Friday, October 1, 2010

CIBC Investor Forum

BMO Capital Markets, 1 October 2010Scotiabank has been upgraded to Outperform, while Royal Bank’s rating slipped to Market Perform. Greater clarity on new bank capital rules has mitigated our concern they would hinder BNS’s international growth strategy. Moreover, we believe that the bank’s international operations provide a clear growth path, relative to its peer group, after credit costs have `

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Other types of insurance

Insurance is a critical part of the risk management system for a business. It is a way to protect yourself against unforeseen losses. An insurance policy is a legally binding contract with an insurer to provide compensation for a specified damage, loss, or injury suffered by you business in return for a sum of money (premium) paid.

Just as you don't want to drive without automobile insurance, you do not want to run a business without business insurance. However, because there are so many kinds of businesses and subsequent risks they may face, there are a wide variety of insurance types, not all of them necessary for every business. Insurance needs differ for each business so look at your risks and choose what is appropriate for your situation.

Three types of insurance are mandated by law: unemployment insurance, social security, and workers' compensation. Unemployment insurance benefits are payable under the laws of individual states from the Federal-State Unemployment Compensation Program. Employer payments, based on total payroll, contribute to the program. You should be paying for unemployment insurance as part of your taxes.

The Social Security Act and related laws established a number of programs which have the basic objectives of providing for the material needs of individuals and families, protecting aged and disabled persons against the expense of illness that would otherwise exhaust their savings, keeping families together, and giving children the opportunity to grow up in health and security.

Funding for the Social Security program comes from payments by employers, employees and self-employed persons into an insurance fund that provides income during retirement years. Full retirement benefits normally become available at age 65. Other aspects of Social Security deal with survivor, dependent and disability benefits, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.

Workers' Compensation Insurance protects your employees if they suffer job-related injuries. The policy pays the medical bills for the employee who is injured on the job. Each state mandates coverage and provides benefits. In most states, private insurance or an employer self-insurance arrangement provides the coverage. Some states mandate short-term disability benefits as well.

Other types of insurance may be necessary or unique to your particular business. For instance, a book author or consultant may want to carry a policy that will protect them from libel, plagiarism or negligence lawsuits. For professionals, like these, professional liability or malpractice insurance is important.

One thing that should be clear from this discussion is that you need to find a good insurance agent who you can trust. Spend some time in choosing your agent. You need someone you can be comfortable with on a longterm basis - someone who will advise you well so you can spend your time on your business, not worrying about the fine print of the coverage.

Travel Insurance For Pregnant Women

Travel Insurance For Pregnant Women

You are hoping for some rest and relaxation before baby arrives and have decided a holiday abroad would be perfect. Travel insurance is always an important factor of any holiday however if you are expecting it is more important than ever to find a policy tailored for travel insurance during pregnancy.

It is important to shop around for this type of cover. Some providers will cover travel insurance for pregnant women as part of their standard travel insurance policies however other insurers will offer this as an individual policy.

Policies vary greatly in what they will include and what they exclude and therefore it is important to read the policy wording.

Generally speaking most travel insurance policies for pregnant ladies will provide cover for travel up until the 28th week of pregnancy, provided you have a single, normal pregnancy. This is because travel after 30 weeks of pregnancy is considered higher risk, with the instances of pre-term birth increasing. Whilst some insurers will cover for slightly longer its is common for them to stipulate that the pregnant woman must return at least 8 weeks before their due date - which is roughly 32 weeks pregnant. Please note that this is always subject to the rules of the carrier too. If the airline would be unhappy for you to travel past a certain week of pregnancy then your travel insurance policy would not cover you.

Travel insurance for pregnant women would usually cover your basic travel requirements such as lost luggage and cancellation or delay as well as lots of extras such as enhanced medical cover and emergency repatriation which is great to have for peace of mind.

