SGI warns flood-damaged vehicles are safety risk and could be uninsurable

Looking at a great deal on a used vehicle from the United States? SGI is warning Saskatchewan residents that flood-damaged vehicles originating from areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could be hitting the re-sale market, and may be unsafe or ineligible for licensing in Saskatchewan or anywhere in Canada.

Flood-damaged vehicles, especially those that were in contact with salt water and sewage, can pose a serious safety risk. Flood damage to a vehicle’s electrical system can affect important vehicle safety systems, such as airbags, anti-lock braking and electronic stability control systems. Flood water can also affect structural components of a vehicle designed to protect the occupants and absorb collision impacts in the event of a crash. Flood water can carry toxic contamination from untreated waste and mold, which may not be visible to the naked eye.

“This was a very severe hurricane season in the United States,” said Earl Cameron, Executive Vice President of the Auto Fund. “There was massive flooding, which we all saw on TV. In desperate times, people may resort to desperate measures and try to cut their losses by selling a flood-damaged vehicle to an unsuspecting customer. A ‘deal’ isn’t always a good deal.”

So how do you protect yourself when in the market for a previously-owned vehicle? Buying only from licensed dealers is one way. However, if you want to buy from a private seller, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Research the vehicle’s U.S. history using the services of a company such as CarProof, Carfax, Autocheck or another similar online service. You will need to know the Vehicle Information Number (VIN).
  • Ask the seller about damage and ensure that their response is documented, in writing, prior to the sale.
  • Look for signs of water damage, such as moldy or damp odours, signs of rust or mud in the trunk, vents, or glove box, under the seats or dashboard, or on the carpet. Also check under the hood for signs of water or silt.
  • Test the heater, air conditioner, lights, turn signals, gauges, radio, cigarette lighter and windshield wipers to ensure water has not impacted electrical systems.
  • Have the vehicle inspected by a certified technician prior to purchasing and specifically ask them to check for signs of flooding and water damage.

Flood or water-damaged vehicles coming from the U.S. are considered junk/non-repairable by all licensing jurisdictions in Canada and can only be imported into Canada for scrap or parts via the Registrar of Imported Vehicles program1. For more information on importing vehicles from the U.S., please contact the Registrar of Imported Vehicles at http://www.riv.ca/.

Saskatchewan to allow victims to sue if intimate images shared without consent

By Jennifer Graham

THE CANADIAN PRESS

REGINA _ People who have had intimate images shared without their permission will be able to sue for compensation in Saskatchewan.

The provincial government said Wednesday that it plans to change its Privacy Act so that those victims can seek redress through small claims court.

“We want to have some protection for people whose intimate images have been used for revenge porn or sexting without the consent of the person who was in those images,” said Justice Minister Don Morgan.

The government said it has proven difficult to rely on the Criminal Code to deter cyberbullying through unauthorized sharing of intimate images because the burden of proof is so high.

Morgan said the legislative changes will define what an intimate image is and include a prohibition on circulating the image without consent. The amendments will also put a reverse onus on the defendant to prove that they had consent from the person in the picture to release the images, he said.

Victims would not have to wait for charges to be laid, he said.

“It’s not a criminal proceeding, it’s a civil proceeding, so they do not have to wait for a criminal conviction,” Morgan explained.

“This is a remedy that’s made available to the victim. The Crown may well pursue a criminal charge, so you could have one, the other or both.”

The measure was in the throne speech delivered Wednesday which details the government’s plan for the new session of the legislature.

The outline includes new organ donation measures whereby all deaths or imminent deaths in hospital critical-care units are referred to an organ donation group.

The government also plans to introduce legislation so that Saskatchewan Government Insurance can offer coverage to ride-hailing companies such as Uber. Premier Brad Wall said he wants to encourage municipalities to allow ride-booking services to reduce impaired driving.

“I do think we just need more options for Saskatchewan people. Obviously almost every major North America city is comfortable with respect to the safety that’s provided by the various ride-sharing platforms,” Wall said.

Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of impaired driving in Canada. Statistics Canada says there were 683 police-reported impaired driving cases per 100,000 population in Saskatchewan in 2011. The Canadian average was 262.

Ray Orb, president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, said he thinks ride hailing services might help lower drunk driving rates, especially in rural communities where there may not be taxi service for people to use after going to the local bar.

“I think actually it would. I think it’s an interesting concept. We’d sure like to look at it,” said Orb.

The government also plans to introduce legislation so that non-Catholic parents can continue to send their children to separate schools by invoking the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian charter.

A court ruling in April found that public funding of non-Catholic students in the Catholic school system is unconstitutional.

It prompted concern from parents that their children might have to switch schools and be educated in different communities in rural Saskatchewan. Wall said at the time that there could be greatly overpopulated public schools and empty or near-empty separate schools.

The province is appealing the decision, but Wall said the government will move sooner.

“We are indicating pretty clearly that in a proactive way we’re going to protect school choice in the province notwithstanding what happens through the court process,” he said.

Interim NDP Leader Nicole Sarauer said it could take years for the appeal to be heard and, potentially, a Supreme Court challenge.

Sarauer questioned why the government was rushing the legislation.

“We need to let that process first work its way through first, before we consider using the notwithstanding clause,” she said.

The government is also backtracking on a tax cut that was made in July. It says it will raise the corporate tax rate back to 12 per cent from 11.5 per cent.

