Ontario creating task force to improve flooding resilience

TORONTO _ Ontario is creating a task force on improving the province’s resilience to flooding, following high water levels this spring in several communities.

Premier Doug Ford and Natural Resources Minister John Yakabuski said in a statement that the government will work to better plan for and reduce the impacts of flooding.

“Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen first-hand the devastating effect of flooding on our communities,” they said in the statement Friday. “The people of Ontario can’t go through this every year. Something needs to change.”

The task force will consult with municipalities, including in the Muskoka region, Pembroke and the Ottawa Valley.

Ontario has activated a disaster recovery assistance program for residents in Bracebridge, Huntsville, Pembroke, Renfrew County, Ottawa, Clarence-Rockland, Champlain and Alfred and Plantagenet.

The program helps cover emergency expenses and the costs to repair or replace essential property not covered by insurance after a natural disaster.

The task force announcement comes not long after the Progressive Conservative government cut conservation authorities’ funding for flood management in half.

Conservation authorities forecast flooding and issue warnings, monitor stream flow, regulate development activities in flood plains, educate the public about flooding and protect natural cover that helps reduce the impacts of flooding.

Ontario had given $7.4 million to the conservation authorities for that work, but they say that has now been reduced by 50 per cent.

Yakabuski has said the government is trying to eliminate the deficit _ currently at $11.7 billion and has asked conservation authorities to focus on their core mandate, which includes flood control.

NDP environment critic Ian Arthur said the task force should start by reversing those cuts.

“Any review of flood management in Ontario should begin with undoing the damage done by the (Doug) Ford Conservatives,” Arthur said in a statement.

Fort McMurray woman wants Insurance Act changed

‘We are still paying a mortgage on a pile of ashes,’ homeowner says

Excerpreted article was written by Jamie Malbeuf · CBC News 

After struggling for three years to get a settlement, a Fort McMurray woman wants to see changes to the Insurance Act.

Jamie Harpe lost her home in the May 2016 wildfire that destroyed 15 per cent of the buildings in Alberta’s oilsands city.

“Three years into it, we are still paying a mortgage on a pile of ashes, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight,” she said.

After the fire, Harpe said, she was able to settle a claim for the cost of her home’s contents with her insurance company, Aviva.

But the house claim remains unsettled.

Aviva declined to comment on the case, but Harpe said she will opt for a formal dispute resolution process.

The most recent estimate for the cost of the rebuild is from two years ago; Two different companies assessed the cost at between $3.1 million and $4.3 million, said Harpe, the president of an oilfield servicing company she owns with her husband.

She estimates the house was about 7,000 square feet. Her lawyer requested a quote for the cost of heating and hoarding — which includes a fence around the construction site to prevent unauthorized access and tarpaulins to cover the site and keep heat contained, allowing construction in winter — and that estimate came in at between $200,000 and $400,000.

The two parties almost came to an agreement recently, she said, except for one unresolved matter: who would pay the heating and hoarding costs.

Harpe said she doesn’t think her family should have to shoulder that cost.

She has been paying lawyers to help her with the claim, which she said has cost her about $70,000 over the last two years.

In the meantime, she bought property two doors down from her old house and put a prefabricated home there.

She says the money for living expenses from the insurance company ran out, and her family has been paying additional expenses out of pocket.

Now they’re paying for a second mortgage on top of almost $5,000 a month for the first mortgage.

The insurance industry is going to be here until the very last claim is closed in Fort McMurray.– Rob de Pruis, Insurance Bureau of Canada

She would like to see the Insurance Act changed so that companies have to pay additional living expenses for lengthy cases such as hers.

“The Insurance Act seems to work for the insurance company, and when it comes to the consumer there are so many loopholes that the insurance companies can, in a sense, bully the hardworking Canadians.”

At this point, she said, her payout should be higher than the cost of the rebuild, because of the additional money they’ve spent.

The provincial and federal governments should make changes to insurance regulations that benefit consumers, she said

Harpe said the claim has taken a toll on her mental health.

“You still have to work. And you still have to live your day-to-day life. And in the meantime … you’re always worried about what’s happening with the rebuild.”

Less than 1% of claims unresolved

The Fort McMurray wildfire was the most expensive insured disaster in Canadian history.

Rob de Pruis, director of consumer and industry relations for the western arm of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, said more than 60,000 insurance claims were opened after the fire.

