close up of a coronavirus molecule

Latest Insights on COVID-19

close up of a coronavirus molecule

Latest Insights on COVID-19

Corporate Benefits

As Canadians are gravitating towards telemedicine, here’s how to access it

July 27, 2020

Canadians have recently voiced their support for virtual care options as a result of COVID-19 and there’s a plethora of resources available for patients to access it.

A report from The Canadian Press said over 1.5 million Quebecers have used telemedicine since the start of the pandemic with more than 11,000 doctors seeing patients.

Nearly 4.5 million Canadians don’t have a family physicians, which means virtual care offers greater access to medical professionals.

Many family doctors are offering virtual methods to their patients even as restrictions begin to lift throughout the country. Connecting through this avenue can help keep people out of indoor spaces and in turn protect them from the spread of the new coronavirus.

One of the downsides of accessing care through a family doctor is longer appointment wait times. By using one of the private virtual health options, patients are seeing a doctor quickly – like a walk-in clinic – as opposed to waiting four days for an appointment. This ensures for a faster and more convenient method of accessing care.

Most of these virtual options are part of provincially funded health care systems and offered at no cost to patients with only a health card being required, depending on where you live in Canada. The appointments are safe and held through a secure network to ensure privacy. Some private options are available on a 24/7 basis and can make it easier to get an assessment for prescription refills and/or delivery. There’s additional convenience with some of the telemedicine options in terms of accessibility to smartphones, tablets or computers.

NFP recently surveyed some of the top Canadian insurance carriers about group benefit industry trends coming out of COVID-19 and providers indicated that allowing plan members access to virtual care would most likely increase going forward.

The Canadian Medical Association released a survey in June indicating that 91 per cent of people who connected virtually with their doctor during COVID-19 had a positive experience. Nearly half of those surveyed (46 per cent) also said they would prefer a virtual method as a first point of contact with their doctor.

In order to help you seek the appropriate care you and your plan members need, we have a list of available virtual care and mental health related resources by province. These areas are most helpful for plan sponsors whose employees don’t have access to a privately funded virtual care platform.

While telemedicine has been used in several remote communities in the past, the current pandemic has allowed the service’s use to accelerate within the general public. Akira, one telemedicine provider, has seen an increase of over 350 new corporate account subscriptions since the start of COVID-19.

To better understand the advantages of a privately funded platform, contact your NFP advisor today. These services will allow employees to save time and have added comfort while employers benefit from more productivity and focus.

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How are group benefits carriers responding post-COVID-19?

July 14, 2020

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June 25 | Pandemic Effects on Drug Plans and Future Risk Impacts Webinar

June 26, 2020

Group benefits have been impacted by COVID-19 in many ways. While dental and paramedical claims have had a short-term reduction, this is not the case with drug plan expenditures. The pandemic is likely to add to the significant inflationary pressures which existed before COVID-19.  This webinar focuses on the current and future impact of COVID-19 on your drug plan risk along with practical and actionable insights.
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Updates and Resources

Property and Casualty

Motorcycle Training Schools Are Booked Up: What Can I Do?

September 09, 2020

Finding an escape during the current pandemic can prove to be difficult with social distancing and group size limits in place.

Luckily, a motorcycle is the perfect way to escape and explore the great Canadian outdoors. But if you’re new to the world of motorcycles, there’s a lot to check off before heading out.

Between buying the right gear and making sure you’re properly insured, you also need to take an approved motorcycle safety course.

COVID-19 had previously paused rider training schools’ courses, although some locations are slowly getting back up and running. These schools are almost completely full regardless of whether you’re trying to acquire your M1 or M2 license, while others are fully booked up for the rest of 2020.

NFP has the resources to help you get in to one of the schools and maybe even enjoy some riding before winter hits. A key benefit of getting your certification now is that it will lock in your policy for the next 12 months, keeping you covered for next spring, summer and fall.

Contact Ronn Calderon today by email at ronn.calderon@nfp.com or by phone at 905.335.7447 to discuss how we can help you hit the road.

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Five Signs an RV Vacation Is Right For Your Family

August 13, 2020

Families across Canada have been looking for new ways to safely enjoy time together with loved ones this summer despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The simplicity of flying across the country or traveling abroad to explore the world has been changed by federal regulations and provincial border closures to help stop the virus’ spread.

There are still vacation days to use and great ways to explore the beautiful nature Canada has to offer. One way to do it is with a family road trip using an RV.

There are many upsides to vacationing in an RV — here’s five different signs it’s right for your lifestyle.

You like to rough it, but not too much

If your family likes the fun of camping, but doesn’t love sleeping on the ground or trudging to the outhouse in the middle of the night, an RV is a great compromise. Most RVs offer amenities like a bathroom, shower, kitchen, electricity and running water, so you have the comforts of home inside and the splendors of nature just outside the door.

