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High-networth chef Simply exceptional Matter of persistence

Riding the backroads of Brazil Another leap forward Out & About

Adjusters & Claims

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Family man John Mitchell brings family feel to Portage Mutual


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To some, it’s a flag. To us, it’s a badge of honour. Canada was only 4 years old when Economical made its debut. It’s a privilege to have grown along with our country through 15 decades of incredible change and achievement. We salute our great nation in its 150th year, and the generations of Canadians who continue to make it a place we’re proud to call home.

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Sparky, the National Fire Protection Association mascot, visited the community barbecues hosted by Red River Mutual and Harvest Insurance in Steinbach, Man. in May to raise money for the Firefighters’ Burn Fund of Manitoba. More on page 52.

Contents Volume 22 

Number 4

j u ly 2 0 1 7


10 Family man

At Portage Mutual in Manitoba, president and CEO John Mitchell is well-known for his hospitality and his inclusive management style.

14 High-networth chef

Thea VanHerwaarden put her career at Shaw Sabey in Vancouver, B.C., on the backburner to compete in season 4 of MasterChef Canada.

Adjusters & Claims starts on page 21

Cover: John Mitchell, president and CEO of Portage Mutual in Manitoba, learned much of the insurance business through marketing.

d e pa rt m e n t s 07 StreetTalk 09 Milestones 19 Making Moves


42 Matter of persistence

Ioan Nicoriciu’s keener attitude outshone his heavy eastern European accent when he looked to continue his insurance career after moving from Romania to Montreal.

36 Storefront 40 TravelTalk 44 Out & About

48 Simply exceptional

“Keen, driven, direct and focused,” Laura Van Vliet, from Aligned Insurance in Ontario, was named as the CIP Society 2016 National Emerging Leader.

53 TradeTalk 53 Ad index 54 Q&A

When I got into the insurance industry I found that there was a really strong people element,” says Michael Klassen, owner of K5 Insurance. “In addition to needing a good product, it’s a business that’s all about building trust and relationships. Story page 36

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Andrew Agencies adds Winnipeg locations with Waggoner purchase; Bardswick moves to Canatics


ndrew Agencies, with a head office in Virden, Man., has purchased Waggoner Insurance in Winnipeg. The sale was announced by Scott Andrew, president and CEO of Andrew Agencies, and by Ed Waggoner, president and CEO of WagAndrew goner. The three Waggoner locations have been rebranded to Andrew Agencies, giving Andrew locations in Winnipeg for the first time. The purchase also increases to 19 the number of offices Andrew Agencies has in its network across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. “Andrew Agencies is excited to be entering the Winnipeg marketplace, especially with the opportunity to acquire an established and well-run brokerage like Waggoner,” Andrew said. Waggoner Insurance has been serving the Winnipeg area since 1995 as a familyowned full-service insurance brokerage. The current Waggoner staff will remain and be complemented with product specialists from Andrew Agencies.

Bardswick joins Canatics

Kathy Bardswick has been named the new chair of the board of directors of Canatics. She replaces George Cooke, who

is stepping down after



serving as Canatic’s first chair since the industry formed the organization in 2013 to

help fight against organized insurance fraud. Bardswick recently stepped down as president and CEO of The Co-operators Group where she had served since 2002. She has also served as chair of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. She is currently a board member of the International Co-operative Alliance where she chairs its Audi Committee and the Blue Ribbon Commission on Capital. “We’re delighted to have

Kathy take the helm at this exciting time in Canatics’ history,” said Ben Kosic, Canatics CEO. “We’ve accomplished much in our first four years, and her wealth of experience and exemplary leadership skills will serve the Kosic organization well as we continue to evolve and achieve our goal of helping insurers fight organized insurance fraud through data analytics to the benefit of consumers.”

Seven times best

Capri Insurance has been named a Best Workplace in Canada by Great Place to Work for the seventh time. The list was published in The Globe and Mail in April. Capri made the top 50 list of mediumsize businesses across Canada that recognizes outstanding work cultures. “Being recognized by Great Place to Work as one of Canada’s Best Workplaces is a reflection of the exceptional team we have here at Capri Insurance,” said Tim Miller, president. “Each and every one of our team members plays a role in contributing to our vibrant and collaborative culture.” Based in Kelowna, B.C., Capri is committed to fostering its workplace culture with employee programs like Employee Share Ownership Plan, Wellness Benefit, Community Involvement and Bright Ideas. In particular, Great Place to Work noted Capri’s sick day policy — or lack of one. Rather than adhering to a policy, employees are trusted to take time off when they need to for a sick day, a family event or an emergency. Pictured: Capri Insurance team members Paula Garecht and Cheryl Judson volunteering for Shoe Bank Canada. IP Insurance People  July 2017  7



July 2017 Volume 22 • Number 4

managing Editor Sarah Polson 604-875-7768 associate Editor Ron Shorvoyce 306-352-2660 Editorial Contributors Laurie Jones, John Lekich, Keith Norbury publisher/ national advertising director Trish McRae 604-875-7761 Advertising Sales Tonya Earle 604-874-1001 Publication Manager Cathryn Day Art Director Wil Wong managing publisher Susan Mellor GROUP Publisher Bill Earle Toll-free 1-800-888-8811

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Insurance People is published six times a year in Jan., Mar., May, Jul., Sep., Nov. for the general insurance industry by Insurance People Media Ltd. 661 Market Hill, Vancouver BC  V5Z 4B5 Tel 604-874-1001 • Fax 604-874-3922 Email: Change of address? Please send old address label along with new address. Insurance People is a national publication with about 12,000 copies distributed on a controlled circulation basis to general insurance brokerages, independent ­adjusting firms, insurance companies, wholesalers and risk managers throughout Cana­da: B.C., the Prairies, Ontario, the Maritimes, the three northern territories. Included are major insurance associations and ­organizations as well as selected insurance services, suppliers and trades. All rights reserved. Material appearing herein may not be reproduced in print or electronically without proper credit and written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Insurance People are not necessarily those of the publisher or its advertisers. Insurance People and Insurancewest are registered trademarks of Insurance People Media Ltd. Insurance People Media Ltd. produces Insurance People, BC Broker, British Columbia Insurance Directory and Prairies Insurance Director y. (Insurancewest Media Ltd. has changed its name to Insurance People Media Ltd.) Postmaster Returns to 661 Market Hill, Vancouver BC V5Z 4B5 CPC Publications Mail Agreement #40027261 Printed in Canada • ISSN 2292-2849

8  July 2017  Insurance People

Leader of the Opposition In May, Andrew Scheer, who was part of the “Politically charged” feature in the January 2017 issue of Insurance People, became the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Federal Opposition leader. Scheer was first elected member of parliament for Regina-Qu’Appelle Scheer by defeating the longest-serving member of the House of Commons. He also became the youngest Speaker of the House of Commons, a role he held for four years. He began his career with Shenher Insurance in Regina before running for office.

Flood help

Spring floods have recently escalated to a state of emergency in areas of Quebec and Ontario, prompting support from several members of the insurance industry. Desjardins donated $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to provide relief for flood victims. Desjardins will also enable its employees and the public to make donations to the Red Cross using its AccésD online and phone services and through its locations in Quebec and Ontario. RSA Canada has also pledged $50,000 to the Canadian Red Cross. The donation will be split in half with $25,000 going to relief efforts in Quebec and the other $25,000 to support efforts in areas across Canada that the Red Cross has determined are most in need. “We are touched by the images we are seeing and our hearts go out to those affected by these terrible incidents,” said Martin Thompson, RSA Thompson president and CEO. The Guarantee has donated $10,000 to the Canadian Red Cross as well to support flood-relief efforts.

Rogers partnership Rogers Insurance has partnered with Megson FitzPatrick Insurance, based in Victoria, B.C. The partnership will begin with Rogers obtaining a minority shares purchase of Megson FitzPatrick. “We have long been searching for a brokerage model that provides the strength of scale, a willingness to invest in the future, a commitment to building a great culture for our team and the ability to provide competitive perpetuation solutions,” said Jay Tuson, CEO, Meg-

son FitzPatrick. “Rogers Insurance has allowed us to customize a partnership that I believe is unique in the market and speaks to addressing many of the challenges small- to medium-size brokers are facing today.” Megson FitzPatrick has six locations in B.C. and more than 100 emTuson ployees. Rogers is based in Calgary, Alta., with nine offices across the country and more than 400 employees. The partnership brings the collective employee count to more than 500. “This partnership strengthens both Rabik organizations tremendously,” said Bruce Rabik, Rogers COO. “Our market access and capabilities are expanded even further than before.”

IBAA prez Calgary insurance broker Gerry Baert has become the new president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta. He assumed the position at IBAA’s annual meeting in May at the Banff Springs Hotel. Baert Baert is the president of Blue Circle Insurance Brokers, a medium-size brokerage that he started in 2002 which now has about 25 staff. Baert was featured in the September 2004 issue of Insurance People, then Insurancewest.

Redevelopment project support The Co-operators recently donated $50,000 to 10 Carden in support of its redevelopment project that will create a new multi-purpose facility in downtown Guelph, Ont., known as 10C. The funding will help 10C move forward with key green infrastructure components, including a rainwater harvesting system, highefficiency heating and cooling systems, an energy-efficient LED lighting system and transportation features to encourage cycling. When the project is complete, 15,000 square feet will be available for collaboration, strengthening local resilience through co-working, social innovation and entrepreneurship by communityminded individuals and groups. “This innovative project will serve not only as a co-working, event and meeting space for local people and communityservice organizations, but as a community hub in the downtown core,” said


Celebrating anniversaries, awards, announcements, recognitions...

2017 Fellow of Distinction

team and takes a reasoned approach to The 2017 Greater Toronto Area Fellow her steerage of AIG Canada,” said one of Distinction Award, presented by the nominator. “While she CIP Society, has been awarded to Lynn has an astute underOldfield, standing of managing president and Oldfield a highly regulated CEO of AIG billion-dollar comCanada. She pany, Lynn’s greatwas presented est strength is her with the award ability to connect at the CIP Sowith people, be they ciety’s Fellows’ employees, clients, Reception in brokers, community early May. or industry leaders.”  “Lynn’s significant contributions MPI retirement to the Canadian President and p&c industry are CEO of Manitoba simply too many Public Insurance to count,” said Peter Hohman, president Dan Guimond, will be retiring effective and CEO of the Insurance Institute of mid-March of next year. Guimond has Canada. “She is an exceptional execubeen with MPI for 30 years, serving as tive with finely-honed leadership skills, president and CEO for the last three. a respected advocate for the During his tenure in MPI’s risk management community, top role, he was noted for a decorated participant in the his commitment to workacademic and business coming collaboratively with munities, a wonderful mentor to stakeholders to achieve young insurance professionals important strategic objecand a selfless volunteer.” tives including strong The Fellow of Distinction recpartnerships with insurognizes outstanding achievement ance brokers delivering in Toronto’s insurance industry MPI products and services Guimond and is presented to people with in nearly 120 communities. FCIP designations. Colleagues nominate Brent VanKoughnet, chair of MPI’s insurance professionals for the award. board of directors, said the board was “Lynn seeks consensus from her grateful for Guimond’s contributions Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of


The Co-operators. “We’re pleased to support the green features of this building and be part of this unique communitybuilding initiative right here in our hometown.”

Toronto FC partnership Sonnet Insurance has signed on as the official insurance sponsor of Toronto FC. As part of the partnership, Sonnet will

have a promotional night on September 30 that will reward fans in attendance with merchandise and unique experiences. Additionally, Sonnet will be partnering with star forward Sebastian Biovinco. “We know Toronto FC is one of the fastest growing sports platforms in the country, and we’re excited to align our optimism with this team and their passionate fans,” said John Rocco, VP marketing at Sonnet. Sonnet, a fully online insurance com-

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to the corporation. “Throughout his career, Dan has been driven by a desire to provide Manitobans with superior and innovative insurance products and services while ensuring auto insurance premiums remain stable and among the lowest in Canada.”

Order of Canada In May, 45 people were invested into the Order of Canada, including Gregory Hanson, former CEO of Wawanesa Mutual. Respected for his enthusiasm and genuine concern for others, Hanson has supported a variety of causes ranging from sports initiaHanson tives and poverty reduction to First Nations education and community building. His leadership in the business and voluntary sectors has enriched his community. Now retired, he chairs an early childhood development initiative to improve outcomes for Winnipeg’s most vulnerable children.

IBAA Hackathon winner Sharp Mobile Technology was the winner of the inaugural IBAA Hackathon in May. The hackathon gave teams 24 hours to create a new technology that would help advance the broker channel. Sharp Mobile, an independent insurance technology company, beat out the competition with the creation of BRIE, or Broker Resource Information Engine. BRIE is an intelligent chat robot that can answer a diverse range of insurance questions that draw from various insurer underwriting manuals. IP

pany, was launched in 2016 by Economical Insurance.

IBAM arrival & departure The Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba named Darren Peters as its new president at its annual meeting in April. Peters is a claims advocate with Guild Insurance in Brandon, Man. Peters Continued on page 18 Insurance People  July 2017  9

John Mitchell has been CEO and president of Portage Mutual Insurance since 2010.

10  July 2017  Insurance People

cover story

Family man

As the top exec at Portage Mutual Insurance, John Mitchell still hits the road from time to time to stay in touch with his brokers. It’s his way of staying connected to the marketplace – and of promoting a sense of extended family.


