74 year old man taking driving test killed after train strikes car in Montreal

MONTREAL _ A 74-year-old man taking a driving test in Montreal was killed Tuesday when a commuter train struck the car he was driving.

The examiner, an employee of Quebec’s motor vehicle insurance agency, who was seated next to the driver, suffered critical injuries and was taken to hospital.

Police say the collision occurred in the city’s north end at a level railway crossing on Gouin Boulevard, near the river that separates Montreal from its northern suburb.

Mario Vaillancourt, spokesman for the Societe de l’assurance automobile du Quebec, said the 74-year-old was being re-evaluated for a driver’s license.

Vaillancourt said the type of exam the man was taking “is often tied to someone’s health condition,” though he declined to discuss the specifics of the collision.

“We ask that they take a road test” to evaluate whether the person can still drive safely, Vaillancourt said.

The SAAQ released a statement Tuesday afternoon offering condolences to the 74-year-old’s family. “A team has been deployed … to meet with staff members to provide them with the necessary psychological support,” the agency said.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said it has dispatched an investigator to the railway crossing to gather information about the collision, which occurred around 9:30 a.m.

Montreal police said the driver was transported to hospital in critical condition and died there shortly after, while his 33-year-old passenger was in hospital in critical condition.

No one was injured aboard the train, which is operated by the regional transit agency Exo.

Drivers could see a jump in their auto insurance, despite the Ford Government promising a reduction

Ontario auto insurance taking a jump

By Tim Herd | KitchenerToday

Ontario has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country. The province is second to British Columbia, and now rates are set to climb even higher. Drivers could face up to an 11 per cent increase.

Rob Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer, Deutschmann Law was on the Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS on Thursday.

He said it’s not the same across the board. “1.6 per cent for the most part, but there are a couple of companies that had to have excessively higher rates.”

The increase in rates has started a debate between public and private insurance. BC already has public auto insurance. Deutschmann said Ontario should not follow suit because BC is seeing significant cuts, and has the most expensive auto insurance in the country.

Deutschmann added one of the issues with this increase is that the Insurance Board of Canada (IBC) and the industry have most of the control, and keeps the Ontario government out of the loop.

In Ontario, accidents and death rates are low and benefits continue to get slashed. “Since 2010 we’ve had significant cuts to accident benefits in Ontario,” says Deutschmann. A decade later he says roughly 70-80 per cent of auto accident victims in Ontario only have access to $3,500 in accident benefits.

Source: KitchenerToday

Intact Financial Corporation Completes $150 Million Preferred Share Offering

TORONTO, Feb. 18, 2020 /CNW/ – Intact Financial Corporation (TSX:IFC) (“IFC”) announced today that it has closed its previously announced bought deal offering (the “Offering”) of Non-Cumulative Class A Shares, Series 9 (the “Series 9 Preferred Shares”) underwritten by a syndicate of underwriters  led by TD Securities Inc. together with BMO Capital Markets, CIBC Capital Markets, National Bank Financial, RBC Capital Markets and Scotiabank, resulting in aggregate gross proceeds (including the proceeds resulting from the exercise of their option) to IFC of $150 million. The net proceeds from the Offering will be used by IFC for general corporate purposes.

Each Series 9 Preferred Share entitles the holder thereof to receive quarterly non-cumulative preferential cash dividends, if, as and when declared by the Board of Directors, on the last day of March, June, September and December in each year at a rate equal to $0.3375 per share. The initial dividend, if declared, will be paid on June 30, 2020 and will be $0.4906 per share.

The Series 9 Preferred Shares will commence trading today on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol IFC.PR.I.

The Series 9 Preferred Shares have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements.  This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of the Series 9 Preferred Shares in any State in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

About Intact Financial Corporation

Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) is the largest provider of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America, with over $11 billion in total annual premiums. The Company has approximately 16,000 employees who serve more than five million personal, business and public sector clients through offices in Canada and the U.S.

In Canada, Intact distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly-owned subsidiary BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect.  Frank Cowan brings a leading MGA platform to manufacture and distribute public entity insurance products in Canada.

