B.C. woman injured in California warns of need for proper travel insurance

By  | Global News

Seventy-four-year-old Janet Derkacz is back in B.C. but she still has a lengthy recovery ahead of her.

“I have to have skin grafts and I have to have my pelvis healed and I have to have my ankle bone healed,” Derkacz said. “My ribs are sore. I’m still really quite down.”

Derkacz and her husband Robert decided to escape B.C.’s winter weather by taking a road trip to Arizona to visit friends. On Jan. 30, the couple stopped for dinner in Mojave, California and were struck by a vehicle.

Robert, a 79-year-old Canadian war veteran, died at the scene. Janet suffered critical injuries and was transferred to Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California.

Each had $500,000 in travel insurance but the bills added up fast.

“Every sponge, everything is billed,” daughter Mitzy Bryson said. “It was over 400 pages …that was the bill.”

But the medical bills exceeded her coverage by about $160,000. Bryson wonders if that amount could have been smaller if the insurance provider, Allianz Global Assistance, had acted faster.

“I was phoning them three or four times a day and they said it was their doctors — their doctors not Fraser Valley Health doctors — that had to speak to the doctors in California,” Bryson said. “We spent three days; the doctors there carried a cellphone around with them everywhere they went to wait to get a call from the travel insurance company. [They] never did.”

Bryson questions why her mom was cleared to fly on a Wednesday but the air ambulance wasn’t arranged until the following Saturday, the same day she contacted Global News.

“In a perfect situation it could be within a day but in some cases we’ve seen it take up to one week or two weeks depending on where the patient is being brought back to,” Dan Keon, Director of Marketing and Communications with Allianz Global Assistance, said.

“We are not able to move someone back until a bed has been found. So in this case my understanding was that it did take a few days to secure the bed.”

Derkacz is speaking out to thank everyone who has helped her since the crash and who donated to a GoFundMe page that was created to get her home to B.C.

She also has a warning: double-check how much insurance coverage you have to avoid getting stuck with an unexpected medical bill.

“There’s still a long way to go yet,” she said.

‘Giant denial’ about fraud risk in corporate Canada, warns ex-RCMP investigator

‘Giant denial’ about fraud risk in corporate Canada, warns ex-RCMP investigator

Shane McNeil, BNN.ca

Canadian businesses are in the midst of “a dangerous combination of overconfidence and naiveté when it comes to detecting fraud,” according to a new survey.

Half of Canadian businesses “either suspect or know for certain that their business has experienced fraud or scams in the last year,” according to a survey by Ipsos Reid conducted on behalf of tax and business consultant MNP.

However, the same study revealed that 80 per cent of the businesses polled are confident they can put a stop to it. The number of businesses that feel “at least somewhat” able to deal with fraud was even higher at 90 per cent. Twice as many respondents believed fraud was an industry problem than those that believed it was an issue with their own companies.

“This kind of ‘it won’t happen to me’ optimism puts the advantage in the hands of criminals and makes Canadian businesses tremendously vulnerable,” said Greg Draper, MNP’s vice-president of valuations, forensics and litigation support, in a release.

“The reality is that no organization is immune from either internal or external fraud.”

Draper, a former RCMP investigator, added there is a “giant denial” in Canada when it comes to preventing business fraud.

“Fraudsters will go to great lengths to assume the identity of company executives or trusted vendors; spoofing company email messages, researching employees who are responsible for money management and using language specific to the company being targeted,” said Lynn Danis, criminal intelligence analyst with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, in a release. “Ultimately, fraud prevention falls on the business.”

The survey polled a combination of small business executives and C-suite execs from companies with 100 or more employees over a 10-day span in January.


Dieters beware. The office is a danger zone.

Dieters beware. The office is a danger zone.

Excerpted article By Lisa Lillien, a.k.a. Hungry Girl

It’s one thing to stick to your diet in the comfort of your own home: You’ve stocked up on cut veggies and fat-free Greek yogurt, and the only person who sees you write in your food journal is your partner, who’s pretty nonjudgmental about the whole thing. But dieting at the office – with the endless supply of home-baked goods in the communal kitchen and the frequent fast-food lunch breaks – is another thing altogether.

I wish I could tell you to keep up the good work at home and let your guard down when you’re at the office, but because you’re probably spending half of your waking hours at work, that’s not going to fly. Outsmart the whole scenario by doing the following:

Eat Breakfast, Seriously

Everyone from your kindergarten teacher to your know-it-all best friend has extolled the virtues of eating breakfast. Studies have shown that if you eat breakfast, you’re likely to consume fewer calories overall throughout the day. Plus, eating in the morning can jumpstart your metabolism.

Bring Your Lunch

This isn’t exactly rocket science, but the BEST thing you can do to follow your diet at work is to bring a bagged lunch. If there’s anything that derails a diet, it’s feeling that fierce mid-day hunger and not having healthy food handy. Then it’s “hello vending machine!”

The beauty of brown-bagging is twofold:

  1. Packing your own lunch puts you in complete control of your afternoon meal.
  1. A healthy balanced meal will keep you from feeling snacky an hour later.

