ICBC Effort To Remove Case From Supreme Court Fails

While the BC Supreme Court Act allows parties to apply to transfer claims to small claims court such applications are rarely brought in personal injury claims where the quantum of claims can vary widely based on how evidence unfolds.

Today reasons for judgment were published by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, hearing and rejecting such an application brought by ICBC.

In today’s case (Herrera v. Miller) the Plaintiff was injured in a collision and sued for damages.  After examinations for discovery the Defendant brought an application to move the case to small claims court arguing the damages could not exceed the limit of that court because the collision was “relatively minor, that the plaintiff suffered insignificant injuries for which he received very little treatment, and that the injuries did not seriously affect the plaintiff’s enjoyment of recreational and sporting activities, or his employment“.

The Plaintiff opposed pointing to recent case law for injuries similar to his with quantum assessments in excess of the small claims court jurisdiction.  In dismissing the application, ordering costs payable to the plaintiff and finding the claim could stay in Supreme Court Mr. Justice Giaschi provided the following reasons:

[12]         The plaintiff filed an affidavit sworn December 13, 2019. In that affidavit, he deposes that, as a result of the accident, he continues to experience symptoms in his back, shoulders and right hip, and has difficulty sleeping. He complains of pain in his lower back and shoulders when not active, and of pain lasting two to three days if he engages in activities. He further deposed to having difficulty falling asleep and of waking in the night because of lower back pain. He further deposed to attending massage therapy on a more or less weekly basis and that he intends to seek chiropractic treatments.

[13]         In approaching this mater, I am particularly mindful of the caution expressed by Justice McEwan in Kooner v. Singh, 2011 BCSC 1384, at paras. 3 and 6. There, he stated it is only in the clearest of cases that a matter should be transferred to the Provincial Court. It is only where there is no possibility of a damage award exceeding the Small Claims’ limit that a matter should be transferred to the Provincial Court:

[3]        I have commented on other occasions about these applications.  They amount to the Supreme Court being asked to summarily determine that damages could not possibly exceed $25,000 and also to accept that a trial in Provincial Court is the most expeditious way to deal with the action.  On the basis of the material before me, it is not possible to say that the case could not exceed $25,000.  The plaintiff wishes to have the matter heard in Supreme Court, and it would only be on the clearest basis that the court would act to deprive a person who wished to be heard in the Supreme Court of the right to do so.

[6]        I have said as much on the previous occasion of Chang v. Wren in oral reasons given June 10, 2011.  I see no reason to stray from the outcome in that case which was to the effect that unless the court were persuaded that damages could not possibly exceed $25,000 the plaintiff should not be deprived of the opportunity to convince a court that their damages exceed that amount.  I considered it most unsafe to summarily decide a case on the basis of descriptions that do not include the actual evidence of the parties.  Courts certainly have the experience of being persuaded that cases that did not appear to be worth a great deal turn out to be worth much more once they have been heard.  I will also say, as I said in Chang v. Wren, that I am absolutely not persuaded by any efficiency or cost-saving argument, particularly where, as here, the application is brought at a point post-discovery.  There is very little process to avoid at this point and, for the reasons I have already indicated, it is not at all clear that there are cost savings to be realized.

[14]         The plaintiff is relatively young. He apparently had no medical issues prior to the accident. He apparently suffered soft tissue injuries in the accident to the neck, back and shoulders, and continues to suffer from what may be chronic pain which may encumber him for the rest of his life. He also has ongoing sleep difficulties and his injuries have affected his enjoyment of recreational activities. The injuries suffered by the plaintiff and the effects of those injuries are somewhat similar to what is described in Poulin and Carson, where the plaintiffs were awarded general damages of considerably in excess of $35,000.

[15]         In my view, on the basis of the evidence before me and the authorities, there is a possibility that the plaintiff may recover damages at trial in excess of $35,000. Accordingly, this matter should not be transferred to the Provincial Court, and the application is dismissed.

BrokerTech Ventures Hires John Jackovin as Accelerator Executive Director

DES MOINES, Iowa, Jan. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BrokerTech Ventures (BTV), the industry’s first broker-led investor group and accelerator program, is pleased to announce the hiring of John Jackovin as its new accelerator executive director.

“John brings with him a unique skillset, which we believe will add tremendous value to our BTV Accelerator Program as we embark on our inaugural year,” said Susan Hatten, BTV interim executive director. “His lens into the startup world, including his own first-hand experience going through the Techstars Accelerator, will prove invaluable in creating the kind of experience we hope to deliver through the BTV Accelerator.”

