CAA applauds continued calls to protect Ontario motorists

A new report released today by Aviva Canada revealing the frequency and depth of auto insurance fraud in Ontario, reinforces CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) continued advocacy efforts calling on the provincial government to make regulating the towing industry a priority.

In 2017, Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act established certain measures to safeguard motorists. Tow operators are prevented from charging excessive amounts for service, and drivers have the option to choose where to have their vehicle towed to. Other measures include:

  • Giving motorists the option to pay with a credit card
  • Providing an itemized invoice listing the services provided and costs involved before receiving any payment
  • Disclose if they are receiving a financial incentive for towing a vehicle to a particular storage facility or repair shop

CAA has been actively working with stakeholders and government officials to work towards provincial regulation of the towing industry.

Regulating the industry would enhance consumer protection for motorists. It would provide consistent levels of training for operators, and ensure the vitality of an important industry on our roads.

“The need for provincial regulation of the tow truck industry is underscored by the continuing challenges related to consumer protection and choice on Ontario’s roads,” said Elliott Silverstein, manager, government relations at CAA South Central Ontario.

Although collisions represent a small portion of towing services conducted in Ontario, these incidents are considerably more expensive, are susceptible to fraudulent behaviours and activities, and occur when motorists are most vulnerable.

“Fraud in the auto insurance industry is multi-faceted, and provincial towing regulation is one of many potential solutions,” said Silverstein. “The findings in Aviva’s latest report reinforces CAA’s efforts to encourage the provincial government to help resolve challenges in this sector, and keep motorists safe across Ontario if and when they require assistance.”

In August 2017, CAA engaged Ipsos to survey Ontario motorists about their knowledge of their rights and the rules and regulations for the towing industry.

The research indicated that only 51 per cent of motorists said they felt educated about their rights, and do not feel protected. The survey also showed that 53 per cent of respondents were not aware that costs and requirements for towing differ across Ontario.

About CAA South Central Ontario
For over a hundred years, CAA has been helping Canadians stay mobile, safe and protected. CAA South Central Ontario is one of nine auto clubs across Canada providing roadside assistance, travel, insurance services and Member savings for our over 2 million Members.

SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario

Revolutionary Change to the New Driver Experience in Canada


InsureMy Inc.

InsureMy Inc., a Calgary-based insurance brokerage, in partnership with Trak Global Group, the UK based market leader in insurance telematics, today announced the official launch of Drive With Carrot – a power play to create a new generation of safer, smarter drivers, and improve road safety for all.

Safe Driving is Rewarding…
As the exclusive Canadian distributor of Carrot’s New Driver program, the InsureMy product will allow new drivers to track and self-regulate their driving behaviour through an app-based tool. Using the technology of telematics, driving data such as speed, cornering, braking, and harsh stops and starts will be collected by and delivered directly to the driver’s smartphone app, providing a score for each trip. The program offers young drivers recommendations to help improve their performance behind the wheel, and for those maintaining consistently good scores, it’s all about the rewards. Cash rewards are issued on a reloadable credit card quarterly, with the earning potential of up to $200 per year. Not to mention the discount to a new driver’s policy just for enrolling in the program. A powerful example of how consumers can put the data they own to work for their personal benefit. The information gathered is accessible only by the New Driver and Coach associated with the program – InsureMy can only access this information with the consent of the customer.

Not Just Better Drivers – Better Coaches Too…
The Program also provides parents of Carrot’s new drivers with an online dashboard of their own to logon and review their new driver’s performance – this brings monumental change to coaching. Not only does this give parents peace of mind when they cannot sit passenger-side, but using fact-based data to steer their drivers towards smarter behaviours on the road takes the emotion out of the equation and reduces the stress in the young driver-coach relationship.

Experience Counts…
“The partnership with Trak Global just made sense, they’ve implemented this program in the UK and countries across the globe with stellar results. They’ve also been recognized internationally for their contribution to improving safety amongst novice drivers,” notes InsureMy President, Hugh McTavish, speaking in particular of Carrot UK’s track record of reducing road traffic collisions amongst its newly qualified policyholders by 42%. “We set out to change the way we approach insurance, to be more than just a policy provider in the eyes of our customers. Bringing this type of ground breaking change to the driver safety and the new driver experience in Canada is just the beginning,” concluded McTavish.

The team at Trak Global has worked tirelessly to adapt the app for its Canadian debut and they couldn’t be more pleased with the results. “Guiding just one more partner on this journey to success is thrilling for us, we are proud to be at the forefront of driver safety on an international scale,” Nick Corrie, CEO of Trak Global Group. “InsureMy has invested an unparalleled amount of effort into bringing New Driver to life in Canada and this just solidifies our choice to work with such a dedicated provider, working toward our common goal.”

