Whether the vehicle is big or small, auto thieves in Atlantic Canada will steal them all!

Whether the vehicle is big or small, auto thieves in Atlantic Canada will steal them all!

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) today published its annual Top 10 Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles list. This year, IBC has also published a list for each one of its regional offices. Older large and small vehicles dominate the list for Atlantic Canada.

“For the second consecutive year, auto theft across Canada has ticked higher,” said Amanda Dean, Vice-President, Atlantic, IBC. “After large declines in auto theft activity over the last decade, the number of stolen vehicles has gone up 6% nationally compared to last year. In Atlantic Canada, we have seen declines in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. However, incidents of theft are up a staggering 19% on Prince Edward Island. Across the region, we see that thieves do not discriminate when it comes to make, model or year. In fact, in most cases, the vehicles stolen in Atlantic Canada still had the keys inside them.

Atlantic Top 10 Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles List

This year’s 10 most frequently stolen vehicles in IBC’s Atlantic region are:

  1. 2004 Cadillac DeVille sedan
  2. 2012 MINI Cooper 2-door coupe
  3. 2001 Acura 1.7EL sedan
  4. 2013 Ford Mustang GT/Boss 302 2-door coupe
  5. 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 4WD pickup
  6. 2004 Nissan Maxima sedan
  7. 2002 Jeep TJ 4WD SUV
  8. 2012 Nissan Maxima sedan
  9. 2002 Ford Mustang 2-door convertible
  10. 2000 Chevrolet Impala sedan

For more information on the Top 10 Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles in other regions, visit IBC’s National, Ontario, and Western and Pacific websites.

Keep your vehicle safe

It pays to be vigilant about deterring car thieves. “A vehicle left running unattended is not only easy to steal, it has increased value as a stolen vehicle because it comes with the keys,” Dean said.

Cars are stolen for a number of reasons. Stolen vehicles may be shipped overseas, where they are sold to consumers who don’t necessarily know they are buying a stolen car; they may be scrapped for parts; or they might be used to commit another crime. In Atlantic Canada, most vehicles are stolen for their parts. Thieves will steal a vehicle, scrap it and sell the parts to unknowing consumers.

“If you have gone to the trouble of buying a car that has a theft deterrent system that makes stealing it tougher, don’t make it easy for thieves by leaving the keys in the car,” added Dean. IBC reminds you that it takes less than a minute for a car thief to steal your vehicle. Protect your vehicle by following these tips:

  • Never leave your vehicle running when unattended.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • When parking your car, always close the windows and lock the doors.
  • Put valuables and packages in the trunk, where they’re out of sight.
  • Keep your car in the garage at night.
  • Don’t leave personal information in the glove box. Take your insurance and ownership documents with you when you park your vehicle.

Report the crime

To report an insurance crime, call your local police, IBC at 1-877-IBC-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 1‑800-222-TIPS. For more information about auto theft, visit www.ibc.ca.

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 $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Self-Driving Cars: Taking The Wheel Out Of Your Hands

Article by Eric W.D. Boate and Cassandra Khatchikian

Self-driving cars are no longer something we can only imagine in futuristic movies. Taken right out of James Bond, Land Rover’s Range Rover Sport is already capable of being controlled via smartphone like a remote-controlled car. Subaru’s EyeSight system has the ability to independently adjust cruise control to maintain a safe distance from the car ahead. Tesla’s vehicles are equipped with a system, aptly named “autopilot”, that allows for near-full control of the vehicle during highway driving using radars and cameras to stay in the middle of a lane, transition from one highway to another, and even automatically change lanes without requiring driver input. The technology is already here, and if your car is relatively new, it’s probably already in your own driveway to some degree…

What is an autonomous vehicle, exactly?

