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Consensusbuilder Distracted driving Expedition to tiger country Where everyone is family

Inspiring new recruits Jody Lohr spreads optimism, enthusiasm through PYIB, IBAA

Litigation starts page 37

The ideal choice Change maker For the love of sports No looking back

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Contents Volume 22 

Number 6

november 2017

The 2017 Cowan Charity Classic golf tournaments in Ontario brought out more than 300 golfers to raise a record-setting $125,000. Story on page 9.


10 Inspiring new recruits

Jody Lohr moved to Calgary to shake things up in her life and career. She also helps shake up the industry working with the Professional Young Insurance Brokers to encourage young people to try insurance careers.

F e at u r e s

15 For the love of sports

litigation begins on page 37

d e pa rt m e n t s

7 StreetTalk 9 Milestones 29 Making Moves 32 TravelTalk 34 Storefront

62 Out & About 69 Ad index 69 TradeTalk 70 Q&A

Cover: Jody Lohr is a commercial lines account executive at Blue Circle Insurance in Calgary. Photo by Kyla Maetche of Forage Photography & Design.

The Yankees’ tradition of winning attracted Darcy Johnson to the Bronx Bombers and collecting their memorabilia, even though he was born and raised in Dunnville, Ont., only a 90-minute drive from Toronto.

21 The ideal choice

In his current position as Wawanesa’s VP, business development, in Manitoba Graham Haigh has garnered respect from associates at all levels.


25 Change maker

Salute B.C.’s Rising Start Award recipient, Chelsea Fitzpatrick, says she is simply doing her part in an industry that has a long and proud tradition of public service.

59 No looking back

Described as “one of the most intelligent guys I’ve ever come across in the insurance industry,” Darren Peters recently became president of IBAM.

67 Consensus-builder

Peter Braid’s experience as a public servant, MP, and his tenure with insurance companies, are ideal for his new role as the CEO of the IBAC.

There are a lot of really good people in our industry,” says Graham Haigh, Wawanesa’s VP, business development, “and I think there is a great future for young brokers as they move along. Story on page 21

WORD OF MOUTH IS A POWERFUL THING One of the most reliable ways to find out if a company’s service is great or not is by hearing from the people who actually used it. That’s why we’re so proud of our 93% claims satisfaction rating, a standard of excellence we uphold one delighted customer at a time.

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Economical Insurance includes the following companies: Economical Mutual Insurance Company, The Missisquoi Insurance Company, Perth Insurance Company, Waterloo Insurance Company, Family Insurance Solutions Inc., Sonnet Insurance Company, Petline Insurance Company. Percentage based on 91,254 Economical claimant survey responses measuring customer satisfaction with claims services from January 2007 to December 2016. ©2017 Economical Insurance. All rights reserved. All Economical intellectual property, including but not limited to Economical® and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of Economical Mutual Insurance Company and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates and are registered and/or used in Canada. All other intellectual property is the property of their respective owners.


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La Mauricie National Park, Quebec

Hub picks up two Canadian firms; CIAA names new president


ub International recently acquired Delisle Agencies, based in Delisle, Sask., and Integro Canada, which has offices in B.C, Ontario and Quebec. Delisle specializes in personal lines and government automotive insurance solutions. Ouellette

Rob Ouellette, presi-

dent of Delisle, will join Hub Manitoba and report to Doug Trapp, VP, Hub Manitoba. Integro Canada is a commercial p&c brokerage specializing in complex Trapp risks, including construction, transportation, professional services, manufacturing, real estate, entertainment, mining and financial services. “Integro Canada’s experience in larger, more complicated risk issues brings an expanded dimension to Hub’s substantial leadership Osen position in the Canadian Market,” said Tina Osen, president, Hub

Canada. “We’re already recognized as a leader in Canada, and with this expansion we broaden our geographic reach and our ability to upscale our presence in the larger riskmanagement sector across the entire country.” Hub will round out Integro Canada’s solutions by enabling it to offer employee benefits as well as personal line insurance options. Key leadership staff from Integro Canada will be joining the Hub team, including Mark Rankin, president, based in Toronto; Robert Dunn, chairman, based in Montreal; and Michael Baddeley, managing principal, based in Vancouver. “Joining forces provides our team with a depth and breadth of resources that will position us to provide our

clients with enhanced services and capabilities,” said Rankin.

CIAA prez

The Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association has inaugurated Monica Kuzyk,VP of Curo Claims Services in Waterloo, Ont., as the Kuzyk association’s 33rd president. She assumes the role from Heather Matthews. “Monica is keen to continue the fundamental groundwork for transforMatthews mation set in the previous two years, and under her capable leadership

the association will continue to execute on value to the membership and relevance in the industry,” said Patricia Battle, executive director of the CIAA.

New Allianz campus

Allianz Global Assistance recently held a ceremony to break ground for the construction of its new campus in Cambridge, Ont. “As Allianz continues to grow to over 600 employees, we decided to invest in the future and relocate our Hibbert operations to a larger facility,” said Phil Hibbert, Allianz CEO. “The entire team looks forward to 2019 when Allianz will relocate to

Dream Big


Rogers Insurance in Calgary has given $5,000 to a couple in Fort McMurray for winning the #RogersDreamBig social-media contest. Bonnie and Frankie Hynes plan to use the money to “grow their family by two feet” after struggling with fertility issues for years. After entering #RogersDreamBig and making it to the top three contestants by getting 500 votes on Facebook, the Hynes’ dream was selected as the winner by Rogers’ president Lee Rogers and COO Bruce Rabik. “We wanted to celebrate our anniversary by giving back to the communities that we live and work in,” said Lee Rogers. “We are proud to be a part of this touching story.” IP Insurance People  November 2017  7



November 2017 Volume 22 • Number 6

managing Editor Sarah Polson • 604-875-7768 associate Editor Ron Shorvoyce • 306-352-2660 Editorial Contributors Laurie Jones, John Lekich, Keith Norbury publisher/director of advertising Trish McRae • 604-875-7761 Advertising Sales Tonya Earle • 604-874-1001 Publication Manager Cathryn Day • 604-875-7763 Art Director Wil Wong production Haide James managing publisher Susan Mellor • 604-875-7764 GROUP Publisher Bill Earle • 604-875-7766 Toll-free 1-800-888-8811

Kenneth R. Wilson Awards

Honourable Mention

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  November 2017  Insurance People

the new 115,000-square-foot state-ofthe-art campus.”

Ron Newcomb passes

Ron Newcomb, former president of

Kernaghan Adjusters, recently passed away at the age of 87. Newcomb began his insurance career with the General Accident Group in 1947 as a junior clerk. He moved on to the claims department and in 1951 he moved Newcomb from the Winnipeg office to the Vancouver office where in 1952 he was promoted to branch claims adjuster. He resigned from General Accident to return to Winnipeg and join S.J. Kernaghan Adjusters in its founding year. At KA, he became general manager in 1965 and VP in 1968. In 1974 he returned to Vancouver where the head office is now located and served as president from 1980 to 1993. He retired as the firm’s executive director in 1998. His roles in insurance included past VP of the Insurance Institute of Manitoba, past president of the Insurance Institute of B.C., past chairman of the Board of Governors of the Insurance Institute of Canada, past president for the Manitoba Insurance Adjusters’ Association and for the B.C. Insurance Adjusters’ Association. He was also a

Most Loyal Gander of the Honourable Order of the Blue Goose in Manitoba and in B.C.

Promoting road safety

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) and the RCMP have partnered in a joint public-awareness and enforcement campaign specific to gravel roads. On average, nearly 500 people are injured in crashes on gravel roads annually in Manitoba, and the campaign seeks to reduce those numbers. As of the end of July, the RCMP issued 460 Highway Traffic Act offence notices, highlighted by 190 speeding, 21 no seat belt, and 16 short-term roadside suspensions. In addition, the RCMP laid 10 impaired driving charges. Along with the police presence on the gravel roads, MPI has worked to heighten awareness among new drivers about the challenges of driving on gravel roads. It also announced plans to enhance its program for high school driver education starting this fall. “Driving on gravel roads presents unique challenges for all drivers, but particularly for new drivers who may not be Keith accustomed to how even small steering-wheel movements can result in loss of control,” said Ward Keith,

PATH for travel

RBC Insurance has launched PATH, a new travel mobile app that helps travellers find emergency medical assistance in foreign countries. The free app, available for IOS or Android devices, provides travel insurance clients with access to information they may need during a trip, such as travel alerts, stored policy information and even a geolocator to help find the nearest doctor or medical facility in an emergency. “Our idea was to help our clients access emergency medical assistance anywhere in the world and receive up-to-date travel information advice on the go,” said Stacey Hughes-Brooks, head of Travel, RBC Insurance. “With the PATH app, RBC Insurance clients are only one click away from finding the help they need while travelling.” Through PATH, travellers can:   • Search their location to find a medical facility for emergency assistance   • Call or email experts directly for emergency medical assistance   • Contact local emergency services   • Access worldwide assistance numbers   • Access up-to-date Government of Canada travel information, advisories and advice   • Input medical information   • Access contact information to call RBC Insurance to buy travel insurance   • Set up and send notification emails to family and friends IP


Celebrating anniversaries, awards, announcements, recognitions...

CIP names Emerging Leader The CIP Society has presented Alex Stringer, a broker with Assurances

Youth Initiative, of which Cowan is the founding partner. The record-setting tournaments took J.Marc Beauregard in Marieville, Que., place at Glencairn Golf Club in Halton with this year’s National Leadership Hills and Eagle Creek Golf Club in the award in the Emerging Leader category. Ottawa Region and “On behalf of our drew in more than 300 Council, I’m very proud golfers on a combined to recognize Alex as 45 holes. an Emerging Leader “Great achievements in 2017,” said Mike don’t happen alone, Kosturik, chair of the and the success of this CIP Society National year’s tournament is a Council. “The Leadertestament to the treship Awards provide mendous relationships an excellent platform and values we share to recognize members with our business partsuch as Alex, who ners, clients and coldemonstrate strong leagues,” said Heather leadership in all areas of Stringer their lives.” McLachlin, president, Now in its ninth year, the Leadership Cowan Insurance Group. “The Cowan Awards were created to honour the outCharity Classic brings people together standing achievements of industry leadnot just for the experience of this woners who demonstrate vision, passion and derful event but purpose in their work, in the industry, to demonstrate and in their communities. a like-minded “It is a great pleasure to welcome Alex and ongoing to the Leadership circle, where he joins commitment to 35 exceptional leaders who uphold the improving the values of the Society in their profesquality of life in sional and personal spheres,” said Peter the communities in which we live Hohman, president and CEO, Insurance and work.” Institute. McLachlin

Record setting charity event

RIMS award winners

Cowan Insurance Group and The Cowan Foundation raised $125,000 at the 2017 Cowan Charity Classic golf tournaments. The tournaments support Habitat for Humanity Canada’s Every

At the 2017 RIMS Canada Conference, RIMS Ontario Chapter presented the Donald M. Stuart Award to Tony Lackey, director, Risk and Insurance Services for Carleton University in Ottawa. The

VP, business development and communications, and CAO, MPI.

offering to clients, and increases the operational capacity of the two firms, particularly in insurance law, constructionrelated litigation and professional liability. “Through this unification, our firm has increased its footprint in accordance with our strategic growth strategy in an increasingly sophisticated legal-services Gagnon

Langlois and Fraticelli Provost merge

Langlois lawyers and Fraticelli Provost in Montreal recently merged their practices. As a result, most members of Fraticelli Provost will be moving to the Montreal office of Langlois. The merger increases the firms’ service

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award is bestowed annually to celebrate Canadians who have made outstanding contributions in the risk management profession. “Individuals like Tony Lackey demonstrate the undeniable value we can deliver,” said Tina Gardiner, president of RIMS Ontario Chapter. “Not only is he an exceptional risk manager, he is selfless and passionate about advancing this Lackey profession. It’s an honour to present him with the Donald M. Stuart Award.”


Malcom “Mac” Ross will retire as of

November 30 from his position as SVP, corporate solutions for ClaimsPro, an SCM Insurance Services company. He’s been with SCM since 1997. Ross, who was born and raised in Ottawa, started his insurance caRoss reer with Sutton & Perry in 1968. In 1981 he co-founded Attfield & Ross which was acquired by SCM in 1997. In Toronto, W.E. “Ted” Baker, founding partner and president of BBCG Claim Services, a division of ClaimsPro Specialty Risk Division, has retired. Baker marked his 50th year in the insurance industry this year. Baker was also one of the founding directors of the Surety Association of Canada, and is a Fellow of the Canadian Independent Adjusters Association. IP market,” said Jean-Francois Gagnon, Langlois’ chief executive. “Moreover, it’s a privilege to be associated with lawyers whose acknowledged experience and enviable reputations represent significant assets for Langlois lawyers.”


Derek Lothian was appointed as the

new CEO of the Insurance Brokers Continued on page 13 Insurance People  November 2017  9

cover story

Inspiring new recruits Moving to the big city turned Jody Lohr – commercial lines executive with Blue Circle Insurance in Calgary – into an even more prominent industry champion than she had been in Grand Prairie. But not even Calgary’s congested streets have convinced her to give up her “big old” pickup.

ody Lohr was born in Fairview, Alta., but grew up on her parent’s farm just outside Hines Creek, a village of 400 people about 30 kilometres northwest of Fairview. She graduated from high school in Hines Creek in 1999. For the longest time Lohr, who is 35, considered herself a country girl. That changed in 2016 when she moved to Calgary to work for Blue Circle Insurance Brokers. “I kicked around for a few years after high school, before I got my early childhood education diploma.” But that diploma didn’t lead where Lohr had expected: working in a childcare centre or preschool, or even owning her own daycare. “I finished my practicum and moved on,” says Lohr. For six years she worked in the restaurant of one of the main golf courses in Grand Prairie, Alta., the Dunes Golf and Winter Club. That was her stepping stone to an insurance career. A regular golfer at the club needed a receptionist. “I literally had no idea what I was going to do except for answering phones,” Lohr says. Back then, the company was called Prairie Villa Insurance, and she worked there for almost 11 years. Before long, Lohr became a licensed broker, doing personal lines. In 2009 she took on a commercial book of business. When Prairie Villa merged with another brokerage to become Peace Country Insurance Brokers, Lohr was appointed general manager of the new operation. Then by the time Peace Country added another brokerage to its operation, Lohr decided it was time to shake things up. “It had nothing to do with the job or position,” she explains. “I had lived in Grande Prairie for 15 years and I needed to go see what was out there.” She’s now in Calgary. She looks back with fondness at her time with Peace Country Insurance, and is grateful to the owners, Brent Oilund and Shayne Milligan, for helping her in her career. “They definitely helped me grow as an insurance broker,” she says. “Without that, I wouldn’t be where I am today.” Lohr moved to Blue Circle Insurance in 2016. She got to know Gerry Baert, Blue Circle owner, through the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta (IBAA) and 10  November 2017  Insurance People

Photo by Kyla Maetche of Forage Photography & Design


By Ron Shorvoyce

Jody Lohr is a commercial lines account executive at Blue Circle Insurance and a past president of the Professional Young Insurance Brokers (PYIB) network of Alberta.

