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Top 5 Insurance News Stories of the Week: September 26 – October 2 | Canadian Insurance
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Top 5 Insurance News Stories of the Week: September 26 – October 2

Elliott Special Risks announces new appointments; Allianz & TIC merge travel insurance operations

Get up-to-date on the latest P&C insurance industry news, company reports and ratings, and product releases.

The Top 5 industry news stories of the week:

1. Elliott Special Risks Announces New Appointments: Elliott Special Risks has appointed Clive Fernandes as vice-president of the central region, Tony Picciano as vice-president of the eastern region and Marisa Chau as underwriter to the central region EIL team. Fernandes, who joins Elliott from Travelers, will be responsible for all lines of business within the central region, and will also be the product line manager for general liability. Picciano will lead the underwriting teams in Montreal and will be responsible for all lines of business within the region. Chau will be joining the central region EIL team as an underwriter; like Fernandes, she was previously at Travelers.

2. Allianz and TIC Merge Travel Insurance Operations: Allianz Global Assistance Canada and TIC Travel Insurance Coordinators, will merge their travel insurance operations in Canada, becoming one of the country’s largest travel insurance providers. Daniel Wichels, CFO of Allianz Global Assistance for the Americas, will become the CEO of the combined entity. A subsidiary of The Co-operators will become the lead underwriter. “This merger capitalizes on the similar values and client approach of two leading providers in the Canadian travel insurance market, resulting in a combined entity that is truly greater than the sum of its parts, and poised for substantial growth,” said Remi Grenier, CEO of Allianz Global Assistance worldwide.

3. Insurance Consulting Firm V-NEO Opens Toronto Office: V-NEO Inc., a consulting firm specializing in insurance, is opening an office located in Toronto’s Financial District. The firm says it is aiming to have a staff of 30 in the office within two years, starting with new VP Craig Hopkinson. Hopkinson, who was most recently a VP at Kanetix, says V-NEO will be specializing in digital transformation for insurers. “The digital transformation of Canadian insurers… presents many opportunities for a specialised player like V-NEO,” he said in a statement. “Insurance Carriers want to migrate their products to the Digital Platform and need to find new, even more innovative ways, to attract and retain customers.” 

4. Canadians Blame Traffic Delays for Distracted Driving: Almost 40 percent of Canadian drivers admit to checking their phones when stopped due to traffic delays, according to a recent survey on distracted driving, by Leger for Allstate Canada. Thirty-four percent of drivers said they check their phone while stopped at a red light and 18 per cent admitted to sending a text. (In keeping with the stereotype of a millennial tethered to its phone, drivers between 18 and 34 were nearly three times more likely to send a text while stopped at a red light.) ”This statistic really highlights how important it is for drivers to keep their focus on the road and the vehicles around them even while stopped at an intersection,” said Ryan Michel, senior vice president and chief risk officer for Allstate Canada. “Drivers think that when they’re stopped at a red light or in bumper to bumper traffic moving slowly, it’s a safe time to check their phone or send a quick text.  You send your text, the light changes to green and you see the change with your peripheral vision. You react by automatically accelerating, unaware that the vehicle in front of you hasn’t started to move yet.”

5. Aviva Community Fund Returns:  Aviva Canada has launched the sixth edition of the Aviva Community Fund competition. The company will offer $1 million to encourage Canadians to create positive change across the country through community initiatives. The competition is now open for submissions and runs through the end of the year, with winners announced January 27, 2015. Launched in the fall of 2009, the Aviva Community Fund competition has already provided over $4.5 million to 91 charities and community groups, based on more than 12 million votes for more than 7,000 ideas. There are five funding categories: health, sports & active living; environment & sustainability; animal welfare; schools & education; and at-risk youth.