Connected Insurance Solutions for a Connected World…
Adding to the already robust line of telematics-based insurance products, the Carrot New Driver app will be available for download on both iOS and Android platforms effective March 8th, 2018.

To put an InsureMy policy to work for you, or for further information on the complete line of InsureMy products, contact Gord Mansfield at 1-844-410-1896.

About InsureMy Inc.:
InsureMy is a full service insurance brokerage, emerging as a market leader in the management and delivery of data based insurance products. Empowering customers to manage costs, regulate driving performance, and minimize their environmental impact by leveraging technological advances in the collection and practical application of data. For information please visit,

About Trak Global Group
Headquartered in the UK, Trak Global Group has been creating results-driven telematics solutions for the insurance, rental, fleet, and automotive industries since 2009. The Group works with some of the world’s biggest brands in these sectors, using technology and big data to help manage driver risk. The Group’s innovation hub, Trak Labs, is dedicated to developing IP and collaborating with other organisations, from start-ups to academic institutions. The wide range of services on offer to corporate partners includes anything from market research, proposition development and product design, to UX/UI design, prototyping and data analytics. For more information, visit

SOURCE InsureMy Inc.

Should you pay extra to insure your rental car?

by Michael Knezovich & Kevin Brasler, Delaware Valley Consumers’ Checkbook

As with your personal vehicle, when you rent a car you want to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage for damage to the rental, damage to the property of others, and liability lawsuits. Rental companies will happily sell you coverage, but it isn’t cheap.

For example, for a compact car rental from Budget, we recently were quoted a base price of $45 per day (plus tax and the usual jumble of fees). Adding the “recommended” coverages pushed its total daily rate to $100.19 — more than double the base rental rate.

Should you spring for this stuff? If you own and insure your own car, your personal policy likely protects you against big losses you might incur when renting, so the quick answer is “probably not.” But detailed below are important exceptions and caveats. And if you don’t own a car, there are even more issues to consider.

If you’re covered as a driver under your or your family’s personal auto insurance policy, and that policy includes collision and comprehensive coverage, it will pay claims for physical damage to cars you rent. Similarly, your own liability coverage continues when you rent. If you hit someone or something, your insurer will pay out and charge you your deductible.

Although most personal auto policies won’t cover rentals outside the U.S. and Canada, check what you get before you pay the rental company extra for insurance. The automatic coverage you get in some countries is very high. For example, Hertz automatically includes coverage up to 1 million euros per person for rentals in Italy, and rentals in Spain automatically include unlimited liability coverage. But, as you might expect, the limits in many other foreign countries are far lower — for example, less than $2,000 per injured person in Thailand and $20,000 per accident in Nicaragua.

If you are an employee driving a rental car on company business, your employer’s auto insurance policy might provide coverage — but only if your employer has paid extra for it. Also, these policies usually cover only liability, not physical damage.

If you rent using a credit card, you likely get free physical damage coverage — but not liability coverage — as a free perk. It’s standard on all American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa cards. You get this protection only if you decline the rental company’s physical damage coverage.

If you’re still considering buying extra insurance protection from a rental car company, it’s important to understand that the coverage is secondary insurance. This means that if you have an accident that your personal auto policy covers — which includes most accidents that occur in the U.S. — before you can collect from the rental company’s insurance, you first have to file a claim with your own insurer. In other words, the extra insurance you bought from the rental car company for physical damage or liability really covers only your deductible.

During the checkout process, rental company reps often warn that coverage you get from your personal insurer and credit card doesn’t cover you against loss-of-use fees. If you damage the car, the rental company will charge you for loss of use to theoretically recoup money from rentals the company can’t make while the vehicles are in a body shop and out of commission. Although these penalties are usually excessive — even though you rent a car for $19/day, a rental company might charge you an undiscounted $45/day “rack rate” for the number of days it takes to repair it, even though the company rarely charges that full rate and even though it might not bother to repair the car — insuring against the risk of these fees doesn’t make mathematical sense. Paying the rental companies hefty $20 —$40 per day to cover the unlikely risk of losing $40 —$100 per day for loss-of-use fees just doesn’t add up.

If you don’t have a personal auto policy or want extra insurance, consider buying coverage from a third party. Companies like Allianz and Insure My Rental Car sell primary insurance for rentals (if you have an accident, you don’t have to file a claim with your personal auto insurance company). If you don’t own a car, it’s worth considering one of these plans, rather than paying what are usually higher rates offered by the rental companies. But, note that these policies don’t include liability or loss-of-use coverage.

If you’re an American Express cardholder, it’s worth considering enrolling in its “Premium Car Rental” program. For a flat fee of $24.95 for each rental you charge to your card, you get primary insurance that offers coverage for rentals that’s similar to what get for a personal car with a conventional auto insurer.