Over the years, Jackovin’s companies have produced millions in revenue and have serviced thousands of customers. In 2014, he took a company through Techstars, one of the most prominent and successful technology accelerators in the world. Since then, Jackovin has consulted for many organizations in the world of Fintech and InsurTech, most recently Des Moines-based Dwolla, where he managed the Growth and Internal Services Product teams.

“The need for an agent-broker-specific accelerator at this time is clear,” said Jackovin. “To be able to help shape the first program specifically for investors and innovators building the next generation of tech solutions for insurance agencies and brokerages is truly a dream.”

Jackovin’s hiring comes as BTV’s top 20 selected broker-centric, early-stage startups prepare to descend on Des Moines on February 4. These top 20 startups will be pitching to BTV’s nine super-regional owners and partners during “Selection Series Days” at Holmes Murphy’sheadquarters.

The startups, who are based all over the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, cover an expansive amount of technology needs that serve the property and casualty (P&C), employee benefits, and clinical solutions spaces, and include:

  • Agentero, Oakland, CA
  • Briza, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Broker Buddha, New York, NY
  • Careignition, LLC, Chicago, IL
  • ChalkBites, Inc., Davenport, IA
  • CogniSure, Warrenville, IL
  • ConsumerOptix, Dayton, OH
  • Equal Health, Detroit, MI
  • Goldfinch Health, Austin, TX
  • HazardHub, San Diego, CA
  • InsuranceMenu, Canton, MA
  • Kwema, St. Louis, MO, and Mexico City, Mexico
  • Loss Run Pro, LLC, Missoula, MT
  • MakuSafe Corp., West Des Moines, IA
  • OnRisk, Princeton, NJ
  • ProNavigator, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
  • Serious Social Media, Inc., Des Moines, IA
  • Talage, Inc., Reno, NV
  • TRUSTLAYER, INC., San Francisco, CA
  • Wunderite, Inc, Boston, MA

When the Selection Series is complete, BTV will select the top firms to take part in the first BTV Accelerator cohort. In addition to access to BTV Partners and distribution platforms, each of the selected startups will receive $50,000 in the form of a convertible note.

“This is an exciting time for the InsurTech movement, and especially for Central Iowa, as we now call home to the BTV Accelerator, the Global Insurance Accelerator, the AgriTech Accelerator, and Techstars,” said Dan Keough, Holmes Murphy chairman and CEO and BTV co-founder.

About BrokerTech Ventures (BTV)
Based in the insurance nucleus of Des Moines, Iowa, BrokerTech Ventures is the first broker-led investor group and accelerator program focused on delivering innovation to the insurance agent-broker industry. Founded in 2019, BrokerTech Ventures provides a venue for the best minds in insurance and technology to collaborate and bring to market leading-edge ideas and solutions. BrokerTech Ventures invests in the research and testing for each of the chosen startups, provides access to veteran industry mentors, and helps scale the technology to market through broker distribution channels. Learn more at www.brokertechventures.com

Brad Riddell Appointed Vice President, CyberSecurITy at FlexITy, Canada’s leading Systems Integrator

TORONTO, Jan. 20, 2020 /CNW/ – Brad Riddell has been appointed Vice President, CyberSecurITy at FlexITy, Canada’sleading Systems Integrator and Digital Transformation Solutions, by CEO Peter Stavropoulos.

As Vice President of CyberSecurITy Solutions, Brad Riddell is responsible for rapid expansion and growth while managing FlexITy’s emerging CyberSecurITy business. He brings more than 20 plus years of IT risk management, systems integration, and managed services, sales and delivery experience to the FlexITy organization.

“Brad is astute at understanding the cybersecurity challenges faced by Canadian companies and developing pragmatic solutions to effectively manage cybersecurity risk. He has a proven track record of building high performing teams that attract top cybersecurity talent that our clients require. As a longstanding trusted advisor to clients across many industries, Brad quickly earns their trust and develops long-lasting relationships,” said Peter Stavropoulos.

“FlexITy is a proven and trusted Systems Integrator focused on attracting and retaining top IT engineering talent and delivering robust, high performance and reliable solutions to their clients. We are applying this winning approach to cybersecurity to create Canada’s leading end-to-end cybersecurity services business. FlexITy will build tailored solutions targeted at solving the most daunting challenges such as ransomware, securing IoT devices, ensuring the safety of critical infrastructure, enabling secure electronic commerce, and ensuring the privacy of patient medical records,” said Brad Riddell.

Canadian companies now have a single trusted provider to design, deploy, secure and manage critical IT networks, systems and applications. By taking a truly integrated approach to network and system design, integration and security, FlexITy offers a unique capability unmatched in the Canadian market.

