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Latest Insights on COVID-19

close up of a coronavirus molecule

Latest Insights on COVID-19

Corporate Benefits

New Therapy Program Launched to Manage Alcohol Use

June 11, 2021

MindBeacon, a leading provider of digital mental and behavioural health therapy, recently launched a new digital therapy program focused on managing alcohol use.

This initiative was developed in consultation with The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). The CAMH is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world-leading research centre in the field of drug and alcohol consumption.

Statistics Canada data show that since the start of the pandemic there has been a 24 per cent increase in alcohol consumption. The new program applies a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach to managing alcohol consumption and helps users get empowered to develop a harm reduction strategy.

“The Managing Alcohol Use program is an innovative digitally-delivered therapy to focus on alcohol use and provide evidence-based solutions for Canadians looking to change their relationship with alcohol and lead a healthier life,” says Dr. Peter Farvolden, MindBeacon’s Chief Science Officer.

Why is managing alcohol intake important?

Reducing or monitoring alcohol intake can lead to improved health, reduced depression and anxiety as well as a boost in morale, self-esteem, and confidence. According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), at least 20 per cent of Canadian drinkers consume alcohol above the levels recommended by the Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking (LRAD) guidelines. These numbers grew significantly because of the pandemic.

What is the Managing Alcohol Use program?

The program is based on the principles of CBT and provides users with 12 weeks (almost 3 months) access to the MindBeacon platform. This includes access to exercises, information, reading materials, worksheets, and an alcohol consumption tracker. The entirety of the program is guided by a therapist who works at tailoring materials to each individual user’s unique needs.

MindBeacon is a digitally native platform offering individuals self-guided psychoeducational and wellness content, including Peer-to-Peer support, Direct Messaging Therapy, Therapist Guided Program and Live Therapy Sessions. All the mental health support provided by MindBeacon is virtual and at an accessible and affordable price for users.

Who is the Managing Alcohol Use program for?

This program is for anyone looking to change their relationship with alcohol, which includes anyone who regularly consumes alcohol beyond the recommended LRAD guidelines.

NFP & EAPs

At NFP, the health and wellness of your employees is our top priority. We support organizations in building tailor-made Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) that meet every individual’s unique. NFP’s years of expertise in designing coverage programs for businesses means we can think outside of the box when it comes to custom EAP programs.

We understand there are gaps that need to be filled in every coverage plan. Our years of industry knowledge allow us to close those gaps. 


For more information, visit NFP.ca.

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International Yoga Day: A Conversation with Yogi Chloe Millar

June 11, 2021

As we continue to work from home, it’s important that we find moments of peace and serenity. In celebration of International Yoga Day on June 24, we sat down with yoga instructor Chloe Millar to discuss everything from mental health benefits of performing yoga to reasons why yoga is an attractive exercise to many people in this day and age.

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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NFP: What attracted you to yoga? Are there any key moments?

Chloe Millar: For me, just the moment I got on my mat, it was as though everything else could wait. And just noticing all the changes in my body. Not just physically, but mentally as well.

I was a very inflexible person. I realized that doing yoga is not just about your body, but your mind as well. So, I thought that letting everything else go for the 15 minutes or two hours that I was on my mat was important.

NFP: What are the benefits of practising yoga? You mentioned some of the physical elements and flexibility. Are there other benefits?

Chloe: I do work in a demanding job, aside from teaching yoga. So, before I started yoga, I was constantly having chronic back pain, I wasn't sleeping well. And when I got into regular practice, I realized that back pain that I always had, wasn't there or wasn't as bad. So, in terms of chronic pain, it was gone. I felt stronger and stronger. I even started sleeping better.

Also, coming back to finding your breath is important. It's about calming yourself down. I'd say it's not just about the physical practice, it's more of a mental practice every day. Whether you’re on your mat or not, I definitely do see that I can handle stress better. I don't really let things bother me all that often anymore.

When I wasn’t practising, I was very anxious. I guess you could say, I was high strung. I see the whole mind-body benefit of yoga; it is not just physical, for sure.

NFP: Can you talk me through the process of you becoming a certified yoga teacher in Bali?