The government of Ontario defines autonomous vehicle as a “driverless or self-driving vehicles that are capable of detecting the surrounding environment using artificial intelligence, sensors and global positioning system coordinates”.1

However, the distinction between an autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle is an important one, and will be increasingly more at the forefront of discussion. Whereas autonomous vehicles are, as above, fully capable of being operated without human input, semi-autonomous vehicles are those that require a driver for most normal applications of operation. These semi-autonomous vehicles have functions that allow the vehicle to take over some controls of the vehicle to attempt to avoid or lessen the severity of motor vehicle accidents, such as emergency breaking, adaptive cruise control and lane avoidance signaling.

With new technology comes new responsibility to keep our roads safe

According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, on January 1, 2016, a new program was launched to allow auto manufacturers, under specific regulations, to begin testing on self-driving cars, or autonomous vehicles. Interestingly, Ontario is the first province in Canada to allow road tests of autonomous vehicles.

driverless or self-driving vehicles are capable of detecting the surrounding environment using artificial intelligence…

The implementation of the pilot project has strict rules and restrictions to ensure safety for those involved with the testing phase of these cars. For example, the pilot is restricted to using these vehicles only for testing purposes, only vehicles manufactured and equipped by approved applicants are permitted and the driver must remain in the driver’s seat of the vehicle at all times and monitor the vehicle’s operation, to name but a few. The full list of the parameters and rules related to the pilot project is set out in Regulation 306/15 Pilot Project-Automated Vehicles, a regulation under the Highway Traffic Act.2

Turning the tables on liability

The introduction of this new groundbreaking technology comes with legal uncertainties. Litigation specialists can’t help but wonder how courts will determine liability when self-driving cars are involved in motor vehicle accidents.

This issue has already come up several times worldwide. The first known death associated with autonomous vehicle function occurred recently in Florida, USA on May 7, 2016, where a man was killed in a motor vehicle accident while driving a Tesla Model S with ‘autopilot’ engaged.

Tesla issued a statement following the tragedy and indicated that though the autopilot is getting better all the time, it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert while the car is in use.3 In fact, when the self-driving mode in Tesla vehicles is activated, there is an acknowledgment box that specifically warns drivers that the mode should be used as an assist feature only and that the driver—s hands should still remain on the steering wheel.

Venturing into unknown territory with liability

The golden question remains: If a motor vehicle accident involving an autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicle occurs, who will be held liable, the car or the driver?

The answer will likely depend on the specific facts of the incident. For example, these could include: Whether the autonomous hardware of software malfunctioned, whether the owner properly maintained the vehicle, or whether the driver correctly operated the vehicle while the autonomic functions were enabled.

With the introduction of these autonomic and semi-autonomic vehicles, the courts will be assigned the new task of determining liability. The determination of liability gets complicated when considering that, no automobile manufacturer creates all components of its vehicles “in-house”: the reality is that the hardware and software for these autonomous functions are created by numerous parties.

Determining fault will likely require a determination of what specifically caused the incident. Various parties may be on the hook when a motor vehicle accident involving an autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicle occurs. For example, these parties may include the software development team, the manufacturer of the camera sensors, and the owner and operator of the vehicle. With that said, one thing is certain: the number of party litigants is going to increase in these cases.

To date, there is no case law on this topic that we can look to for guidance; however, it will be interesting to see how the courts will treat the introduction of this new technology in the determination of liability for motor vehicle accidents.

In Ontario, the courts look to the common law for direction in determining liability in litigation involving motor vehicle accidents. Now, with the impending introduction of autonomous vehicles, it will be interesting to see how product liability will be incorporated into the determination of liability by the courts. Courts similarly look to the common law for authority in determining product liability, but can also look to provincial legislation governing consumer goods, such as the Ontario Sale of Goods Act.4

Only time will tell if this new technology will, in fact, lead to fewer motor vehicle accidents, thus reducing the associated costs for insurance companies.

It is not yet known how auto insurance will be affected by autonomous vehicles. With the promise of making driving safer, should insurance premiums be reduced for those who drive safer vehicles? This will of course beg the question as to whether autonomous functions actually make vehicles safer.

