Among the first questions the majority Canadians ask when buying travel insurance packages is “What type of travel insurance do I need?”It’s a good query, as there are a number of travel insurance types in existence, and selecting among the them all can seem a bit tricky to start with.Listed in this article, we describe the primary types of plans in Canada, and what types of insurance are best for Canadians.Single Trip A single trip policy is suitable for your requirements if you’re intending to travel once inside of a given year. This variety of plan is the most widespread type of plan. Single trip policies only cover individuals for an individual journey away from home.Multi Trip If you travel repeatedly each year, it may be worthwhile to buy a multi-trip travel insurance policy. A multi-trip coverage offers insurance for numerous trips in a year. Multi-trip plans often have limits around the time period of trips you are able to make. 15 day or one month trip limits are common, however, some firms let you take as many as sixty days on every trip.If you want multi-trip coverage, look into the plan perks that are offered by credit card issuers. One of the charge cards you have in your purse could quite possibly maybe even offer protection!Coverage may include the cardholder’s husband or wife and little ones and can be a great strategy to reduce travel insurance plan costs. Make sure you study the insurance policy and coverage cautiously, so you know exactly what you’re actually getting.All InclusiveAn all inclusive plan may well be effective for you if you want to have complete coverage. All inclusive insurance policies usually cover emergency medical protection, trip cancellation and trip interruption, baggage insurance plans and health evacuation insurance. Numerous all inclusive insurance policies offer high limits for emergency medical coverage.The key downside of most inclusive policies is money. You’ll often pay greater than double the total cost of a single trip plan for all inclusive travel insurance plan. If you happen to be paying attention to how much you want to spend, contemplate getting a simple single trip plan, and choosing a supplementary trip cancellation plan. This can help you save a ton of money.Tip! Make a brief telephone call to your house insurance company to check out if they offer some baggage or personal belongings insurance plan.Trip Cancellation and Interruption Trip cancellation and interruption insurance is effective if you’re concerned about the expense to you personally in case your trip is cancelled or rescheduled. These kinds of packages are especially a good choice for trips that are high priced.Trip cancellation and interruption insurance plans are also a decent option if you are travelling with multiple people, or if you happen to be travelling along with children. Would you want to take your infant on a long voyage if they’ve only developed a serious stomach virus? It happens all the time.Trip cancellation and interruption insurance will let you cancel your trip for pre-specified reasons like illness of yourself or a travelling companion, or work loss.Always get in touch with your insurance provider to obtain their permission prior to cancelling a holiday. It’s very normal to believe a reason for cancelling is covered under an insurance policy, only to discover out that in fact there’s an exclusion within the plan. You can buy cancel for any reason travel insurance plans, which will let you cancel a holiday for various reasons. These policies generally are somewhat higher priced, but nonetheless they do give you peace of mind.Top Up Insurance for CanadiansTop up travel insurance is an effective option in the event you already have insurance, but don’t have coverage for the entire time period that in fact you’re away. This type of travel insurance plan is definitely worthwhile in case you have work or charge card insurance which can only cover you for the beginning part of your trip.Using your primary insurance plans for your 1st part of your journey, and acquiring a top up plan for the rest, might be greatly less costly than investing in a brand-new policy for the entire time period.BaggageBaggage insurance protects you and your loved ones in case your luggage is lost, stolen, or rescheduled. The benefit you can get from baggage insurance ranges from about $500 to $2000 per consumer, relying on your plan.Your home insurance coverage quite often gives you some protection for your assets while you are traveling, but they in all likelihood will likely not cover baggage delays.Medical EvacuationEmergency medical evacuation insurance is especially necessary if you’re going on a cruise or if you happen to be paying a visit to a remote location. If you fall ill aboard a cruise, an emergency medical evacuation by way of a