British Columbians pay the highest on average in car insurance in Canada

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Drivers in British Columbia are paying the highest insurance premiums in the country – by a substantial amount.

New numbers calculated by the General Insurance Statistical Agency show, on average, drivers in this province are shelling out $1,832 a year. Second place is far behind – drivers in Ontario still pay $300 less than their B.C. counterparts.

Insurance Bureau of Canada Vice President Aaron Sutherland says ICBC’s monopoly has a lot to do with that.

“We need to start asking ourselves if there is another company that can provide this. Most Canadians have the benefit of a competitive marketplace where they can shop around, where they can find those savings.”

He says we need competition to see rates cool down.

“Here in B.C., we have to purchase our basic auto insurance from ICBC, whereas most other Canadians are able to shop around to find the best product at the best possible price.”

Sutherland says while rate changes are underway in B.C., without competition, he doesn’t believe it will do much to reduce the price most drivers pay.

And there doesn’t appear to be a breaking point. Prices are expected to continue rising in the coming years, according to ICBC.

Spokesperson Joanna Linsangan says competition won’t help.

“Whether we have a public or private auto insurance system in B.C., the same underlying problems of a high number of crashes and record-high numbers of claims and costs would still need to be addressed – simply changing to private insurance would not solve these issues,” she says.

“We are taking a different approach here in B.C. to fix the system – we are redirecting money currently going toward legal costs and putting it back into better benefits and improved care for people injured in crashes.”

AXA XL Names New Senior Underwriter for Large Property Insurance in Canada

AXA XL has added Jennifer Arezes to its Property Insurance team in Canada. Ms. Arezes is based in Toronto and will work alongside Ian Rutherford, Head of Property, Canada and Urs Uhlmann, CEO and Country Manager AXA XL, Canada to grow AXA XL’s Property & Casualty Large Property business nationally.

“We’re very excited to have Jennifer join our growing team of experts in Canada,” said Mr. Uhlmann. “She is one of the best in the industry and her extensive experience will bolster not only our underwriting capabilities but will be a great asset to our strategic growth objectives in the large, international property risks space.”

In this new role, Ms. Arezes will be responsible for developing and structuring tailor-made risk solutions to win new business and retain existing customers with particular focus on Canadian clients with global exposures.

“As the largest commercial insurer in the world, we have a unique opportunity for continued growth across Canada. Jennifer’s expertise and in-depth knowledge of the market is a great asset to our team and most importantly, will enhance our ability to provide outstanding service to our clients and brokers,” added Mr. Rutherford.

Ms. Arezes joins AXA XL from Zurich where she most recently led the Commercial Property Insurance business.  She brings more than 15 years of industry experience focusing on property underwriting across a wide range of business lines. Ms. Arezes holds a degree in Biological Technology/Industrial Microbiology from Centennial College of Applied Arts and Technology.

AXA XL’s North America Property business meets the global and domestic property insurance needs for a wide variety of commercial businesses and industries. Coverages include Equipment Breakdown E&S Property and General Property, delivered by a dedicated team of underwriters, risk engineers and property claims managers who specialize in addressing large, complex property risks.

Understanding life insurance

Submitted

BC Local News

Have you ever thought of how much impact smoking has on your finances? Health Canada’s cost calculator finds that smoking half a pack a day can cost up to $2,500 per year. Meanwhile, on a nationwide scale, the Canadian Cancer Society reported that smoking generates $6.5 billion in healthcare costs yearly. And, the expenses don’t end there – not if you’re looking to get life insurance.

What does life insurance have to do with it? Your life insurance rate depends on how healthy you are right now. But it also depends on whether you’re putting your health at risk with lifestyle choices like smoking. Here’s how this costly habit can affect your life insurance premium.

How smoking can affect your life insurance premium

To start, let’s look at the basics of life insurance. You buy a policy that provides financial protection and pay for it with monthly or annual fees, called premiums. What happens if you die while the policy is still active? Your beneficiaries get a specific amount of money stated in the policy, known as the death benefit. They can then use that money to help pay off debts, mortgages, loans, and other living expenses.

Basically, life insurance can help give your family financial assistance and security after you die. So, how do insurance companies put a price on that security? A lot of the cost of life insurance depends on your current state of health and your family history. But what’s one of the biggest factors insurance companies look at when assessing your health risk? Whether or not you’re a smoker.

