The Straight Line Newsletter — Issue #10
This is the tenth issue of The Straight Line. Articles cover a broad range of topics that engage Ontario architects insured by Pro-Demnity, other OAA members – whether in practice or engaged in other businesses – and anyone with an interest in the profession. We encourage readers to suggest topics. Please send any suggestions to: email@example.com
In This Issue
- Message from the President –The new and old “normal”
- The Pro-Demnity Policyholder Survey
- Things that are working
- Things we’re working on
- Things we wish we could work on
- Serving you and your business
In this issue, we introduce Iliana Arapis who has joined Pro-Demnity as our new Vice President Marketing. Iliana has contributed “Serving you and your business” to this issue.
- Be social with us
Pro-Demnity is now on LinkedIn. Visit our company page for the latest posts and updates. See the highlighted notice about “The Straight Line is going online” on the back cover.
Two future issues of The Straight Line will pay tribute to two retiring Pro-Demnity stalwart founders – Byron Treves and David Croft – to whom we owe our heartfelt thanks and gratitude. We look forward to the time when Pro-Demnity and Ontario architects can deliver thanks and admiration to each, in person. Until that time, we will do our best to provide a suitable substitute in The Straight Line.
— The Editor
Message from the President — The new and old “normal”
As you read this, summer has arrived in Ontario, and with it, construction season. Like you, I believe it is different this year – a new “normal” that we are all moving toward, with care and consideration for ourselves, our firms, our staff, partners, suppliers, and clients alike. Whether we’re mindfully stepping through modified work spaces and sites, juggling employee attendance schedules so that physical distancing is respected, or wearing masks and helping ourselves to an extra pump of hand sanitizer, the realities of health risks are ever more present throughout the day.
At Pro-Demnity, we’re encouraged by the thought that the risk management steps we are all taking to protect our health might also positively influence risk management behaviour in our professional practice lives. Perhaps the new normal might energize us to integrate risk management and mitigation strategies into all aspects of our businesses. This calls for diligence, thoughtfulness, and continuous improvement, which in turn generate professional practices that keep everyone that much safer from physical, mental, or financial harm.
In this edition of The Straight Line, we share how, in the face of COVID-19, we’ve mobilized to serve you. We also dedicate this issue to you, our policyholders, by providing some deeper insights from the Client Survey (August 2019), and the actions we have taken, or are taking in response. These are offered with the commitment that we will keep listening and keep responding to your concerns. The survey feedback was originally scheduled to be shared with you in March; however, our special COVID-19 Special Edition Bulletins took priority.
In this respect, Pro-Demnity continues to do what we “normally” do: provide you and your architectural practice with exemplary professional liability insurance service, claims expertise and risk management advice.
Bruce H. Palmer, President & CEO
The Pro-Demnity Policyholder Survey
“A milligram of prevention is worth a kilogram of cure.”
It was author John Robert Colombo (born in Kitchener, Ontario) that Canadianized Ben Franklin’s famous quotation. Metric, or Imperial, it’s a rule that holds true in almost every situation, and liability insurance is no exception. Staying out of difficulty is so much easier, less time-consuming, less stressful, cheaper and more productive than getting into trouble in the first place.
This certainly describes the prime mission of Pro-Demnity. Our focus on research, on-call professional advice, educational seminars, informative bulletins, new social media applications and entertaining (we hope) newsletters, pays off in reducing claims and keeping your premiums at a reasonable level. And apparently, this service ranks highest in your estimation as well.
Last summer, we conducted an online survey1 to gauge your satisfaction with Pro-Demnity and better understand which of our services are most helpful to you. We asked you to tell us what you think about the services we currently provide, and how you feel about the state of the profession in general, since the two are closely connected. Thank you for the quantity and quality of the responses.
The issues that you have raised and the suggestions you have made are, and will be, enormously helpful in planning our common future. As with a lot of “demand-side primary research” (i.e., surveys) the questions we asked were designed to provide both objective and subjective information. The objective information, in the form of numerical values, tells us that we are generally satisfying your needs – our “client satisfaction impact” is firmly positive.