Insurance People  November 2017  11

that connection led to being hired for a Calgary position. Lohr started at Blue Circle with a personal lines book and is now a commercial lines account executive. “l love my job. I love my industry and I’m big into the IBAA.� Passionate about her work, she’s out recruiting new people into the business all the time. “It’s a great career,� she says. “It’s something that’s almost bulletproof and economyproof. You make great relationships with industry partners, principals and clients.� Lohr says Blue Circle is a fun workplace – with no separate offices. “We don’t have a wall in the place. We look at each other all day long. We laugh, we talk, we help each other.� They spend time with one another even after work. “It’s 100 per cent a family atmosphere.� Lohr is a past president of the Professional Young Insurance Brokers’ network of Alberta (PYIB). She joined that organization in 2012 as a local council representative. Rikki McBride, the chief operating officer of the IBAA, got to know Lohr through the association

“She’s served on a few IBAA boards in addition to her work with PYIB. She’s probably one of the most organized and energetic people I know. With people, she reads the room well and is well spoken. She’s able to do the best in any situation and she has the ability to put everyone at ease.â€? Lohr says PYIB helped advance her career, and turned her into a better broker, giving her access to a wider network of people. “I have people that I can rely on, and I have relationships with insurance people from across Canada and the United States.â€? Lohr says the organization works hard to get young people into the insurance industry. McBride Maksymchuk “We’re out at schools and colleges and attending career fairs, cess is rooted in her extensive knowledge helping to break down barriers that may of brokerage operations including its exist to keep young people away from the technical side. insurance business.â€? IP Another colleague from PYIB is Caleb Maksymchuk, VP of operations with Ravenhill Agencies in Edmonton. He INSIDE SCOOP describes Lohr as a first-class individual who has given back to the insurance • Lohr has two older brothers – business throughout her career. Dennis who works as a millwright when Lohr first joined PYIB. “She’s super-dedicated and passionate about the industry,â€? McBride says. “Her optimism and enthusiasm spill over to others around her. It inspires other people to work harder and think outside the box.â€? McBride adds that Lohr’s suc-



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    12  November 2017  Insurance People           

in Manning, Alta., and Colin who lives in Dixonville, Alta., where he manages the Peace River Home Hardware. • Lohr’s retired parents – Ken and Lura Lohr – travel around Canada and the U.S., living in a big fifth wheel. “When they were still on the farm they raised mules and donkeys. They had the studs, and clients would bring in brood mares and we’d create mules for them.â€? • Lohr enjoys music, especially country music. Among her favourites are George Jones and Garth Brooks. She also likes Lady Gaga. • She’s an avid reader. “It’s mostly mainstream stuff. All the trilogies that are out there. I like historical works such as those about the monarchy.â€? • She lives in a downtown Calgary apartment. “The traffic is heavy and not easy to get around in because I still have my big old pickup truck. It’s a 2014 Dodge.â€? • Lohr likes to play golf but says she’s no good at it. • She likes watching hockey on TV but oddly enough doesn’t root for either of the Alberta teams. “I’m a Vancouver Canucks fan.â€? IP


Continued from page 9

Association of Saskatchewan (IBAS). Lothian, 29, is among the youngest CEOs to occupy the position. He has a background in business and has experience with regional, national and global organizations. Lothian, who was born Lothian in Yorkton and grew up in Churchbridge, Sask., has held senior positions with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), Canada’s largest trade and industry association. He also served as president of his own management company, Lothian & Associates Management Group. Lothian succeeds Ernie Gaschler Gaschler who retired as CEO of the IBAS at the end of May. Gaschler had been with the organization for 25 years, making him one of the longest-serving IBAS executives.

Know Your Policy campaign

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has launched an online campaign — Know Your Policy — designed to promote insurance literacy among Canadian consumers. In a series of online tips and videos on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, IBC will educate consumers on the importance of insurance, how to start a claim, how to buy insurance and where to go with insurance-related questions. The campaign will also explain coverage limits, deductibles and other complex policy items that all consumers should be familiar with. “A car collision, a home damaged by wind or hail and a business interrupted by vandalism or floods are risks that people face every day,” said Sally Turney, VP, communications, IBC. “After a loss Turney happens, everyday life can change in many ways. Now is the time to know your policy and better protect yourself.”

Division will be Sharon Craver, with the Insurance Corporation of B.C., and second VP – Professional Division will be Kerry McLaughlin, with BCAA. Other council members include: Kelly Krakonchuk, RSA (secretary – treasurer); Jennifer Biring Perry, Hub International (past president); Melissa Stedman, Aon Reed Stenhouse (Vancouver Island Chapter president); Debra Copeland, Intact (chair – marketing & communications); Sharon Knotts, The Guarantee (chair – future directions); Lianne Crawford, Hub International (chair – seminars); Angela McIldoon, ICBC (chair- education); Sarah Tung, XL Catlin (chair – events); and Terry Leibel, Capri Insurance Services (chair – Okanagan).

Insuring for moves

Square One Insurance Services, based in Vancouver, recently revealed research that showed 80 per cent of Canadians are not properly insuring their belongings when they move. “We conducted this research for several reasons,” said Daniel Mirkovic, presi-

dent of Square One. “First, we noticed an increasing number of people moving between provinces. Second, we know that the summer is the most common time of year that people move. And finally we believed that most people didn’t know that Mirkovic their home-insurance policies could cover their belongings while in transit.” More than a million Canadians move to new homes within the same province each year, and more than 300,000 Canadians move to new homes in a different province each year. Most homeinsurance providers allow customers to transfer their current policy to their new home. Transferring a current policy means that personal belongings will be insured while in transit. However, if the customer buys a new policy, personal belongings may not be covered while in transit.

CSIO addition

The Centre for Study of Insurance Operations has appointed Ahmer Gulzar to senior manager, technology strategy and Continued on page 18

We’ve increased our commercial appetite and capacity! Contact your underwriter or marketing rep for more details. Alberta/BC: 800-661-3625 Manitoba/Sask: 800-567-7721 Ontario: 800-263-7262 Maritimes: 800-565-1000

IIBC Governing Council

Manjit Biring, from Hub Interna-

tional, has been named president of the Insurance Institute of B.C.’s 2017-2018 Governing Council. First VP – Academic Insurance People  November 2017  13

Some of Darcy Johnson’s most prized pieces in his sport memorabilia collection are seats from the original Yankee Stadium, and game-worn Joba Chamberlain and Andy Pettitte New York Yankees jerseys.

14  November 2017  Insurance People


For the love of sports

Wending its way through every aspect of Darcy Johnson’s life and career is a steadfast devotion to sports. Along the way, it has cemented close friendships – and in times of loss it has provided a resource to benefit others. By Keith Norbury


he original Yankee Stadium – the legendary House That Ruth Built – was torn down in 2010. But a pair of seats from that major league baseball shrine, which closed in 2008, is in the basement of Ontario insurance manager, and sports memorabilia collector, Darcy Johnson. Until a few years ago, when he was still working out of an office in his home, Johnson placed the seats opposite his desk so his clients could sit in them when they came calling. “It always made for a good conversation piece when you had a policyholder or a client come in the office,” says Johnson, who at the time was exclusive insurance agent for Dunnville, Ont.headquartered Erie Mutual Insurance. He is now the company’s manager of sales and marketing. It’s far from the only piece of Yankees memorabilia in his collection. He also has a game-used second base from the first season in the new Yankee Stadium in 2009, more than a dozen baseballs signed by the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Johnson’s favourite, Derek Jeter – as well as seven game-worn Yankees jerseys that still sport their dirt stains. “I always had a love for the Yankees,” Johnson says. A lot of people didn’t care for Steinbrenner when he owned the team, but Johnson admired the way

Steinbrenner ran things. “The guy went out and spent money like crazy because he loved to win. And to me, if you’re a fan of a team, why wouldn’t you want your team to win?” It’s the Yankees’ tradition of winning that attracted Johnson to the Bronx Bombers, even though he was born and raised in Dunnville, only a 90-minute drive from Toronto, home of baseball’s Blue Jays and hockey’s Maple Leafs. In a similar way, Johnson is a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers football club and its legacy of sports heroes like Bart Starr and Brett Favre. When it comes to hockey, Johnson’s collecting is geared toward memorabilia of the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, who grew up in Brantford about 45 minutes from Dunnville. Johnson still has a pair of Gretzky jerseys – one from his days in Los Angeles, the other from when he was a New York Ranger. But Johnson has parted with other Gretzky memorabilia. They include a game-used hockey stick from when he played for the Los Angeles Kings against the Leafs in the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs; and a Gretzky All-Star jersey that his brother-in-law Greg Murphy had the Great One autograph at a bar in Buffalo. It was Murphy who sparked Johnson’s interest in collecting sports cards. As a student Johnson didn’t have the money to start a collection but he was interested in what was on the market. His love of sports grew from there when he and a childhood friend, Andrew

Jackson, pursued their higher education together in the early 1990s at the University of Windsor. A large part of that choice is Windsor’s proximity to Detroit – home of hockey’s Red Wings, baseball’s Tigers, basketball’s Pistons and football’s Lions. “The Detroit Pistons had just won the championship the year before we got to university,” Johnson recalls. They caught one or two Lions games but attended mostly Red Wings and Tigers games. That’s when Johnson began collecting jerseys from a little sports shop in Windsor. The shop would sew a player’s name and number on the back of an authentic jersey. In Johnson’s case, those early acquisitions included a Patrick Roy sweater from his Montreal Canadiens days, and a Bobby Orr Boston Bruins jersey. “They were authentic jerseys but not game worn,” Johnson explains. It was around that time that Johnson acquired the Gretzky jersey that Murphy had the Great One sign in Buffalo. Johnson passed up the chance to meet Gretzky, opting instead to watch a local hockey game at the Dunnville arena with his pal Andrew. “They were inseparable,” says Paul Jackson, Andrew’s father. The two friends kept in touch every week even though their paths diverged after university. Tragically, Andrew Jackson was killed in December 2013 in Windsor when a truck veered off the road and struck him as he was walking from a bus stop to pick Insurance People  November 2017  15

up his daughter, Emilie, from school. Since Andrew’s death, Johnson has remained as close as ever with the Jackson family, including Emilie. “I love him like a son,” Paul Jackson says. “He sort of picks up some slack as you can appreciate with having lost our son.” Johnson also picks up Jackson’s mail, has signing privileges on his bank account, and has been “left in charge of any decisions that might come up,” Jackson says. Jackson has returned the favour by letting Johnson keep another prized possession – his 425-horsepower 2006 Dodge Charger SRT – in his garage during the winter. Johnson also attributes his passion for muscle cars to his brother-in-law Greg Murphy. Indeed it was a familial connection that introduced Johnson to the insurance business – right after completing his bachelor of commerce at the University of Windsor in 1993. His sister Cindy Murphy was working for independent insurance broker Don Cronk in Fisherville, a small town 20 minutes from Dunnville. Cronk needed a bookkeeper, so Johnson’s sister recommended her brother for the job. “Basically, it was a case where I wrote my last exam on a Friday and started work on a Monday,” Johnson says. He enjoyed it so much that he soon approached his boss about obtaining Registered Insurance Broker of Ontario designation and working as a broker. Most of Cronk’s business was with Erie Mutual, and when he retired in 1998 he

sold that book of business back to Erie. Erie was also looking for new agents and hired Johnson. His current boss, John Dunton, “likes to challenge people,” Johnson says. His challenge to Johnson was to add marketing to his sales manager duties in 2013. “It was quite obvious to me that he was underemployed in a commissioned sales position at Erie,” says Dunton, who joined Erie as president and CEO in 2009. “So that’s what prompted me in many ways to say, ‘Hey, Darcy, you’ve got

“Our culture here is very teamlike. This is a work family and I think he’s very much a part of it. I think you’d be hard pressed to find anybody in this organization who doesn’t like Darcy.” Mary Bacher, COO for Erie Mutual Insurance

more to offer. So I’m going to do my best to squeeze more juice out of you.’” As a Boston Red Sox fan, Dunton also occasionally tries to stir up the diehard Yankees fan’s competitive juices. Such as when the Sox won the World Series a few years ago. “I had a David Ortiz T-shirt that I hung proudly in front of his office window,” Dunton says. “I’m sure it rubbed him the wrong way. But being the gracious sportsman that he is we had some fun.” Mary Bacher, Erie Mutual’s chief oper-

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Karl Wolwertz B.Sc, CIP, CRM

Eastern Regional Manager Direct: 514-315-4512

ating officer, says Johnson is a level-headed type with a wry sense of humour who isn’t about to “fly off the handle.” She has known him for about two decades, years before she entered the insurance business. “Our culture here is very teamlike,” Bacher says of Erie’s staff of about 25. “This is a work family and I think he’s very much a part of it. I think you’d be hard pressed to find anybody in this organization who doesn’t like Darcy.” One of his co-workers, Karen Wilson, thought so much of him that she played match-maker by introducing him to his future wife, Carolyn. Bacher’s husband, Howie, even brought home some Gretzky memorabilia that Johnson auctioned off a few years ago for a fundraiser for juvenile diabetes. It’s a cause close to his heart: Lane Oelrich, Johnson’s stepson from a previous marriage, died of the disease a few years ago at age 19. Johnson himself has type 2 diabetes, which he developed as a result of antirejection medication he has taken since a kidney transplant. That life-saving event occurred in 2003 when his older sister, Stacy Stanley, donated one of her kidneys. “She didn’t hesitate,” Johnson says. “From the time that she knew that I needed a transplant, she was saying I’m donating regardless of whether people wanted her to, because the doctors tried to convince us that if you’re a healthy person you may not want to.” Nobody is more deserving of the medical miracle that enabled the transplant, according to Paul Jackson. “He’s a remarkable fellow. He gives so much of himself,” Jackson says. “He’s the most unselfish guy I’ve ever met.” Not that Johnson would necessarily give someone the baseball shirt off his back. One of his prized possessions is a game-worn Joba Chamberlain New York Yankees jersey from opening day 2010 at Boston’s Fenway Park. Chamberlain was a top-ranked pitcher when Johnson bought the jersey. Now that Chamberlain’s career has fizzled, it likely wouldn’t fetch $400. But Johnson isn’t about to part with it. “With baseball it’s not just an investment, it’s a love of it.” He’s also hanging on to a Jeter jersey worn in a spring training game as well as a jersey worn by pitcher Andy Pettitte during a regular season Yankees home game. They are among his most prized collectables – along with those seats, of course. IP

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


Cycling through change


len Bates, Vice President, SME, RSA Canada, has worked for 20 years through the financial and technological changes in the insurance industry – and the demands that have resulted from those changes. His commitment to RSA represents stability in an ever-changing field. Being loyal to one company for more than two decades is rare these days, but for Glen staying hasn’t been hard. “There’s a strong success-driven culture at RSA – and we’ve been through some difficult times – but we’ve always managed to get through anything that has been thrown at us.” Bates, along with his team, was in charge of integrating l’Union Canadienne after the company was acquired by RSA in 2012. He is now tasked with implementing RSA’s growth strategy for SME Canada. His team’s most recent product launch, RSA Pro, is a new digital pricequoting tool for brokers working with SME customers. Its goal is to speed up quoting for new businesses through an online “shop” where you can request a quote, bind it and even ask questions in a live chat with a representative. Despite the team’s commitment to efficient solutions and a quicker turnaround with its new digital tools, Glen still sees personal interactions and relationship-building as essential to driving the business forward. He works hard to maintain his relationships with his colleagues and broker partners. And this is where he takes a somewhat unconventional approach. An avid cyclist since the age of 13, Glen uses his passion for cycling to bring

together RSA employees, their broker partners and clients. With Glen leading the charge, RSA has sponsored numerous cycling events in Quebec, including the Broker’s Association Bike Ride. He has also put together teams for the Le Grand défi Pierre Lavoie, a charity event that raises funds to educate Quebecers on

