Ontario’s Construction Industry Insurance Top 10 Brokerage, surety and insurance law

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Ontario Construction Report special feature

It can be difficult to categorize or priorities the top 10 in any industry, given the diversity of the players and some of the unique niches they serve. This listing of the top 10 insurance and surety specialists reflects an amalgam of our experience, relationships, and perceptions.

While this isn’t a scientific group – there are many other companies worthy of recognition – it provides a clue about some of the diversity, initiative and focus within the insurance community. We’ve included some nationally, even internationally, recognized firms, and others who have primarily taken a leadership role in their local communities. This list includes forward thinking practices which have embraced community engagement, high standards of service and delivery, and an overall commitment to protect and support the construction industry.

Quoted descriptions and remarks are generally from the company’s own websites or communications, unless otherwise noted. We’ve listed companies here alphabetically so do not provide any specific ranking order.

AON

AON provides a range of risk, retirement and health solutions through more than 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries. The firm’s construction related solutions include performance security, commercial surety, contractor insurance and project solutions, as well as “risk and human resources solutions to general and specialty contractors, project owners, and industry stakeholders.”

AON says it is focused on knowing each client, their business, and to anticipating each client’s needs. “Together, we will develop and execute on shared objectives to achieve your desired outcomes. Backed by the full power of Aon, we will serve as your advocate and engage in open, two-way dialogue founded on feedback and trust.”

Bradley’s Insurance

Founded in Ottawa in 1956, Bradley’s Insurance has grown and developed strong relationships with “most of Canada’s leading surety companies, supporting its commitment to the construction community. The firm is an active member in the Ottawa Construction Association (OCA), National Capital Heavy Construction Association (NCHCA), and Landscape Ontario.

“Bradley’s provides creative solutions to the contractor’s bonding needs as they relate to bonding capacity/limits, the general terms of the bond facility (including rates and security), financial reporting, large/special projects, growth, succession planning, joint ventures, sub trade bonding, estate/family planning, and claims/disputes.”

ELM Insurance Brokers

            A full service broker for almost 30 years, ELM Insurance has evolved as a partner to many construction industry clients. Representing large general contractors and all sizes of sub trades, the company applies its expertise and experience, develops relationships, and simplifies the complexities of the industry.

            Over time the company’s expertise and business approach allowed it to establish itself as a construction specialist. Over time, it has grown to offer a complete range of insurance products and services including operational liability, commercial auto fleets, builder’s risk, director’s and officer’s coverage, pollution insurance, surety, and professional liability. Other offerings include personal home and auto, key man insurance, company benefit packages and pension plans.

The Guarantee

The Guarantee has longstanding expertise in the surety business and has bonded some of the largest infrastructure projects in Canada.

The company can offer Pre-Qualification Letters; Bid Bonds; Consent of Surety; Performance Bonds; Labour and Material Payment Bonds; Maintenance Bonds; and Lien Bonds/ Release of Lien Bonds.

HKA

HKA has become one of the world’s leading providers of advisory, consulting and expert services for the construction, manufacturing, process and technology industries.

The team anticipates, investigates and resolves project challenges and understands the pressures associated with delivering successful projects, whatever their size and complexity, wherever in the world. As trusted independent advisers, consultants and experts, HKA finds solutions amid uncertainty, dispute and overrun, and provides the insight that make the best possible outcomes a reality for public and private sector clients worldwide.

HUB International

A leading global insurance broker, HUB International offers a broad array of products and expertise, including construction industry surety products. Since its inception in 1998 with the merger of 11 privately held brokerages, the firm has grown to include more than 400 integrated brokers across North America. As of 2017, HUB is ranked as the eighth largest brokerage in the world and is backed by more than 10,000 employees and more than $1.65 billion in revenue.

            HUB offers clients the dual advantage of being a large brokerage made up of smaller, dedicated teams. This “knowledge powerhouse” provides client-centered, personalized and comprehensive insurance and surety solutions based on the collective skills and expertise of the whole team.

Masters Insurance

Masters Insurance offers a range of insurance and investment services. From its start as a family business in 1966, the firm has grown to represent clients across North America and to be represented by “no less than 10 second generation family members” and four original partners. From offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, and Windsor, the company “continues to evolve and expand its product offerings in order to provide comprehensive insurance solutions for all clients, no matter their size. Masters Insurance proudly combines the hands-on, personal, family based traditions that have made it successful, with sophisticated financial products and broad base knowledge.”

Travelers Insurance

Over its 160-year history, Travelers has grown to 20,000 independent agents and brokers globally, earning “a reputation as one of the best property casualty insurers in the industry” for its “care of our customers”.

The firm’s “expertise and focus on innovation have made us a leader in personal, business and specialty insurance and the only property casualty company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.”

“Beyond managing claim costs, we help companies prepare for risk and recover faster after an unexpected event.  Managing the total cost of risk creates a competitive advantage” helping owners protect and grow their businesses.”

Trisura

Backed by the expertise of its team, some of whom have been in the industry dating back to the origins of the Surety Association of Canada (SAC) twenty-five years ago, Trisura has grown to become one of Canada’s leading specialty lines insurance companies with a core focus in surety writing.

As the construction industry has grown in complexity, regulations and legislation have changed, making contracts more complex., Amid all the change, Trisura has focused on creating an exceptional stakeholder experience that includes expertise drawn from across the country.

Western Surety

Since 1909, Western Surety has built a growing business through a continual focus on the marketplace. It is the only insurance company in Canada which exclusively writes surety bonds for the construction industry, as well as a complete line of commercial surety bonds.

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