Will you have what you need to move forward in the event of a house fire?

The excerpted article was written by David Lea | InsideHalton.com

When a fire destroys someone’s home, some of the questions people typically ask include: did everyone get out safely and how did the fire start?

However, other important questions are: what happens in the aftermath and how long will it take for this person to put their life back together?

Julie Chiesa, a volunteer personal disaster assistant supervisor with the Canadian Red Cross in Halton, filled in some of these blanks.

They can be reached by dialling 311.

Chiesa said when the Red Cross responds, their first order of business is getting the family to a safe place.

That may involve getting them out of the winter cold and to a hotel, or somewhere else they can stay.

“We go in and we do a needs assessment. We meet with the beneficiaries and we discuss what their needs are at that moment,” said Chiesa.

“Sometimes that is lodgings and food and clothing. Sometimes it’s just food and clothing because they have somewhere to go for lodgings.”

She said the Red Cross will provide support for 72 hours.

Source: InsideHalton.com

Man found not criminally responsible for killing wife gets her life insurance

The excerpted article was written by Blair Rhodes · CBC News

A Cape Breton man who was found not criminally responsible for killing his wife is entitled to receive 100 per cent of her life insurance policy, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has ruled.

Richard 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.

Maidment has schizophrenia and his mental health had been deteriorating dramatically in the days before the killing. Forbes and their son, then 10 years old, had moved out of the residence as a precaution the day before.

But on the morning of April 18 she returned to the home, where she was killed.

Maidment was charged with first-degree murder, but in December 2017 was found not criminally responsible and confined to the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia’s only secure psychiatric facility.

In 2015, Forbes had purchased a life insurance policy for herself naming Maidment as the beneficiary. She named their son as an alternate beneficiary.

Maidment’s mother, Linda McNeil, claimed the insurance money on behalf of her son.

Forbes’s mother, Emeline Forbes, who is now raising the couple’s son, applied for the insurance money on his behalf.

Because there were competing claims, Co-operators Life Insurance Company paid the claim to the court and left it to a judge to decide.

In a decision released Thursday, Justice Frank Edwards ruled the money should go to Maidment, not his son. The decision does not disclose the amount of the payout.

“There is a public policy rule which says criminals should not be permitted to benefit from their crimes,” Edwards wrote.

“That public policy rule has no application to this case. Richard has been found to be not criminally responsible. He is not a criminal.”

Edwards is the same judge who found Maidment not criminally responsible for the killing, an event he describes as “an unspeakably horrendous and tragic event for everyone involved.”

Friends say the money should be in trust

Friends of Forbes said they were “sickened” to hear about the ruling and that it took them back to the day they learned of Forbes’s death.

“Just a gut-wrenching feeling in the pit of your stomach that this can’t be real, this can’t be happening. But now it’s happened twice,” said Valerie Youden, who worked with Forbes at Parkland, a senior’s home in Sydney, N.S. Forbes also worked as a teacher’s assistant at an elementary in nearby Reserve Mines.

“I know he has a mental illness, but he still chose to brutally [kill] Sarabeth, and we all have choices in life, and he made that one,” said Terri Spooney, another friend and co-worker, adding Forbes would be “devastated” if she knew he’d received the money instead of her son.

Both women believe Forbes would have wanted the money to go to her son’s future.

‘Heart bigger than life itself’

Youden considers the situation a failure of the justice system.

“If you’re not responsible for her death, he shouldn’t be [considered] responsible enough to get the money,” she said.

She and Spooney said they try to focus on memories of Forbes instead of her death. They said there’s rarely a day at work that either a client or co-worker doesn’t refer to her fondly.

“She was always smiling, always laughing, a bubbly personality, and would do anything for anybody. She had a heart bigger than life itself,” said Spooney.

Source: CBC News, Nova Scotia

Rec Legaue Hockey Bodycheck Results in $702,551 Damage Award

Today’s guest post comes from Erik Magraken BC Injury and ICBC Claims Blog

Although infrequent, Canadian courts have occasionally imposed civil and even criminal liability following injuries at sporting events.  The latest such case was published this week out of Ontario.

In the recent case (Casterton v. MacIsaac) the Plaintiff successfully sued the Defendant after suffering injuries in a hockey game.

The parties were playing in a recreational senior hockey league.  It was a no contact league though incidental contact was part of the game.  The plaintiff accepted that accidental contact was part of the risk of playing.  Blindside hits, however, were absolutely prohibited and the Court accepted that such hits were not consented to either expressly or implicitly as part of playing.