Glen Bates is VP SME at RSA Canada.

how to lead healthy lives. Such initiatives have helped create a bond between RSA employees and their broker partners. Glen even personally sponsors brokers to compete in various cycling fundraisers. In fact, cycling has become so popular among insurance professionals that it’s competing with golf – the traditional go-to activity for corporate fundraising or networking. Despite his hectic work days – espe-

cially as RSA Pro just launched – Glen still makes the time to ride. “I have a true passion for cycling, and I commute to work on my bike as much as my travel schedule allows. I’ve stopped short of cycling to the airport.” The 30 kilometres to and from work by bike helps him stay in shape, and he uses the hour each way to clear his mind. During the summer, Glen and his family cycle together. His two daughters, 11 and 14, are not as avid about cycling as Glen – “Not yet!” he jokes – but they stay active with swimming and skiing. Whether it’s a solo activity like cycling or a team sport like hockey, Glen believes that sports can teach important lessons about succeeding in business and in life. “You need a certain level of discipline when you’re training for any sport that directly translates into how you conduct your business. If you’re dedicated, disciplined and passionate, you can translate those qualities into your business and you will see tremendous success.” Glen also believes teamwork is extremely valuable, because it can teach people to be selfless and to work towards a common goal. He tries to instill these values in his daughters as well as in his RSA family. The future looks promising for Glen. He’s excited to see his daughters grow up. His eldest will soon start applying to universities, and his youngest will start high school next year. As for life at RSA, he’s excited about the $300-million investment the company has made to the Canadian business over five years, the launch of digital tools such as RSA Pro, and more opportunities to fulfill the company’s commitment to becoming a best-inclass partner for brokers. IP Insurance People  November 2017  17


Advancing women in insurance Through the Women Creating Legacy in Insurance Scholarship Fund, Aviva Canada and Mills Brokers Insurance Solutions have partnered with the Ivey Business School at Western University to offer two women trailblazers a scholarship to attend the Ivey Leadership Program. The scholarship fund honours Christie McKechnie (formerly Mills), who opened her own insurance brokerage in 1979. As a tribute to her accomplishments, the Women Creating Legacy in Insurance Scholarship Fund is dedicated to promoting the advancement and leadership of women in insurance. Nominations are open to women aged 40 and under across Ontario who are dedicated to excellence, innovation and putting customers at the heart of every decision. “We’re proud to honour Christie’s accomplishments in the insurance industry by offering other exceptional women the opportunity to advance their careers and create an extraordinary legacy,” said Jason Storah, executive VP, broker distribution of Aviva Canada. “Our hope is that these scholarship recipients will become ambassadors for the values of this award.” Nominations have closed for the November Leadership Program course, and will open again in early 2018 for the April program. IP


Continued from page 13

architecture, in the Toronto office. Gulzar brings his expertise in IT from the telecommunications industry where he worked at Bell Canada and Saskatel. He holds a bachelor’s in engineering from Carleton University and executive MBA from the University of Ottawa. At CSIO, Gulzar will Gulzar plan, direct and manage all CSIO standards releases, and lead the development and implementation of high-impact strategies, technologies 18  November 2017  Insurance People

and digital solutions for CSIO members across Canada.

This & That

The Co-operators recently donated

$366,500 in grants to 15 organizations across Canada that enhance the employability of marginalized Canadians and those with mental-health challenges. The recipients were Choices for Youth in St. John’s, Nfld.; Open Sky Co-operative in the southeast region of New Brunswick; Elsipogtog Youth Co-op in Dieppe, N.B.; Destination Travail du Sud-Ouest de l’ile-de-Montreal in LaSalle, Que.; Spectre de Rue in Montreal; Working for Change, PARC – The Silver Brush and

Weston Frontlines Centre in Toronto; Roots to Harvest in Thunder Bay, Ont.; FortWhyte Alive in Winnipeg, Man.; Autism Resource Centre and Ignite Adult Learning Corporation Foundation in Regina, Sask.; Family Services of Greater Vancouver – Keeners Car Wash and Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation in Vancouver; and Hollyburn Family Services Society in North Vancouver, B.C… Following its recent acquisition of Allsport Insurance Marketing, Markel Canada has appointed Gina Bennett, president of Allsport, as Western Region leader Bennett

for Markel Canada. Mike Rogers has also joined Markel’s Western Region as senior professional liability underwriter…Origin and Cause has added Kevin Huberdeau to its Edmonton office. Huberdeau has more than 35 years of engineering experience and Huberdeau specializes in assessing fire and structural damage and investigating motor-vehicle collisions…Sue Whittick has joined Winmar, working in client relations and marketing. She brings with her more than 35 years of experience at all levels of the insurance restoration industry…Gore Mutual’s Fast Forward 2018 will be held June 14 in Toronto at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall. For more info: 2017-2018 round of Economical’s Select Sweepstakes has begun with Claude Dery Dery of Fredericton, N.B., winning a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Sport S. Dery was entered in the sweepstakes after calling Higgins Insurance for a quote on policy changes to his auto insurance…Ken Dusenbury has joined

DSB Claims as the VP of strategy, programs and claims experience. Also at DSB, Arwin Te has joined the team as an executive adjuster and branch manager for the DSB Markham, Ont., office…Wawanesa and The Guarantee have both renewed their support as sponsors for WICC. Wawanesa has renewed for the next three years as a “commitment sponsor” for WICC Quebec’s benefit gala, and The Guarantee signed on for another three-year term as a national platinum sponsor for the organization. Wawanesa also recently donated $10,000 USD to the American Tremblay Red Cross in support of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts…Carl Tremblay has been appointed managing partner of Fasken Martineau’s Quebec City office. He takes over for Guy Dion, who was in the role for the law firm for more than 10 years… BSI Insurance in St. Jean Baptiste, Man., has donated $2,000 to St. Jean Dion Parks and Recreation to buy a new air-conditioning unit for the St. Jean Centennial Hall. BSI, with the

help of its clients, also recently donated $1,000 to The Manitoba Camping Association Sunshine Fund. This brings their total donations for the Sunshine Fund this year to $3,000…York University’s School of Continuing Studies recently launched a new Certificate in Risk Management, a three-course online program that can be completed in just six months…Kathy James has joined Vericlaim Canada as a senior claims adjuster in its Toronto James office. James is a fully licensed adjuster in Ontario and Quebec, and she brings more than 20 years of industry experience to Vericlaim…The WICC GTA Gala for 2018 will be May 2. For more information, visit… Orbit will hold its Annual Members’ Meeting November 21 at The Insurance Institute in Toronto. Agenda and registration information will be available at Myers …Pario has appointed Naomi Myers as director, national business development. She will be based in Continued on page 29

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  November 2017  19

profile The Haigh family: son Alex, 14, wife Elizabeth, Graham, daughter Amanda, 12.

The ideal choice When Graham Haigh wasn’t hired for the public relations job he wanted, a different offer from the insurance department presented him with a short-lived dilemma. Haigh eventually accepted what seemed to him at first like the lesser job. Today, he is Wawanesa’s VP of business development. By Laurie Jones

Insurance People  November 2017  21


n 1994, Vancouver native Graham Haigh had plans for his newly minted degree in communication and economics from Simon Fraser University. He had applied for a public relations job at the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) but was not the successful candidate. However, an astute HR manager recognized his potential and invited him to work in the insurance department. “I said, ‘Absolutely not!’” recalls Haigh. “But I was straight out of school without a dime to my name and still living with my parents. After some convincing, I took the job.” His first position as an agent at the call centre came with extensive training opportunities. On days with lighter call loads, he studied for his CAIB designation. “I started to move throughout the BCAA organization and ended up running most of the components of the insurance division.” His roles included product management, underwriting management and administration management. “When I left BCAA after 12 years, and probably 20 job titles, I was the manager of claims and insurance systems.” Throughout his years at BCAA, Haigh developed solid relationships with staff and management, many of which he maintains today. One such connection is Scott McBride, chair of the board for Square One Insurance. “I recall Graham as having an ever optimistic and sunny personality,” he says. “‘How’s your day going?’ was a genuine greeting, and Graham was always interested in your reply.” That positive disposition, McBride says, was the starting point for Haigh’s ability to work well with teams, and to welcome others’ ideas. McBride adds that Haigh was versatile and tackled each new job asked of him with enthusiasm. “He was also a fast learner – swimming in the deep end. He has a good sense of humour, and the rest of the BCAA management team had a lot of fun with Graham. Once he was the butt of some diabolical fun, which he endured with good spirit.” The winds of change next blew Haigh to Gore Mutual, and within three years he was the general manager for the British Columbia region. His next move was to Wawanesa as the VP for B.C. and Yukon. “I think I was the first external regional vicepresident hired at Wawanesa in 25 years,” he says. “At the time I was in my late 30s, and it was a fun role to take on.” After six years in that position, he moved to Winnipeg to run Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwest Ontario for the company. In his current position as Wawanesa’s VP, business development, Haigh has garnered 22  November 2017  Insurance People

Haigh plays hockey and is a big fan of the game. His family has adopted three teams: the Vancouver Canucks, the Winnipeg Jets and the Arizona Coyotes.

Tell us a story! Insurance People magazine has several monthly columns which draw from the lives and experiences of the folks who make the p&c insurance industry in Canada tick. If you know someone we should be talking to, or you would like to contribute your own story, please email your suggestions to


A kind of (good) gossip column – short items about the comings and goings of brokers, adjusters and insurance company employees. It includes promotions, retirements, obits, fundraising efforts, expansions, jokes, accomplishments and awards, mergers and acquisitions, announcements from the many industry groups and associations, the weird and the wacky.


Our travel experience column. If you have had an unusual (or embarassing/amusing!) travel adventure, share your tale.


This popular feature usually, but not exclusively, features owner/operators of brokerages, often in small-town or remote settings.

Reader-submitted photographs of industry events from across the country.

Q&A A one-page question-and-answer feature. We are always on the lookout for subjects from all regions of Canada, so send us your recommendations. Subjects are encouraged to be humorous! ACROSS CANADA


Insurance People  November 2017  23

respect from associates at all levels, including Jeff Goy, president and CEO at Wawanesa. “Graham is a great mix of operational, strategic and interpersonal skills wrapped up into a true student of the insurance industry,” he says. “I was very pleased when he accepted the move to Winnipeg to run our newly formed Man.Sask. region. We then ended up having some big shoes to fill when our long-serving vp of McBride business development, Chris Luby, left in 2016. Graham was the ideal choice, and I am more than confident he will continue to excel.” The goal of various position changes in the company was, ultimately, to move Haigh to a senior role. “It happened a little quicker than planned when Chris Luby retired,” he says. “I have now followed Chris into two jobs. At one point he was the VP for BC and Yukon, two regional vice-presidents before me.” Within the scope of his work, Haigh clocks a lot of travel miles, and attends conventions for insurance broker as-

sociations across the country. “The fun part is that after attending the Insurance Brokers Association of New Brunswick/ Nova Scotia convention in Halifax last fall, I’d been to every single convention across Canada for brokers associations, with the exception of Quebec,” he says. “There are a lot of really good people in our industry, and I think there is a great future for young brokers as they move along.” Another passion for Haigh in the insurance industry is training. As an instructor for several years in B.C., he received an Instructor of the Year award. “I was heavily involved with the general insurance and risk management program at BCIT [British Columbia Institute of Technology]. I also sat on the WICC BC board for a number of years.” Even with a work schedule as busy as his, Haigh always carves out time for his family – his wife of 19 years, Elizabeth, his son Alex, 14, and daughter Amanda,

who is 12. When his kids were young, the family often went to Hawaii. Now it’s a place in Phoenix that they love going to. Haigh plays hockey, and as big fans of the game, his family has adopted three teams: the Vancouver Canucks, the Winnipeg Jets, and the Arizona Coyotes. “The only problem is none of them made the playoffs last year.” After moving from B.C. to Winnipeg, Haigh immediately signed up for a couple of hockey teams. Hitting the links is another way for Haigh to unwind. “One of the things I’m proud of is a hole-in-one I got a couple of years ago while golfing in Phoenix,” he says. “It was in front of my older brother, which made it worth so much more.” The future looks bright for Graham Haigh, and being a part of the Wawanesa team during the company’s 120th anniversary Goy celebrations is icing on the cake for the guy whose career path took an unexpected detour, landing him squarely on the path to success in the insurance industry. IP


Email: Property | Casualty | Construction | Inland Marine | Professional | Environmental | Hospitality

24  CDN November 2017  Insurance People UW Half Page - Manufacturing.indd 1 7/20/2017 3:56:47 PM

profile Fitzpatrick with her husband, Gabriel, and daughter, Eleanor. They are also expecting another baby.

Change maker Chelsea Fitzpatrick held fast to advice she got from her dad Bryan when she first decided to join the family brokerage: follow your dream and passion. Along the way, that passion has included turning discarded cabinets into London phone booths.  By John Lekich

