McLachlan’s Musings

Some recent musings….

  • WWW.BROKERLIFT.COM.   Have you heard of Brokerlift.com? This is a company that is developing a “white label” quote, bind, pay, policy issue platform that goes right on your website. Think about this for a moment. You have a renewal premium of $1,000, which is hard to handle profitably. Instead of pestering your client to fill out a six-page application, asking them eighty questions, seventy-five of which the answer is the same as last year, you can simply direct them to your website to answer a few questions and they can get their quotes instantly. They then press a button to bind, and get their policy. Easier for the client, and for you. Most brokers’ websites have a “need-a-quote” button that asks the prospect to fill out their name and address and someone will get back to them. That’s not what they want. They want a quote NOW, as they’re a small business whose client is asking for an insurance certificate. Now you’ll have that ability. Do yourself a favour and go to BROKERLIFT’s website (click here) and check it out. Don’t lose your business to Bullfrog or Sonnet or other thinly disguised direct writers. Fight back. (In the interests of full disclosure, Trinity will have some products on Brokerlift shortly, including E&O, GL, D&O and IT E&O.)

 

  • WHOLESALERS vs MGAs  As I travel across Canada I’m surprised how many brokers tell me they access quotes through two wholesalers. They send their submission to a wholesaler in Canada, who then sends it to a wholesaler in London, who gives them a Lloyd’s quote. Now, if it’s for a risk that no one else will write that’s one thing, but that’s rarely the case. Think about all the people in that chain who are taking their piece. You as the retailer; the wholesaler in Canada, and the wholesaler in the UK are all charging commissions and/or policy fees. A net premium to the insurer of $500 can become $1,000 once all the costs are added in. Why not simplify and spare your client the expense? If you want a quote from Lloyd’s or other A rated insurers just call us! We are an MGA, not a wholesaler. We don’t have to send the submission anywhere. One stop shopping. Same product, better deal for your client. And usually we don’t charge a policy fee. Better claims handling as well. On the ground here, not through two intermediaries and across the ocean. Just a thought.

 

  • PRICES KEEP FALLING! Observations on the market. Interest rates are at all time lows and 30 year bonds in some countries are down to 2%. Some shorter term fixed income is at negative interest rates. You’ll make more money putting your savings under the mattress. Investors in insurance companies historically looked for a 10% better return than the guaranteed fixed income return. So if the guaranteed fixed income return is 0%, insurers will have to generate all their income from underwriting. So a 90% combined ratio gives you a 10% return (insurers always talk about leverage but the truth is most good insurers write about the same premium as their equity or surplus). Charging off and getting more market share doesn’t help you unless its at lower than 90% combined. And that’s hard to do because we all know how insurers get new business. The only other way to make money at a zero interest rate is to sell something and take the capital gain, or to “release reserves”.  Releasing reserves means the insurer is saying it over reserved in the past and doesn’t need the money after all. Property casualty insurers have been releasing reserves for ten continuous years. But you can’t do that forever. Conning, one of the leading analysts of the P/C industry, estimates excess reserves are pretty well used up. (1-2% redundancies left)

Many large Insurers have released their six months’ results and their profits are way down from last year.So what does that all mean? It means theoretically rates should be going up. Insurers have been helped by a decade of benign results in cat exposures (notwithstanding what’s happened in Alberta in the past few years). But will they? I’d like to think that when everyone starts to say the insurance cycle is over and rates will never go up again, that’s when it happens. But instead it really means investors will settle for lower returns (what choice do they have?) and in fact will support insurers to take greater risks with a promise of higher returns. So more of the same. Except eventually real losses will mount and capacity will shrink. I’ll be retired by then but maybe my grandchildren will tell me about it.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, and for the best outcome, get a quote from Trinity, not our competition (see photo below)

Yours truly,

Michael McLachlan

President’s Message Summer 2016

It’s been some time since I’ve given you an update about Trinity.

We believe in quality rather than quantity, but you will be the judge of that. Of course, if the quality is poor as well, you should thank us for not emailing you more often.