By Ron Shorvoyce

ohn Mitchell was destined to work for Portage Mutual Insurance. When he was eight he moved with his family from Dryden, Ont., to Portage la Prairie, Man. John Sr., better known as Jack, got a job as treasurer with Portage Mutual, and years later his son joined the same company, eventually running the show as its top executive. Mitchell, 57, has been CEO and president of Portage Mutual Insurance since 2010. Well respected in the industry, he’s credited with promoting a family atmosphere at Portage Mutual. “He’s definitely created a family culture here. I know that’s a cliché but it’s true. He will have people over to his house. He’s outgoing, very approachable and definitely accessible. He has all the traits of a leader. He’s resourceful, has vision and allows employees to complete initiatives to meet our business goals,” says Randy Owens, Portage’s corporate business development manager. Roy Cluett, who owns Cluett Insurance in Dartmouth, has Portage Mutual as one of his markets. As one of 50 or 60 brokers invited to Mitchell’s home, Cluett knows first-hand about Mitchell’s hospitality. Owens “Something I’ve never seen is an insurance company president open up his house to us like John and his wife Maureen. All the brokers were there, and his staff. And we had one big massive meal. His wife is a great cook and they did a great job entertaining us. I always found from day one that he was easy to talk to and friendly. He’s a good listener – but also firm.”

Mitchell graduated from Arthur Meighen High School in Portage in 1977. After high school Mitchell worked with the Canadian Pacific Railway in Portage, laying and replacing railway ties. “I worked the tie gangs and worked the yard here in Portage.” He stayed with Canadian Pacific until 1982 when his father convinced him to enroll at Red River Community College in Winnipeg. After two years, he was certified as a computer analyst programmer, which paved the way for his entry into the world of insurance. He joined Portage Mutual Insurance in 1983. “The treasurer at the time, Bill Watson, was looking to expand the computer capabilities at Portage, and I was one of the people Cluett who applied for a job. At the time there were not a lot of people that had the qualifications I had as a computer analyst programmer. And that’s why I was offered the opportunity to join the company.” Soon after arriving at Portage Mutual, Mitchell was encouraged by management to take insurance courses. Today he has his FCIP and CRM designations. He worked in the IT department for 12 years until the mid-1990s when he became a marketing rep for the company, covering Manitoba. As marketing rep he developed business relationships with brokers. “It was through the marketing end that I really started to learn about insurance.” A couple of years later, he moved up as the national marketing representative. “In addition to developing business, my main thrust with brokers through my IT background was to suggest ways of creating more efficiency.” Insurance People  July 2017  11

educated work force, he encourages his with and for. We have really good people In his next step up the hierarchy, he people to upgrade whenever possible. here who care a great deal about their became manager of business strategies. “They recognize that their skills have jobs and the industry and about each In 2006 he became Portage’s VP and in to improve as external factors evolve. But other. I know it sounds a little bit maud2010 he was named CEO and president. our core beliefs haven’t changed. We are lin but that’s really what it is.” Keith Jordan of Winnipeg, the still committed to helping While Mitchell is committed to insurpresident and CEO of Hub people, we still have a sense ance, he doesn’t live and breathe his job International Manitoba, is a of family and we view our all the time. He has other key interests business associate who has brokers as partners.” – softball and ringette. He has coached known Mitchell for several In spite of being the comseven different championships in two years. pany leader, Mitchell still different sports. Jordan says that Mitchell, takes to the road every now “We won six provincial championships knowledgeable and straightand then to keep in touch in softball and one in ringette, all at forward, has done a “trewith brokers. different levels. I also coached a national mendous job” with Portage championship team in softball.” Mutual. “You might not “I can get very disconMitchell grew up playing most sports always like what he says, but Jordan nected from the marketplace and when his kids got into he speaks from the heart.” sitting in my ofsports he helped out. He Under his leadership, Portage Mutual fice. I don’t do it enough, but loves softball. Both his continues to grow. When he first joined, I really enjoy broker calls. I wife’s mother and grandannual premium volume was $65 miltry to get out to the branches mother played competitive lion. Today it’s around $200 million. at least every year, sometimes softball. The plan is to provide more services for twice a year. For instance, it’s “It was just a great way to people right across the country. a little bit easier when I go spend time outside. I was “We strongly believe in the value of to Ontario. Our reinsurer is blessed with the teams I mutuality. We think it’s very important there, our appointed actuaries coached. I had kids that were for our culture; it’s in our DNA. There’s a are there, and our IT is there.” really driven and focused.” market of people who need help and we Insurance, Mitchell says, Swidnicki And he was obviously can fill that void.” is both challenging and good at it. In 2008, Mitchell’s senior Mitchell says his management style rewarding. It provides peace of mind by women’s team – aged 21 and older – won is inclusive and focused on hiring good being there when catastrophe strikes. the national fast-pitch softball championpeople. A strong believer in a well“I absolutely love the people I work

12  July 2017  Insurance People

Family Facts

• Mitchell and his wife Maureen – a retired maternity nurse – have been married for 34 years. Not surprisingly, they met at a softball game. • They have three adult daughters. Andrea, 33, works in business development with Portage Mutual Insurance. Kayla, 30, is a chartered accountant in Portage la Prairie. Deanna, 27, has a master’s in science and works for a property management company in Portage. • There are two grandchildren – Caleb, three, and Abby, who is one. Caleb has Down syndrome. “He lights up our lives in a remarkable way. He has the most engaging smile you’ve ever seen. His little sister is a frequent recipient of his affection and a big fan of his. They are the most incredible gifts our family has ever received.” • Mitchell and his wife are committed to volunteering as are their daughters, a point of pride for him. • Andrea is president of a local group providing services for underprovided children, has helped establish an endowment fund for children in need in Portage, canvasses for the Heart & Stroke fund, and is involved with the Insurance Women’s Association of Western Manitoba (IWAWM). • Kayla, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, is treasurer for a local group that runs a summer family festival. • Deanna is on the church board; she coaches Special Olympics and referees basketball. IP

ship at a tournament in Winnipeg. The next year his team came in second. The 2008 championship team has just been inducted into the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame. Close friend Terry Swidnicki, a mechanic who runs a heavy-duty repair business in Portage, attests to Mitchell’s coaching abilities. They’ve known each other for 38 years and their families are very close. “He was involved in sports when he was young and was a very good athlete. He and I coached together. He would ask his players what they expected, and he would take them aside and put in a little extra with them. That’s the type of guy he is … He’s a family man. Family comes first. He also works very hard; that’s how he got to where he is today.” Mitchell has no plans to retire soon. The industry’s dynamism keeps drawing him in. IP

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Thea VanHerwaarden, who competed on the most recent season of MasterChef Canada, developed and implemented Shaw Sabey’s Private Client Group, which offers coverage to high-networth people and their fine art, jewelry, yachts, luxury cars, and fine homes. 14  July 2017  Insurance People


High-networth chef


Those who know VanHerwaarden will say that she usually hat was Thea VanHerwaarden exudes confidence. thinking in trying to make pasta “She’s so good and so knowledgeable at what she does,” says from scratch in just 45 minutes? Lesley Woodruff, the human resources manager for the Vertical The 30-year-old insurance broker Insurance Group, the parent company of Shaw Sabey & Associfrom Vancouver was trying to imates where VanHerwaarden has worked for the press superstar chef last three-and-a-half years. “You never see that Jamie Oliver as she Fans of MasterChef lack of confidence here.” competed on season 4 of the CTV reality series Canada know Thea When she came to Shaw Sabey & Associates, MasterChef Canada. VanHerwaarden was confident enough to de“I was crazy,” VanHerwaarden says, noting that VanHerwaarden velop and implement the brokerage’s Private making a cohesive dish of tortellini under any as the home cook Client Group, which offers coverage to highcircumstances is difficult. “But honestly with this net-worth people and their fine art, jewelry, show you have to take risks and push yourself far whose ricotta yachts, luxury cars and fine homes. because otherwise you just won’t get noticed.” tortellini appetizer “It’s going great,” she says. “In the first year As faithful viewers of MasterChef Canada we’ve doubled our book, which is good. It know, she was noticed. Oliver loved her ricotta wowed celebrity used to be just me part-time focused on our tortellini appetizer so much that he chose it for chef Jamie Oliver. high-valued, and now I have a staff of about the menu at his two Jamie’s Italian restaurants in four.” the Toronto area. Her colleagues She had carved out a similar niche at First “It was amazing,” VanHerwaarden said in an at Vancouver Insurance Agencies in Courtenay on Vaninterview a couple of weeks after that episode couver Island. That’s where she met Jaimee aired. “He is such a nice guy even off camera. I brokerage Shaw Thacker, who joined First Insurance as a didn’t expect to get called up at all, but when he Sabey know her as broker about the same time she did. tasted my food it was the most amazing to hear Thacker, who is on parental leave from all the compliments he had about my dish. And the go-getter who First Insurance, has become a huge fan of then to be singled out to have that dish in his has doubled the MasterChef and has even hosted viewing parrestaurant – it’s like a dream come true. People ties to follow her friend’s progress. in the culinary world would die to have that opbook on covering “She’s like the least dramatic person I portunity and so I felt really lucky.” high-net-worth know,” Thacker says. “Literally, like drama is How much longer her luck would last, VanHerwhere she turns and goes the other way. She is waarden was careful to avoid revealing when she clients. seriously so humble and not dramatic at all.” spoke with Insurance People in late April. While By Keith Norbury VanHerwaarden’s boyfriend, Colin Dowlshooting for the season wrapped up the previous ing, says that her charm, sense of humour and fall, the finale didn’t air until June 1. The week focus have shone through on the TV screen. after the interview, she had made it to the final five, but only after “Even though it’s a television show, where there’s editing surviving a “pressure test.” involved, the person you see on the show is exactly the person She was among three of the home cooks (as the contestants that she is,” Dowling says. are called) who had to take the test, with the loser dropped from She does wear her “heart on her sleeve,” Woodruff and the competition. The test was to create a tagine – a Moroccan Thacker each observe. VanHerwaarden has a half-sleeve tatdish she had never heard of. too on her right arm of Ganesh, the elephantine Hindu deity, The test proved so daunting that a tearful VanHerwaarden which she says “is supposed to remove all obstacles.” told Chef Alvin Leung, one of the three judges, that she was going home. Chef Alvin chided her for her lack of confidence, With wavy blonde tresses, bright brown eyes, and a smile saying that such outbursts were “getting old.” As it turned out, to match, she is certainly telegenic. And expressive. After her Aaron Polsky, although familiar with tagine, over thought his Scotch egg earned immunity from a pressure test in another recipe and was sent packing. episode, she performed a happy dance. It was also a sign of

Insurance People  July 2017  15

Chef Jaime Oliver loved the ricotta tortellini appetizer that Thea VanHerwaarden made during an episode of MasterChef so much that he chose it for the menu at his to Jamie’s Italian restaurants in the Toronto area.

relief, considering that her hand had seized up while she was preparing the pub snack. In the episode that aired May 5, she made it to the competition’s final four. Barely. Despite being allergic to shrimp, she had to prepare a shrimp appetizer and then neglected to devein one of them. Fortunately for VanHerwaarden, the judges rated her dish better than the flank

steak prepared by a fellow contestant. VanHerwaarden faced adversity long before MasterChef Canada. When she was 19, she broke her back, which dashed her hopes of a career in nursing or law. A friend who was in the insurance business recommended she give insurance a whirl. “I liked insurance originally because of the amount of law that was in the courses,” VanHerwaarden says. “The li-

ability aspect of it really intrigued me.” Her insurance career began in the Comox Valley, where she grew up and where she developed her appetite for fine food. Her father, Les VanHerwaarden, owned a successful dive shop and camera store, which gave the family the means to dine out often. After her parents separated, VanHerwaarden spent half her time in Landau, Germany, where her German-born mother, Donna Wolff, had relocated. “We would travel to different places,” says VanHerwaarden, who has two brothers – Matt and Tim. “Most of the time we were in Europe but then also in places like Costa Rica, the Philippines and Bali. I got most of my fine dining from travelling.” After she broke her back, with her physical activities limited, she started experimenting with the different recipes she had encountered on those travels. “That’s exactly how it started: just me pouring a glass of wine and trying out

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16  July 2017  Insurance People

different dishes,” she says. How that led to MasterChef Canada is a story in itself. She was already a fan of the show and had become friends with the season 2 winner, David Jorge. They would run into one another at the Deighton Cup – Vancouver’s answer to the Kentucky Derby – at Hasting’s Racecourse.

