Ontario motorists are peeved as record-level claims drive auto insurance premiums even higher

A new study from J.D. Power shows customer satisfaction at a low when it comes to car insurance

The rising frequency of insurance claims and the growing cost of vehicle repairs have forced another year of auto insurance premium hikes in Ontario in 2019. And the result is exactly what you might expect.

Motorists are not happy.

J.D. Power’s latest study has revealed that customer satisfaction levels when it comes to auto insurance providers has hit a new low. And price sensitivity is playing the leading role as the ongoing drama between Ontarians and insurers continues to develop.

To offset rising costs for auto insurers, premiums have been pushed upward to where the national average has risen to $298. And while Alberta has seen the highest spike in auto insurance costs with premiums reaching $326, Ontario sits in a close second with motorists shelling out an average of $311 to stay on the roads.

“With such a dramatic increase in premiums, price sensitivity becomes an issue to which insurers should be very mindful,” commented J.D. Power insurance practice director Tom Super. “While we have seen pockets of claims frequency begin to stabilize, carriers continue to face profitability challenges in the auto sector, especially for those carriers that lagged the market on rate action.”

Key factors contributing to profitability issues for insurance providers in Ontario include the rising number of fraudulent auto insurance claims in the Province, the increased cost to repair more technologically advanced vehicles and the growing amount of claims due to distracted driving, despite the many deterrents in place.

J.D. Power’s study found that transparency when it comes to insurance rate increases could help limit the negative effect on satisfaction for customers. Satisfaction is higher among customers who saw an insurer-initiated increase in their premiums once they discussed their discount options and also completely understood their bill. Those customers who discussed discount options, completely understood their bill, and completely understood their policy saw their satisfaction score rise by the greatest margin.

“There are multiple ways to help customers realize the value of their policy,” Super explained. “Providing easy access to policy information via digital channels and having at least one annual touch point to review customers’ changing needs can go a long way in increasing satisfaction and loyalty.”

Although the Provincial Government has committed to exploring ways to relive the financial burden of auto insurance rates on Ontarians, motorists in the province are currently dealing with some of the highest rates in Canada.

For now, the best way for customers to find happiness with an insurer and keep up with rising auto insurance premiums is to shop around for the best rate. The easiest way for motorists to find a policy that meets their needs and budget is by using OrilliaMatters’s Insurance Hotline, an online tool that compares quotes from over thirty providers with a single search

Umbrella Insurance Policies: Should You Have One?

Article by Theodore J. Madison

What is Umbrella Insurance?

Personal umbrella insurance is a type of insurance policy designed to add extra liability coverage over and above another insurance policy, such as auto, boat, or homeowners.

The extra coverage applies when the liability limits of the above policies have been reached.

It also provides coverage for claims that may be excluded under other liability policies.

What is Covered?

Umbrella insurance typically covers:

  • Bodily Injury claims arising from automobile accidents that are your fault, e.g. your dog biting someone, slip and falls in your home or injury to a third party occurring at your home;
  • Property damage to another’s tangible property arising from an automobile accident, your dog damaging another’s property and damage caused to another by your child;
  • Liability claims against you as a landlord;
  • Libel and/or slander actions against you;
  • False arrest or detention allegations against you;
  • A claim against you for malicious prosecution;
  • A claim against you for shock or mental anguish.

An example of how umbrella insurance works:

If your auto policy has limits of $500,000 and you are involved in an accident that is your fault where damages exceed your policy limits. If you have an umbrella policy, it will cover the excess claim up to the umbrella policy’s limits.

Summary

Umbrella policies are usually sold in $1 million increments to stack on your existing auto, boat or homeowners policies.

Damage awards are ever increasing and people generally do not carry enough coverage for a catastrophic claim. So the answer is yes, get yourself an umbrella policy to cover your assets.

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.

Manulife ‘highly confident’ ahead of hedge fund case verdict: CEO

TORONTO _ The chief executive of Manulife Financial Corp. says the insurer is  “highly confident” it will prevail in its legal battle with hedge fund Mosten Investment LP over insurance contracts.

Roy Gori told a conference call discussing its latest quarterly results today that he’s not sure when a decision will be rendered in the case brought against Manulife’s life insurance subsidiary, but the company is “prepared to see this through.”

The trial involving one of Manulife’s insurance contracts purchased by Mosten wrapped up last year.

Mosten has argued that under the terms of the universal life insurance policy, it can deposit an unlimited amount of money and receive an annualized guaranteed return of at least four per cent with one-month liquidity.

Prominent short-seller Muddy Waters has said if the court sides with Mosten, the hedge fund could sell an unlimited amount of partnership interests backed by Manulife and  “financially cripple” the insurer.

Manulife has argued that issuers of universal life policies never intended to have them function as deposit or securities contracts, and it disagrees with the short-seller’s conclusions.

Bus crash survivor to get insurance payment ahead of legal battle

Laurie Fagan, CBC news

Derek Nicholson’s client Gwen Lambert suffered serious leg injuries in last month’s fatal OC Transpo crash at Westboro station. He says she’s relieved the city’s insurance company will give her an interim payment before her lawsuit is dealt with. 

An Ottawa woman suing the City of Ottawa after her legs were crushed in last month’s fatal double-decker bus crash is set to get a significant payout from the city’s insurance company.

Gwen Lambert was one of 23 people injured Jan. 11 when her OC Transpo bus slammed into a Transitway shelter at Westboro station.

Three people also died in the crash.