Insurance People  November 2017  25


meeting interesting people every day. Speaking of change, Fitzpatrick and helsea Fitzpatrick is “The people you speak to every day, eveher husband Gabriel have a three-yearthe VP of Operations ryone who walks into the office – they’re old daughter, Eleanor, and are expecting at Burnaby, B.C.’s all totally different.” another baby. “My husband says he’s Park Insurance. At childproofed the house and made every28, Fitzpatrick was Fitzpatrick’s dad Bryan – a former thing secure,” she laughs. “But I’m pretty recently named president of the Insurance Brokers Assosure he’s just using that as an excuse 2017’s Rising Star by ciation of BC and a highly respected name so that I’ll stop moving the furniture Salute BC. The award honours someone in the industry – gave her a treasured around.” from the next generation of B.C.’s insurpiece of advice when she was learning the Fitzpatrick – who continues to emance community “whose professional ropes. He told his daughter that if she was brace the side of her she happily refers contributions and dedication to excelgoing to join the industry it would have to to as “a goofball and an artist” – explores lence have already made them a leader be because she really wanted to – not just different forms of creativity away from and role model in our industry.” because it would be “an easy pass.” work. She’s tried painting, clay and Park Insurance has long been a fixture “For him, insurance isn’t just a job,” sculpture. While on maternity leave, she in the Greater Vancouver area. Founded she explains. “People love him, and for did a lot of furniture art, like turning in 1965 by Chelsea’s grandparents Joe and me to have the opportunity to observe cabinets into London phone booths. Beth Fitzpatrick, the family business has the way he cares for people in this indus“Now, I’m into crocheting and building expanded over the years to three offices try was huge. He’s a big believer in buildthree-dimensional sculptures out of felt.” and over 40 employees. Bryan Fitzpatrick ing relationships and making friends.” Fitzpatrick notes that at the broker– company president and Chelsea’s dad – Of her dad’s influence, she recalls: “He age she still draws on the combelieves in maintaining the brokermunication skills she learned as an age as a family business while taking entertainer. that extra step to make people happy. “You have to have the knowledge “It’s not just a family business,” and the expertise,” she says of worksays Chelsea. “We care about our ing in the insurance world. “But you clients as if they’re family. We have can deliver that knowledge in a way three generations of clients who that brightens a client’s day. It’s all trust and respect the values that my about getting the combination just grandparents built into the busiright.” ness. Those same values were really Garth Young, a senior manager at ingrained in my dad.” Aviva Canada, sees Chelsea’s profesDespite being a third-generation sional background outside insurinsurance broker, Chelsea didn’t ance as an inevitable asset. “I think grow up wanting to be part of the her early work with kids probably business. Her earliest memories of gave her the kind of patience that’s a helping out at the brokerage include benefit in this industry. I also see an the tedious task of stuffing mouneagerness in her to learn more and tains of paper into envelopes. “After that, I always swore up and down “We care about our clients as if they’re family. We have do more to help out, to be relevant that I’d never go into insurance,” she three generations of clients who trust and respect the and to take the lead in social platlaughs. values that my grandparents built into the business,” forms for Park Insurance.” While completing her degree, and says Chelsea Fitzpatrick of Park Insurance, started by Like her dad Bryan, Fitzpatrick is before joining the family business, a member of the B.C. Pond of the her grandparents in 1965. Fitzpatrick was a party entertainer, Blue Goose. A fraternal organization performing as a clown, princess, pirate really pushed me in terms of education of insurance industry professionals who and other characters. and made sure that I was constantly contribute to charitable causes in their In addition to performing, she growing. He made it clear that I wasn’t communities. As a member, she chaired worked full-time as the company’s office going to get an easy shot.” Her dad held the 2016 A.Z. Delong Golf Tournament manager, selling services, coordinating her to a high standard, and her perforand founded their Annual Month of schedules, hiring employees and talking mance reviews with him were “pretty Caring. to customers and vendors. But when strenuous.” Wendy Knizek is an independent offered the chance to launch her own “It was all to prove that I really wanted adjuster with Can West Claims and entertainment company, she sought her it.” president of the B.C. Pond of the Blue dad’s opinion first. Over the years, she quickly adapted to Goose. As Knizek explains, Fitzpatrick He suggested she work at Park Insurher various roles in the family business has worked to promote the organization’s ance, both to gain a new perspective for – from ICBC agent to personal lines, mancharitable component. her business courses and to explore busiager, niche broker and commercial broker. “Chelsea took the reins so that in Febness in a corporate setting. She started Not content just to adapt to changes ruary we now have the Month of Caring helping out around the office. “Everyas they happen, Fitzpatrick likes to stay where she’s connected us with various thing about it felt so natural and right,” ahead of the curve. “I’ve always been charitable organizations. We spend the she recalls. “The people in our company, fearless,” she explains. “I’m a big lover of day feeding the homeless or helping in the customers. I couldn’t believe that I change. I’m constantly looking for new the store at the Union Gospel Mission. hadn’t done it years before.” challenges and working on how I can We have a billiards tournament coming Starting out in the business meant make something even better.” up that includes donating to the Food 26  November 2017  Insurance People

Bank. She’s really implemented a lot of that on her own.” “Giving back is just second nature to her,” adds Knizek. “She’s a very caring person and she’s very tenacious. She’ll make anything work and she always does it with a positive and energetic attitude.” Both the brokerage and Fitzpatricks are strong supporters of the Women In Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC) and the Michael Cuccione Foundation, a B.C.-based organization that raises money for cancer research. Brokeragebased activities include everything from collecting garbage at local parks to face painting for charity. “In my family, volunteering is really important,” explains Fitzpatrick. She began volunteering as a child, joining her father’s efforts to raise money and awareness for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “We’re big believers in helping people and support a lot of causes important to our employees.” For Fitzpatrick, it’s simply the right thing to do. “If I go to an event and there’s no benefit to others, it just doesn’t feel right.” The block party she and her husband threw when they first moved into their neighbourhood was for charity. “For me, it doesn’t make

sense not to incorporate it.” One cause is especially important to Fitzpatrick: increasing awareness of mental illness and ending the stigma around it. “We have a very challenging history in my family surrounding mental illness and addiction,” she explains. “Especially

“Giving back is just second nature to her. She’s a very caring person and she’s very tenacious. She’ll make anything work and she always does it with a positive and energetic attitude.” Wendy Knizek, with Can West Claims and president of the B.C. Pond of the Blue Goose

with my mother. It’s something we all grew up with. And it was really hard watching my dad struggle through it.” On coping with a loved one with mental illness or addiction issues, she adds: “It’s one of those things where you think you’re different and you don’t think you can talk about it. But as soon as we

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opened up about it to our friends at work and in the industry, the understanding and support we received was huge.” Fitzpatrick has her Mental Health First Aid Responder Certificate, having attended a two-day program through the Mental Health Association of Canada. The program teaches how to offer help to someone who may be going through a mental crisis. “Whether you’re at Costco and someone is having a panic attack or a relative is having a hard time,” she explains, “It’s something that applies to your entire life.” Fitzpatrick found the course so invaluable and empowering that the brokerage has enrolled interested staff members in the certificate program. “One in every five Canadians is diagnosed with a mental health crisis each year,” she says. (For more information and to find a course near you, please visit Fitzpatrick is characteristically modest when asked how it feels to win Salute BC’s Rising Star Award. As far as she’s concerned, she’s simply doing her part in an industry that has a long and proud tradition of public service. “The people in this industry have huge hearts,” she says. “They’ve always been incredibly giving. It’s just what we do.” IP

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Insurance People  November 2017  27

making moves

Email Making Moves suggestions to

Wynward appoints new chairman Wynward Insurance Group has appointed Gregg Hanson as board chairman. He will replace Curt Vossen, who recently retired as chairman after serving for 15 years. Hanson has previously served as president and CEO of Wawanesa Insurance, and he’s now a director of Wynward as well as Wynward’s parent company, James Richardson & Sons. He’s also a former council member of the Insurance Institute of Manitoba, a past member of the Board of the Center for the Study of Insurance Operations, and a past chairman of the Insurance Institute of Canada, the Property & Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation, and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. “I’m delighted to become chairman of Wynward,” Hanson said. “The company has seen strong profitable growth with an energetic, passionate and hard-working team. I look forward to assisting the company to continue its momentum as a leading 100-per-cent n Canadian-owned commerso Han cial insurer.”

Henn joins Wawanesa

Wawanesa strengthened its growing presence in the U.S. with the addition of Chris Henn as president of its U.S. operations. Before joining Wawanesa, Henn held seniorlevel positions with Esurance, Nationwide and Progressive. “Wawanesa is a company that Henn operates with a very high level of integrity and truly cares about its customers and stakeholders,” said Henn. “I am honoured to be joining an organization informed by a rich heritage and strong values, and to have the


Continued from page 19

the Concord, Ont., office…Economical has committed as a major sponsor for the fourth consecutive year of the WakeUp Call Breakfasts in Atlantic Canada, donating $17,000 to help raise awareness of prostate cancer. In Ontario, Economical also donated $12,000 to the North

opportunity to uphold that culture while driving and executing the company’s growth strategy in the U.S. market.”

Changes at FirstOnSite Restoration

FirstOnSite Restoration has strengthened its National Broker Relations team with the promotion of Lindsay Donelson to the newly created role of VP, National Broker & Lloyd’s of London Portfolio. Donelson, who was instrumental Donelson in creating FirstOnSite’s White Glove Program, will play a vital role in streamlining com-

Wellington Health Care – Louise Marshall Hospital in Mount Forest. The donation, made in association with Coburn Insurance Brokers of Mount Forest, will help fund the purchase of a new centralized cardiac monitoring system…Myron Zaharia has relocated from ClaimsPro’s office Zaharia

munication and ensuring transparency between insurance customers. Also at FirstOnSite, Dennis Van Luit was promoted to the newly created role of Director of Operations-Ontario. He’ll be supporting the growth of the Ontario Region, ensuring performance related Van Luit to KPIs and workflow, working with Branch Operations to improve overall efficiencies, and providing support to the local branches.

Frank Cowan adds VP

Ian Morewood has joined the Frank

Cowan Company as VP, underwriting, public entity. Morewood has more than 25 years of underwriting experience as well as a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Waterloo. Morewood

New SVP at Sonnet

Roger Dunbar has joined Sonnet

Insurance, a completely online insurance company, as its SVP. Dunbar will lead a multi-year strategy to establish Sonnet as the leading Canadian digital insurer. “Sonnet is a rare opportunity to effect change in the insurance indusDunbar try,” said Dunbar. “The boldness of the Sonnet launch attracted me to the brand, and I’m driven to work with this amazing team to deliver success for the business and our customers.” IP

in Edmonton to work from the Burnaby, B.C. office serving the Lower Mainland of the province. Zaharia specializes in policy and coverage analysis, liability determination, and loss quantification… Gore Mutual has been certified as a Great Workplace for the second time by Great Place To Work Canada. The certification is based on feedback from employees. Continued on page 36 Insurance People  November 2017  29

Canadian P&C Insurance: A great many players. In perfect harmony with millions of Canadians.

2016 IBAC Full Partners

SUPPORTERS: SGI Canada, Everest Participants: Lloyd’s Underwriters, Pafco, Aviva, Northbridge A great many insurers underwrite the security and peace of mind of literally millions of Canadians. And they do so with great professionalism, with unimpeachable integrity, and truly Canadian compassion. These are the values shared with each other and with the 36,000 brokers represented by the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada, and it is this mutual respect and support that creates such harmony in our industry. For this, we thank you.

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Bandhavgarh National Park is a 1,161-square-km wildlife reserve with one of the highest densities of tigers in India.

Expedition to tiger country By Paul Featherstone

The guides would listen for the bird and monkey calls that warn of a tiger nearby, and look for cat-paw prints in the red sand of the dusty jeep trails.


o celebrate the special occasion of my wife’s 50th birthday, we took a monthlong tour of India. We spent most of our trip in Rajasthan, the fascinating northern region that borders Pakistan, where the Moghuls built their palaces and forts in the 18th century. We also took a side trip to the holy city of Vara-

nasi, which sits on the Ganges River in the neighbouring province of Uttar Pradesh. But for this short article I want to share our experiences of a remote area in the central province of Madhya Pradesh. Getting to Bandhavgarh National Park – a 1,161-square -km wildlife reserve with one of the highest densities of tigers in India – is no small feat. From Delhi we took a 90-minute flight to Jabalpur, where just before we landed the airport seemed to appear out of nowhere. From there,

a five-hour ride in a jeep took us deep into the heart of the Indian countryside to the town of Umaria. Then after another 40 minutes of bumping along a primitive road, we arrived at a small resort supposedly close to the main gate at Bandhavgarh. We would have been truly and totally lost had we relied on our own devices. Thank goodness for arranging everything in advance! Tiger country wasn’t what I’d imagined: an overgrown jungle like in the movies,

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festooned with tropical vines. The countryside is hilly, covered in shrubs and tall grasses. The forests are filled with deciduous Sal trees and bamboo. Although the days are moderately warm, the nights are cold. We shivered through the early mornings of our expeditions until the sun got strong enough to warm us up. In tiger country, tigers share their domain with leopards, jackals, fox, wild pig and deer-like sambar. Although leopards eluded us, we saw many species of birds and loads of monkeys or langurs. Black-faced langurs, common in many parts of India and sometimes revered, aren’t afraid of people. At our destination, however, they were wild and essential to finding tigers. The long process of getting to the reserve is perhaps typical of the paperwork-loving Indian bureaucracy. Still, in a place that’s potentially dangerous, you can’t be too careful: we chose a highly recommended guide for our open jeep tour. And, yes, “open” jeep means that nothing stands between you and wild and hungry 310-kilogram predators. Enough to

2016-12-07 3:00 PM

Through six expeditions into Bandhavgarh National Park, Featherstone was able to spot six tigers in their natural habitat.

make you a tad apprehensive. But let’s backtrack to the bureaucratic procedure. A convoy of jeeps clustered around a small elevated fort, with guides and drivers all clamouring to get permits approved for their clients, while at the same time, exchanging tracking tips and current information on tiger sightings.

Bengal tigers are the main attraction at Bandhavgarh National Park, but there are also more than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of birds.

When we first tried to enter the reserve we were sent off to another area, while others proceeded through the main gate. We were put off by this apparent unfairness but it eventually proved to be an advantage: we circled around to a less used area before quietly entering by ourselves, far from the maddening [sic]crowd. At first, our guide seemed to drive around randomly. Although we saw plenty of other wildlife, we had our hearts set on seeing tigers. Eventually, we figured out that our guide, not fluent in English, was listening intently for the bird and monkey calls that warn of a tiger nearby. We’d listen, then crawl along the dusty trail, looking for cat-paw prints in the red sand. After more stops over a couple of hours, and more animal cries and warnings, we slowly zeroed in on our target

area, eventually stopping. Silently, waiting with bated breath, looking around in all directions. Then – birds came fluttering out from the grass, monkeys shrieked and scattered. Merely 10 metres from our jeep a huge wild tiger, a striped mass of muscle and sinew, stalked calmly, majestically out of the tall grass. Flicking the tip of his tail, he ambled off, barely glancing at us with a cold green-yellow eye that still gives me the shivers. Throughout our six expeditions, we were fortunate to spot six tigers in their natural habitat. IP n    n    n

Paul Featherstone does marketing, promotions and business development for BlueCircle Insurance Brokers in Calgary. You can read more from Featherstone on his blog “Paul’s Ride Guide” at

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  November 2017  33



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Thunderbird Insurance in Victoria, B.C.

