Late August flooding in Windsor region caused more than $124 million in insured damage

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that a significant flooding event in Windsorresulted in more than $124 million in insured damage, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

From August 28 – 29, a slow-moving area of low pressure produced significant rainfall over areas of southwestern Ontario. These rains, up to 290mm in some areas, brought major flooding to WindsorTecumseh, and other parts of Essex County. The Windsor Airport broke a rainfall record, receiving 100mm of rain in a short period of time. Over 1,000 basements were reported flooded and water levels were waist-high in some areas.

“Climate change is causing severe weather events to happen more frequently and with greater intensity, especially storms involving floods. While the insured damage from these floods is significant, the total cost to homeowners and government is not yet known,” said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. “Because flooding can cause significant damage in a very short amount of time, it is critically important for consumers to know what their policies cover and whether they have sewer backup or overland flood protection. Sewer backup coverage is widely available as an add-on product to most standard home insurance policies. Overland flood protection is available across the province from several insurers. Consumers in high-risk areas and areas prone to frequent floods may run into difficulty finding affordable coverage. Consumers should check with their insurance representatives to see what options are available to them.”

For more information on how to protect property against floods and other disasters please visit IBC’s website.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

About CatIQ
Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) delivers detailed analytical and meteorological information on Canadian natural and man-made catastrophes. Through its online subscription-based platform, CatIQ combines comprehensive insured loss indices and other related information to better serve the needs of the insurance and reinsurance industries, public sector and other stakeholders. To learn more, visit www.catiq.com.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Tax changes to make system fair not stifle business growth: Trudeau

By Mia Rabson

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA _ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government has no intention of stifling growth for small businesses and start-ups with its upcoming changes to the tax code.

Trudeau said Monday he has listened to the feedback and agrees with some of it, and that the government is now looking at balancing the need to make the tax code more fair without hurting investment.

“We need to make sure we are encouraging entrepreneurs, encouraging risk takers, encouraging success in the start-ups,” Trudeau told reporters at an event in Toronto.

The consultation period on the proposals ends next week and anxiety is high for business owners awaiting their fate and for politicians getting an earful from them.

That anxiety may continue at least until after Thanksgiving as it is expected to take the government at least a week to figure out its next step.

There are three main facets to the Liberal tax changes, some of which Trudeau campaigned on.

The first affects business owners, including professionals such as doctors and lawyers, who have incorporated, and have effectively reduced their income tax burden by “sprinkling” their income among adult family members who may not be doing any work for the business in return. The government’s proposal is to create a test to ensure any income paid to family members is fair compensation for work actually provided.

The second aspect affects how corporations make investments that may be intended to benefit the owner rather than business but using income that is taxed at lower business rates than individual rates.

The third is about imposing new limits on converting business income into capital gains where it is taxed at lower amounts.

The changes were circulated in a discussion paper by Finance Minister Bill Morneau in July, with the Liberals always saying they were meant just for discussion.

“If the Liberals were listening to Canadians, they would hear that raising taxes will keep local businesses from creating jobs, employing Canadians, and investing in their communities,” Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Monday as the Opposition continued its attack on the ideas.

Conservatives and other critics say business owners take risks others don’t and don’t always have access to benefits such as employment insurance.

The Conservatives also say these changes will affect middle-class business owners, who fall into the same category of middle-class Canadians the Trudeau government claims to be working to help the most.

The Liberals have countered saying their changes are intended to only go after the most wealthy using their incorporated status to pay less tax than Canadians who earn less money.

Two new reports released this week on the issue provide fodder for both sides.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation notes people who make more than $100,000 account for just 8.4 per cent of taxpayers but pay 52 per cent of the total tax bill. This study also says the top one-per cent of tax filers pay more than one-fifth of all personal income taxes.

On the other hand, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says just 0.7 per cent of Canadian families are going to be impacted by the government proposal to not allow businesses to sprinkle income to other family members.

The CCPA also hit back against accusations the policies may affect women more than men. Their numbers say out of the 117,000 small business families who will receive any net benefit from income sprinkling, 98 per cent are headed by a man.

Canadian Coast Guard ship fined $6,000 for speeding in right whale protection area

Sept 17, 2017

OTTAWA – A Canadian Coast Guard vessel has been fined $6,000 for speeding in violation of measures aimed at protecting North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Transport Canada says the coast guard ship breached the 10-knot speed limit in the western gulf, which applies to vessels of more than 20 metres.

The penalty is the third of its kind since the speed restrictions were announced in August as part of an effort to prevent further right whale deaths in the gulf.

In each case, vessel owners have been asked to either pay the fine or ask for a review within 30 days.

