Focus Group

Focus was formed in 1985 and has been providing management and consulting services to the insurance industry for over 25 years. Focus has significant experience and expertise in managing the operations of foreign insurance companies wishing to operate in Canada without establishing a fully-staffed Canadian operation. Focus provides management services to Omega General as well as a full range of consulting and management services to other clients. Focus currently has chief agency contracts with four foreign insurers and management contracts with two foreign insurers. In addition, Focus provides ongoing and one-time consulting services in the areas of taxation, risk management, mergers and acquisitions, expert witness testimony and claims reviews.

Company Management

Most companies operating in North America need a physical presence but not all need incur the direct overhead and other costs associated with that activity. Focus Group Inc. can provide local representation for a start-up operation; a going concern; or a close down. Focus Group can provide a registered office for the Company together with some or all of the following services as required:

· Compliance with local laws and licence requirements;
· Preparation of statistical and other management reports;
· Management of investment portfolios;
· Filing financial statement and tax returns;
· Long range planning and feasibility studies;
· Bank and cash management.

We are currently Chief Agent in Canada for the following companies:

· Groupama S.A.
· Pavonia Life Insurance Company of Michigan
· Protective Insurance Company
· Virginia Surety Company, Inc.

Risk Management

A growing number of corporations and associations are looking at alternative methods of handling risk. Our risk management services include:

· Risk evaluation;
· Alternatives for handling risk;
· Captive feasibility studies;
· Cost analysis;
· Design of programs;
· Portfolio management;
· Claims management and control.

We have completed risk management reviews for the following:

· Insurance brokers;
· Insurance review of a global distributor;
· Insurance review for a start-up casino;
· Insurance review for a Nation-wide Nursing Home Association;
· Review of a self-insured professional indemnity program.

Claims Management

As the end result of the Insurance “product,” claims and their handling can be the most critical aspect of any operation. Focus Group Inc. has special expertise in this field and can provide contract or “one off” services in the following areas:

· Audit & review of claim files;
· Reserve adequacy reviews;
· I.B.N.R. calculations;
· In-house management of files;
· Subrogation;
· Structure settlements;
· Rehabilitation;
· Litigation support;
· Supervision of outside services.

We have successfully completed the following projects:

· Annual review of a self-insured E&O program;
· Reserve adequacy reviews on behalf of reinsurers;
· Accident benefit reviews for major insurers including recommendations on reserve and claims handling procedures;
· Commutation analysis and negotiation of agreements on behalf of insurers and reinsurers;
· Reserve adequacy reviews on a substandard automobile portfolio on behalf of actuaries;
· Out of country medical programs – audit and review of out-source claims handlers;
· Reinsurance claim analysis/audits and recovery.

Mergers and Acquisitions

With the rapidly increasing number of takeovers, amalgamations and new entrants to the Insurance and Reinsurance scene it becomes increasingly important that Companies have access to objective advice from Insurance professionals. Focus Group Inc. offers services in the following areas:

· Opportunity cost review;
· Profile potential candidates;
· Review solvency and financial condition;
· Review claim exposures (including ultimate cost);
· Review strength of receivables (including reinsurance);
· Assist with negotiations and implementation;
· Due diligence and fairness opinions.

We have successfully completed the following projects:

· Packaging and sale of US insurance company;
· Sale of Canadian insurance company;
· Preparation of business plan and market review for major brokers;
· Preparation of business plan and market review for a mutual company, life company and several foreign companies considering entry to the Canadian market;
· Due diligence reviews on several insurers and liaison with potential investors.

Administrative Support

Even where a company has an established operation, there are occasions where outside assistance is required. Focus Group Inc. can provide support services under contract or as a “one off” project in any of the following areas:

· Underwriting or Claims Reviews;
· Development of Business Plans;
· Reinsurance Reviews;
· Agency Appointments;
· Collections;
· Hiring and Staffing;
· Downsizing – Out Placement.

We use current technology and where appropriate, we interface with our client’s database and/or system. We are fully compliant with OSFI requirements for legislative compliance management and statutory reporting.

Run Offs

Although insolvency run-offs are a major concern there are many occasions where an Insurer or Reinsurer will take a strategic decision to cease writing or withdraw from a particular line of business or territory. Focus Group Inc. has particular expertise in this area and can offer services in the following:

· Claims Reserve Review (including I.B.N.R.);
· Commutation Analysis;
· Projected Ultimate Cost Calculations;
· Preservation of Records;
· Preparation of Financial Reports;
· Reinsurance Review;
· Recoveries;
· Arbitration or Litigation Support.

We have successfully managed the run-off of the following portfolios, involving liabilities in excess of $250 million, including risk locations around the world. Our past and present run-off portfolios include:

· Aviation & General Insurance Company
· Calvert Insurance Company
· Centennial Insurance Company
· Eagle Star Insurance Company
· (The) Hanover Insurance Company (Canada)
· (The) Home Insurance Company
· Icarom plc
· Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company
· Pearl Assurance plc (Canada)
· Pohjola Non-Life Insurance Company (Canada)
· Specialty National Insurance Company (Canada)
· US International Reinsurance Company
· Insurance Corporation of Ireland (US)
· Merrion Insurance (US)

Seminars and Workshops

The need to keep current on the latest developments within the Insurance Industry is imperative, but often difficult given the pressures of normal day to day activity. Focus Group Inc. produces and presents seminars and workshops at a practical working level on a number of topics and can “customize” presentations to suit particular applications. Among the topics frequently covered are the following:

· Decision Making;
· Strategic Planning;
· Risk Management;
· Claims Handling (various aspects);
· Customer Services;
· Insurance Overview – Opportunities;
· Errors and Omissions Avoidance;
· Communication Skills.

In addition to our own range of educational offerings, we are fully committed to support the goals of the Insurance Institute of Canada including their seminar programs, the Professional Society and their general educational objectives.

Focus Group Contact Information

34 King Street East, Suite 1200
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5C 2X8

Telephone: (416)361-1728
Fax: (416)361-6113