A survey by Kanetix.ca shows 25% of drivers never review their policies—missing out on savings

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56% of CDN’s would switch insurance providers for a savings of $150 or more

A majority of Canadians would consider switching insurance providers for a savings of $150 or more according to a Kanetix.ca survey today. With car insurance rates on the rise, this may be the incentive Canadians require to take a closer look at their policies and compare rates for potential savings. The survey also found that while 57 per cent of Canadians review their insurance policy once per year, an astounding 27 per cent never review their policy relying solely on their broker/agent.

“A lot can happen over the course of a year that can translate into significant savings on your existing insurance policies,” said Janine White, VP of marketplaces and strategy at Kanetix.ca.  “For example, if you installed winter tires this season for the first time you could save up to 5 per cent off your auto insurance premium. This example also highlights why it’s so important to update your insurance company regularly because the savings can be realized as soon as you make the changes, instead of waiting until renewal time.”

Other common lifestyle activities that may help Canadians save money on home, automobile or life insurance premiums include changing your daily commute, upgrading or installing a home alarm system or anti-theft device (if your vehicle doesn’t already have one), paying off a mortgage, and even quitting smoking.

“Another way to save money is to bundle several insurance policies with one provider because it may make you eligible for the multi-line discount.  Plus, you’ll be able to manage all your policies more easily with one point of contact,” said White.  “And, of course, shopping around is likely the best way to save on your coverage. At minimum, you should be putting your current premiums to the test each year. It’s an easy way to potentially save hundreds of dollars in a matter of minutes.”

The survey also reveals:

  • Only 13% of Canadians would be motivated to shop for a new policy driven by lifestyle changes (new car, moving or home renovations)
  • The youngest respondents were more likely to switch or shop online for a savings of $50$99 (59 per cent for 18-24, compared to 18 per cent for 25+)
  • 1 in 2 Canadians said they would be comfortable purchasing their insurance online (52 per cent)
  • Men (57 per cent) would feel much more comfortable transacting online vs women (46 per cent)
  • Over half of all respondents said they review all or parts of their insurance policy coverage once a year (57 per cent)

The Kanetix.ca survey, was conducted by Forum Research between December 5 and December 7, 2018, and polled 812 respondents across Canada. The sample’s age ranged from 18 to 72+ years old. The survey results are considered accurate to within +/- 4%.

About Kanetix.ca

Kanetix.ca publishes rates from 50+ insurance providers, more than any other comparison platform in Canada so that users can find the best insurance rates for them. Use our site to find the best rates on Auto, Home, Tenant, Travel and Commercial Insurance.

SOURCE kanetix.ca

Canada: Insurance Brokers: Meeting The Standard Of Care

In 2049390 Ontario Inc. v. Leung, 2018 ONSC 5759, the plaintiff sued its insurance broker for $1.8 million following a fire at a commercial property in Toronto, Ontario. The claim was dismissed.

Facts

In January 2009, the owner of the corporate plaintiff, James Kan, contacted an insurance broker, Doris Leung, to inquire about finding new insurance for a commercial property on Queen Street West in Toronto.

Ms. Leung made arrangements for a new insurance policy. The policy included coverage for the building in the amount of $850,000. By 2012, with adjustments for inflation, the building limit was $1,107,764.

In October 2012, a catastrophic fire destroyed the building. The insurer took the position that the plaintiff was underinsured because the cost of the reconstruction would exceed the building limit. The insurer paid out the full policy limits.

The plaintiff sued the insurance broker on the basis that the broker should have provided advice to consult with a building reconstruction expert to obtain an accurate estimate of the value of the building.

The broker stated that she told Mr. Kan that he should consult with a cost consultant or professional appraiser during their initial meeting and again at the time of each renewal. Further, documentation was provided to Mr. Kan with a recommendation to review the value of the property with an appraisal company.

Applicable Law

Justice Favreau provided an overview of the duty of care owed by insurance brokers.

Insurance brokers have a stringent duty to provide both information and advice to their customers. The service they provide is highly personalized, concentrating on the specific circumstances of each client.

An insurance broker must clearly communicate the limits and absence of coverage.

