La Capitale offers a rebate to all its auto insurance clients

La Capitale Insurance and Financial Services is offering all its automobile insurance clients a rebate applicable to their insurance premiums for private passenger and commercial vehicles.

“The collective effort by Quebec residents to respect the COVID-19 confinement measures is having a tangible impact on the frequency of automobile losses. This reduction in risk should be reflected in the premium our insureds pay. As a result, La Capitale will offer a rebate to all our clients with automobile insurance,” announced Jean St-Gelais, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of La Capitale Insurance and Financial Services.

This measure applies to all clients, whether or not they reduced the distance they usually travel. La Capitale considers that those who continue to drive as much as previously are likely doing so because they are frontline workers playing a role in supporting the public.

“This is why we want everyone to benefit from this rebate, including our “guardian angels” and other workers providing essential services, as well as our seniors,” added Jean St-Gelais.

This rebate, which is equal to 20% of the monthly auto premium, will apply as of April 1, 2020 and will cover the whole confinement period currently being experienced. Clients don’t need to make a request; details on the rebate will be available shortly on lacapitale.com. For more information, go to: https://www.lacapitale.com/en/covid

La Capitale is aware of the different realities facing its insureds and asks those for whom this amount is not needed to donate an equivalent amount to the Red Cross or to the Véro & Louis Foundation, which advocates for those with autism, a cause supported by La Capitale.

In line with the mutualist values La Capitale has held for nearly 80 years, its mission is to protect what its members hold most dear: their health and that of their loved ones, their financial security and their property. Our commitment still holds in this time of unprecedented turbulence. La Capitale will continue to guide and provide service to its clients and its members.

About La Capitale

La Capitale Insurance and Financial Services, created in 1940, has a strong presence across Quebec and throughout Canada. With over 2,800 employees and guided by the values of mutualism on which it was founded, La Capitale works with clients to build, protect and value what they feel counts for their financial security. It offers insurance products and financial services to the general public as well as to Quebec public service employees. With assets of $8.8 billion, La Capitale occupies a choice position among leading insurers in Canada.

SOURCE La Capitale Insurance and Financial Services

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www.lacapitale.com

No refunds for flight cancellations

The excerpted article was written by By Sandor GyarmatiDelta Optimist

You were looking forward to your dream vacation or nice little gateway before coronavirus – now travel restrictions are in place and your flight has been canceled.

Don’t count on the airline giving you a cash refund, but you will likely get a voucher, which has many people fighting mad.

Barb Mills with Tsawwassen Insurance said the Canadian Transportation Agency endorsed airlines not refunding passengers for flights cancelled due to the COVID-19 or other reasons outside an airline’s control.

Mills noted airlines are only obliged to ensure passengers can complete their trip and are offering customers vouchers, adding most airlines are offering at least a year for people to use those vouchers.

The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association says in the past, travel service providers usually provided consumers with refunds where the service provider was unable to provide service, but over the past month, that changed and they are now offering vouchers or credits that consumers can use for future travel.

On March 25, the Canadian Transportation Agency updated its endorsement of the use of vouchers or credits as an appropriate approach for Canada’s airlines as long as the vouchers or credits do not expire in an unreasonably short period of time.

“Travel insurers are advising policy holders that if you have been offered this type of full credit, or voucher for future use by an airline, train or other travel provider, in many instances, under the terms of your insurance policy you will not be considered to have suffered an insurable loss,” a news release by the association notes.

The association also notes disputes over refunds and credits should be directed to travel service providers, transportation carriers or the Canadian Transportation Agency.

Airlines already have a fight on their hands, meanwhile, as a proposed class-action lawsuit targeting airlines that only offered vouchers, including Air Canada, Air Transat, West Jet, Sunwing and Swoop, has been filed. The suit claims that the airlines should not be allowed to hold onto customers’ money indefinitely for a purchase that they may or may not make in the future.

The advocacy group Air Passenger Rights says the transportation agency has given the false impression the initial endorsement of vouchers was a legally binding determination.

Source: Delta Optimist

Class action launched as some insurers refuse to pay business interruption insurance

The excerpted article was written by  

As COVID-19 forces businesses to close or limit their operations, a Regina business owner is getting involved in a national class action lawsuit against indemnity insurers in Canada.

Thomas Siarkos, owner of Memories Fine Dining in Regina, alleges that despite paying for “premium insurance”, his insurer is refusing to pay business interruption insurance.

He says he’s been told by his broker that while his policy includes pandemic coverage, only “physical losses” accrued as a result of COVID-19 will be covered.

“We have business interruption, but they said the pandemic is not excluded but they can only pay for physical loss.”

Siarkos believes his losses due to the pandemic will run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars due to lost business.

“It is really frustrating. We upped our insurance policy considerably in order to be covered,” he said.

“And now to be told we are not covered — if there is a case of business interruption, this is business interruption.”

The class action was issued by Merchant Law.

“Indemnity insurers are wrongfully refusing to honour their contracts. They say the contracts have been frustrated. Business owners intended their insurance to cover against this. Insurance companies should pay,” said lawyer Anthony Merchant in a release.

