SGI: Wildfire evacuation expenses may be covered under insurance policy

The northern Saskatchewan wildfires have forced hundreds to evacuate their homes and communities. SGI is providing some important information for people in the impacted areas.

“We encourage SGI CANADA customers to contact their insurance broker, as they may be eligible for coverage of living expenses while displaced from their homes,” SGI President and CEO Andrew Cartmell said. “Their insurance broker can provide details about the amount of coverage available.”

All SGI CANADA customers with a personal property policy (Prestige, Home, Mobile Home, Tenant, Condo or Agro Pak) who have been evacuated from their communities have mass evacuation coverage, subject to limitations in their policies.

Mass evacuation coverage includes:

  • expenses for hotel/motel stays or subsidies for those staying with friends or family members
  • other expenses related to the evacuation, including fuel, meals and transportation costs

These costs can be covered up to a period of 30 days, Customers should save all their receipts to submit if they decide to put in a claim. Insurance payouts are subject to the policy’s deductible.

SGI CANADA personal or commercial property policies will NOT be cancelled if their policy expires or due to non-payment, for a period up to 30 days past the expiration or non-payment date.

Likewise, Saskatchewan Auto Fund customers who have been evacuated do not have to worry about their insurance lapsing while they are away from their home and unable to renew their driver’s licence or vehicle plate insurance.

“We will take care of our customers who, due to evacuation, have been unable to renew their licence or plates,” said Cartmell. “If a customer incurs a claim, customers will be able to renew their expired driver’s licence or vehicle plate and access Auto Fund coverage, subject to their deductible.”

SGI will have employees on hand at the Saskatoon and Prince Albert shelter locations to provide assistance to evacuees.

SGI CANADA policy holders can also contact their broker to inquire about their coverage under their existing policies. In the event of an emergency, if customers can’t reach their broker, they can call the claims hotline number 1-844-745-2015.

Customers with questions related to driver’s licences and vehicle registration can call the Customer Contact Centre at 1-844-TLK-2SGI (1-844-855-2744).

SGI CANADA and Saskatchewan Auto Fund customers can learn more via our online FAQ.

More than one quarter of Canadians want to hold on to their driver’s licence past 85 years of age

AURORA, ON, Aug. 2, 2017 /CNW/ – As Canadian boomers age, the number of elderly drivers on our roads increases. Statistics Canada’s 2016 census reveals that those 65 years of age and over now outnumber those 14 years of age and under for the first time ever. But vital conversations about how to determine when a person is unfit to drive are difficult.

According to a recent national survey from State Farm Canada, one in ten respondents has been in a collision involving a senior citizen. And while 94 per cent of respondents believe that individuals should speak with senior family members about giving up their licence if they are concerned about their safety, only 2 per cent of seniors surveyed said that a family member has had that conversation with them.

In a 2011 report, Transport Canada stated that drivers aged 65 and over represent 17 per cent of fatalities though they only account for 14 per cent of licensed drivers1. And the rate of fatalities per distance travelled increases considerably at age 75. As seniors age, they are more likely to develop physical and cognitive infirmities.

“Canadians are conflicted when it comes to the balance between road safety and the autonomy associated with driving.” says John Bordignon, Media Relations, State Farm Canada. “These are extremely difficult discussions for families to have. When a person is deemed unfit to drive, it can feel like a sudden loss of independence. To make the transition easier, it’s important for family members to have supportive conversations early on and explore transportation alternatives over time, so that changes in lifestyle come gradually.”

Tough Conversations
Just 33 per cent of respondents to State Farm Canada’s survey say that they have had a conversation with a senior family member about giving up their licence due to concerns about safety, but when those conversations occur they don’t always go well.

Of those respondents who say they have spoken with a senior family member about giving up their licence, nearly 80 per cent said that they faced resistance from the family member.

When asked what they believe to be the biggest factors keeping seniors from giving up their licence, 74 per cent said a loss of independence, 12 per cent said a lack of awareness about the warning signs of driving incapacity, 6 per cent said lack of public transportation, and 4 per cent said the cost of taxis.

A Driver’s Age 
According to research conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation in 2016, drivers aged 65 and older are over-represented in crashes, particularly those aged 80 and older2. Partly because seniors are more susceptible to injury and less likely to survive a serious collision than younger drivers. Drivers 65 and over are also susceptible to age-related declines in reaction time and mobility, and can be affected by factors such as heart disease, visual impairment, dementia, and impairment due to prescription medication.

