Fewer drivers during pandemic no excuse to speed

Fewer drivers during pandemic no excuse to speed

With fewer vehicles on our roads right now, drivers may be tempted to speed. Even though it seems safer with fewer cars on the road, it isn’t. Speeding increases your risk of crashing and reduces the amount of time you have to react to the unexpected. ICBC is asking that we all do our part to prevent crashes, keep people safe, and avoid putting additional pressure on B.C.’s first responders and medical resources.

Every year, 82 people are killed in speed-related crashes, making speed the number one cause of car crash fatalities in B.C.*

Police have observed an increase in drivers speeding since B.C. declared a state of emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is why ICBC, the B.C. government and police are launching a month-long campaign focusing on speed and urging drivers to slow down.

Speeding is a concern for all road users, not just drivers. Many families are taking this time to get outside for walks or bike rides so it’s important for drivers to be extra cautious and look out for pedestrians and cyclists.

The campaign includes radio and digital advertising plus social media reminding drivers that the faster you go, the easier it is to make a mistake. Remember, if you must go out, check your speed and drive within the limits.

Learn interesting facts, get tips and more on icbc.com.

Quotes:

Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee

“While everyday life has recently changed for many in B.C., nothing has changed when it comes to road safety. Speed, distracted driving and impaired driving are just a few of the high-risk driving behaviours that put everyone at risk. With the use of intersection safety cameras and dedicated police agencies throughout the province, drivers are sure to be caught and held accountable when they make the choice to disregard the rules of the road.”

Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s Vice-President Public Affairs and Driver Licensing

“Whether you’re a driver, rider, cyclist or pedestrian – we can all play our part over the coming months by only travelling when necessary, and taking extra care on every journey. Driving over the speed limit really doesn’t get you there noticeably sooner, and instead increases your chances of crashing.”

Regional statistics*:

  • On average, 26 people are killed every year in the Lower Mainland from speed-related crashes.

  • On average, 12 people are killed every year on Vancouver Island from speed-related crashes.

  • On average, 27 people are killed every year in the Southern Interior from speed-related crashes.

  • On average, 18 people are killed every year in North Central B.C from speed-related crashes.

*Police-reported data, five-year average from 2014 to 2018.

Speed includes unsafe speed, exceeding

Drivers fear move by company will force them back to work to cover expenses despite health risks

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How to save on car insurance through COVID-19

Economical and Sonnet continue to offer individualized options to support those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

WATERLOO, ON, Apr. 30, 2020 – As COVID-19 continues to impact families and businesses across the country, Economical Insurance has enhanced its response to offer relevant relief options for those who need it most.

“During this exceptional time, our teams have acted with compassion and professionalism to support our customers with relief measures suited to their unique circumstances,” said Rowan Saunders, President and CEO, Economical Insurance. “Over the past several weeks, we have launched a number of programs for our personal and commercial insurance customers which we expect will result in more than $50 million in total relief for them during this uncertain time. We have also increased our annual community giving to more than $1 million to help communities across Canada meet distinctly local needs.”

Modifications to car insurance coverage can change what Canadians pay for insurance on a monthly basis. Economical customers should reach out to their broker, while Sonnet customers can use online chat or email, to review their individual policy and options available to them.

If you are driving less, you may be eligible for an enhanced reduction on car insurance rates. Many insurance rates are calculated using an expected number of annual kilometres driven, so customers who disclose this change could, on average, see a difference of up to 15% in their monthly rate, until June 30. If you previously had a long commute, you may save more than someone who drove fewer kilometres annually.

If you aren’t driving at all and your car is now parked, you can change the type of coverage on your vehicle for significant savings on your monthly rate – up to 75% on average. Applying a coverage suspension to your vehicle is a great way to reduce your rates while keeping your insurance policy active. You should ensure your policy will still protect you if you’re injured as a passenger in another car, or even as a pedestrian, if you do decide to remove some elements of coverage. You must inform your Economical broker or Sonnet before you start driving again so you have at least the provincially required coverage in place.

If your monthly budget has been impacted by COVID-19 through lack of employment or other factors, you may be eligible to defer your monthly payments, change your payment plan, or alter your method of payment to find a solution that fits your needs.

If you are supporting your community by using your personal vehicle for things like volunteering or some form of delivery support, there will be no impact to your premium, but you should disclose this to your insurer.

Economical and Sonnet will continue to assess these measures and ensure the right options are in place for customers. Alongside valued broker partners and dedicated employees, Economical is prepared to support Canadians through COVID-19.