At last year’s Deighton Cup, Jorge recommended that she try out for MasterChef. While hesitant at first, she applied the next day. The day after that, she was called in for an interview. So, how is her cooking in real life? Her friends give rave reviews. “Her flavour profile is just like you’re

going to a five-star restaurant,” Woodruff says. “She’s such a good cook. And it’s always presented well. Even if it’s just the two of us eating at her house, she’ll present it plated like she does on MasterChef.” VanHerwaarden’s favourite cuisine is Mexican, an influence of her New Continued on page 52

Former winner keeps on cooking

Before Vancouver insurance broker Thea VanHerwaarden made her mark on MasterChef Canada, there was Toronto broker Mary Berg. The winning home cook of the 2016 competition, Berg has spent considerable time making meals before the TV cameras since her victory. Of late she has appeared about every second week on CTV’s Your Morning, served as the cooking expert on the Marilyn Denis Show, and competed in MasterChef Canada All-Star Family Edition, which aired in December 2016. Berg, 27, also got married – to Aaron Mariash, who along with Berg’s brother, Michael, and mom, Myra, joined her in the all-star competition. “It was really fun cooking with her in the kitchen,” Berg said. “She’s not much of a cook, so that was really terrifying. Whereas all the other moms on that show are expert cooks, my mom is not. She is more of a takeout lady.” The Berg family finished third among the four competing clans, which was OK with her. She had fun watching the finalists duke it out. “I just got to sit down and have a glass of wine and eat some delicious food,” she said. Berg also got to meet VanHerwaarden as she began her quest for the title of the 2017 season. “I could tell right off the bat that she was a strong one. So I’m really looking forward to seeing how she does,” Berg said. She worked for five years with Cade Associates Insurance Brokers in Toronto, leaving the company about two months before her victory episode aired. She began at Cade with administrative duties but within two years became a full-time broker working in personal lines as well as coverage for cottages and island properties. She also earned a master’s degree in information from the University of Toronto. “I am a master of information, which is probably the funniest title in the world,” she quipped. Her studies melded well with her insurance work, and its organizational and record-keeping requirements, but also with her competition experience, even though that was “a complete 180” from the insurance business. “I’m very organized. I always have been, which really helped me when I was a broker, and it also helps in the kitchen,” said Berg, a vegetarian who nevertheless enjoys the sizzle of preparing meat dishes. She has a few other irons in the fire, including launching her own catering company, called Perfect Day Events. For now, she books through her website, A new show is in development with Bell Media in Canada and the Food Network in the U.S. And she would also entertain another MasterChef challenge. “I’ve got some other things in the works that are soon to be announced but they can’t be yet. But I’m really proud that the insurance world is being represented in the MasterChef kitchen, yet again.” IP

Insurance People  July 2017  17


Continued from page 9

He got his start with Red River Mutual Insurance in Altona in 1992, where he worked as a personal lines underwriter. He also worked for ING as a personal lines underwriter and marketing rep before moving on to Ranger Insurance in Winnipeg. Peters later bought two brokerages, whose shares he recently sold. Also at IBAM, Dave Schioler will be leaving as the CEO. His departure is planned for April 2018. Schioler came to IBAM in 2006 and during his 11-year tenure IBAM has grown five-fold. Schioler “It’s been a remarkable run; for me it’s just time to move on to the next thing,” said Schioler. “IBAM is a great organization and it will continue to be, well into the future.”

Ontario acquisition McFarlan Rowlands Insurance Brokers, based in London, Ont., has acquired Callister Musico Insurance Group of Sarnia. The Callister Musico office will

become McFarlan Rowlands’ 15th branch in Ontario. “We continue to look for opportunities to expand in Ontario, using our strengths to create a mutually beneficial relationship that will sustain our business practices and make room to evolve within the curNeale rent marketplace,” said Burke Neale, COO, McFarlan Rowlands. Craig Musico, partner, Callister Musico, will join the McFarlan Rowlands team and become a shareholder in the firm. Paul Callister, partner, Callister Musico, will Musico retire when the acquisition is complete. The rest of the Callister Musico staff will join the McFarlan Rowlands team. “Change is an inherent part of our industry, and we are tasked with navigating the complexiCallister ties of this environment,” said Musico. “By joining this organization with its client-centric thinking,

professional service and strong industry presence, we preserve our tradition of service excellence.”

Hospital donation Economical Insurance, in partnership with Newman, Oliver & McCarten Insurance Brokers in Campbellford, Ont., has donated $10,000 to the Campbellford Memorial Hospital Foundation to help buy a new portable X-ray machine. This is the fourth donation that Economical has made to the CMH Foundation in recent years for new medical equipment. “We are proud to give back to CMH in association with Newman, Oliver & McCarten,” said Tom Reikman, senior VP and chief distribution officer at Economical. Reikman “This donation allowed CMH to purchase a new portable X-ray machine that meets a definite need and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to keeping Campbellford a place that many people are proud to call home.” Calvin Newman, chair of the CMH Foundation and president of Newman, Oliver & McCarten, said the organization is thrilled that Economical continues to give back to Newman the community. “We rely on donations for equipment purchases such as this,” Newman said. “My company has represented Economical since 1895, and I am pleased to say that their generous donations continue to make a big difference to our hospital.”

This & That Gillian Van Kempen recently took over

as president of Best Buy Insurance in Ontario to become the fourth generation of the Van Kempen family to join the insurance broker side of the business. The family’s roots date back more than 70 years to 1946 when Van Kempen’s greatVan Kempen grandfather founded his insurance brokerage in Toronto…Aviva Canada has called for submissions for the next Aviva Pitch Day. The application deadline is August 11. For more information, visit…XL Catlin has added Mark Estrada, environmental team lead, and Brian Estrada Hughes, assistant VP, 18  July 2017  Insurance People

making moves Economical strengthens exec team Economical Insurance has added two new members to its executive team. Fabian Reichenberger has joined as

EVP, commercial insurance, and Kelley Irwin has joined as SVP and CIO. Tom Reikman and Alice Keung will also be taking Reichenberger on new roles in the executive team as chief distribution officer and chief transformation officer respectively. “Economical is on a path to deliver on our ambition to become one of Canada’s top property and casualty insurers,” said Rowan Irwin Saunders, president and CEO of Economical. “We are improving the alignment of our operations and leadership to facilitate growth, deepen our capabilities and continue to meet shifting customer expectations. Fabian and Kelley will fulfill critical roles as we expand our executive team to align for future success.” Reichenberger was most recently partner and head of financial services for CarProof Corp and previously president of Northbridge Insurance. Irwin brings more than 25 years of experience with companies such as Sun Life Financial, Symcor and most recently TD Bank Group as VP and CIO, Corporate Technology.

New regional VPs April Canada has announced it will reorganize its senior management to enable a more regional focus across



environmental underwriting, to its Canadian Environmental Insurance team. They will be based in Toronto. Estrada joined from AIG where he focused on underwrit-

Email Making Moves suggestions to

Canada. As a result, Kent Pitkin will become VP for Ontario, Russel Morrison will become VP for Western Canada and Sebastien Gabez will become VP for Quebec and Atlantic Canada. “Across Morrison the country we recognize that the market is different, as are our various challenges, Gabez opportunities and strategies,” said Nick Kidd, CEO of April Canada. “In order to ensure we can achieve these strategies, take the right decisions quickly Kidd and support our brokers in the best way possible across Canada, we have decided to implement regional teams with accountability for providing day-to-day service, underwriting and developing partnerships with our brokers in each part of Canada.”

CNA prez and CEO Nick Creatura has been selected as the

new president and CEO for CNA Canada. He will be responsible for executing profitable growth strategies for the global insurer’s Canadian operations. “The Canadian market is important to CNA and Nick is well known in the global marketplace for his leadership and Creatura industry knowledge,” said David Brosnan, chief executive officer, CNA Hardy. “He joins our organization at an exciting time in our international growth. His network of contacts and vast experience will allow us to continue to build stronger and deeper relationships with our producers as we build our core proposition and brand awareness in our chosen markets.” Creatura’s previous experience includes serving as EVP and CFO of Royal

ing contractors, pollution liability and combined general liability and pollution liability risks. Hughes joined from Zurich where he spent 16 years underwriting environmental coverages…Kevin Spiers was recently appointed as director of client solutions at FirstOnSite Restoration.

& Sun Alliance, Canada. He has also held senior roles at Liberty, Chubb and PWC in Canada and the U.S.

Red River team changes Red River Mutual has promoted two people to its executive management team and created a new position on the team. Dana Oftedal and Jenna Book have been appointed to the position of director of brand management and director of human resources, respectively. Red River also Oftedal appointed Jennifer Ewankiw to the newly created position of director of strategic initiatives. “We are excited about the opportunities these Book changes will bring to Red River Mutual, enabling us to better serve our customers, employees and short-term and long-term strategic objectives more efficiently,” said the mutual in a press release.

Vericlaim SVP


Mike Alwyn has been named SVP of Specialty Service for Vericlaim Canada. He brings 30 years of experience in insurance claims adjusting, with specialties in mining, commercial property, course construction and jeweller’s block/fine arts. “Mike’s appointment is part of our focus on expanding our geographic Alwyn coverage across Canada, and commitment to building a national infrastructure in support of the property, liability, auto and niche services within our market,” said Mike Holden, president of Sedgwick and Vericlaim Canada. “We have no doubt that Mike’s experience and expertise will be a strong asset to the organization.” IP

Spiers brings more than 25 years of experience as a service provider in the emergency, disaster recovery and security industries in both comSpiers

Continued on page 39 Insurance People  July 2017  19

Giving Back “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

Read all about it in the September issue

The Giving Back supplement celebrates our industry’s generous support for a wide range of humanitarian initiatives – in our local communities and beyond. The selfless contributions of time, energy and money made by individuals and companies make a real difference to many worthy projects and organizations. Corporate Social Responsibility and Insurance Industry Philanthropy are alive and well.

InsurancePeople 20  July 2017  Insurance People

A n a d v e r t isi n g S u pp l e m e n t


Adjusters & claims

23 Crawford & Company

Exploring the synergy between forensic accounting and adjusting

24 Intact Insurance

Transformation, innovation and success at service centres


Improve project outcomes with construction contracts

31 Superior Restoration

Achieving customer service excellence through tech, teamwork

26 Feature: Technology’s two-pronged effect on adjusters AD INDEX


Action Contents................ 34 Akoklee Adjusting............ 33 Coast Claims...................... 29 Crawford & Company...... 22 Intact................................. 25 Marsh Adjustment............ 29 Midwest Claims................ 35 New Age Adjusters........... 32 ServiceMaster................... 33 SPECS................................. 28 Superior Flood & Fire Restoration....................... 30

Crawford Forensic Accounting Services

Crawford’s team of forensic accountants combine their accounting knowledge with investigative skills to identify and analyze financial evidence in investigative accounting scenarios. The expertise of our forensic accountants can be leveraged in any type of loss that requires a quantification of damages or a determination of the value of the loss. We specialize in the following areas… • Damage Quantification • Business Interruption • Extra Expense • Physical Damage • Stock and Contents Losses • Product Liability • Fraud • Income Loss

• Accident Benefits • Course of Construction • Preliminary Loss Estimates • Business Interruption Calculation Verification • Financial Data Analysis • Catastrophe Claims • Due Diligence Reviews

For more information on Crawford Forensic Accounting Services contact Jay Strano at

• C ontract and Procurement Fraud • Surety Claims • Contingent Business Interruption

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When calculating the lost revenue of a business forced to close due to a loss, forensic accountants take into account internal and external variables to come up with an equitable claim. Internal factors that affect the revenue the business may have earned during a business interruption include:  • Seasonality: Is there a drop-off in sales based on the season?, i.e., ski resort, restaurant in summer/winter tourist town.  • Location: Where is the business located and how does this affect sales?  • Capacity: Is the business operating near capacity due to fire regulations? i.e., is there a maximum number of people in the restaurant at any given time?  • Operating hours: Is the business open on Sundays? Does the business have Friday and Saturday night crowds and is it open much longer than usual? Is the business closed at specific times of the year?  • Leases: It’s important to review the lease agreement (if the insureds rent space) to verify whether rent continues while the business can’t open due to repairs.  • Employees: If employees have to leave the business due to the loss, will they return once the business reopens? If they leave, what is the cost to train new employees? External factors that affect lost sales include:  • General economic conditions: What is the state of the economy? Is the area in a recession? Is the economy in a rapid rebound that could ignite inflation?  • Competitors: Are there competitors in the area where people will go if the business is down for a period of time? Will people come back to the business once they can reopen?  • Business life cycle: What stage is the business in? Is it relatively new in the industry? Or is it established and growing? Has the business matured and have sales levelled? Is the business on the tail end of its life cycle? IP


Anatomy of a business interruption claim


Evaluating business interruption claims


orensic accountants are often relied on to take a deep dive into the insureds’ financial records, particularly on commercial files that involve business interruption coverage. But did you know that part of their work involves projecting – with some scientific calculations – how a business might have fared had a loss never happened? “We try to predict the future in a way that works for all parties,” says Jay Strano, Crawford forensic accounting

services managing director. “Primarily, we get involved [in a claim] to value how much business was lost. We consult with the insured and go through historical financial records to understand their business and what would have happened if the interruption had not occurred.” When looking at a long business shutdown, they examine outside factors like the economics of the area and what goes on outside this business that might have affected sales, i.e., a recession or inflation. Continued on page 34 Insurance People  July 2017  23

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An effortless experience at Intact Service Centres

Intact Service Centres are located in Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal.

What does it mean to be customer driven?

Every company defines “customer driven” in its own way. At Intact Insurance, it means crafting an experience that puts customers at the centre of what we do. Providing a good customer experience is no longer innovative, because the needs and expectations of customers have changed. Customers lead the way by telling us what they want and how they want it: reliable customer service, quality, value and ease of doing business. From the moment customers buy our product, our goal is to provide them with an effortless experience. This understanding challenged us to raise the bar not only to meet the needs of their busy lifestyle but also to exceed their expectations. Our Intact Service Centres take the guesswork out of auto claims to create a one-stop-shop that gets customers back on track as quickly and efficiently as possible. “At Intact Financial Corporation, we want to make things easier for customers,” says Mike Van Elsberg, deputy senior VP of claims, Western Division. “We know 24  July 2017  Insurance People

that customers lead busy lives, and this process is incredibly efficient and simple.” Transformation, innovation and success

Until you need it, insurance is somewhat intangible – a piece of paper that provides peace of mind because the

things you care about are protected. At the service centres, we’re the face of the brand for customers. Customers can shake our hand there, and have their auto claim handled in one location. “Any interaction with a member The entire of the Intact team claims process has been was excellent. They simplified. were all very clear, Customers call helpful, informative Intact Insurance and cooperative.” to report their – An Intact Insurance customer. claim and, after booking their appointment, they make two stops at the Intact Service Centre – once to drop off their car and another to pick it up. Behind the scenes, Intact Insurance takes care of the details so they don’t have to: the vehicle is appraised, repaired and lightly cleaned before the customer returns to pick it up. “I remember when a customer was in an accident on his way to work, reported the claim to Intact, and was able to get an appointment at the Service Centre on the same day over his lunch break. Within four hours of the accident, he was driving away in his rental car,” recalls Continued on page 34

Customers call Intact to report their claim and after booking their appointment, they make two stops at the Intact Service Centre – once to drop off their car and another to pick it up.

