Gougeon Insurance Brokers Blog

Hacking, Phishing, Spoofing! Oh My! Understanding Cybercrime

Posted on Thu, Mar 16, 2017

 Let’s get in the know!

Starting as a family business with the strong entrepreneurial spirit of Riki Gougeon and later taken over by his daughter Judy, Gougeon Insurance Brokers understands the need to protect your business and its assets.

As of late, you may have heard about “cybercrime”, “cyberattacks” “cyber criminals”, “cyber extortion”, “breaches”, “malware”, and the lists and lingo go on. We’ve heard it too. These words, ominous as they seem, are made more unpleasant or even scary by the fact that we may not know what they mean exactly.

The word “cybercrime” may be trending, but the fact is cybercrime is no longer an emerging issue. In the TED talk “Where is cybercrime really coming from?”, VP at IBM Security Caleb Barlow states, “Cybercrime is out of control. It’s everywhere. We hear about it every single day”. His strategy–solution–for combating cybercrime is to start talking about it: who is infected and how it is spreading.

Like you, we felt a need to talk about this thing called “cybercrime”. In February, the Gougeon team met to discuss how we as a company can work together to protect ourselves. A session was held with all staff about “Preventing Cyber Crime with Employee Awareness”, presented by Serge Solski from Advise Aware Risk Consulting, Waterloo.

We wanted to continue this conversation with other business owners and share the knowledge.

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Tags: business risk, cyber liability, internet security, cybercrime, extortion, cyber risk

6 Tips To Minimize Reputational Risk on Social Media

Posted on Tue, Oct 25, 2016

Author, Jocelyn Filippini

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.
If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
- Warren Buffet

You might recall, a few years ago, the shocking YouTube video of employees of a large pizza franchise that went viral. The video featured an employee "tampering" with sandwich ingredients. The video spread throughout social media and the internet, as well it was covered by numerous news outlets.

Business owners can all agree about the importance of their companies’ reputation and, in an event such as this YouTube video, they can find themselves facing a high degree of public scrutiny and reputational damage. Examples of damages can include:

  • loss in revenue due to a loss of customers
  • loss of employees
  • civil liabilities and fines

The exposure of social media risk is difficult to quantify in terms of loss revenue. It’s a scary unknown.

Social media provides a great environment where employees, customers or other stakeholders can exchange information and create dialogue, however it can unintentionally lead to off-brand discussions. It is vital for business owners to keep a watchful eye over the digital landscape of social media.

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Tags: reputational risk, Social Media, Brand reputation, social media policy

4 Reasons Why Community Involvement Will Empower Your Business

Posted on Tue, Oct 18, 2016

Author, Taryn Green, is the Business Development Coordinator at Gougeon Insurance Brokers.


"To do more for the world than the world does for you -- that is success."
- Henry Ford


Three years ago, our President, Judy Gougeon, had a "harebrained" idea to bring the Laurentian University Airbandz fundraiser to our local community. Airbandz was previously an event run by university students, for university students. Judy wanted to introduce Airbandz - a lipsync competition and cancer fundraiser - to the community and invite local companies to put in a team. 

In January 2016, this harebrained idea (we like to call it a dream) became a reality and we are proud to announce that, in the first year, we hit our goal of raising $35,000. Spearheading, sponsoring and organizing this event were the perfect way for the Gougeon Team to kick start 2016. Giving back to the community empowered our team and left us on Cloud 9 for the weeks that followed.

As we prepare for the 2017 Sudbury Community Airbandz, we’ve created a list of 4 reasons why it's a great idea for your company to get involved in your local community. 

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Tags: employee engagement, company culture, airbandz, community involvement

9 Must-Haves For Your Social Media Policy

Posted on Tue, Sep 06, 2016

The author, Judy Gougeon, is the President at Gougeon Insurance Brokers.

Our recent review of Gougeon’s Social Media Self Audit pushed us to make some changes to mitigate our reputational and brand risk. One of those changes was an update to our social media policy.

In addition to doing some research to find, in our humble opinion, the “best” policies out there (Best Buy, Adidas, Ford), we also drew upon some of our clients who sent us their policies for review.

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Tags: reputational risk, Social Media, Judy Gougeon, Brand reputation, social media policy

4 Tips That Changed Our Social Media Audit Score From Thumbs Down To Thumbs Up

Posted on Mon, Jul 25, 2016

The Author, Taryn Green, is the Business Development Coordinator at Gougeon Insurance Brokers.

Reputational Risk is not something you should ignore. Every company is expected to have a website and to be connected on at least a few social media sites. However, the more connected we are, the harder we must work at protecting our brand and company reputation.

At Gougeon, our passion is helping our clients simplify the risks affecting their business. By helping clients identify and prioritize risks, we can help them reduce claims and keep money in their pockets. One tool we use to educate our clients around risk is our blog and one way we disseminate our blog is via social media sites. So, while we are educating our clients and showcasing our brand, we are being exposed to reputational risk. 