Holiday insurance during pregnancy is essential and the best policy for you will very much depend on your individual circumstances. Compare available policies and remember that cheap travel insurance for pregnant women does not always mean comprehensive.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Types of Insurance

Types of Insurance

Third Party Insurance

Based on Today’s life style the list of types of insurance is increasing day by day. You will find a lot many numbers of new insurance policies which you might have not heard before. One of the most important and compulsory insurance for vehichle owners is: Third Party Insurance. The main types of insurance policies available in the market are:

1) Life Insurance: In this policy, the insurance company pays in case of the demise of the policy holder or at the time of the maturity of the policy. Now a days a new policy has been launched by LIC in which you will be covered under the insurance policy even after the maturity of the policy

2) Property Insurance: This insurance helps you to prevent the losses against theft, fire, burglary or any natural calamity like Earthquake, Floods etc. based on the points mentioned in the policy.

3) Health Insurance: Health Insurance consists of a package of various types of insurance related to health. For example Medical Insurance is one the major part of health insurance however in most of the cases, dental issues are not covered in this policy so there is another Dental Insurance policy which covers dental problems and is also a part of health insurance. The subcategory of health insurance also involves the injuries or accident at workplace insurance benefits.

4) Auto Insurance: Any financial loss due to accident of a vehicle is covered under the auto insurance policy. Sometimes the expenses on the medicines for treating injuries and all other medical expenditure are also covered under this policy.

5) Travel Insurance: Loss of personal belongings while traveling, medical coverage, delays in the travel are all part of the travel insurance policy.

6) Insurance at Amusement Points: This is a one of the new kinds of insurance policy (not very popular in India) where in you are insured against the equipments that you are using at the amusement joints. For example: if you are using boats for an independent boat ride , then they will charge you with some extra money for an property loss(say $5) and in case of any property damage you will not be liable to pay any amount required to repair the damaged property.

7) Credit Insurance: This type of insurance pays the loans of the policy holder in case of any accident of the policy holder or job loss or death.

Third Party Insurance: This type of insurance covers damages caused by you (first party) to others (third party). For more details visit third party insurance.

Apart from these above mentioned insurance policies there are many other types of insurance policies in the market (and the list keeps on increasing) that are more or less related to these policies however providing benefits to the policy holders in a different and unique way.

Tags: insurance types, types of life insurance, types of auto insurance, different types of insurance policies, types of insurance

Monday, September 20, 2010

Travel Insurance Tips

Travel Insurance Tips

Savvy holidaymakers will shop around to make sizeable savings on flights, package holidays and accommodation. However, many of them overlook travel insurance (also known as 'holiday insurance') and simply accept it as an add-on. This is an expensive mistake because some travel agents in the UK can make more profit from selling travel insurance policies than they do from the holidays themselves.

This money saving article will examine how you can save cash on your travel insurance - whether you should choose an annual or single-trip policy, where to go for cheap travel insurance and more.

What do you need to cover?

Before you think about what you need to cover you might ask - 'do I need cover at all'?

Though travel insurance is not mandatory, it is advisable to take out a policy as complaints about lost baggage are a common occurrence and medical bills in foreign countries can be astronomical for non-citizens. Medical claims are frequent with a third of UK tourists suffering from 'Delhi belly' while abroad according to Halifax, with almost two out of five travellers sick for two or more days losing around £42.42 per person a day off the cost of their holiday. If you're going to a country with poor medical facilities, ensure your policy includes repatriation costs.

The levels of cover available vary greatly and there's no point paying for something you don't need. Consequently here is our recommendation for the level of cover you should take out on a typical travel insurance policy:

  • Medical expenses (£2m)
  • Personal liability (£1m)
  • Cancellation (£3,000)
  • Baggage (£1,500)
  • Cash (£250)
  • Also make sure the travel insurance company has a 24hr emergency line and cover for legal costs.

Bear in mind however, that the amount of cover you need depends on your circumstances. For example, if you are taking a low cost flight for less than £50 is there really any point in securing cancellation cover? By the time you have paid off the excess you might only be claiming back £10. Additionally, be wary of ridiculous amounts of medical expenses cover - some will offer as much as £20m, when £2m is nearly always adequate.

