Digital tools in insurance benefits can help employers improve employee morale & health

Digital tools in insurance benefits can help employers improve employee morale & health

NEWS PROVIDED BY

RBC Insurance

Highlights:

  • 72 per cent of working Canadians would perceive their employer more positively if their employer offered a virtual care or telemedicine solution through its group benefits, a more common belief held among millennials (78 per cent).
  • Interest in virtual care for mental health services is highest among younger Canadians (18-34), more than half of whom are likely to use it to consult mental health practitioners (53%) and for video/telephone mental health counselling (51%).
  • It’s important for employers to recognize this preference among younger working Canadians as these workers tend to rate their employer, job satisfaction and mental health significantly lower than older generations.

TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2020 /CNW/ – Three-quarters (72%) of working Canadians indicate that they would perceive their employer in a more positive light if their employer offered virtual care/telemedicine, a service which would eliminate the need to leave work or home, according to a recent RBC Insurance survey. This perception is driven mostly by younger working Canadians (18-34) who are the most likely to indicate that a virtual care offering would improve opinions of their employer (78 per cent compared to 60 per cent of those 55+). This is significant as younger working Canadians tend to rank job satisfaction, employers and mental health the lowest among all working Canadians.

“Many working Canadians face time constraints when visiting health practitioners, constraints that include wait times to see specialists like psychologists and psychiatrists, the availability of a healthcare practitioner and the ability to get time off work,” says Julie Gaudry, Senior Director of Group Insurance, RBC Insurance. “Younger Canadians are even more likely to face these types of obstacles, so by implementing innovative programs such as virtual care or telemedicine, employers can alleviate some of the challenges, which in turn can help increase employee health and morale.”

The survey also found younger Canadians are more likely to value virtual care for mental health services including consulting mental health practitioners and/or video/telephone counselling than their older counterparts. This is important since younger Canadians are also more likely to report lower levels of wellbeing and mental health than older Canadians. Among 18-34 year-olds, 57 per cent say their mental health is good or excellent, compared to 79 per cent of those older than 55.

Table – Use of virtual care for mental health services among working Canadians

Age

18-34

35-54

55+

Would use virtual care to consult mental health practitioners

53%

52%

39%

Would perceive their employer more positively if offered virtual care or telemedicine

78%

74%

60%

“With our Onward by Best Doctors program we’ve already seen the power of virtual care. It has improved access to mental health experts and shortened recovery times for plan members with mental health related disability claims,” said Gaudry. “And by using virtual mental health care to help plan members and their families address their mental health concerns earlier and faster, we can potentially prevent someone from becoming so unwell that they are no longer able to work.”

The value of digital tools extends beyond health care delivery to managing insurance benefits. Two-thirds (66%) of working Canadians indicate that they prefer a mobile app to manage and access their insurance benefits as opposed to using paper mail, telephone, or even online services. Once again, this preference is highest among younger Canadians, particularly Millennials, while less than half of Baby Boomers echo this sentiment (18-34 77%, 35-54 66% vs. 55+ 48%).

Given that nine in ten working Canadians (94 per cent) are more likely to work for an employer that cares about their overall health and wellbeing, HR leaders should look for value-add digital services when it comes to group benefits that can help promote employee morale and health, such as:

  • Making Employee Assistance Programs more accessible – Look to employee assistance programs that make support available digitally to address their most common work/life challenges (caregiving, divorce, grief, etc.) that may affect work performance.
  • Offering virtual healthcare options – Support an employee’s mental and physical health by providing access to experts and resources through virtual care such as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy program that uses digital education, videos and assignments with support from a therapist to help users meet their goals.
  • Providing digital tools to make it easier to understand/use benefits Consider a mobile app that employees can use to manage insurance benefits and learn more about the services and programs available to them.
  • Personalizing wellness programs: The survey also found that the majority of working Canadians (80 per cent) report that their overall wellbeing would improve if their employer were to offer a personalized wellness programthat is customized to an individual’s specific wellness and health related interests and goals.