If You Have to Go Out for Lunch

I get it – you’ve been cooped up in the office all day or you feel the need to socialize with your coworkers or you’ve been bringing sandwiches from home all week and you can’t stand eating another meal at your desk.

There’s nothing wrong with supporting your local lunch economy every now and then. And there are some surprisingly smart options at major fast food chains.

Pack Snacks

Not only will packing your own snacks help keep your hunger at bay, but it’ll give you something to munch on when you’re summoning all your willpower to avoid that birthday cake in the break room. And make sure to pack a few craving busters for the tempting foods you encounter at the office. Those pastries will look a lot less inviting when you’ve got a dessert-flavored snack bar at the ready.

Fraud intervention: Identifying and Preventing Financial Fraud

Financial fraud continues to evolve; it’s more sophisticated, harder to detect, and takes advantage of people’s emotions like fear and excitement. According to a recent TD survey, 85 per cent of Canadians worry about themselves or their loved ones becoming a victim of financial fraud. More than one-third (37 per cent) worry that their elderly family members are too trusting, and that their children are unaware of the risks.

“Debit card, credit card and cheque fraud are more common because of sophisticated approaches that target emotion as well as transactions,” says Mushtak Najarali, Senior Vice President of Everyday Banking Products at TD Bank Group. “Prevention and protection are key to fighting financial fraud, and so is the relationship between customers and their financial institution. Both parties working together is the best first line of defense to help identify and avoid financial fraud.”

Many Canadians know the basics of protecting themselves from financial fraud. In fact, less than 10 per cent will share their PIN or SIN with a stranger, provide their credit card number on an unsecure site, or click an unknown link in a text message. But as fraudsters become more sophisticated, they now try to trick consumers into sharing sensitive information like passwords, and bank account and credit card numbers. And there are a lot of ways for fraudsters to get this information, such as e-mails disguised as legitimate communications (phishing), communications appearing to be from a trusted source (spoofing), telephone calls (vishing), text messages (smishing) and devices (skimming) that steal your information.

When it comes to fighting fraud, consumers, businesses and merchants all have a part to play. “Regardless of size or sector, all businesses can take steps to protect themselves and their customers against financial fraud,” says Dennis Parker, Vice President, Business Deposits and Cash Management Services, TD Bank Group. “We encourage our clients to work closely with us to put appropriate safeguards in place for all aspects of their business that involve online, mobile and in-person transactions.”

As fraud schemes continue to become more sophisticated and play on emotions, here are some tips from TD to help fight financial fraud.

For consumers:

  • Pay attention to your fraud alerts – Banks are increasingly using text messaging to communicate with their customers. For example, TD Fraud Alerts are texts that notify a customer if TD detects suspicious activity made with their TD Access Card on their personal banking accounts. The customer can reply to the alert with a simple “Y” or “N” to confirm whether they recognize the transaction and TD will unblock or block their TD Access Card accordingly based on the response. TD will never ask a customer to reply to a Fraud Alert text with any personal information or ask customers to click on any links in their reply.
  • Protect your PIN and guard your cheques – The only person who should know your PIN is you – not even your bank knows it. Don’t ever give out your PIN, whether in person, over the phone, online or by mail. You should also never leave your cheques unattended and if your chequebook is lost or stolen, call your bank immediately.
  • Don’t be fooled by phishing – Exercise caution when receiving unsolicited e-mails containing attachments or asking you to click a link and provide sensitive information. Banks will not ask you to provide personal information, or login information such as usernames, passwords, PINs, security questions and answers, or account numbers, through unsolicited e-mail.
  • Verify if it’s real – If you receive an unexpected and too-good-to-be-true cheque, chances are it may be fraudulent. It’s always important to know who you’re doing business with.
  • Check your statements, online accounts or banking apps regularly – This will alert you to fraudulent transactions more quickly. Money management apps, like the TD MySpend app, can be helpful tools since they help TD customers to be aware of certain types of transactions on eligible TD accounts and credit cards. The TD MySpend app provides notifications of spend transactions in real-time, which helps make it easy for customers to recognize a fraudulent purchase quickly.

For businesses:

  • Daily reconciliation – Reconcile all your business banking transactions daily. This data can be quickly and easily accessed online and will give you same day insights into your accounts.
  • Cheque your etiquette – Cheque fraud has been around for many years, so it’s important to take steps to help prevent it from impacting your business: centralize cheque issuing, use the latest security features on cheques like chemical protection, padlock icons and always use Magnetic Ink Character Recognition Serial Numbers (MICR) on business cheques.
  • Validate payment instructions – Exercise caution when receiving e-mails containing instructions appearing to be from, or on behalf of, an executive that requests urgent processing of a wire transfer. Verify such requests through another channel to confirm authenticity.
  • Check your surroundings – Inspect Point of Sale equipment regularly including serial numbers, wires and cables. If any equipment looks unfamiliar, appears altered, or is missing, notify your merchant solutions provider immediately. Check ceilings, walls or shelves near PIN pads for holes that could conceal a small camera. Install debit terminals so that customers have enough room to comfortably shield the PIN pad when entering their PIN number. The most common way of stealing a cardholder’s PIN is by “shoulder surfing” – looking over the cardholder’s shoulder. Make sure that any security cameras on the premises don’t capture customers entering their PIN.
  • Verify your online transactions – To help protect your business from fraudulent online transactions, be sure to monitor your account activity and take advantage of security features available from the payment networks. These include things like using available CVV validation or billing address verification services. Use of Verified by Visa® or MasterCard® SecureCode services are also highly recommended for ecommerce merchants to add an extra level of security, and can provide greater protection from fraud-related chargebacks.

