More active financial role, good health and good earnings are all reasons underpinning their positivity

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Driving has gotten more expensive in Alberta: Insurance, fuel & fee increases

Matthew Black CTV News Edmonton

EDMONTON — Albertans are paying more to drive their vehicles compared to a year ago, including increases in the cost of insurance, fuel, and licensing and registration fees, according to newly released StatsCan numbers.

StatsCan says the cost of passenger vehicle insurance premiums rose by 7.6 per cent last month, the largest monthly increase since November 2002.

The numbers also show premiums in Alberta have increased by 17.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis.
“A significant share of private passenger vehicle insurers in this province submitted applications to increase rates following the removal of a rate cap,” reads the report.

Fuel prices rose in Alberta as well last month, up 0.9 per cent from December 2019, according to the report. Alberta gas prices were up 6.6 per cent over the same month last year.
The federal carbon tax was introduced in Alberta on Jan. 1, 2020.The report also details a 14.4 per cent increase in other vehicle operating expenses in Alberta compared to a year ago.

“This was due, in part, to increases in service fees, including fees for drivers’ licences and passenger vehicle registration, introduced in the 2019-2020 provincial budget,” reads the report.
The 2019 Alberta budget raised motor vehicle registration fees by $9.20, up to $93.65.

In reponse, the province attributed rising gas prices as likely being due to the Jan. 1 roll out of the federal carbon tax, a levy Alberta continues to fight in court.
“We are ensuring that key services Albertans need are properly funded and more accurately reflect the costs of delivering them, including achieving modernizations such as online service delivery, which Albertans are asking for,” a government spokesperson wrote in an email to CTV News.

In late August, the province scrapped a five per cent cap on auto insurance rate increases implemented by the prior New Democrat government.
In December, Finance Minister Travis Toews introduced a new committee to advise on potential reforms to the province’s insurance system.
“This issue is such a significant issue that touches every Albertan,” Toews said. “To assemble a very credible, experienced committee like this, I believe we will be best-informed to make decisions around automobile insurance.”

Today, the Opposition NDP called the increases “very concerning” and called on the government to immediately reinstate the five per cent cap.
“In my office we have heard many, many stories from my constituents and Albertans … worried about people who are unable to afford these increased costs,” said New Democrat MLA Jon Carson.

The data was included in StatsCan’s monthly Consumer Price Index report which tracks changes in the average price for commonly purchased goods like groceries and haircuts.
Across Canada, the cost of gasoline and insurance premiums combined to result in a nearly 20 per cent increase in the CPI.

New ICBC regime increases care costs, but cuts drivers’ ability to sue for pain and suffering

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Peel Mutual Insurance First in Canada to Launch Hi Marley

Peel Mutual Insurance looks to drive customer centric experience with Hi Marley’s AI-based texting platform built specifically for insurance.

BOSTON, Feb. 18, 2020 /CNW/ — Peel Mutual, one of the largest members of the Ontario Mutuals, is also committed to being the best mutual insurer in Ontario. As a forward-thinking organization that continually looks to innovative, Peel Mutual has launched Hi Marley to continue to deliver an outstanding customer experience built on trust.

Peel Mutual is leveraging Hi Marley to assist in their auto, home and business claims teams. Their aim to be the first insurance carrier offering Hi Marley in Canada is differentiating them by committing dedication to their insureds. They seek to provide a seamless and simple texting solution for their policyholders and offer modern day technology advancements for their claims adjusters.

Irene Bianchi, CEO for Peel Mutual, says, “We are so excited to start the new year off with a better communication commitment to our policyholders. We strive to leverage cutting edge technology in a simple way that today’s customers just expect.”

Dan Heap, VP of Claims, adds, “We are proud to offer not just a texting solution for our insureds, but also a more simple and efficient way for our team to handle claims.”

The Hi Marley platform addresses a significant industry issue of phone tag by connecting carriers and customers through two-way texting. They can communicate and exchange pictures and document, while the insurance-specific AI enables the process. Carriers can start with zero IT effort, delight customers with exceptional service and resolve claims faster. After successful results with US insurers, Hi Marley is now available in Canada.

Mitesh Suchak, COO of Hi Marley, said, “We are thrilled to be working with Peel Mutual and their innovative team. It is very exciting to support them as the first carrier to offer Hi Marley in the Canadian marketplace.”

About Hi Marley, Inc.