“The health hazards of smoking and the risks it puts on your life are well-known,” says Paula MacMillan, a financial advisor from Winnipeg.

Underwriting is when an insurance company reviews your health risks after you’ve applied for life insurance. This process lets an insurer calculate the coverage you’re eligible for. It also ensures your premium reflects the level of risk.

Simply put: Your risk level affects your premium.

“Being a smoker puts people at a higher risk of smoking-related illnesses,” Macmillan says. “And this translates to higher premiums.”

READ MORE HERE

Source: BC Local News

What goes up, must come down — unless it’s car insurance rates, apparently

Lorraine Explains: Don’t let misleading Top 10 lists fool you about auto insurance

By LORRAINE SOMMERFELD

“Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is a quote attributed to various famous folk, but the upshot is the same: we can make numbers twist and turn in conversational breezes until they say whatever we want, whatever makes us look better.

Right now, in most of Canada, car insurance rates continue to rise like a giant pan of Jiffy Pop stuck in the fire.

Political parties roll into power promising to clean up the mess made by the other guys, only to find the mess has been so long in the making, at some point their own party has been part of the problem.

They stumble away from an epic issue with un-sexy solutions and hope consumers will forget. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, fraud is costing Canadians billions every year. It’s “an illegal, organized big business, largely unknown to consumers, that siphons resources away from our health care system, ties up our emergency services and courts, and drives up insurance costs,” the org writes.

READ MORE HERE: 

Intact Financial Corporation strengthens its supply chain network with acquisition of On Side Restoration

Intact Financial Corporation (TSX:IFC) and On Side Developments Ltd., the parent company of On Side Restoration (“On Side Restoration“) today announced that they are joining forces to strengthen repair and restoration services for personal and commercial property claims customers across Canada. With this acquisition IFC will deepen its claims expertise and strengthen its supply chain network. The transaction is expected to close on or before October 1, 2019 subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approval.

On Side Restoration is a national restoration firm, based in Vancouver, with more than 1,200 employees and 35 branches coast to coast. Its reputation for excellent customer service along with 40 years of claims experience makes it a strong strategic fit for IFC.

“Our claims service is a key differentiator and is at the heart of what we promise. On Side Restoration is already an important part of our Rely Network of preferred vendors and they have a track record of providing excellent customer service and helping us deliver on that promise,” said Charles Brindamour, Chief Executive Officer, Intact Financial Corporation. “By taking ownership in the supply chain and combining our strengths we can ensure simpler, faster and consistently higher quality outcomes for property claims customers. This transaction will reduce claims handling costs and provide diversification to our property exposures with a new and counter cyclical earnings stream,” added Mr. Brindamour.

“With this agreement we are combining two leading companies who are keenly focused on providing the highest levels of professionalism, care, and exceptional customer service in property restoration,” said Craig Hogarth, Founder and President, On Side Restoration. “Becoming part of the Intact family is an exciting next step that will fuel another 40 years of growth as we continue to build our business and serve a wide variety of clients, including other key partners and insurers,” added Mr. Hogarth.

IFC has been steadily increasing collaboration over time with On Side Restoration to reduce cycle times and simplify processes for an improved customer experience. Through this acquisition IFC expects to further increase operational efficiencies and improve customer satisfaction by reducing the duplication of processes and controls, which will result in quick decision making and faster completion of repair and restoration work.

The property supply chain, namely restoration services, is a growing area of business, particularly as our communities are experiencing more frequent weather events. Intact will gain full ownership of On Side Restoration over a two-year period for a variable purchase consideration which is based in part on future profitability metrics. The purchase price will be financed from internal resources. The acquisition will provide immediate low single digit accretion to NOIPS, and mild accretion to ROE.

About On Side Restoration
On Side Restoration is one of the nation’s leading Canadian-owned restoration companies with 35 branches from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, Newfoundland. For the past 40 years the company has been restoring damaged homes and businesses 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Proprietary internal systems include eClaim, a transparent web-based file management software program, and On Side LiVE, their 24 hour customizable emergency call centre. Experienced and certified crew operate On Side Restoration’s extensive fleet of emergency response vehicles and leverage their 13,000+ pieces of specialty equipment. Further information about On Side Restoration can be found at www.onside.ca.

About Intact Financial Corporation
Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) is the largest provider of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America, with over $10 billion in total annual premiums. The Company has approximately 14,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than five million personal, business and public-sector clients through offices in Canada and the U.S. In Canada, Intact distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly-owned subsidiary BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect. In the U.S., OneBeacon Insurance Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary, provides specialty insurance products through independent agencies, brokers, wholesalers and managing general agencies.

Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this press release, including without limitation, the timing for completion of the proposed acquisition, management’s estimates and expectations in relation to resulting accretion, internal rate of return, net operating income per share, annual synergies, operational efficiencies and risk diversification are forward looking statements. The words “will”, “expected to” and comparable words or phrases are intended to identify forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by management in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that management believes are appropriate in the circumstances.

Many factors could cause IFC’s actual results, performance or achievements or future events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward looking statements, including without limitation, the terms and conditions of, and regulatory approvals relating to, the proposed acquisition, timing for completion of the proposed acquisition and various other actions to be taken or requirements to be met in connection with the proposed acquisition and the factors discussed in IFC’s most recently filed Annual Information Form and annual Management’s Discussion & Analysis. These factors are not intended to represent a complete list of the factors that could affect IFC. These factors should, however, be considered carefully.

All of the forward-looking statements included in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements. Although the forward-looking statements are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, IFC cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. When relying on forward-looking statements to make decisions, investors should ensure the preceding information is carefully considered. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements made in this press release. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Intact Financial Corporation

For further information: Media enquiries: Stephanie Sorensen, Director, External Communications, Intact Financial Corporation, 416-344-8027, stephanie.sorensen@intact.net; Sonia Manson, Communications Manager, On Side Restoration, 647-464-3092, media@onside.ca; Investor enquiries: Ken Anderson, Vice President, Investor Relations and Treasurer, Intact Financial Corporation, 855-646-8228, ext. 87383, kenneth.anderson@intact.net; Neil Seneviratne, Director, Investor Relations, Intact Financial Corporation, 416-341-1464 ext. 45156, neil.seneviratne@intact.net

Related Links

www.intactfc.com

Social insurance numbers are stolen by the millions

New SINs ‘will not protect individuals from fraud,’ said government official

Jonathon Gatehouse · CBC News

The one million Canadians who saw their social insurance numbers stolen in the massive Capital One data hack shouldn’t count on Ottawa to help bail them out of trouble with identity thieves.

In 2018, the federal government issued replacement SINs in just 60 cases of fraud and abuse, according to recent testimony before a House of Commons committee.

Elise Boisjoly, an assistant deputy minister with Employment and Social Development Canada, told the Commons standing committee on public safety and national security that her department handed out more than 1.6 million new social insurance numbers last year — but issued only a few dozen replacement numbers because “getting a new social insurance number will not protect individuals from fraud.”

“The former social insurance number continues to exist and is linked to the individual. If a fraudster uses someone else’s former social insurance number and their identity is not fully verified, credit lenders may still ask the victim of fraud to pay the debts,” Boisjoly said during a mid-July hearing on a data breach at the Quebec-based credit union Desjardins, which exposed the personal data of 2.7 million customers, including SINs.

Social insurance numbers are prized by criminals because they can be used to apply for credit under someone else’s name or establish new “synthesized” identities. They also can be sold to create false documentation for illegal workers.

While Boisjoly acknowledged the challenge posed by “ever larger data breaches,” she said issuing replacement numbers to victims might create more problems than it solves, leading to potential errors in the calculation of pensions and benefits and requiring recipients to monitor both the old and new SINs on a “regular and ongoing basis.”

Earlier this week, U.S.-based Capital One Financial Corp. disclosed that a March breach of its cloud storage server exposed the sensitive information of 100 million Americans and six million Canadians — including names, addresses, credit scores and, in some cases, social insurance numbers.

The information was taken from card holder accounts and credit applications dating back as far as 2005. A 33-year-old Seattle software engineer has been charged with computer fraud and abuse after she allegedly boasted of the heist on social media, indicating that she wanted to share the SINs, full names and dates of birth.

It’s just the latest example of a large-scale hack targeting the personal information of consumers.

READ MORE HERE: 

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