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New boutique construction insurance brokerage launches in Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG, MAN.,  Jan. 3, 2019/insPRESS/ – Apex Surety & Insurance Ltd. brings together five partners with over sixty years of experience in building risk management solutions for contractors.

Five leading insurance professionals today formally announced the establishment of a boutique insurance brokerage focused on providing cutting edge solutions for the construction and real estate markets in Manitoba and Western Canada.

The team brings together a diverse array of professional and risk management qualifications, including backgrounds in law, accounting, banking and construction allowing APEX to provide strategic and advisory services to clients far beyond what is typically offered by insurance brokerages.

APEX is Winnipeg’s first brokerage with a specific focus on surety and serving the construction industry. Christopher Wiens, APEX Partner, said: “As the construction industry trends to becoming more prone to disputes, the need for surety bonding and robust insurance policies becomes more acute – insurance and bonding play a direct role in ensuring both public and private projects are completed on time and on budget.”

Introducing APEX’s Management Team:

Scott Fraser, BA (Econ.), CAIB, CIP, brings over a decade of experience having held a Vice President title at a global insurance brokerage, providing strategic risk management advice to contractors, specialty subtrades and design consultant firms of all sizes. His keen understanding of insurance and indemnity requirements in construction contracts and the financial instruments needed to address inherent risks allow him to build bespoke risk management solutions for complex client needs.

Christopher Wiens, B. Comm. (Hons.), CAIB, specializes in constructing strategic solutions to help small, midmarket and large contractors to grow their businesses while navigating complex surety and insurance landscapes in Winnipeg and Toronto. With experience in two distinct markets, he offers a uniquely informed perspective on managing risk in the construction sector and the Canadian insurance market. Chris was named to the ‘Insurance Young Guns’ list by Insurance Business Canada in 2018 as one of the top performers in the industry under 35.

Sel Tse, CPA, CGA, is a designated accountant and a specialist in construction surety bonding. Sel has over 15 years of experience advocating for clients with revenues ranging from $500,000 to over $1bn as a Vice President at a global insurance brokerage. He uses his extensive technical knowledge and negotiating skills to build surety programs that allow clients the flexibility to grow and tactically expand their businesses.

Chris Wren, B.Comm. (Hons.), CAIB, CIP, has built a strong reputation over 15 years working in surety, broking, and account executive positions as a Vice President in the construction group of a global insurance brokerage. Chris brings to APEX both technical expertise and an extensive track record of reliable and consistent client service.

Scott Gilmour, LL.B., has a decade of experience in a variety of complimentary fields, having worked as a corporate lawyer at a global law firm, managed a division of a large building envelope sub-contractor and most recently created custom risk solutions for contractors and construction projects in his role as casualty underwriter at a Lloyd’s of London insurance syndicate. Scott was named to the ‘Insurance Young Guns’ list by Insurance Business Canada in 2018 as one of the top performers in the industry under 35.

Sel Tse, APEX Partner, said: “APEX sees a place for a local, customer focused boutique entrant with a fresh, technology driven approach in the construction and real estate space. We are a team-based brokerage that is looking to harness each of our unique professional and personal backgrounds to develop and deliver premier risk management solutions to our customers. We are locally built, with national expertise.”

For further information contact:
Scott Gilmour, Partner, APEX, 204-205-1198, scott.gilmour@apexsurety.ca
Christopher Wiens, Partner, APEX, 204-560-2512,christopher.wiens@apexsurety.ca

About Apex Surety & Insurance Ltd.
Founded in December of 2018, APEX is a Winnipeg-based boutique insurance and surety brokerage with an emphasis on providing risk management solutions and advisory services for construction clients. With a combined sixty years of experience in the insurance industry, APEX brings leading expertise to the Western Canadian market.

 

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The Best Credit Cards for Students in 2019

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The Best Credit Cards for Students 2019

If you’re a student in college or university, you understand that every penny counts. Tuition is high, textbooks are expensive, and it’s hard to maintain healthy eating habits while living off-campus when all you can afford are those packets of Sidekicks pasta for $1.