Trial Decision

The action proceeded to a two week trial. Experts who testified for both sides agreed that insurance brokers are not qualified to give replacement cost advice to clients. The experts agreed that, at the very least, a best practice is to advise clients of the need to obtain expert advice on this point.

Justice Favreau found the owner of the corporate plaintiff, Mr. Kan, to not be a credible witness. She accepted the evidence of the insurance broker that the plaintiff was advised to verify that the amount of coverage reflected the value of the property and that the plaintiff should get advice from a cost consultant.

In addition, the warnings that were contained in the written communications to the plaintiff were not hidden or buried in lengthy documents. It would be fair to expect Mr. Kan to read and pay attention to the documents. Mr. Kan was a real estate agent and a mortgage broker, which suggested a high level of sophistication.

Justice Favreau held that the insurance broker was not negligent or in breach of any contractual obligations.

Even if the insurance broker failed to advise Mr. Kan to retain a cost consultant, Justice Favreau was not satisfied that the plaintiff would have acted differently. It was evident that Mr. Kan was primarily motivated to seek out less expensive insurance. He did not demonstrate that he would have retained a cost consultant. As a result, Mr. Kan failed to prove causation.

Moreover, the plaintiff did not produce an expert report addressing the advice a cost consultant would have provided at the relevant time.

Conclusion

Insurance brokers have a stringent duty to provide information and advice to their clients on insurance coverage and gaps in coverage.

Insurance brokers need to understand the nature of their clients’ business and assess risks.

In areas where brokers do not have expertise, such as assessing the replacement cost of a building, they should recommend to their clients retaining other specialists.

Insurance brokers should keep detailed records of the advice provided to clients. When advice is provided orally, it is a good practice to follow up with written correspondence.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Source: Mondaq News 

1.9B in insured damage in Canada last year, says industry association

OTTAWA _ The Insurance Bureau of Canada says severe weather caused $1.9 billion in insured damage last year.

The national industry association says it’s the fourth-highest amount of losses on record, but no single event caused the high total for 2018.

It highlights smaller events across Canada, including $410 million in damages from a windstorm in Ontario and Quebec in early May, and $240 million from summer storms across the Prairies.

IBC spokesman Craig Stewart says in a statement that climate change is costing Canadian taxpayers, government and businesses billions of dollars annually.

The association says it’s advocating for more investment in new infrastructure protecting communities from floods and fires, improved building codes and other measures.

The dollar figure comes from data from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc.

Two-thirds of Canadians can’t afford time off for caregiving: RBC Insurance Poll

TORONTOJan. 15, 2019 /CNW/ – The emotional, mental and financial burden of being a caregiver can be challenging at best, and potentially catastrophic without the proper supports in place. According to a recent RBC Insurance survey among working Canadians, two in 10 had to take time off work to provide care for a loved one, and only one in three said they could comfortably afford the loss of income if they were to take three months off work to act as a caregiver, adding significant burden to an already difficult time.

“Finding out that your spouse or child has been diagnosed with a terminal illness is devastating and the last thing you want to worry about is your finances,” says Maria Winslow, Senior Director, Life & Health, RBC Insurance. “And while many Canadians have ways to protect their income in the event that they were to personally become sick, there has been no option for taking time off work to care for a loved one.”

To fill the gap and allow clients time off to support a terminally ill or injured child or spouse, RBC Insurance is the first in the industry to launch the Family Compassionate Care Rider (FCCR) as an option for select disability plans. The FCCR pays a monthly benefit and gives the insured the flexibility to take time off work entirely or work reduced hours. This is the latest step in RBC Insurance’s focus on providing valuable products and services to help their clients. By making caregiving more flexible and easier to access, RBC Insurance is providing Canadian families with more options to better balance their work and life responsibilities.

“The idea for this option actually came about after a colleague, who found out her child had cancer, needed to be home with her for an extended period to manage the care and treatment schedule,” explains Winslow. “We’ve seen people unable to work or even manage their daily activities as they struggle to cope with their loved ones’ diagnosis, and we wanted to develop a solution that helps alleviate some of that stress.”