helicopter can easily cost $150,000.Emergency health evacuation insurance can pay for transportation to the closest medical facility or alternatively back to your point of departure. Having said that, all insurance policies call for pre-approval by way of qualified medical expert. While medical evacuation is covered in many medical travel insurance policies, you can buy separate medical evacuation insurance cover plan.Be mindful if you’re considering obtaining insurance plans coming from the cruise company. Many cruise companies do not include medical evacuation insurance cover plan inside their travel insurance policies.Pre-Existing ConditionsIf you have a pre-existing health condition (including diabetes or alternatively heart issues), a policy that allows for coverage when it comes to pre-existing conditions is a must have. A pre-existing condition is a health problem you might already had when trip started, even if you didn’t have the problem at the time you obtained your insurance.Insurance policies who will allow for pre-existing medical conditions are typically more costly, nonetheless, at the very least, you’ll be covered in the event you have a medical disaster associated with your pre-existing condition. Any condition that in fact appears from the time you acquire your insurance plan to the time period you begin your vacation can be considered to be a pre-existing condition, even if you didn’t know about it at the time you purchased your insurance plan.Being pregnant will often be viewed as a pre-existing condition by many travel insurers.Accidental Death and DismembermentAccidental death and dismemberment is a worthwhile type of travel insurance, and is generally speaking (though not guaranteed to be) covered in emergency medical travel insurance policies. This type of travel insurance will take care of you for injuries you get while riding as a fare-paying passenger on an airplane, helicopter or common carrier (a bus, boat, or even train). There’s also a death benefit that is paid out (generally between 10,000 to 25,000) if you pass away on your voyage.In keeping with its less than lovely title, an accidental death and dismemberment policy can pay you a set amount if you lose an arm or leg (or other part of your body) while on vacation.Bottom LineWhatever type of travel insurance you decide on, read your policy attentively before you leave.
All companies operating within the food and beverage industry, whether multinational in scale or independent local growers or food and beverage processors, are under constant risk of severe financial loss due to product contamination. This article provides some practical information about the risks, the heightened regulatory involvement, how traditional insurance may apply, a brief peek on what to expect in the event of a recall and options for effective protection through the utilization of Product Contamination & Recall insurance.Two Key Areas of Focus· How to transfer the financial risk of product contamination and product recall, and· The critical necessity of integrating the insurance claim process within the recall event.A One-Week Food Recall SnapshotA snapshot of the U.S. Federal Food Safety website over a recent seven day span reveals food product recalls involving: Salmonella contaminated raw frozen fish, undeclared milk allergens in a Taco dinner product, Listeria contamination of pizza products, undeclared egg allergens in a sausage product, Listeria contamination of deli-sandwiches, mislabeling of a frozen pasta product, undeclared Sulfite allergens contained in a fruit preserve, undeclared peanut allergens in an almond snack, and of course, potential Salmonella contamination of fresh vegetable packaged salads. Most of these recalls affected independent private businesses and illustrate the vulnerability of all food and beverage businesses.The Implications of the Food Safety Modernization Act (“FSMA”)The potential effects of the FSMA with its passage into law on January 4, 2011, suggest that we can expect to realize more product recalls. Here are some key points to consider:
Enhanced Record Keeping & Full Access by FDA
Food producers are required to maintain detailed records of food safety and security protocols, including manufacturing, packaging, and distribution process of every food product for a minimum period of two years.
Registration, Inspection & Rejection of Imports
Food facilities must be registered,Imports will be rejected when a foreign facility refuses inspection,Increased inspections of U.S. and foreign food facilities
FDA Authorized to Mandate a Product Recall
The FDA’s authority to effectuate a unilateral product recall product was previously limited to baby formula and could only previously recommend a product recall. Under the FSMA the FDA can unilaterally order a product recall.