Only time will tell if this new technology will, in fact, lead to fewer motor vehicle accidents, thus reducing the associated costs for insurance companies. It is almost certain that auto insurance policies will require an update to keep pace with the burgeoning proliferation of autonomic and semi-autonomic vehicles.

Costs aside, the interplay between auto insurance policies and commercial general liability policies will certainly need to be addressed, at least from the product liability perspective, since many commercial general liability policies, including those which cover software or camera manufacturers, specifically exclude coverage for liability arising out of the ownership or use of an automobile. This leads to the question that if an autonomous vehicle’s software or camera fails, which, in turn, leads to a crash, could the software or camera manufacturer’s insurer deny coverage based on the fact that liability arouse out of the use of an automobile? Under the current wording of insurance policies, this is a possibility.

While it is clear from the above that there are many uncertainties with respect to autonomous vehicles, at least from a legal perceptive, our lawyers will continue to keep abreast of liability issues surrounding automatous vehicles, so as to keep our clients updated to this ever changing area of transportation law.

Footnotes

1. Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Ontario First to Test Automated Vehicles on Roads in Canada, Province Supports Innovation in Transportation Technology, 2015(Ontario, Ministry of Transportation, 2015)

2. O. Reg. 306/15: Pilot Project – Automated Vehicles, under the Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, C. H.8

3. The Tesla Team, A Tragic Loss, June 30, 2016,

4. Sale of Goods Act, RSO. 1990, c.S.1.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

‘Ice bombs’ on Metro Vancouver bridges damage at least 40 vehicles

VANCOUVER _ British Columbia’s transportation minister says more needs to be done to prevent chunks of ice falling from Metro Vancouver’s bridges and damaging vehicles.

A winter storm brought more than five centimetres of snow to the region Monday and there were numerous reports of snow and ice falling from bridges, leaving vehicles with cracked windshields and dented roofs.

“We’re very thankful that no one was hurt during these incidents, but we’re not happy at all that vehicles were damaged by falling snow and ice,” said Transportation Minister Todd Stone.

He said the Insurance Corporation of B.C. has received 40 claims from people whose vehicles were damaged. Ten of the claims came from drivers who were travelling over the Port Mann Bridge between Surrey and Coquitlam, and 30 from motorists going over the Alex Fraser Bridge, which spans New Westminster and Delta.

Stone said the province will pay the insurance deductibles for all of the damaged vehicles, but it’s too soon to say what the cost will be because more drivers could still come forward.

Similar incidents were reported on the Port Mann Bridge in 2012, shortly after it opened. Devices were later installed on each of the bridge’s 288 cables to drop down and clear snow and slush in wintry weather. They were in operation Monday.

A de-icing spray was used to try and keep snow and ice off the towers and cross beam of the Alex Fraser Bridge, but staff are now investigating what else should have been done.

“I want to say very clearly to the people of British Columbia that we can and we will do better,” Stone said.

Another snow storm is scheduled to hit the region Thursday. Stone said, among other things, monitoring is being increased on the bridges.

CP3

High-end luxury SUVs are most commonly stolen vehicles in Ontario

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Sport Utility Vehicles Still the Darlings of Auto Thieves

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) today unveiled its annual list of the ten vehicles most frequently stolen in Quebec. Once again, luxury sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are the first choice among criminals.

With the exception of BMW’s 335xi–which is considered a luxury car—IBC’s Top 10 clearly demonstrates that for thieves, the appeal of sport utility vehicles shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, all the cars that fell into their clutches in 2015 were SUVs.