Several insurance companies, Aviva Canada Inc, Co-operators General Insurance Company and Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Company, are named as defendants in the suit.

“Insurance companies are claiming force majeur and refusing to pay,” Merchant continues. “This was foreseeable — it is not force majeur.”

Global News reached out to Aviva Canada Inc. but did not hear back by deadline.

‘Always new expenses:’ Lawsuits filed as anniversary of Broncos bus crash nears

By Stephanie Taylor and Bill Graveland

THE CANADIAN PRESS

It’s been almost two years since the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan and with the solemn anniversary comes a closing legal window that has seen several lawsuits filed in court.

Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured after a transport truck barrelled through a stop sign and into the path of the bus carrying the junior hockey team on April 6, 2018.

The inexperienced driver of the truck, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu of Calgary, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

A proposed class-action lawsuit was filed Friday in Regina Court of Queen’s Bench against Sidhu and his former employer. It also lists the governments of Saskatchewan and Alberta, as well as the federal government.

“The people wanting to go forward aren’t motivated financially so much as these were wrongs by governments,” said lawyer Tony Merchant. He pointed to the trucking industry as a major concern.

Carol and Lyle Brons are listed as the plaintiffs. Their 24-year-old daughter, Dayna, was the team’s athletic therapist and was killed in the crash.

Also listed are all the others who were on the bus, their families, all hockey team staff, billet families and first responders who treated the victims.

At least one family has said it has asked to be removed from the class action, which still needs to be certified by the courts.

Several other lawsuits have also been filed.

Russ and Raelene Herold of Montmartre, Sask., were among the first of the families to file a few months after the collision. They are suing the truck driver, the Calgary-based company that employed him and the bus manufacturer. The lawsuit asks for damages and a court order that all buses carrying sports teams in Saskatchewan be equipped with seatbelts.

The couple’s son, 16-year-old Adam, was the youngest player on the team to be killed.

Their suit has since been joined by the families of three players and an assistant coach who died: Jaxon Joseph, 20, of St. Albert, Alta.; Logan Hunter, 18, also of St. Albert; Jacob Leicht, 19, of Humboldt; and Mark Cross, 27, from Strasbourg, Sask.

No statement of defence has been filed in that lawsuit.

Injured Broncos player Derek Patter, 21, of Edmonton, filed in March against the truck driver and the trucking company. The Alberta government joined as a plaintiff to recoup health-care costs.

Kevin Matechuk of Colonsay, Sask., said his family would also be filing a lawsuit against the trucker and trucking company on behalf of his son Layne, 20, who is still recovering from a traumatic brain injury.

“He will need special care. We don’t know if he will ever be able to live on his own. We’re hoping so. It’s still our hope and dream.”

It’s the same situation for Ryan Straschnitzki, 20, of Airdrie, Alta., who was paralyzed from the chest down. His suit also takes on the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments, as well as the team’s bus driver.

“There’s always new expenses and he’s going to have to be taken care of for the rest of his life,” said his mother, Michelle Straschnitzki.

“We won’t always be here. And people don’t understand … long-term care for people who are in wheelchairs _ the cost is astronomical.”

The Straschnitzkis said they’ve received hateful comments and death threats since their lawsuit was reported in the news last week.

“Ryan never got millions from the GoFundMe like a bunch of these dummies are saying,” said his father Tom Straschnitzki.

A GoFundMe campaign, which raised more than $15 million, paid out $525,000 to each of the families who lost a loved one and $475,000 to each injured player.

Some families have said they plan to give away through charities some of the money they received from donations.

“It’s not our plan to sue,” said Toby Boulet, whose 21-year-old son, Logan, was killed.

The Lethbridge family has used money received to set up a fund for causes that were important to their son, including organ donation.

The Adam Herold Legacy Foundation is a charity that gives Saskatchewan youth a chance to develop their hockey skills and leadership potential.

Others, including Evan Thomas’s family of Saskatoon, have given back through memorial scholarships and other donations.

Evan’s father, Scott Thomas, said the family decided against legal action.

“We just don’t feel its part of something we want to be a part of,” he said.

Thomas said it might have been different if his son had lived.  “I know a lot of people think insurance is going to take care of them, but it’s not.”

At least one injured player doesn’t want anything to do with a lawsuit.

Myles Shumlanski of Tisdale, Sask., said his 22-year-old son Nick just “wants to move on.” He was the only one on the bus able who walked away without serious injuries.

“We’re going to put in for a little bit of insurance,” said his father.

“He doesn’t even feel comfortable doing that.”

Desjardins continues to support its members and clients, announcing a refund for auto insurance clients

Desjardins Group 

In an effort to support its clients, Desjardins General Insurance is offering refunds on auto insurance premiums for Personal and Business clients who are staying at home. Nearly everyone is driving their vehicles less, and Desjardins General Insurance wants to acknowledge this fact. This refund will be offered to clients whose commuting habits have significantly changed and who are only using their vehicles for essential trips to such places as the pharmacy or grocery store. This refund is open to anyone who has lost their job, for example, or who is now working from home, or otherwise self-isolating. It will be calculated over a 3-month period and will reflect the client’s annual distance travelled, as declared on their insurance contract. Eligible clients who are interested in receiving this rebate should apply at www.desjardinsagents.com (for Desjardins Agent Network clients) or www.desjardinsgeneralinsurance.com (for direct clients) by May 31.

