My leased car was in an accident. Do I have to keep making payments?

My leased car was in an accident. Do I have to keep making payments?

Within a month of taking possession of my car on lease, it was in an accident. I informed the insurer and the car company within hours – but I am shocked to see that Canadian Dealer Lease Services is still deducting payments from my account. When contacted, it informed me that the lease is active and it will keep deducting payments. Is this correct practice? I don’t have a car now. – Samuel

After a crash, payments don’t stop just because your car can’t go.

If your car is in the repair shop, you have to keep paying your financing or lease payments until it’s fixed and you can drive it again.

In other words, it’s not your bank’s or finance company’s problem – you’re the one dealing with the insurance company. If your policy allows it, you might get a rental car.

“In the case of vehicle damage, the consumer who has taken out the policy would submit a claim to fix the vehicle,” said Pete Karageorgos, Ontario director of consumer and industry relations with the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), in an e-mail. “There may be coverage for renting a vehicle while the owner’s vehicle is being repaired – the owner’s insurance policy would extend to cover the rental vehicle.”

Total responsibility?

And if the crash totals your car? You’ll keep making normal lease payments until the claim is settled.

“Lease payments will continue from the date of loss until Canadian Dealer Lease Services receives the agreed settlement cheque from the insurance company,” said Andre Safah, manager, client services with Canadian Dealers Lease Services, in an e-mail. “At that point, all lease payments that were paid after the date of loss will be refunded to the lessee less any deductible amount under the policy and no further payments will be deducted.”

After the settlement, the leasing company might consider it case closed.

“We will accept the proceeds of insurance, provided there is no denial of coverage in whole or in part and the lessee is not in default in paying any amount due to us,” Safah said.

But you could end up owing money after the settlement, depending on your lease or loan agreement.

“Usually, your insurance company will pay your lease financing company the market value of the vehicle directly,” Lynne Santerre, spokeswoman with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, said in an e-mail. “If the insurance payout is less than the amount you owe on your car lease, then you are responsible for paying that difference.”

For example, if your insurance company decides the replacement value of your car is $10,000 but you still owe $16,000 on your loan or lease, you’d have to cover the $6,000 shortfall, Santerre said.

“GAP (Guaranteed Auto Protection) insurance will usually cover this difference and pay the remaining balance you still owe on your lease,” Santerre said. “Many finance companies require GAP insurance as part of the lease, while others offer it as an option.”

Lease of your worries?

When leasing or financing a vehicle, read through the agreement so you can understand what you’re responsible for, Karageorgos said.

“If leased or financed, the name of the leasing or financing company would be included on the application for insurance and on the policy as having an interest in the vehicle,” he said.

“Your obligations could include everything from mileage to condition of the vehicle at the end of the lease period, and possibly specifications as to how repairs to the vehicle are completed following a crash.”

ICBC urges: Slow down this Victoria Day long weekend

ICBC urges: Slow down this Victoria Day long weekend

As B.C. roads are expected to be busy with the unofficial start of the summer road trip season this May long weekend, ICBC and police are asking drivers to slow down and maintain a safe speed now and throughout summer.

Crashes and injuries increase on long weekends because of many factors, including unsafe speed as people may be rushing to reach their destination. Last year over the Victoria Day long weekend, 490 people were hurt in 1,900 crashes in B.C.

That’s why ICBC and police are launching an education and enforcement campaign to tie in with Victoria Day weekend. Province-wide police will be out on B.C. roads targeting high-risk driving behaviours and Speed Watch volunteers will be set up in communities across B.C. to encourage drivers to slow down.

Here are ICBC’s top driving tips to keep you safe this long weekend and all summer:

  • Let others into your lane: Don’t speed up as someone is trying to pass you. Help the other driver get into your lane by slowing down and making room.

  • Slow down: Posted speed limits are intended for ideal conditions. On uneven or wet roads, and in bad weather conditions, slow down and increase your following distance to at least four seconds.

  • Plan ahead: Allow extra time to get to your destination. Avoid rushing by planning your route in advance. Be realistic about your travel time. If you’re going to be later than expected, be patient and accept the delay.

  • Scan intersections: The majority of crashes involving pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists happen in intersections, so it’s important to approach all intersections cautiously.

  • Prepare your vehicle: Make sure your vehicle’s ready for the trip. Don’t drive with badly worn or under-inflated tires. Keep the wiper fluid topped up for clearer visibility.

  • Watch for other road users: As the days get longer and the weather gets nicer, pay extra attention to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

  • Leave your phone alone: No call or text is worth risking your life or the lives of others. Remember using a phone at a stop light is prohibited. If you have to take a call, pull over when it’s safe; stay focused on the road and keep the conversation brief. Make sure you’re focused on driving before re-entering traffic.

