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Latest Insights on COVID-19

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Latest Insights on COVID-19

Our gratitude, resilience and partnership ensure that we will overcome the challenges of COVID-19. Driven by our focus on the safety of our employees, the continuity of our business and the needs of our clients, we will continue to offer resources and expertise that inform decisions, enhance well-being and create better outcomes.

COVID Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Last updated on November 12, 2020

Benefits Compliance and COVID-19

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FAQs

Last updated on July 31, 2020

Benefits Compliance and COVID-19: Return to Work Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQs

Last updated on June 10, 2020

Small Business Administration

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FAQs

May 26, 2020

Returning to the Workplace Amid COVID-19: Potential Issues and Practical Guidance

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Corporate Benefits

What to Know Before Traveling This Holiday Season

December 01, 2020

Travel Plans This Holiday Season? Read This Before You Head Out

The arrival of the holiday season signals travel.

Before you catch a flight or hit the road, especially if you are travelling outside of Canada, it’s important to understand your out-of-country plan coverage. That’s usually true, but this year the main thing for holiday travelers is to understand how their out-of-country coverage applies to COVID-19.

Make sure to keep these three points in mind before, during and after travel:

  • First and most importantly, pay attention to your COVID-19 coverage and how it applies to out-of-country travel.
  • For people leaving Canada, make sure to check the standard trip time limit of your contract. Plan members should check their contracts and make sure their planned trip is within these limits. Remember, there is no extension to the trip time limit. The no extension rule applies even if traveling home is restricted.
  • The Canadian government currently has multiple travel advisories in place and recommends Canadians avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. As the response to the pandemic continues to evolve, the possibility of borders closing is very real. If that happens, you could find that coverage runs out while you’re still abroad due to the trip duration limit.

Whatever your plans for the holiday season, please remember to wear a mask, wash your hands and stay at least six feet apart. 

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4 Tips to Weather a Turbulent Market

November 25, 2020

With the recent market volatility, it’s understandable if you’re concerned about your retirement investments.

Volatile markets can make you wonder if you’re on track to meet retirement goals. This is a good time to remind yourself that ups and downs are a normal part of the market, and review best practices to follow.

Participants shouldn’t be discouraged. They shouldn’t panic. Instead, they should be proactive! Here are some steps to take in both up and down markets:

  1. Review Portfolios. You should know your investment mix and be sure they are invested in the appropriate asset classes (based on risk tolerance and time horizon to retirement). Times like these reinforce the need to diversify. (While diversification does not guarantee against loss of principal, it can help spread risk among different asset classes and market segments.)
  2. Check Contribution Rates. How much you contribute each month can directly impact how much you will have at retirement. Have you done a retirement needs calculation? Do you know how much you should be contributing each month to reach your goals? Are you increasing that amount each year (or more often) based on your income and age?
  3. Rebalance. This will readjust your portfolios back to their original investment strategy, attempting to "sell high and buy low." Essentially, when rebalancing there’s a tendency to sell some appreciated assets and purchase others with lower valuations. Regular rebalancing (as a rule of thumb, at least once a year) may increase the overall return of a portfolio over time.
  4. Consult with Professionals. You don’t need to go it alone. As your advisor, we offer financial planning resources.

The key is to remember that staying invested in times of market turbulence can help with potential market gains. While there is never any certainty in the market, some of the sharpest historical market declines were followed by steep rebounds. History has taught us that volatility is to be expected.

The implications of surrounding the current turmoil present a good opportunity to refocus on the basics, and lock in best practices you should be following on a regular basis.

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Benefits Compliance COVID-19 State Quick Reference Chart

November 12, 2020

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Updates and Resources

Property and Casualty

Tips to Keep Safe This Holiday Season

December 03, 2020

The temperatures are dropping, snow is hitting the ground and holiday decorations are appearing in shops and neighborhoods.