Apart from providing primary insurance, the American Express program is a better deal than what the rental companies offer in that you pay a (fairly low) flat fee for each rental (for up to 30—42 consecutive days, depending on the state). The rental companies typically charge $30 or more per day. So, while the American Express fee for a one-day rental is not only less than what most rental companies offer, it’s a screaming deal for longer durations.

Source: News Daily News

ICBC and police introduce new measures to combat distracted driving this month

Tougher penalties for distracted drivers take effect this month, alongside the piloting of new technologies, in support of B.C.’s latest enforcement and awareness campaign against this high-risk driving behaviour. Enhanced police enforcement on distracted driving will also take place across B.C., including a province-wide blitz today.

ICBC, the provincial government and police are working together in a commitment of doing more to combat this dangerous driving behaviour that claims 78 lives each year.* Distracted driving is any activity that impacts a driver’s ability to focus on the road and is one of the top contributing factors in police-reported injury crashes in B.C. Research shows that electronic device use is the most common distraction that drivers engage in behind the wheel.**

Starting March 1, 2018, ICBC’s Driver Risk Premium (DRP) program will include convictions for distracted drivers who continue to put road users at risk by using electronic devices while driving. As previously announced, drivers with two convictions for the use of electronic devices while driving over a three year period will now face added and higher premiums. They could pay as much as $2,000 in penalties – an increase of $740 over the previous penalties –in addition to their regular vehicle insurance premium.

Two pilot projects exploring how technology can help combat distracted driving in our province are also underway, as announced in the fall. ICBC is working with 139 volunteer drivers from across the province on a three-month pilot. Drivers will share feedback about their experiences with a small telematics device installed in their vehicle which blocks the use of their handheld phone when the participant is driving.

Starting this month, police will also begin to test new distracted driving scopes with further abilities to capture dangerous driving behaviours. Police will be testing the units for usability and effectiveness in all weather and traffic conditions.

The recent changes to the DRP program and the technology pilots are just some of the many actions that government, police and ICBC are taking to make roads safer for all road users in British Columbia. The results of the pilot projects will be reviewed to determine next steps in a thoughtful examination of the role technology can play in preventing distracted driving.

Drivers can do their part by avoiding distractions while driving and encouraging others to do the same. Activate Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature or what’s similarly available on other devices or third-party apps. Free ‘not while driving’ decals are available at ICBC driver licensing offices and participating Autoplan broker offices for drivers to support the campaign and encourage other road users to leave their phones alone.


David Eby, Attorney General

“Distracted driving endangers the lives of British Columbians with devastating effects for families and communities. It also puts significant pressure on insurance rates. Improving road safety is key to creating a sustainable auto insurance system with more affordable rates for B.C. families. We must see cultural shift that sees distracted drivers put down their cell phones and drive.”

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

“Distracted driving is a preventable behaviour that has caused too many people and their families to suffer. We’re taking action to make some of the toughest distracted driving penalties in Canada even tougher. The changes to the Driver Risk Premium program mean distracted drivers with multiple distracted driving offences will now face added and higher penalties, over and above their regular vehicle insurance premium.”

Superintendent Davis Wendell, OIC E Division Traffic Services and Vice-Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee

“Since 2010, police have issued more than 300,000 tickets for electronic device use, which tells us that distracted and inattentive driving continues to be an ongoing issue on B.C. roads. In fact, police report that driver distraction and inattention is the leading contributing factor in injury crashes in B.C. And those are all preventable incidents. While driving, there’s no task more important than the one right in front of you – leave all distractions out of driving.”

Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s director responsible for road safety

“These distracted driving technology pilots will enable us to better understand the role that technology can play in preventing distracted driving and reduce overall crashes in B.C. But safer roads start with every driver making a conscious decision to drive smart and distraction-free. We can all do simple things like letting calls go to voicemail or programming your GPS before your journey.”

Regional statistics*:

  • Every year, on average, 27 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Lower Mainland.

  • Every year, on average, 9 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes on Vancouver Island.

  • Every year, on average, 30 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Southern Interior.

  • Every year, on average, 13 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the North Central region.

Eby says ICBC shift involves rewarding good driving, penalizing poor driving

VICTORIA _ The minister in charge of public auto insurance in British Columbia says he’s looking to remodel the system to reward good drivers with lower rates and penalize poor drivers with higher penalties.

David Eby says a consultation process starts today with a public survey that proposes major incentives for low-risk drivers by changing current discount and penalty provisions.

Eby says the changes are part of the government’s plan to modernize the Insurance Corp. of B.C. and restore the Crown corporation’s dismal financial state, which he has described as a dumpster fire.

The recent provincial budget forecast a $1.3-billion deficit at ICBC this year.

Eby says the government will introduce legislation with measures to save money at ICBC, including a $5,500 cap on claim payouts for minor pain and suffering.

The public survey, which includes plans to limit driver discount options, closes on April 5.

#JustDrive: Police on the lookout for distracted drivers, fines start at $280

Read more

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