This is where a good rewards credit card can come in handy. Not only can you earn points, merchandise or cash-back for you purchases, but you’re also given the opportunity to start building your credit. And this is important if you’re a young adult who doesn’t have any credit to your name. If used responsibly, having a credit card will start you off on the right foot so you are eligible for other types of credit in the future, like personal loans or a mortgage. And there’s a great chance you’ll need one of these things eventually.

Rewards cards generally offer different amounts of points or cash-back for particular spending categories (gas, grocery, pharmacy purchases, etc.). Whether it’s rebating you in points, a statement credit, or cash-back in your bank account, a good rewards card maximizes on your everyday purchases and ultimately helps you save, and if you’re a student, you’re likely looking for a card with little-to-no annual fee.

But with so many options available, it may be hard to choose the exact credit card that’s right for you.

RateSupermarket.ca makes it easy with our card comparison tool. And with all things considered, from sign-up bonuses to earning rates, we used our Best of Finance methodology to rank the cards that provided the most cash value.

These are the best credit cards for students that offer rewards:

The Top 3 Credit Cards for Students in 2019


RSM-022_2018_Best_Of_Finance_2018_Campaign_BlogPost_800x180_BMO_Cashback_FINAL

Why it’s an awesome card

With no annual fee, the BMO®* CashBack Mastercard®* offers those with a limited budget a decent amount of cash-back if used to its full potential. The card offers 5% cash-back in the first three months of cardmembership up to $2,000 in spending, with no restrictions on where you can earn cash-back. So you’re already entitled to earn $100 in cash-back in just a few months. Eligibility requirements are also pretty low, which makes this card appealing for students with no or low income. After you’ve reached the $2,000 spending cap, you only receive 1% cash-back on your purchases, which is standard for a no-fee card.

Cash-back is applied to your account annually, and while it is detailed on your statement monthly, you’ll receive your cash-back in the form of a credit to your account in January of the following year.

Earning rate*

  • Other: 1% cash-back on all purchases.

Earning potential

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Sign-up bonus: 5% cash-back in the first three months of cardmembership (up to $2,000 in spending).
  • Rewards earned over a 24-month period: $373.51** 

RSM-022_2018_Best_Of_Finance_2018_Campaign_BlogPost_800x180_BMO_SPC_FINAL

Why it’s an awesome card

Identical to the BMO®* CashBack Mastercard®*, the BMO SPC®** CashBack® Mastercard®* yields a fair amount of cash-back for a no-fee card – 5% in the first three months of having a card (up to $2,000 in spending), and 1% thereafter. However, it also comes with the added benefits of a Student Price Card (SPC) membership, offering 10% to 15% off at hundreds of stores.

The over 450 participating stores include Adidas, Taco Bell, Koodo Mobile, Forever 21, and Victoria Secret – providing you with deals on everything from shoes to tacos to your phone plan – and the SPC membership renews automatically every year.

This card won Best Card for Students in the past at our Best of Finance Awards, as its designed specifically for students and their specific needs – qualification is based on lower earning requirements, and a third-party or parental authorization isn’t needed to sign up.

Cash-back accumulated over the year is awarded to your account as a credit every January, after which your cash-back balance reverts to $0.

Earning rate*

  • Other: 1% cash-back on all purchases.

Earning potential

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Sign-up bonus: 5% cash-back in the first three months of cardmembership (up to $2,000 in spending).
  • Rewards earned over a 24-month period: $373.51**

RSM-022_2018_Best_Of_Finance_2018_Campaign_BlogPost_800x180_SB_Scene_FINAL

Why it’s an awesome card

This credit card is a cool option if dining out and movies are your thing, as you earn SCENE points for purchases. SCENE points can be redeemed for free movie tickets, discounts on concessions, or discounts at some popular Canadian restaurants (Kelsey’s, Swiss Chalet, Milestones, and East Side Mario’s, to name a few). And since SCENE points are applied to your account automatically, you can use them anytime – great for those Friday night hangouts.

Not only does the SCENE®* Visa* Card reward you for your pastimes, but it helps build your credit score and you don’t have to pay an annual fee. It was also the winner of the Best Card for Students award at our last Best of Finance Awards.

