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About Geller Insurance

Lawrence Ian Geller - Biography

General Information

Our work is performed independently of any insurance company, financial institution, trust company, individual client, or group of clients. We operate on behalf of our clients with the objective of providing brokerage and consulting services rather than promoting insurance company products. Our areas of expertise include the following:

  1. Analysis of contractual funding arrangements;

  2. Benefit plan administration including systems, design, record keeping, benefit and claims payments, etc.;

  3. Premium and Benefit Cash Flow studies;

  4. Communications to Insured members including explanations of coverages, and the preparation of brochures, slide presentations, annual benefit statements, etc.;

  5. Executive compensation arrangements;

  6. Group and Individual Insurance benefits of all types;

  7. Pension and retirement plans, including profit-sharing plans and individual and group RRSP's;

  8. Special risk and accident plans of all types;

Our review and audit of insurance plans includes provisions for the ongoing review of benefit programmes. This review includes the comparison of existing plan benefit levels with current trends and practices. We also analyze the contractual provisions of benefit plans to ensure that the needs of the insured group are adequately covered, within premium tolerances. We examine funding and underwriting methods on an annual basis.

On the basis of the conclusions established above we regularly present a feasibility report to client firms providing detailed proposals for contractual improvements, premium reduction and/or cost savings.

Our selection of underwriters (insurers) is based on their ability to provide the following:

  1. a favourable and credible rate structure;

  2. computerized claim analysis;

  3. service;

  4. a voluntary long term disability rehabilitation program;

  5. alternate funding arrangements.

We are responsible for the review of all insurance contracts and amendments to verify that they properly reflect desired coverage on a competitive basis. We help to administer all plans purchased through us. This includes enrollment, the taking of applications, underwriting supervision, billing procedures, arrangements for claims payment and aiding in the preparation of policy contracts and descriptive explanations of coverages.

We provide continuing administrative assistance to our clients during the year. Efficient handling of claims can do much to enhance employer / employee relations and improve morale.

We provide continuing information on current trends and developments within the Insurance marketplace. Our clients are constantly being informed of changes in taxation, new legislation, new types of insurance contracts as well as what other, competitive, individuals and firms are doing in this field.

We provide an annual review and audit of the Insurance Plans that we sell, covering the following points:

  1. a review of the coverages and benefit levels together with suggested changes in the light of current trends;

  2. a review of any claims in the year and the relationship of claims to paid premiums;

  3. a review of the reserve for any claim which is established by the carrier is made to determine whether they are adequate and reasonable;

  4. a review of the claims control procedures being practiced under the plan by the insurer.

Remuneration of our services is based on the commission schedules paid by the insurance companies selected to provide coverage.

Expertise and Service

We provide a client oriented service. We act as insurance agents, experts and/or insurance consultants for other insurance agents, for law and accountancy practices and their clients, for major Canadian corporations, for insurance companies, for securities dealers and their clients and for regulatory bodies. We also provide expert, unbiased, third party analysis and recommendations on request, including for the purpose of dispute resolution.


Determining the appropriate amount and type(s) of coverage that you will require will dictate whether you are satisfied with the work which we have done for you. Clearly this will have two parts to it:

  1. Do you feel that you and your employees are adequately protected against the financial problems that may result from an insurable event? and

  2. During a covered event, do you feel that your coverage is performing the way that you had thought (and hoped) that it would?

An Example of Client Services - disability

  1. We will prepare all information needed to determine your income. Generally tax information for up to five years will be required. Most insurance contracts currently allow a client to use an income figure which presents their income in the best light. In order to do this we will determine which of:
    1. your income in the last taxation year; or
    2. your income in the best six consecutive of the last 18 months; or
    3. your income in any two consecutive of the prior five years;
    is the greatest. This will be the figure that we report to the insurer (as a part of the application) for the purpose of obtaining the coverage. We will provide the full financial documentation to the insurer. In this way there will be no need to prove income at the time of a claim.

    You may have taken measures to split or spread your income for tax reasons. In these cases, if we can demonstrate that you are responsible for earning all of the income that has been split, most insurers will allow you to insure all income amounts against loss. Increases in capital and retained earnings within a professional practice or business will also be considered when determining the appropriate amount of coverage. These will have a tendency to increase the amount of coverage available.

