Ontario motorists are peeved as record-level claims drive auto insurance premiums even higher

A new study from J.D. Power shows customer satisfaction at a low when it comes to car insurance

The rising frequency of insurance claims and the growing cost of vehicle repairs have forced another year of auto insurance premium hikes in Ontario in 2019. And the result is exactly what you might expect.

Motorists are not happy.

J.D. Power’s latest study has revealed that customer satisfaction levels when it comes to auto insurance providers has hit a new low. And price sensitivity is playing the leading role as the ongoing drama between Ontarians and insurers continues to develop.

To offset rising costs for auto insurers, premiums have been pushed upward to where the national average has risen to $298. And while Alberta has seen the highest spike in auto insurance costs with premiums reaching $326, Ontario sits in a close second with motorists shelling out an average of $311 to stay on the roads.

“With such a dramatic increase in premiums, price sensitivity becomes an issue to which insurers should be very mindful,” commented J.D. Power insurance practice director Tom Super. “While we have seen pockets of claims frequency begin to stabilize, carriers continue to face profitability challenges in the auto sector, especially for those carriers that lagged the market on rate action.”

Key factors contributing to profitability issues for insurance providers in Ontario include the rising number of fraudulent auto insurance claims in the Province, the increased cost to repair more technologically advanced vehicles and the growing amount of claims due to distracted driving, despite the many deterrents in place.

J.D. Power’s study found that transparency when it comes to insurance rate increases could help limit the negative effect on satisfaction for customers. Satisfaction is higher among customers who saw an insurer-initiated increase in their premiums once they discussed their discount options and also completely understood their bill. Those customers who discussed discount options, completely understood their bill, and completely understood their policy saw their satisfaction score rise by the greatest margin.

“There are multiple ways to help customers realize the value of their policy,” Super explained. “Providing easy access to policy information via digital channels and having at least one annual touch point to review customers’ changing needs can go a long way in increasing satisfaction and loyalty.”

Although the Provincial Government has committed to exploring ways to relive the financial burden of auto insurance rates on Ontarians, motorists in the province are currently dealing with some of the highest rates in Canada.

For now, the best way for customers to find happiness with an insurer and keep up with rising auto insurance premiums is to shop around for the best rate. The easiest way for motorists to find a policy that meets their needs and budget is by using OrilliaMatters’s Insurance Hotline, an online tool that compares quotes from over thirty providers with a single search

Drone Delivery Canada Unveils Its Largest & Farthest Range Cargo Delivery Drone

Drone Delivery Canada ‘DDC or the Company’ (TSX.V:FLT,OTC: TAKOF), today unveiled its largest cargo and farthest range delivery drone, ‘The Condor’. ‘The Condor’ was displayed at public and investor launch events at the TMX Broadcast Centre Gallery in Toronto.

The Condor has been in development for the past year and is the next generation in DDC’s drone delivery cargo aircraft. With a payload capacity of 180 kilograms or 400 pounds, and a potential travel distance of up to 200 kilometres, the Condor pushes the limits in both cargo capacity and distances. The Condor is powered by a next generation gas propulsion engine.

The Condor measures 22 feet long, 5.1 feet wide and seven feet tall. It has a wing span of approximately 20 feet and is capable of vertical take off and landing. It is equipped with DDC’s proprietary FLYTE management system which is the same platform used in all of DDC’s cargo delivery drones. This is also the same management system that was used in the fall of 2018, during the company’s operations in  Moosonee and Moose Factory, Ontario in support of Transport Canada’s Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) pilot project.

DDC will be working closely with Transport Canada to secure the necessary approvals to begin flight testing the Condor in Q3 of 2019.

To watch the launch VIDEO of the Condor please visit; https://dronedeliverycanada.com/video-repository/

About Drone Delivery Canada
Drone Delivery Canada is a drone technology company focused on the design, development and implementation of its proprietary logistics software platform, using drones. The Company’s platform will be used as Software as a Service (SaaS) for government and corporate organizations.

Drone Delivery Canada Corp. is a publicly listed company trading on the TSX.V Exchange under the symbol FLT, on the U.S. OTC Q B market under the symbol TAKOF and on the Frankfurt exchange in Germany under the symbol A2AMGZ.

For more information, please visit www.dronedeliverycanada.com

SOURCE Drone Delivery Canada

B.C. limits court experts in auto insurance to spur early settlements

By Dirk Meissner

THE CANADIAN PRESS

VICTORIA _ The B.C. government is going to try and contain financial losses at its Crown-owned auto insurance corporation by reducing the use of experts in accident lawsuits.

The government has amended the rules for civil cases in the B.C. Supreme Court to limit the number of experts and the reports they write in lawsuits involving the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, Attorney General David Eby said Monday.

Accident injury claims have increased 43 per cent in the past five years and the use of experts has contributed to a 20 per cent rise in the corporation’s injury settlements in the past year, Eby told a news conference.