It's also important to take out travel insurance as soon as you book your trip - particularly with the cancellation stipulation in mind. If you book your holiday months in advance but plan to wait until the last minute to secure your insurance then you won't be covered if you are forced to make a cancellation - perhaps due to a family bereavement or illness. So book your travel insurance to start immediately after booking your holiday to give yourself peace of mind and make sure your cancellation cover at least matches the cost of your holiday.

Also pay close attention to baggage cover. Typically a policy will cover around £1,500-£2,000 for lost baggage, which is nearly always sufficient. However, many policies have single-item limits, usually ranging from £200-£300, and there may be an excess to pay in the region of £50-£70. According to Age Concern Insurance Services, around a third of Brits don't bother to check the terms and conditions of their policy - so ensure you read the small print thoroughly and look for any notable exclusions.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Barron's on TD Ameritrade

Barron's, Sandra Ward, 18 September 2010Hard to believe amid all the hand-wringing about the direction of the economy and the markets, but day trading is alive and well.A healthy number of individuals continue to indulge a passion for buying and selling stocks, and options and futures on those stocks, on a daily basis, in spite of the continued exodus from actively managed stock mutual funds and

Monday, September 13, 2010

Review of Banks' Q3 2010 Earnings

Scotia Capital, 13 September 2010Event• Canadian banks' third quarter operating earnings were disappointing, missing earnings estimates, the first quarterly miss of the earnings recovery cycle. ROE: 15.9%, RRWA: 2.06%, Tier 1: 12.8%.Implications• The major collapse in trading revenue from record levels a year earlier cut wholesale earnings in half. Trading revenue as a percentage of total revenue

Friday, September 3, 2010

TD Bank Q3 2010 Earnings

Scotia Capital, 3 September 2010Event• TD operating EPS declined 2% to $1.43, in line with expectations.Implications• Earnings were solid, driven by a strong performance at Canadian P&C (TDCT) with earnings up 24% YOY, followed by U.S. P&C up 19%, and Wealth Management up 10%, offset by a 45% decline in Wholesale. The bank viewed the Wholesale, earnings decline as normalization. The major

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Health Insurance For Individuals

Health Insurance For Individuals - Options Of Paying It And The Best Way To Decide On One (insuransiv)

Why Co-Payment Is Necessary And Advantageous

In our working population, most people have health insurance for individuals' plan whereby the company mostly pays for a major part of their yearly premiums. Having said that, employee will still be demanded to make a co-payment every time they go to a health professional. This co-payment is just a small amount fork out by the workers towards the expenditure for getting the medical treatments. This sort of insurance program is actually quite common. Due to the fact of the co-payment, people today will not make unneeded trips to the health professionals for minor medical matters that they can realistically handle by themselves at home. Consequently, this also assists the insurer to lower down the premiums, specifically in this very cutthroat competitive market place in recent times.

Using Medicare For All Those Over 65

If an individual are over sixty-five years of age and encounter certain kind of disabilities, a person can look into the possibility of making use of a Medicare to help in saving significantly in the health related expenditures. One key pitfall that you have to realize is that Medicare doesn't cover up the expenditures borne for the prescriptions given. This cost also comprises of the fee of using a nursing home. In spite of this, do not lose hope. Right now there are still low cost prescription options offered in the market place which usually can help you greatly in getting down the price borne for settling the prescribed medicines.

Apply For HSA(Healthcare Savings Account) To Your Advantage

On the other hand, if you are one who sees the health practitioner very frequently because of some health-related disorders which you may possess, it is best for you to utilize a HSA account. That will help you to minimize your month-to-month healthcare costs significantly. How this works is that you could set aside a fixed sum of funds to be deducted from your wage month to month and to be deposited into this account. This amount of money in the HSA could then be widely used to cope with the expenses for just about all the medical bills incurred. This will essentially assist you to greatly reduce your healthcare charges as the money in the account is from your salary before tax.

Mentioned above are simply various plans that you have to be aware of before getting any health insurance for individuals. So, before you decide taking up any plans, perform your research first. For instance, you really have to make a decision whether you are ready to make a co-payment in your medical plan or prefer paying more expensive yearly or month-to-month premiums that will permit you not paying for the medication you receive.