The Defendant collided with the Plaintiff resulting in fairly severe injury.  He was initially charged criminally with assault for the incident.  He was convicted but his conviction was overturned on appeal and the charge was ultimately stayed.

In the civil lawsuit the Court heard conflicting evidence but ultimately found that the Defendant was liable as the contact was from a prohibited blindside hit.  The collision caused the Plaintiff to suffer a concussion, two broken teeth and various cuts.  Damages of over $700,000 were assessed comprised of $63,000 in general damages, $199,512 in past lost income, and $440,039 in future income loss.

In imposing liability from the body check Justice Sally Gomery made the following findings and provided the below reasons:

[111]      The League is a recreational, non-contact league.  Every player who testified nevertheless recognized that hockey is a fast-paced sport where some degree of body contact is inevitable.  Accidental injury is always a risk. Various players talked about past injuries they got from loose pucks. Players in the League, including Casterton, signed a waiver releasing the league from any damages as a result of hockey injuries.

[112]      Injury can be caused by contact with other players. Body checking is punishable as a major penalty. The very existence of this penalty shows that body checking – just like conduct that may attract a minor penalty, such as tripping and hooking – may occur. It is sanctionable, but not completely unexpected conduct.

[113]      In sum, players can expect that they may be accidentally injured during a game, even a game in a recreational, non-contact league. They accept this risk when they play.

[114]      Each player also testified, however, that blindside hits – especially hits to the head – are absolutely prohibited. They have no place in recreational play, or in any hockey game.

[120]      I have already rejected some of Desjardins’ evidence; notably, his testimony that MacIsaac was skating parallel to the back boards when the collision occurred.  On the other hand, his recollection about MacIsaac’s body posture just before the collision has been consistent from the time it occurred.  It was the reason why he gave MacIsaac a ten-minute major misconduct penalty.

[121]      Desjardins played in competitive and semi-professional leagues before becoming a referee in 2010. He had officiated about 600 games by March 2012.  He explained why this incident stood out in his memory.  He had no bias towards or against either team or any particular player. He had simply never seen “such an act of violence” in a hockey game; as both a referee and as a player. He was fifteen to twenty feet away from the point of impact, and nothing obstructed his view. In his opinion, MacIsaac deliberately attempted to injure Casterton.

[122]      I conclude that MacIsaac intentionally skated at high speed towards Casterton from an angle where his approach could not be seen. He positioned his arms and drew up his body in such a way as to maximize bodily contact, causing a collision between MacIsaac’s shoulder and forearms and the lower half of Casterton’s face. Casterton did not anticipate the check and, as such, made no moves to protect himself or attempt to avoid the collision. Each player admitted that, if Casterton’s theory of how the collision occurred were accepted, this was a blindside hit.

[123]      Based on the evidence of Winton and Desjardins about MacIsaac’s body posture, I find that MacIsaac either deliberately attempted to injure Casterton or was reckless about the possibility that he would do so.  But even if I concluded that the hit was neither intentional nor reckless, applying the test in Kempf, MacIsaac would be liable for Casterton’s injuries because he failed to meet the standard of care applicable to a hockey player in the circumstances. Every player who testified stated that a blindside hit to the face is and was outside the bounds of fair play. 

[124]      MacIsaac is therefore liable for the injuries that Casterton suffered during the March 15, 2012 game. 

Thunder Bay, Ont., police warn of social insurance number phone scam

CBC News

Police in Thunder Bay, Ont., are warning people of a phone scam involving social insurance numbers that’s targeting city residents.

In the scam, fraudsters are calling city residents, claiming residents’ social insurance numbers (SIN) are connected to a crime.

The fraudsters ask the target for the last three digits of their SIN, telling them if the numbers aren’t provided, the target will be contacted, and potentially arrested, by police.

Police are reminding residents that the calls are a scam.

Police advise people not to give out their SIN, and hang up the phone. Never call any numbers provided by a suspicious caller, nor provide any payments to callers (especially if they require payment in things like pre-paid credit cards, or gift cards).

And while a number on a caller ID display may look official, police also remind people that caller IDs can be masked, and made to look like the call is coming from an official number.

Police said they’re unable to stop the calls from being made, and ask people not to contact them about attempted phone fraud.