Eleven right whales have died in the Gulf of St. Lawrence since June, an unprecedented number of deaths for the endangered marine mammal.

Fisheries officials say the most recent carcass was located off the coast of New Brunswick on Friday morning.

 

Esurance launches in Ontario with smart technology and financial savings

Esurance is expanding its online auto and home insurance to Ontario. Esurance uses advanced technology to offer an easy online experience and intuitive tools that help take the hassle out of insurance – something that’s sure to appeal to digitally-minded Ontarians.

 

Esurance is here to help Ontarians understand their insurance options so they get the best value for their money. As Ontario residents continue to experience some of the highest home ownership and auto insurance costs in the country, a recent survey conducted by Leger found that almost half (45%) of Ontarians do not believe that their current insurance company wants to save them money and eight in ten (79%) would consider switching providers for one designed to save them money.

“We are absolutely thrilled to enter the Ontario market, because we know Ontarians are looking for an insurance company that will provide better value and an easy, effortless experience. Not only do we offer value in terms of dollars, we also help our customers save time by leveraging technology whenever we can,” said Saskia Matheson, General Manager, Esurance Canada.

Insurance can be complicated. That’s why Esurance simplifies the process starting with the initial quote, explaining in plain English how rates are calculated. This helps customers become well-informed and empowered to make smart decisions about their coverage. And the claims process is just as easy. Esurance responds fast using smart technology to help customers get back to normal as quickly and painlessly as possible.

“Our customers love that they have access to our services and their policy from anywhere, at their convenience.  What’s more, through our intuitive online tools, consumers can see exactly what coverage is right for them and where they’re saving money, bringing a new level of transparency to the insurance process,” said Matheson.

Better value at an affordable price

The survey also found that almost one in four Ontarians (38%)  believe their insurance provider doesn’t give them better value, and more than half (52%) would consider switching to one that offers value-add tools. Online policy management and easy billing are at the core of Esurance’s value-add approach.

Esurance is changing insurance for the better, leveraging technology to reduce some of the costs that encumber traditional insurance companies, so customers receive quality coverage at an affordable rate, with more ways to save. For instance, the Esurance DIY Home Inspection app is the industry’s first home inspection app tool that enables customers to self-inspect their homes for additional policy discounts.

In fact, there are more than 10 ways for Ontarians to easily reduce their home insurance costs with Esurance. For example, customers can bundle their home and auto insurance for additional savings, and new customers can take advantage of the “Welcome Home” discount when they switch to Esurance.

Drivers in Ontario can also benefit, with special rate savings for safe experienced drivers, including a good driver household discount.  At Esurance, the way drivers manage both their auto policy and their behaviour behind the wheel can qualify them for cash-saving discounts. And to help Ontarians make smart decisions about auto insurance, Esurance created Coverage Counsellor, a proprietary online tool that provides a customized car insurance estimate in minutes.

Though Esurance is one of the first companies to offer online auto and home insurance in Canada, knowledgeable experts are also available to review coverage options over the phone. As a member of the Allstate family, Esurance has the financial strength and reliability of one of the most trusted names in insurance.

Survey highlights and methodology

A survey of 1,000 Ontarians was completed online from July 10 – 13, 2017 using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. Key findings include:

  • Three quarters of Ontarians (76%) carry car insurance and more than half (54%) carry homeowner insurance
  • More than half (52%) of Ontarians noted that if there was an insurance company that provided value-add tools such as online policy management and easy billing, they would consider switching from their current provider and eight in ten (79%) felt the same way about a company designed to save them money
  • Almost half (47%) of Ontarians didn’t agree that their insurance company wanted to save them money
  • One in four (38%) people didn’t feel that their insurance company wanted to give them better value
  • Almost a quarter (22%) of Ontarians do not trust their insurance company to look out for their best interest

Esurance is an Allstate company, with homeowner and auto insurance available across the US, Alberta and Ontario. For more information, visit www.esurance.ca.

About Esurance®
Esurance provides homeowners and auto insurance direct to Canadian consumers in Ontario and Alberta and offers multiple insurance products in the U.S. including auto, homeowners, motorcycle, and renters. Esurance was a pioneer in offering insurance online in the U.S. in 1999. With an award-winning website and innovative tools, Esurance is the smart choice for tech-savvy consumers in Canada and the U.S. As a member of the Allstate family, Esurance is a reliable choice for insurance, offering anytime, anywhere service just a click, call, or tap away. For more information, visit www.esurance.ca or call 1-888-ESURANCE (1-888-378-7262).