The FSMA provides protection to employees reporting regulatory violations.The fact that the FDA can now unilaterally order product recalls and the codification of the protection afforded to employees reporting violations signals the need for heightened urgency on the part of the food and beverage industry enterprises to ensure that they are adequately protected against the devastating financial and reputational consequences caused by a product recall event.How Can a Food or Beverage Enterprise Protect Itself?Business Insurance 101Every business owner has a varying degree of familiarity with a Business Owner’s Insurance Policy (“BOP”) which provides most smaller enterprises with two main forms of coverage: Commercial General Liability, Business Property, as well as a host of other ancillary coverage ranging from Business Automobile to Data Privacy Breach coverage. Some BOP policies also contain limited Employment Practices Liability and limited Employee Dishonesty coverage.Unfortunately, many independent companies operating in this industry are operating under the misconception that their basic commercial insurance coverage will provide protection in the event of a product recall. Nothing could be further from the truth.How Would a Commercial General Liability (CGL) Policy Respond?For the limited purposes of this discussion, a CGL policy will provide defense and indemnification for claims of policy-defined “Bodily Injury or “Property Damage” brought by third-parties against the policyholder. Coverage under these policies is typically triggered by an “Occurrence” which is further defined as an “Accident.” CGL policies generally require that the “Bodily Injury” must have a physical manifestation to trigger coverage, rather than simply a claim of emotional distress. While specific policy language is always subject to the interpretation of a court, it is generally held that a physical bodily injury caused to a consumer arising from a contaminated product would be covered as a product liability claim under a CGL insurance policy.While the associated bodily injury claims may be covered under a standard ISO CGL policy, those same policies also contain an exclusion typically entitled Recall of Products, Work or Impaired Property. That provision precludes coverage for any claims of damages associated with any loss, costs or expenses involving the policyholder’s product, work or impaired property if it involves a product recall or withdrawal because of a known or suspected defect.The CGL – Product Recall Hybrid PolicyA recent entrant into the commercial insurance products arena provides limited coverage for some of the product recall expenses that would be otherwise uninsured under a standard CGL insurance policy. This type of combination policy provides coverage only for:Customer notification costs of recalled product,
Recalled product shipping and disposal costs,
Refund, repair or replacement product costs
Reimbursement for third-party expenses including defense costs
It should be noted that the above expenses represent only a portion of the overall expenses that a company would incur in the event of a product recall.The Commercial Property PolicyCommercial Property policies are available either with a more restrictive policy form only covering loss caused by policy-specified Perils (causes) or on an “All Risks” basis under which coverage is triggered from any cause or peril unless it is specifically excluded by the policy. Commercial Property policies provide coverage for, among other things, physical loss or damage to inventory and stock, which is pertinent to a discussion about product recall. Whether an affected product or stock has been actually physically injured by a covered peril is the initial determination that must be made in order to determine if the Commercial Property coverage will apply.Additionally, Property policies contain a number of other provisions that may come into play to limit or exclude coverage in connection with a product recall event. One provision found in all Commercial Property policies is the Pollution Exclusion. This type of exclusion invariably contains the term “contaminant” which depending upon the particular Property policy and the legal jurisdiction that would interpret the Property policy’s coverage, may be held to apply to a contaminated product inventory or stock.Product Contamination and Product Recall InsuranceThe optimal way a food or beverage company can protect itself from the economic and reputational damages caused by a product recall is to transfer that risk through an insurance mechanism that is designed to specifically respond to a recall event.Coverage under these policies are typically triggered by one or more of the following policy-defined events: Accidental Contamination, Malicious Contamination or Product Extortion.First-Party Coverage responds to the policyholder’s:• Business Income Loss,• Recall Expenses,• Product Rehabilitation expenses,• Consultant and Advisor costs• Extortion costsThird-Party Coverage responds to the policyholder’s:• Liability for claims brought by third-parties such as distributors, wholesalers, or supermarkets or other customers, for their economic loss and reputational damage in connection with a policyholder’s product recall.This coverage is typically triggered when it is determined that consumption or use of the suspect product either has resulted in bodily injury or property damage or will result in bodily injury or property damage within 365 days of the product’s withdrawal.Optional Coverage offered by at least one major Product Recall insurer includes:• Product Refusal Coverage protects against economic loss caused by the refusal of an insured product during a scheduled delivery. The refusal must be caused due to a publication that the insured product will cause bodily injury and because bodily injury has been caused by a similar product.