In the U.S., OneBeacon Insurance Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intact, provides specialty insurance products through independent agencies, brokers, wholesalers and managing general agencies.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. When used in this press release, the words “may”, “will”, “would”, “should”, “could”, “expects”, “plans”, “intends”, “trends”, “indications”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “estimates”, “predicts”, “likely”, “potential” or the negative or other variations of these words or other similar or comparable words or phrases, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to, among other things, the use of proceeds of the Offering.

Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by management based on management’s experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that management believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Many factors could cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements or future events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Certain material factors or assumptions are applied in making these forward-looking statements.

All of the forward-looking statements included in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements, those made in the “Risk Management” sections of management’s discussion and analysis of operating and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2019 and those made in the prospectus supplement filed in respect of the Offering. These factors are not intended to represent a complete list of the factors that could affect the Company. These factors should, however, be considered carefully. Although the forward-looking statements are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Investors should not rely on forward-looking statements to make decisions and investors should ensure the preceding information is carefully considered when reviewing forward-looking statements made in this press release. The Company has no intention and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

SOURCE Intact Financial Corporation

Related Links

www.intactfc.com

Ottawa changing stress test rate for insured mortgages starting April 6

OTTAWA _ The federal government is changing the stress test rate for insured mortgages starting April 6.

The government says the change will allow the rate to be more representative of the mortgage rates offered by lenders and more responsive to market conditions.

The new minimum qualifying rate will be the greater of the borrower’s contract rate or the weekly median five-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insurance applications, plus two percentage points.

The stress test rate currently is the greater of the borrower’s contract rate or the Bank of Canada five-year benchmark posted mortgage rate, which is based on the posted rates at the six largest banks.

“The government will continue to monitor the housing market and make changes as appropriate,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a statement Tuesday.

“Reviewing the stress test ensures it is responsive to market conditions.”

The federal government required the stress test apply to all insured mortgages in 2016.

The test is used to ensure that Canadians can afford their mortgage payments if interest rates rise in the future.

The government said the Bank of Canada five-year benchmark posted mortgage rate has typically been about two percentage points higher than the average five-year fixed contract rate for insured mortgages.

However, it said that in recent years, that rate has not been as responsive to changes in the average mortgage contract rates.

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions says it is also considering using the same new stress test rate for uninsured mortgages.

OSFI has been using a minimum qualifying rate of the greater of the contractual mortgage rate plus two percentage points or the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada.

OSFI, which is consulting with stakeholders, has proposed that it will also adopt the new benchmark rate on April 6 to coincide with the changes for insured mortgages.

January storm caused over $95 million in insured damage

TORONTO, Feb. 18, 2020 /CNW/ – The January 10 to 12 storm in southern Ontario and Quebec caused over $95 million in insured damage, $81.6 million in Ontario and $13.7 million in Quebec, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc.* Most of the damage was to personal property.

In southern Ontario, overnight temperatures rose to record-breaking highs of between 10°C and 15°C prior to the storm. The rain began on January 10 and continued through to January 11, and on January 12 turned to snow. From Windsor to London, 60 to 70 mm of rain fell. In Toronto, 78 mm of rainfall was recorded. The Ottawa Airport reported 34 mm of rain, and 12 cm of snow and ice pellets.

On January 11, rain began in Montreal where the afternoon high reached 6.5°C, then came freezing rain as the cold front passed through. After midnight, the freezing rain became mixed with ice pellets, then there was an ice pellet-snow mix and later snow. Montreal received 40 mm of rain, and 13 cm of snow and ice pellets.

The combination of frozen ground, snowmelt and heavy rain led to widespread overland flooding, sewer backups and seepage. There were significant reports of flooded basements and multiple flooded roads, which resulted in closures across southern Ontario and Quebec. Wind damage was also a factor, especially in the Niagara Peninsula. Thousands of citizens were without power. The strong winds caused storm surges, which resulted in road closures in Fort Erie, Ontario.