The holidays are a busy time for many people and these holiday tips will help keep things going smoothly and prevent unwanted headaches:

  • Avoid Falls
    • Lights are a key part of decoration for many families. Whether you’re putting up a few strings of lights or decorating in the style of the Griswold family, be sure to place your ladder on sturdy ground. If possible, have someone spot you from below, too.
    • When setting up the ladder, it is recommended to have two rungs above the edge of the roof.
    • Ensure that your decorations are secured properly to prevent anything falling onto people below.
  • Prevent Fires
    • Be careful with the number of extension cords you use, and read the wattage that each extension cord can handle. Not only can overuse raise your electricity bill, but it could also overheat and create a fire hazard.
    • House fires are not uncommon during this time of the year. Don’t use a staple gun or nails to affix extension cords or anything with electricity running through it. Where possible, employ power strips with a breaker switch so you can avoid drawing too much power and causing an outage or fire.
    • If you have a live holiday tree, keep it well watered. This lessens the fire hazard and will keep your tree looking healthy — and you’ll have fewer needles to clean up.
  • Kitchen Safety
    • Avoid cuts and burns. While carving turkey, ham or any other holiday meat, be sure to cut away from yourself.
    • Pay attention. Being attentive in the kitchen is the best way to prevent burns from hot pots and pans, as well as cooking fires. Making a schedule for cooking may be a good idea to keep things flowing and organized.
    • Look out for children and pets and make sure they stay safe while you’re cooking. Although the holidays are about being together, keeping extra people out of the kitchen and clutter to a minimum can help prevent unwanted spills, burns and distractions.
  • Let It Snow
    • If you experience snow this holiday season, wear boots or shoes with slip-resistant material to help prevent a slip, trip or fall hazard.
    • Keep an eye out if snow melts and re-freezes — black ice is common and very dangerous, especially if a second snow hides the ice from view.
    • When shoveling snow, lift with your legs and not your back.

We hope you have a safe and happy holiday season. If at any time you need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your advisor.

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Alternate Route: How RVs Are Bringing Relief to Pandemic-Weary Travelers

November 25, 2020

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The Power of Claims Analytics

November 25, 2020

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Updates & Resources

Archive: April 2 | COVID-19 Coverage Property and Casualty Update

Archive: April 2 | COVID-19 Coverage Property and Casualty Update

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State Updates

State Updates

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Individual Solutions

Plan Sponsor Newsletter (Retirement Clients) – September 2020

September 25, 2020

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August 2020 Market Recap.

September 25, 2020

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Market Update with David Carter 09.16.2020

September 25, 2020

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Updates & Resources

Updates and Resources

Key issues facing condo corporations in 2020

October 14, 2020

The current hard market conditions in the insurance industry have led to new challenges for condominium corporations and their board of directors.

  • Hard Market Conditions
  • Financial Burden
  • Education

Increased premiums coupled with higher deductibles are the new normal facing this market segment. Insurers are citing a necessary correction in premiums given the significant risk underwritten. Higher claims frequency and increased cost of repairs have also driven deductibles higher.

A consequence of the hardening market is the need for additional funding to cover the increased costs of insurance and claims. Increased deductibles and claim costs now require budgeting for anticipated losses that were previously covered under the insurance policy.

Condominium boards need to provide guidance to their constituents about the impact of these changes to market conditions. Expertise around insurance matters is needed to ensure the board is not exposed to potential claims against directors and officers. Adoption of risk and claims management has now become a best practice required to mitigate risks and exposures.

Ready to learn more? Contact Patrick Lundy or an NFP office to learn more about the right protection for your corporation.

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COVID Alert App: Why You Should Download It

August 14, 2020

A new voluntary app was recently released for Canadians to protect users from the spread of COVID-19.

“COVID Alert” is an app produced by Health Canada that gives alerts to users if they’re within two metres or near an individual for 15 minutes who has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Ontario residents are currently the only ones who would receive a one-time key if they’ve tested positive for the virus. The key can be inputted into the app, and for 14 days afterwards encrypted Bluetooth signals will be sent to others if they’ve been in close contact with someone who has a positive test and also has the app.

Government officials are encouraging people to sign up for the app. The more people who are signed up, the easier it is to trace the virus and slow the spread of COVID-19. There have already been over 1.1 million downloads, according to Canadian Digital Service.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said when the app was launched that Atlantic provinces would be the next ones to link their healthcare systems to the application with more to follow.

The app, which is free and available in both French and English to those with Androids or iPhones, has received approval from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada along with several other privacy experts. Personal data is not collected and locations aren’t traced.

In order to use “COVID Alert,” users must have an Apple or Android phone made in the last five years.

You can download the iPhone app here.

The Android app is available here.

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Designing a Pandemic-Proof Compensation Plan

August 11, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for banks, in particular around compensation plans. Featured in BankDirector, NFP’s Joe Schaefer addresses the uncertainty of today’s climate and considerations to explore.
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