• Intentionally Impaired Ingredients Coverage provides protection in the event of contamination or impairment of an insured product that results from an ingredient supplied to the policyholder and when the contamination or impairment was intentional and wrongful but not malicious.Pre-Recall Consultative ServicesSophisticated Product Recall insurers will provide the policyholder with some limited of Pre-Recall Risk Management services as part of the protection afforded under the insurance policy.These consultative services provided by external experts may include the analysis of one or more of a policyholder’s Crisis Management plan, its training & development processes, reviews of manufacturing and corporate systems and processes. There is little doubt that small to mid-sized companies without the benefit of dedicated risk management professionals can benefit from such analyses and advice. This process, which is voluntary, also benefits the insurance underwriters as it provides a deep view into the potential vulnerabilities of a policyholder to product contamination and recall, which if uncorrected to the satisfaction of the insurer, may result in less favorable terms and/or higher policy premium.Complete Access & CooperationUnless a company has gone through the process of a product recall claim, most companies don’t realize their contractual obligations to fully cooperate with their Product Recall insurer. This means to immediately notify the insurer of a suspected event and to allow the insurer and their experts full access to records, product, company personnel and facilities. The insurer has the contractual right to complete access to the policyholder’s books and records and to inspect the policyholder’s property and operations at any time in relation to the subject matter of the Product Recall policy.Coverage Determination- The Scientific Analyses ProcessUpon notifying the insurer of a suspected or actual product contamination, in almost every instance the insurer will exercise its contractual right to perform a scientific analysis of the product to determine whether it has in fact been contaminated, and whether the contamination rises to the level that it will reasonably cause bodily harm to consumers.Policyholders must be prepared to share their scientific analyses data with the product recall insurer to support their claim for coverage. Depending upon the nature of the contamination, triggering coverage for voluntary recalls can be contentious if the respective experts’ conclusions do not align. Therefore, identifying highly qualified external experts in advance of a product recall will afford the policyholder the ability to react quickly to obtain the required analyses in the event of a recall. Advance consultation with legal counsel experienced with food and beverage product recalls can be a useful process for identifying scientific experts that are qualified to serve as effective litigation experts.Crisis Management CoverageProduct Recall policies almost universally provide either a specified sub-limit as part of the policy’s aggregate limit or an additional separate limit to pay for the policyholder’s cost to retain a Crisis Management firm to handle public relations in connection with a product recall. This is an important aspect of coverage as it affords immediate access to expert assistance to restore a company’s reputation in the event of such a crisis. Most policies will require the policyholder to select from the insurer’s pre-approved list of qualified crisis management firms.Insurer’s Right of SubrogationAs is the case with most insurance policies, upon payment of a covered Loss under a Product Recall policy, the insurer has the contractual right to seek recovery from a third-party that may have caused the loss, which includes bringing litigation in the name of the policyholder. This can become a delicate business issue when a policyholder’s key supplier would appear to be the source of the problem. While most insurers will not waive their right to subrogation (unless there is a corresponding higher premium paid at policy inception) it is a point that policyholders must keep in mind and may become a relevant aspect of the negotiation of the claim.Other Key ConsiderationsThe Directors’ & Officers’ Liability Policy – The Failure to Purchase Insurance ExclusionCommercial insurance policies of every variety contain a standard exclusion to coverage that essentially states the policy will not apply if there is a claim alleging the failure to purchase insurance or adequate insurance that would have covered the loss against the company.Food and beverage companies that have investors who may bring litigation against a company for financial damage caused to a company that was involved in an uninsured product recall may understandably think the purchase of a D&O or Management Liability policy would protect them from most investor claims alleging corporate mismanagement. However, in the event of an uninsured product recall event, the D&O policyholder may find they are without the protection from investor lawsuits they thought they had purchased under their Directors’ & Officers’ Liability policy because they chose to not purchase Product Recall insurance.Some Practical Steps To TakeEvery food and beverage company, large or small, must have a product recall crisis plan in place which identifies both internal and external management personnel and a process for managing the crisis event. The plan should be reviewed periodically and mock-tested with distribution chain partners to identify areas for improvement. This pro-active approach will favorably distinguish a potential Product Recall insurance applicant to insurers and result in more favorable premiums.Some basic actions when a product contamination is suspected:
Immediately notify legal counsel, and preferably retain coverage counsel.