Hi Marley is a software provider offering the first AI-enabled conversation platform specifically designed for the insurance industry.  Hi Marley enables insurance carriers to easily and quickly communicate with customers and other partners in the insurance ecosystem so they can deliver an optimal customer experience. The platform has flexible APIs and requires zero integration to get started. Learn more at  www.himarley.com.

About Peel Mutual Insurance

Peel Mutual has been providing quality insurance products and serving Ontario residents since 1876. As one of the largest members of the Ontario Mutuals, we are owned and directed by our policyholders and represent one of the strongest, most secure financial networks in the world. We offer a complete line of residential, automobile, farm and commercial insurance products tailored to protect you and your family. Learn more at www.peelmutual.com.

SOURCE Hi Marley, Inc.

Related Links

https://himarley.com

74 year old man taking driving test killed after train strikes car in Montreal

MONTREAL _ A 74-year-old man taking a driving test in Montreal was killed Tuesday when a commuter train struck the car he was driving.

The examiner, an employee of Quebec’s motor vehicle insurance agency, who was seated next to the driver, suffered critical injuries and was taken to hospital.

Police say the collision occurred in the city’s north end at a level railway crossing on Gouin Boulevard, near the river that separates Montreal from its northern suburb.

Mario Vaillancourt, spokesman for the Societe de l’assurance automobile du Quebec, said the 74-year-old was being re-evaluated for a driver’s license.

Vaillancourt said the type of exam the man was taking “is often tied to someone’s health condition,” though he declined to discuss the specifics of the collision.

“We ask that they take a road test” to evaluate whether the person can still drive safely, Vaillancourt said.

The SAAQ released a statement Tuesday afternoon offering condolences to the 74-year-old’s family. “A team has been deployed … to meet with staff members to provide them with the necessary psychological support,” the agency said.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said it has dispatched an investigator to the railway crossing to gather information about the collision, which occurred around 9:30 a.m.

Montreal police said the driver was transported to hospital in critical condition and died there shortly after, while his 33-year-old passenger was in hospital in critical condition.

No one was injured aboard the train, which is operated by the regional transit agency Exo.

January storm caused over $95 million in insured damage

TORONTO, Feb. 18, 2020 /CNW/ – The January 10 to 12 storm in southern Ontario and Quebec caused over $95 million in insured damage, $81.6 million in Ontario and $13.7 million in Quebec, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc.* Most of the damage was to personal property.

In southern Ontario, overnight temperatures rose to record-breaking highs of between 10°C and 15°C prior to the storm. The rain began on January 10 and continued through to January 11, and on January 12 turned to snow. From Windsor to London, 60 to 70 mm of rain fell. In Toronto, 78 mm of rainfall was recorded. The Ottawa Airport reported 34 mm of rain, and 12 cm of snow and ice pellets.

On January 11, rain began in Montreal where the afternoon high reached 6.5°C, then came freezing rain as the cold front passed through. After midnight, the freezing rain became mixed with ice pellets, then there was an ice pellet-snow mix and later snow. Montreal received 40 mm of rain, and 13 cm of snow and ice pellets.

The combination of frozen ground, snowmelt and heavy rain led to widespread overland flooding, sewer backups and seepage. There were significant reports of flooded basements and multiple flooded roads, which resulted in closures across southern Ontario and Quebec. Wind damage was also a factor, especially in the Niagara Peninsula. Thousands of citizens were without power. The strong winds caused storm surges, which resulted in road closures in Fort Erie, Ontario.

“We continue to see the devastating consequences of severe weather events happening ever more frequently and with greater intensity,” said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “In particular, storms with severe winds that cause flooding are becoming more common. While the insured damage from these storms is significant, the total economic cost to all stakeholders, government, and personal loss to homeowners is even greater.”

Both taxpayers and insurers share the cost for severe weather damage. For every dollar paid in insurance claims for damaged homes and businesses, Canadian governments and taxpayers pay out much more to repair public infrastructure that the severe weather damages.

“It is important that property owners take precautions and protect their properties to minimize potential damage,” continued Donaldson. “They should also understand their insurance policies and know whether they have overland flood coverage.”

Visit IBC’s website for information on how to prepare for a disaster and ways to prevent flood damage to your home.

* Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) estimated the amount of insured damage under licence to IBC. For more information on CatIQ, visit www.catiq.com.

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

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