Lastly, it does not matter what plan you settle on to take up, don't just go for one that cost you the cheapest. In reality, you have to decide on one that match your needs best in terms of the benefits, restrictions and coverage that you will get from the plan.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Scotiabank Q3 2010 Earnings

TD Securities, 1 September 2010Investment Thesis. The quarter was largely inline with updated expectations in terms of the bottom-line number and key themes.Domestic Retail turned in another good quarter despite softer margins on good volumes and improving credit. Overall, credit came on much better than expected. Wholesale was soft, but not materially disappointing relative to reduced

Friday, August 27, 2010

RBC Q3 2010 Earnings

• BMO cuts price target to C$53 from C$63; rating outperform• CIBC cuts price target to C$56 from C$62; rating sector performer • KBW cuts price target by C$2 to C$58; rating outperform• Macquarie cuts target price to C$56 from C$60; rating neutral• UBS cuts price target to C$66 from C$68; rating buy__________________________________________________________ Scotia Capital, 27 August 2010Event•

National Bank Q3 2010 Earnings

• BMO raises target price to C$71 from C$70; rating outperform• Canaccord Genuity raises price target to C$69 from C$68• Credit Suisse raises target price to C$69 from C$68• Macquarie cuts price to C$67 from C$68; rating neutral• RBC raises price target to C$74 from C$71; rating sector perform.__________________________________________________________ Scotia Capital, 27 August 2010Event• NA

Canadian Banks Confident Ahead of New Basel Rules

Thomson Reuters, 27 August 2010Canada's banks appear set to handily absorb stiffer global capital and liquidity rules being developed by the Basel banking committee, meaning they could soon begin raising dividends and making acquisitions.While the new regulations won't be released until November, the CEOs of Canada's big six banks have begun speaking more confidently about their ability to adopt

Thursday, August 26, 2010

CIBC Q3 2010 Earnings

Scotia Capital, 26 August 2010Event• CIBC (CM) reported an increase in cash operating earnings of 22% YOY to $1.66 per share beating expectations due to surprisingly strong trading revenue/wholesale earnings and slightly higher security gains. Operating ROE was 21.5% with RRWA of 2.39%.Implications• Wholesale Banking operating earnings declined 33% YOY to $123 million, but remained surprisingly

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

BMO Q3 2010 Earnings

Scotia Capital, 25 August 2010Event• BMO cash operating EPS increased 9% to $1.14, below our estimate of $1.20 and consensus of $1.21. Earnings were lower-than-expected due to extremely weak trading revenue and lower security gains, partially offset by lower than expected LLPs. Operating ROE was 13.9%.Implications• Positives for the quarter were credit and strong operating results in core

Monday, August 23, 2010

Property Insurance

Property Insurance

Property is subject to many types of losses. It can be natural or unnatural. From unnatural losses one can save their property by using burglar alarms or any other special devices. However in case of natural disasters like earthquake , fire, floods or any other disaster one cannot find out a way to foolproof the security of their property. But now a days a new concept of property insurance is buzzing in the market and the new jargons like Home Property Insurance , Commercial Property Insurance, Business Property Insurance, Rental Property Insurance, Let Property Insurance, Rented Property Insurance, Landlord Property Insurance and Property Liability Insurance etc. can be heard of in the market. This is the way people feel confident about their property and this is the way if something happens to their property or their business they will be given with the enough money to pay their losses with the help of Property Insurance.