The subjective feedback – your helpful comments (hundreds of them) – represents a treasure trove of constructive guidance: a) what we’re currently doing well; b) which of your evolving needs may be met by strategies and services we are currently working on; and c) what elements of practice do you wish we could do something about, even though, unfortunately, we can’t. Information like this can’t be plotted on a graph or tabulated in a spreadsheet. But it offers the kind of information we rely on to make sure that our service continues to satisfy your professional needs.
Serving you and your business
Pro-Demnity was one of the first professional liability insurers to offer financial relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to waiving administrative fees on instalment payments for renewals issued between April 6 and September 30, 2020, we also temporarily held off on issuing Notices of Default. But the one measure most welcomed by architectural firms has been the new premium payment plan. We introduced the option of a bi-monthly premium instalment schedule in addition to the annual, semi- annual and quarterly options currently available. This feature has helped several architectural firms retain staff and offset other pressing monetary concerns.
New payment methods will include:
- setting up pre-authorized instalment payments from your bank account, ensuring your premium or deductible payments are made on time;
- making an annual lump-sum premium payment or lump-sum deductible payment using a credit card, so you can accumulate business credit card points sooner.
These options will be available later this summer. In the meantime, it’s important to complete your annual renewals and continue paying your premiums so that your professional liability insurance remains in force, and your firm is covered for any claims arising from previous architectural work.
Insurance premiums help fund the costs of defending a claim – an expensive necessity even when the allegations against you prove groundless and no damages result. Pro-Demnity is always ready to mount a vigorous defence on your behalf should you need it. This is a significant benefit to architects.
Professional liability insurance stands apart from other types of insurance in several important ways. To better understand your Claims-Made policy, underwriting risk and how your premiums are calculated, download our article outlining why Professional Liability Insurance is Different and Special.
— Iliana Arapis
The Straight Line is going online
Soon we will be sharing The Straight Line, along with other Pro-Demnity and insurance updates, through a new e-mail distribution platform, Constant Contact. Look for the announcement planned for July.
Share the newsletter
The online newsletter is for the architectural community and those with a strong interest in risk management and professional liability issues. If you know someone who’d like to receive the new online newsletter from Pro-Demnity, share this newsletter with them and invite them to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
liana Arapis, MA, ABC is Pro-Demnity’s new VP Marketing. An Accredited Business Communicator, she brings over 20 years’ marketing and corporate communications experience from her time in the insurance sector with companies such as Sun Life, Zurich Insurance and Allianz Global Assistance. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto (History and Sociology), Queen’s University (Canadian History) and Seneca College (Corporate Communications). She is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators (Toronto Chapter) and an avid, annual volunteer judge/ evaluator of the OVATION and Gold Quill Awards. Iliana lives in Toronto with her husband and son, and in her precious spare time enjoys world cinema, skiing, skating, yoga, pilates, gardening, reading and family bike rides.
The Straight Line is a newsletter for architects and others interested in the profession. It is published by Pro-Demnity Insurance Company to provide a forum for discussion of a broad range of issues affecting architects and their professional liability insurance.
Publisher: Pro-Demnity Insurance Company
Editor: Gordon S. Grice
Design: Finesilver Design + Communications
Pro-Demnity Insurance Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ontario Association of Architects. Together with its predecessor the OAA Indemnity Plan, it has provided professional liability insurance to Ontario architects since 1987.
Questions related to the professional liability insurance program for Ontario architects may be directed to Pro-Demnity Insurance Company. Contact information for the various aspects of the program can be found on the Pro-Demnity website: www.prodemnity.com
Pro-Demnity Insurance Company makes no representation or warranty of any kind regarding the contents. The material presented does not establish, report or create the standard of care for Ontario architects. The information is by necessity generalized and an abridged account of the matters described. It should in no way be construed as legal or insurance advice and should not be relied on as such. Readers are cautioned to refer specific questions to their own lawyer or professional advisors. Letters appearing in the publication may be edited.
Efforts have been made to assure accuracy of any referenced material at time of publication; however, no reliance may be placed on such references. Readers must carry out their own due diligence.
This publication should not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form or by any means without written permission of Pro-Demnity Insurance Company. Please contact the publisher for permission: email@example.com