About Economical Insurance

Economical Mutual Insurance Company (“Economical” or “Economical Insurance”, which includes its subsidiaries where the context so requires) is a leading property and casualty insurer in Canada, with $2.5 billion in gross written premiums and approximately $6.0 billion in assets as at December 31, 2019. Economical is a Canadian-owned and operated company that services the insurance needs of more than one million customers.

 

Many insurers offering rebates whether you’re driving or not but many others aren’t

The excerpreted article was written by Aaron Saltzman · CBC News

Some drivers are questioning why they aren’t seeing a significant reduction in insurance rates given the lockdown’s eerily empty roads, especially in light of the insurance industry promising rebates and relief in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars.

“They offered me a reduction of two dollars a month until August,” said Craig Fenn, a ground handler at Pearson Airport in Toronto. “That’s not much of a discount.”

Fenn’s wife, a teacher, is no longer driving to work. He says their broker told them their insurance company, Aviva, would only give them what amounted to about a one per cent rate reduction and only if they changed his wife’s insurance coverage from driving to work to driving for pleasure.

“They’re not giving discounts unless you change something on your insurance, and it has to be [a] big [change],” he said. He could have gotten his premium reduced in return for reduced coverage regardless of whether there was a pandemic, he said.

Fenn was one of a number of people who contacted CBC News after reading a story about Canada’s insurance industry promising to help drivers cut costs during the pandemic.

“I was so irritated by the fact that the insurance companies were getting good publicity,” he said.

In the United States, a number of companies are offering a 15 per cent refund to all their customers, regardless of circumstances. But the relief promised by Canada’s insurance industry has so far been a patchwork of different policies, with some companies issuing significant rebates, others cutting premiums only if coverage is reduced and at least one insurer going ahead with an increase, albeit one that was decided before the pandemic. ‘Doesn’t seem right’

“My premium went up 20 per cent,” said James Downey, a lighting director with his own production company in Toronto, who is with the Co-operators insurance. “That doesn’t seem right.”

Downey says he received the notice of the increase from the Co-operators in March, retroactive to January. He says nothing had changed in his driving record so he contacted the Co-operators, but wasn’t given a reason for the increase, other than it was a decision made before the pandemic hit.

Downey’s business is completely shut down, and his wife is on reduced hours at her job. The increase to his insurance amounts to about $400 annually.

“I’m in a spot where I can afford it for the next little while, but I know a lot of people I work with can’t,” Downey said.

Lisa Guglietti, executive vice-president and chief operating officer at the Co-operators, said, “these rates were implemented prior to the pandemic and reflect the claims experience that we have seen over the last number of years.”

The Co-operators is now offering a base 10 per cent refund for rates between April 1 and May 31.

“Due to the overall decrease in traffic on the road, this refund is available to all auto policyholders, even those continuing to commute to work,” Guglietti said.

Customers have to register online to claim the refund.

“But that still wouldn’t make up for the initial increase, which to me is not fair,” Downey said.

What some insurers are offering

Canadian Underwriter, a trade publication covering the insurance industry, has a comprehensive list of what many companies are and aren’t offering their drivers in terms of relief.

Allstate Canada is offering all its customers a one time 25 per cent refund on their May bills regardless of whether or not their driving has been reduced.

“We recognize that with fewer people driving, there are fewer collisions on our roads,” Allstate Canada CEO Ryan Michel said earlier this month, in citing the reasons for passing on cost savings to customers.

Several other Canadian companies are also offering across-the-board rebates, including CAA, Gore Mutual Insurance, iA home and auto, Unique insurance, La Capitale and Northbridge Insurance.

Another approach

But as of publication some of Canada’s biggest insurers, including RSA, TD Insurance, Desjardins, Wawanesa, Intact, and Aviva Canada are only offering reduced premiums if you’re driving less.

We’ve chosen not to adopt a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for our customer relief measures, as we believe each customer’s situation is unique.– Janis McCulloch, of Aviva Canada

“We’ve chosen not to adopt a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for our customer relief measures, as we believe each customer’s situation is unique,” said Aviva Canada’s Janis McCulloch in a statement. “We know many customers are driving less during this pandemic, while some are driving more.”

“We believe this is a fairer approach than an across-the-board reduction,” said Intact’s Jennifer Beaudry, senior consultant of external communications, “as it gives us the flexibility to provide additional relief to those who need it most and for longer than three months if needed.”

Still too early

Desjardins said it may yet end up offering across-the-board rate reductions, depending on how things play out.