Chloe: It was always a dream of mine to do that. One day the stars aligned, and I got into the program. When I went to Bali, I thought that, ‘OK, it will be teacher training, I'm going to school and when I come back, I'll be a yoga teacher.’ But when I went it was kind of a bigger experience than I ever could’ve imagined.

I learned so much about myself that I didn't know. And while I was there, I became more certain that I do want to teach yoga, and I do want to share this practice with everyone. When I got home I was happy that now I can teach yoga. I was more grateful for the experience of all the growth, learning and just having that time to learn more about the practice and the history behind yoga.

NFP: That’s interesting. It sounds as though the actual moves aren’t the only thing you learned in Bali. It has more to do with the experience itself. Am I correct?

Chloe: 100 per cent. Coming back to the whole social media thing — you see pictures of beautiful poses, you see people doing these inversions or splits. Then you think, ‘I wish I could do that too.’ And I don’t know how to tell you how much I practice handstands.

When I first started, I would spend hours on end trying to perfect a handstand. Ever since returning from Bali, it’s not about the poses anymore or the practice on the mat. It’s about more. It’s about yoga practice in general. And like I mentioned, how do you approach challenges or how do you deal with stressors? It’s not just about doing warrior three on the mat.

NFP: If someone is interested in picking up yoga, where can they start?

Chloe: There are many yoga classes online. If someone asks me, ‘how did you get into yoga?’ for me, my first yoga class was at Dalhousie University. It was a class of around 40 or 50 people and the instructor was using Sanskrit terminology. I had no idea what was going on. I got overwhelmed. I remember I left saying I’m never going to a yoga class again. So just because you go to one class, and you hated it, or you had no idea what was going on, I usually say, ‘Well that’s it. That class just wasn’t suited for you.’ Maybe try a different class and different instructors.

YouTube is a great resource, especially during COVID times when there are no classes available in person. You can just do it in the comfort of your own home and kind of see what you like and what you don't like. But I do suggest eventually if you do start doing yoga at home to try a class in person.

NFP: On International Yoga Day, will you be practising any yoga?

Chloe: Yes, I’ll definitely be doing my own home practice. Since, I’m on maternity leave, I’m not currently teaching right now. But you put a bug in my ear, maybe I’ll host a pop-up class in the park if it’s a nice day out.

Chloe Millar is a yoga instructor located in Summerside, P.E.I. She can be found on Instagram @thelittleislandyogi.

Disclaimer: Chloe Millar is not affiliated with NFP in Canada.

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Property and Casualty

The Rise of Identity Theft: Emerging Cyber Risks for Individuals and How to Protect Yourself

June 11, 2021

Identity theft and cybercrime are on the rise — and it would seem like no one is safe.

Whether a criminal tricks you into providing your personal information using sophisticated phishing scams, holds your data hostage with ransomware or hacks into your social accounts, your identity, safety and assets are at risk.

In May, the Canada Anti-Fraud Center cautioned Canadians to secure their personal and financial information due to increases in incidents of fraudsters using Canadians' personal information to take over social accounts, create fake email addresses and open bank, cell and credit card accounts.

A personal cyber insurance policy can help.

Personal Cyber Crime Insurance is a newly-emerging product. DigitalShield was developed by NFP to address the sophisticated digital risks now impacting more than half of Canadians. The coverage is available for $200 a year and accessible to individuals as a stand-alone product.

Identity Theft and Cybercrime

Identity theft takes many forms in Canada. It can be when someone steals your credit card or takes on your identity to make significant purchases or gain access to your assets. Identity theft also includes identity fraud, for example, when someone uses your identity to apply for social benefits, use social media accounts or take out a mortgage in your name.

Although Identity theft is nothing new, the ways that cybercriminals are now gaining access to your personal information, accounts, smart homes and personal networks are constantly evolving.

Even if you feel that you have limited risks at home, nothing is protecting you when there is a data breach with a third party, like a company you do business with.

An excellent example of this is the data breach that occurred with the Government of Canada last August, where thousands of Canadians' information were hacked. Although the government alerted Canadians about the privacy breach that exposed thousands of Canadians' personal information, this did not stop scammers from using the information obtained to steal identities, in some cases using this to apply for COVID-19 benefits.

Is A Personal Cyber Insurance Policy Necessary?

A May 2020 survey of Canadians indicated that more than half (57 per cent) reported being victims of cybercrime. Since last year, there have been over $7.2 million lost due to COVID-19 fraud alone.

