SGI: Speeding and work zones – Here’s what you need to know

SGI: Speeding and work zones – Here’s what you need to know

Did you know that driving 100km/h past an emergency vehicle with lights flashing results in a $570 ticket and 3 demerits?

Many drivers go over the speed limit or drive too fast for conditions. Driving at an unsafe speed can greatly increase the severity of a crash; the faster your vehicle is moving, the less time you have to react to a potential hazard and for other drivers to react to you.

Higher speeds also increase the risk of a serious injury or death. For example:

  • The chance of being killed in a collision at 80 km/h is 2 times higher than if you were travelling at 64 km/h.
  • When a vehicle crashes at a speed above 80 km/h, the chance of death is more than 50%.
  • In most cases, a pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 40 km/h or less survive, but will die if hit by a vehicle travelling at 60 km/h or more.

Reaction time and stopping

Speeding reduces the amount of time you have to react and your control over the vehicle increasing both the risk and severity of a crash.

The average reaction time — the time it takes to determine that a crash may occur, decide what to do and then do it — is 1.5 seconds. You need to give yourself enough time for a quick response and decisive action.

By reducing your speed, you give yourself more ways to find an alternative course of action and more time to react to avoid a potential collision. Even driving 10 km/h slower can make the difference between a close call and a fatal collision.

Stopping distance

Speeding also significantly increases the stopping distance of a vehicle. As your speed doubles, your stopping distance increases 4 times. If your speed triples, your stopping distance increases 9 times.

Posted speed limit and road conditions

The posted speed limit is the recommended speed for ideal weather conditions.

Reduce your speed if the road is:

  • wet
  • snowy
  • icy
  • covered by fog
  • hard to see because of blowing snow

Work zones

Highway work zones

Work zones are usually clearly marked, with orange signs to show you’re entering a highway construction area and black and white signs showing the reduced speed limit. To keep everyone safe, be patient and follow the direction of the signs in the work zone. For more information about work zones, visit the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure. If you have questions about the setup of a particular work zone, call 306-244-5535.

Municipal roads and urban work zones

Work zone signs on municipal roads and in urban areas may differ from highway work zones. You’re still required to slow to 60 km/h or the speed that’s posted when you enter the work area and follow the directions of all signs in the zone.

You also must slow to 60 km/h when:

  • approaching a law enforcement vehicle or emergency vehicle when stopped at the side of the road with its lights flashing
  • passing Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure machinery or equipment when stopped at the side of the road with its lights flashing
  • passing a tow or service truck with its amber and/or blue beacon flashing while it’s assisting a vehicle

Fines and charges

For details on speeding fines and charges, visit the Speeding penalties page.

Source: www.sgi.sk.ca

Manitoba Public Insurance to Issue Rebate Cheques to Policyholders

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is returning up to $110 million to provide financial relief to its policyholders, Crown Services Minister Jeff Wharton announced.

“Many Manitobans have been financially impacted by this crisis,” said Wharton. “MPI is proactively providing relief when it is needed most by issuing rebates to its customers as an alternative to future reduced premiums.”

Rebates will be based on what policyholders paid last year and expected to be around 11 per cent, or between $140 to $160, per average policyholder, the minister noted, adding policyholders can expect a rebate cheque at the end of May to early June.

This surplus is the result of fewer claims during this COVID period, coupled with strong year-end financial results. As a public insurance model, MPI operates on a break-even basis and is required to maintain its reserves at a level set by legislation. Today’s rebate is possible because MPI’s reserves are exceptionally strong, allowing excess capital to be returned to ratepayers while ensuring its reserves are fully funded.

“This money is expected to provide financial assistance to Manitobans during this unprecedented crisis,” said Ben Graham, president and CEO, MPI. “We have made significant improvements in our operations to deliver value to Manitobans resulting in stronger financial results.

“With a healthy reserve fund, MPI is in a strong financial situation to move forward with these rebate cheques to support our customers. This rebate to our customers will not adversely impact the corporation’s financial outcomes moving forward. It feels right to give back to our customers when they need it the most.”

Details of the rebates will be made in the coming weeks and further details will be available at mpi.mb.ca.