  2. We will assist you to determine whether you have unearned income that reduces or eliminates your need for disability coverage. Income from many sources will continue during a disability. If this is the case for you your insurable income should be reduced by the return on the capital amounts which are invested. Often insurers will allow an estimate of what the capital would earn, using conservative assumptions. We have often found that a 4% to 5% return will be allowed for this assumption. We will use care to demonstrate the extent of capital invested at the time of application so that insurers will not attempt to consider income received during a disability as an offset against benefit payments.

  3. We will work to assure that contract definitions meet your needs. Dual Definition Own Occupation coverage is one of the most important aspects of disability coverage. The insurer will have to accept the definition of that occupation which the you expect to pursue. We have found that when the insurer's files contain a detailed description of your duties, if they accept that a medically diagnosable reason for the disability exists, they will not require further evidence of a loss of or reduction in ability to earn as much income.

  4. Insurers must have full knowledge of your medical history. Since an undisclosed pre-existing condition will often cause an insurer to rescind coverage, all prior treatment of any relevance must be disclosed at the time of application. Too much information seldom has any negative effect and will often make a subsequent claim easier to resolve.

  5. We will report to you on your options, from year to year, or more frequently, if required. Each year several options are available to you with regard to guaranteed insurability options, COLA increases, deferred income tax liabilities, business overhead expense coverage and loan (and loan interest) protection. Insurers generally provide information to you which is insufficient to allow you to make an informed decision. We will provide reports outlining your choices, the way that these fit into your individual circumstances, and our recommendations to you.

  6. We will help you to determine the degree of your loss and to report this to the insurer. Most disability claims are the result of partial disabilities. Unable to work as hard or for as many hours per day as prior to an illness, the disability does not prevent working most days, but does affect the amount of work that can be completed in any week.

    For the self employed, and those who are paid for work completed, this quickly translates into a loss of revenue. The bills that have to be paid don't decrease in amount. Since most self employed people are the "bottom line of their business" (that is to say they earn whatever profit they create) incomes will decrease within a very few months of a loss of the ability to work as much, or as hard, as prior to a period of disability.

  7. We will work with you to report all claims. At the time of claim the information provided with the original claimant's statement is of great importance. This information will be the first that the claims examiner sees and will colour their opinion of the claim. On the whole they prefer to see everything that is being relied upon to determine that a disability exists and that the claim is valid. For the most part they will want to see the prior several years' financial information, information which substantiates the financial loss and a full medical evaluation of your condition as well as a prognosis.

    If the information that is provided at the time of claim is consistent with the information in the underwriting file the claims examiner will have a much easier time of justifying the claim, and benefits will be paid in the appropriate amount.

  8. We will maintain ongoing communication with the insurer for the duration of a claim. The problem with any claim is often related to a lack of information. Unfortunately claimants seldom know what information to provide and are often resentful because their claim is being questioned and unable to cooperate with a process that they don't understand. Our experience has been that most claims can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction with just a little extra work from the agent.

  9. We will prepare monthly reports for submission to the insurer to justify all claims. Financial justification of a claim will then be required, monthly, for the full duration of the claim. Unless total disability has occurred the percentage loss of indexed pre-disability income will have to be determined. Since this amount will vary from month to month and the claims examiner has to be prepared to be audited, the files have to be complete.

The process isn't a difficult one, but it can be time consuming. Someone has to communicate with you. Unfortunately insurers often do this with form letters that give little information. Someone also has to communicate with the insurer, and you may not wish or be able to do that. Lawyers and accountants don't know the process. That leaves the us as your agents. We work for you.

Trying to resolve a problem with a claim is difficult. Avoiding the problem is often a far easier path. It will never be possible to anticipate and avoid every problem claim. There are far too many things that can happen to people. But claims can be made easier to deal with, and, in time, claims examiners will come to accept that some claims are easily justified

We have an established reputation in both application and claims underwriting and work regularly with a large number of insurers on major cases. We have the experience needed to ease the process for you.

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