Property insurance comes in many flavors that means it can be modified as per the customer needs like covering jewellery, furniture, paintings, rented property etc but in the property insurance these things can be insured only after attaching certain documents as these are not directly insured under property insurance.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Credit Suisse: Revenue Growth to Slow for Banks

Credit Suisse, 19 August 2010As Canadian bank earnings/returns on equity (ROE) benefit from declining credit charges, slowing revenue growth represents a headwind.We forecast provisions for credit losses (PCLs) to decline 35% and 36% in 2010 and 2011, respectively, providing a substantial boost to group profitability. However, as this earnings/ROE driver loses momentum, the onus falls on revenue

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Preview of Banks' Q3 2010 Earnings

Scotia Capital, 12 August 2010Banks Begin Reporting Third Quarter Earnings August 24 - Uninspiring• Banks begin reporting third quarter earnings with Bank of Montreal (BMO) on August 24, followed by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM) on August 25, Royal Bank (RY) and National Bank (NA) on August 26, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) on August 31, Canadian Western (CWB) on September 1 (after market

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Manulife Q2 2010 Earnings

Citigroup Global Markets, 5 August 20102Q10 a miss – Operating EPS of (C$1.36) compared unfavorably to 2Q09 EPS of C$1.09, and was well below our estimate of $0.00 and FC of (C$0.62). While disappointing, we did not find much during our initial review of the results with respect to business line performance that came as a surprise in terms of sales or underwriting trends. But, Canadian GAAP

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Types of Life Insurance

Types of Life Insurance

term life insurance, types of life insurance policy, different types of life insurance policies

Now there are different types of life insurance policies available in the market, some policies allow the insurer to participate in the profits of the insurance company; others give the assurance to return certain percentage of the investment independent of the profit of the company.

The types of life insurance pollicies can be divided into two types:

1. Whole Life Insurance (or Permanent Life Insurance): The permanent life insurance policy is a life insurance policy which covers the whole life of an individual. This is why it is also called whole life insurance.

2. Term Life Insurance: In term life insurance policy an individual can buy a life insurance policy that covers a fixed number of years and hence the name term life insurance. Term life insurance can be one to hundred years.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Basel Tone Improves - Positive for Canadian Banks

Scotia Capital, 28 July 2010• The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision reached broad agreement July 26, 2010 on the overall design of the capital and liquidity reform package including definition of capital, the treatment of counterparty credit risk, the leverage ratio, and the global liquidity standard.• In general, the agreement seems to provide a more balanced and constructive approach to

Friday, July 2, 2010

Types of Health Insurance Plans

Health insurance to its employees. It forms a part of their monthly salary or is given as a perk. But most companies do not make such offers and there are a lot of employees who have to seek individual health insurance for their needs.

It is essential to realize that insurance is very important because not being insured means a lot of expense to be incurred in case you are faced with a sudden medical emergency that might require hospitalization and tests. Fees for doctor visits and other related expenses will create a huge dent in your bank account and might indeed finish off all your savings.

As we get older, we are prone to age-related diseases. Being prepared with insurance cover in advance is not only a wise decision it is also a sound choice to make in terms of finance.

Individual health insurance plans are available in two types: Indemnity and Managed Care Plans. There is only two major differences between the two plans. How much you will pay as premium and the method of paying your bills.

Indemnity individual health insurance is comparatively more expensive than Managed Care and that is the reason most people opt for the Managed Health Care Plans. In terms of benefits and risk covered, the indemnity individual health insurance plan is the one that covers the basics of health more comprehensively. It is also the oldest form of health insurance.

Indemnity plan requires you to pay a part of the medical costs with the insurance provider paying the balance remaining. The most availed plan is the 80-20 where you are required to pay 80% of the medical costs incurred and the insurance provider pays the remaining 20%. Premiums are charged accordingly. The higher the amount you commit to pay, the lower will be the monthly premium charged by the insurance provider. The company decides the rate of compensation on the basis of average fees charged by doctors and physicians in your area for medical services. You either pay the fees upfront and claim from the insurance company later or have your doctor send the bill to them directly.

Managed health care plans are more popular because they are more affordable as compared to indemnity plans. The premium rates are lower too but you are not at liberty to choose your physician or service provider and have limited choice.