About the RBC Insurance Survey
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 7 and May 10, 2019, on behalf of RBC Insurance. For this survey, a sample of 1501 employed Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all employed Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About RBC Insurance
RBC Insurance® offers a wide range of life, health, home, auto, travel, wealth, annuities and reinsurance advice and solutions, as well as creditor and business insurance services to individual, business and group clients. RBC Insurance is the brand name for the insurance operating entities of Royal Bank of Canada, one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC Insurance is among the largest Canadian bank-owned insurance organizations, with approximately 2,900 employees who serve more than five million clients globally. For more information, please visit rbcinsurance.com.

SOURCE RBC Insurance

N.S. declined to seize insurance money granted to mentally ill man who killed wife

Justice Department notes law only allows forfeiture to the province, not third parties

The excerpted article was written by Aly Thomson · CBC News

Nova Scotia’s Justice Department twice told the province’s Supreme Court it would not apply to seize life insurance money granted to a Cape Breton man found not criminally responsible for killing his wife.

The detail is noted by Justice Frank Edwards in followup comments to his ruling last week that Richard Maidment is entitled to his wife’s life insurance, which totals $200,000 plus interest.

Maidment, 42, who also uses the surname McNeil, killed Sarabeth Forbes on April 18, 2017, in the home they shared in Gardiner Mines, N.S. He was found not criminally responsible in December 2017.

Two years earlier, Forbes named Maidment as beneficiary to her life insurance and her son as a contingent.

In granting the money to Maidment — and not to the couple’s 12-year-old son, who is now being raised by his grandmother — Edwards noted Maidment doesn’t benefit from a crime because he didn’t commit a crime and is not a criminal.

Province ‘does not have an interest’ in case

In additional written comments released Monday, Edwards noted the court notified the province’s attorney general of the claim for the life insurance, made by Maidment’s mother on his behalf.

Edwards said in a letter dated Aug. 6, 2019, a solicitor of the civil forfeiture unit of the Justice Department wrote that “the province of Nova Scotia will not be participating in this matter.”

After the unit was advised that Forbes’s mother, Emeline Forbes, had filed an counter application for the insurance money on behalf of the couple’s son, a lawyer for the department advised the court that it “does not have an interest in the proceedings.”

Edward noted that because the province did not intervene in the case, “My decision did not deal with provisions of the Civil Forfeiture Act.”

The Justice Department declined an interview request.

But in a statement, spokesperson Barbara MacLean noted the Civil Forfeiture Act only allows for forfeiture of property — including money — to the province, and not to third parties.

“To clarify, this means when applying the act under any circumstances, forfeited money would go into the general revenue of the province, and would not be able to be given to a third party.”

MacLean declined to comment further, as it is a “private legal matter.”

Pothole damages, can you file an insurance claim?

Re-run

The excerpted article was written by Rikki Watson | DrydenNow

It’s inevitable that most drivers will hit at least one pothole this spring. But what do you do if the crater in the road seriously damages your vehicle?

Most people would say to call the city, they’re responsible for road maintenance, so they must be responsible for the damages. This isn’t usually the case.

In the majority of cases, the city will not accept liability for damages caused by hitting potholes. As long as the city is meeting the Minimum Maintenance Standards – as set out in legislation – there is no negligence on the part of the city.

This leaves two options, make an insurance claim or pay for the damages out of pocket.

To file a claim you need to make sure you have collision insurance. Going this route, getting as much information as possible, including taking photos of the damage and pothole, is always the best idea. Photos could help your claim.

A pothole claim is classified as a single-car accident as it comes under collision. Insurance providers consider the damage caused by hitting a pothole as an at-fault accident. Your collision deductible will apply, and your rates could go up at your next renewal due to filing an at-fault claim.

According to a CAA survey, Canadians pay $1.4 billion a year in pothole damages.

Sometimes the damage sustained is a lower dollar amount than your deductible, which would make filing a claim irrelevant, and you may be better of paying for the repairs out of pocket.

 

State of emergency in St. John’s, N.L., reaches Day 5 after massive blizzard

ST. JOHN’S, N.L.—It’s now Day 5 of the state of emergency in St. John’s, N.L., as cleanup continues from Friday’s massive blizzard that dumped 76 centimetres of snow in the area.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says 450 troops — including about 175 reservists — will be in Newfoundland on Tuesday to help the province dig out from the storm.

Travel remains difficult across eastern Newfoundland, and some residents are relying on each other for food.