He said less than one per cent of those files remain open, and those are typically the complicated files, or ones where the company and homeowner couldn’t come to an agreement.

An aerial photo of Harpe’s home before it burned down. She says it shouldn’t take three years to get an insurance settlement. (Submitted by Jaime Harpe)

De Pruis said in most cases when the claim is drawn out, it’s because of misunderstandings or poor communication between the company and the homeowner.

There are options for the homeowner to pursue if an agreement can’t be reached: the company’s internal ombudsman or an independent company called the General Insurance Organization.

They can facilitate conversations between the two parties.

There is also a formal dispute resolution process, which is the route Harpe is taking. This is a facilitated discussion with representatives and specific timelines.

As a last resort, De Pruis said, the claim could go to court.

“The insurance industry is going to be here until the very last claim is closed in Fort McMurray,” he said.

De Pruis said the IBC is available to help anyone who is struggling with an insurance claim.

Where Are the Corners of Your Vehicle?

The RCMP’s advanced driver training course was without a doubt the most fun of any course many of the participants had taken in their service. We used an inactive runway at the Boundary Bay airport in Delta and a collection of well used Crown Victoria police interceptors to polish our driving skills. Contrary to what you might think, this was not a high-speed driving situation as we never got going faster than about 65 km/h.

What the majority of the course taught us was to be aware of the location of all four corners of our vehicles in relation to everything around us on the track.

From stall parking, backing through a slalom to the collection of curves, straights and sharp angles of the circuit, the object was to never touch one of the traffic cones that marked the edges and obstacles. Knock one over and you could lose so many points that your score would not be enough to pass.

In the circuit, we were expected to drive as fast as we were able to in addition to leaving all the cones alone. We also learned that if you spun your tires after receiving the “go” signal, you lost valuable time.

The road that leads to my home is a winding one and there are two sets of reversing curves where I seem to be meeting more drivers on the wrong side of the double solid center line lately. The worn condition of the center and shoulder lines at these corners indicate that this occurs frequently.

Surprisingly, our provincial driving manuals don’t have a lot to say about maintaining your lane position. The one piece of advice that I could find says:

The first thing you may notice as you begin driving in moderate traffic is that you have to stay in the centre of your lane. To start with, this is no easy task. The magic rule: look the way you want to go. If you keep looking 12 seconds ahead down the centre of the lane, your peripheral vision will help you centre yourself.

They do have more to say about another spot where lane discipline commonly breaks down, turning at intersections. Drivers are cautioned not to cut the corner or swing wide on turns.

The last bad habit to mention is driving with the right side tires to the right of the single solid line. In other words, driving on the shoulder. Along with all of the other behaviours mentioned, this is illegal.

One might think that if there are no lines painted on the road, it is not necessary to maintain proper lane position. This is not true either. A driver in this situation must still judge where the center of the road is and travel in the right-hand half.

Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites.

$160,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Head Injury With Lingering Cognitive Issues

Source: Erik Magraken BC Injury and ICBC Claims Blog

Reasons for judgement were published this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, assessing damages for a mild traumatic brain injury caused by a collision.

In the recent case (Dube v. Dube) the Plaintiff was injured as a passenger involved in a single vehicle collision.  The Defendant accepted fault.  The crash caused a variety of injuries including a traumatic brain injury which caused cognitive deficits which were expected to linger indefinitely.  In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $160,000 Madam Justice Burke provided the following reasons:

0]         Based on my review of the medical evidence, I find that Ms. Dube suffered a head injury or MTBI, and physical injuries to her head, neck, back, shoulders, right leg, and abrasions and contusions to her chest, abdomen and elbow. The impact of the MTBI has created the debilitating injuries affecting Ms. Dube’s cognitive functioning. She has headaches, fatigue, memory issues, speed impediment, multi-tasking issues and anxiety.

[51]         I do not agree with the defence that Ms. Dube’s earlier medical or employment history establishes that she was “generally” disabled or reluctant to work. Rather, the evidence establishes that work was an important part of Ms. Dube’s active lifestyle. The evidence shows that Ms. Dube was committed to recovery and eager to participate in the workforce.