Friday, April 16, 2010

TD Bank Buys 3 Failed Banks in Florida

The Wall Street Journal, Robin Sidel, 16 April 2010Canada's TD Bank Financial Group, accelerating its march on the U.S. banking industry, gobbled up the operations of three failed institutions in Florida.Regulators also seized two small banks in Michigan and Massachusetts, representing the first bank failures of the year in those two states. So far this year, 47 banks have failed in the U.S.In

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Finding Very Cheap Car Insurance

Finding Very Cheap Car Insurance For Your Mitsubishi (insuransiv)

When you are looking for car insurance, the cheaper the better. If you want Mitsubishi insurance, for example, you want to be sure that you get very cheap car insurance that you can afford. As a Mitsubishi is an affordable car, it stands to reason that you will not want to pay a lot for the car insurance to have your car covered. When you are looking to save money on your car insurance, it makes sense to go online and get quotes. This is the best way to buy Mitsubishi car insurance or any other type of car insurance for that matter.

Very cheap car insurance usually entails only liability coverage. You can save quite a bit of money on your car insurance if you only get liability car insurance instead of full coverage. If your car is an older model car, it probably makes more sense to only cover it in case of an accident in which you are at fault so that you have liability coverage rather than collision coverage as your deductible may be more than the car is worth. You can get very cheap car insurance when you look for liability only coverage when you are purchasing Mitsubishi insurance.

You can also raise your deductible when you are looking for Mitsubishi insurance. When you want to get very cheap car insurance, the higher your deductible, which is the amount that you have to pay out of your own pocket for any loss before the insurance company kicks in, the cheaper your car insurance rate is going to be. This is one way to get a lower premium on your car insurance.
How much coverage do you need? If you need state mandatory coverage only and do not have a lot of assets, then you may just want to go with what the state says you have to carry when it comes to liability coverage for your Mitsubishi insurance. The lower the coverage amount, the cheaper the insurance rate. When you are looking for very cheap car insurance, it pays to get the amount of coverage that will keep you legally safe when it comes to driving, but not over insure yourself. Most insurance agents will promote higher insurance coverage in case of an accident in which you are sued. However, if you have little or no assets, in which case you are pretty much betting on getting into an accident in which you are liable and someone is seriously injured.

Most insurance cases are settled out of court for the amount of the insurance coverage. Attorneys who pursue these cases do so for a portion of the damages awarded and are not likely to go after someone who has no assets. If you have little assets and want very cheap car insurance, you can go with state minimum coverage for your Mitsubishi insurance.

You can find the very best quotes on very cheap car insurance when you are looking for Mitsubishi insurance by going online and getting a quote by providing them with basic information that is secure and will afford you the best car insurance for your money.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Review of Banks' Q1 2010 Earnings

Scotia Capital, 19 March 2010Strong Earnings, Ahead of Market Expectations• Canadian banks reported another quarter of strong operating results. Bank earnings again exceeded Street expectations for the fourth straight quarter, thus further confirming that the bottom in operating earnings this cycle was Q2/09, which coincided with what we believe was peak quarterly loan loss provisions. Operating

Friday, March 5, 2010

TD Bank Q1 2010 Earnings

Scotia Capital, 5 March 2010• TD reported an increase of 26% YOY to operating earnings of $1.60 per share, above expectations. Earnings were better than expected due to strong results from Canadian P&C and Wholesale Banking with credit quality stable. ROE was 15.5% with RRWA very high at 2.88%.Implications• Canadian P&C earnings were a record, increasing 23% YOY with revenue growth of 11% aided

Thursday, March 4, 2010

RBC Q1 2010 Earnings

Scotia Capital, 4 March 2010RY cash operating earnings declined 16% YOY to $1.03 per share, in line with expectations. Operating ROE was 18.0% with RRWA of 2.32%.Implications• Earnings were driven by strong Canadian Banking results with wholesale earnings resilient. Credit quality improved in the quarter with lower loan loss provisions and lower gross impaired loan formations. Partially

Friday, February 26, 2010

CIBC Q1 2010 Earnings

Scotia Capital, 26 February 2010• CM reported a decline in cash operating earnings of 1% to $1.65 per share above our estimate and consensus due to higher net interest margin and stronger-than-expected results from wholesale with trading revenue flat QOQ. ROE was 22.5% with RRWA of 2.21%.Implications• CIBC Retail Markets earnings declined 9% YOY to $529M due mainly to loan loss provisions