Immediately notify regulatory authorities.
Immediately notify everyone in the suspected product’s distribution chain.
Immediately notify your insurance broker and all potentially involved insurers in writing including Commercial General Liability, Commercial Property, Product Recall and Directors’ & Officers’ Liability insurers. Communications should be pre-approved by legal counsel.
Immediately isolate and preserve all suspected contaminated product wherever located and do not destroy any contaminated product.
Maintain accurate financial records of all costs associated with the product recall.
With advice from legal counsel, retain qualified external experts to perform a scientific analysis of the suspected product and to determine causation of the contamination.
Coordinate access to the suspected product, facilities, and records with the insurers’ claims representatives and experts through legal counsel and your insurance broker.
Manage all external communications through a central point of contact.
Final ThoughtsThe increased authority of the FDA to unilaterally order product recall under the Food Safety Modernization Act will likely increase the incidents of involuntary product recalls. FDA ordered recalls should lessen the potential contention between policyholders and Product Recall insurers with regard to the necessity of the product recall.The extremely significant financial benefits of the coverage afforded by this catastrophic insurance product both in terms of first-party coverage for the policyholder as well as third-party liability coverage for loss to the policyholder’s distribution chain partners cannot be overstated.Managing a product recall claim is a complex process requiring coordination between the policyholder’s senior financial and operations management, internal and external experts, legal counsel, insurers and their cadre of corresponding experts.When selecting an insurance representative for this highly specialized insurance product, food and beverage companies should carefully consider the insurance professional’s demonstrated claims experience, their ability to work effectively with internal and external resources and with insurers to achieve a fair and equitable resolution of the associated claims. Careful selection is particularly vital for small to mid-sized companies without the dedicated internal risk management resources for coordinating the various aspects of the claim process.
“You can save hundreds on car insurance!” Really?
We’ve all seen the commercials… “Call today and save hundreds!” Believe it or not, there is some truth to it. Take advantage of the cost saving tips below and then stay put! Your insurance company will reward you for staying with them; just make sure that you follow the tips below to save when you’re ready to shop. If you feel like you’re paying too much, you might be! Here are some tips on saving on home and auto insurance.1. Shop early
Many companies offer discounts on auto insurance if you shop at least 7 days in advance of your current policy expiration date. This discount varies, but can be as high as 10% and depending on the carrier, can stay on the policy for several years. Companies reward responsible consumers who shop early and pay their bills on-time; they say it is an indication of predicting future losses.
Other products may be eligible for an advance shopping discount too. Be sure to ask!2. Bundle your policies – but also shop individually!
Bundling your home and auto insurance together in the same place has been touted for years by the likes of captive carriers, but that’s because they only offer one company. There is still some truth that it can save you money by packaging your home and auto policies together. Some carriers will discount your premium as much as 30% for bundling the two policies together. That said, it doesn’t mean that their rate without the 30% discount is the best. Have your agent quote you out separately as well to ensure that it is best to bundle them together. Some companies offer “mini-packages” where you can put your auto and umbrella with one company (creating a mini-package) and home with another. Talk to you agent about what is best for you.3. Go to a local independent agent
Local insurance agents offer insurance products through many companies and can save you time by shopping you through all of their companies at once! Think about what your time is worth. Do you really want to spend your time calling several different insurance companies, giving out your personal information over and over just to get a quote? Save yourself the hassle and look for a recommended local independent agent. Keep in mind that some 1-800 companies will not run your MVR (motor vehicle record) prior to issuing your policy. So, if you have any tickets or accidents your rate may be artificially low. They will send you a bill within 30 days for any missing violations or accidents.4. Take EFT or pay in full options
By putting your policy for either your home or auto on an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or paying the policy in full, you can save upwards of 10% off of your premium. Ask your agent about different payment options and how much they differ. You’re paying monthly by mail anyway, might as well save while you pay!5. Talk to your friends