SOURCE Esurance

Manulife Becomes First CDN Insurer Offering All Group Claims Submissions Through Online, Mobile

Manulife today announced an enhanced plan member experience designed for greater convenience. Users can now submit any Group Benefits claims, including disability claims, using the channel most convenient for them through Manulife’s new Group Benefits homepage and mobile app.

“The newly designed plan member homepage brings the most important information to the forefront, where plan members can easily and efficiently transact with Manulife in the way they want to,” said Donna Carbell, Senior Vice President, Group Benefits at Manulife. “The Manulife Mobile app and new homepage are important steps in the digital evolution of the customer experience that make the process easier and save members time so they can focus on the things that are important to them.”

Manulife Mobile uses fingerprint recognition and is available now for iPhone and Android devices. It allows users to:

  • Submit any type of Group Benefits claims
  • Review recent claims and payment information
  • Sign-in with fingerprint access or with their username and password
  • See their benefit balances and access their benefits card
  • Find health care providers in their area
  • Search My drug plan to find the lowest cost alternative drugs; and
  • Find places to get their prescriptions for less with Pharmacy savings search

The Manulife Mobile app is also available to Group Retirement Solutions (GRS) plan members who can:

  • Check account balances and investment mix
  • Review their transactions
  • View all contributions made to their plan
  • See their rates of return
  • Use calculators and learning tools to help them plan and increase their financial knowledge

“Manulife set out to develop a digital experience that not only makes people’s lives easier, but also delivers value for plan sponsors,” added Carbell. “This new solution will help maintain a productive workforce and keep their employees happy. It’s one more way Manulife is committed to putting customers first.”

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people achieve their dreams and aspirations by putting customers’ needs first and providing the right advice and solutions. We operate as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2016, we had approximately 35,000 employees, 70,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving more than 22 million customers. As of June 30, 2017, we had over $1 trillion (US$780 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made $26.7 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in AsiaCanada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as ‘MFC’ on the TorontoNew York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong.

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

Canadians demanding technology relief from Distracted Driving: Aviva poll

A groundbreaking new opinion poll of Canadians shows they have the answer to texting and driving – and it’s not peer pressure or police crackdowns.

Instead, the majority of Canadians in a new public opinion poll by Aviva Canada believe only a technology solution that blocks drivers from using texting and other phone messaging functions while driving will ultimately solve the problem and make roads safer.

Distracted driving kills. More Canadians die on our roads from distracted driving than from impaired driving. The RCMP says that in 4-out-of-5 collisions, drivers have their eyes off the road for just three seconds prior to crashing.

Aviva has long fought distracted driving, launching the Driving Change Together campaign in 2015 and increasing its efforts this year by launching the #avivayolo campaign https://avivayolo.com.

For this new report, Aviva surveyed 1,504 Canadians between August 8-13 with Pollara Strategic Insights.

An overwhelming number of Canadians – 95 per cent of respondents – said texting and driving by others makes them feel unsafe on the roads. A total of 88 per cent of Canadians have witnessed other drivers texting while behind the wheel, while only 22 per cent admitted texting while driving themselves.

“For the first time, what we are seeing is that Canadians don’t think social persuasion or law enforcement strategies against distracted driving are working, and they feel technology is the only realistic answer,” said Aviva Canada Presidentand CEO Greg Somerville.

Canadians are aware of efforts to socially stigmatize distracted driving. They are also aware of increased penalties and demerit points. However, only 48 per cent of Canadians think fines and demerits are a deterrent, while only 32 per cent said they think peer pressure will work.

Instead, almost 4-in-5 Canadians – 78 per cent – said they want to see a technology solution that would stop distracted driving by disabling texting and other functions while the driver is behind the wheel. This week (Sept. 19) Apple’s new iOS operating system debuted a ‘do not disturb while driving’ feature. This is progress as almost three-quarters of Canadians (73 per cent) in our poll said they would use anti-texting technology.

#PutDownYourPhone

*NOTE: A pdf copy of the opinion poll results is available from Aviva Canada.

About Aviva Canada

Aviva Canada Inc. is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country providing home, automobile, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance to 2.9 million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 4,000 employees focused on creating a bright and sustainable future for their customers and communities.

Aviva Canada invests in positive change through the Aviva Community Fund, Canada’s longest running online community funding competition. Since its inception in 2009, the Aviva Community Fund has awarded $7.5 million to over 250 charities and community groups nationwide. Aviva Canada, bringing over 300 years of good thinking and insurance solutions to Canadians from coast-to-coast.

For more information visit avivacanada.com

SOURCE Aviva Canada Inc.

 

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