“When reviewing the evidence, it becomes clear that elderly drivers are overrepresented in fatal and severe crashes due to a variety of factors associated with advancing age”, explains Ward Vanlaar. Chief Operating Officer of TIRF. “One solution is identifying health issues that affect driving ability and having conversations with family members about looking for alternatives. Ensuring a senior can continue to drive safely will have positive effects on their quality of life, but there comes a time when it might be safer to let someone else take the wheel.”

Hanging up the Keys
The State Farm Canada survey indicates that Canadian seniors are reluctant to give up their keys with 26 per cent saying they want to hold onto their licence past 85 years of age.

So when the time finally comes, what are the factors that would lead someone to give up their licence? According to respondents 65 years of age and older, the three biggest factors affecting their decision are advice from a medical professional (94 per cent), concerned family members and friends (27 per cent), and a collision (14 per cent).

Additional Resources
This is the second of three news releases State Farm Canada will distribute in 2017 revealing survey results and the opinions of Canadians about their driving habits and road safety.

To find out more about how State Farm works to improve road safety in Canada, please visit www.statefarm.ca/autosafety

About the Survey
The online survey, conducted in March 2017, polled 3,581 respondents of driving age across Canada.

About State Farm
In January 2015, State Farm’s Canadian operations were purchased by Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and among the three largest P&C insurance providers in Canada. With its approximately 500 dedicated agents and 1700 employees, the State Farm division provides insurance and financial services products including mutual funds, life insurance, vehicle loans, critical illness, disability, home and auto insurance to customers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. For more information, visit www.statefarm.ca, join us on Facebook – www.facebook.com/statefarmcanada, or follow us on Twitter – www.twitter.com/statefarmcanada.

®State Farm and related trademarks and logos are registered trademarks owned by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, used under licence by Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company and certain of its affiliates.

©Copyright 2017, Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company.

1 Road Safety in Canada, Transport Canada, https://www.tc.gc.ca/media/documents/roadsafety/tp15145e.pdf.

2 The Role of Driver Agein Fatally injured Driversin Canada, Traffic Injury Research Foundation, http://tirf.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/The-Role-of-Driver-Age-in-Fatally-Injured-Drivers-2000-2013-13.pdf

SOURCE State Farm

Wildfire situation in British Columbia and surrounding area: IBC is here to help – Safety remains first priority

July 8, 2017 (VANCOUVER) – As British Columbia has declared a state of emergency due to wildfires burning out of control throughout much of the Interior, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reaching out with information and advice for those affected.

“Our thoughts are with those whose lives have been disrupted and whose homes have been destroyed. The priority right now is the safety of those affected and their loved ones,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, IBC. “The insurance industry is here to help. Anyone with questions about their home or business insurance can call their insurance representative or IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844‑2ask‑IBC.”

What insurance covers

Most home and business insurance policies cover fire damage. If residents have to leave their homes because of a mandatory evacuation order issued by civil authorities, most homeowner’s and tenant’s insurance policies will provide coverage for reasonable additional living expenses for a specified period of time. Your insurance representative is at the ready to clarify the details of your policy.

The claims process

If you have been affected by a wildfire, when safe to do so, take the following steps:

  • Assess and document the damage. Taking photos can be helpful.
  • Call your insurance representative and/or company.
  • List all damaged or destroyed items.
  • If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Take photos of the damage and keep damaged items unless they pose a health hazard.
  • Keep all of the receipts related to cleanup, and if you’ve been ordered to leave your home, keep the receipts for your living expenses.
  • Ask your insurance representative what living expenses you’re entitled to be reimbursed for and for what period of time.

Next steps

  • Once you have reported a loss, you will be assigned a claims adjuster. It may take some time, given the number of people affected by the wildfires, but you will be contacted.
  • The claims adjuster will investigate the circumstances of your loss, examine the documents you provide and explain the process. Take notes during the conversations and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Your insurance company will ask you to complete a Proof of Loss form, to list the property and/or items that have been damaged or destroyed, with the corresponding value or cost of the damage or loss. You must sign and swear that the statements you make in the Proof of Loss form are true. Ask your insurance representative or claims adjuster to clarify anything you are unsure about.