[52]         Both the medical and lay evidence establish that Ms. Dube has been unable to return to her previous activities and has become socially withdrawn. The only expert who opined that Ms. Dube was not disabled as a result of the accident was Dr. Arthur, who does not have any expertise with respect to cognitive functioning and its impact on Ms. Dube’s ability to do her job. Dr. Teal’s opinion was undermined by its reliance on an inaccurate fact. Accordingly, I conclude that as a result of the accident, Ms. Dube will continue to suffer from cognitive impairment and chronic pain to some degree…

[65]         As noted earlier, Ms. Dube suffered a variety of injuries in the accident including a MTBI. The witnesses painted a fundamentally different picture of Ms. Dube before and after the accident. She will continue to suffer ongoing cognitive problems (including memory issues) that have contributed to her social withdrawal. These symptoms have impacted her significantly. Her friends and family have corroborated this.

[66]         As noted in Stapley, the assessment of non-pecuniary damages depends on the particular circumstances of the individual. I have concluded that the authorities provided by the plaintiff are more useful than the authorities offered by the defendant in assessing the case at bar. This is largely because the types of cognitive impairments that I have found to exist in this case are not particularly evident in the defendant’s authorities. I have considered Ms. Dube’s age as well as the nature of her injuries and her ongoing symptoms. I make specific note of the evident distress she has experienced due to the cognitive impact of her injuries, her impact of that on her life generally and her withdrawal from social activities. I am of the view that an appropriate award for non-pecuniary damages is $160,000.

Business Interruption Insurance Training

Business Interruption Insurance Training

Version française

Business interruption insurance, also called “business income” insurance, is one of the most important and yet most widely misunderstood of all insurance coverages. Fact: We don’t need an extensive financial background or training to effectively explain how business interruption insurance works. Nothing could be further from the truth. After completing this course, you will know a lot about business interruption insurance and, specifically, the Profits Endorsement Form. From there, it is just a matter of communicating that information in a way that your prospects will understand.

This course is broken down into three components:

Component A – Component A – Introduction to Business Interruption Insurance

  • The Importance of Separate Business Interruption Insurance
  • Two Types of Business Interruption Endorsements
  • The Role of The Broker in The Sales Process.

Component B – Profits Endorsement Form: A Coverage Analysis

  • Indemnity Agreement
  • Section 6. Provisions (a)-(g)
  • Section 7. Premium Adjustment
  • Extensions of Coverage
  • Other Common Clauses

Component C – Profits Endorsement Form: A Coverage Analysis Continued

  • Indemnity Period – Duration of Coverage
  • Measure of Recovery
  • Payroll Option
  • Insured Standing Charges
  • Definitions

Become an ILScorp group member to save even more.

Included as part of the ILScorp Adjuster CE Subscription.

Included as part of the ILScorp General CE Subscription.

Access Duration from the Date of Purchase: 6 months
Credit Hours: 3
Credit Type: General/Adjuster – Technical and RIBO-Technical
Credit #: AIC #48006, MB#30091
Accrediting Provinces: BC, AB, SK, MB, ON
Get Instant Access(Fast, easy, done)

Included as part of the ILScorp Chad CE Subscription.

Access Duration from the Date of Purchase: 6 months
Credit Hours: 3
Credit Type: Insurance Technique
Credit #: AFC10854
Accrediting Provinces: QC
Get Instant Access(Fast, easy, done)

Toronto Raptors’ dramatic win produces record television ratings in Canada

TORONTO _ The greatest moment in Toronto Raptors history produced the biggest television ratings in Canada for an NBA game.

Sportsnet says Sunday night’s Game 7 between the Raptors and visiting Philadelphia 76ers attracted an average audience of 2.2 million viewers.

A peak audience of 3.8 million was watching when Kawhi Leonard hit the buzzer-beater to lift the Raptors to a win over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Eastern Conference semifinal.

The Sunday night tipoff traditionally a strong evening for TV ratings and the fact no Canadian teams are left in the NHL playoffs gave the Raptors the sporting spotlight in this country.

Sportsnet says its average audience for the four games it showed during the second-round series was 1.3 million viewers, a 113 per-cent increase over the same round for the Raptors last year.

The 2.2-million figure is a big jump over a typical Raptors game. TSN reported it attracted a regular-season Raptors record audience of 710,000 for DeMar DeRozan’s return to Toronto with the San Antonio Spurs in February.

TSN had a then-record average audience of 1.8 million for a Raptors playoff game in 2016 as Toronto beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in a third-round contest.

The NBA has said viewership in the regular season was up 29 percent from last year.

Sportsnet and TSN split the Raptors broadcast schedule.

The Raptors begin the Eastern Conference final on Wednesday night in Milwaukee against the Bucks.

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