Food delivery worker’s insurance policy cancelled after collision

CTV News Toronto 

A Burlington woman, who used her vehicle while working for a food delivery service, said she was shocked to realize that damage sustained in a crash would not be covered under her current insurance policy.

Tanya Maiato said that she signed up to work with Skip the Dishes in December to earn a little extra money. She said she would do a couple of delivery runs a week.

Maiato said she used her personal vehicle to deliver food. In February, she said someone crashed into her crash, resulting in about $8,400 in damage.

Everything went smoothly when she filed her insurance claim, Maiato said, and she was provided with a rental car while her vehicle was being repaired. But after they found out she was working for a food delivery service, the claim and her policy were both cancelled.

“I was honest and let them know that I was driving for Skip the Dishes at the time and they had asked me, did I inform my insurance company about this and I said no, I had no idea I had to.”

The company said that the standard auto insurance policy does not cover commercial or for-profit use of the vehicle.

Maiato said that when she joined Skip the Dishes, she was unaware she required extra insurance. But the company told CTV News Toronto that the information was in the driver’s contract.

“When a courier joins the Skip network, they do so as an independent contractor and they’re considered to be operating their own business,” a spokesperson said. “They must abide by all legal requirements. This may include additional insurance.”

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, owners should always check with their insurance company if they use the vehicle to earn income.

“The last thing anyone wants is to be involved in a crash and find out that they are not covered because they did not tell their insurer how they are using their vehicle or if that use has changed,” said Pete Karageorgos.

Maiato now has to pay for the damage to her vehicle herself and says she regrets signing up with the food delivery service.

“I’m incredibly upset,” she said. “It’s been a very stressful time.”

“Had I known about this, I would never have signed up in the first place.”

To boldly go: Manitoba man wants court to allow ‘Star Trek’ licence plate

By Kelly Geraldine Malone


WINNIPEG _ A lawyer representing Manitoba says a “Star Trek” fan wasn’t allowed to keep his personalized ASIMIL8 licence plate because the word cannot be dissociated from the history of forced assimilation of Indigenous people in the province.

Manitoba Justice lawyer Charles Murray told court Monday that licence plates are owned and issued by Manitoba Public Insurance, and the insurer cannot be divorced from a historical context of  “cultural genocide.”

Assimilate, whether in the sense of a fictional alien race or the real history of Indigenous people in Canada, is  “talking about wiping out the uniqueness of people,” Murray said.

The legal challenge against MPI was launched by Winnipeg’s Nick Troller over the Crown corporation’s decision to revoke his personalized plate in 2017.

Troller is an avid fan of the  “Star Trek” TV franchise and in 2015 got the plate with the well-known words from the alien race the Borg. He put the ASIMIL8 plate in a border that stated:  “We are the Borg” and  “Resistance is futile.”

James Kitchen, lawyer for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, argued on behalf of Troller. Kitchen told court that Troller drove around for nearly two years with the plate on his vehicle without any complaints. In fact, Kitchen said, many people asked Troller for photos with the plate.

“The word assimilate is just a word,” the lawyer argued.

That changed on April 22, 2017, when a woman from Ontario posted a photo of the plate on Facebook and complained to MPI that the plate was offensive because of the history of government assimilation policies.

The judge reserved his decision.

Documents filed in court show multiple emails between MPI officials trying to understand how the licence plate was approved in the first plate.

Plates are denied for a variety of reasons, including if they are offensive, suggestive, discriminatory or include racial or ethnic slang. They are the property of the Crown and can be recalled at any time.

The ASIMIL8 plate was considered by a five-person committee. Internet searches were done on its meaning and it was issued without any concerns.

Troller was later contacted and told his plate was deemed inappropriate and was being recalled.

Kitchen argued the emails show it was a “knee-jerk reaction” to the complaint that violated his client’s charter right to freedom of expression.

He pointed to a case where a man’s licence plate was removed after the controversy around the ASIMIL8 plate.

Kitchen said a First Nations man was upset after his NDN CAR plate was recalled earlier this year. Kitchen said the man had the plate, which references the song “Indian Cars” by Keith Secola, for years before MPI recalled the plate for being offensive.

Justice Centre president John Carpay said in an interview from Calgary after the hearing that freedom of expression cannot be trumped by some “kind of legal right to not feel offended.”

“When freedoms are lost, typically, they are lost gradually bit by bit by bit,” he said.

“If a person cannot express their enthusiasm for ‘Star Trek’ using a word that is inherently not offensive, that is a small step in the wrong direction.”

Personalized licence plates have been controversial before.

A man in Nova Scotia is also to be in court this month over a personalized licence plate. Lorne Grabher has been trying to reinstate his “GRABHER” plate since it was revoked in 2016 by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles following an anonymous complaint.

Saskatchewan Government Insurance recently denied Dave Assman (pronounced Oss-man) a licence plate with his last name on it. In response, he put a large  “ASSMAN” decal on the back of his truck.