Along with the depth of FlexITy’s Infrastructure team of architects, pre-sales engineers, highly skilled and cross-certified integrators and project managers, all with the highest of government security clearances, we work with our best-of-breed strategic partners to develop and deliver broad and deep sets of Managed and Hybrid CyberSecurITy Solutions that make an immediate impact with clients across Canada.

The range of FlexITy clients serviced over the past two decades span across some of Canada’s leading financial, government, public sector, legal, media, telecommunications, insurance and health care institutions.

About FlexITy

FlexITy is an award-winning integrator of smart technology, CyberSecurITy and service solutions, built on powerful and digitally advanced secure platforms, and delivered with decades of expertise, is headquartered in Richmond Hill, with offices in Toronto and Winnipeg.

FlexSecurITy is a next-generation cybersecurity offering enabling organizations to protect the way people work today from advanced threats and compliance risks. FlexSecurITy protects organizations from the advanced attacks targeting them and protects the critical information people create while arming organizations with the right intelligence and tools to respond quickly when things go wrong.

FlexHealth-Powered by FlexITy is a suite of patient-centric solutions that integrate interactive mobile applications, secure health IT and data, and optimize healthcare management. FlexHealth engages patients and families, empowers clinicians and delivers outcomes that matter.

FlexTEL, a leading and secure managed business provides Unified Collaboration Cloud Services for Enterprises seeking a holistic enterprise grade Collaboration Platform.


www.flexsecurity.com, www.flexity.com, www.flexhealth.ca

Wawanesa Insurance successfully implements CSIO’s My Proof of Insurance

Press Release:

(Toronto – January 20, 2020) – Wawanesa Insurance, Canada’s largest property and casualty mutual insurer, has successfully implemented CSIO’s My Proof of Insurance (MPOI). Wawanesa’s broker partners in Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia can now send electronic pink slips directly to their customers using the MPOI solution.

CSIO’s My Proof of Insurance leverages mobile wallet technology to allow consumers to securely store, display and share their eSlips without having to download a separate app or sign into a company portal. Developed by CSIO, in collaboration with brokers and insurers, My Proof of Insurance was designed to meet the evolving consumer demands for a more seamless, digital experience with their insurance providers.

In the wake of the recent regulatory approvals on electronic proof of auto insurance, Wawanesa Insurance selected My Proof of Insurance as its preferred solution. With a soft roll out, they have seen tremendous success with thousands of customers electing to receive their insurance cards electronically. By providing a simple digital experience, Wawanesa is supporting its broker partners in enhancing the broker-client relationship.

“Making life easier for people is a critical part of delivering exceptional customer service,” says Jocelyne Prefontaine, Vice President Digital & Innovation, Wawanesa Insurance. “That’s exactly why Wawanesa worked with our broker partners and the experts at CSIO to bring in My Proof of Insurance. Since we launched in October, over 100 customers a day have signed up for this new, industry-leading option. Thank you to our broker partners and everyone at CSIO for working together to improve the customer experience.”

– 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.

About Wawanesa
The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, founded in 1896, is the largest Canadian Property and Casualty Mutual insurer with $3 billion in annual revenue and assets of more than $9 billion. Wawanesa Mutual, with executive offices in Winnipeg, is the parent company of Wawanesa General, which offers property and casualty insurance in California and Oregon; Wawanesa Life, which provides life insurance products and services throughout Canada; and Western Financial Group, which distributes personal and business insurance across Western Canada. With over 5,000 employees, Wawanesa proudly serves over two million policyholders in Canada and the United States. Wawanesa actively gives back to organizations that strengthen communities where it operates, donating well above internationally recognized benchmarks for excellence in corporate philanthropy. Learn more at wawanesa.com

Do you know how much your car is costing you?

Do you know how much your car is costing you?

Jonathan Ventura · CBC News

When one Manitoban did the math, she decided to get rid of hers — and she says she has no plans of going back.

“When you really add up the costs and divide them over the year I think most people spend … a lot more than they think they do,” said Erin Riediger,​ an intern architect.

She sold her car three and a half years ago when the cost of repairs became too high.

The costs of depreciation, fuel, maintenance, and insurance all add up for most Canadians, Statistics Canada says.

According to the agency’s Household Spending Survey, the average cost of private transport in Canada is $11,433 a year.

Using resources like CAA’s car calculator and some simple budgeting, Riediger estimated owning a basic compact car would cost her approximately $8,600 a year.

But she calculates that by walking, biking, busing, carpooling, and using Winnipeg’s car share co-op, she kept her total 2019 transportation expenses to just over $2,200.