National Bank Q1 2010 Earnings

Veritas Investment Research, 26 February 2010On first glance and deeper inspection, it is hard to find too many noteworthy aspects of the National’s solid & steady first quarter. Earnings were in line with Veritas’ expectations, which were themselves slightly above the consensus view. The quarter unfolded pretty much according to script: trading revenues normalized but didn’t melt away, while

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Preview of Banks' Q1 2010 Earnings

Scotia Capital, 18 February 2010Banks Begin Reporting February 25• Banks begin reporting first quarter earnings with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM) and National Bank (NA) on February 25, followed by Bank of Montreal (BMO) on March 2, Royal Bank (RY) and Laurentian Bank (LB) on March 3, Canadian Western (CWB) and Toronto Dominion (TD) on March 4, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) closing out

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dominic D'Alessandro's Risk Management Approach Not Popular Among Manulife's Senior Ranks

National Post, Theresa Tedesco, 30 January 2010The National Post investigates the impact of the global financial turmoil inside Manulife Financial Corp., Canada's most venerable life insurance company. The Post's examination reveals the drama behind the closed doors of the boardroom, the tense battle between the country's financial watchdog and Manulife's formidable former chief executive, and

Friday, January 29, 2010

What Toronto Can Teach New York and London

The Financial Times, Chrystia Freeland, 29 January 2010There’s something about Canada that inspires gentle mockery from foreigners, especially those who live south of the border. Kelly Ripa, the co-host of a popular US talk show, this month engaged in an extended on-air riff with her husband (don’t ask) about the absurdity of Canadian place names; Regina came in for a particular beating. South

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Canada's Dividend Culture

Scotia Capital, 27 January 2010• The following are excerpts from our full report titled "Canada's Dividend Culture".• The main risk currently, in our opinion, to the Canadian banking industry and bank valuation is “regulatory” in terms of over-regulation and mis-regulation. The major uncertainty is what operating and financial constraints will be placed on banks by the regulator. We believe that

Saturday, January 23, 2010

5 Things Never to Say to Your Insurers

5 Things Never to Say to Your Insurers

Some words are red flags to insurers and using them could mean that your claim might be delayed or even denied.

1. "I Think ..."

Never begin a statement regarding a claim with these words. If you aren't sure, don't guess. What you say could cause your claim to be delayed or denied, says attorney Vedica Puri. And if you're wrong -- say, you report driving at 30 miles per hour before an accident but police later prove you were going 50 -- it could hurt your credibility.

Particularly beware of speculating on blame or causation. For example, if you suggest that a water leak is due to a construction defect, you could give the insurer an out if that's a policy exclusion.

Stick to the facts. Should the insurance rep ask you a question you can't answer, simply say, "I don't know." If the person is taking a written or recorded statement, ask for a transcript to review for misstatements.

2. "I Got Whiplash"

Fraud costs auto insurers up to $6.8 billion a year, reports the Insurance Research Council. And suing for damages caused by whiplash is a fraudster favorite ("Oh, my neck!"). Merely mentioning the term is likely to get your claim flagged for further investigation, says Amy Danise of

Whiplash is a specific diagnosis. If a doctor says that you have it, then you should report it as such. Other wise, if you feel neck pain, just refer to it that way.

3. "It's an Experimental Treatment"

Truly experimental or investigational medical procedures are typically not eligible for health insurance coverage. So if a doctor tells you he wants to experiment with a treatment, don't represent it using those words. "In medical terms it may not actually be experimental or investigational," explains Danise. "If it's proven effective, your doctor deems it medically necessary, and it's not an exclusion, it should be covered." Verify with your doctor that it meets the above litmus tests before going to the insurer.

4. "My Basement Flooded"

With homeowners insurance, "flood" is a red flag. "The word refers to an act of weather or an overflow from a nearby body of water," says Danise. "And a standard homeowners policy doesn't cover it. You'd need flood insurance."