You matter. To us, you’re not just a number, or the sum of your belongings. You’re an individual, and we treat you that way. Because you matter.

Talk to your broker about Intact Insurance

The BIP logo is a registered trademark of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC). All other trademarks are property of Intact Financial Corporation used under license. © 2017, Intact Insurance Company.

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Technology has an effect on how claims are managed. For example, facial recognition software has been used by Saskatchewan Government Insurance since August 2016 for issuing driver’s licences and photo identification cards to reduce fraud.

Technology’s two-pronged effect on adjusters 26  July 2017  Insurance People

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By Heather Matthews

he claims side of the business has been stagnant for years, but that is rapidly shifting. Having seen changes over the past 30 years, we have now really reached the crossroads in the claims and insurance industry. One road leads to using technical claims-adjusting skills that are required for cyber claims, business interruption and emerging new risks. The other road leads to using technology and data to settle claims, and reducing the role of the traditional adjuster. Examples of technology that affect how a claim is managed are: • Video collaboration where the insured collects the photos, videos and voice information, and provides them to the adjuster rather than the adjuster collecting that information. • Drones and photogrammetry that redefine how information is gathered in both the underwriting and claims phases. • Chabots, a software program that communicates with people using artificial intelligence, is already being used for inquiries, underwriting and selling policies on-line. • Facial recognition software has been used by Saskatchewan Government Insurance since August 2016 for issuing driver’s licences and photo identification cards to reduce fraud. • Social media. There were over 20 million tweets during Superstorm Sandy. From Fort McMurray, Facebook pages both praised and criticized insurers, brokers and adjusters on their handling of losses. • CCTV cameras and dash cams. Asking for footage from these public and private sources is now the norm in any claims investigation. • 95 per cent of Canadians have Internet access, and 28 million have mobile devices that they want to use to get insurance and claims updates. Data is starting to be used for claims that allow for “straight-through processing.” If there are no fraud indicators and the claim is below a certain amount, some insurers use straight-through processing to pay a claim without investigating. Customers are increasingly handling less complex claims through digital self-serve channels. Accurate and transparent information about claims will be shared or pushed proactively to customers. Customer expectations are being redefined by the likes of Uber and Amazon, which provide speed, accuracy and access to millions of goods like never before. Those who interact with technologically advanced businesses ramp up the demands on the insurance industry. In commercial claims, we see a need for constant education and communication. Commercial clients with high-frequency claims often have programs with a data component. But who owns that data? The insured, insurer, broker or adjuster? Developing clear and streamlined outcomes before the program and claims start can help to ensure an effective claims process. For commercial clients with large self-insured retentions, the insured often asks to incorporate their philosophy into our claims-handling practices. At the same time, we maintain their commitments to their insurer. Risk managers often contact independent adjusting firms directly to handle claims in their retention. So we have a common bond with the broker: the risk manager is now just as much our client as they are the broker’s. When managing these commercial claims, we adjusters don’t always have all the authority we need. As a result, it is sometimes necessary to involve Continued on page 33

Insurance People  July 2017  27

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Prevent surprises on projects


o control costs and avoid disputes, property owners and contractors should always use binding construction contracts – such as those provided by the Canadian Construction Documents

Committee (CCDC) – for all commercial projects, but especially for those valued at $500,000 and more. That advice comes from Andrew Ross, COO of SPECS, a company with offices across Canada and a staff of 52 experienced professionals. It’s Canada’s leading

Canada’s leading provider of pre and post-loss appraisal and consultation services. SPECS provides the insurance industry with expert, impartial, and comprehensive structural consultation. Our customers benefit from precise valuation of damages, accurate reserves, a reduction in claim cycle times and enhanced claimant satisfaction. Trust SPECS to assist with any residential, commercial, industrial or CAT claim.


2017 © All rights reserved. Specialized Property Evaluation Control Services Limited

28  July 2017  Insurance People

s p e c s .c a 888-737-7327

provider of pre-loss and post-loss property appraisal and construction consulting services. SPECS – the acronym stands for Specialized Property Evaluation Control Services – has clients in private and public organizations. Ross says CCDC construction industry contracts are a good way of ensuring there are no surprises in a project and that everyone is clear about expectations. Ross, who works out of SPECS’ head office in Langley, B.C., says SPECS’ involvement accelerates the insurance claims process and helps administer cost-control. Using CCDC construction contracts, he says, presents an opportunity for all involved, including insurance adjusters and insurance companies. “It implements more control over the process and benefits the contractor, the property owner and by default the insurance company.” Without construction contracts, Ross says, unclear communication and authorization chains can impact construction costs, resulting in more time and money spent. “One of the more common concerns that we get back is that the project went longer than it should have and it cost more than it should have due to surprise costs.” In the construction industry, Ross says, it’s not unusual for a contractor to finish the job and then submit an extra invoice for additional work that the owner wasn’t told about in advance. “All of a sudden the reserve is insufficient because there’s an additional charge that nobody was expecting. But by using a CCDC contract, there’s a legal, structured process in place that precludes any extras unless they’re previously identified, priced, documented and approved. There’s a regular progress update so there are no surprises. There’s also an ongoing completion schedule that gets monitored throughout the process.” There are three parties to a construction contract: the owner of the building, the contractor and the consultant. The latter is a role frequently filled by SPECS, which verifies the status of the project along the way and manages the information flow. “We’re able to be nimble in

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on time, for carrying a reasonable profit margin and for not having to carry extra financing. Ross says CCDC construction contracts should be on the radar of insurers covering commercial projects, large-loss adjusters, claims examiners and internal claims consultants. “It gives them eyes on the site with a great degree of accuracy at any given time.” For more information about SPECS, visit our website at or phone us at 877-907-7327. IP

LO C A L . K N OW L E D G E .

“One of the more common concerns that we get back is that the project went longer than it should have and it cost more than it should have due to surprise costs…But by using a CCDC contract, there’s a legal, structured process in place that precludes any extras unless they’re previously identified, priced, documented and approved.” - Andrew Ross, COO of SPECS

ing to issues, with an eye on maintaining the original agreed-upon schedule. We also know that delineations need to be put in place for certain project costs. We do monthly update reporting, which al-

» » lows everyone to stay on top of reserves. » That helps the insurance companies and » adjusters in managing the file.” For contractors, construction contracts » provide some protection for getting paid » » »

Marsh Adjustment Limited / Réclamation Marsh Adjustment Toll free 24 hours, 7 days per week for prompt professional claims services

Nova Scotia:1 (800) 290-0886 Bridgewater, Coldbrook, Halifax/Bedford, Lawrencetown Sydney, Truro, Yarmouth

Edmundston Grand Falls Bathurst

Fredericton Moncton


Lawrencetown Coldbrook


New Brunswick: 1 (877) 666-0040 Bathurst, Edmundston Fredericton, Grand Falls Moncton


Member: Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association

LO C A L . K N OW L E D G E .



Based on experience, developed over time. CAMPBELL RIVER

» » » » » » »




VANCOUVER Adjus ti ng · S ur veying Mediat ion · Inves t igat ion VICTORIA

Toll-free 866.694.3111 Since 1970

Adjusting · Surveying Mediation · Investigation

Toll-free 866.694.3111 Since 1970 Since 1970 Adjus Adjusting ti ng ·· SSurveying ur veying Mediat Mediation ion ·· Inves Investigation t igat ion

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Based on experience, developed over time.

Toll-free Toll-free 866.694.3111 866.694.3111

Insurance People  July 2017  29


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Teamwork, technology together for best practice goals



or the team at Superior Flood & Fire Restoration, the conventional wisdom of doing the job the right way the first time is a way of life. It’s been an ongoing process and team effort to perfect customer service and efficiency, which has been recognized throughout the industry by the stakeholders involved. Superior has received recognition and numerous awards in the industry and the community followed up by many insurers expressing interest in working with Superior and adding the company to their preferred vendor lists. “We strive to stay at the forefront of the industry by leading with innovation and developing cutting edge technology that saves time and increases efficiency to all stakeholders involved that results in minimized timelines, disruptions and claim payouts,” says Joseph Tolzmann, founder and CEO. A key factor in the company’s approach is to keep all the stakeholders in synergy during the claims cycle, including insurance brokers, insurance companies and adjusters. “Streamlining is something that we do daily. To achieve our service goals, we utilize Xactimate software for doing estimates,” says Mayank Anand, VP, business development. “We work closely with the insurance adjusters to create the most economical scope of work required for restoring properties to pre loss condition. The scopes are based on IICRC Restoration Standards to ensure the work is completed properly but also that no more work is done then necessary. This saves on replacement costs and minimizes the time required to complete the claims cycle which translates in to saving indemnity dollars. One example is on a Category 1 water loss where the walls are water damaged, they can be dried in place. This eliminates the need for incurring replacement costs and also minimizes ALE.” Superior employs a team of highly trained and skilled full-time estimators who work on the Xactimate software to provide the most competitive estimate to the adjusters and insurance companies.

Insurance People  July 2017  31

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a faster completion of the claim cycle and is ‘We are the superior choice for property The other innovative technology that best quality controls. Time spent on the restoration.’” Superior uses offers avenues for open claim could be clients’ convenience or intransparency in communications with all The hallmark for excellence the comconvenience which directly relates to cusstakeholders. They capture data at differpany follows has been noticed. “Our reptomer service. Time is money ent milestones as utation has attracted a lot of people that and we strive to minimize the they work through want to be part of a dynamic and rapidly time and inconvenience for all the projects and growing company,” says Tolzmann. “We stakeholders.” make it available hire, train and coach our employees in Having a large in-house for adjusters, for ways that helps them keep up with the team means Superior doesn’t complete transgrowth curve of the company. This is have to rely on third parency, as they important because party subcontracneed it. they understand tors, and it gives our vision and Anand adds that them more control policies, and the keeping Supeover the timeline and entire team takes rior’s promise for consistency in qualthe company to a quality service ity of a project. new level.” is paramount in “Our reputation has With locations everything they do. attracted a lot of people “This allows us in Vancouver, that want to be part of “One of the to provide supeAbbotsford, a dynamic and rapidly things we pride rior service in every Calgary and – in growing company.” ourselves on is department because the near future – superior customer our entire staff knows Joseph Tolzmann, Toronto, Superior service and effiwhat’s at stake,” “We don’t cut corners. founder and CEO, Restoration has ciency. We achieve Tolzmann says. “Our In doing that, we set the Superior Restoration experienced solid that by using the approach also helps standard for superior latest in technology and advanced restoreduce overhead costs which quality, customer service growth during just over five years of ration techniques,” explains Tolzmann. allows us to remain competitive and efficiency and our operation. “We are focused on streamlining the in the marketplace while still clients don’t expect workflow within our organization and providing Superior service. anything less.” Superior Resalso between stakeholders we work with “By using the technology and toration has also Mayank Anand, to ensure all redundancy is eliminated. standards that we have in place, worked hard to VP, business development, “We use systems and procedures that we help insurance companies establish itself in Superior Restoration helps to minimize the loss ratio and save on those indemnity dolthose communities realize faster closeout of claims. The and with professional associations. It is lars,” says Anand. “Getting the job done use of our scheduling methodology and one of the Platinum Star sponsors for the faster is also a benefit to the insureds. It engagement of a large, in-house certified Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade for minimizes interruption to their daily lives and trained team of technicians results in B.C. The company has also participated or business operations. The tagline we use in other notable charities, including Covenant House for homeless youth in Vancouver. Tolzmann raised over $20,000 in the Covenant House Sleep Out: Executive Edition, and support came from across the industry, clients, vendors and partners. Anand has been recognized as the Industry Contributor of the year from the Professional Association of Managing Agents. Tolzmann was the recipient of the Business in Vancouver 2016 Top Forty under 40. "Expert Adjusting Services for a New Age" Superior Restoration will no doubt Proudly Serving Saskatchewan's Claims Needs continue to make its mark in the world of quality restoration work. Property | Condominium | Farm | Heavy Equipment | Cargo “We work intensely to create the best Large Loss | Recreational | Liability | All Lines Adjustment Firm working environment for our team and Experience | Quality | Localized Service | Unmatched Integrity all stakeholders involved, and we are getting huge support from the top players in the industry. We don’t cut corners,” says Anand. “In doing that, we set the 318 Broadway Street W | Yorkton, Saskatchewan | S3N 0N6 standard for superior quality, customer | | Ph: (306) 782-6804   Fax: (306) 782-6805 service and efficiency and our clients don’t expect anything less.” IP

New Age Adjusters Ltd.