But that included about $950 to buy two new bikes and getting some work done to another. Without those one-time expenses, she says she would’ve spent an average of about $100 on transportation per month last year.

Commuting without a car

Riediger’s commute varies on the weather. In the summer she uses her bike, while in early December she starts riding the bus.

On weekends or evenings she walks or uses a vehicle from Peg City Car Co-op, a buy-in car share program that charges members an hourly and kilometre rate, in exchange for covering insurance, gas, parking and maintenance.

She’s far from alone in relying on the car share. Peg City says in the last eight years, it’s grown from a fleet of two vehicles to 42, and from 40 members to 1,700.

Growing up in in Charleswood, near the western edge of the city, Riediger says she grew accustomed to having a car.

Now, she says not owning a car is a lifestyle she doesn’t want to give up.

“[I’ve] debated the pros and cons, and the big things for me are lifestyle and also finances I can save.”

It’s a decision that she says has benefits not just for her wallet, but also for her health and the environment.

Walking or biking to the grocery store now feels less like a chore, she said, and more of an opportunity for exercise and fresh air.

‘You kinda need a car’

Not all of the commuters CBC News spoke to were sold on the idea of going car-free, though. For some, the financial costs of owning a car are worth the benefits in a city like Winnipeg.

“Winnipeg has a perception that you kinda need a car to live in this city, [with] everything being so spaced out,” said commuter Denis Cicak. “When it’s –30, you’re not going to wait half an hour for a bus.”

Cicak says where he lives would be a big factor in determining what other forms of transportation he might consider.

Riediger understands that changing commuting method can seem daunting. She admits that many are discouraged by bus schedules and unprotected bike routes.

“It’s a little bit of a chicken and egg scenario, because you need better transit to get more people to take transit but also you need people taking transit to be able to pay for it.”

Orly Linovski, an assistant professor in the University of Manitoba’s department of city planning, understands that other modes of transportation need to be made easy — but that’s not the only factor to consider when it comes to driving less.

“The environmental benefits are huge. When we’re in the midst of a climate crisis we probably cannot overstate that,” Linovski said.

“There’s impacts for your health. Even if you use public transportation, the vast majority of public transit trips have some amount of walking with it.”

Linovksi also said she sees more people who aren’t necessarily giving up their cars entirely, but are reducing car use by choosing different transportation methods for different trips.

Riediger agrees everyone needs to find the approach that works best for them.

“I’m not going to tell anybody how they should live … it’s not about taking people’s cars away,” she said, though she encourages others to try living without owning a car.

“If you just try it you’re going to feel lifestyle improvements beyond just the cost savings.”

Source: CBC News

Saskatchewan’s New Year’s Resolution? A New Insurance Act To Ring In The New Year

Article by Darcy Ammerman and Jordan Goodman

On January 1, 2020, The Insurance Act (“New Act”) and The Insurance Regulations (“New Regulations”) came into force in Saskatchewan, marking the first major overhaul to Saskatchewan’s insurance legislation in decades. The New Act was created to modernize the way insurance is regulated in the province and to provide enhanced protection to consumers. Order in Council 478/2019 proclaimed the first day of 2020 as the coming into force date for the majority of the New Act, with a few provisions set to be proclaimed into force at a later date. Saskatchewan’s prior insurance statute, The Saskatchewan Insurance Act, was repealed when the New Act came into force.

Highlighted below are several important changes created by the New Act. Since Alberta and Manitoba have similar insurance legislation, these changes are also compared to their relevant counterparts from the statutes in those provinces.

New Licensing Categories

The New Act creates a licensing regime for insurance intermediaries, which now includes managing general agents (“MGAs”) and third party administrators (“TPAs”). Saskatchewan is the first province/territory in Canada requiring a license to act as an MGA or TPA. In contrast, Alberta and Manitoba’s licensing regimes only require insurers and insurance agents to be licensed.

An MGA is defined in the New Act as an insurance agent that manages all or part of the business of an insurer and carries out specific activities on behalf of that insurer, including:

  • soliciting, negotiating or accepting applications for insurance from licensed insurance agents;
  • effecting and countersigning contracts of insurance;
  • accepting risks;
  • underwriting insurance contracts;
  • entering into written agency agreements with licensed insurance agents;
  • supervising and monitoring the activity of licensed insurance agents with whom it has entered into written agency agreements; and
  • undertaking any other prescribed duties or activities.