So don't use the f-word if your basement is knee-deep in water because of a burst pipe. Damages from such an incident should be covered by a homeowners policy. But calling it a "flood" could muddy the waters, so to speak.

5. "Just Send Me a Check"

When filing a home or auto claim, don't emphasize that you're just looking for the cash.

"If you were to say, 'I don't care about the roof leak, I just need the money,' that admission could slow things to a halt," says Puri. Technically, you're supposed to use the payout to make the repair for which you filed. While it's true that most insurance companies aren't going to check up on you, you'll certainly raise the fraud unit's suspicions if you imply that you won't. And then you might lose out on the money altogether.

Monday, January 11, 2010

BMO NB & Scotia Capital Prefer Insurance Cos.

Scotia Capital, 11 January 2010TSX Insurance over TSX Banks. Insurance stocks have underperformed Banks by roughly 40% in the last 12-months. More recently, however, the Insurance sector has easily outperformed, posting a gain of 12.9% in the last month versus -1.2% for the TSX Banks index. We believe Insurance will continue to outperform Banks in coming months as LT yields move up and the yield

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Are You Hard to Insure?

Are You Hard to Insure?

What prompts an insurer to deny coverage? The reasons for rejection fall into a handful of categories, but they all boil down to one maddening fact: Companies don't like to sell insurance to people who are likely to use it.

In some cases, there isn't much you can do to remedy the situation — if you live in an active flood plain, for instance. But some things you do have control over. After all, do you really need that woodburning stove? Here's a list of things you might think about changing — if you can — plus a list of last resorts.


Potential Hazards
Exposure to things like earthquakes and floods is obviously a problem. But anything on your property that could bring about liability claims could also cost you. For example, you may be refused coverage or will certainly have to pay more if you own an unfenced swimming pool, expecially if it has a diving board or a water slide. State Farm considers a trampoline a potential risk.

Unsafe Conditions
The insurer may deem your home or neighborhood unsafe due to anything from the crime rate to the incidence of fire in buildings like yours. Insurers will certainly want to know if fire-resistant materials were used to construct your home — something to keep in mind if you're thinking of buying a fixer-upper. They will also check to see if you maintain your property. Signs of disrepair, such as cracked steps or a leaky roof will be taken into consideration when agents are deciding whether to write or renew a policy.

Mean Pets
Believe it or not, unleashed or unfriendly dogs are seen by insurers as potential causes of liability claims. "If we investigate a home and find that a dog seems to be threatening, or if someone owns a pack of dogs," says State Farm spokesman Jerry Parsons, "then we might decline coverage."

Wood-burning Stoves
Wood-burning stoves have become a much sought-after item among home shoppers looking for coziness or charm. But, due to danger of fire, insurers see nothing charming about them. If you own one, most companies will either increase your premium or, if you live in an area far from hydrants or a local fire station, may refuse your business altogether.

Heavy Claims Filing
As unfair as it seems, this is a primary reason for denying coverage. Insurers may consider several claims filed within a couple of years as a sign that you are not taking care to protect your home and possessions, or even that you are engaging in insurance fraud, says Peter van Aartrijk, a spokesman for the Council of Independent Insurance Agents. Many companies would rather see one very large claim than several small ones. Say you have a $50,000 claim in your recent past for damage from a house fire caused by faulty electrical wiring. You can probably find a new policy fairly easily, since in all likelihood the electrical system would have been brought up to current building codes in the course of repairs. But if every six months or so you file a claim for the loss of a ring, a watch or a set of golf clubs, finding a new homeowners policy is going to be something of a challenge. Try using an independent agent who will not only shop around for you, but can also make a case to underwriters that you are a responsible homeowner, and have just had a string of bad luck.


Where do you turn when no one else will have you? Check if your state offers a Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plan. FAIR plans are government-backed policies for folks who have been turned down everywhere else because their property is in a high-risk area. They are often more expensive and less comprehensive than standard policies, but may be your only option. Currently 35 states and the District of Columbia offer FAIR plans,