32  July 2017  Insurance People


Continued from page 27

others to reach a collaborative solution, which unfortunately can delay the settlement. Similarly, we adjusters can recommend reserves on the claim file to the insurer. But if insurers don’t agree with our recommendation, they may set their own reserves, causing confusion and raising questions about the loss run and the difference in values. Questions about loss runs also occur when a file reaches litigation. Our involvement as independent adjusters is usually limited once litigation starts. However, we keep our file open to track the financial information for the loss run. As we no longer control data in the file, we rely on others for the information. At times, there’s a lag, and again the lossrun figures don’t always match. When these inconsistencies and differences of opinion occur in commercial losses, the broker can help to bring the insurer and other stakeholders on board. As our profession continues to change, we need to encourage strong dialogue with our customers – including brokers, insurers and risk managers – to better understand their challenges and to position ourselves to address them. What does the claims organization of the future look like? • We predict that claims management will be even more proactive. That will come naturally when the insured has the tools to provide the adjuster with timely information. • We will need a more data-driven and collaborative approach to claims management. • We will need to provide our staff with a more sophisticated learning environment. • We will need to supply special-response units – such as global catastrophe teams – due to more frequent severe weather. So how do we make this a reality? We will continue to invest in people, skills and technology – whether it’s our firm’s technology or the insurer’s. We will need to explore new partnerships, and to demonstrate results with objective data. We will welcome change. IP n    n    n

Heather Matthews, CIP, CRM, CIOP, is president of the Canadian Insurance Adjusters Association as well as senior VP, national claims management centre for Crawford & Company (Canada).

Local Solutions • Proven Service



Adjusting Company Ltd. Centrally based in B.C.’s East & West Kootenay Region Debbrah C. Breton, CIP has over 25 years of experience working with several national insurance firms, providing prompt, professional All Lines Adjusting Services.


Toll-free: 1.877.894.9338

Cell: Insurance People  July 2017  33

Evaluating business Continued from page 23

There’s more to forensic accounting than business interruption

In addition to their sought-after expertise in business interruption claims, forensic accountants often review repair costs, including contractors’ hours, auditing fees and extra expenses claimed. They also apply the tools of their trade to employee fraud cases. Though they typically work with insurance companies, occasionally they’re hired by someone to calculate future income loss due to a personal injury. One of the hallmarks of this profession is communication. Typically, a forensic accountant submits a report to the adjuster, the insurance company and to the insured for review. But their service doesn’t always end there. “We like to discuss a report with the insured afterwards,” says Strano. “[The insured] sometimes sees a number they weren’t expecting … but once we walk them through the numbers and they see how we got there, they understand.” Forensic accounting at Crawford Canada

Internal accounting has a long history

in the U.K. and Australia. While new to North America, there is growth with more adjusting firms bringing forensic accounting in-house. In 2012, Crawford Canada invested in its own in-house forensic accounting unit. The three-person team, which operates out of Toronto as part of Global Technical Services, is comprised of Strano, Stephen Dodd and Julia Vickers, with an assistant to help as needed. The benefits of a select team within Crawford are as measurable as the work they do. Their familiarity with internal files simplifies the process for everyone working on a claim. Adjusters managing their own business interruption calculations can engage the Crawford team to get a quick verification of their numbers—or involve them in a file from the beginning. Strano says that when they’re involved early in the process, the forensics team can help the insured understand calculations and some potential issues before the process moves into complicated territory. They can also speed up the adjusting process and come in at a lower cost. “We can turn around files much quicker than outside handling, so our services Action Contents was founded in August of 2016 and addresses a previously expensive and time consuming process encountered on many claims; the moving and handling of contents. We are the most cost effective and efficient content handling vendor in the industry. We simplify the process by allowing the Property Restoration companies to focus on the restoration of the property. At the same time we are normalizing the cost to handle move contents in order to protect them and to facilitate the necessary and m building repairs.

No Overtime Charges! Unless our services are required on a Statutory Holiday, our rates do not change depending on the day of the week or the time of day. That’s right; No After Hours charges! If we schedule a pack-out to start on a Saturday because it is more convenient for your insured, or if we return the contents on a Friday night to avoid a weekend of ALE / Loss of Use costs being incurred, we won’t dare charge our clients more. Get used to it!

2719 Lake City Way Burnaby BC V5A 2Z6 Tel: 604-262-1900 Fax: 604-262-1902

34  July 2017  Insurance People

tend to be more reasonable [than outside resources].” A common misconception in the industry is that a forensic accounting team working in an insurance company creates the conditions for a conflict of interest. Strano says that couldn’t be further from the truth. “As part of our designation, we’re legally bound to provide an unbiased report to every client. I have an obligation to provide an unbiased number and that, in itself, gets rid of the conflict issue.” When it comes to clients, Strano says his Crawford team has worked with most insurance companies on everything from small claims to ones totalling $750 million. They recently worked on an oil refinery loss in Houston, Texas, that totalled between $260 and $280 million. IP

an effortless experience Continued from page 24

Genevieve Belanger, manager of the Intact Service Centre in Calgary. The service centre concept revolves around simplicity, “I liked the speed and getting one-stop-shop. customers back to the things that Everything done matter most. We use in one building leading technology – it was great.” and established – An Intact relationships with Insurance customer. vendors to ensure that we take full responsibility for managing the claims process from start to finish. Now open in four locations across Canada

Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal – with four service centres open across the country, we can help more customers get the level of service they expect. The Intact Service Centre initiative is part of our continued commitment to deliver a customer experience that is second to none:   • From the date of loss to the start of repairs, the Intact Service Centre model is five days faster than before.   • A rental fleet is on site for fast and efficient service.   • Intact Service Centres are open six days a week to meet customer needs.   • We complete quality-control checks on site, which means that customers can rely on our repair guarantee. Intact Service Centres have changed the way we deliver customer-driven value during a claim. With an open mind we continue to tweak the process and make it easier for customers to deal with us. IP

REGINA Garrett Schous CIP

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Nathan Rivard CIP, CFEI Jamie Birns Don Zazula CIP


Midwest Claims Services is the largest all lines adjusting firm in Saskatchewan, offering comprehensive claims adjusting services. We are capable of handling any type of loss, big or small, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With offices in Regina, Saskatoon and Swift Current, we are able to provide an unmatched level of claims service to insurance companies and brokers across Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan leaders in quality and customer service



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K5 Insurance, Selkirk, Man.

Another leap forward By John Lekich


ichael Klassen is the owner and operator of Selkirk, Manitoba’s K5 Insurance. A past president of Selkirk’s Chamber of Commerce, he’s been involved in many local fundraising events. One such event, on behalf of the local community foundation, involved Klassen dropping numbered golf balls over the driving range from a flying helicopter. “You dropped the balls and the closest ball to the hole wins,” he explains. “I was literally leaning out on the skid of the helicopter from about 80 feet in the air.” Klassen laughs at the memory. But it says a lot about his commitment to the community. “I’ve grown up in Selkirk since kindergarten,” he explains. “So I’ve lived here essentially my entire life. I love the community and I love the people.” One of the things Klassen likes best is the small town feeling. “We have a population of about 10 thousand. It’s the kind of place where you walk down the street and you’re likely to know a lot of the people you come across.” Describing Selkirk as “quite heavily blue collar,” he adds: “We have a steel mill in town and the people here tend to really enjoy their sports.” On behalf of the brokerage, Klassen supports a variety of local sports teams. He’s a golfer as well as an avid fisherman and boater. As a boy, he was raised to appreciate the beauty of his hometown’s surrounding lakes. “That’s just the way I grew up,” he says. Klassen’s parents were in the wholesale petroleum business. Klassen worked for them “from the time I was old enough to drive” until 2002 when they decided to sell the company and retire. “I was in charge of the health and safety portion of their company, which included managing the fleet,” he recalls. “So I was hands-on with being an insurance purchaser.” Impressed with Klassen’s skill set, 36  July 2017  Insurance People

Michael Klassen, owner of K5 Insurance, with his daughter Kelsey Klassen, who works as assistant manager of the brokerage.

the family’s insurer convinced him to in 2010, running the brokerage under North Battleford. The Cut Knife branch apply for a job at Winnipeg’s Federated the original brand. In 2013, when they is a nine-hour drive from Selkirk. Insurance. Klassen spent the next five decided to go independent, K5 Insurance “From a geographical standpoint, years at Federated, working to expand his was born. “It was another leap forward,â€? it’s not the most ideal situation,â€? he knowledge of the industry. he says, and notes that business at his observes. “But with today’s technology As Klassen explains, there were and the right people in place, many skills he learned from workit wasn’t really something that ing in his parents’ company that stood in my way.â€? could be generally applied to both Klassen has three grown chilthe insurance industry and rundren: A son Kash, 21, who works ning your own business. as a chef. A daughter Kaitlyn, who “Just in terms of the day-to-day worked part time at the brokerage operation, managing accounts for four years before pursuing a or working in human resources, career as a nurse. And daughter there were a lot of elements that Kelsey, 24, who works at the broflowed naturally into me getting kerage as assistant manager. my own brokerage,â€? he says. “I’d “Kelsey’s very interested in grown up dealing with customers. being part of the perpetuation of So the importance of customer the business,â€? he says, adding that service was instilled in me at an he’s looking to slow down in the early age. I’ve always loved the next few years. “At 55, I’d like to day-to-day interaction that comes be more than semi-retired. Even with making customers happy. now, I’ve got all the right pieces “When I got into the insurance indusin place so that I don’t necessarily have Selkirk brokerage has increased signifitry I found that there was a really strong to be in the office every day. I can go out cantly in recent years. people element. You’re dealing with and hit the golf ball or go fishing and Since 2015, K5 has acquired two more customers on a regular basis. In addition know everything’s under control at the brokerages in neighbouring Saskatchewan to needing a good product, it’s a business office.â€? IP – One in Cut Knife and another in that’s all about building trust and relationships. I just really enjoy that aspect.â€? Despite knowing little about the industry at first, he took to it immediately. “It was really exciting learning something new,â€? he explains. “Just building on your                       knowledge base or going out to do cold calls, which was a mandatory part of working at Federated. There was a steep learning curve when it came to learning all the nuances of the industry. But they had a great training program.â€?            • Mergers and Acquisitions It wasn’t long before Klassen’s hard • Strategic Planning work began to pay dividends. “Once you • Management Coaching started to get out there, you began reaping the rewards on a regular basis,â€? he recalls. “People you didn’t know initially would end up developing into clients. A lot of them have become friends that I’ve known for over a decade now. And we’re still doing business.â€? After his time with Federated, Klassen joined Winnipeg’s Ranger Insurance. He spent the next two years at the brokerage, Kevin McIntyre has a lifetime of experience as an moving back home when a new opportuInsurance Broker, Underwriter and Insurance Industry Leader. nity presented itself. Experience that can help guide you through your challenges. “A friend of mine from college had purchased a brokerage with two locations, one in Winnipeg and one in Selkirk. We sat down and had a coffee one Office: 778.265.6658  •  Cell: 250.508.3665 day and basically discussed how I could  • help him in the Selkirk location.â€? Klassen bought the Selkirk location    



“Let me help grow your business, improve operations, or prepare you for sale�


Insurance People  July 2017  37

Sp ec ia l in fo r m a t io n f e a t u re


RSA’s ‘going green’... and you can too!

How changes at RSA are making an environmental impact


hen it comes to making changes to reduce RSA’s environmental footprint, Paula Bernardino, communications manager, corporate responsibility & engagement, is leading the charge. For the past three years, Bernardino has been working to ensure that RSA is as eco-friendly as possible. RSA is no stranger to making changes to reduce its carbon footprint. In the summer of 2016, RSA combined two offices in Dartmouth, N.S., into a new environmentally-sustainable building, while in Vancouver RSA employees located downtown joined their colleagues by the harbourfront in a BOMA BEST certified building. More recently, RSA has implemented its Better Ways of Working (BWOW) program at its head office in downtown Toronto, significantly reducing its footprint by re-designing the office space and encouraging employees to adopt more flexible work practices, thus reducing the space occupied from four floors to two. This more agile working environment allows employees to choose between working from home or from an office closer to home, reducing their commute. In addition to its BWOW program, RSA has also been working with employees to become more environmentally friendly. Over the past 12 months, RSA has been pushing ahead with its green teams located in the Mississauga, Montreal and Quebec City offices. “Members of these teams are green champions in the organization and are working to help their co-workers by being their go-to’s when it comes to reducing, reusing and recycling,” says Bernardino. The work of RSA’s green teams impact their co-workers but also benefit RSA’s bottom line through cost savings. “I think there’s a lot to be learned 38  July 2017  Insurance People

and shared based on the efforts of RSA’s green teams,” says Bernardino. “It’s a model that can be replicated within brokerages to help them become more environmentally friendly and save money in the long run.” With the success of RSA’s green teams, Bernardino has shared her top tips for brokerages who want to start their own green teams.

switching to reusable coffee mugs, setting printer defaults to double-sided printing or turning off the lights at the end of the day. The key is to pick something achievable to build from. Leverage existing resources

When starting your green initiatives, you can often leverage the resources already in your organization. When RSA’s green team in Quebec City was starting Put out the word out, they reached “When we first out to Bernardino, started looking for who works on the members of our green communications teams, part of our team, for help to strategy was identifypromote their initiaing who might be able tive with posters and to lead that charge at emails. Working with each regional office,” internal partners in says Bernardino. communications or She suggests choosmanagement can ing team members help get your camwho would like to paign off the ground. turn their passion for The Mississauga the environment into team decided to work action. If you’re lookBernardino with the landlord of ing for team members, their office, who put them in touch with volunteers or suggestions on greener ways the building’s waste disposal contractor. of working, she suggests reaching out to Together they worked on ways to divert all employees by sending emails and putbottles from trash bins into the recycling. ting up office posters. If a communications team or the help Start small of your building’s landlord isn’t an op“When our team in Quebec City tion, RSA has found another way to help. started their green team, it started with RSA sponsors WWF-Canada’s Living the passion of one person who was Planet@Work program, which offers frustrated with how much recyclable step-by-step ready-to-use toolkits with material was tossed in the garbage,” says checklists, posters, webinars and other Bernardino. “That employee decided to resources for making your workplace use that as motivation to rally some of greener. These resources can get your her colleagues and get moving.” green team moving. With the support of their regional leaders, this group installed recycling bins Measure progress at the office and put up posters to explain “Every little bit helps when it comes what can and can’t be recycled, and where. to protecting our environment,” says Before going bigger, they kept their camBernardino. “Something as small as putting a plastic bottle in the recycling bin paign as simple as possible to give people saves landfill space and makes use of a a chance to open up to the concept. resource.” A first step towards a greener office, RSA’s green teams track their efforts to Bernardino suggests, can be as simple as

