“Water can do incredible damage, so just imagine what raw sewage can do.”

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#wecandrivebetter: SGI and police focusing on commercial vehicle safety throughout August

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June storm in Ontario tops $30 million in insured damage

TORONTO, July 28, 2015 /CNW/ – Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that the insured damage caused by the heavy rains and strong winds that swept southern Ontario on June 22 is estimated at more than $30 million, according to the preliminary estimate by Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ)*

The heavy rain in Toronto and London caused localized flooding. In Toronto, flooding was mainly limited to pooling water, causing the closure of intersections and cancellation of several early-morning GO trains. Basement flooding was also reported across the Greater Toronto Area.

In certain parts of London, the rain overwhelmed the sewer system. The resulting sewer backup caused residential basements to flood and affected commercial properties, including White Oaks Mall.

In other parts of southern Ontario, strong winds brought down trees, causing power outages. With the relentless lightning contributing to outages, at least 100,000 Hydro One customers lost power.

“Weather events that used to happen every 40 years can now happen every six years,” said Ralph Palumbo, Vice-President, Ontario, IBC. “In recent years, we’ve seen first-hand the impact that storms can have. Storms are more frequently damaging our homes and business properties.”

Insurers continue to counsel consumers on the need to understand their risks and take action to reduce their property’s vulnerability to damage. Before another storm hits, consumers should contact their insurance representatives for information on their policies and what types of coverage best suits their individual circumstances.

For more information on home, auto and business insurance, phone IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1‑844‑227‑5422) or visit www.ibc.ca.

* This figure is based on a preliminary estimate from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ), which compiles and combines comprehensive insured loss amounts and related information to serve the risk management needs of the insurance and reinsurance industries.

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 inCanada. 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 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at ibc.ca. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

All of that rain has made for a busy day for city crews and Manitoba Public Insurance.

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We’ve enhanced our Member Benefits Program. If you belong to any of our member org’s, let your advisor know!

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Insurance coverage for medical marijuana on the horizon

By Alexandra Posadzki

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ Canadians who have been prescribed medical marijuana could one day see their insurance company footing the bill, experts predict, following the introduction of new Health Canada rules that allow for the sale of cannabis oils.

Health Canada announced revamped medical marijuana regulations earlier this month after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that users of the drug should be permitted to consume it in other forms, such as oils and edibles, rather than having to smoke dried buds.

“You’re going to see insurance companies slowly start to creep into the sector,” says Khurram Malik, an analyst at Jacob Securities Inc., noting that the new regulations will allow medical marijuana producers to sell gel caps similar to those made from cod liver oil.

That will allow for more precise dosing, Malik says.

“When you’re trying to smoke a plant you have no idea how much you’re consuming, so that makes doctors a little nervous,” he said.

Experts say the changes are a major step towards legitimizing the drug in the eyes of doctors and insurers.

“When something doesn’t look different than other medicines, it becomes much easier for people to get comfortable with the idea that this is, in fact, a possible treatment option for patients,” says Bruce Linton, the chief executive of Smiths Falls, Ont.-based Tweed Marijuana Inc. (CVE:TWD).

However, medical marijuana producers still have one major hurdle to overcome before insurers begin routinely funding the drug _ cannabis currently doesn’t have a drug identification number, known as a DIN.

“If it was issued a DIN by Health Canada, it’s quite likely that the insurance companies would cover it,” says Wendy Hope, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.

“To obtain a DIN, the new form of medical marijuana would need to go through the full Health Canada approval process like any new drug.”

As it stands, most insurance companies don’t routinely cover medical marijuana. But some insurers, including Manulife, say they will consider making an exception if the employer has specifically requested it for one of its employees.

“It’s up to the employer to ask if they want to have it covered,” says Hope.

Earlier this year, Sun Life agreed to pay for a University of Waterloo’s medical marijuana prescription through his student health plan after the student union went to bat for him. Jonathan Zaid, 22, uses the drug to combat a syndrome called new daily persistent headache.

Some health insurance companies may pay for medical marijuana through a health spending account, says Hope. But, she adds, “my understanding is it doesn’t happen often.”

Malik says the primary reason why medical marijuana doesn’t have a DIN is a lack of rigorous, clinical research on its efficacy.

“The evidence is very circumstantial not your typical 10-year, double-blind study that doctors and big pharmaceutical companies like to see,” Malik said.

He suspects that’s about to change.

“You’re going to see a lot of Canadian companies partnering up with universities overseas that are a little more progressive than the ones we have here, at least in this space, to drive this research forward and legitimize it in the eyes of doctors and get DIN numbers on these things,” Malik said.

Malik says there is a financial incentive for insurers to pay for medical marijuana, rather than shelling out for pricier chronic pain drugs such as opiates.

“From a dollars and cents standpoint, if marijuana is the same thing as a narcotic opiate, they would much rather cover marijuana because they’re in the business to make money,” Malik said.

canada-press

 

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