Thursday, September 13, 2012

We All Make Mistakes

Lorne Wiebe has written another article about issues important to business owners, for the local online hub serving Cornwall, Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry - . What follows is an introduction to that article. The full article can be read in his column, "Risky Business"

A Sign of the Times
Photo Credit -

Years ago I worked for a boss who used to say “It’s okay to make as many mistakes as you want…just don’t make the same mistake twice.” While the sentiment that you’re allowed to make mistakes and then learn from them is nice, when it comes to the services that your business provides for others, most clients won’t be that forgiving if your mistakes cost them money.

At some point, everyone and every company is going to make a mistake. Either we do something that we shouldn’t do or we don’t do something that we should have done. That’s life. We already are accustomed to the thinking that our mistakes could hurt some “body” (bodily injury) or some “thing” (property damage) and most businesses purchase a Commercial General Liability insurance policy which protects them in those instances. But how can you protect your business if you provide a service and a mistake causes financial loss for someone else? This is where a product called Errors and Omissions coverage fills the protection gap....

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Thursday, September 6, 2012



The recent sinkhole on the 174 east, close to Orleans, has generated some interest about insurance…… yes, you read that right - INTEREST ABOUT INSURANCE!.  Various comments appeared on twitter and facebook like a few samples below:

Sooooo…. Let’s see if we can shed some light on the situation.  Remember that every situation is unique, you should talk to your insurance broker, and we only know the details about this specific case, that we can read in the newspaper.

Although the ultimate decision about claims rests with the particular insurance company, in this type of situation, we would expect the claim would handled under the loss or damage section of the policy as a collision.

If the person in question did not have collision insurance at the time of the accident, they would be financially responsible for the loss of the vehicle. They would also have to pay for their own rental vehicle (if required) and have to purchase a replacement vehicle at their own expense. They would also be responsible for the costs involved in recouping the lost funds from the province, if that was an option they wished to pursue. This would take time and money.

If the person in question had the full, appropriate physical damage coverage on the policy at the time of the accident, the insurance company would cover the loss of the vehicle, according to the terms of the insurance policy. They would also pay for a rental vehicle (assuming that coverage had been purchased), giving the client sufficient time to find a replacement vehicle. The claim would be subject to the policy deductible.

Since the collision was a single car accident, it is technically considered to be an at fault claim. However, in situations such as these, the outcome of the claim would be handled on a case by case basis. A thorough investigation would take place in order to properly negotiate the settlement with the claims adjuster.

If the insured sustained injuries (which fortunately in this case, I understand that they were only very minor) from the accident he/she would be entitled to compensation under the accident benefits portion of the policy up to a certain limit. The option to increase accident benefits on an automobile policy is available for all licensed drivers in Ontario. Increasing this coverage comes with a minimal cost but could help protect you and your loved-ones in the event of a catastrophic accident.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sinkhole, in Ottawa?

If you ever needed a reminder that insurance claims can happen in an instant and can come out of nowhere, this very unusual local story proves it.

Yesterday afternoon, a man was driving home eastbound on Highway 174. He took his usual route home, and was proceeding to take the Jeanne D’Arc exit.  However, on this rainy Tuesday, there seemed to be something blocking the exit ramp. At first glace, the man thought there may be a tarp spread out on the road. As he approached the unidentified object, he quickly discovered it was a large hole!

With no room to stop without causing a major accident, his car fell into the large sinkhole.  His options were bleak, the likelihood of another vehicle falling into the hole and crushing him were high. Although the odds were stacked against him, he still managed to get his car door open and crawled out. Alive and safe with only minor injuries reported!

We never know when Mother Nature will strike. Flowing water can have many dangerous consequences. Luckily, the man escaped with only a couple bruises and scrapes. However, the situation could have been far more disastrous. Although we have no way of predicting the probability of a loss, it’s important to have proper coverage on your policy to help protect you and your loved-ones.

Please see our follow-up blog to learn how Insurance would handle an accident like this.

This article was written by Geneviève St-Denis from Rhodes & Williams Insurance Brokers.