Measuring the progress of your initiatives and sharing the results builds momentum and support for the green teams. A green team, Bernardino says, should remember one final detail: celebrating achievements. “It’s important to let everyone know how much of a difference they are making,” she says. “Showcasing your

help build support for the program. The Mississauga office diverted an impressive 150 pounds of dead batteries from landfill, and collected five dozen pairs of prescription glasses to be given to those in need. Currently, the Mississauga green team is measuring paper use, collecting baseline data before launching this year’s “think before you print” campaign.

green teams’ efforts will help build the program’s profile, while highlighting the efforts of the team.” For more information on how to create your own green team, sign up to become a member of the growing Living Planet@Work community for access to a toolbox full of resources to help make your job as a green champion faster and easier. IP


mercial and residential markets…The Co-operators had the highest customer satisfaction ranking for auto insurance in Alberta, Ontario and the Atlantic region in this year’s J.D. Power Canadian Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. In the Quebec region, Industrial Alliance had the highest ranking…Vericlaim has expanded with a new office in Montreal, Que. In addition, Denis L’Ecuyer L’Ecuyer and PierreMarc Laurin have joined the team as casualty claims examiners. L’Ecuyer has 45 years of experience in all lines of the claims business. Before joining Vericlaim, he held management positions with major insurance organizations Laurin in Quebec. Laurin joined Sedgwick, Vericlaim’s parent company, in November 2016 as a resident examiner for Quebec…SCM Insurance Services has entered into the U.S. market with the acquisition of Nixon & Company, headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. Nixon & Company was founded more than 40 years ago and provides a new platform from which SCM will continue to build its service offerings…Winmar has opened a new location in Estevan, Sask. Owner Kyle Jacques has 22 years in the construction business. He is also a long-time Winmar family member, operating Winmar Moose Jaw for the past seven years and Winmar Regina for five years…The Insurance Broker Association of Canada has opened nominations for the 2017 Dale Rempel Award of Excellence. Nominations will be accepted until July 11. For more information, visit…Aviva Canada has extended its partnership with Tennis Canada, providing a new tennis-focused brand experience for home and auto insurance. “This program is about matching

Photo by Ezra Millstein/Habitat for Humanity International

Continued from page 19

150 homes for Habitat for Humanity

RSA Canada employees will be helping Habitat for Humanity reach a goal of building 150 homes for Canada’s 150th birthday. It is Habitat for Humanity Canada’s biggest build project ever in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. The project will take place in every province and territory across Canada. “RSA Canada is proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity Canada on such an important initiative, as we believe that everyone has the right to a decent and affordable place to live,” said Martin Thompson, RSA president and CEO. “This initiative supports RSA’s corporate responsibility strategy, which is focused on safety and protecting people every day, helping them live safer and more secure lives.” People living in Habitat homes help to build their own houses and also pay affordable mortgages. Habitat for Humanity’s innovative approach helps put families on a new path to better, affordable living conditions. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn (pictured at a previous Habitat for Humanity project) will be visiting the project, Habitat for Humanity’s 34th Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, July 9–14, focusing their efforts in Edmonton, Alta. and Winnipeg, Man. IP

the passion and commitment of tennis players and fans with the dedication we bring to serving our home and auto insurance, and it’s available to all of our brokers across Ontario,” said Jason Storah, EVP, broker distribution, Aviva Canada. Storah

Aviva is also sponsor of the Aviva Centre, home to the Rogers Cup and the training base for one of Tennis Canada’s National Junior Training Programs…The National Insurance Conference of Canada will be October 1–3 at the Quebec City Convention Centre. For more information, visit…Four more brokerContinued on page 47 Insurance People  July 2017  39

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By Ryan Spilar


have always enjoyed travelling, but in July 2016 I took a trip unlike any I had experienced before. No all-inclusives, no white sand beaches – definitely no comfortable beds. My long-time school friend, Filipe Leite, came to Canada from Brazil when he was nine, sponsored by family friends. He grew up in Toronto and we were close right through university. After graduating from Ryerson with a degree in journalism, he couldn’t find a job. Unfortunately, because his student visa had expired, he was deported. That’s when he decided to fulfill a dream to travel by horse from the Calgary Stampede to Brazil in order to raise funds for the Barretos Children’s Cancer Hospital in Brazil. Filipe bought two horses in Calgary and was given an official send-off on July 8, 2012, complete with a handshake from then Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the very man who deported him. On the long trip south, he almost gave up when he got to Mexico, after travelling through the desert with no water in sight for him or his horses. In Honduras things got even worse. As a stranger he wasn’t safe from the locals, and staying out of danger meant staying at a local drug dealer’s place. About two years into his journey, Filipe made it home to Brazil where another good friend of mine, Mark Maw, was down there to help him. After a few people at Heart Lake Insurance donated to the cause, I flew down to

zil to give Filipe the money. I spent two weeks with him and other friends who were also doing the journey. Brazil is a third-world country where daily life is far different from what I’m used to. Even flying into São Paulo after a 10-hour flight was an adventure. Nobody there spoke English, so getting to the domestic airport, which was just next door, was challenging. Then I had to fly to the city of Cascavel on a twinengine Brazilian turboprop plane. They were still working

night. Filipe had become a local celebrity so at each town or village we drove into, the locals approached us to ask if he was coming their way. At our stops, we met mayors and other important people. Everyone wanted the prestige of hosting us in the evenings after the day’s long ride. People wanted Filipe to post pictures on his Instagram page, which has 40,000 followers, or mention them in the articles he wrote for The Toronto Sun and Star newspapers.

Ryan Spilar with Filipe Leite in Brazil. Spilar helped drive the support van for two weeks in Brazil during Leite’s journey on horseback from Canada to Chile to raise money for Barretos Children’s Cancer Hospital.

on the engines as we were boarding. Flying through a lightning storm was terrifying. The turbulence was so bad that the traveller across the aisle threw up on my foot. I was wearing sandals. I met Filipe and Mark on the tarmac at Cascavel at two in the morning. Although nice, our hotel was basically like a Canadian hostel. The next day Filipe resumed his long journey, and Mark and I followed in the support van with Filipe’s picture on it. The vehicle was sponsored by the Barretos Rodeo. Mark and I drove ahead to find a place to stay for the

The hospitality was wonderful. Everyone offered us food and drink, and we toured local farms, a fishery and even a couple of rodeos. People wanted to tell us all the great things about their towns. Fortunately, Filipe translated everything into English for us. One gentleman invited us to a barbecue at his condo, then took us – three nights in a row – to a local nightclub as VIPs, and spent a lot of

2016-12-07 money. He also took Filipe’s horses for the weekend, fed them and made sure they were healthy. I didn’t feel we were in any real danger but we were afraid of the state police who were rumoured to be corrupt. We once travelled 45 minutes out of our way to avoid a checkpoint. In southern Brazil, however, we did stop at the world-famous Iguazú Falls, which is on a major trading route for drugs going to and from Argentina. There were police checkpoints every 10 kilometres. Fear struck Mark and I in one small town where, ahead of Filipe, we were looking as usual for a place to stay for the night. Two older men approached the van, talking to us in Portuguese. We didn’t understand them but we did notice the guns in their holsters. Insisting that we follow them, they took us to a remote cabin. I honestly believed we were going to be robbed or killed. It turned out that Felipe knew one of the men, the local police chief. We spent all evening with his family, ate well, and slept on the floor of his barn. When I started the trip, I didn’t grasp the magnitude of Filipe’s dream: at age 30 he has accomplished the extraordinary. He plans to write a book about his journey, which he has already captured on video. I would certainly take a trip like that again. If the great people I met ever come to Toronto, I would happily put them up in my home to return their hospitality. n    n    n

Ryan Spilar is a commercial account executive with Heart Lake Insurance Brokers, Brampton, Ont.

Have you had an interesting travel experience? You write it or we will. Contact editor Sarah Polson at 604-875-7768 (tollfree 800-998-5211) or by email at Insurance People  July 2017  41

3:00 PM


Matter of persistance Ioan Nicoriciu hadn’t given emigrating to Canada much thought until – as if out of the blue – his future wife presented him with the visa. His career in insurance in his native Romania eventually evolved into a partnership in Montreal-based brokerage Assurart. By Keith Norbury 42  July 2017  Insurance People


hen he was still living and working in his native Romania, Ioan Nicoriciu dreamed of becoming an insurance broker. The dream about emigrating to Canada, however, belonged to his wife, Ramona Cosma. “She took the decision,” Nicoriciu said with a laugh during a phone interview from his office in Montreal. “She started the immigration process before we met.” One day, before they were married, she came home with a visa for Canada. “I thought she would go for a vacation or something like that,” he recalled. When Nicoriciu realized that his wife had something more permanent in mind, it took him only “three minutes to say yes,” even though he hadn’t given emigrating much thought at all. That was in January 2002. Fast forward 15 years and both are now Canadian citizens, as are their daughters – Maria, 11, and Miruna, 8 – who were born in this country. Both Cosma and Nicoriciu have pursued careers in insurance – she as an underwriter for Royal Sun Alliance, and he as a partner in Montreal brokerage Assurart Inc. “I really appreciate all of the help of the people that I met through my stay here – the people who gave me a chance,” Nicoriciu said. “I’m really enjoying living here.” His first year in Canada, though, was a struggle as he worked on his French and English, learned the nuances of the insurance business in Quebec, and searched for work. That included “survival jobs” as well as self-directed study in French to get his brokerage licence through L’Autorité des marchés financiers, or AMF. “The first year, as I used to say to friends, we could divorce 20 times a day, 365 days a year,” he laughed. At the end of that first year, the couple returned to Romania to visit family and even to explore the prospect of returning to their home country. But they realized that it would take more than a year to reap the rewards of being in Canada. Things started falling into place when they returned to Montreal. “It’s just a matter of being persistent. And also the way you perceive yourself. If you always think that people don’t accept you, you’ll never be accepted,” he said. One colleague who accepted what Nicoriciu had to offer was Serge Paquette,

French – have become much smoother and Mont Sutton in the Eastern Townwho was then with the brokerage firm in recent years as he has worked hard ships. “Sutton is our favourite spot here,” Globalex Risk Management. Paquette to improve his fluency. After taking his he said. had only been with the company for a AMF exam in French, he enrolled in He conveys the impression that he is year or two and was himself still learning risk management training in English at happy to be raising his family in Canada. the ropes. But the company was growing McGill University. One reason was to “It’s about the people, right. And I have a and “in dire need of help,” Paquette said. improve his language skills. chance to meet probably some of the nic“Ioan presented himself well, brought Nicoriciu acknowledges that his friend est people on earth here in this country. his resume, and had the thickest eastern Al Recio has always been supportive So I feel good.” European accent I had heard in a long while enduring “my strong accent and Until he was 14 he lived under the time,” Paquette said. “I guess he had just my horrible golf abilities.” His accent, he communist dictatorship of Nicolae started working on refining his language said, has improved a little, “but I can’t say Ceauşescu. “The Ceauşescu regime – skills for Canada. But he seemed like a the same about the golf.” there wasn’t anything great about that,” keener. We gave him a chance and he Recio, now an Avp with insurance Nicoriciu said. “Until you live in that never looked back.” Early on, Paquette also helped Nicoriciu adjust to differences in cultural practices. In Romania, the men greet everyone, including other men, with kisses on both cheeks. “Which definitely, as you know, is not common in North America,” Paquette said. “So we had to tell Ioan to stop doing that.” Nicoriciu was with Globalex from July 2004 to August 2011, then worked for about a year with GPL Assurance Inc., after it acquired Globalex. He joined Assurart in November 2012. Licensed in four provinces, the company plans to expand to B.C. For his part, Nicoriciu inspired Paquette to become the junior partner in an Ottawa brokerage firm, Risk Balance Inc., that he launched in March 2016, with majority shareholder Neil Moloney. Although Paquette moved The partners in Montreal-based brokerage Assurart are (from left) Pascale Rondeau, to Ottawa five years ago, he is in Pierre Chouinard, Colette Mendenhall, Ioan Nicoriciu and Stela Kalogerakis. regular contact with Nicoriciu. company Axis Capital, was working at Before the weather warmed up they had kind of society you don’t really underChubb Insurance Company of Canada planned to go skating on the Rideau stand socialism and communism. But when he first met Nicoriciu. Canal in February. again, as a child you don’t see all of the “In the beginning his accent would Nicoriciu’s insurance career started in aspects either. It’s what you hear, what be thicker, and basically his French and Romania – on the company side of the you can see. The colours that you see English were not as well pronounced as business – where he was an inspector outside your house, too, are not that they are today,” Recio said. “But today he with Grupul de asigurari Roman Grup bright, not that joyful.” speaks both languages very, very well.” AS and then with Omniasig and Group A decade after the fall of communism, He also praised Nicoriciu for his fairA (now Vienna Insurance Group) from Nicoriciu embarked on his insurance ness and honesty, calling him “a good January 1999 to January 2003. That career. In Romania, as in Canada, it’s a guy overall” and “a good friend.” introduction to the business came two career that many people fall into by acyears after he graduated with a three-year cident, he noted. Then what about the golf? They have diploma in exploitation machinery en“A good friend of mine was working in met many times on the golf course, ingineering from the Technical University insurance and he offered me a job and I cluding at tournaments where he has been of Cluj-Napoca. That city is about 120 couldn’t say no. I said, ‘OK, I’ll try it.’ At invited as a broker for Recio’s company. kilometres southeast of Simleul Silvaniei, the end of the day, I love it. I didn’t know “I’ve been playing for approximately the town in Transylvania where he was it could be so interesting.” 25 years and I think I play the same way born and raised. His current firm is a niche-oriented as I did back in 1992. So he’s the exact And, no, he knows nothing about vambrokerage that focuses on such areas as same way,” Recio said. “We just play to pires. “I haven’t seen any,” he laughed, information technology and life sciences. have fun and have a good time.” admitting the subject sometimes comes That includes insuring clinical trials, but Nicoriciu also enjoys hiking with his up as a conversational ice-breaker. also artists and artisans. wife and children just outside Montreal Those conversations – in English and “So it’s great. It’s really exciting.” IP on Mont Tremblant in the Laurentians