Resources

Anyone with questions should contact their insurance representative or IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

For additional information, consumers can also visit www.ibc.ca  or email askibcwest@ibc.ca.

Go! It’s an Acceleration Lane…

Acceleration LaneI saw it again the other day, a driver who was stopped at the beginning of an acceleration lane patiently signalling and looking for a large gap to join in with the passing traffic. Before you make a comment about gray hair, this could just as easily have been a new driver. I couldn’t tell as I drove past at 90 km/h.

Acceleration lanes are designed to give drivers the time and space to merge smoothly with traffic on the highway without causing other drivers to alter position or speed.

Generally, you may anticipate an acceleration lane when the right turn bay is not marked with a yield sign.

The Learn to Drive Smart guide tells us that we should scan traffic to our left as we use the entrance ramp. Match the speed of traffic on the highway as you use the portion of the acceleration lane marked with a single solid white line on the left. Once you reach the area marked with a single broken white line on the left, merge into the space that you have selected.

Be wary of cyclists! This can be a time when you have many tasks to process at once and a bicycle may be more difficult to see in the stream of vehicular traffic.

Of course, if your vehicle is equipped with signal lights, this is a good time to use them. While it may seem obvious, you will be changing lanes so it is mandatory to signal even if there is no other traffic present.

Due to the higher speeds usually involved here, using your observation skills is key. Look as far forward and back as you are able to in order to gauge the traffic you will have to merge into.

Scan to the rear and sides frequently and carefully, being especially aware of your own and other driver’s blind spots.

Finally, check your speed as it can be easy to accelerate too much without realising.

The aim in the successful use of acceleration lanes is to give yourself the longest possible time to react if things do not go as planned. Scanning increases your awareness and that serves to increase your safety.

Let’s go back to me driving past before we finish here. The driver I observed stopped in the acceleration lane was a strong indication that they might be confused. Moving into the left lane if possible would be the smart thing to do. Maintaining your space cushion will protect you from that driver if they make another mistake and pull into the lane in front of you.

The Ultimate Selfish Driving Act

While out for a walk the other afternoon I approached a driver who had stopped in his lane, in a corner, to talk to a couple of pedestrians on the other side of the road. Normally, this is a relatively quiet street but the driver is still making a poor choice. His action was unsafe due to poor sight lines for approaching drivers.

Sure enough, another vehicle approached from behind and was prevented from passing because the pedestrians had moved into the other lane to conduct their conversation more comfortably.

At this point most drivers would conclude the conversation and move on, or at least move to the right side of the road.

Not this driver. He pulled into the oncoming lane at a forty-five degree angle and continued with the chat!

As it happened, I was also walking by a driver waiting beside his parked dump truck and watching this situation too. I shook my head and mentioned to him that there were sure a lot of inconsiderate drivers to be found on our highways these days.

I had definitely touched a raw nerve here as the driver began to tell me all about the dangerous driving situations that he is put into by the drivers of light vehicles every day.

Chief among his worries were those who changed lanes in front of his truck and failed to leave a safe margin for following distance. Worse still, some of these drivers will apply their brakes and slow down for a right turn immediately after moving over. No sense anticipating that turn and falling in behind the truck to safely prepare for it, is there?

Remember the two second rule? It not only applies to vehicles that you are following, it applies to vehicles that are behind you as well. Always leave yourself an out.

Why might this be important? A loaded heavy truck with a properly functioning braking system may have as little as half of the braking capacity of a car or light truck. These drivers may have put our trucker into a situation where he cannot slow or stop in time to avoid a collision.

I suggested that if there was nowhere safe to steer around the offending vehicle the truck driver might be faced with the decision to not to avoid the collision. No, he said, you would likely brake and finding that you could not stop in time automatically steer to avoid the crash.

Now there is little or no risk for our unthinking motorist and most or all of the risk settling onto the shoulders of our truck driver. This could be the ultimate selfish driving act performed by the driver of the light vehicle.

Before you start to complain about commercial drivers, think about the fact that in a collision between a heavy commercial vehicle and a light vehicle it is most likely that the fault lies with the light vehicle driver.

One parting piece of advice: remember the No Zone. This is the space around a heavy commercial vehicle where light vehicles are essentially invisible to the truck driver. Occupy them at your own risk!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from ILSTV

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest