What happens if my son borrows a friend’s car and crashes it?

When you drive someone else’s car, you borrow their insurance in most parts of Canada. And if you crash it, their insurance rates will take a hit. There are some provinces, and some situations, however, where the driver could be at least partly liable.

“As long as they give you permission and you’re qualified to drive, the car is insured in most cases,” says Pete Karageorgos, director of consumer and industry relations for the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “If you’re involved in an at-fault crash, that goes on their insurance record as an at-fault loss.”

If you crash someone else’s car and you’re at fault, the owner’s rates would go up for the next six years, just as if they had caused the crash. The crash would stay off your insurance record.

If the owner could prove that you’d driven the car without permission, their insurance company wouldn’t cover the crash and would remove it from the owner’s insurance record. But to do that, the owner would have to report the car as stolen to the police.

It works differently in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which have government-run insurance. In those provinces, the at-fault crash would go on the borrower’s record and not the owner’s record.

In British Columbia, which also has government-run insurance, it’s a little more complicated. There, the crash would go on the borrower’s record. But if the owner hadn’t opted for extra coverage for occasional drivers, then the owner would pay a one-time penalty, says a spokesman for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

NOT ENOUGH COVERAGE?

What if you crash someone else’s car and they don’t have enough insurance?

First, a quick review of the three types of car insurance coverage: liability, collision and comprehensive.

To oversimplify, liability insurance covers damage and injuries that a driver causes to other people, vehicles or property. Collision insurance covers damage to the owner’s vehicle in a crash. Comprehensive insurance covers almost anything else that isn’t a collision, including theft and vandalism.

Liability coverage is mandatory, while the other two are optional. Each province requires you to have a minimum amount of liability coverage. It’s $200,000 in most provinces, but there are exceptions. In Nova Scotia, for instance, it’s $500,000 while in Quebec it’s only $50,000.

So let’s say you’re driving someone else’s car, drive through the side of a building and you cause $2-million in damages. If the owner only has $200,000 in liability coverage, “both the driver and vehicle owner could be personally liable if the claim exceeds the coverage,” Joe Daly, spokesman for Desjardins General Insurance Group, writes in an e-mail.

Before you borrow a car, it’s a good idea to find out what coverage the owner actually has.

EXTRA COVERAGE FOR BORROWERS?

You probably won’t be able to buy standalone liability insurance that would cover you when you’re borrowing a vehicle.

“Since liability coverage on a vehicle extends from the vehicle owner’s auto insurance policy, if you don’t own a vehicle, obtaining a non-owner car insurance policy is unlikely,” Anne-Marie Thomas, senior manager of partner relationships for rate-comparison site Insurance Hotline, writes in an e-mail. “I don’t know of any insurer who offers one.”

If you have home insurance, you may also be able to get an umbrella policy that would give you added liability coverage to protect yourself from lawsuits.

An umbrella policy could cost “a few hundred dollars a year,” IBC’s Karageorgos says. But typically, insurance companies will sell you one only if you have both home and car insurance with them.

A 21-year-old without insurance probably wouldn’t be able to buy it.

“Insurance companies typically don’t sell umbrella policies to just anyone,” Karageorgos says.

Wawanesa toy drives coming to WHL

Calgary, Alta. – Whether unwrapping a teddy bear, a fire truck or a stethoscope, there’s nothing like making kids smile during the holidays. This year, the Canadian Hockey League and Western Hockey League are proud to join Wawanesa Insurance, their independent insurance brokers, and local charities to host holiday toy drives in 36 communities across Canada.

CHL fans can get the warm and fuzzies by donating a new and unwrapped toy at any of the 36 Wawanesa Toy Drive games taking place across the country from November 16 to December 15 and at participating broker locations in each community. As a special thank you for donations, all toy donors will be entered into a Grand Prize draw for a trip for two to Kelowna for the 2020 Memorial Cup Presented by Kia.

“The Canadian Hockey League and our member teams are proud to support our communities and the Wawanesa Toy Drive campaign is another wonderful opportunity to help make a positive difference for families across Canada,” said CHL President Dan MacKenzie. “We’re excited to join our partners at Wawanesa Insurance and our passionate fans to help deliver thousands of toys and smiles to kids this holiday season.”

If someone is unable to bring a toy to the game, Wawanesa has partnered with their local insurance broker partners to provide fans with convenient toy drive drop-off locations. View all broker locations and learn more about the Wawanesa Toy Drive (including full contest rules) by visiting wawanesa.com/toydrive.

“Happy kids, neighbours helping neighbours, and some of the best hockey in the world – it’s a winning combination to help more Canadian families enjoy this holiday season,” said Selena Hinds, Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs for Wawanesa Insurance. “We are thrilled to partner with the Canadian Hockey League, independent insurance brokers and local charities across Canada on this country-wide holiday toy drive. For us at Wawanesa Insurance, supporting the communities where we work and live is the essence of who we are.”

Wawanesa Toy Drives began this past weekend in the WHL, with events in Kelowna and Swift Current on Saturday, November 16, and Edmonton on Sunday, November 17.

Wawanesa Insurance is the Official Auto and Home Insurer and proud partner of the CHL, WHL, OHL, and QMJHL.

2019 Wawanesa Toy Drive Schedule – Western Hockey League:

November 20:
Regina Pats

November 22:
Victoria Royals
November 23:
Moose Jaw Warriors

November 29:
Brandon Wheat Kings
Lethbridge Hurricanes

November 30:
Red Deer Rebels

December 3:
Prince George Cougars

December 6:
Vancouver Giants

December 11:
Prince Albert Raiders

December 14:
Medicine Hat Tigers

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 https://www.wawanesa.com/canada/.

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

Time for snowbirds to check health coverage

The excerpted article was written by Jane Stevenson 

Toronto Sun

The frightful weather means one thing: Snowbirds will be or have already left for southern destinations.

A report by the Canadian Trade Commissioner estimates close to 500,000 Canadian snowbirds spend their winter in Florida.

But with the Ontario government cancelling OHIP’s Out-of-Country Travellers Program in January 2020, insurance experts are advising snowbirds to check their health coverage.

“As it stands today, the province offers $400 a day, out-of-country medical coverage,” said Anne Marie Thomas, of insurancehotline.com

“I mean it sounds like it would be a lot but that all depends on what happened to you. So, it’s not a significant amount but it’s a good reminder, Ontarians, we’re losing this,” added Thomas.  “Make sure you purchase travel insurance more than ever because (as of January 2020), you have zero coverage.”

The reason for this, says Thomas, is simple.

“The premier’s office (says) it will save Ontarians $83 million a year if we don’t offer this. So $83 million tells you people were using this, right?” said Thomas, who added it’s important for people to know the details of their coverage.

“Some people have (travel insurance) through work and so they feel that they’re covered, but you may not be covered for everything. You probably would not be covered under your work policy if you were in Cuba and you were hang gliding and something happened to you,” she added. “Very often …, if you’re injured during an extreme sport, you could potentially be declined a claim because an extreme sport, in a lot of cases, is excluded.”

A recent survey by insurancehotline.com found that 40 % of Canadians believe the cost of a four-hour emergency medical evacuation would be $2,000. In reality, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Motorist Ordered To Pay $34,980 in Damages Following “Road Rage Incident”

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, ordering a motorist to pay almost $35,000 in damages after striking another motorist in the face.

In today’s case (Henderson v. McGregor) the parties were both operating motor vehicle moving in the same direction of travel.   The Plaintiff was concerned that the Defendant was not paying adequate attention.  The vehicles stopped close to each other and the Plaintiff exited his vehicle and approached the Defendant.  The Defendant “struck him without warning, grabbing and scratching his face causing lacerations and bruising and drew blood.”.

The Court found the Defendant liable for the torts of assault and battery and ordered damages just shy of $35,ooo to be paid including $2,000 in aggravated damages.  Mr. Justice Walker provided the following findings regarding liability:

[27]         I accept that Mr. Henderson believes he was calm and non-threatening when he approached Ms. McGregor’s vehicle. I also find that Ms. McGregor was surprised to see Mr. Henderson walking toward her vehicle.

[28]         That said, Ms. McGregor committed an unprovoked assault and battery on Mr. Henderson (I will refer to both collectively as an assault). She struck him without warning, grabbing and scratching his face causing lacerations and bruising and drew blood.

[29]         Mr. Henderson conceded in submissions that with the benefit of hindsight he should not have approached Ms. McGregor’s vehicle. However, that does not provide Ms. McGregor with a defence.