Where everyone is family By John Lekich


essica Asano is a third-generation insurance broker at Victoria’s Thunderbird Insurance. Founded by her grandfather Gene Potvin in 1974, the brokerage is a family business with deep roots in the community. And even deeper roots in the family. Since its inception, the brokerage has been the professional home for many of Asano’s relatives. It’s probably easier to list the family members who haven’t worked in the business at one time or another. Gene retired for good about 10 years ago. But, as Asano explains, 34  November 2017  Insurance People

the family legacy lives on through the generations. “Following my grandfather, the second generation came along. My Uncle Joe – the eldest son – was the second sales person in the office.” He was followed by Asano’s uncles Jim Potvin, David Potvin and Terry Smith. Then aunt Lorie Potvin and Asano’s mother Trish Holden joined the business. She and Lorie are now retired. Then came the third generation. In addition to Jessica, there’s Trish’s son – Solomon Potvin – Terry, and Terry’s daughter Nicole Smith, and Nicole’s brother Ryan Smith. Solomon’s sister Rebecca is also preparing to enter the business. “The whole family is thrilled that

Nicole and her husband Jay welcomed their first baby in March of this year,” says Jessica. She laughs, adding, “One of the fourth generation to potentially come to Thunderbird.” Although they try not to talk about insurance at family dinners, it isn’t easy. “But between spouses and children, there are a lot of people who aren’t as excited or interested in what we’re talking about,” she laughs. “So we try to keep it apart from family time.” Jessica joined the industry with an impressive entrepreneurial background. After returning to Victoria with the intention of attending university, she started working at the Victoria branch of Torrefazione Italia, a family-owned café

father. “His dedication and hard work We’ll meet them for lunch. Every client that would grow to include many locahas created an opportunity for every has an individual preference as to what tions throughout North America. single member of this family. Every day, they’re looking for from their broker. Asano grew with the organization, we honour that.” We try to meet their insurance needs opening new cafés throughout the in whatever way the client finds most United States and Canada, living in Her grandfather’s old-school stories convenient.” Vancouver, New York, Boston and Dallas. about getting started in insurance were I always say to clients that it doesn’t Her responsibilities included opening such an influence that Asano and her matter if it’s 12:30 on Christmas Eve new locations, training managerial staff, cousin Nicole actually tried to sell insuror the middle of a long weekend. If and staffing each new location. ance door-to-door just the way Gene had. something happens, you can pick up the Asano feels that all that travelling and “This was eight years ago,” she laughs. phone and get the number of anybody the people she met helped her develop “I mean, nobody sells door-to-door any in the family. We’ll make sure that you’re the crucial skills of problem solving and more. I’m a pretty outgoing person to taken care of.” flexibility in dealing with people. “The begin with. But knocking on someone’s That kind of service has been rewarded experience helped me grow into a strong door and saying: ‘I’m from Thunderbird person who focused on solutions, Insurance,’ – that’s hard.” someone who didn’t accept barriNot that she has any regrets. “It ers in life or business. It was really was definitely an experience,” she great.” says. “It gives you grit and builds When Torrefazione Italia sold character.” to Starbucks, Asano decided it Like others in the office, she still was time to make a professional relies on her grandfather for advice. change. “The driving force that got Asano estimates that between me into the family business was Gene and the entire family of realizing that, if you’re going to do brokers, there’s over 150 years of anything in life, it’s going to be 10 advice to rely on. “We’re so lucky times easier and thousand times to all be within a 20-minute drive. more rewarding when you’re pasBecause we can discuss things sionate about it.” that are close to our heart – both Asano discovered that the family on a family and a business level – business was a perfect fit – a feeling whenever we need to connect.” that extends to the brokerage’s Asano has three children – son employees. “People who work here Samuel and two daughters, Sena tend to stay for decades,” she says. and Saskja. She gets help from eve“My grandfather met his first secThe Thunderbird Insurance team includes (back row) ryone at the office when it comes retary in the shoe department at K- David Potvin, Terry Smith, Solomon Potvin, Jim Potvin, to balancing her professional life Mart and said: ‘I think you should (front row) Chelsea Hall, Jessica Asano and Nicole Smith. with the needs of her growing come work for me.’ He taught her family. “Everyone understands with an enduring trust. “We have three the ropes and she was with him for over that we’re all in this together,” she says. “I generations of clients, which is really a 36 years.” can relate to parents or business owners beautiful thing,” she says. “Insurance isn’t That first secretary still regularly visits when they’re tired or just trying to make generally the most emotional product Asano’s grandfather and the office. “My it through the day,” she adds. “That kind you can sell. But our unique approach grandfather has always had a knack for of understanding is important. To be able gives us the opportunity to celebrate the reading people. He always knew how to say: ‘We’re right there with you and we lives of clients – whether it’s the birth to find the most outstanding people, want to help.’” of a baby or the opening of a business. sometimes in the most ordinary places. For Asano, it’s all part of the job she It provides a window on the way things I’m sure he’s passed down that gift to the loves. “To be in this industry, you have to should always be.” rest of us.” enjoy the public,” she observes. “You have That family feeling in the brokerage The philosophy of the brokerage? “To to be able to connect. Insurance isn’t an extends to both the industry and combe here when our clients need us the easy thing for people to understand. But munity service. Asano is the current presmost,” she explains. “They place a lot of if you’re passionate about what you do ident of the Victoria Insurance Brokers trust in us and we take that very seriand why you do it, you’re going to make Association as well as a board member of ously. We’re always striving to find them it relatable.” the Insurance Brokerage Association of the best coverage available. We all know She remains grateful for the many British Columbia. She belongs to a local very well that, if it weren’t for our clients, opportunities her grandfather created business-networking group that is active we wouldn’t be here.” through Thunderbird Insurance. “I think in charity work. The brokerage and staff “The core value of the whole office is that, at one point, all of us has a brief are big supporters of the United Way – a that we treat everyone like family, includthought that we would never join the charity that Gene Potvin has supported ing our clients. We really strive to make family business because you think you for many years. that personal connection with every clineed to do something on your own,” she “He’s still very much the inspiration ent. That’s the foundation of our success. says. “But, at the end of the day, there’s behind this office,” she says of her grandWe’ll go to their homes, their businesses. just no better place to be.” IP

Insurance People  November 2017  35


By the numbers: Drivers’ bad habits

Canadians’ habits behind the wheel indicate they aren’t as good as they think. According to a recent belairdirect survey by Leger Research, 95 per cent of Canadians think they’re good drivers, but 93 per cent have admitted to at least one bad habit behind the wheel. For example, the survey found:  • Drivers aged 18-44 are significantly more likely to admit to having used their cellphone, updated a map or GPS, removed an article of clothing such as a jacket, or applied make-up while driving.  • Three in 10 drivers admit to having driven through a red light and disobeyed road signs.  • 14 per cent of drivers have engaged in romantic/intimate activities while driving.  • Three per cent of drivers have flossed while driving.  • 79 per cent said they would be willing to give up at least one bad habit if offered a monetary incentive. They were most willing to limit their cellphone use, including sending a text, checking their phone or talking on their phone while driving.  • Nearly one in 10 drivers were unwilling to give up any of their bad habits even for a monetary incentive. IP


Continued from page 29

Gore Mutual was also certified as a Great Workplace in 2015…Mona El-Behairy has joined rmsQuantify as business development manager, central region. She will be based in Markham, Ont…Beazley Canada has appointed Miki Ho as cyber-risk unEl-Behairy derwriter, working from the Toronto office. Ho joins Beazley from Allianz where he was a senior underwriter for cyber and professional liability risks… Crawford & Company Canada has added John Valeriote and Ashley Misurka to its Global Technical Services division. Valeriote will lead the property appraisal practice and handle complex claims. Misurka will manage Crawford’s new property appraisal and claims services branch. IP 36  November 2017  Insurance People

Canada’s Insurance

Litigation Forum Harper Grey’s Insurance Law Group includes Nigel Trevethan, chair, Jennifer Woznesensky, Steven Abramson, Jonathan Meadows and Kim Yee.

Navigating the changing marketplace Harper Grey stays flexible, proactive and technologically progressive

adv e rtisi n g

S uppl e m e n t

Insurance People  November 2017  37

Contents 43 Carfra Lawton

Court case highlights the question of legal causation

51 CEP-Sintra

Technology and experts needed for full claim picture

53 Envista

Need for a structural engineer for fire damage repair

50 Feature:

© Yu

Bias in forensic investigations

41 Harper Grey

44 MDD Forensic Accountants

Lenders’ losses resulting from professional negligence

The advantages wof infotainment and telematics in vehicles

45 MKA Canada

55 Singleton Urquhart

Twenty years of experience supporting the team

47 Richards Buell Sutton Damages available from human-rights claims are rising

54 Richard van Leeuwen Neon signs signal deeper look into fire investigation

Embracing the opportunities brought about by change

38  November 2017  Insurance People


adv e rtisi n g

S uppl e m e n t

Concerns about cyber insurance coverage

Ad Index Carfra Lawton LLP....................42 CEP Sintra.................................51 Envista Forensics.......................52 Harper Grey LLP.......................39 MDD Forensic Accountants.....44 Michael O’Meara & Company.56 MKA Canada.............................45 Richard van Leeuwen................54 Richards Buell Sutton LLP........46 SAMAC Engineering.................49 Singleton Urquhart LLP...........55

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Steven Abramson, an insurance lawyer at Harper Grey and a newly-minted partner, discusses some of the ways Harper Grey has adapted to the rapidly changing technology and the evolving needs of clients.

40  November 2017  Insurance People

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Navigating the changing marketplace


tion. This efficient innovation in the document he speed of technological change, review process reduces costs. Another example is rapidly evolving consumer-centric the drive to a paperless office, which eludes many cultures and changing cost struclaw firms, and remote access to lawyers, which tures continue to have a profound lowers overhead costs. impact on multiple industries, “We are committed to using a variety of including insurance and the law technologies to allow for more flexible access. As firms that assist the insurance industry. a result, more work is being done remotely by Harper Grey has adapted to these changes Harper Grey lawyers who have moved outside the by being flexible, proactive and technologically boundaries of Greater Vancouver,” Abramson says, progressive. We have embraced the opportunities “although because of current technology, it’s as if brought about by this sea change. those people are in the office next door.” Steven Abramson, an insurance lawyer at Harper Insurance companies are streamlining their Grey and a newly-minted partner, discusses some operations and they expect their of the ways Harper Grey has adapted. A mid-sized B.C. busi“You have to adapt law firms to do the same. HarpGrey pays close attention ness and litigation firm founded and know what the er to the technological advances in 1907, Harper Grey has a wellinsurance companies employ to established insurance law group clients want and make sure they are in step. that has grown steadily over the need, to provide Harper Grey’s priority, years. Always a hallmark of the firm, them with services Abramson says, is on excellent customer service. It is especially flexibility has grown in imporin the form that critical in a dynamic and evolvtance in recent years. For example, some clients have requested a more meets those needs.” ing marketplace to keep in close contact with clients to better tiered approach to legal services. understand their ever-changing needs. As Abramson says, “Our size and diversity of “We’re constantly seeking feedback from clients practice allow us to assign our resources from to ensure satisfaction levels remain high and to client to client on an as-needed basis without find out what they need and what we can do to compromising quality of service. One way provide better service and add further value. You we approach a tiered preference is by having have to adapt and know what the clients want and the most experienced lawyers and paralegals need, to provide them with services in the form look after the most complex files where more that meets those needs.” experience is necessary. More routine tasks that Harper Grey serves regional, national and do not require the same level of experience multinational insurers and represents major selfor expertise are provided by junior lawyers or insured businesses working with their insurance paralegals who can provide services at a lower partners to resolve claims. It also works with rate without in any way compromising the professional associations to develop and defend benchmark level of service.” errors and omissions claims and risk-management With more than 60 lawyers at all levels of programs. experience, Abramson says Harper Grey is well “We know the insurance industry inside and prepared to accommodate a full range of client out and appreciate the rapid pace of change it is preferences. experiencing,” Abramson says. “It’s our privilege Technology is another area the firm focuses on to work with our insurer clients and support them to enhance the value that they provide to their inas their industry continues to transform and they surer clients. By continually investing in research, adapt to an unfolding future.” technology, training, and the implementation The Harper Grey offices are located in downof new products and systems, the firm delivers town Vancouver in the Scotia Tower at 650 West services more efficiently and cost-effectively. Georgia Street. For more information about For example, the firm’s in-house e-Discovery Harper Grey and its staff and services, visit specialists use litigation support software to IP lyze and produce electronically stored

Insurance People  November 2017  41

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Case of the Red Balloon building


Faulkner had an empty lot with a hefty mortgage and property tax bill. Faulkner alleged that the City was negligent for the backhoe collision, street construction and park sprinkling, and sought judgment for $550,000 in unsuccessful building repairs, $431,000 in demolition costs, $693,000 to construct a new building, $700,000 for lost toystore profits, $190,000 for rental losses,

to the rotting wood foundations. Major repairs at significant cost were needed very soon to continue using the building,” Martin says. “The impact from the backhoe did not cause or worsen the pre-existing problems. Unfortunately, the building Faulkner purchased turned out to be a liability.” “The judge found the plaintiff failed to prove the city was responsible for any-


he case of the Red Balloon building pitted a toy-shop owner against a city – and turned on the question of legal causation. Several million dollars were pursued over an eight-year proceeding that ended after a five-week trial and a judgment delivered by Justice Doug Thompson on August 10, 2017. In 2006, after a cursory inspection, Susan Faulkner bought a 100-year-old wooden building in a prime downtown location of Duncan, B.C., where she operated her Red Balloon Toy Shop and rented space to tenants. In January 2009 a City of Duncan employee, while removing snow with a backhoe, struck a corner post of the building, causing what appeared to be minor cosmetic damage. However, over the next months Faulkner claimed that her building was shifting and deteriorating. Over the next five years, everything that could go wrong with the building did go wrong, leading to its demolition in 2015. Faulkner also claimed that the irrigation system in an adjacent city park had for years damaged the east wall of her building. Then in June 2009 the city – and its contractor and co-defendant Chew Excavating – started a revitalization project of the street west of the building. Faulkner alleged that vibrations from the compaction work caused further damage. In August 2009 she moved her store down the street due to safety concerns. Faulkner filed a claim with her property insurer and, after lengthy investigations, plans were made to raise the building to replace the rotting wood of its foundations. But the building remediation was a disaster, causing damage to a neighbouring building, additional damage to the upper floors, and costs well above the original repair estimates that exhausted the policy coverage. By 2014 Faulkner’s building, sitting precariously on new foundations, was at risk of collapse. No insurance money was left to fix it. The City declared the building a safety hazard then ordered, and paid for, its demolition. By 2015

Carfra Lawton LLP, one of Victoria’s biggest law firms, handles insurance litigation on Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and throughout B.C. and the Yukon. Its clients include major domestic insurers, international insurers, self-insured organizations and numerous government agencies. Please visit our website at or call us at 250-381-7188.

$100,000 for lost opportunity to sell her business, and $195,000 in other expenses, totalling $2.8 million. Jeremy Martin and Neil Carfra, partners with Carfra Lawton LLP, represented the city. Martin says that the building’s problems related to its original condition, which he described as a crumbling structure. The judge rejected the plaintiff Faulkner’s argument that, although the building was vulnerable due to age and type of construction, it would have remained functional without needing significant repairs but for the defendants’ negligent acts. “The evidence of the engineers, lay witnesses, historical documents and photos confirmed the advanced settlement due

thing beyond cosmetic damage,” Martin says. All the other damage claimed related to the structure’s deteriorating state and its need for repair exacerbated by the poor decisions made by Faulkner’s various agents during the failed remediation. After a drawn-out case, the judge awarded Faulkner only $6,669 and no costs from the city to repair the cosmetic damage. “At first it didn’t look like a big case. None of the parties ever imagined that the repairs would fail so miserably and lead to demolition,” says Martin, who handled the city’s defence. From the start, the city held firm to its causation defence and persisted despite the mounting litigation expense. IP Insurance People  November 2017  43

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Determining damages in negligence cases involving banks, lenders By Ephraim Stulberg


anks rely on various professionals to help them assess the financial health of their borrowers. But sometimes these professionals make mistakes. As experts in quantifying economic damage, we at MDD are often asked to quantify the losses

44  November 2017  Insurance People

sustained by lenders as a result of professional negligence. The following case study illustrates some of the issues we consider. Bankco has advanced a line of credit to BorrowCo. The decision to lend money to BorrowCo was based on an analysis of BorrowCo’s financial health. The limit on the line of credit was set at 75 per cent of BorrowCo’s accounts receivable (AR). Bankco grows suspicious of the AR balances that BorrowCo has been reporting. It turns out that, without its accountant’s knowledge, BorrowCo is in deep financial trouble and has been manipulating its AR balances. Bankco calls its loan, forcing BorrowCo into re-

ceivership; it also sues the accountant for negligence for having failed to detect the manipulation. Bankco’s losses resulting from the accountant’s alleged negligence will be the difference between:   a) The amount of money it actually lost on its loan, and   b) The amount of money it would have lost had it been provided with accurate financial information. There are three steps to calculating this second amount. 1. The first step is to determine if a loan would have been issued based on correct information. We may find that Continued on page 56

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MKA Canada, INC.

Meet the leadership team MKA has more than 20 years of experience in providing technical advisory services in construction disputes and claims, quantum assessment and schedule analysis in construction matters.