The City of St. John’s says some stores will be allowed to reopen today to sell “basic foods.”

Most other businesses have to remain closed, with exceptions for gas stations and some pharmacies.

Stay Tuned.

 

 

The IBC says that for every dollar paid in insurance claims, governments are paying far more to repair infrastructure damaged by extreme weather.
Read more

ICBC Effort To Remove Case From Supreme Court Fails

While the BC Supreme Court Act allows parties to apply to transfer claims to small claims court such applications are rarely brought in personal injury claims where the quantum of claims can vary widely based on how evidence unfolds.

Today reasons for judgment were published by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, hearing and rejecting such an application brought by ICBC.

In today’s case (Herrera v. Miller) the Plaintiff was injured in a collision and sued for damages.  After examinations for discovery the Defendant brought an application to move the case to small claims court arguing the damages could not exceed the limit of that court because the collision was “relatively minor, that the plaintiff suffered insignificant injuries for which he received very little treatment, and that the injuries did not seriously affect the plaintiff’s enjoyment of recreational and sporting activities, or his employment“.

The Plaintiff opposed pointing to recent case law for injuries similar to his with quantum assessments in excess of the small claims court jurisdiction.  In dismissing the application, ordering costs payable to the plaintiff and finding the claim could stay in Supreme Court Mr. Justice Giaschi provided the following reasons:

[12]         The plaintiff filed an affidavit sworn December 13, 2019. In that affidavit, he deposes that, as a result of the accident, he continues to experience symptoms in his back, shoulders and right hip, and has difficulty sleeping. He complains of pain in his lower back and shoulders when not active, and of pain lasting two to three days if he engages in activities. He further deposed to having difficulty falling asleep and of waking in the night because of lower back pain. He further deposed to attending massage therapy on a more or less weekly basis and that he intends to seek chiropractic treatments.

[13]         In approaching this mater, I am particularly mindful of the caution expressed by Justice McEwan in Kooner v. Singh, 2011 BCSC 1384, at paras. 3 and 6. There, he stated it is only in the clearest of cases that a matter should be transferred to the Provincial Court. It is only where there is no possibility of a damage award exceeding the Small Claims’ limit that a matter should be transferred to the Provincial Court:

[3]        I have commented on other occasions about these applications.  They amount to the Supreme Court being asked to summarily determine that damages could not possibly exceed $25,000 and also to accept that a trial in Provincial Court is the most expeditious way to deal with the action.  On the basis of the material before me, it is not possible to say that the case could not exceed $25,000.  The plaintiff wishes to have the matter heard in Supreme Court, and it would only be on the clearest basis that the court would act to deprive a person who wished to be heard in the Supreme Court of the right to do so.

[6]        I have said as much on the previous occasion of Chang v. Wren in oral reasons given June 10, 2011.  I see no reason to stray from the outcome in that case which was to the effect that unless the court were persuaded that damages could not possibly exceed $25,000 the plaintiff should not be deprived of the opportunity to convince a court that their damages exceed that amount.  I considered it most unsafe to summarily decide a case on the basis of descriptions that do not include the actual evidence of the parties.  Courts certainly have the experience of being persuaded that cases that did not appear to be worth a great deal turn out to be worth much more once they have been heard.  I will also say, as I said in Chang v. Wren, that I am absolutely not persuaded by any efficiency or cost-saving argument, particularly where, as here, the application is brought at a point post-discovery.  There is very little process to avoid at this point and, for the reasons I have already indicated, it is not at all clear that there are cost savings to be realized.

[14]         The plaintiff is relatively young. He apparently had no medical issues prior to the accident. He apparently suffered soft tissue injuries in the accident to the neck, back and shoulders, and continues to suffer from what may be chronic pain which may encumber him for the rest of his life. He also has ongoing sleep difficulties and his injuries have affected his enjoyment of recreational activities. The injuries suffered by the plaintiff and the effects of those injuries are somewhat similar to what is described in Poulin and Carson, where the plaintiffs were awarded general damages of considerably in excess of $35,000.

[15]         In my view, on the basis of the evidence before me and the authorities, there is a possibility that the plaintiff may recover damages at trial in excess of $35,000. Accordingly, this matter should not be transferred to the Provincial Court, and the application is dismissed.

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