The tax was lowered so that Saskatchewan’s rate matched other western provinces, but Wall has said that’s no longer necessary because British Columbia has increased its corporate rate.

Legislation that allows up to 49 per cent of a Crown corporation to be sold without it being considered privatization will also be repealed.

The throne speech was the last for Wall, who is retiring when his successor is chosen in January.

Sarauer suggested that’s why the government is making some of the changes outlined in the speech.

“This is clearly a throne speech that’s more about serving the premier’s legacy and protecting the premier’s legacy than it is about serving Saskatchewan people,” she said.

Drivers unsure of how to prevent a collision with wildlife

A new national survey from State Farm Canada sheds light on how Canadians react to wildlife while driving.

About 1 in 3 drivers do not feel confident that they would know how to avoid a collision with a large animal, and over 80 per cent believe that better public education about how to react to wildlife on the road is needed to prevent collisions that could lead to injuries and fatalities.

According to the survey, when seeing a deer in the middle of a two-lane highway, Canadians are most likely to brake (66 per cent) or take their foot off the gas (55 per cent). More than one-third indicated they would honk their horn and one-quarter said they would swerve.

“The unpredictability of these situations, combined with human impulses to try to preserve the lives of these animals makes these situations difficult and dangerous,” says John Bordignon, Media Relations, State Farm Canada. “In fact, according to police and road safety experts, swerving is not the best strategy when approaching wildlife on the road. Instead, they advise drivers to maintain their line, even if it’s toward the animal, and firmly apply the brakes. Swerving could send you into the path of an oncoming vehicle or cause you to lose control of your car.”*

More Education Needed

The survey indicates that Canadians want and need more education on how to deal with wildlife on our roads. The most likely time to encounter wildlife is at dusk or dawn, in October and November, on two-lane rural highways with speeds of 80 km/h or more1. From an insurance perspective the average auto damage claim after hitting an animal is $4500 2.

State Farm Canada’s long-time partner and road safety experts, The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), have developed an online information centre focused on road safety and wildlife. The Wildlife Roadsharing Resource Centre (WRRC) profiles tips on wildlife collision prevention, how to respond to animals on the road, tips for when a collision with wildlife is unavoidable and advice on what to do after a collision.** Specifically, TIRF has produced a fact sheet to address some of the common myths and misconceptions around wildlife vehicle collisions.

Fast Facts

  • More than 25 percent of survey respondents have hit a small animal on the road while driving
  • More than 25 per cent have either hit or nearly hit a large animal while driving
  • More than half of respondents who said they had hit a large animal had damage to their car
  • More than 80 per cent of respondents claim they slow down when they see road signs for wildlife in the area
  • Most respondents believe either evening (46 per cent) or night (36 per cent) is the most likely time to hit an animal on the road

Additional Resources

This is the final of three news releases State Farm will distribute in 2017 revealing survey results and the opinions of Canadians about their driving habits and road safety.

Infographic: http://www.multivu.com/players/English/8209251-state-farm-wildlife

To find out more about how State Farm works to improve road safety in Canada, please visit www.statefarm.ca/autosafety

About the Survey

The online survey, conducted in March 2017, polled 3,061 respondents of driving age across Canada.

About the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF)

Established in 1964, TIRF’s mission is to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries. As a national, independent, charitable road safety institute, TIRF designs, promotes, and implements effective programs and policies, based on sound research. TIRF is a registered charity and depends on grants, contracts, and donations to provide services for the public. Visit us online at www.tirf.ca.

About State Farm Canada

In January 2015, State Farm Canada operations were purchased by the Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and among the three largest P&C insurance providers in Canada. With approximately 500 dedicated agents and 1700 employees, the State Farm division provides insurance and financial services products including mutual funds, life insurance, vehicle loans, critical illness, disability, home and auto insurance to customers in Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. For more information, visit www.statefarm.ca, join us on Facebook – www.facebook.com/statefarmcanada – or follow us on Twitter – www.twitter.com/StateFarmCanada.

*This information is provided for informational purposes only. Neither State Farm nor Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company, nor any of its or their affiliates, shall be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. Its is recommended that an expert be consulted for comprehensive, expert advice.

** Neither State Farm nor Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company, nor any of its or their affiliates is responsible for the contents of wildliferoadsharing.tirf.ca and make no warranties or representations about the contents, products or services offered on wildliferoadsharing.tirf.ca.

®State Farm and related trademarks and logos are registered trademarks owned by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, used under licence by Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company.
©Copyright 2017, Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company.

________________________________________
1,2 Wildlife Roadsharing Resource Centre, Traffic Injury Research Foundation, http://wildliferoadsharing.tirf.ca/.

SOURCE State Farm

SGI received more than 2500 claims from wind storm

Provincial insurer SGI says it’s received more than 2,500 claims following last week’s wind storm in Saskatchewan.

SGI says about 1,800 claims are for property damage and the rest are for vehicle damage.

SGI’s Tyler McMurchy says claims are up from the 1,100 filed the day after the storm.

McMurchy says claims are starting to taper off but he expects the total to rise and is urging people to file as soon as possible.

 

“I would not take out a travel insurance policy without having my lawyer and my doctor both go over it.”

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One in three parents surveyed say their children will always ask them for money if they don’t develop healthy financial habits while young, TD survey finds

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