In addition to rebating excess capital from the last financial year, MPI notes that as of mid-April, collision claims are down 48 per cent compared to the same month a year ago. MPI estimates that public health orders directing the public to stay at home and for non-essential businesses to cease direct interaction with the public have resulted in approximately $29 million in fewer basic claims being incurred between March 15 and April 15, 2020.

Under existing legislation, MPI is able to return approximately $50 million to its ratepayers and will require the approval of the Public Utilities Board (PUB) for the additional $60 million. MPI will apply to the PUB in the coming days in respect of the incremental $60 million in order to be able to return these amounts to Manitoba ratepayers. If PUB approval is obtained in the next few weeks, the entire $110 million will be returned as part of the rebate cheques mailed to Manitobans.

Based on current projections, MPI is confident that due to the extension of public health orders and the provincial state of emergency extending until May 18, related savings to the corporation will continue into the foreseeable future.

To help Manitobans impacted by COVID-19, we’ll be mailing policyholders’ rebate cheques in May.

IBC Collaboration with York Regional Police Leads to Charges

TORONTOMay 26, 2020 /CNW/ – Today, investigators with the York Regional Police Organized Crime and Intelligence Services laid charges related to organized-crime for violent  property damage, fraud and drug trafficking, as part of an ongoing joint-forces investigation into the tow truck industry, known as Project Platinum.  Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is proud to assist and support this ongoing investigation.

“IBC applauds the efforts of all partners involved in this joint-forces investigation, Project Platinum, that resulted in criminal charges being laid,” said Bryan Gast, National Director, Investigative Services, IBC. “Insurance fraud is a safety issue for consumers.  Lives can be put at risk as a result of these criminal actions. Insurance fraud costs Canadians in added insurance premiums, and strains our already burdened health care, emergency services and court systems.”

This ongoing investigation has identified several organized crime groups working within the towing industry who have used violence and property damage to gain control and territory within the industry. A number of towing companies have been involved in defrauding insurance companies, using vehicles involved in collisions and staged collisions. These towing companies partnered with auto repair shops, physiotherapy clinics, as well as car and truck rental companies, to carry out this fraud.

Insurance companies, through the auto insurance industry’s dedicated Investigation Coordination and Support Service (consisting of nine Insurer Lead Investigators, each from an IBC member company), worked to mitigate the costs of this fraud, including additional costs to the consumer, and actively pursued legal action against various towing companies.

For more information on the investigation, visit York Regional Police.

IBC and its members work tirelessly to mitigate the risk and cost of insurance fraud. Insurance companies pursue legal action against towing companies that are committing fraud.

IBC wants to help consumers avoid falling victim to insurance fraud. The more people report fraud, the more fraudsters we can bring to justice.

Know Your Tow

If you’ve been in a collision:

  1. Call your insurance representative as soon as possible to report the collision. They can provide helpful, on-the-spot advice on towing options, as well as recommendations of repair and car rental companies.
  2. You have the right to decide who can tow your vehicle and to what location (unless otherwise directed by police).
  3. A permission-to-tow form must be signed, and the towing company must provide an itemized invoice before receiving payment and towing your vehicle.
  4. You are entitled to a receipt for towing services rendered, and you have the option to pay with a debit or credit card.
  5. Decline offers to store your vehicle in a compound yard unless directed by your insurance representative to do so.

Never sign a blank contract or take referrals from towing companies.

For more information, visit Know Your Tow.

If You Suspect Insurance Fraud

In addition to contacting your insurer, you may also:

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, pays over $9 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 us on Twitter @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.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

www.ibc.ca

Guns, drugs, cash seized in organized crime probe of Toronto area tow truck industry

By Liam Casey

THE CANADIAN PRESS

VAUGHAN, Ont. _ Four alleged organized criminal organizations that operated as rival tow truck companies involved in a violent battle for territory in the Toronto area have been dismantled, police said Tuesday.

York regional police said the alleged crimes involved real collisions with jacked-up fees to drivers, staged collisions and extensive insurance fraud.