Once licensed, MGA’s have the authority to sponsor selling agents, and are obligated to perform ongoing monitoring of the persons they sponsor. Employees of an MGA that hold a valid insurance agent’s license specifying that a particular MGA is their employer can only represent that one MGA, and as such will not be issued another license to represent a different MGA, TPA, insurer or business. As well, the New Act notes that the employee’s license is automatically suspended the moment they are no longer an employee. Where such an individual ceases to be an employee of the MGA, the MGA must notify the Superintendent in writing within five days that the agent is no longer an employee, and provide the reasons why.

A TPA is defined in the New Regulations as “a business that, for compensation, carries out activities to administer a contract of insurance on behalf of an insurer, other than solely clerical activities, but does not include a business that is licensed as an insurance agent or managing general agent.”

Similar to MGAs, employees of a TPA that hold a valid insurance agent’s license will not be issued another license to represent a different TPA, MGA, insurer or business. Likewise, the employee’s license will be suspended when their employment ends, and, similar to MGAs, the TPA must notify the Superintendent.

Unfair Practices

In an effort to further protect consumers, the New Act prohibits certain conduct in the insurance market. Specifically, the New Act prohibits insurers, insurance intermediaries and adjusters from making false or misleading statements, representations or advertisements, engaging in tied selling practices, performing any unfair, misleading, deceptive, fraudulent or coercive acts or practices, and any other act or commission prohibited by regulation.

There is also a prohibition on insurance intermediaries providing gifts, payments or anything of value as a method of inducing customers to purchase insurance, except as permitted by the New Regulations.

These prohibitions on unfair practices are substantially similar to those prohibited by Alberta’s Insurance Act. The Insurance Act in Manitoba contains various provisions that prohibit similar behaviours, however, because the provisions are drafted differently, there may be some variation in how they are applied.

Fair Practices

In addition to the prohibitions noted above, the New Act outlines various fair practices that were incorporated for added consumer protection, including:

  • a requirement that insurers, insurance intermediaries and adjusters advise policyholders suffering a loss that they have the right to choose a service provider to make repairs;
  • a 10-day right of rescission in favour of the consumer in the case of life, accident and sickness or specific travel insurance, and the corresponding right to the return of premiums paid;
  • a requirement on insurers in receipt of a notice of claim to notify the claimant of the applicable limitation period; and
  • a requirement that insurers advise policyholders of the options available to them in the event a dispute occurs regarding payment of a claim or loss, or the insurer denies the insured’s claim.

Alberta’s Fair Practices Regulation is substantially similar to Saskatchewan’s fair practices regime, except that Alberta only requires the insurer to notify the insured of the dispute resolution process – not of the options available to them. Manitoba’s statute is fairly different in this regard, as it does not require insurers to advise policyholders of their right to choose the service provider that makes repairs under a claim, advise an insured of the applicable limitation period once a claim is made, nor advise the insured of the options available to them if a dispute occurs after a claim is made.

Self-Evaluative Audits

The New Act requires an insurer, at the request of the Superintendent of Insurance, to self-assess its practices to identify non-compliance, and promote compliance with, insurance legislation, guidelines and other professional standards. This process is to be conducted in accordance with the New Regulations, and a copy of the audit must be provided to the Superintendent.

Documents produced during the self-evaluative audit process are privileged, and any person or entity involved in the process cannot be compelled to give or produce evidence regarding the process in any civil or administrative proceeding. However, these protections do not apply in proceedings commenced against the insurer by the Superintendent.

Alberta’s Insurance Act and The Insurance Act in Manitoba provide substantially similar protections to those identified in the New Act. In all three provinces, there is a positive obligation to conduct the self-evaluative audit when requested by the Superintendent, but in Alberta and Manitoba such a request can also be made by their respective Ministers of Finance.

The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (“FCAA”) has published two documents to help insurers understand the new regime, and is in the process of creating two more. These publications can be accessed here.

The first FCAA publication is a guideline on where and how non-Saskatchewan insurers (extra-provincial, federal and foreign insurers) are required to keep their records. The other is an interpretation bulletin on the notice that an insurer is required to provide to an insured under section 7-25. Where a dispute arises regarding an insured’s claim, an insurer is required to provide them with written notice of the dispute resolution options that are available. The interpretation bulletin clarifies that, in respect of the references to OmbudServices in section 7-25, the insurer is only required to notify the insured of the applicable OmbudService(s) of which the insurer is a member, and which applies to the type of insurance at issue.

As of January 1, 2020, the New Act and the New Regulations are in force, creating a markedly different insurance regime in Saskatchewan. It remains to be seen whether any other provinces/territories will follow Saskatchewan’s lead to adopt similar licensing measures for MGAs and TPAs.

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

Source: Mondaq

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