[30]         Her submission that she acted in self-defence is without merit. She has not met the onus to establish self-defence: Mann v. Balaban, [1970] S.C.R. 74 at 87. She has not established that she perceived an imminent attack. Without provocation, Ms. McGregor hit and grabbed Mr. Henderson’s face, scratching his skin with such force to cause lacerations, bleeding, bruising, and swelling.

[31]         Even if Ms. McGregor felt threatened and perceived an imminent attack, which I do not accept she did, in exercising her right of self-defence, she must use only such force as on reasonable grounds she believes is necessary for her defence. The nature of the injuries suffered is not necessarily indicative of whether the force was reasonable. The issue is informed by the facts and circumstances of each case, including the nature and seriousness of the threatened attack. Here, the force Ms. McGregor used was not reasonable in the circumstances: Buchy v. Villars, 2008 BCSC 385 at para. 112, aff’d 2009 BCCA 519; Provencher v. St. Paul’s Hospital, 2015 BCSC 916 at paras. 45-46.

Assault, Battery, bc injury law, Eye Injury, facial cuts, facial lacerations, Henderson v. McGregor, Mr. Justice Walker, Road Rage

Trouble After a Vehicle Purchase

raised pickup truckThis inquiry arrived in the DriveSmartBC inbox last Thursday: “I bought a used newer truck from a dealership and was told prior to signing the final documents that the truck had gone through a full safety inspection. Less than two weeks later I was pulled over and issued a ticket for improperly equipped motor vehicle and issued a box 2 inspection order for my 2017 Dodge Ram 3500.”

The person goes on to say that the notice order is vague. He was not sure what to do next, but made an appointment for an inspection at the dealership where he purchased the truck.

Actually, the notice is not vague, it simply says that you must take the vehicle to a designated inspection facility, undergo inspection and make the identified repairs with a pass required within 30 days. The officer will not list what needs to be repaired, the facility will determine that.

There could be a significant difference between what the dealership calls a “safety inspection” and what the inspection facility does. Simply checking that all the lights work, that the tires have sufficient tread and that the brakes are not worn out could be considered a safety inspection. The designated inspection facility is required to check all items in a comprehensive set of standards (that you may find in your local libaray) and make sure that those standards are met.

The only way to know is to ask the dealership what was checked when you are shopping for the vehicle.

That said, the dealership is not supposed to sell you a vehicle that is not roadworthy:

Sale of motor vehicle contrary to regulations

222   A person must not sell, offer for sale, expose or display for sale or deliver over to a purchaser for use a motor vehicle, trailer or equipment for them that is not in accordance with this Act and the regulations.

Probably the only way to escape this requirement is to specify that what is being sold is not meant for use on a highway on the bill of sale.

You may find this FAQ from the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC useful. It outlines your rights when you purchase a vehicle from a dealer and what to do if you have problems.

Of course, if you made the modifications that triggered the officer’s interest after you purchased the vehicle, you are on the hook for that yourself.

If you did not, then you may have some recourse against the dealership for the cost of the inspection and the changes necessary to make the vehicle roadworthy. The VSABC may assist you with that or you may have to conduct a small claims court action if the dealership refuses.

If you knew at the time of purchase that the vehicle was not roadworthy in all respects you may find that willful blindness can limit your options as well.

Finally, you can take advantage of lawyer referral for properly informed advice.

AM Best affirms “A- (Excellent)” rating for Economical Insurance

WATERLOO, ON, November 15, 2019 — AM Best affirmed today the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating of “a-” for Economical Mutual Insurance Company.  The outlook for these ratings remains stable.

“We are pleased that AM Best has once again affirmed its ratings and stable outlook for Economical, which demonstrates our continued financial strength,” said Philip Mather, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Economical Insurance. “Economical is committed to being a strong, stable and disciplined company as we pursue demutualization and prepare to become a publicly-traded company.”

In its rating announcement, AM Best acknowledged Economical’s strong capitalization and commitment to organizational and operational transformations through investments in its personal lines broker business and development of its digital direct brand Sonnet.

For more information about AM Best’s ratings, visit www.ambest.com This is an external link.

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 approximately $2.5 billion in annualized gross written premiums and $5.9 billion in assets as at September 30, 2019. Economical is a Canadian-owned and operated company that services the insurance needs of more than one million customers across the country.

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