Insurance People  July 2017  43

e, Alexandra Vallé ServiceMaster, Calvin Halifax, N.S.; sPro, m ai Cl , rts Robe ; and B. N. , Moncton rstPenny Dude, Fi ion, at or st Re te OnSi N.B.

ment Golf Tournurana l a tu u M r e ment in iv R Red ual Golf to Red River Mut raised al se in Winnipeg ba. The 29th Annu Ridge Golf Cour ito June at the Pine refighters’ Burn Fund of Man Fi e th r fo 0 00 $15,

Tournamenantd Paul Davis Systems ll a b ft o S ty ri a Ch unswick Tournament in itute of New Br

Inst Softball The Insurance ers, and they ul Davis Charity Pa al nu An was Bats & Be h 4t am te e ac pl hosted the st fir the event. . in June. The Moncton, N.B ceive the money raised from re to C chose WIC

IG oln Bergman,M r Mutual; Linc ve s; Ri nu d um Re al , r hr Jamie Fe Blue Bombe Hill, Winnipeg lbert, d Gi Ro ey e; dn nc Sy ra d su an In nce; an, MIG Insura MIG Insurance. Nathan Suderm

ker Bash hosted a Broker Toronto Bro nada Funding of Ca al Club

First Insurance orking event at the Fifth Soci tw Bash social ne . ay M in o nt from First in Toro Michael Khouri, , ek, Eric Bissonnette with John Knot Sharon Bajwa, nada, Toronto, rst Ca Fi of m g in fro nd so Baronas, al Insurance Fu ronto, and Chris To , ay rP ea Cl from ing, Toronto. Insurance Fund

nual IIBC 15th An Golf CIP Society ent Tournamof B.C.

Institute The Insurance Annual CIP 15 hosted its th t in June urnamen Society Golf To e Golf & Tennis er at the Hazelm y, B.C. Partial rre Su in Club fited WICC. proceeds bene

is & m Payne, Trav Lee Vevers, fro nner wi t en m na ur th to Associates, wi Abbotsm ClaimsPro, James Orr, fro ng, from Tu h ra Sa d an ford, B.C., XL Catlin. 44  July 2017  Insurance People

Josh Henshaw, e, Coquitlam; nc ra su In n Insurance do Mar ll, Square One Greg Garrison, d Matt Wooda orations. an st ; ns Re r io ta at or ns Donald, Ca Canstar Rest hold up Caleb

Award a gala IBANS AsBrpokireres Association of Nova Scotatiae hothste ed CAIB/CCIB

br The Insurance Halifax to cele pire Awards. Westin Hotel in e As th t en es pr in April at the to da (Lifetime 16/2017 and Gallagher Cana recipients for 20 boldt, Arthur J. essional);

am merging Prof ts were Julie W p Insurance (E Ashley-Carter, Award recipien Jackson, Chee r ife ng); and Judy ni nn ar Je Le t), ng Lo ife (L e Achievemen nc ra . ave, MCT Insu Representative) Stephen McCle rance Company su (In e nc ra su Intact In

, Mike Naughton e, te an ar Gu e Th Vancouver, with Kyle Wellwood on draft night.

st Cancer in a g A ff O e c a F from or underwriter

seni Mike Naughton, ncouver office Corporate Va s e’ te The Guaran team, put together a ce off am te e nc ra Fa Insu e th in compete Dusters HC, to ent. m na ur To y ke Hoc Against Cancer raised champions, e tournament d Dusters HC, th p Goodtimes an m Ca r fo 000 e top th more than $13, re we d an er research pediatric canc nour of playing ing them the ho rn ea r, ise ra nd fu umnus Kyle d Maple Leaf al with Canuck an Wellwood.

s surance Bandin e ac Battle of the eIn pl ok of the Bands to and Janice Doming both ry, na an Gr il Ne rance, with Intact Insu Vancouver.

Battl eeds The 2017 IIBC ney Stone in Vancouver. Proc ar Bl wn e to th the Down March at were donated to to credits: Jonathan from the event ho (P . re nt ography) ’s Ce Desmond Phot Eastside Women

Baker Newby Jessie Ramsay, ddes, and Ge LLP, with Tim both of HUB Craig Beamin, rton, Ba l na io Internat Chilliwack.

Nathan performing with Paul Lambert

ncouver. Parson, AIG, Va

Taku’reehostaingSan hevenott–!fundraisert ,tocaherearer abfair,ouedt ituc. Sathoiown ussesswiohaurn,t

If yo out yo we wan activity, etc. – os, along with information ab team building ot ph l lease emai you’re up to! P @ or it Insurance People  July 2017  45 event, to ed

Software, systems and insurance-related

TECHNOLOGY Internet of Things • Telematics • Mobile apps • Workflow management Real-time transactions • Cloud backup and recovery E-documents • Analytics • Risk management tools

Get the goods on the latest trends that will help give you that competitive advantage Read all about it in the September issue


46  July 2017  Insurance People


Continued from page 39

ages have joined BrokerLink – Ontario brokerages Reddick & MacDonald and Banks Insurance Services, and Alberta brokerages Knox

Godfrey-Morrow Insurance and McFarlane and Company…ClaimsPro

has promoted Drew Knox to lead its Transportation, Equipment & Cargo division as VP. He has 30 years’ experience in the insurance industry. Also


at ClaimsPro, Suzie Godmer, SVP, Quebec, has also been appointed as SVP, Atlantic Region. She& will head up both AD PROOF ESTIMATE regions and continue Docket Media to be based in Quebec. 1705-055B Insurance People Paul Feron has also been promoted to SVP, Manitoba & Ontario, at ClaimsPro. He is based in London, Ont.… Feron Rogers Insurance was named one of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers for 2017. This is Rogers’ fourth consecutive year making the list put out by Mediacorp… Chirag Patel was the final winner of the 2016–17 Select Sweepstakes from Economical Insurance. Patel won a 2017

Mercedes Benz CLA after being entered in the sweepstakes by his broker, Rai Grant Insurance SectionBrokers in Insertion Date North York, Ont.…

Appointment Notices -30- Forensic Engineering Full Colour

July 1/17

has appointed Karen Lin as senior associate in the Lin Civil/ Structural group. Her 20 years of experience includes 15 years working with muni-cipalities as a certified building official. Chris Ciasnocha Ciasnocha Continued on page 52

Meet Jamus MacPherson, our newest team member in Alberta.


Jamus MacPherson joins Wawanesa Insurance as Manager, Business Development in the Alberta region. Jamus brings more than 20 years of combined experience in leadership, business development, sales, and customer service in the industries of insurance and finance, property restoration, and recruitment and consulting.

Canadians are well known – perhaps laughably so – for their excessive use of the word “sorry.” It turns out that Canadians are also overwhelmingly forgiving according to a survey conducted by Leger Research on behalf of Belairdirect. The study gauged the perception of forgiveness among Canadians and found that 96 per cent of people agree with the idea that everyone makes mistakes. Canadians also desire forgiveness in return: 87 per cent of those surveyed indicated they would appreciate forgiveness for past mistakes. When it comes to family and friends, Canadians are most willing to give their loved ones a break. The top three incidents they are willing to forgive include a family member breaking something in their home, a friend cancelling plans and losing something lent to a friend. Other key findings include: • 92 per cent are more likely to forgive when they believe they are dealing with an honest person. • 90 per cent believe it is easier to forgive when the fault is not intentional. • 81 per cent believe there is no point in keeping a grudge. • Overall, those who have been involved in a road accident or have had a mishap are more likely to agree with statements promoting forgiveness. IP

Jamus is expert in building and managing high performing teams across multiple locations and achieving exceptional results. In his previous roles, Jamus provided oversight to more than 250 staff and cultivated many business relationships in cities and rural locations in western Canada. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce, major in human resource management from the University of Alberta. Jamus will lead the business development team in the Alberta region and will drive efforts to enhance the service provided to brokers. He will play a pivotal role in growing our broker network, expanding the availability of Wawanesa products in the market.

“My passion is in helping businesses grow and develop. When serving my clients, I follow a simple formula: provide high quality service; develop strong and meaningful relationships and create an authentic experience. I am thrilled to start in my new role with Wawanesa and look forward to serving you.”

Jamus MacPherson, B.Comm. Manager, Business Development, Alberta Region | (780) 643-3545

Insurance People  July 2017  47

Ad S

1/4 p (2.1



Simply exceptional Less than a year after joining Aligned Insurance, Laura Van Vliet was appointed as AVP. The recipient of an Emerging Leader award, she uses her ability to lead to benefit her brokerage colleagues as well as the less fortunate in other parts of the world. By Laurie Jones

48  July 2017  Insurance People


he number of early career milestones for Laura Van Vliet, AVP of Aligned Insurance, is impressive – to say the least. It’s not every day a young woman can claim to have helped build a home for a family in Thailand, raised over $25,000 for cancer in honour of a late friend, moved half way across the country temporarily to manage a new branch, and won a 2016 Emerging Leader award from the CIP Society – all in her first five years in the insurance industry. Van Vliet grew up in Norwich, Ont., with a population of 2,000. Always keen to get on the road to success, she was only 17 when she went to Conestoga College in Kitchener. “I went to Conestoga for the general business diploma, not really knowing what I wanted to do,” she says. “I just knew I wanted to do something with business so I took the two-year program.” Near the end of the course, she had yet to decide on a direction for her education when Van Vliet’s sales professor, Glenn Planert, suggested insurance. “As it happened, I used to babysit for a family whose father was the owner of

mentored her into our industry. Laura an insurance brokerage,” she says. That has served as an industry representative connection led to a summer job as a data on our Program Advisory Committee entry clerk at Ned Insurance in London, and has given her time and talents to Ont. “It was a great experience because I the program whenever she can. She is learned the basics of insurance by worksimply exceptional and well deserving of ing heavily within their broker managethe Emerging Leader award.” ment program.” After adding the CIP Risk ManageHaving gained an interest in the ment designation, she took a full-time industry, Van Vliet decided to further position with McFarlan her education. She took Rowlands Insurance advantage of credits from Brokers. But opportunity her general business proknocked again, and soon gram diploma to complete Van Vliet was working the two-year insurance with the Cowan Insurance course in one year. “When Group in Cambridge, Ont. I did the insurance proShe started as a commergram, I also challenged the cial account administrator. CIP exams,” she says. “In After two years she was the first round of exams I promoted to associate acdid four in one week, just count executive, stepping because I wanted to get Planert into a sales role while still them done. In the spring doing some administrative work. semester, I challenged five exams in one At Cowan, Van Vliet worked on the week, so that was a total of nine exams in surety team and handled both surety nine months between 2011 and 2012.” and insurance for construction accounts. Her instructor was thrilled with her “I had a lot of great mentors on the success. “She just stood out – keen, construction team and I learned a lot,” driven, direct and focused,” says Glenn she says. “I also led a team of five for the Planert, coordinator of the insurance annual construction forum, which was programs at Conestoga College. “I’m a great success. Our attendance was up awfully proud to have taught her and

Insurance doesn’t look like this

Yes it does. At Aviva Canada, this is the new way we work; centred on customer needs with a digital focus. We have put ourselves in the hub of digital innovation to connect with and attract brilliant digital minds. And, we are committed to working with our broker partners to ensure we are ready to meet consumers’ insurance needs in the digital space. Why – because customers deserve insurance made easy. This is Aviva Canada. Contact your Aviva Business Development Representative to find out more. Insurance – Home | Auto | Leisure & Lifestyle | Business | Surety Aviva and the Aviva logo are trademarks used under license by the licensor.