About the TD Survey
Results are based on an online survey of 1,002 Canadian adults (aged 18yrs+), conducted between January 27 and 30, 2017, by Environics Research Group.

About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For more information, please visit: tdcanadatrust.com. TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America. Mutual Funds Representatives with TD Investment Services Inc. distribute mutual funds at TD Canada Trust.

SOURCE TD Canada Trust

Mental health is a priority focus for The Co-operators, the Presenting Partner of the Teach Resiliency program.

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UPS tests residential delivery via drone launched from atop package car

UPS (NYSE: UPS) announced that it has successfully tested a drone that launches from the top of a UPS® package car, autonomously delivers a package to a home and then returns to the vehicle while the delivery driver continues along the route to make a separate delivery.

UPS conducted the test on Monday in Tampa, Fla. with Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS) an Ohio-based battery-electric truck and drone developer. Workhorse built the drone and the electric UPS package car used in the test.

“This test is different than anything we’ve done with drones so far. It has implications for future deliveries, especially in rural locations where our package cars often have to travel kilometres to make a single delivery,” said Mark Wallace, senior vice-president of global engineering and sustainability, UPS. “Imagine a triangular delivery route where the stops are kilometres apart by road. Sending a drone from a package car to make just one of those deliveries can reduce costly kilometres driven. This is a big step toward bolstering efficiency in our network and reducing our emissions at the same time.”

UPS has about 102,000 delivery drivers on the road each day. Rural delivery routes are the most expensive to serve due to the time and vehicle expenses required to complete each delivery. In this test, the drone made one delivery while the driver continued down the road to make another. This is a possible role UPS envisions for drones in the future.

“Drivers are the face of our company, and that won’t change,” Wallace said. “What’s exciting is the potential for drones to aid drivers at various points along their routes, helping them save time and deliver on increasing customer service needs that stem from the growth of e-commerce.”

The drone used in yesterday’s test was the Workhorse HorseFly™ UAV Delivery system. It is a high-efficiency, octocopter delivery drone that is fully integrated with Workhorse’s line of electric/hybrid delivery trucks. The drone docks on the roof of the delivery truck. A cage suspended beneath the drone, extends through a hatch into the truck. A UPS driver inside loads a package into the cage and presses a button on a touch screen, sending the drone on a preset autonomous route to an address. The battery-powered HorseFly drone recharges while it’s docked. It has a 30-minute flight time and can carry a package weighing up to 10 lb.

For this test, Workhorse preset the route for the drone. But in the future, routes could be determined by UPS’s On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION), which is the company’s proprietary routing software.

“It’s wonderful to see this technology applied in such a practical way,” said Stephen Burns, Workhorse founder and CEO. “The drone is fully autonomous. It doesn’t require a pilot. So the delivery driver is free to make other deliveries while the drone is away.”

UPS has been testing automation and robotics technologies, including drones, for years. Last September, UPS staged a mock delivery of urgently needed medicine from Beverly, Mass. to an island three miles off the Atlantic coast. Additionally, UPS is using drones extensively for humanitarian relief, partnering with third-party organizations to deliver life-saving blood and vaccines to hard-to-reach locations in Rwanda. UPS also is utilizing drones to check inventory on high storage shelves in its warehouses.

Unlike all of the previous tests, the most recent UPS drone test shows how drones might assist in making non-urgent residential deliveries as part of the day-to-day operation.

Last year, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued small unmanned aircraft systems rules that allow for some commercial use of drones and paved the way for future expanded applications. UPS was one of 35 selected from a cross section of key stakeholders to serve on the FAA’s drone advisory committee. The committee will provide the FAA recommendations on key drone integration issues that will ultimately allow for safe and secure operations of drones within the National Air Space System.

About UPS
UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the web at ups.com and its corporate blog can be found at longitudes.ups.com. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS or follow @UPS_Canada.

About Workhorse Group Inc. Workhorse Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) is a U.S. – based original equipment manufacturer of medium duty EPA-approved battery-electric delivery vehicles and fully integrated truck-launched, FAA compliant unmanned aerial systems (UAS) delivery drones. Workhorse trucks have historically been sold to the largest fleets in the USA and Canada for last-mile delivery and related uses. For additional information visit www.workhorse.com

SOURCE UPS Canada Ltd.

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