If overall rates for auto theft are continuing to decline in Quebec, they remain a costly problem for insurers. Between 2013 and 2015, for example, the frequency of thefts dropped by 25%, but the average cost for these types of claims actually rose by 15%, from $15,428to $17,755. “Today’s thefts are different from what they were several years ago. Thieves no longer ‘borrow’ cars to go for a spin; they are now acting as part of organized networks, and vehicles are often stolen for resale abroad,” says Anne Morin, Supervisor, Communications and Public Affairs at the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

In addition to the export market, the vehicles are stolen for resale locally to people who are unaware that they are in fact victims of fraud. The vehicles are also dismantled and sold for parts or used to commit other crimes.

The top 10 in Quebec

This year, the ten most frequently stolen vehicles in Quebec were:

  1. TOYOTA 4RUNNER 4P 2015 TRUCK/VAN
  2. TOYOTA 4RUNNER 4P 2014 TRUCK/VAN
  3. LEXUS RX350 4P 2013 TRUCK/VAN
  4. LEXUS RX350 4P 2015 TRUCK/VAN
  5. TOYOTA FJ CRUISER 4P 2011 TRUCK/VAN
  6. INFINITI QX60 4P 2015 TRUCK/VAN
  7. BMW 335xi 2P 2008
  8. TOYOTA 4RUNNER 4P 2013 TRUCK/VAN
  9. LEXUS RX350 4P 2014 TRUCK/VAN
  10. LEXUS IS 300 4P 2002

Preventing Auto Theft

The IBC’s Top 10 indicates that, in Quebec, nine out of ten stolen vehicles were built after 2007—in other words, after the installation of anti-theft devices became mandatory under the law. Although these systems discourage some thieves, they are not infallible. So it is important to be vigilant and take certain precautions to discourage thieves from targeting your vehicle.

Protect your vehicle by following these tips:

  • Never leave the engine running while the vehicle is unattended.
  • Park in a well-lit area.
  • After parking, always shut the windows and lock the doors.
  • Place valuables and any packages in the trunk out of sight.
  • Park your vehicle in your garage overnight.
  • Do not leave personal documents in the glove compartment.
  • Take the registration and proof of insurance with you when leaving the car.

About the Insurance Bureau of Canada

The Insurance Bureau of Canada is the industry association that represents the majority of insurers across the country. It offers consumers a variety of services to help them stay informed and provides assistance with the purchase of home and automobile insurance as well as in the event of disasters.

* The Top-10 list for 2016 is a compilation of the 2015 statistics from Quebec auto insurers.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Scaffold company sues Regina refinery over explosion and fire in 2011

By CJME

THE CANADIAN PRESS

REGINA _ A scaffolding company is suing Consumers’ Co-operative Refineries Ltd. for negligence over an explosion and fire that happened in 2011.

Skyway Canada Ltd. alleges it lost more than $2.7 million in equipment in the explosion, along with associated business losses.

A report from the City of Regina’s fire inspectors found the explosion was caused by corrosion in pipes.

The lawsuit accuses Co-op Refineries of negligence for failing to maintain the pipelines in a safe condition and breach of duty, claiming it was an implied term of the agreement between Skyway and the refinery that the premises would be reasonably safe.

In its statement of defence, the refinery says its agreement with Skyway said, either expressly or implicitly, that there would be no specific duty of care outside the contract.

The refinery says that deal also made Skyway responsible for loss or use of its property whether there was negligence or not and that Skyway would insure against loss or damage to its equipment.

The refinery says in its statement that Skyway had given it proof that there was insurance on the equipment.

The refinery also denied it was careless in any way, that it failed to maintain the pipes in a safe manner, that it failed to properly monitor the corrosion of pipes, that any of its standards, policies, program or inspection plans with respect to piping were deficient or that any of its inspections or analysis with respect to piping were conducted in a negligent manner.

None of the claims have been proven in court.

In 2013, after the cause of the explosion was found, the refinery was charged with five counts under Occupational Health and Safety regulations.

In 2015, the refinery pleaded guilty to failing to ensure work was properly supervised and the other four charges were withdrawn. The refinery paid a fine of $280,000.

CP3

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