Regional statistics*:

  • Last year, 330 people were injured in 1,200 crashes throughout the Lower Mainland over the Victoria Day long weekend.
  • Last year, 52 people were injured in 290 crashes throughout the Vancouver Island over the Victoria Day long weekend.
  • Last year, 69 people were injured in 270 crashes throughout the Southern Interior over the Victoria Day long weekend.
  • Last year, 38 people were injured in 140 crashes throughout the North Central region over the Victoria Day long weekend.

​*Victoria Day long weekend is calculated from 18:00 the Friday prior to Victoria Day to midnight Monday. Injured victims and crashes from 2016 ICBC data.​

Media contact

​Lindsay Olsen​
604-982-4759

The Co-operators gets top ranking for customer satisfaction in auto insurance by J.D. Power

The Co-operators has been awarded the 2017 J.D. Power Canada awards for Canadian Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction in the three regions where it qualifies – the Atlantic, Ontario and Alberta. This is the second consecutive year that The Co-operators has received all three awards.

The J.D. Power study measures overall Canadian customer satisfaction with auto insurers, examining five critical factors: non-claim interaction, billing and payment, policy offerings, claims and price. The Co-operators received top scores in the non-claim interaction and policy offerings categories in each of the Atlantic, Ontario and Alberta regions, and ranked highly across all remaining categories.

“Our performance in this year’s J.D. Power study is indicative of the high level of customer satisfaction that we have across Canada,” said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “We’re proud of these results as they strongly position us as an industry leader in client engagement. We plan to use the information gathered from the surveys to continue to improve our relationships with our clients.”

Since the inaugural study in 2008, detailed results of the J.D. Power report have been used to identify strengths and opportunities. Results from previous years have helped The Co-operators focus on specific areas to enhance customer service and satisfaction, producing positive results. The Co-operators continues to see an increase in the overall satisfaction index, year-over-year.

For more information on the study, please visit www.jdpower.com/canada.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian co-operative with more than $47 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products.

The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean’s magazine. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

‘People have to understand what they’re giving up when they sign over their privacy’

Read more

Ontario Chamber of Commerce Endorses Major Changes to Auto Insurance Rate Regulation

Ontario’s leading business organization, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), is calling on the provincial government to put an end to its existing auto rate filing system, a system the chamber describes as “one of the most costly, onerous, and restrictive in North America“. The OCC, which represents 60,000 businesses from across the province, officially endorsed auto rate regulation reform after a unanimous vote by local chamber of commerce delegates at the OCC’s AGM in Sarnia, Ontario.

Ontario’s antiquated rate regulation system no longer works for consumers and businesses,” said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. “We’re pleased to see the Ontario Chamber network join leading voices like David Marshall in calling on the Province for change.”

The OCC’s endorsement is aligned with the 2016 findings of the Province’s Expert Panel that reviewed the mandate of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). The Panel noted that a variety of studies suggest that strict rate controls could limit competition and consumer choice and thus lead to higher prices. The Panel recommended that the province review the rate approval process as a first step in implementing a less costly, less time-consuming, and more transparent process.

Echoing the findings and recommendations of the Province’s Expert Panel, the OCC argues that the transition from FSCO to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) provides a window of opportunity for Ontario to adopt a more efficient approach to regulating automobile insurance. The OCC suggests that a “file and use” approach or a government review of alternative approaches to rate regulation is highly preferable to the current model.

“We will continue to work with government to ensure that FSRA’s Board of Directors is empowered to review and ultimately find alternatives to our existing rate regulation system,” added Donaldson.  “As both the chamber and government’s Expert Panel noted, the transition to FSRA provides a unique opportunity to create a transparent and accountable rate regulation process – a process that benefits consumers.”

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 120,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_Ontario or 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.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Former ICBC employee pleads guilty in B.C. Justice Institute attacks

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. _ Police say a former employee of the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia has pleaded guilty in a case where people connected with the Justice Institute of B.C. were targeted with firebombings and shootings.

An earlier trial heard 15 families across Metro Vancouver were terrorized after a man who saw them park at the justice training centre in New Westminster, B.C., tracked them down using information from their licence plates.

The attacks were orchestrated by Vincent Cheung who was sentenced to 13 years in prison by a B.C. Supreme Court judge last July.

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit says the investigation determined an employee of ICBC fraudulently obtained the victims’ names and personal information by searching their licence plates.

Police say 44-year-old Elaine Rheaume pleaded guilty in New Westminster Provincial Court to one count of unauthorized use of a computer on Monday.

Rheaume, who was fired by the corporation in 2011, received a suspended sentence of nine months of probation and 40 hours of community service.

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