Little-known ways to save money on your home and car insurance

If you’re worried about theft, you can also check whether your car is on the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s latest list of top 10 stolen vehicles.

Depending on where you live, what kind of property you own and what type of vehicle you drive, insurance premiums can be a costly expense.

But there are ways to reduce those costs, and sometimes all it takes is a phone call to your insurance agent. Here are 10 tips on how to save money on insurance:

Your car’s safety features

If your vehicle has modern safety features, such as a lane departure warning system and blind spot detection, some insurance providers may give you a discount.

The type of car you drive also matters. Each vehicle make and model is rated differently by insurance companies, based on safety features and theft rates.

If you’re worried about theft, you can also check whether your car is on the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s latest list of top 10 stolen vehicles.

Your driving habits

A number of insurers offer their clients the option to use telematics technology, which tracks driving habits such as speed, braking patterns and distance travelled.

Those who demonstrate good driving habits can be rewarded with lower insurance premiums. At Allstate Insurance that discount can be up to 30 per cent, said Greg Bergeron, Allstate’s Ottawa-area agency manager.

Some insurance providers also offer low-mileage discounts to clients who don’t drive their cars very far or often.

Drop collision coverage on older vehicles

If your vehicle is more than 10 years old and of low value, consider dropping collision coverage.

“That can save you a few hundred bucks easy,” Bergeron told in a phone interview from Ottawa.

“This may seem like a common thing, but a lot of people don’t think about it.”

The general advice from most insurance experts is to drop collision and comprehensive coverage when repairs to older vehicles no longer make financial sense.

Parking spot

Regularly parking your car in a driveway or a garage instead of on the street or in a lot will also save you some money, since there’s less chance that someone will hit it.

Winter tires

“We definitely reward individuals who have winter tires and it’s proven that people with winter tires have less frequency of accidents,” Bergeron said.

Many other insurance providers also offer winter tire discounts. At CAA, for example, that discount is five per cent.


Volkswagen tests highly-automated driving on new inner-city test route in Hamburg

Hamburg/Wolfsburg, April 3, 2019 – Volkswagen Group Research is testing automated vehicles in urban traffic in Hamburg. This is the first time Volkswagen has begun to test automated driving to Level 4 at real driving conditions in a major German city. From now, a fleet of five e-Golf, equipped with laser scanners, cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radars, will drive on a three-kilometer section of the digital test bed for automated and connected driving in the Hanseatic city. The results of the test drives, which will be continuously evaluated taking full account of all data protection rules, will be incorporated in the Group’s numerous research projects on automated driving, and will test customer-centric services and optimize individual transport.

Actually, a nine kilometer long test track for automated and connected driving (TAVF) is being created in the city of Hamburg and will be upgraded to infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication by 2020. It is characterised by realistic and thus demanding traffic situations. The test track is an open platform for vehicle manufacturers, technology companies, and research institutions to trial innovative mobility services in real traffic conditions on public roads. With the test track, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is creating a user-independent and technology-neutral application laboratory on which vehicle manufacturers, technology companies and research institutions can test innovative mobility services free of charge in real traffic on public roads. Interested companies and research institutions can apply at any time. The TAVF coordination center together with the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg takes various criteria like the impact of innovation, benefits for traffic flow and traffic safety or environmental effects on air quality into account.

With 1.8 million inhabitants, Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city. The City of Hamburg is promoting state-of-the-art technologies with the aim of becoming a showroom for innovative mobility. Digital technology plays a key role in making urban mobility and logistics in Hamburg safer, more efficient, and more eco-friendly. Therefore, Hamburg’s strategy on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is targeted at traffic safety, traffic flows, environmental effects, and the promotion of innovations. These topics are pursued in six focal areas: data & information; intelligent traffic control & routing; intelligent infrastructure (maintenance & operation); intelligent parking; mobility as a service; and automated & connected driving. Running under the tagline “Experience Future Mobility Now?, the ITS World Congress will take place in Hamburg from 11 to 15 October 2021.

More information on test track for automated and connected driving in Hamburg:

Car sharing offers ways to profit from or ditch personal car

By Cathy Bussewitz


NEW YORK _ While a growing number of Americans are struggling to make payments on their auto loans, a new crop of companies is offering alternative ways for car owners to get rid of costly vehicles or earn money while their cars would normally sit idle.

Companies such as Turo and Getaround provide a platform for individual car owners to rent out their own personal vehicles to nearby drivers who find the cars using a smartphone. The idea behind peer-to-peer car-sharing is similar to Airbnb, where people rent out their homes to travellers.

“A car is a very expensive asset, and it starts depreciating in value the minute you buy it,” said Sharon Feigon, founder and executive director of the Shared Use Mobility Center.  “The average car sits for 95% of the time. It’s really a waste when you think of it from that perspective.”


Car-sharing offers an alternative to individual car ownership and traditional car rental companies which typically rent by the day, instead enabling customers to borrow vehicles by the hour for shorter trips around town. Companies such as Zipcar and car2go eliminate the need to stand in line at rental car counters while waiting for vehicles, instead using smartphone apps to connect drivers with cars in their neighbourhoods or nearby.