Earning rate*

  • Entertainment: 5 SCENE points per $1 spent at participating Cineplex Entertainment theatres or online at cineplex.com.
  • Restaurants: 1 SCENE point per $3 spent at CARA restaurants, with some exceptions.
  • Other: 1 SCENE point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Earning potential

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Sign-up bonus: 2,000 SCENE points (if you charge $500 to the account within the first three months of cardmembership).
  • Rewards earned over a 24-month period: 36,151.04 SCENE points
  • Monetary worth: $361.51

 


Notes: 

*Earning rate up to card’s annual spending cap, if applicable.

**Assuming $1,222.96 is spent on the card monthly at eligible retailers, in the following categories: Pharmacy ($55.33), Food ($758.53), Gas: $155.72, Travel ($151.21), Other ($102.17).

The post The Best Credit Cards for Students in 2019 appeared first on MoneyWise.

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This area could get half a metre of snow Canadian Underwriter

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FREDERICTON – An intense winter storm is forecast to descend on the Maritimes on Sunday, and the New Brunswick government is warning residents to prepare for power outages.

Environment Canada says a low-pressure system approaching from the southwest will track across the Bay of Fundy, dumping between 20 and 60 centimetres of snow across much of the province.

In Nova Scotia, between 10 and 20 centimetres of snow is in the forecast for much of the province, with the higher amounts expected in northern Nova Scotia.

Residents of Prince Edward Island are being told to brace for between 20 and 40 centimetres of snow and rainfall amounts reaching 40 millimetres.

The storm is also expected to deliver strong winds and freezing rain, particularly in southern New Brunswick and along Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast.

New Brunswick’s Department of Public Safety says residents should have well-stocked, 72-hour emergency kits in their homes and vehicles.

The kits should include food, water, batteries, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, first-aid supplies, cash in small bills in case ATMs are unavailable, prescriptions, infant formula and equipment for people with disabilities.

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Why Canada’s largest mutual insurer is not demutualizing Canadian Underwriter

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Unlike Economical Insurance, Canada’s largest mutual insurer plans to stay that way.

“Everybody says, ‘Because of what Economical is doing, are you going to demutualize?’ No,” Carol Jardine, president of the Canadian property and casualty operations of Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, said Thursday during a luncheon hosted by the Insurance Brokers of Toronto Region (IBTR).

Wawanesa, which was founded in the Manitoba community of the same name, is Canada’s largest mutual P&C insurer. Among Canadian P&C carriers, Winnipeg-based Wawanesa and Waterloo, Ont.-based Economical rank fifth and seventh respectively by premiums written in 2017.

Economical Insurance submitted a proposal this past June to the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions that would convert the mutual insurer to a stock company. If successful, Economical would become publicly traded. Several more hurdles remain to be cleared before Economical can demutualize.

One reason Economical officials want to demutualize is to raise money from capital markets to help pay for mergers or acquisitions.

Wawanesa has previously indicated that it has no demutualization plans, but Jardine gave brokers some insight into why on Thursday. Put simply, a mutual insurer has a different mandate than a publicly-traded insurer.

“There are very successful mutuals in the United States and we think that is the best offering for Canadians and their community,” Jardine said, citing State Farm and Liberty Mutual as examples. “We don’t have shareholders. We just have ourselves, and we are kind of a break-even insurance company. We are very happy with [a] 100[%] combined [ratio].”

In contrast, publicly-traded insurers may be hard-pressed to keep their combined ratio around 93% so they can give their shareholders a return on their investment.

Canada has seven federally-regulated property and casualty mutual insurers. Four life insurers (Manulife, Clarica, Sun and Canada Life) demutualized nearly 20 years ago. In 2015, Canada passed regulations allowing federally-regulated P&C mutuals to demutualize. The only one to start the process has been Economical.

Economical’s proposal, sent to OSFI in June 2018, includes a recommendation on how to allocate financial benefits resulting from demutualization, as well as opinions from actuarial and financial experts. OSFI “will be diligent and they will be thorough” in reviewing Economical’s conversion proposal, Economical chairman John Bowey said in May 2018 at the insurer’s annual general meeting. “We expect this to be a lengthy review.”

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