The turf war on two lucrative highways has led to murders, attempted murders, assaults, arsons and property damage, said Supt. Mike Slack of the force’s organized crime and intelligence services.

“Organized crime begins with an opportunity to make money and a level of greed that leads to criminality and violence,” Slack said in a video statement.

“The towing industry and its lack of regulations have bred exactly that environment.”

York police worked with their Toronto counterparts, Ontario Provincial Police and the Canada Revenue Agency on the investigation, dubbed Project Platinum, that began in February.

After raids and the execution of numerous search warrants, police arrested 20 people who collectively face dozens of counts, including criminal organization related charges, drug-trafficking charges and firearm offences among others.

During the raids, police seized 40 guns, including handguns, shotguns, rifles and a machine gun. Police also seized five kilograms of the deadly opioid fentanyl, 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, 1.25 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and 1.5 kilograms of cannabis.

Police also seized more than $500,000 cash.

The investigative team also worked with the force’s homicide squad that laid murder charges in March against two men with ties to the towing industry for the death of a man who worked in the same industry.

Slack said the alleged criminal organizations are relatively new and have earned millions of dollars in illicit income.

“And when these profits were not enough, they staged collisions using drivers they recruited they deliberately caused collisions in roadways and parking lots across the GTA,” Slack said.

Police allege Paramount Towing along with other towing companies have been defrauding insurance companies with vehicles involved in collisions and staged collisions.

Slack said the companies would grossly inflate towing bills, move cars from lot to lot to increase storage fees, inflate repair bills and involve physiotherapists, much of it in an effort to defraud insurance companies.

Body shops and car rental companies were in on the schemes, Slack said, and would receive  “profitable cuts for themselves.”

Insurance companies grew wise to the alleged frauds, Slack said, which then hired Carr Law, a firm in Vaughan, Ont., to investigate.

“It too became the target of violence, threats and extortion,” Slack said.

Last fall an employee was threatened by an armed man and shortly thereafter someone fired bullets into the firm’s office, police said.

Slack said investigators also found a cache of computer records that will aid in the prosecution of those charged.

He alleges Paramount Towing, which is owned and operated by Alexander Vinogradsky, controlled a vast territory that included Highways 401, 404 and 400.

Slack said police have made recommendations to the province to implement regulations in the towing industry, including contract towing.

“York regional police has yearly contracts that we sign that we identify trucks we can use at our collisions,” he said. “We do think that has a great effect and something we recommend in all jurisdictions.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2020.

Meal delivery drivers often not insured if using personal car, broker warns

Most personal auto insurance policies don’t cover vehicles for food or package delivery

The xxcerpted article was written by Paula Duhatschek · CBC News 

Drivers making deliveries for some popular food delivery apps might be unaware their auto insurance may not cover them in the event of a collision, potentially leaving them on the hook for a big bill.

Gary Cormier, 49, of Kitchener, Ont. wants to avoid that situation. He’s been trying for weeks to find a car insurance policy that he can afford, and that will cover him while making deliveries.

Cormier signed up with both DoorDash and Uber Eats this spring and was quickly accepted as a driver after submitting proof of his car ownership, driver’s license and personal insurance.

But when he told his insurance broker about the plan, Cormier says he was told his existing policy with Intact wouldn’t cover him.

Cormier says he contacted three other brokers for good measure and was told the same thing.

“If I was just driving on personal insurance … my claim could be declined,” said Cormier, who says he stopped making deliveries after that point.

Cormier says his broker later gave him a quote for a commercial driving insurance policy, costing about $10,200 annually.

“It’s just not feasible,” said Cormier, whose personal driving insurance currently costs about $1,500 a year.

Most personal auto insurance policies don’t allow the use of personal vehicles for food or package delivery, according to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario.

That means drivers might not be covered if they use their vehicles for business purposes, the agency said.

‘You could lose everything’

Insurance broker Joseph Carnevale says many drivers are likely delivering food and other items without realizing their personal auto insurance policy doesn’t apply to their present circumstance.

Anyone making money by delivering something needs to tell their insurance broker about it, says Carnevale, and in most cases, a delivery driver would likely need to take out a commercial insurance policy to be covered.