Managing Director Canada:

Regional Manager Calgary:

Regional Manager Edmonton:

Regional Manager Toronto:

Regional Manager Winnipeg:

Barry Milliner

James Mahay

Rakesh Bandaru

Derrick Worthington

Etienne Nel






MKA Canada, Inc., a multidisciplinary construction consulting firm, provides creative solutions to the construction, legal and insurance industries. Our professional team assists in claim resolution with technical advisory services in: • Property Loss • Builder's Risk Insurance Claims • Construction Defect & Liability Insurance Claims

CALGARY 403.532.8662  Edmonton 780.628.6625  Toronto 289.521.8662  Winnipeg 204.202.7909 Insurance People  November 2017  45

Richards Buell Sutton LLP

Positioned and ready. Since 1871.

Thoughtful. Strategic. Experienced. Effective. Decades of Strategic Litigation Services for: · · · · · · ·

Property and casualty insurers Professional liability insurers Self-insured companies Risk management departments Municipalities Managing general agents Brokers and adjusters

Alex L. Eged | H. Scott MacDonald | C. Nicole Mangan |

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Workplace discrimination and its cost n 1924 a young Scottish nursemaid, Janet Smith, was murdered at the home where she worked in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood of Vancouver, B.C. A Chinese houseboy named Wong Foon Sing, who worked in the same house, was later kidnapped by people dressed in Ku Klux Klan-style clothing, and tortured for six weeks. His captors tried to force him to confess to Smith’s murder. Put on trial for murder Wong Foon Sing was acquitted for lack of evidence. The Chinese Benevolent Society had hired lawyer John H. Senkler to represent him. Senkler practised law with Albert Norton Richards, a founding partner of the firm known today as Richards Buell Sutton LLP. The case was never solved, but its investigation drew attention to the lives of Vancouver’s wealthy — and the impact of discrimination. Today, legislation that includes B.C.’s Human Rights Code is designed to prevent, or provide a remedy for, acts of discrimination or human rights violations. The Code applies to areas of everyday life such as employment, tenancies and public services. It prohibits discrimination based on race, political belief, religion, marital or family status, disability, sex, gender identity, age and other “protected grounds.” Employers often juggle competing workplace interests, and must ensure they do not discriminate when hiring or promoting employees. This prohibition against discrimination applies even if the employer can’t “see” the protected ground that applies — for example, an employee’s mental disability. Emotions often run high for everyone involved when someone complains of discrimination. For the insurance industry — added to this mix of rights, obligations and



By C. Nicole Mangan

Legislation that includes B.C.’s Human Rights Code is designed to prevent, or provide remedy for, acts of discrimination or human rights violations. Employment is one area covered by the Code, and it prohibits discrimination based on race, political belief, religion, marital or family status, disability, sex, gender identity, age and other “protected grounds.”

emotions — is the impact of policies on employment practices liability (EPL). In some policies, the definition of “EPL Wrongful Act” includes “discrimination and harassment adversely affecting any employee.” Most policies address discrimination claims in some form. Coverage for workplace discrimination means that insurers must ask: What are the potential financial consequences of discrimination? Brokers, meanwhile, want to ensure that their clients know how proper coverage can protect them. The current high mark for a human rights award in B.C. is the case of Kelly v. University of British Columbia (No. 4), 2013 BCHRT 302. Dr. Kelly was enrolled in UBC’s Family Practice Residency Program, and spent part of his residency at St. Paul’s Hospital operated by the Providence Health Care Society. UBC terminated Dr. Kelly’s enrollment in its program after trying to accommodate his disability (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a Non-Verbal Learning Disability, and at times he had suffered from anxiety and depression). Corre-

spondingly, Providence terminated his residency, which was a termination of employment. Dr. Kelly filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT) alleging discrimination against him both in his employment and in his education, the latter of which would be a “service customarily available to the public.” UBC eventually reinstated Dr. Kelly and he completed the medical program. However, a claim for damages proceeded. Dr. Kelly was awarded $75,000 for injury to dignity and $385,194.70 for lost wages. The BCHRT also awarded Dr. Kelly certain expenses, a tax gross-up and interest. This BCHRT decision was upheld by the B.C. Court of Appeal: University of British Columbia v. Kelly, 2016 BCCA 271. Compensation, rather than punishment, is the goal of awards for injury to dignity. The facts of each case will determine the appropriate award for a complainant who has faced discrimination. Included in assessing the impact of the discrimination on the complainant are hurt feelings and damage to self-respect. Continued on page 56 Insurance People  November 2017  47

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Beyond law enforcement

How insurers can use infotainment and telematics vehicle’s ignition position, gear setting, odometer reading, and even braking activity and door position. Infotainment vs. telematics: What’s the difference?

By Ian Read and Steve MacInnis


Drivers connect to their devices, use navigation systems, and manage media through a single console. Behind that console, however, are two distinct systems for collecting data about the vehicle: infotainment and telematics. Put simply, telematics involves communications between the vehicle system and the outside world – for example, navigational systems – while infotainment refers to communication between the vehicle and

information such as the following:   • a vehicle’s location at any second during a trip   • which in-car systems were used   • whether doors had been opened or closed or headlights had been turned on or off If vehicle occupants pair a device with the car, the software reveals information such as the type of phone, contact lists, call and text logs, and even media files. The technician can then generate a report, which investigators can use to resolve claims or as evidence in criminal or civil cases.

he idea that our cars track our every move seems like something out of science fiction or the conspiracy theorist’s playbook – but it’s a reality. The communications and navigation systems in passenger vehicles record and save far more data than the average user sees on the console. That data was never meant to be extracted, but vehicle forensics innovator Berla has developed software and hardware that enables certified experts to access and analyze it. Much debate is swirling around the implications for our privacy rights, as these systems save personal data from devices paired with the system, as well as data collected merely by driving the vehicle. As technology evolves, legislation will have to more clearly delineate who owns – or can access – this data. Berla, a vehicle forensics innovator, has developed

Looking to the future


As insurance and technology become increasingly intertwined, infotainment and telematics will play an ever larger role in claim investigations. At SAMAC, we know that it makes sense to stay at the forefront of this shift, which is why one of our experts, Ian Read, has taken the Berla iVe certification. With his background in electrical and systems-integration engineering, he’s ideally suited to applying this new technology. While the Berla technology is not yet mainstream, each release brings new advances, and the list of vehicles supported by the software software and hardware that enables certified experts to is constantly growing. Coupled Beyond law enforcement Law enforcement agencies use access and analyze data from the communications and with our collision and accidentreconstruction services, our foray this technology more and more navigation systems in passenger vehicles. into infotainment and telematics often to conduct investigations. a mobile device, such as a phone. Using analysis can help insurers and law-enforceBut insurers also find this data valuable. GPS to navigate to a destination? That’s Although forensic engineers use “black ment agencies, among others, to get a clear telematics. Cueing up your favourite box” technology to reconstruct accidents, picture of how a vehicle and its passenger song? Infotainment. they usually catch a glimpse of only a may have contributed to an accident. IP n    n    n Accessing this stored information is few seconds directly before and after a not easy. Behind the easy-to-use screen collision. Steve MacInnis is the founder and presiof an in-car system lives a computer. But Infotainment and telematics may help dent of SAMAC Engineering. He has over 35 since there’s no standardization between build a clearer picture of the events beyears of mechanical and engineering experience, automakers, a technician needs a host of fore an accident – information especially and has been part of over 2000 failure analyses cables and interfaces – and the knowvital to resolving complicated claims. and vehicle accident reconstructions. how to use them – to download the data Infotainment and telematics can help Ian Read is Berla iVe-certified expert in in the Berla iVe software. It can then take determine if a driver was using a mobile electrical and systems engineering. He focuses up to eight hours to extract the data and device before a collision, pinpoint the on investigating electrical and electronic device prepare it for use. vehicle’s speed and location, and reveal failures for SAMAC, and has experience in A Berla-certified expert can then the vehicle’s precise path. These systems product development, systems engineering, and search through the data for meaningful can also provide such information as the reliability analysis. 48  November 2017  Insurance People

Answers You Can Depend On 25 years and thousands of clients have made us the go-to shop for failure analysis services in Western Canada. Our experts handle investigations of any size and complexity, using proven methods and advanced analysis tools. • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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Bias in forensic investigations By Doug D. Perovic


hether because of more distracteddriving collisions, increasing product failures in the construction industry, or November as the country’s fall-off-a-ladder month, forensic investigators are busier than ever helping insurance and law firms determine liability and assess damages. Hired to analyze evidence from disasters, accidents and product failures that cause personal injuries and monetary losses, forensic engineers are expected to determine causality impartially. This semester, the University of Toronto launched certificate programs in forensic engineering at both the undergraduate and graduate levels — a first in Canada. These programs provide students with the opportunity to acquire specialized skills in engineering investigation that will complement their design skills. At the start of every class in the core course on forensic engineering, the instructor asks students this question: “How does the same physical evidence from an incident lead to diametrically opposed expert opinions, reports and testimony in the courtroom?” The answer stems from one or more of the following contributing factors in an expert investigation:   • area of expertise   • scope of the forensic investigation   • assumptions made   • methodology used   • bias When hiring an expert, insurers or lawyers must be very clear about their expectations and the scope of the work. The expert should be able to distinguish between facts (known or assumed) and opinions. Early in the process, the clients and lawyers should discuss how the investigation method will ensure defendable conclusions. The courts continue to pay close attention to ensuring impartiality and preventing bias in expert opinions. Although cognitive bias has many different definitions, three forms of bias appear to be the most common in expert opinion evidence: association bias, expectation bias and confirmation bias. Association bias is an allegiance to the employers we may want to please in order to secure future work. Experts may sub50  November 2017  Insurance People

consciously — or even consciously — change their opinions to adopt their client’s legal position. An expert may feel pressured to please the patron through selective presentation. Conversely, experts must avoid clients who are looking for a “hired gun” to support their position and ignore damaging information. Expectation bias results from focusing early in an investigation on theories and information that prematurely predict the outcome. Behavioural research shows that people tend to stick to those details or impressions that come first. Experts must ask for all the available facts — not just those that clients or litigators consider relevant. Experts must consider all possible causes and factors, even those that at first appear unlikely. Confirmation bias — also known as tunnel vision — leads those who desire a particular outcome to search only for supporting evidence and to ignore contradictory information. Experts tend to favour findings that are consistent with their earlier ones. For example, consider a collision between two vehicles, which resulted in the failure of a welded structural part in one of the automobiles. A metallurgical examination of the weld fracture that reveals extensive imperfections may lead a biased expert to conclude that the weld was deficient. But what if mechanical stress analysis later predicts that the imperfect weld could withstand normal operating conditions? Although the failed component was imperfect in the engineering sense, it was not defective in the legal sense — and thus represents a result rather than the cause of the crash. Preventing an expert’s biased decision-making requires the client to carefully assess the expert’s qualifications for each and every case. Respect in an expert’s field of study is necessary — but not enough. Clients should determine whether they’re hiring an “expert witness” or a “witness with expertise.” Ultimately, it’s the factual and physical evidence that speaks most loudly — it has no opinion, no bias and never lies. Finally, the insurance industry is under pressure to reduce costs when it selects forensics firms and defines the scope of work. Small and seemingly low-risk matters may prompt clients to seek out low-cost experts. However, everyone should guard against the false sense of security that comes from believing “this will never go to trial.” Expert opinion, such as that obtained though sound forensic engineering investigations, should not be viewed as a commodity. One wouldn’t ask a surgeon performing surgery on a loved one to do the job as cheaply as possible. Choose experts with the ability and experience to understand the whole problem — and then allow them to conduct a thorough analysis that will answer all the key questions. IP n    n    n

Doug D. Perovic is a professor, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, at the University of Toronto.

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Technology’s effect on claims investigation By Mark Hughes P.Eng., CFEI


he explosion of technology is happening at a phenomenal pace and shows no sign of abating. These changes have profoundly affected our lives, but in some ways they have happened progressively in a way that we often don’t notice. It makes investigating insurance losses more interesting and challenging at the same time. This is particularly the case

with claims involving vehicles but also applies to many property losses. How have these changes effected the investigation of car collisions? What about property loss incidents; will surveillance (and the internet of things) affect our understanding of the causes of fires or floods? When claims are investigated, adjusters need to know what happened. Can technology help us understand what occurred any better than previous generations? Perhaps. The reality is, with new technology comes the need to understand how that technology works to ensure that the data recorded is actually helpful. Many casualty adjusters think that downloading the vehicle’s Event Data Recorder (EDR) modules will tell them everything that happened in a collision.

Although EDRs record a range of information from the incident and can provide invaluable insight into what happened during a collision, vehicle manufacturers design their vehicles quite differently from one another with limited sharing of systems or approaches. As a consequence, what the EDR modules record, and how they record, often differs between manufacturers. A simple download, with no interpretation, may or may not accurately represent what actually happened during a collision. For example, many vehicles record seatbelt status (buckled/unbuckled). However, if power loss occurs during a collision, the status may be incorrectly recorded and must be verified by physical evidence. If only the results of an EDR download are considered, you may be under a false impression of what really happened. Similarly, for property adjusters, many fire alarm systems provide sequential details on sensors as they trip during a fire. However, the location of the communication wiring can often mean that some sensors show false conditions because the wiring has been damaged. Sometimes Continued on page 56

Moncton I Quebec City I Montreal I Ottawa I Toronto I Edmonton I Calgary I Vancouver


east to west Coast-to-coast forensic engineering services CEP-Sintra is Canada’s largest independent forensic engineering firm, with eight offices across the country from Moncton to Vancouver. Whether it is a property loss or a collision investigation we can help when you need to know what happened. Get the answers you need, when you need them.

Talk to one of our experts today

at 877 244 6251 or

Insurance People  November 2017  51

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The four stages of repairing fire-damaged buildings the engineer requests material testing to ensure that the remaining members are structurally sound. The design phase starts in conjunction with the demolition phase but ideally ends before the demolition is complete. A consulting team prepares design documents and drawings, used for tendering and construction, to submit as part of the application for building permits.

By Payman Hosseini



ires can cause significant damage to buildings — and so can the water and chemicals used to fight those fires. The extent of the damage determines if the buildings are repaired or demolished and rebuilt. The insurer’s goal is to return its policyholder’s building to its pre-loss condition as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. A repair and restoration project has four stages: damage assessment, demolition, design and permit applications, and reconstruction. All phases require an experienced structural engineer. The damage-assessment stage starts right after the fire is put out. The aim is to determine the extent of the damage, and more importantly to identify any safety concerns. Unstable areas of the building may pose a danger to the public, fire investigators and construction crews. A structural engineer needs to assess the damage at the site to identify these hazardous areas. The engineer will then provide instructions for either blocking access to these unstable sections, removing them altogether or adding temporary supports. The demolition phase involves removing the building’s damaged parts, both structural and non-structural. Also removed are any salvageable non-structural components as well as any building finishes like flooring and drywall that were damaged by water. A scope document – prepared with the structural engineer – outlines the extent of the demolition. This stage also provides the engineer with an opportunity to assess those structural members that were once hidden behind the finishes and that could not be examined during the first damage-assessment stage. Sometimes,

authorities. For instance, upgrading a building’s foundation for seismic loads is very expensive yet fire rarely affects the foundation. A feasible solution may be to seismically upgrade the building only up to the foundation’s capacity. The construction phase of repairs starts after the demolition phase is complete and after the authorities issue a building permit. At this stage, the struc-

A repair and restoration project after a building fire has four stages – damage assessment, demolition, design and permit applications, and reconstruction – all of which require an experienced structural engineer.