First, I’d like to thank you for supporting Trinity for the past few years. We are growing by 315% YTD (which is easy when you’re small). If we continue to grow at this pace, we’ll have $3.2 billion in premium in five years. The magic of compound interest! I imagine our growth rate might start to ease off a little in the future. But if we keep working hard, maybe we’ll be able to remove the small print from our booth exhibit (see photo).

booth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a more serious note, we have had some important developments:

  1. We have hired three new underwriters this year. Chelsea Petre, Lizza Cuenca and Sarah Suschkov. Along with Salimah Ismail and Pam Segami, we now have a full variety of experience and skill sets to better support all our product lines and improve our service levels. Please visit our website: www.trinityunderwriting.ca to learn more about them and us.
  2. We have increased our product offerings. In addition to E&O, Tech, D&O, Healthcare Products Liability and package coverages we now offer Legal Expense, Cyber, Equipment Breakdown and an expanded General Liability appetite on a wider range of risks including those with higher US exposure.
  3. We insure tougher E&O classes such as Financial Institutions, Mortgage brokers, Land Surveyors, Lawyers and Engineers to name a few.
  4. We have improved our commission levels. We pay at least 20% on most of our products.

We realize there are plenty of choices out there, so why should you deal with us?

  • Innovation. We look for new ideas and solutions. Our experience and relationships with markets, both domestic and international, make it easy for us to come up with new products and approaches. After all, the principals have a reputation for imaginative underwriting.
  • Claims. Your claims are handled by Cameron and Associates, a leading TPA with decades of experience handling tricky liability losses. And we are in adjacent offices (not adjacent continents), so we can work together easily to ensure good service.
  • Focus. We are a liability and specialty lines market. We can’t help you with your property exposures, but fortunately there are many markets that can. If they disappear, call us!
  • Service. Small companies should be able to outperform larger ones. We are small. If you send us a submission or ask us a question you will hear from us in 24 hours guaranteed! If we fail on that promise, we don’t deserve your business.
  • Don’t tell anyone, but we’re working on an instant (within 90 seconds) quote, bind, pay & issue policy system that you can put right on your website for your clients to access. Think of it as another CSR, working for you 24/7. Stay tuned for more on that.

So that is a little update on Trinity. Please call, email or text if you would like more information. If we hear from you, we’ll have someone come to your office to give you a full overview (if that sounds like a disincentive to call us – we’ll only do that if you want us to).

Finally, an incentive. On The first two new accounts we bind with you after this update, you’ll get a 5% bonus commission. Note this will be for the next three months only, so act quickly!

Enjoy the summer.

Regards,

Mike

CASL: Insuring the Perils in Canada’s Tough Anti-spam Laws

The popular dating website PlentyOfFish.com never intended to spam its web users, yet in March 2015, they were fined $48,000 by the CRTC for “sending commercial electronic messages to its registered users with unsubscribe mechanisms that were not in compliance with the law.”

Read the full story of how Trinity have developed insurance solutions to mitigate CASL-related perils at InsuranceBusiness.ca.

TRINITY Underwriting Managers Ltd launches insurance product for anti-spam exposures

Trinity, working with leading underwriters at Lloyd’s and other Insurers, is pleased to launch a unique product to protect Canadian companies from costs and fines arising from a spamming problem.

From July 1, 2014, Canadian companies have been liable to large fines and penalties up to a possible $10 million for sending out spam. Just last month a Quebec firm was fined over $1 million. Trinity sees this as an Error or Omission and something that should be insurable.

“Most Canadian companies do not send out spam. However, their servers can be hijacked by others who use them to spam, or perhaps they inadvertently send out a letter to a client who has asked to be taken off the mailing list” said Mike McLachlan, President of Trinity.

“Obviously we will not insure companies that are deliberately sending out thousands of spam emails. But for those companies that run afoul of the CRTC through no fault of their own, we’re able to help,” said Mr. McLachlan.

Since July 1st last year, the CRTC has investigated thousands of spamming complaints. Companies can incur expensive costs and fines if they are found to be responsible for spamming activities. Trinity is pleased to offer an insurance policy that protects Insureds from costs and penalties arising from this exposure. If you’d like to know more about this product, ask your Insurance Broker to contact Trinity today.