ACCREDITED INSURANCE BROKER)

Commercial insurance in Canada is made available to the consumer primarily through an intermediary broker network. In this environment, your broker is performing as your agent. The broker is rewarded by commissions generated by the placing of contracts with insurance companies, and occasionally on a fee basis. The broker’s responsibility, however, is primarily to you the consumer.

To effectively address your insurance needs, your broker must first fully understand your operation- so expect lots of questions! The more forthcoming you are the better job your broker can do for you.

The focus of the annual review should be on selecting the right insurance coverage to adequately address your specific needs, so that you have the correct coverage in place in the event of an insurable loss. A good broker will seek the best value for you among options available from the insurers- not on cutting costs at the expense of sacrificing adequacy of coverage.

Let’s take the example of you, a Resort owner, sitting down for an annual review of your insurance portfolio with your broker. You should expect the conversation to include:

You should expect your broker to exercise high standards in both interaction with you and in the selection of insurance products to address your needs. Ideally, the broker will have an intimate knowledge of the Resort industry and the connections with insurers to provide the right products.

Once your annual insurance review is complete, don’t forget about your broker till next year. Your insurance policy includes a contractual obligation to keep the insurer informed (through your broker) of any material changes to the risk. If you plan to engage in any new activities, expand your operation, construct or remodel buildings, or purchase any new property or assets of any significant value- call your broker!

Failure to disclose changes can result in the decline of coverage. For instance, if you knowingly engage in a hazardous activity without telling your insurer, they may have a right to refuse to pay a claim arising from that activity. Or, if you should experience a fire or other loss related to a building acquired but not declared, losses to that building may not be covered.

In a nutshell, keep in touch with your broker. Remember, an insurance broker’s first and primary responsibility is to you. 


This article was taken from page 16 of NOTO's "The Outfitter" publication, Fall 2006 Issue

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