The car-sharing model works best for people who live in dense areas, use mass transit or other modes of transportation, and sometimes but not always  need a car, said Sabrina Sussman, manager of public partnerships at Zipcar, which operates in 500 cities and towns and operates its own fleet of cars.

Zipcar drivers pay a monthly fee and can book cars by the hour or day, and then pay an hourly rate that includes gas, insurance and maintenance. Drivers pick up and return cars from the same parking spot.

More than half of Zipcar members got rid of their personal car after becoming a member, 87% of its customers spend $300 per month or less on transportation, and 40% of its customers have a household income that’s below the U.S. median.

“In almost every market, we have a near-even spread across all income categories,” said Sussman.

Maven, owned by General Motors, offers car-sharing for drivers borrowing cars for their personal use and those driving for delivery services or ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft. Some companies such as Envoy and AAA-owned Gig specialize in shared electric or hybrid vehicles.


Even if you own a car, you can still benefit financially from the car-sharing economy. More than 7 million Americans were three months behind in their car payments at the end of 2018, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Some are renting out their cars when they’re not using them to defray the cost.

On, borrowers can choose from a wide range of vehicles from a BMW Z4 to a Dodge Ram Pickup, an environmentally friendly Toyota Prius, a 10-year-old Ford Focus for $53 a day or an 8-year-old Lexus RX 350 for $64 a day.

The average host earns $629 a month, said Steve Webb, spokesman for Turo, which operates in 5,500 cities. “They’re able to turn something that was depreciating and idle into something that’s generating revenue,” Webb said.

Earnings for hosts on Getaround, which operates in 140 cities, vary by car, location and availability, said spokeswoman Joan Wickham. With the Getaround platform, riders can unlock cars using the smartphone app.

Liz Tynan makes $300 to $900 per month renting out her 2017 Nissan Morano through Getaround and commutes to her telemarketing job on public transit.

“It makes having a car more affordable for us,” said Tynan, 34, of San Francisco. “It’s giving us that luxury to have that flexibility, and I’m happier because I can go see my friends when I want or drive to work when I need to.”

Some locations, such as New York, have laws prohibiting car-sharing services such as Turo and Getaround.


For hosts renting out their cars car through Turo or Getaround, both companies offer up to $1 million in liability insurance. Drivers are screened before they can take out a vehicle, and the companies offer 24-hour emergency assistance.

Even so, peer-to-peer car-sharing has been slower to take off than other alternative modes of transportation such as shared scooters, because some potential hosts worry about what would happen if a driver borrowing the car got a speeding ticket or used the car to commit a crime, said Steven Polzin, program director for mobility policy research at the Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida.

“I’m sure they all have language in the agreements, but those are the kinds of things that will make people scratch their heads and think twice about it,” Polzin said.


The motley mix of cars on peer-to-peer car-sharing sites offers a way for car-shoppers to take vehicles on a longer test-drive than they might have through a dealership. For example, a driver could take out a Tesla Model 3 to see what it’s like to drive an electric vehicle. Another side benefit: no pesky salesman will be along for the ride.

Insurance Corporation of BC challenged over injury payouts, disputes resolution

VANCOUVER _ A legal battle is shaping up in British Columbia with the trial lawyers association promising to fight a move by the government-run auto insurer to overhaul claims payments and how it resolves disputes.

Effective immediately, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia has set a $5,500 cap on pain and suffering payments for minor injuries, which the Crown corporation describes as payments “recognizing the inconvenience and emotional distress of being in a crash.”

The corporation is also sending all disagreements about how minor injuries are determined or disputes about any injury claim below $50,000 to a civil resolution tribunal.

On its website, the corporation says the tribunal can be used without the need for legal representation, but the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia has warned the government that it intends to launch a constitutional challenge.

The association says the revisions have the potential to unfairly cut compensation for crash victims.

Association president Ron Nairne says in a statement that the new process could also restrict access to the courts, denying claimants of a basic human right guaranteed by the Charter of Rights.

“The approach this government has taken to legislative and regulatory changes to address ICBC’s mismanagement problems violates the rights of British Columbians. This should be about protecting the public interest _ not about protecting ICBC,” Nairne says.

Attorney General David Eby said Friday that word of the constitutional challenge was not unexpected.

“They believe that you can only resolve disputes appropriately through the B.C. Supreme Court. We don’t, obviously, agree with their interpretation of the law,” he said.

Changes to insurance corporation payments and procedures were announced last year, shortly after Eby referred to the insurer as a “financial dumpster fire.”

The latest fiscal year ended March 31 and the corporation announced in February that its projected deficit was $1.18 billion, on top of the $1.3 billion loss posted over the 2017/18 fiscal year.

With the April 1 cap on pain and suffering payouts for minor injury claims, B.C. becomes the final province in Canada to limit the payments.

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