The changes are designed to trim the excesses in the system, he added.

“It doesn’t advance any interest to have six-plus adversarial experts on a claim. It doesn’t advance any interest to have a $50,000 expense to resolve a $100,000 claim.”

Eby, who is also the minister in charge of the Crown corporation, said the agency is on track for a year-end loss of $1.18 billion, compounding the blow of last year’s $1.3 billion deficit. He described the financial situation left by the former Liberal government at ICBC as a “dumpster fire” last year.

Last week he said the financial situation at the public auto insurer is critical and getting worse, with losses of $860 million in the first nine months of this fiscal year.

Eby said the government estimates it can save $400 million with the limitation measures, but that depends on lawyers and judges supporting fewer reports and experts.

The Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. said it supports measures to make the civil justice system fairer, faster and cheaper, but it criticized the government for acting unilaterally.

“Passing such consequential changes to our system of civil justice with no legislative debate is undemocratic,” the association said in a statement.  “Time and again this government seems to favour ICBC’s financial interests over the legal rights of British Columbians, and this rush to pass restrictions on how victims of negligence must prove their cases at law is the most recent illustration of making car accident victims pay for reckless driving.”

Raj Sahota, a Victoria personal injury lawyer, said the changes are workable especially since there are options to apply for further expert opinions if required.

“Generally speaking, I think these changes now are good for the system and good for this particular (practice) within personal injury litigation,” he said.

Eby said he expects there will be legal challenges, but added the changes bring B.C. into line with other provinces that limit experts in injury claim cases from motor vehicle accidents. Australia and the United Kingdom have much tougher restrictions on the use of experts and expert reports, he said.

“We believe the balance we have struck between unlimited adversarial experts under the current system and the no adversarial expert rules of other jurisdictions will reduce the costs and delays associated with using duelling experts while preserving a party’s ability to get evidence in front of a court,” Eby said.

The changes mean the parties in injury claims cases are limited to the use of one expert and one report for claims of less than $100,000 and up to three experts and three reports for all other claims.

Eby said the courts will also be able to permit more court-appointed or joint experts at its discretion.

The changes start immediately on motor vehicle accident claims, he said. The government is also considering making the injury expert changes apply to all personal injury claims by Feb. 1, 2020.

“The challenge with the issue, as all issues on this file, is finding the right balance between protecting the interests of British Columbians injured in motor vehicle accidents and finding ways to make the current system work better,” Eby said.

The B.C. Utilities Commission approved ICBC’s request in January to allow for an interim basic auto insurance rate increase of 6.3 per cent.

A number of other cost-saving reforms are also being implemented starting April 1, including higher fines for repeat offenders and a payout limit of $5,500 for minor soft-tissue injuries.

Travelers Institute to Tackle Distracted Driving, Cybersecurity, Severe Weather in 2019

HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 13, 2019–The  Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:  TRV ), today announced its series of 2019 educational forums focused on combating distracted driving, managing cyber risks, insuring autonomous vehicles and preparing for severe weather events. Programs are free and open to the public.

“We saw great engagement throughout our symposia series in 2018 and look forward to continuing to raise awareness of important social topics across the United States and Canada,” said Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers. “By bringing together community members, entrepreneurs, business leaders and students, we hope these events will help to identify solutions that will generate real change for widespread societal issues and help people and businesses stay safe.”

The first symposium of the year will be “Disrupting Distraction,” part of the Travelers Institute ® Every Second Matters℠ series. It will be held today at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, beginning at 6 p.m. ET. This series brings attention to alarming distracted-driving trends contributing to traffic fatalities and highlights innovative approaches to help prevent distractions and encourage safer behaviors.

“Constant connection is so highly valued in our society, but the urge to stay in touch can have devastating consequences,” said Lane. “The Every Second Matters initiative and today’s event will take us a step closer to reducing avoidable fatalities and injuries, and we’re proud to be a part of the effort.”

Travelers has also developed a new video series — “Unfinished Stories” — as part of its efforts to discourage distracted driving. The videos honor victims of distracted driving by imagining what might have been if the crash never occurred. The series is being shared across the company’s social media channels and during Travelers Institute and other events. To see the latest video and other distracted driving content, click here.

Additional educational forums planned for 2019 include Cyber: Prepare, Prevent, Mitigate, Restore ℠, a series that provides guidance for small and midsize organizations to help them prepare for and respond to data breaches and other cyber incidents, and the annual “Kicking Off Hurricane Preparedness Season” symposium to be held at the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, as well as other events focused on natural disaster preparedness, autonomous vehicles and small business solutions.

Visit the  Travelers Institute website to see the schedule of upcoming events and learn more about these initiatives.

About the Travelers Institute

The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and to the financial services industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers’ senior management, as well as the technical expertise of many of Travelers’ underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information, analysis and solutions to public policymakers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for autohome and business. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.