“It’s still really early, and we don’t have enough claims frequency and severity data to consider reviewing our premium refund approach at this time. For one thing, the police have reported far more speeding and reckless driving on our roads. What impact will that have? We don’t know yet,” said Desjardins spokesperson Joe Daly.

Steve Kee, director of external relations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), which says its member companies are providing a combined $600 million in relief for Canadian drivers, said, “Each approach is different but nonetheless, meaningful to customers.”

The bureau hasn’t broken down the savings so it’s unclear how much of that total is coming from drivers opting to reduce their coverage because they’re driving less.

CAA Insurance Company Successfully Launches CSIO’s My Proof of Insurance Solution

Press Release:

(Toronto – April 29, 2020) CSIO is pleased to announce that CAA Insurance Company has successfully launched CSIO’s My Proof of Insurance as its preferred solution for sending customers their auto insurance cards (eSlips) over email. The launch coincides during a challenging time when paper and in-person meetings are less favourable and digital tools such as My Proof of Insurance are encouraged to ensure safe and consistent customer service.

Launched in 2018, CSIO’s My Proof of Insurance solution was developed collaboratively with industry support from insurers and brokers in response to a growing consumer demand for easier and convenient digital options within the insurance landscape. Since its release, support for the solution has grown year over year, with an increase in provincial approvals of electronic proof of auto insurance expanding across the country.

With a history of providing customers convenient and innovative auto insurance options, CAA Insurance looked to My Proof of Insurance as the next step in their digital roadmap. The solution provides customers with a free and secure way to receive, store and present their insurance documents and eSlips. Leveraging mobile wallet technology, eSlips are stored in a customers’ mobile wallet and can be accessed without the internet or having to download a separate app or sign into a company portal.

“Offering customers, a digital, efficient way to get their auto insurance cards, or eSlips, is an exciting addition to our service portfolio,” says Matthew Turack, President of CAA Insurance. “What was especially helpful was the fact that the registration, adoption, and launch of the solution was seamless. A simple and straightforward API meant we weren’t stuck in the implementation phase for months, allowing us to launch the solution in a timeframe we were comfortable with.”

– 30 –

About Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO)

CSIO is Canada’s industry association of property and casualty insurers, service providers and over 38,000 brokers. CSIO is committed to improving the consumer’s ease of doing business within the broker channel by overseeing the development, implementation and maintenance of technology standards and solutions such as My Proof of Insurance, eDocs, and eSignatures. In addition, CSIO operates the industry-owned mail network service, CSIOnet. CSIO maintains offices in Toronto and Montreal. For more information, visit csio.com.

www.csio.com

Drivers in Atlantic Canada could save $44M total as insurers offer pandemic discounts

Companies are making good on industry promise to give drivers a break, but customers may have to ask

The excerpted article was written by Paul Withers · CBC News 

Some insurance companies are making good on an industry promise to give Nova Scotia drivers a break because of COVID-19, but customers may have to ask.

With more people staying home and off the roads because of the pandemic, provincial regulators this month have been approving applications from insurers for temporary rate cuts.

Seven companies have been approved recently for the rate cuts.

This week, Intact — and affiliated companies Novex and Trafalgar — received permission to lower a previously approved maximum increase from 10 to five per cent.

They are also offering a temporary 15 per cent discount “should a client reach out to Intact to reduce their vehicle usage, either by lowering their annual kilometres or by reducing or removing their commute to work.”

In the past week, four other insurance companies have also been approved for similar rate relief. The measures expire later this year but can be renewed.

Check with your insurer for discounts

“The relief measures that every insurance company is going to do is going to look a bit different,” said Amanda Dean, Atlantic vice-president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

The organization represents 53 companies offering vehicle insurance in Nova Scotia.

She said some companies are in better financial shape than others to offer discounts. Some are making discounts automatic.

“We’re recommending that drivers call their insurance representative, a broker or your agent to talk about what your insurance company is doing at this time and what relief measures you might be eligible for,” said Dean.

Drivers in Atlantic Canada could save $44 million

Earlier this month, the IBC estimated drivers in Atlantic Canada could save a total of $44 million over a 90-day period because of relief measures.

Allstate Canada announced April 8 that it was introducing a “Stay at Home Payment” program of more than $30 million to help its personal auto insurance customers across Canada.

In a news release, the company said cheques would be mailed out in May for Allstate, Pembridge and Pafco customers who had an auto policy as of April 8. The one-time payment would work out to about 25 per cent of the monthly premium.

Source: CBC News

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