“The problem we face is that someone who’s just trying to make a few dollars on the side then has to [pay] a substantial amount of money for a proper and legal commercial insurance auto policy,” said Carnevale, who is also president of the Insurance Brokers’ Association of Ontario.

“And so there’s a scenario out there right now that probably … the vast, vast majority of people don’t have the proper policies in place and that puts them at risk.”

Although every situation is different, Carnevale says a delivery driver who didn’t have commercial insurance and who submitted a claim after causing serious property damage would likely prompt an investigation and be denied coverage by their insurer.

That kind of accident could put them on the hook for between $5,000 and $100,000, he says. A worst-case scenario type of collision involving multiple deaths could cost millions, he adds.

“You could lose everything,” said Carnevale.

Company policies vary

CBC News asked DoorDash, Skip the Dishes and Uber Eats what kind of insurance their Ontario drivers need to carry.

DoorDash pointed to a statement on the company’s FAQ page saying it does provide excess auto insurance, but this policy only applies toward damage drivers might cause to third parties and only to accidents that happen when a driver is in possession of goods to be delivered.

A spokesperson for Skip the Dishes said in an email that couriers are independent contractors, and it is their responsibility to “obtain and maintain all necessary insurances, permits, and/or licenses required by applicable laws in the region they operate.”

READ MORE HERE: 

DYK – In Canada, men pay more than women for car insurance across all age groups

DYK – In Canada, men pay more than women for car insurance across all age groups

TORONTOMay 20, 2020 /CNW/ – Auto insurance premiums are determined using a variety of factors, including a person’s driving record, years of driving experience, insurance history, vehicle make and model, type of usage, type of coverage, deductible, and so on. But one of the many factors that also has an impact on what people pay for auto insurance is gender.

It’s generally understood that men pay more than women for car insurance, particularly when they’re young and signing onto their first policy. What isn’t clear is how men fare over time. “To understand the correlation between age, gender and auto insurance premiums, we used our car insurance quoter to collect test data for male and female drivers aged 17-60, from three major Canadian cities,” said Justin Thouin, Co-Founder and CEO of financial rate comparison site LowestRates.ca. Today, the company released a report to illustrate how gender affects auto insurance in TorontoMontreal and Calgary. While the data looks at three cities, these trends are similar across all of Canada.

The report shows:

In Downtown Toronto:

  • Between the ages of 17-19, men pay 27% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 20-24, men pay 11% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 25-30, men pay 3% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 31-40, men pay 5% more annually for car insurance than women
  • From the age of 40 onwards, men and women pay equally for car insurance

In Downtown Montreal:

  • Between the ages of 17-19, men pay 16% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 20-24, men pay 14% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 25-30, men pay 19% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 31-40, men pay 14% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 40-50, men pay 11% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 50-60, men pay 11% more annually for car insurance than women

In Downtown Calgary:

  • Between the ages of 17-19, men pay 12% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 20-24, men pay 2% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 25-30, men pay 2% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 31-40, men pay 3% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 40-50, men pay 5% more annually for car insurance than women
  • Between the ages of 50-60, men pay 4% more annually for car insurance than women

Thouin said there are several reasons why men are charged more than women for auto insurance in Canada. “Statistics show that men are far more prone to road accidents, and they are also over three times more likely to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol than women. We’ve also seen that men are also more likely than women to commit traffic infractions, such as dangerous driving.”

Thouin emphasized that while gender and age do play a role in determining car insurance premiums, these factors don’t supersede other important parameters like a clean driving record, having no insurance gap or claims history. ” Irrespective of gender, anyone who drives safely, follows traffic rules, and has no insurance gap for a significant amount of time can reduce their insurance premiums.”

About LowestRates.ca

LowestRates.ca is an online rate comparison site for insurance, mortgages, loans and credit card rates in Canada. The free, independent service connects consumers directly with financial institutions and providers from all over North America to offer Canadians a comprehensive list of rates. LowestRates.ca’s mission is to help Canadians become more financially literate, with the near-term goal of saving them $1 billion in interest and fees.

SOURCE LowestRates.ca

 

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