With individuals impacted every day, a personal cyber insurance policy is essential if you want to protect yourself and your family from losses arising from cybercrimes. Learn more in our article The 7 Reasons to Purchase Cyber Insurance.

Warning: Organizations that become aware of a data privacy breach will alert you, but they cannot prevent the resulting losses or damage that you may incur as a result. Purchasing a personal cyber insurance policy can provide coverage for losses that arise from a data breach.

Insurance To Protect You From Data Privacy Breaches and Identity Theft

If you are wondering what coverage you have or how to best protect yourself, it helps to understand which products are available. The two most common types of insurance are Identity Theft Insurance and Cyber Crime Insurance. You can purchase variations of this coverage as add-ons to home policies or as stand-alone products.

Identity Theft Insurance:Identity theft insurance is limited coverage. It is not cybercrime insurance. Often provided by home insurance companies as an add-on, it provides basic coverage for identity theft only and is usually limited to low amounts ranging from $5,000 to $35,000.

Cybercrime Insurance: Cybercrime insurance is a more robust type of coverage than identity theft because it may cover a full range of related issues that arise from a cyberattack, including identity theft, ransomware, loss or damage to reputation, cyberbullying, and of course, monies lost due to cybercrimes or data privacy breaches. Coverage ranges from $100,000 to $1,000,000. Learn more about Cybercrime insurance here.

What Is the Best Coverage to Protect You and Your Family from Cyber Crime?

We may be biased, but we believe the most comprehensive (and accessible) personal cyber insurance policy available today is our proprietary DigitalShield cyber insurance policy. This stand-alone policy is available for $200 a year. It protects you and your family members living permanently in your household and covers multiple homes you may own regardless of location, all on one policy. It protects you from eight kinds of cybercrime, including ransomware, identity theft, stolen funds, smart home breaches, wearables, connected devices and even includes coverage for cyberbullying.

Purchasing DigitalShield cybercrime Insurance can help you manage a situation, compensate you for stolen funds and help you recover your digital assets if they are corrupted due to a cyberattack. The policy provides support and helpful cyber consultation services to rest assured that if you do have a cyber incident, need help or just have some questions, you won't get stuck trying to figure it out alone.

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Updates and Resources

NFP Welcomes Suzy Pires to Complex Risk Solutions Group

May 17, 2021

New senior vice president brings programs expertise and leadership to client-focused team


NEW YORK – May 17, 2021 – NFP, a leading insurance broker and consultant that provides property and casualty (P&C), corporate benefits, retirement, and individual solutions, today announced that Suzy Pires has joined its Complex Risk Solutions (CRS) Group in Canada as senior vice president, programs.

Pires joins NFP with over 23 years of risk management experience. Prior to NFP, she served as senior vice president, national program leader, for Willis Towers Watson, and senior vice president at Marsh, both in Toronto. As part of the CRS Group, Pires will utilize her commercial P&C and programs expertise to advance the team’s work and deliver value to clients across industries as they face complex risks. She will report to John Belyea, chief operating officer for NFP in Canada.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Suzy to the team,” said Belyea. “Her programs expertise will complement the existing capabilities within the CRS Group. Our focus is on thoughtful and sustainable growth that aligns with the dynamic needs of our clients. Suzy and our growing CRS Group have the specialized expertise that clients need to navigate risk in this environment.”

“NFP has emerged as an attractive destination for industry experts and I’m looking forward to contributing to the value we provide for clients and the momentum of our Canadian market expansion,” said Pires. “It’s an exciting time to join this team, enhance the capabilities of the CRS Group and show clients what we have to offer.”

About NFP

NFP is a leading insurance broker and consultant providing specialized business and personal insurance, group benefits, retirement and individual solutions through its licensed subsidiaries and affiliates. NFP enables client success through the expertise of over 750 employees based in Canada, more than 6,000 employees globally, investments in innovative technologies, and enduring relationships with highly rated insurers, vendors and financial institutions. NFP is the 5th largest benefits broker by global revenue (Business Insurance), 10th largest property and casualty agency (Insurance Journal) and 12th largest global insurance broker (Best’s Review).

Visit NFP.ca to discover how NFP empowers clients to meet their goals.

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