Instead, those who want to learn more about the scams are advised to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

3 things you should always tell your travel health insurer

3 things you should always tell your travel health insurer

The excerpted article was written by LISA FELEPCHUK | Calgary Herald 

Whether your next trip has you looking forward to a special restaurant experience or an epic cycling excursion, researching and planning a vacation is usually a fun task. But once the trip is booked and before you show up at the airport to board your flight, there’s one more thing you need to do: book travel insurance. Some credit cards come with a limited amount of coverage for things like cancellations or lost luggage, but keeping yourself protected against illness and injury abroad needs to be booked separately.

We get it, travel health insurance is boring, but it is important. All it takes is one clumsy move, like tripping on the curb of the sidewalk, to wind up with a broken bone, and adding to the stress of navigating an international hospital is knowing that you’re going to have to pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars out of pocket. For some people, unexpected medical bills can mount to more than the original vacation price tag. Sometimes a lot more.

According to the Government of Canada, your Canadian health insurance won’t cover most international medical fees and even if it does, it’s often just a small fraction of the total bill. Don’t ever rely on this alone.

“In some countries, hospitals and clinics will not treat you if you do not have enough insurance or money to pay your bills,” explains the Government of Canada website, which also notes that the Canadian government is never responsible for your medical bills abroad.

Here are three things you should always talk to your travel health insurance provider when booking a policy for your upcoming vacation.

Pre-existing medical conditions

A pre-existing condition is just that: any medical condition big or small (heart arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, diabetes, cancer or even sleep apnea) that you have been diagnosed with by a medical practitioner. If you have a pre-existing condition, you may need to shop around to find the best rate, but many companies will still offer coverage as long as your diagnosis is considered stable before you travel.

But here’s the murky part: the definition of “stable” varies from provider to provider and the amount of time you need to be in this stability period also varies. Some providers will require you to be stable for 90 days before departure while others have shorter windows, like 60 or 30 days.

As with booking all travel health insurance, be honest and upfront with your broker before booking. If you don’t disclose a pre-existing condition, then drink a few too many margaritas and wind up in the ER with an abnormal heartbeat, chances are you’ll be paying for that doctor’s time on your own dime.

Outstanding or upcoming medical appointments

Another important piece of information to disclose to your travel insurance broker: pending medical tests and appointments. If, for example, you’re travelling to Mexico in March, but have a CT scan of your abdomen scheduled for April, any related health issues to your abdomen that arise while out of country could be void of coverage. Always be transparent and discuss upcoming medical tests that your doctor has requested with your broker.

The countries you’re planning on travelling to

Aside from your medical history, your travel insurance provider will also need to know the country or countries you’re going to visit. If the Government of Canada has issued a Travel Advisory for your destination, your provider might void your policy. Make sure to disclose all of the places you plan to travel to and be aware of all government-issued travel advisories and warnings.

Edited for ILSTV

SGI Canada reminding travellers to protect homes during deep freeze

Saskatoon / 650 CKOM

For those homeowners looking to recharge their inner batteries, thaw out and start Googling exotic vacation spots, SGI Canada is reminding them to hold on and double-check their home insurance checklists.

Western Canada’s current cold spell is an example of weather that can take a nasty, damaging toll on one’s home.

“We do see an increase in claims activity when the temperature plummets like this,” said Kurtis Reeder, the company’s senior director of personal lines underwriting.

“Two of the more prevalent claims are water escape due to water freezing in pressurized lines, and then expanding, breaking the pipes, and causing a lot of water damage in the home.

“The second one is due to fire. With the increased use of heating appliances in the cold, there is an increased risk of fire caused by the heating appliances.”

He recommended homeowners check with their insurance brokers as to the conditions their policies have for coverage when they’re away on vacation.

For example, SGI Canada’s policies say that if an owner is away for 10 days or more, they have to have someone check on their home daily, shut off the water supply to the house and drain the pipes or have a home security company monitor temperature decreases, he said.

Otherwise, the policy isn’t valid.

“Every company has similar conditions, but they could be a little bit different,” Reeder said.

Water pipes can freeze and burst if a door or window is left open over a long period, or a home’s furnace shuts down and can’t fire back up, he said.

Even for people planning shorter getaways, Reeder recommended someone checking on the home every day, picking up the mail and turning on different lights inside.

Those are deterrents to potential thefts and break-ins.

He also offered some digital advice: Avoid posting photos and travel updates on social media until the vacation is over.

“Share those pictures and your travel stories when you return and not while you’re on vacation, because it could make yourself a target for theft,” he said.

Reeder said SGI Canada’s website and social media feeds regularly post updated home and travel insurance and online security tips.


Saskatoon / 650 CKOM

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