The building authorities often ask for code upgrades at this stage. Canada’s National Building Code is issued every five years, and older buildings won’t meet many of the new upgrades. These upgrades could affect fire-suppression systems, fire separations, energy and seismic ratings, wind loads and electrical wiring, to name a few. The design consultants negotiate the extent of the upgrades with the building authorities. The seismic upgrading of buildings in earthquake-prone regions is one of the code’s main upgrades. Seismic upgrading can be expensive and may push the cost of the repairs above policy limits. A structural engineer can perform a seismic analysis of the building, and recommend reasonable upgrades to the

tural engineer provides contractors with technical support, and ensures that their work meets the design requirements. A structural engineer is heavily involved from the early stages right up to the completion of the repair and restoration project. Hiring professionals with previous experience is important. Forensic structural-engineering firms that work primarily on restoration projects have the necessary expertise and experience. IP n    n    n

Payman Hosseini, P.Eng, M.Eng, is a project engineer at Envista Forensics. His seven years of experience as a project engineer and a professional structural engineer include project design and construction ranging from small renovations to new multi-million-dollar commercial and government buildings. Insurance People  November 2017  53

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richard van leeuwen

Neon signs light up our lives



eon signs have a colourful history in Vancouver and many other cities. My favourite was the rotating “W” on top of the Woodward’s building in the downtown east side. Another gem is The Only restaurant sign, recently restored, also in Vancouver’s downtown east side. The long glass tubes of a neon sign are filled at low pressure with a gas and ionized using electrodes at each end. If neon is the gas used, the tube or lamp will produce a red light when ionized, and mixing different gasses can produce over 100 different colours. Neon lamps were invented by Georges Claude and patented on January 19,

uses the term “high-voltage luminous discharge tube.” Today’s “neon” signs consist of tubes that are about five feet long and powered with special transformers that limit the current to a suitable level. The transformers may supply as much as 15,000 volts (7,500 volts-toground), and that’s when electrical safety becomes a concern. But the risk of electrocution is not high since most of the transformers limit the electrical current to about 30 mA, and for most people currents of 100 to 200 mA are lethal. But getting a shock from a neon sign is Neon signs are one of the charms of large cities, and unpleasant, and I met someone investigating a fire at or near a neon sign should who was traumatized by the include a detailed inspection of all the high-voltage experience. A neon sign installed corwiring in the structure. rectly under the provisions of the Canadian Electrical Code is safe. Most fires started by neon signs result from a failure to adequately insulate the highvoltage transformer leads, allowing the current to leak away from the conductors and track across wood to ignite it. In one incident, a neon tube broke, and the electricity from the transformer arced across the wooden structure in two places. The p. eng. fire started in one of these places and the ENG I NEER evidence (black charred tracks across the wooden structure) remained, clearly visible, in the other. Two other fires that I investigated started when workmen, after removing the neon sign, left the transformer energized with wires still in the wooden structure. Investigating a fire at or near a neon sign should include a detailed inspection of all the high-voltage wiring in the structure. Of course, any Canadian Electrical Code violation should be carefully documented. Signs illuminated by fluorescent and LED lamps are gradually replacing neon signs — but their colourful presence remains one of the charms of our large cities. IP 1915. We call them neon lamps even though neon may not be used in the tubes. The Canadian Electrical Code

By Richard van Leeuwen P Eng

Richard van Leeuwen ELECTRICAL

Electrical Claims Investigation Expert Witness 30 years of industrial electrical experience 1540 Lawson Ave., West Vancouver, B.C.  V7V 2C9 Office 604-922-9386 Residence 604-922-9339 E-mail:

54  November 2017  Insurance People

n    n    n

Richard van Leeuwen is an electrical engineer and forensic investigator specializing in electrical failures.

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Cyber policies

Square pegs into round holes? By Elizabeth (Betsy) Segal


.S. court decisions involving coverage for losses arising from “cyber” events have increased dramatically in 2017. These cases should concern insurers as technology is constantly evolving and cyber criminals adapt quickly to those innovations.

cialty policies must be regularly reviewed for unintended gaps and exposures.

damages stem from new techno-frailties, and fraudsters exploiting weaknesses in the technology, which means assessing risk and determining coverage have become increasingly difficult. It is critical to consult legal counsel early about coverage in the cyber context. Further, your counsel’s assessment of policy wording is essential to ensure the intentions of both client and insurer are aligned. IP

Assessment by legal counsel

Traditional losses such as business interruption, and both first and third party

n    n    n

Elizabeth (Betsy) Segal is a partner at Singleton Urquhart LLP.

“Cyber” coverage in Canada

Described as Canada’s first cyber coverage decision, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta found that a company’s commercial crime policy did not cover financial losses resulting from fraud facilitated by email: The Brick Warehouse LP v. Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, 2017 ABQB 413. The facts are straightforward. The Brick’s accounts payable department was convinced through telephone and email communications to deposit payments due to one of its suppliers into a new bank account. It was later discovered that the new bank account didn’t belong to the supplier. The Brick sought to recover the loss from its insurer, Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, under the “fraudulent funds transfer” terms of its crime policy. Chubb denied coverage. The Brick sued. The Court dismissed the Brick’s action because, although the Brick intended to insure against crime, and clearly the loss was initiated by a crime, the Brick itself requested the money transfers. To be covered, the policy required a third party to give fraudulent instructions to transfer the funds, without the Brick’s “knowledge or consent.”

Clearing the Path to Success With over 40 years of experience, we represent the insurance industry and consumers of its products in such areas as construction claims, professional and product liability, personal injury, property damage claims and insurance fraud. We also assist the industry in developing policy wordings and act as counsel on a wide variety of coverage issues.

Concerns about “cyber” policies

For insurers, these cases highlight two issues. First, although the Alberta decision doesn’t refer to any current cyber buzzwords (for example, hacking, ransomware or connectivity), it illustrates the challenge of trying to fit modern problems within traditional insurance terms. Today, most clients expect coverage for now commonplace cyber-based problems and crimes. Second, while many insurers have developed cyber products, ever evolving technology means wording in these

the problem solvers™

Learn more at:

Insurance People  November 2017  55

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mdd forensic Continued from page 44

BorrowCo’s finances were in horrible shape from the beginning, and that Bankco would have never advanced any money had it known that. If so, this is the end of the analysis: Bankco’s loss is the amount it actually lost. On the other hand, we may find that BorrowCo was in good shape when the line of credit was first set up, and that it would have met the bank’s

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lending criteria. It was only later that things took a turn for the worse. If so, we proceed to the second step in the analysis. 2. The second, two-stage step is to look at: a) when the bank would have called the loan based on accurate information, and b) how much money would have been owed to the bank when it called the loan. 3. The final step is to determine what

Bankco’s recovery would have been had it called the loan at the earlier date. A starting point for this analysis is the actual recovery achieved when the loan is called. However, the money that the bank would have recovered if it had called the loan earlier will likely differ from the bank’s actual recovery following the discovery of the misstatements. In cases involving lenders, figuring out how much money was lost is comparatively easy. The more challenging part is estimating what would have happened if correct information had been provided. IP n    n    n

michael O’meara & company Barristers

Experienced Counsel serving the Insurance Industry

Ephraim Stulberg is a partner/SVP in MDD Forensic Accountants’ Toronto office where he is one of the leaders of the firm’s litigation services practice.

richards buell sutton llp Continued from page 47

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal usually calculates wage-loss awards from the date of termination to the date new employment is found. Like many forms of damages, however, such awards are subject to the complainant’s mitigation efforts. This method of assessment can mean very short or very long periods of wage loss depending on the complainant’s individual circumstances. EPL policies often respond to complex claims, and the damages available from human rights claims are rising. The insurance law team at Richards Buell Sutton LLP includes lawyers who also practise employment and human rights law, strengthening our ability to help insurance clients with any challenges. IP n    n    n

• Motor Vehicle Litigation • Personal Injury Claims • Product Liability • Property Damage Claims

• Coverage Opinions • Occupiers’ Liability Claims • Subrogated Claims   • Mediation and Arbitration

Victoria, BC Telephone: 250-475-6529  •  Facsimile: 250-475-6528 Toll Free: 1-877-246-6529 Michael F. O'Meara 56  November 2017  Insurance People

C. Nicole Mangan is a partner at Richards Buell Sutton LLP in the firm’s litigation and dispute resolution group. Her practice includes both insurance and employment law work.


Continued from page 51

these systems provide false clues that need to be assessed in the context of the fire as a whole, rather than on their own. CEP-Sintra’s engineers understand how these systems work and what to look for in these losses. Regardless of where you are in Canada, or what the nature of your loss is (property or casualty), we can help you get the answers you need, when you need them. IP

Reliable information. Reliable directory.



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Booking deadline January 19 Reach brokers, adjusters and insurers for less than $85/mo. Ensure that 180 insurance company offices, 980 general insurance brokerages, 120 independent adjusting offices, and more than 4,000 senior insurance personnel know about your firm and the work you do for the insurance industry. Please call Trish McRae or Susan Mellor, 604-874-1001 or toll-free 1-800-888-8811, to reserve your space.

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58  November 2017  Insurance People


No looking back

Darren Peters shifted his career ambitions onto the insurance track when faced with choosing between two job offers. The offer as a personal lines underwriter came out on top. By Ron Shorvoyce


In April, Darren Peters became president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba, and around the same time he joined Guild Insurance of Brandon as a claims advocate.

arren Peters, the new president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba (IBAM), had planned a career as an accountant. But all that changed when he got a call from the head office of Red River Mutual in Altona, Man. The company, now headquartered in Winnipeg, was looking for bright young prospects. Peters, 45, took over the presidency of IBAM at the organization’s annual meeting in Winnipeg at the end of April. He says his experience with IBAM has been invaluable and he’s looking forward to his tenure as president. He grew up on his family’s small acreage near Altona and graduated from Altona’s W.C. Miller Collegiate in 1989. He then got his business administration diploma in 1992 from Red River Community College in Winnipeg. “I majored in accounting and was going to be a certified management accountant (CMA). But the job prospects at the time were dismal so I moved back to Altona. I worked for Penner Foods, a local grocery store, and for my dad as a mechanic when I wasn’t working at Penner’s.” In spite of that challenging job environment, he nonetheless got a job offer as an accountant in training with an accounting firm in Morden, Man. The firm was going to sponsor his CMA designation. But when he got home after receiving that offer, his mother said that Red River Mutual had called about an interview. The day after that interview, he was offered a job as a personal underwriter. The pay was $1,800 more a year than the accounting firm, and the mutual would also let him continue his accounting courses in the evenings or take insurance courses. Insurance People  November 2017  59

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“My role as a claims advocate is to negotiate between the insurer and the insured to make sure each side gets what they paid for to satisfy their files,” Peters explains. “I like learning new things and this is something new for me in the field of insurance.” A close friend of about nine years is Martin Desilets of Swagelok, a Winnipeg firm that manufactures fluid system components, such as valves and fittings, for companies like Manitoba Hydro, SaskPower and Enbridge. “Darren is probably the kindest individual that I’ve come across. He has a passion for having fun and letting people see his true self. It’s not just a façade that a lot of people put up. And when Darren says I’m his best friend the feeling is mutual.” IP

FAMILY & FUN Darren Peters and family

additional shares and become a larger “I said, hell, $1,800 a year — I could owner was basically dead.” put that toward my student loans and Ranger Insurance knew that Peters pay them off quickly and still become an had decided to buy a brokerage. “It was accountant if I wanted to. But after that an amazing gesture on their part. During I never looked at entering accounting that time, I worked diliagain.” gently to acquire Oldfield It was now insurance all Kirby Esau. We purchased the way. Peters stayed with the company in 2007 and Red River as a personal later bought Milnco Insurlines underwriter for five ance, a managing general and a half years. agent, in 2012.” “I then got the itch Ken Aird, VP of comto move to the big city mercial sales for Arthur – Winnipeg – and got a J. Gallagher Insurance job with ING Company in Winnipeg – formerly of Canada.” Hired as a Ranger Insurance – has commercial lines underAird known Peters for almost writer, he did some of 20 years. They met while Peters was an their specialized farms underwriting. “I underwriter with ING. was from the country and they thought “He’s one of the most intelligent guys country people know farms.” He moved I’ve ever come across in the insurance inup to senior commercial lines underwritdustry. I think he’s increding and later became a ibly balanced.” Although marketing rep, developing Peters is committed to his relationships with brokers. work, Aird says, he’s also In 2002 Peters moved very committed to his to the broker side when family and makes a lot of he joined Ranger Insurtime for friends. ance, one of Winnipeg’s In 2016 Peters sold his premier brokerages, with shares in Oldfield Kirby the option of becoming a Esau and Milnco but partner. stayed on for a while as an “As a marketing rep employee of Milnco. In with ING I got to know Desilets April of this year, at about Ranger really well.” Three the same time as he became president years later, he became a Ranger partof IBAM, he joined Guild Insurance of ner. “However, when Ranger joined the Brandon as a claims advocate. Noraxis Group in 2006, my ability to buy 60  November 2017  Insurance People

• Peters and his wife Vicky, a director at Manitoba Hydro, have been together for 16 years. They have two boys – Max, 6, and Evan, 9. • His father Abe Peters passed away in 2008. His mother still lives in Altona, as does his brother Sheldon, who is 43. • Peters and his family are into hockey, tennis and golf. “We enjoy being outside, doing athletic activities. The kids also like to golf; they’re awesome golfers. But they’re also very good tennis players. The nine yearold, Evan, gives me a good run.” • The family goes kayaking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter. Peters is also an avid snow machine enthusiast. • Travelling is at the top of their recreational agenda. “We enjoy exposing the kids to different cultures. We like to rent a condo wherever we go and immerse ourselves in the culture.” • Peters is a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a global business network of more than 12,000 leading entrepreneurs in 52 countries. It enables business owners to learn from each other. “In Manitoba we get together once a month. I’ve been involved since 2008.” • Peters likes music. “When you’re working out, you’ve got to have a good tune going. My favourite band is The Tragically Hip.” • He also likes to read – everything from fantasy to biographies and business publications. IP


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rs: TuGo Trailblaze , Kathy on ns bi Patrick Ro nt and Starko (preside or, ct re di executive ko, ar St e ik M ), TuGo imir ad Vl , ko Maria Star an Se d an ak tin Mar Bowles.


lleyb annual beach vo sored t n e organization’s on e m th sp a in T, d n EA te r H . pe u tional division ball To of Ontario com Ontario VHoamllilteony/Niagara chapter of theCoInntsuraractncoreCoInnnstituectetion, took the top spot in the recrea

by the Members from gust. Net Results, sponsored ive division. tit Au pe in m t co en e m th na in tour ation, won or st Re I DK e by Al-Car

Insurance People  November 2017  63

Keal CaresN.B.

