August 15, 2012
Landscape Ontario is investigating the the possibility of developing its own group insurance program.

Executive director Tony DiGiovanni says it’s an idea worth investigating. “If enough members are interested in the idea of group insurance, we can determine if the program is viable.”

A meeting to discuss the concept took place at Landscape Ontario home office on July 10. On hand were representatives of Marsh Canada, the firm currently operating the HortProtect program, and a number of members from the growers and garden centre sectors invited to hear how the program works.

DiGiovanni explained that “these two sectors have similar risk levels, compared to landscapers.” The group insurance program would begin small, with coverage for property liability as a pilot program.

Benefits from the group insurance program are members share profits and losses in the same proportion as the amount of insurance purchased, long-term control, better insulation from cyclical marketplace/hardening market, member losses determine premium within the fund, cost of excess liability is reduced with volume purchase, and quality membership selection, such as determining minimum risk management standard to gain entry.

On hand to relate how the program has successfully worked for Canadian universities was Keith Shakespeare of CURIE (Canadian Universities Reciprocal Insurance Exchange). He explained that in 1988 a number of universities got together to form a group insurance program. “The program has been very successful for us,” said Shakespeare.

The next step is to determine how many members are interested in participating in the program. Lynn Erwin of Marsh Canada explained that a meeting with individual members would involve looking at issues such as policies, claims experience and premiums. Once the data is collected, then Marsh Canada will determine the overall level of a potential insurance group.

Tony DiGiovanni is asking LO members in the grower and garden centre sectors interested in learning more about the program to contact him. He may be reached at

An outline of the presentation is available by clicking on group insurance.