Financial considerations for caregivers
The emotional and financial toll on a terminally ill individual and their caregivers is immense, and expenses for end-of-life care add up quickly. Consider the following:

  • Living arrangements: Will you need to move, or make renovations to accommodate your loved one’s illness or injury? Is your home close to amenities, transportation and relatives (or others) who can help with care?
  • Financial planning. Will you need to take time off work, or even quit your job? Will home care aid be required? Consider speaking with a financial advisor who can help you manage your money both during the illness and beyond.
  • Benefits. Check with your employer to understand what your benefits cover, including flextime and any EAP assistance such as support for grief management and referral services for family caregivers.
  • Support. Depending on the illness or situation, connect with associations related to the medical condition. They can provide assistance in the form of specialist information and resources, and even support groups that can help you manage the emotional and mental toll.

About RBC Insurance
RBC Insurance® offers a wide range of life, health, home, auto, travel, wealth 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 2,500 employees who serve more than four million clients globally. For more information, please visit rbcinsurance.com.

SOURCE RBC Insurance

Trial lawyers say ICBC treating those injured in crashes unfairly due to settlement changes

By  | Global News

ICBC has recently changed the way it handles injury settlements and B.C. trial lawyers are worried it will hurt victims and increase costs for rate payers.

According to the B.C. Trial Lawyers, the public insurer has started revoking previous settlement offers in the last week and is now considering payments based on new criteria.

Lawyers have been told ICBC is now going to judge settlements based on a “meat chart,” with no discretion for the adjuster.

“They will apply one, two or three criteria and put a case in a certain level,” B.C. Trial Lawyers president Ron Nairne said.

“And now ICBC is coming in at this late stage and changing the rules of the game. People will say if the rules are not fair, they are going to have to proceed to trial.”

ICBC says the changes are necessary because of the quickly escalating costs of injury claims and the associated legal expenses. The public insurer says the rising costs of claims is by far the single biggest pressure on ICBC’s finances, having gone up by 43 per cent in just five years, with a projected total of $3.67 billion in 2018.

“In particular, these costs are being driven by litigated injury claims,” ICBC spokesperson Adam Grossman said. “Since March 2017, the dollar value of settlements demanded by plaintiff lawyers for litigated files has increased by 30 per cent, while the average cost of closed litigated injury claims has risen by 20 per cent from $101,920 in 2017 to $121,826 in our current fiscal year.”

“We have constantly been looking for ways to address rising injury claims costs and the pressure they put on insurance rates.

“It’s clear we need to continue to find fair and reasonable ways to get the cost of the average injury claim down to more of a historical, inflationary trend, rather than the sharp increases we’ve seen over the past year.”

But lawyers say this last-minute change is not fair and could have a negative impact on clients. In some cases, lawyers say the new settlement offers are much lower than is acceptable. If the client decides to go to trial, it could delay the expected payout.

Trials themselves are also expensive. In most cases, the overall payout is higher in a trial because of the legal fees.

“This is going to have a huge impact on claimants,” Nairne said.

“People come to ICBC expecting to be treated fairly, that they are not going to be getting a windfall, but will be fairly treated.”

ICBC says it has had success closing more injury files and is seeing fewer cases go to trial each year. But one the concerns from the insurer is that it is seeing fewer offers being accepted and settlement costs are being driven even higher.

“We are doing what any responsible insurer would do when claims costs skyrocket beyond historical trend lines,” Grossman said.

“Our only other option is to increase our insurance rates by levels British Columbians cannot afford, which is not a viable solution.”

The changes are part of an ongoing battle between ICBC and lawyers. The lawyers are concerned that the changes being made at the public insurer are not in the best interest of their clients. The public insurer is concerned that lawyers are increasing their costs, including an increase in commissioning reports, that is adding to the loses at the insurer.

ICBC lost $1.3 billion last year and is forecast to lose more than $800 million this year. The insurer has announced major changes coming on April 1, 2019 that will create a cap of $5,500 on payouts for pain and suffering for minor injuries.

The insurer explains that one of the reasons for the need to change are the mounting legal costs. ICBC says plaintiff disbursement costs have increased by 21 per cent this fiscal year over last. But Nairne is quick to defend the work that he is doing and rejects the suggestion lawyers are artificially inflating what they are looking for in injury settlements.

“The only thing I can do is look at the facts of the case and make a proposal based on those facts,” Nairne said.

“It is all driven on what is fair, based on what the courts have decided previously.”

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