lls, Keal’s Grand Fa 4th Annual e th ed st ho e offic K Fundraiser Keal Cares – IW the Potato g Breakfast durin am surpassed Festival. The te tickets sold 0 their goal of 75 for the IWK 0 to raise $10,00 n. tio da Foun and, Keal Monique St-Am cky Rivard, Vi ; Technology gy; Julie Keal Technolo nology; ch Te Dubé, Keal lunteer; vo s, ai Bl ée Andr nce lia Al s, Lily Durepo Falls, d an Gr e, nc ra Assu ry, De r Cy n N.B.; Natha Proulx, e ris Pa r; ee nt volu ica Moreau, volunteer; Jess gy. Keal Technolo

Patti & Associates; Williams Alton e Ricketts, in er th Au Colett Ricketts, s; er . rnaghan Adjust oration of Delta Kernaghan, Ke ifer Clark, Corp nn Je d an tt; le guest of Co

Party RIMS Cjuostcerskhotastedilthe RIMS cocktail party in September at Kernaghan Ad nt in Toronto. ra Brassaii Restau

rta Northern Albfethe Battle o Bands thern Institute of Nor The Insurance ly hosted Battle of Alberta recent ton. Rattpoison mon the Bands in Ed nd for the event, g ba in nn wi e th s wa er $3,500 to be which raised ov e participating th split amongst . bands’ charities er, Aon; Mark Mill Jimmy Bacchus, a; es an pinski, Waw Aon; Halie Wis n. Ao , sh ni Ho and Ryan 64  November 2017  Insurance People

Marisa West, from Wawanes a in Edmonton, sings with her band Rattpoison.

l Golf Calgary Annunaament Tour

ly Calgary recent Professionals of at the Links of e nc ra su In e t Th golf tournamen held its annual chrane, Alta. The event, with Co GlenEagles in Alberta Fire & Flood and The e support from th raised $1,800 for WICC with p, ou Gr s or st support the ve In eeds going to oc pr . of e nc la the ba ( ities of the IPC continued activ Diana Adams, LSR Adjusters; , er op rta Co y ck Vi a Breaker, Albe Claims; Jessic re Fi rta be Al , City of Calgary er d Yolande Gerb an y. d; ar oo lg Fl Ca & m Fire & Flood, all fro

ne , Calgary; Evan son, BrokerLink er y; ar Em lg lle Ca he e, ic M suranc Peace Hills In y; Shepherdson, surance, Calgar In s ill H e ac Pe , ng ni an e, M r nc te ra Pe Insu yce, Riverside and Trish Ford Cochrane.

tin, Tara Chammar nce ra su In La Salle (IBAM board chair); Jason lle Murphy, La Sa ia iv Ol e; nc Insura Doerksen, IBAM & director of PR am marketing; Ad lle Murphy, La Sa Insurance; and La Tamara Dotoli, e. Salle Insuranc

IBAM Dale Rempel Memorial Gonlft Tourname

er’s Network – The Young Brok Association ers Insurance Brok sted the 5th of Manitoba ho Memorial mpel Annual Dale Re t in August. Golf Tournamen $20,000 ed The event rais Cancercare to support the Manitoba. Foundation of ds Insurance: From Crossroa Jamie Taronno o, m la Nella Digiro d ), TJ McRedmon (IBAM director mond. ed cR M ra Ka d an

Take a Sanhevoentt!

g If you’re hostin er fair, re ca , er is ra – fund ion, team education sess etc. – , building activity out it. ab we want to hear u’re up yo at wh us ow Sh l photos, to! Please emai ation rm along with info to t, about your even eople. ep nc ra su in r@ ito ed ca.

Insurance People  November 2017  65

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Peter Braid says he thrives in a fast-paced work environment, which is why he was interested in the CEO position at IBAC.


Twice elected to the House of Commons, Peter Braid brings a strong national policy perspective to his new role as CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada. One of his priorities is to ensure that insurance brokers continue to enjoy an advantage that’s unique among Canada’s industrialized counterparts. By Ron Shorvoyce

ublic servant, insurance executive, Member of Parliament. That’s how Peter Braid’s resumé read before he added his latest achievement. In February of this year, Braid was chosen as the new CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC), the influential national organization that speaks for independent insurance brokers. The 53-year-old Braid is eminently qualified for the job. IBAC represents the interests of both p&c insurance brokers and their customers to the Government of Canada. His experience as a public servant and MP and his tenure with insurance companies are ideal for his new role. Born and raised in Kitchener, Braid graduated from high school in 1983 but took time off before enrolling at the University of Waterloo and later transferring to the University of Toronto where he finished his degree in 1989. “While studying international relations I was working for a very internationally involved Member of Parliament for Waterloo who was a member of the Mulroney government, Walter Mclean. That was my introduction to politics, and this was a formative time for Canada with the free-trade election in 1988. It gave me an appreciation for pursuing a just cause, using politics to achieve transformative change.” After university, Braid entered the federal public service, working for seven years for the immigration and refugee board. “I had a policy role. I was Insurance People  November 2017  67

election by 9,000 votes when the Libera refugee hearing officer. I was directly als came to power. After the election involved in Canada’s refugee determinahe worked for a software company in tion process. It gave me an opportunity Waterloo. Nine months later he applied to apply my university education and my for the job at IBAC. understanding of the world. It helped to Braid says he thrives in a fast-paced underscore two things for me: the imenvironment and so the CEO position at portance of immigration to Canada and IBAC interested him a lot. the fact that Canada is really a beacon to the world.” “This role attracted me for a number After leaving the public service in of reasons. It’s a role with national scope 1996, Braid joined that has an important Sun Life Financial policy component. as manager of comI’m thrilled with the munications and later new role, and with a as director of group national association life benefits, handling like IBAC I think it’s dental and health essential to understand insurance claims. how the country works, Responsible for a staff and I also bring an of 120, he was with the understanding as to company for more than how government policy a decade. Starting in and decision-making Ottawa, he returned in works.” 2004 to his hometown Mclean Ian Mclean, the presiof Kitchener-Waterloo dent and CEO of the after Sun Life and Clarica merged. “It was Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of a wonderful opportunity,” he says, “to go Commerce, has known Braid for at least back home and to be close to family.” 30 years. They attended the University Three years later Braid left Sun Life to of Toronto at the same time, and Walter pursue a political career. “I always had Mclean, the MP Braid had worked for, it in the back of my mind that should is Mclean’s father. He says Braid has a the opportunity arise I’d like to pursue great sense of humour and is genuinely public office.” interested in people. His run for the Conservative nomina“He’s both a leader and a consensustion was a tough fight that he won. But builder. And he’s just plain bright and the real test was the perfectly suited for fall election of 2008. his new role.” Mclean Braid won the riding of adds that Braid’s selfKitchener-Waterloo by assurance doesn’t come a slim margin. with a big ego. “He’s got “I ended up winning a quiet confidence with the closest election in enough humility that Canada that year.” On he recognizes he has to election night, he won let other people shine.” by 73 votes. But after Another friend and a review by Elections admirer is Machelle Canada, that number Denison, executive went down to 48, which director of the Strong triggered an automatic Start Charitable OrDenison judicial recount. In the ganization in Kitchener. end, Braid won by only 17 votes. A registered charity, Strong Start helps His earlier experience working for an children learn to read. Denison first met MP made it easier for him to adjust to Braid in 2013 when he reached out to being an MP himself. help the organization. “It was really two jobs in two differ“What he did was quite spectacuent locations,” he says. “There was the lar. He used his members’ speech in constituency part and the Ottawa part. the House of Commons to talk about You’re moving back and forth between Strong Start and the importance of the two places. And with the advent volunteering and of early literacy for of electronic communications and children…He’s very charitable himself cellphones it was really a 24/7 type of and keenly interested in supporting the responsibility.” charitable sector and encouraging othAlthough re-elected in 2011 by a ers to get involved.” 2,100-vote margin, Braid lost the 2015 Braid looks forward to working with 68  November 2017  Insurance People

his provincial counterparts to advance the interests of brokers across the country. He has four priorities as CEO. The first is to maintain the Bank Act, which prevents banks from selling insurance when granting credit. “This is paramount,” he says. “This is the Canadian advantage, because we’re the only industrialized country that separates the selling of insurance and the granting of credit. I call that the Canadian advantage.” His second priority is to maintain a strong and unified network of provincial and regional insurance broker associations. He also wants to modernize professional-development programs for brokers and to harness the power of technology. Braid says he looks forward to meeting his provincial counterparts at conventions across the country. He succeeds Dan Danyluk who was IBAC’s CEO for 13 years. IP

FAMILY & FUN • Braid is married to Annette, a neonatal intensive-care nurse who works part time at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener. He met her in high school. • They have two daughters. Tamara, 26, will soon be graduating with a master’s in genetic counselling from Sarah Lawrence College in New York City. Ali is 21 and taking international studies at Trent University in Peterborough. • Braid’s father Bruce, who immigrated to Canada from Scotland in 1955, is retired and lives in Kitchener-Waterloo. His mother, Barbara, passed away last summer. Braid has two brothers, one older and one younger. • Passionate about international travel, the Braids enjoy visiting places off the beaten track. They’ve been to Europe several times and recently visited Costa Rica. “As a parliamentarian I was a vice-chair of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association and that gave me the opportunity to visit Africa on a few occasions.” In 2013 he attended the Nelson Mandela memorial. • Braid and his wife like to walk their dog – a four-year-old female Bichon Frise-Shih Tzu mix named Juno. They also like to ride bicycles. IP

TradeTalk Distracted driving…


number one cause of crashes and deaths Canadians don’t think social persuasion or law enforcement strategies against distracted driving are working,” said Greg Somerville, president and CEO of Aviva Canada, “and they feel technology is the only realistic answer.” Almost four in five of the 1,504 Canadians polled (78 per cent) said they want a technology solution that would stop distracted driving by disabling texting and other functions while the driver is behind the wheel. Nearly the same number, 73 per cent, said they would use anti-texting technology. IP




rovinces have been cracking down on distracted driving, and for good reason. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) recently announced that in Ontario, inattentive drivers are causing more collisions than impaired and speeding drivers combined. B.C. shows a similar trend, according to the Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC), which recently announced that this year distracted driving has resulted in more deaths in B.C. than impaired driving. Since January 1, driver distraction has been reported as the main cause in 6,360 road collisions in Ontario. In contrast, speed was the primary cause in 4,700 crashes, and 1,158 of these incidents involved a driver who had consumed alcohol or drugs. With the exception of 2012, inattentive drivers have taken more lives on OPP-patrolled roads than speeding and alcohol-impaired drivers since Ontario’s distracted driving laws took effect in 2009. “Our collision data is compelling evidence that drivers who text, talk on their cellphone or are distracted in some other way take a tremendous toll on the safety of those who share the road with them,” said J.V.N. Hawkes, OPP commissioner. “Until drivers, passengers and the general public take a firm stand against this road

safety issue, these tragedies are expected to continue in large numbers.” Deaths from distracted driving are also up so far this year. In Ontario a total of 47 people have died because of an inattentive driver, up from 39 such deaths at this time last year. B.C. has also been tracking deaths from distracted driving. Despite tougher penalties, more police enforcement and continued public education, on average 78 people still die each year because of distracted and inattentive drivers. In contrast, an average of 66 people are killed each year due to impaired driving. “Distracted driving results in more fatalities than impaired driving, and is also one of the leading contributors of crashes with pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists,” said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety. “It’s time we all commit to taking a break from our phones and stop driving distracted.” Crackdowns, increased fines and peer pressure may not be the answer to the problem, according to a recent Aviva Canada opinion poll. The majority of Canadians who participated in the poll indicated that only a technology solution that blocks drivers from texting and using other phone-messaging functions while driving will solve the problem. “For the first time, we are seeing that

Applied Systems................................. 3 Aviva................................................. 19 Burns & Wilcox................................... 2 CAA.................................................. 71 Can-Sure.......................................... 24 Economical Insurance................... 6,36 Insurance Brokers Assoc. of Canada.30 Intact................................................. 27 Keal.................................................. 28 Markel................................................. 4 McIntyre Strategies.......................... 12 Midwest Claims................................ 66 Pal Insurance................................... 72 Portage Mutual................................. 13 TSW Management........................... 16 TuGo................................................. 32 Wawanesa........................................ 20 Other BC Insurance Directory.................... 57 Insurance People............................. 23 Prairies Insurance Directory............. 61 Litigation Forum Carfra Lawton LLP............................ 42 CEP Sintra........................................ 51 Envista Forensics............................. 52 Harper Grey LLP.............................. 39 MDD Forensic Accountants.............. 44 Michael O’Meara & Company.......... 56 MKA Canada.................................... 45 Richard van Leeuwen Electrical Eng..54 Richards Buell Sutton LLP................ 46 SAMAC Engineering........................ 49 Singleton Urquhart LLP.................... 55 Special Information Feature RSA.................................................. 17 Insurance People  November 2017  69

Eating coconut cream pie

…with Michael Henfrey, general manager, Bulkley Valley Insurance Services, Smithers, B.C. Other than brokering, what job would you like to do?

I always thought I’d make a great math teacher. I enjoy teaching and I’m good at math, so it was a logical combination. If your life was made into a movie who would you choose to play you?

Well, it would either be Lewis C.K. or Bruce Willis, depending if it was comedy or action. Who would you choose to play your significant other?

Scarlett Johansson. Hey, a guy can dream. If you could acquire a super power, what would it be?

Time travel. Fixing the errors of the past would be a great thing. What do you like to do away from the office?

cold day in January. I remember it well as our office opens at 8 a.m. I didn’t have keys yet, and when I showed up at five minutes to eight (when the office opens) the office was dark. It remained that way until 8:15 when a customer came and joined me out front. Since we were both perplexed as to where the staff were, and very cold, I took him to buy him coffee at the coffee shop just down the street. When we came back, the office was still black, but this young lady was running down Main Street – with a horrified look on her face. That staff member still works with us, and will likely be just as horrified when she reads this. What is your dream vacation?

Relax with my wife and our four-legged child. If you were given $1 million, how would you spend it?

I don’t know, but I’m sure my wife and I will discover it soon, together.

I’d travel, help my kids and probably put some aside to help others.

What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you?

How did you meet your significant other?

Online. Where did you go on your first date?

New York City. Do you have an accomplishment you’re particularly proud of?

The obvious answer is my two boys. Beyond that I organized a concert in the Bulkley Valley in 2012 that brought 4,000 people. That was pretty amazing. When you were growing up, what was your favourite band?

Bare Naked Ladies (BNL) or Twisted Sister.

I’ll keep it to the industry. The first thing that comes to mind is my first total loss. I’ll never forget it. I was in my mid-20s, fairly new to my commercial insurance career. I received a call at home at 3 a.m. A client leaving a heartbreaking message on my answering machine, telling me their building was burning, and asking me to confirm that everything was going to be OK. At that moment, I was terrified. Everything worked out fine, but it’s something I’ll never forget, and I can still hear his message today clearly.

Did you have a favourite song?

Your three all-time favourite movies are…

BNL – What a Good Boy or maybe a little We’re Not Going to Take It – depending on my mood.

What’s your favourite dessert?

If you had a talk show, what guests would you invite?

James Corden. My wife loves him and she’d love seeing me do carpool karaoke with him.

Hunt for Red October, Rudy, Wedding Singer. Coconut cream pie. Is there anything you won’t eat?

Runny Eggs. BLECH! IP

What is your hidden talent?

I sing, but I’m shy about it. Tell us about your first day on the job.

Do you know a good subject for our Q&A questionnaire? Email suggestions to

Well, my first day at Bulkley Valley Insurance was a VERY 70  November 2017  Insurance People

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