IBC Top 10: Maintenance tips for winterizing your home

EDMONTON, Dec. 14, 2015 /CNW/ – With winter weather fast approaching, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) offers western Canadians helpful maintenance tips to protect their homes over the winter season.

“Low temperatures, high winds, significant snowfall and freezing rain are examples of winter weather that can be damaging to houses, resulting in significant and costly repairs. By taking some simple steps, you can help protect your biggest investment – your home – and help keep your family safe over the winter months,” said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC.

IBC’s top 10 maintenance tips for winterizing your home are:

  1. Test and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  2. Ensure your furnace, wood stove and any other heating sources are in good working condition.
    • Have all heating sources inspected, maintained and cleaned. During the heating season, clean or replace furnace air filters each month, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  3. If you go on vacation, even for a few days, leave the heat on and have someone you trust check on your home regularly while you are away. Make sure to check with your insurer how often your home needs to be checked under your policy while you are temporarily absent.
  4. Run water through all plumbing fixtures regularly, particularly during severe cold periods.
  5. Test plumbing shut-off valves.
  6. Inspect your attic for frost accumulation, and check your eavestroughs and roof for potential ice dams or icicles.
  7. Keep your sidewalk and the front stairs of your house clear of snow and ice.
  8. Keep snow away from gas meters, gas-appliance vents, exhaust vents and basement windows.
  9. Trim branches that are close to your house or electrical wires.
  10. Prevent exposed pipes from freezing by fitting them with insulation sleeves or wrapping.

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 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 www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and@IBC_West 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.

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

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

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Insurance company says Bathurst diocese knew of abuse by priests

CBC News

Lawyers for Aviva Insurance are arguing its policies do not cover sexual abuse by priests within the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst.

The diocese has filed a civil lawsuit against the insurer to help it recoup more than $7-million it paid out to victims of sexual abuse.

“Clearly there is no coverage,” said Aviva’s lawyer Charles LeBlond in his opening statement Monday in a Moncton courtroom. “There is no coverage for criminal activity.”

Aviva Insurance defense lawyer Charles LeBlond says the issue is what the diocese knew and when. (Ian Bonnell/CBC)

In his statement, LeBlond also said “there is a fair bit of documented evidence that the diocese and the bishops of the day were aware.”

Father Levi Noel and Father Charles Picot, both former priests in the diocese, have been criminally charged with numerous counts of sexual abuse, some dating back to the 1950s.

The Bathurst diocese had an insurance policy with Aviva from 1957 to 1983.

Last week, the court heard from former Supreme Court justice Michel Bastarache. He explained he interviewed 90 sexual assault victims as part of a compensation process.

Those victims named a total of 26 priests, including Noel and Picot, as abusers in the diocese.

The Bathurst diocese paid out over $7 milllion in settlement claims to victims of sexual abuse by priests.

LeBlond told the court there is documentation that Noel had been shipped from parish to parish, including one letter, “where the bishop sent him north where nobody knew his past,” said LeBlond. “A bishop accommodating a priest, knowing he would reoffend.”

LeBlond went on to say that a reasonable bishop would have at least removed the priest from contact with children.

Chris Blom, one of the lawyers representing the diocese, acknowledges the church had knowledge some priests were molesting children.

But, Blom argued that in the 1950s and several decades that followed, the diocese did not know abuse was an insurance risk. And he said the insurer never asked the diocese whether there was abuse within the church.

Crawford & Company® (Canada) Announces Two Executive Appointments

Crawford & Company® (Canada) Announces Two Executive Appointments

TORONTO (Dec. 8, 2015) – Pat Van Bakel, president and chief executive officer of Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc., is pleased to announce the appointments of two of its long-standing executive leaders, Greg Smith and Gary Gardner.

Smith, former senior vice president of Key Account Management, has been appointed to the position of senior vice president, Administration. Smith is a valued member of the Crawford Executive Leadership Team and possesses an in-depth knowledge of many facets of the organization, gained from his hands-on approach and 19 years of service. In his new role, Smith will oversee many of the Company’s head office departments that support business operations across Canada including: Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Human Resources and Administration services.

“The simplification of the new internal administration structure, to be overseen by Greg, will bolster our competitive advantage by enhancing both our internal and external servicing capabilities,” said Van Bakel. “Throughout his tenure at Crawford, Greg has obtained valuable insight into the needs of our client base and operational capabilities, making him an ideal candidate to ensure the administration departments are focused on effectively meeting the needs of our operations across Canada and ultimately the many customers that we serve.”

Gardner, senior vice president, Global Client Development, will oversee Crawford’s Key Account Management team in addition to its Sales and Marketing department.

“Gary is a strong and effective leader who has led our sales division for more than 20 years. His extensive knowledge and insight of the independent adjusting and insurance industry, combined with the strong relationships that he has established and maintained with our key clients, make him a most valuable asset to our organization and clients,” stated Van Bakel.

The appointments of these accomplished leaders strengthen the capabilities of our organization. Crawford has a strong and effective Executive Leadership Team, which is further strengthened by these new appointments and a realignment of our internal structure. As an organization, we are dedicated to operational excellence to enhance our client’s experience, allowing us to foster stronger business relationships.

About Crawford

Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Crawford & Company. Based in Atlanta, Ga., Crawford & Company is the world’s largest independent provider of claims management solutions to the risk management and insurance industry as well as self-insured entities, with an expansive global network serving clients in more than 70 countries. The Crawford Solution(TM) offers comprehensive, integrated claims services, business process outsourcing and consulting services for major product lines including property and casualty claims management, workers compensation claims and medical management, and legal settlement administration. The Company’s shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbols CRDA and CRDB.

For more information, please contact:

Gary Gardner




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Celebrate, Don’t Litigate this Christmas

By John Bordignon, State Farm Canada

Holiday and Christmas party season is in full swing, and because I represent a giant and boring insurance company I thought I’d share a buzz-kill story idea about homeowner liability as it relates to insurance if you are throwing your own shindig this month.

There are a variety of situations or accidents that can occur that could put a serious damper on your party. What if someone slips and falls, requires medical attention, or has too much to drink, then drives, and causes an accident? These situations are unpleasant to think about when planning a party, but homeowners should always make sure they are prepared for worst case scenarios.

Before hosting a party, talk to your insurance agent, broker, or provider about your homeowner insurance policy. They will help you determine if you have adequate liability coverage. Most homeowners policies cover bodily injury, property damage, and will provide for legal defense should a homeowner get sued in civil court as a result of an occurrence that is covered by the policy. Your agent can also help you determine if an umbrella policy is needed. Umbrella policies (also called Personal Liability Umbrella Policies) offer an additional level of protection beyond the limits of a homeowner policy.

Some tips

  • Warn guests to pay attention to any hazards on the property that they should avoid or take them by surprise; such as steep steps or a hole in the ground
  • Keep sidewalks, walkways and steps free of ice and snow
  • Ensure there is adequate outdoor lighting during times when guests will be arriving and leaving.
  • Take special care of items on the property that may attract children, like a swing set or tree house, and reinforce to guests that their children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • Be prepared to have guests spend the night, appoint designated drivers, or have a local taxi service phone number easily available.
  • Drink responsibly and have fun

Also, each province and municipality have various laws and by-laws that can affect your legal responsibilities; when in doubt contact a legal or municipal by-law expert to see how these may affect you.

Thanks for your time and Merry Christmas and Happy 2016!

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