“As a result of the physical distancing and other government measures implemented due to COVID-19, Canadians are using their cars less. It only seems right that we, as a cooperative, give our clients a refund on their auto insurance premiums,” said Guy Cormier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group.

In addition, using a personal or commercial vehicle for delivery purposes will be temporarily covered under auto insurance policies for Desjardins General Insurance clients. No additional insurance premium will be required, whether the driver is making deliveries as a volunteer or as an employee of a restaurant, pharmacy or grocery store. This coverage does not apply to people who offer delivery services through third party apps and services likes UberEats, Skip the Dishes or DoorDash. No action is required; this relief measure automatically applies to all auto insurance policyholders.

Finally, since the current situation is forcing many people to work from home, Desjardins General Insurance has decided to temporarily raise the coverage limit under home insurance contracts for goods used to work from home (e.g., ergonomic chairs, computer equipment) to $10,000. No action is required; this additional coverage automatically applies to all home insurance policyholders.

These relief measures are on top of those previously announced. These measures include adding liability coverage for a borrowed or rented vehicle at no extra charge for auto insurance policyholders returning early from the US in a rental car. Clients who are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19 may continue to have their insurance premiums deferred. Specific measures are also available for Business clients whose operations have been forced to stop temporarily or who have been severely affected by the COVID-19 situation. Each situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Desjardins is one of 3 financial institutions in North America recognized by the United Nations as a responsible institution during the COVID-19 pandemic
On April 6, 2020, Desjardins was recognized as a responsible financial institution during the COVID-19 pandemic by UNEP-FI, a sub-group of the United Nations. This group provides principles for banks, insurers and investors that aim to help the global financial sector actively contribute to a more responsible and sustainable economy. UNEP-FI has shared the various relief measures announced by Desjardins for its Personal and Business members and clients since March 16 as an example to be followed. In total, UNEP-FI recognized 3 financial institutions in North America, including 2 Canadian cooperatives. In September 2019, Desjardins affirmed its leadership position by becoming the first financial institution in Canada to sign the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) promoted by this organization. To find out more about Desjardins Group’s initiatives, see the 2019 social and cooperative responsibility report.

More than 151,000 members and clients are seeking financial relief from Desjardins
As of April 3, 2020, more than 151,000 members and clients have contacted Desjardins to take advantage of the relief measures announced by the financial institution. Of this number, 81,000 requests are related to payment deferrals on credit cards, Accord D financing or car loans. In terms of loans and lines of credit, a total of 70,000 requests have been received, including 51,000 related to mortgages. As already announced, members and clients who obtain a payment deferral and who have a Desjardins credit card will also benefit from a reduced annual interest rate of 10.9% during the deferral period. Desjardins will review each request individually and work to find the solution that works best for that member or client.

This time at home is a good time to start teaching young people about finances
With schools and daycares, many parents are at home with their children. This may be a good opportunity to start teaching young people about finances, and the school caisse website has lots of fun activities to help with this. There are activity books that help elementary students to become familiar with saving concepts through fun games like snakes and ladders, quizzes and crossword puzzles.

About Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the sixth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of  $313 billion. It has been rated one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers by Mediacorp. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Ranked among the world’s strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has some of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.

SOURCE Desjardins Group

For further information: (media inquiries only): Public Relations, 514-281-7000 or 1-866-866-7000, ext. 5553436, media@desjardins.com

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https://www.desjardins.com/

Car insurer Allstate offering customers 15% discounts during COVID-19 lockdown

The excerpted article was written by CBC News ·

Insurance company Allstate is offering its U.S. customers a 15 per cent discount on their bills for April and May as most of the country finds itself in some sort of lockdown due to COVID-19.

The Illinois-based company is calling the initiative the “Shelter-in-Place Payback” and says it is implementing the policy “to help its personal auto insurance customers in these challenging times.”

Allstate, Esurance and Encompass customers in the United States can expect a 15 per cent rebate on their bills for April and May.

Canadian customers don’t qualify for the program, but the company’s Canadian division say they are working on rolling out a similar initiative in the coming days.

“While this particular initiative is for our U.S. based customers, we are working diligently on something similar here in Canada and will be able to provide further details in the next day or two,” Allstate Canada’s Angie Morris told CBC News in a statement.”Given an unprecedented decline in driving, customers will receive a Shelter-in-Place Payback of more than $600 million over the next two months,” CEO Tom Wilson said. “This is fair because less driving means fewer accidents.”

In addition to the rebate, Allstate says it will now allow its personal car insurance customers to still be covered if they use their vehicles for commercial purposes like trips to “deliver food, medicine and other goods.”

The company also says it will provide free identity theft protection to Americans for the rest of the year because so many of them are currently working from home, “which increases our exposure to cybercrime,” the company said.

“U.S. residents can get the free identity protection product through Dec. 31, 2020, regardless of whether they are already Allstate customers, by signing up in April or May,” the company said.

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