Friends love to share when they are able to save money on their insurance or any product for that matter. It makes them feel good! It is human nature to want to help others and feel like an expert at the same time… so start asking who your friends are insured with and maybe you can share this article with them to help them too!6. Stay with the same company longer
Insurance companies now offer longevity credits for loyal customers. They know it is far better to retain a current customer than it is to attract a new one. Stay with a company longer and they will often reward you with perks such as accident forgiveness, better rates and disappearing deductibles! It is also good to touch base with your agent once a year to see if there are any new discounts too.7. Keep your credit in good health
Like it or not, your credit has an incredible influence on your insurance premiums. Insurance companies say that credit is a good indicator of future losses. Credit improved lately? Your insurance company can often re-run your credit with your permission to see if you’re eligible for a better rate.8. Previous insurance limits
Those low policy limits may be hurting you. If you tend to select lower than 50/100 liability limits on your policy (we’d always recommend at least 100/300; ask us why) you will be penalized if you go to another carrier. When a new insurance company takes you on as a customer, they will actually tier you based partially on your previous insurance limits. Come to them with low limits and they will penalize you and your premium will be higher. Consider raising your limits. Not only is this a good idea to save money, it is a good idea to protect you financially in the unfortunate case of an accident.9. Raise your deductibles
Are you carrying low deductibles? You’re paying more for it. While everyone is different on how they want to use their insurance, consider this: Do you really want to make a claim for less than $500? This could affect your premiums in the future, even if you’re not at fault! Talk to your insurance agent about what is the best option for you.10. House rebuilding cost is different than what you paid for it.
This is a big one! Many people think that what they paid for their home is what they need to insure it for. Of course you want to protect it and have it rebuilt in the unfortunate even of a fire or possible storm damage. However, when you insure your home for what you paid for it, you’re taking into consideration the value of the land. The average property has 30-40% of the value in the land. Most insurance agencies will use a cost estimator for the rebuild value of the home, but then will talk to you about it. Make sure you don’t include the value of the land.11. Avoid being a claims magnet
We see people all the time turn in theft or vandalism claims for stolen personal effects in their vehicles. Not only are those personal effects usually not covered (iPods, cds, cameras) the claim usually stems from them leaving it visible on the seat of the vehicle that was damaged. If you have an iPod or other MP3 device in your vehicle, consider stuffing it below your seat or putting it in the glove box out of sight. Furthermore, always talk to you agent BEFORE you turn in a claim so they have the opportunity to help with the claims process.12. When shopping for a new car or house, consider the cost to insure it first!
The least expensive vehicles to insure are your conservative sedans and minivans. Many companies offer free insurance quotes for vehicle changes and you can often access right online through your insurance provider.When looking at purchasing a new home, consider if it is near any creeks or bodies of water as your mortgage broker may require you to carry flood insurance which can run into the thousands of dollars a year. While that sound of water is tranquil, it will likely increase your insurance premiums to be near it. Get a quote before making an offer!13. Education level
Like it or not, insurance carriers have started giving discounts on their products based off of how much education you’ve received. Have some college and you get a larger discount than someone with a high school diploma. Have a graduate degree and get the largest discounts available (usually only around 1-3%).14. Ticket falling off soon? Ask for an MVR review!
Make sure you tell your agent about this. Penalties can vary greatly, but it isn’t unusual for them to be in excess of 50% increase in your premiums. 1st tickets aren’t as heavily penalized as the 2nd or 3rd. If you have a ticket coming off of your insurance the carrier can often do an MVR review (depending on your state). Keep in mind, if the company reviews your MVR, they may find additional tickets that you haven’t told them about, so if you’ve recently received another, it may be best to keep quiet.15. Other items to consider:
a. Simply by adding an umbrella to your auto policy can almost cover the cost of the umbrella itself!
b. If you have youthful operators in the house, they may be eligible for a good student driver discount.
c. Mature driver (55+)? Some companies offer discounts for mature drivers who have completed a safety course lately. To find one near you, just type in “Mature Driver Course” into Google and you will find many!Chess Insurance is a local independent insurance agent in Redmond, WA. If you’re looking for auto insurance in Redmond, WA please give us a call!