“We continue to see the devastating consequences of severe weather events happening ever more frequently and with greater intensity,” said Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “In particular, storms with severe winds that cause flooding are becoming more common. While the insured damage from these storms is significant, the total economic cost to all stakeholders, government, and personal loss to homeowners is even greater.”

Both taxpayers and insurers share the cost for severe weather damage. For every dollar paid in insurance claims for damaged homes and businesses, Canadian governments and taxpayers pay out much more to repair public infrastructure that the severe weather damages.

“It is important that property owners take precautions and protect their properties to minimize potential damage,” continued Donaldson. “They should also understand their insurance policies and know whether they have overland flood coverage.”

Visit IBC’s website for information on how to prepare for a disaster and ways to prevent flood damage to your home.

* Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) estimated the amount of insured damage under licence to IBC. For more information on CatIQ, visit www.catiq.com.

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 128,000 Canadians, pays over $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @IBC_Ontario 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.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

www.ibc.ca

Asian market helps Manulife and Sun Life in latest quarters

By Tara Deschamps

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ Two of Canada’s largest insurance companies got lifts from the Asian market in their latest quarter.

Sun Life Financial Inc. said its overall net income surged 24 per cent to $719 million in its fourth quarter, with its Asian operations contributing $136 million, or nine per cent more than in the same period the year before.

The company also racked up $361 million in Asian insurance sales, a 44 per cent or $110-million increase compared to the same period in 2018. By contrast, insurance sales in Canada rose four per cent while U.S. sales were down four per cent.

The earnings come as Sun Life _ like many other insurers _ have been focused increasing attention on the Asian market. Sun Life recently formed a 15-year partnership with Tien Phong Commercial Bank in Vietnam, signed a distribution agreement with Nobu National Bank in Indonesia and also launched sales of sharia-based products with Bank Muamalat in the region.

Asia is highly under-penetrated for insurance so it’s really a distribution game, Neil Haynes, the company’s chief financial officer and senior vice-president of Sun Life Financial U.S.

“It’s not a pricing game in Asia, so we feel good about the profitability of our products and as the scale continues to come through, we are expecting to see this benefit of scale flowing through in our new business strain,” he said.

“Our bigger markets are Hong Kong and the Philippines and they’re both profitable markets. As we continue to build scale there in particular you would expect some of the benefits to come from there, in particular.”

Meanwhile, another Toronto-based insurance business, Manulife Financial Corp. shared that its earnings were also helped by opportunities in the continent.

The company boosted its quarterly dividend 12 per cent after it capped a stronger 2019 with double-digit growth in Asia.

Manulife said it would increase its payout by three cents per share to 28 cents, payable on or after March 19 to shareholders of record on Feb. 25. It added that it earned $1.23 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, up from $593 million a year earlier.

Last year’s net income included a restructuring charge. Excluding one-time items, core earnings increased 10.5 per cent to $1.48 billion from $1.34 billion.

Those earnings came after Manulife launched in Vietnam and Cambodia its ManulifeMOVE program, which uses a mobile app and tracking devices to monitor how much consumers walk and offer them discounts on insurance plans based on their number of steps. It also debuted an online insurance platform in collaboration with DBS Bank for the Singapore market and enhanced its electronic claims platform in Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Japan, where it was hampered by lower new business volumes and changes to tax rules.

“Despite the headwinds in Japan…we were able to deliver a resilient five-per-cent core earnings growth in quarter four and 11 per cent for the full year,” said Anil Wadhwani, Manulife Asia’s president and chief executive on a Thursday call with analysts.

“We continue to see very strong momentum in geographies like Hong Kong…So despite some of the challenges….we’re pretty pleased with the resilient performance that we showed in Asia.”

Sun Life’s earnings equalled $1.22 per share in the three months ended Dec. 31, up from 96 cents per share or $580 million a year earlier. For the full year, its net income rose by 3.8 per cent to $2.62 billion.

Manulife earned 73 cents per diluted share up from 65 cents per share in the prior year and one cent below analyst forecasts, according to the financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

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