In a car collision, the blame always go somewhere — here’s how your insurance company figures out where

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Vehicles Owned by Dead People

GhostIn the time that I have been writing this column I have accumulated many different topics. The requests have been varied, but I must admit, I never would have come up with this week’s topic myself. A reader has asked about vehicles owned by dead people.

The question is not as far out as you might think, and has some very important legal considerations. The lawyer I spoke with to gather background information suggested that on the death of a sole registered owner, the plates be cancelled, a storage insurance policy be purchased, and the vehicle be parked until the estate is probated. If the vehicle is worth less than $10,000 and the spouse is registered as co-owner ICBC will allow the surviving spouse to change the registration to indicate that they are sole owner in order to continue to use the vehicle prior to probate.

If others continue to use the vehicle after the registered owner’s death, be sure all insurance companies with an interest in the vehicle are notified of the situation. Failure to do so could result in a denial of insurance coverage if the vehicle were damaged or stolen.

How does a deceased registered owner get a red light camera ticket, and how do the police require this person to give details regarding the driver if the vehicle is involved in a breach of the Motor Vehicle Act? The responsibility falls on the shoulders of the executor or administrator of the estate. This is the person the law places the burden on, and it can be a very heavy responsibility if things go wrong. My lawyer advisor strongly recommends that an executor get legal advice immediately on becoming involved with the administration of an estate.

Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites.

www.drivesmartbc.ca

Province’s auto insurance plan deemed problematic by lawyers

Some of the Ontario government’s proposed changes to auto insurance laws will not reduce insurance costs and premiums, the Federation of Ontario Law Associations said.

In a Sept. 17 submission, FOLA said that both plaintiff personal injury lawyers and insurance defence lawyers had several concerns about the proposed policies.

“These lawyers are on the front lines of the justice system and see its triumphs and shortcomings every day,” FOLA’s report said. “To us, the Care, Not Cash model had no merit when it was first proposed, and it has no merit now.”

In a separate Sept. 16 submission, the Toronto Lawyers Association said it supported some aspects of the government’s plan — such as reinstating the $2 million benefit limit for catastrophic car crash injuries, allowing recipients to decide how to split the money between medical, rehab and attendant costs. But like FOLA, the government’s plan also raised concerns for the TLA, both on the plaintiff’s and defence side of the bar.

For instance, a proposal to let people lower their auto insurance premiums by reducing their coverage to $1 million is problematic, the TLA wrote.

“Auto insurance policies are difficult for consumers to understand,” the TLA said. “Consumers who opt for $1 million in coverage may be required to turn to Ontario’s already overburdened health care system and other social welfare systems . . . . or they may be forced to suffer without the treatment they need.”

Both FOLA and the TLA said the province will need to focus on insurance broker oversight, as well as extensive campaigns to raise consumer awareness of these issues.

FOLA’s response to the government’s consultation said it is not clear why the government would ban settling with an insurance company. While fraudsters do take advantage of cash settlements, the government’s proposal is a “sweeping” change that would only prevent a small amount of fraud, the TLA said.

Source: Law Times

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Tesla’s Model 3 earns insurance industry’s top safety rating

REUTERS

Tesla Inc’s Model 3 electric sedan has earned the top safety rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), becoming the first Tesla to do so.

The IIHS has given the Model 3 its highest rating, top safety pick+. It said the Model 3 earned good ratings across the board for crashworthiness.

The car’s structure held up well in the driver-side small overlap front test, IIHS said.

Last month, Tesla said it was launching an insurance service designed to give drivers in California, its biggest market, lower rates because of safety features on its electric vehicles.

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has been one of the strongest proponents of the idea that car insurance rates should plummet as driver-assist and self-driving technology become standard.

The company’s cars generally rank among the most expensive vehicles to insure due to their high repair costs for components and sensor equipment, according to safety researchers and insurance providers. (Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

“Driving Choice” Gives BC Drivers a Voice to Demand More Choice in Auto Insurance

A new campaign called “Driving Choice,” has been launched to provide British Columbians with a voice to demand more choice in auto insurance. The campaign provides the facts about how auto insurance works in other provinces and looks to dispel the myths being spread by those seeking to maintain the status quo with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).

Under ICBC’s monopoly, BC drivers pay the highest auto insurance rates in Canada, yet receive the same amount in benefits when they make a claim. At the same time, ICBC has lost more than $3 billion in the last three years alone, depriving the provincial government of funding that could be better invested in healthcare, education, and social services.

That’s why Driving Choice is giving a voice to British Columbians, so that they can let their Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) know that they want change and that they want choice in auto insurance.

A better future is possible, one where insurers compete on a level playing field so that drivers can choose the company that delivers the best coverage at the best price. It’s a choice most other Canadians enjoy, and British Columbians deserve.

“Driving Choice gives a voice to the overwhelming majority of British Columbians who want more choice in auto insurance,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, IBC. “Under ICBC’s monopoly, British Columbians pay more for auto insurance than anyone else in Canada, and are denied the benefits of choice and competition.  It’s time to let drivers shop around, find savings, and choose the auto insurer that’s right for them.”

Join Driving Choice and make your voice heard. Contact your MLA to let them know you want choice. Visit www.drivingchoice.ca and follow the campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Additional resources

About Driving Choice
Insurance Bureau of Canada is supporting Driving Choice because auto insurers are eager to compete dollar-for-dollar with ICBC. They believe they can sell the same auto insurance for less and save drivers money. Why not let them? Change will only occur if drivers – and taxpayers – make their voices heard. Speak up and demand choice from your MLAs.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 128,000 Canadians, contributes $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @IBC_West and like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422).

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release. To schedule an interview, please contact:

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: Vanessa Barrasa, Manager, Media Relations, 416-362-2031 ext. 4312, vbarrasa@ibc.ca

Related Links

www.ibc.ca

RCMP: Truck driver who crashed on Malahat did not have insurance

By Adam Chan, CTV Vancouver Island

A commercial truck driver who crashed through a concrete median and into a BC Hydro pole off the Malahat on Monday did not have insurance, according to West Shore RCMP.

The crash, which occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. on the Trans-Canada Highway near Aspen Road, knocked out electricity to more than 250 BC Hydro customers and caused lengthy traffic delays in both directions as RCMP officers and BC Hydro repair crews attended the scene.

According to the RCMP, the 27-year-old man driving the commercial semi-truck is being charged with having no insurance and driving without due care and attention.

The driver was taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

On Tuesday morning, crews began to remove the semi-truck from the bottom of an embankment that it slid down on Monday.

Northbound traffic along Aspen Road was brought down to one lane during the removal process.

While the vehicle was being moved onto the road, diesel fuel could be seen spilling onto the road with crews placing absorment material on top of the liquid to soak up its spread.

By approximately 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, both northbound lanes along Aspen Road had reopened.

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