close up of a coronavirus molecule

Latest Insights on COVID-19

close up of a coronavirus molecule

Latest Insights on COVID-19

Corporate Benefits

What Experts Are Saying About the Flu Shot in 2020

October 22, 2020

The upcoming flu season isn’t going to be typical, so we wanted to take the time to pass along important information that will help you and your family get through it safely.

What are the experts saying?

According to the World Health Organization, the best flu prevention is vaccination. Flu vaccination is critical this year as the world continues to navigate COVID-19.

It’s true that COVID-19 and the flu are different, but getting the flu shot lowers your risk of coming down with the flu while COVID-19 is still a risk. By getting your flu shot, you’ll leave space in healthcare clinics and hospitals for patients in need of intense and immediate care.

Who should get the shot?

Anyone six months of age or older should get the flu vaccine according to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). This recommendation is stronger for individuals with pre-existing health conditions who are at a higher risk of flu-related complications.

The flu can complicate these pre-existing conditions:

  • Anemia
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung disease
  • Obesity

For questions about health or a flu vaccine, speak with a doctor or medical professional. Visit Canada’s flu clinic info site for more info and to learn where to get your flu shot.


Learn more: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/flu-influenza/flu-clinics-across-canada.html[KJ1]

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Seeing Your Workforce Through to a Migraine-Free Future

October 02, 2020

Avulux’s David Efraim and NFP’s Dean Howard co-host a webinar on clinically-proven, and Health Canada approved, migraine glasses. Avulux’s technology is designed to help employees manage migraine triggers and reduce time away from work.

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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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Updates and Resources

Property and Casualty

What's Next for North American Travel?

October 14, 2020

Safety? Revenue? Peace of mind of the consumer? These are all items to consider for a service provider in the travel sector as we continue to navigate a world changed by COVID-19. 

Whether by an airline, a hotel or your insurance provider, special considerations are being suggested and tried on daily basis. The International Air Transport Association has called on all governments around the world to reopen borders and continue with relief measures for airlines during the COVID-19 crisis.

As many countries move into the next phase of reopening to domestic and international travel, there is one consistency in place: no one is taking the same approach. Here are some examples of how countries are handling the prospect of opening up travel:

Canada

In conjunction with corporations like Air Canada and Canadian airports, Canada is considering a move away from their current ban on noncitizens and mandatory fourteen day self-isolation to a more layered approach that would include testing, temperature checks, cleaning and mask-wearing in hopes that this approach can replace quarantines.

Mexico

Mexico officially began reopening its vacation and resort destinations on June 8 and currently does not have restrictions on any country’s residents or mandatory quarantine periods for those flying into Mexico. Many Mexican cities have adopted the mandatory mask requirements while in public, including Cancun, issuing fines to those who refuse to wear mask coverings.

Border restrictions remain in place for motorist traffic from the US to Mexico for nonessential travel, but border crossing traffic continues to increase month over month per the Department of Homeland Security.

Europe

Britain has taken a digital stance on updates to citizens and visitors alike with condensed websites with the most up to date information, including, most recently, reducing the public gathering size to six from ten.

WHAT ARE MAJOR AIRLINES DOING TO PROTECT THEIR CUSTOMERS AND MAINTAIN PROFITS?

As many US and world businesses continue to assess avenues to a return to in-person meetings, conferences and travel in general, airports and airlines are taking some of the below steps:

• Face coverings are mandatory on all airlines while in flight.

• More thorough cleaning, more often, including electro-static spraying of the planes seats and interior surfaces. American Airlines is the first carrier to start using SurfaceWise, a long lasting enhanced disinfectant used on a multitude of surfaces.

• Hand sanitizer is readily available at all airport lounges and airport hubs.

• Physical distancing is encouraged, but not enforced at most US airports
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4 Steps to Keep Your Business Secure from Cyberattacks

September 29, 2020

Businesses around the world are rethinking the ways they can protect themselves from cyber attacks with working from home becoming more common and necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Companies had to prepare quickly in March as the new coronavirus hit North America and forced widespread shutdowns. This involved sending employees home with equipment to do their jobs as comfortably as possible with little time to ensure networks were secure. Some employers are even committing to keeping their workers at home through the end of the year.

Although these steps are important for protecting workers and public health, protecting personal and client data while working remotely is a concern. Even as some employees begin to transition to occasionally going into the office, keeping this information secure is of utmost importance.

A recent Statistics Canada survey says only seven per cent of small businesses have purchased cyber liability insurance. Small businesses make up 97.9 per cent of employer businesses in Canada.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada released a report in September 2019 indicating 37 per cent of businesses affected by a data breach lost over $100,000 while one in five had no idea how much the breach cost.

Businesses can use the following four steps to keep them protected from attackers.

Communication

Open the lines of communication with employees about the risks they face and do so on a frequent basis via video conference. Employees can then discuss how to best address potential threats, and they can be part of building the reporting process. The security and privacy flaws discovered on the popular Zoom video conferencing application are a reminder that businesses and employees have a role to play in reducing exposure to cyberattacks.

Clear Reporting Process

When an employee receives a suspicious email or phone call, what should they do with it? Employees need to have a way to report suspicious activity. That includes knowing how and where to report incidents as well as actions they need to take and an expected response.

Cyber Resilience Culture

Set clear expectations on what your employees can and cannot do. With additional platforms and applications, employees can become frustrated quickly with having to remember login credentials for each system. You should therefore emphasize the importance of not disabling encryption and password protection in software. Do not allow any employee to reconfigure devices to remove some of their security protocols. These systems are essential to protecting company data.

Education

The most critical aspect of cybersecurity is educating and training your workforce. In order to report issues, employees need to understand how to identify them. Even in a remote environment, companies should be deploying simulated social engineering and phishing campaigns to help employees spot phishing emails and to assess their level of preparedness.

For support as you align 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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Learning Pods’ Home Policy Risks

September 21, 2020

There are many risks associated with hosting learning pods this school year, even if the set-up helps keep children out of harm’s way.

The alternative arrangement to being in the classroom sees parents group their children at homes to learn together during the school year. This approach has been growing in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the high risk of the virus spreading in school environments.

Even if parents are trying to create a safe and engaging environment, there are several insurance risks that can come with the set up.

  • The new coronavirus doesn’t have liability coverage in homeowners’ insurance, which raises the potential for parents to be sued as a result of the pods. If someone in the pod were to get sick from an interaction – even indirectly – it could leave the homeowner exposed to legal action.
  • Learning pods also create a lot of uncertainty from an insurance perspective. What if someone in the pod gets sick and can’t work, which puts them at a financial loss? Or, what if a person gets sick and passes it on to another individual who is immunocompromised?

NFP’s insurance experts suggest to limit exposure for both yourself and others by hosting virtual education tutoring pods instead.


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 5,700 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).

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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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Business Continuity Plan

March 23, 2020

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