You want to cover a lot of ground

The family vehicle can feel spacious at the beginning of the day, but leg cramps and boredom eventually set in on a long drive. An RV offers more room to stretch, spread out a snack, play a game of cards and snuggle up with your favourite pillow.

You love the great outdoors

One of the best parts of being on an RV is the convenience and comforts of a home-like atmosphere. It’s easy to forget the natural world is at your doorstep. Campsites are built around beautiful backdrops and your daily life can include swimming, hiking, fishing, biking and much more. And instead of cramming into a hotel room at the end of the day, you can pull up a chair around a campfire.

You like to be spontaneous

A standard family vacation involves planning an itinerary, booking accommodation on specific dates and committing to the plan. An RV vacation is a little different. Although it’s best to have a good idea of your route and book a few campsites along the way, there’s more wiggle room for spontaneous fun, especially if you’re on the road less traveled.

You like to bring a lot from home

If your family has a lot of comfort items, the start of a standard summer vacation may involve some tears . . . unless you’re going RVing. Pillows, blankets, toys, bikes – even pets in some cases – can all come along for the ride. In fact, the more you bring from home, the less you have to buy or rent along the way.

NFP advisors are your go-to resource for leisure and lifestyle insurance with a specialty in RVs. Find out how we can get you on the road and ready for RV season by contacting us today.

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5 Cyber Threats to Watch Out for in 2020

July 20, 2020

Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many businesses and companies to adjust in order to ensure their networks and data are secure from cyber attacks.

Despite provincial restrictions around Canada starting to ease, many companies are still planning on working from home for the foreseeable future. Setting up and paying for two-factor authentication or VPN access can be costly, but can also help prevent attacks that would harm your company. Businesses spend on average $14,000 per year for cyber liability insurance, according to a 2017 report by Statistics Canada. But only 14 per cent of medium-sized businesses purchase this type of coverage. Among small-sized businesses the number is lower: only seven per cent. That’s a sizable oversight, as small-sized businesses make up 97.9 per cent of employer businesses in Canada.

There have been numerous instances of cyber attacks on companies during the pandemic, including carmaker Honda, which had its business impacted in several countries. Several big name celebrities were also hacked on Twitter earlier in July, resulting in poor public image. These attacks can tarnish the reputation of companies or high-value individuals and result in financial loss while trying to recover. As businesses consider the benefits of cyber insurance, here are five threats to be aware of in 2020:

Increased Scope of Phishing Messages

While phishing attempts were already a problem pre-pandemic, remote workers can now expect to see emails impersonating officials from the Canadian Revenue Agency and the World Health Organization, among others. Once an employee clicks on a link, they could be taken to a website that looks legitimate, but is actually a dummy site set up by hackers to mirror sites of legitimate organizations and steal personal information for later use.

Rise in Social Engineering

Social engineering has always been a successful attack vector for hackers. Hackers know that employees will now need to communicate with IT and management remotely, and they will look to exploit that need. Hackers can pose as IT support, as representatives of the company’s financial departments, or as managers in the company requesting sensitive company information, to name just a few examples.

More Opportunity for Physical Access-Based Attacks

With offices now standing empty, these are now also highly vulnerable. Hackers may attempt to gain physical access and either steal your devices or easily install malicious hardware or software on them.

Software Vulnerabilities

Manufacturers are rushing out new update releases or new software versions as they respond to businesses needing remote operational capabilities. However, there may be overlooked security issues that emerge from this. The same applies to current software. If security updates are rushed without proper testing, your systems may be even more vulnerable once your company devices are updated.

Theft of Video Conferencing Credentials

As each employee logs on to your video conference app or website, a hacker could be looking in, as well. Hackers can post video conferencing credentials on the dark web, which leaves your company’s proprietary information – and in some cases, your entire systems – open for anyone to steal. When setting up video conferences, be sure to use passwords and use the waiting-room feature so that you’re able to screen who is attempting to join your meeting. For ideal safety, change passwords for each video conference.

For support aligning yourself or your business with necessary cyber coverage, contact an NFP advisor today.

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 5,600 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 13th largest global insurance broker (Best’s Review).

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Updates & Resources

Updates and Resources

Business Continuity Plan

March 23, 2020

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Office Closures Update

March 23, 2020

NFP is closely monitoring developments related to the coronavirus with a focus on the health and safety of our employees and clients.

The situation is dynamic and we are following our contingency plan protocols that ensure the continued delivery of resources and services to our clients. We have activated work from home plans for many of our offices. Please continue to get in touch with your NFP contacts through normal channels (phone and email).

The NFP coronavirus critical response group (NFP CCRG), composed of leaders and subject matter experts across our business lines, is meeting daily to assess the impact across our businesses and in our communities, advise executive management and develop and deploy action plans. Information, insight and guidance created and curated by this group will be posted below. Please check back periodically for updates.

On behalf of the entire NFP community, thank you for your trust and confidence. Please reach out to your NFP contact with questions and comments.

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A War Plan for the Next Coronavirus Starts Now

March 14, 2020

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