Insurance claim costs are rising because severe weather is making flooding worse

Craig Stewart

Opinion: IBC fully stands by our insured loss numbers and their attribution to escalating severe weather events driven by climate change

Since 2009, insurers have paid out an average of over $1 billion per year in claims, in contrast to the $400 million annually averaged through the 1990s. In 2018, insured losses from severe weather events across Canada totalled $1.9 billion, the fourth-highest amount of losses on record. Insured losses, on average, are caused by flooding more than any other single peril. Flooding can be caused by extreme rainfall, by rivers and lakes overflowing their banks due to sudden snowmelt and due to storm surges caused by coastal storms.

Terence Corcoran’s recent article discusses a complaint made by Rob Muir, a licensed professional engineer, which Muir lodged successfully with the Ombudsman for Radio Canada, Guy Gendron. Muir disputed comments by Blair Feltmate, Head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, who cited Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC’s) contention that increases in the frequency and intensity of severe weather are the source of these rising insurance claims costs. Gendron, in reaching his findings relied on a single published source that studied historical incidences of severe rainfall between 1953 and 2012.

Gendron’s conclusions were erroneous for several reasons. First, the time series used by Gendron ends in 2012 while IBC’s numbers and Feltmate’s public comments primarily reference increases that started in 2009 and have risen through 2018.

Secondly, Gendron only references flooding that has arisen from extreme rainfall whereas insurance losses accrue from a range of different types of flooding events.

Finally, IBC’s numbers actually understate the growing risk, as the Canadian insurance industry did not start insuring the single greatest peril for residences — overland flooding — until late 2015. Those residential losses had been entirely borne by Canadian governments and homeowners until that date. Even without residential overland flood losses, insurers experienced escalating water claims from commercial policies, automobile policies and sewer back-up coverage.

Finally, our stated numbers only capture catastrophic events that total over $25 million and not the host of smaller events that occur regularly across Canada. Based on these errors IBC is requesting that the CBC review Gendron’s decision. IBC fully stands by our insured loss numbers and their attribution to escalating severe weather events driven by climate change.

The IBC-sponsored report, Combatting Canada’s Rising Floods Costs: Natural infrastructure is an underutilized option, was recently featured at a special event hosted by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE). It provides a framework for making decisions about the return on investment of green infrastructure deployed as a climate-adaptation measure. IBC, along with a number of OSPE members, spoke to ways in which both green and grey (or engineered) infrastructure are vital elements to a whole-of-society approach to climate change.

Fundamentally, we as a nation need to prepare for the impacts of severe weather. By focusing on adapting to climate change we can work together constructively to keep Canadians out of harm’s way.

Craig Stewart is vice-president of federal affairs at the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

SSQ Insurance CEO Jean-Francois Chalifoux named 2018 Financial Personality of the Year

SSQ Insurance proudly welcomed the news of their CEO Jean-François Chalifoux’s designation as the 2018 Financial Personality of the Year. Chalifoux was honoured by an independent jury of industry peers as part of the annual Top 25 financial industry ranking by Finance et Investissement.

“I’m very pleased to be receiving this award, which I wish to share with my SSQ Insurance colleagues. I’m happy to be able to count on the 2,000 employees dedicated to our organization. Their commitment and involvement in the company’s projects has allowed SSQ Insurance to continue to grow and position itself well in the industry,” said Chalifoux. “I thank them for their hard work and dedication.”

Jean-François Chalifoux is a leader with a vision who has focused the company’s efforts on performance and innovation to maximise the company’s results. The members of the jury acknowledged his strategic audacity and sense of innovation in addition to the company’s growth.

Chalifoux joined SSQ Insurance as CEO in September 2015. Since then he has orchestrated the company’s transformation. Following the implementation of a new organizational model, the merger of the company’s legal entities and the introduction of an ambitious strategic plan, the company launched its new brand identity in 2018 as the crowning achievement of the changes for the company’s members, customers and partners.

About Top 25 ranking of Quebec’s financial sector
Each February, the French-language publication Finance et Investissement hands out its Top 25 ranking of Quebec’sfinancial industry personalities, including the Financial Personality of the Year. This honour is an acknowledgment of the influence, exceptional achievements and remarkable growth of the company under their management.

The Top 25 of the financial industry as determined by Finance et Investissement pays tribute to 25 standout leaders who live and work in the province of Quebec and whose accomplishments stood out in the last year. The award winners are chosen by a jury made up of outstanding members of the financial industry.

About SSQ Insurance
Founded in 1944, SSQ Insurance is a mutualist company that puts community at the heart of insurance. With $12 billion in assets under management, SSQ Insurance is one of the largest companies in the industry. Working for a community of over three million customers, SSQ Insurance employs 2,000 people. Leader in group insurance, the company also sets itself apart through its expertise in individual life and health insurance, general insurance and the investment sector. For more information, please visit ssq.ca.

SOURCE SSQ Insurance

ssq.ca

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