But, just because we've been blogging and connecting on social media for a few years now, doesn't mean that we have all the answers! Recently, we tested ourselves with one of our developed tools -- our social media audit. We expected to pass with flying colours. Well, that didn't happen!

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Tags: reputational risk, Social Media, Taryn Green, Brand reputation

Why A Commercial Vehicle Operators Registration (CVOR) Is Important For Managing Your On-Road Safety and Risk

Posted on Wed, Jul 20, 2016


A CVOR helps track on-road safety performances of trucks weighing over 4500kg and buses with a seating capacity of 10 or more passengers. The goal is to help improve safety by monitoring the conditioning of these larger units.

A CVOR is also known as a Commercial Vehicle Operators Registration. In July 1989, it became mandatory for all persons, businesses and organizations responsible for heavy commercial units to register as a commercial vehicle operator.

This automated computer system includes carrier information such as:

  • fleet size
  • kilometres traveled
  • commodities being transported
  • overall safety violations

Any changes must be reported to the Ministry of Transportation within 15 days.

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Tags: fleet management, risk management, CVOR, Commercial Vehicle Operators Registration

3 Ways To Keep Your Playground Area Safe And Mitigate Injury

Posted on Mon, Jul 11, 2016

The author, Kevin Nichol, is a Risk Manager at Gougeon Insurance Brokers.

With the recent safety changes to playground equipment, some of you may be thinking:

“What are we supposed to do next, bubble wrap our kids? We didn't have all of these safety regulations and we turned out just fine.”


While it can sometimes seem that society has become too overprotective of children, recent statistical results on playground incidents in youth might support why it's important to remain vigilant when it comes to playground safety. According to a CBC article, "28,500 children a year in Canada need medical treatment as a result of playground injuries ranging from bruises and broken bones to serious head trauma and spinal cord injuries".

In fact, the latest CSA Z614 Standard created quite a stir due to the number of recommended playground changes that it forced many public and private areas to replace their playground equipment.

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Tags: Summer Resort, Play Structures, risk management, Kevin Nichol, resort risk management, playground safety

13 Fireworks Safety Tips For A Safe And Fun Canada Day

Posted on Mon, Jun 27, 2016

The author, Jody Elliott, is a Risk Manager at Gougeon Insurance Brokers.

What better way to celebrate our magnificent country than with a majestic fireworks display? With their vibrant colours and eye-catching bursts, people of all ages can't help but enjoy the beauty of fireworks. However, amidst the dynamic colour and sound we tend to forget just how dangerous fireworks can be. It is for this reason that the Explosives Act, administered by the Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD) of Natural Resources Canada, has placed some restrictions on the sale and purchase of fireworks and recommends safety precautions.


In Canada, two categories of fireworks are allowed:

  1. Display
  2. Family or Consumer fireworks

Display fireworks are only allowed to be set off by a licensed shooter and require the organization to obtain a permit.

Family or Consumer fireworks are those used by the general public. Although they are designed for recreational use safety procedures must be followed. Failure to have proper safety procedures in place may result in a fire being started or cause injury or death. Should a fire start, both the property/resort owner and the person who purchased the fireworks could be held liable for the damages and may even be charged with arson and possibly fined under government regulations.

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Tags: Fireworks Safety, Fire Safety, Jody Elliott, risk management, resort risk management

Drowning Prevention Tips For Unsupervised Waterfronts

Posted on Tue, Jun 21, 2016

The author, Tim Stezik, is a Risk Manager at Gougeon Insurance Brokers.


After travelling to over 24 summer resorts in 2015, five resorts didn’t have a buoyant throwing assist / device and/or emergency signage. That’s 21% of the resorts I visited that had unprotected waterfronts for their guests.

The following stats highlight the importance of waterfront safety at your resort: 

  • Recreational activity drownings account for 65% of all drowning in Ontario; 48% of those drownings occur in lakes. 
  • Lakes, rivers and streams still remain as the top locations with 69% of all drowning occurrences. 
  • In a 10-year period from 2003 to 2012 there were over 1,620 water-related fatalities.
Are you doing the required due diligence to protect your unsupervised waterfront? Taking a proactive approach at your resort could save lives this summer.
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Tags: water safety, risk management, waterfront safety

If You Have Employees, You Should Understand Employment Practices Liability

Posted on Mon, Jun 13, 2016

The Author, Jody Elliott, is a Risk Manager at Gougeon Insurance Brokers.


One in three Canadian companies have experienced a management liability claim in the last few years. 50% of those had losses with costs ranging from $20,000 to $500,000 according to Travelers Canada (2015).

Additionally, a 2012 Towers Watson report (US data) outlines the type of claims companies are having in the last 10 years. The chart below outlines that employment-related claims are 32% of all claims. 


Your Commercial General Liability policy would not respond to employment practices liability losses or allegations because it will likely contain an exclusion for this coverage. Employment Practices Liability is a coverage that is usually an extension on a Directors and Officers policy.

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Tags: Jody Elliott, liability, employment practices liability, commercial general liability

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