Insurance People  July 2017  49

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is passionate about increasing her own to 100 clients and prospects, which was knowledge and understanding things much better than previous years.” like technical insurance skills, soft skills The next step on Van Vliet’s path led and her client’s business operations.” He her to Aligned Insurance, her current adds that the time she takes to assist with employer. “Joining a relatively new workflows and helping colleagues undercompany is both exciting and a little nerve-racking,” she says. “But Aligned’s stand tasks also helps to deliver a better 18 Points of Differentiation drew me in, customer experience overall. as well as their Corporate Social Respon“I feel fortunate and honoured to have sibility Program. I’m very her as part of our team as happy with my decision.” she makes me, and everyHer first day with one around her, strive to Aligned was in March be better every day,” says 2015 in the Toronto ofClark. fice. “Then I was working Her lifestyle outside between the Waterloo and the office is active, with Toronto offices. In January baseball and golf in the 2016 I was appointed assummer and volleyball in sistant VP. I have been able the winter. “From 2011 to maintain my role with to 2015 I organized a sales, working directly memorial baseball tournaClark with clients, but now I ment and raised a total of have more leadership responsibilities.” $25,000 in honour of a friend of mine One task as AVP took her to Calgary who passed away from osteosarcoma,” from May to August, 2016, to manage the she says. Her volunteering extends to beoffice. ing a member of the Conestoga chapter of the Insurance Institute of Canada, Andrew Clark, president and CEO of part of the Insurance Institute’s AmbasAligned Insurance, says, “It was Laura’s sador program, a member of Conestoga sincerity and honesty that struck me most College’s Panel Advisory Committee when we first met, and those are still her for Business Insurance. She has also biggest strengths and best qualities. She

launched the Kitchener Waterloo Broker Bash, a monthly casual networking evening for insurance professionals. Travel is another passion for Van Vliet. In 2014 she and her best friend volunteered with Habitat for Humanity on a build in Thailand. “We worked on the house for about 10 days, then travelled for a week,” she says. “It was an awesome experience.” The youngest of four children, Van Vliet enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her semi-retired parents are still in Norwich, but she and her mother recently escaped to New Orleans for some Cajun fun. IP

Ajay Tellis

CPA (CA), CPA (Illinois), CIP Chief Financial Officer



President and CEO Kathy Boychuk and the Board of Directors of Peace Hills Insurance are pleased to announce the appointment of Ajay Tellis, CPA (CA), CPA (Illinois), CIP to the position of Chief Financial Officer effective March 2017. Ajay recently relocated to Edmonton from Toronto and brings with him a wealth of knowledge from his 20 years in Finance as well as his Insurance Industry experience. Having recently completed his CIP, Ajay’s enthusiasm, experience and leadership will serve Peace Hills well as it continues to build on its success for years to come. Peace Hills is a Western Canadian Company writing in excess of $213 million in property and casualty business in four western provinces and the territories.

From the ordinary to the complex, we are experienced and effective in providing coverage opinions.

OUR POLICY IS WORKING FOR YOU Insurance People  July 2017  51

High-net-worth chef Continued from page 17

Zealand-born dad who was raised in Arizona. “Whenever we cooked at home it was always Mexican,” she says. As a nod to her German heritage, though, she taught her classmates in junior high school how to make schnitzel and spaetzle. “She doesn’t cook by recipe, she cooks by taste, which I enjoy,” boyfriend Dowling says. “So every time she makes something it often feels new and adventurous. To date, she has not made anything that I’ve found not to be wonderful.”

That includes her tacos, which he originally deemed a tad spicy but has grown to love. “Her chicken tacos are what I’ve probably had the most of,” says Thacker. “They’re super good.” VanHerwaarden reached the final two of the completion. However, she narrowly lost to Trevor Connie, a plumber and pipefitter from Edmonton, in a gruelling three-course challenge that aired June 1. “I’m really happy for Trevor,” she said on camera when it was all over. “But I still feel like a winner. This has been the best journey I’ve ever had. Nothing is going to stop me from pursuing my food dream right now. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.” VanHerwaarden didn’t win the $100,000 first prize, but she’ll always have the experience of competing on MasterChef Canada and the camaraderie

she developed with the other contestants – such as Barrie McConachie, also from Vancouver. McConachie is old enough to be her father, but they discovered a shared enthusiasm for Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong. “My dad always calls me an old soul.” VanHerwaarden has already reaped rewards from MasterChef Canada. Aside from her tortellini appetizer appearing on Jamie Oliver’s menu, she has also amassed a large following of fans. As of June 2, she had 755 posts on her Instagram account and 2,429 followers. Her goal is to become a food writer. To that end, she is gathering content, such as restaurant reviews and recipes, to post on her website, which was under construction as she spoke. “My goal on the show is just to learn as much as I can and take it with me wherever I end up going.” IP


its Edmonton branch. Allen Bauer is a fire and explosion investigator with more than 13 years of experience in fire suppression. Mark Mason has extensive experience in hydrocarbon appliance operation and Mason failure mechanisms. He also has expert knowledge of all Canadian codes and regulations relating to hydrocarbon fuels. IP

Continued from page 47

Fred Squires cip

Commercial Lines Manager Les Chabai, Branch Manager British Columbia is pleased to announce the appointment of Fred Squires, CIP to the position of Commercial Lines Manager for British Columbia effective May 2017. Fred will be located in the Vancouver office managing both the Vancouver and Edmonton based commercial underwriting teams. Fred has extensive background experience in Commercial Property/Casualty Underwriting, having spent the last 20 years in Underwriting roles with The Dominion of Canada and ICBC. Fred received his FCIP as well as his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Manitoba majoring in Economics. Fred ’s enthusiasm, experience and understanding of the insurance industry will aid the BC Branch and Peace Hills in their continued profitable growth in the Canadian market. Peace Hills is a Western Canadian Company writing in excess of $213 million in property and casualty business in four western provinces and the territories.

OUR POLICY IS WORKING FOR YOU 52  July 2017  Insurance People

has also joined -30- Forensic Engineering as a senior associate in the Remediation group. He will be leading multidisciplinary environmental, and health and safety projects…Origin and Cause has added two new forensic experts to Bauer

BBQ for burn fund

Red River Mutual and Harvest Insurance teamed up to co-sponsor two community barbecues in Steinbach, Man., in May to raise money for the Firefighters’ Burn Fund of Manitoba. The two events raised more than $1,100. The Firefighters’ Burn Fund of Manitoba supports exceptional burn care, treatment, rehabilitation and research for burn survivors. It also supports fire and burn prevention initiatives including the Firefighters’ Burn Fund Fire Safety Trailer Program. Red River Mutual is a major sponsor of the program, which has seen more than 20 fire-safety trailers deployed throughout the province to deliver interactive fire safety education to young people at grade schools and at public events. IP

TradeTalk Push for electronic proof of insurance

Simpson noted that while the industry has made great strides in technological progress, the advent of electronic proof of insurance is just the beginning of a new push for consumer efficiency and savings. “The government’s consideration of long-term changes to the insurance system will allow for greater competition and innovation in auto insurance, and respond to changing market conditions and consumer needs.” Ontario’s incentive program may be a catalyst for other provinces to follow suit. As digital pink slips are set to be accepted nationally, provincial governments may put pressure on insurers to offer similar incentives. IP





ast fall, the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators approved a plan to introduce an electronic option for proof of automobile insurance for Canada. The plan targeted implementing the electronic option nationally in the first half of 2017. With the publishing of its 2017 Budget, the province of Ontario proved it’s on board with the move to electronic proof of auto insurance. The Ontario government recently released its 2017 Budget, noting “the province’s balanced budget is about more than just the bottom line number. It’s about finding new ways to help you and your family.” One of those ways the province plans to find ways to help its residents is with a plan to reduce the cost of auto insurance, including the push for electronic proof of insurance: “Distributing documents electronically, including proof of insurance and other documents such as policy renewals, will enhance consumer convenience and result in savings for insurance companies. To ensure these savings are passed along to the consumer, the government

will require that insurers offer a discount to policyholders who choose to receive documents electronically.” Currently, insurers in Ontario print and mail a paper slip for consumers to carry as their proof of auto coverage. With this new measure, drivers will be able to provide proof of insurance on their mobile phone instead of carrying traditional pink slips in their vehicle. “Paperless proof of insurance will improve the digital insurance experience for Ontarians,” said Colin Simpson, CEO, Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario. “The process will become much easier for consumers by not having to replace pink slips every time their auto policy is renewed. Consumers will be able to access proof of insurance through insurance broker mobile apps.” The IBAO welcomes the introduction of digital proof of insurance. “This is a step in the right direction to improve auto insurance in this province,” said Traci Boland, president, IBAO. “Workflow efficiency is what we need in this industry. Cost savings on printing and mailing insurance documents will positively impact consumers through mandated discounts for digital proof of insurance.”

Aviva.............................................49 Beacon/Can-Sure...........................3 Carfra Lawton...............................51 Economical.....................................4 Insurance Institute of Canada......12 McIntyre Strategies......................37 MDD Forensic Accountants..........18 Pal Insurance...............................56 Peace Hills..............................51,52 Portage Mutual.............................55 Richards Buell Sutton...................16 RSA................................................2 TSW Management.......................13 TuGo.............................................40 Wawanesa.................................6,47 OTHER BC Insurance Directory................50 Giving Back..................................20 Technology...................................46 INDEPENDENT ADJUSTERS & CLAIMS Action Contents............................34 Akoklee Adjusting.........................33 Coast Claims................................29 Crawford & Company...................22 Intact.............................................25 Marsh Adjustment.........................29 Midwest Claims............................35 New Age Adjusters.......................32 ServiceMaster Restore.................33 SPECS.........................................28 Superior Flood & Fire Restoration.. 30 SPECIAL INFORMATION FEATURE RSA..............................................38 Insurance People  July 2017  53

Boating, cooking and travelling … with JoAnne Freelund, commercial account executive, Real Insurance Solutions, Nanaimo, B.C.

Other than brokering, what job would you like to do?

I’ve always enjoyed cooking and purchasing the latest cooking tools and accessories. One idea was to own and operate a retail store that sold kitchen utensils, cookware, etc., and once a month have a chef come in for an evening cooking demonstration using products in the store and invite a liquor rep to offer wine pairing with the meal … with cab rides home, of course! If your life was made into a movie which actor would you choose to play you?

Bette Midler. She has her own unique style: loud, funny, talented and loves to make people laugh. So unlike me … a quiet, shy introvert! Ha ha!

food trivia, stories from our families involving food ... what I call a good bathroom book. When you were growing up, what was your favourite album to listen to?

The entire original soundtrack from the play Oklahoma with Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae. I’ve seen the play twice with my mom at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, and both times the people who sat near us were mad because we sang too loud … throughout the entire show. Do you have a favourite song?

I get goose bumps and tears in my eyes every time I hear Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion sing The Prayer. Such perfect, beautiful voices.

Who would you choose to play your significant other?

What is your hidden talent?

Johnny Depp, of course! If you could acquire a super power, what would it be?

I would love to have the ability to make animals talk, like Dr. Doolittle. Especially my dog. He’s an Aussie Shepherd, and I know there’s a lot going on in that head of his because he barks incessantly. What do you like to do away from the office?

Boating, cooking and travelling. We recently purchased a 25-foot Bayliner and it’s just amazing to ply the waters around Vancouver Island. It keeps me sane, calm and centred. We also enjoy travelling, and visit Mexico every year with the same crowd of friends, about 20 or so, the same small town, the same hotel. If our publisher gave you $1 million, how would you spend it?

Like most, I’d pay off the mortgage, invest a little and then splurge and get a new paint job on my 1966 Mustang. We’ve replaced or restored most of everything on that car except the paint. She’s my pride and joy. How did you meet your significant other?

I bumped into him on the ice at Kensington Rink in Burnaby when I was 14 and he was 16. He dated all my high school girlfriends and then said he saved the best for last. He’s such a joker! Do you have an accomplishment you’re particularly proud of?

I wrote a cookbook called Treasured Tastes, A Collection of Favourite Family Recipes. I wanted our mom’s and gramma’s recipes remembered by future family members. It took about seven months to assemble and gather all the recipes from family members. I did all the trivia research, graphics, photos, lay-out – typed it all out. I usually get 20 copies printed at once to give away as gifts. I also include it in the gift baskets I make up for charity events to donate or auction off. It makes a great Christmas or birthday present. It’s a fun read, full of amazing recipes, 54  July 2017  Insurance People

I’m a pretty good whistler. Tell us about your first day on the job.

I was hired as a file clerk with INA Insurance Company, 1200 Pender Street, Vancouver. 18 years old. First day on the job was Monday, May 18, 1981. I got to work with some pretty amazing insurance people: Tanis Gibson, Shirley Phillips, Ted Westrup, Dave Perry, Dave Lyons. You know, we call them lifers. I’ve always been a bit of a nerd who loves pens, paper, office stationary. I actually spent some of my allowance as a child buying office supplies. I was thrilled that I could now actually use all that stuff in real life. What is your dream vacation?

We’ve been so fortunate to already go on our dream vacation to Greece. Crete and Athens were everything I had ever imagined. I was completely speechless when we got to the top of the Acropolis and saw the Parthenon. We’d love to go again. Ever had a nickname?

Fluffy Georgia. It’s my adult film name, the name of the first pet I owned and the first street I lived on. Your all-time favourite movies are…

The Colour Purple, Notting Hill, Talladega Nights, The Story of Ricky Bobby. What’s your favourite dessert?

Churros from the wonderful couple who run the churro stand in Melaque, Mexico, the little town we visit each year. Two dollars gets you eight of them and I usually end up giving half of them away to the little kids in the square. IP Do you know a good subject for our Q&A questionnaire? Email suggestions to

Sooner or later… …cyber criminals are coming for you.

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Is your client one of those without protection? Portage Mutual Insurance now offers two optional cyber insurance coverages:

Data Compromise and CyberOne®. Contact your underwriter or marketing rep for more details: Alberta/BC: 800-661-3625 | *BI&I Cyber Risk Poll

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Maritimes: 800-565-1000

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InsurancePeople July 2017  

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