“Her condition is still very challenging, and my understanding is that she may not be able to walk for about a year. But it’s still not clear,” said her lawyer, Derek Nicholson.

Nicholson’s firm, Beament Herbert Nicholson LLP, has filed a negligence lawsuit for more than $6 million against the city, OC Transpo, the bus driver and the province of Ontario.

That amount is the “upper limit,” Nicholson said, that would compensate Lambert — who is still in hospital and is facing multiple surgeries, followed by lengthy rehabilitation — for her potential lost income, future health care costs, and pain and suffering.

Nicholson would not say how much Lambert would receive in the interim from the city’s insurance company, other than it was “tens of thousands of dollars.”

Lambert was riding this double-decker city bus when it struck the transit shelter at Westboro station on Jan. 11. She was one of 23 people injured in the crash. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Nicholson said he’d forged a strong relationship with the lawyer for the city’s insurance company after representing survivors of a 2013 collision between an OC Transpo bus and a Via Rail train in their own lawsuit.

The company’s lawyer “volunteered” the possibility of an advance payment, said Nicholson — an unusual offer in insurance industry negotiations.

“I don’t think liability is being seriously contested,” he said. “Obviously they haven’t admitted it yet, but the advance is a credit to what my client will be entitled to eventually.”

‘Immediate assistance’

The city declined an interview Wednesday about the payment.

However, deputy solicitor David White said in an email that interim payments were being covered by the insurer to “provide immediate assistance to those seriously injured and their families,” rather than forcing them to first wait for the litigation process to wrap up.

For now, only Lambert is receiving a payment, White said. The city’s insurer was “reaching out to other seriously injured plaintiffs through their legal counsel,” he added.

Nicholson said he was encouraged by the gesture, since one client he represented following the 2013 crash waited three years to receive money.

He said Lambert was “grateful” to have received the payment, making it “one less thing” she had to be concerned about.

“It’s an unfortunate accident, and I think the city wants to help people,” he said.

“It’s a pretty terrifying time. I know my client is stuck in a hospital still, and worrying about money isn’t something you want on top of that.”

Source: CBC News

David Assman has cheeky response after being denied personalized licence plate

MELVILLE, Sask. _ A Saskatchewan man has come up with a cheeky response to the province rejecting his request for a personalized licence plate.

David Assman, pronounced Oss-man, wanted to put his last name on his licence plate.

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) said no because it could be considered offensive when seen out of context.

Assman says in a Facebook post that he appealed the decision but was again rejected.

In response, he added a large “ASSMAN” decal to the back of his truck that’s designed to look like a licence plate.

The move has gotten a lot of response on social media including from the SGI twitter account.

“All’s well that ends well,” said ?SGItweets.

IBAC Welcomes the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance

Toronto, February 13, 2019 – The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) is pleased to announce that the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company has become a Full Partner for 2019.

Wawanesa’s sponsorship will support IBAC’s Broker Identity Program (BIP), a nationaladvertising campaign that raises awareness of the significant value that insurance brokers provide for their clients – choice, advice and advocacy. With a redesigned logo and our new “Before the Quote” platform, the BIP campaign is reinvigorating the brand and highlighting the value of the broker distribution system.

As an IBAC Full Partner, Wawanesa provides sponsorship funding and in-kind services to support a wide range of IBAC advocacy and public education initiatives focused on promoting the significant value of insurance brokers in protecting Canadian consumers, communities and organizations. Wawanesa Mutual today is the largest P&C insurer in Canada that exclusively distributes insurance products through the broker channel.

In addition, their investment will contribute to important IBAC initiatives including IBAC’stechnology leadership, professional development of the broker workforce, and our strong and effective federal advocacy to maintain the separation of banking and insurance, which protects consumers and promotes a fair and competitive marketplace.

“We believe independent brokers are in the best position to deliver advice and advocacy to ourmutual customers,” says Carol Jardine, President, Canadian P&C Operations, WawanesaMutual. “And being 100% broker-distributed, we can now truly say we’re ‘all in’ on the Canadianbroker channel. Our Full Partnership with IBAC is exciting for us, as it will offer us even more leverage to invest in – and support – the success of brokers.”

IBAC Chief Executive Officer Peter Braid added: “I am very pleased to welcome Wawanesa to the IBAC family as a Full Partner. As previous sponsors of IBAC’s activities with the WorldFederation of Insurance Intermediaries (WFII), Wawanesa has shown strong support for our organization. Now as a Full Partner, their increased investment further demonstrates their unwavering belief in the broker channel and their commitment to ensuring that consumers are well served.”

About The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company:

The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, founded in 1896, is the largest Canadian Property and Casualty Mutual insurer with $3 billion in annual revenue and assets of more than $9 billion. Wawanesa Mutual, with executive offices in Winnipeg, is the parent company of Wawanesa General, which offers property and casualty insurance in California and Oregon; Wawanesa Life, which provides life insurance products and services throughout Canada; and Western Financial Group, which distributes personal and business insurance across Western Canada. With over

5,000 employees, Wawanesa proudly serves over two million policyholders through regional offices and service offices in Canada and the United States. Wawanesa actively gives back to organizations that strengthen communities where it operates, donating well above internationally recognized benchmarks for excellence in corporate philanthropy. Learn more atwww.wawanesa.com

About IBAC:

Founded in 1921, the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada is the national voice of over 38,000 property and casualty insurance brokers, advocating for the interests of both insurance brokers and consumers to the Government of Canada. The Broker Identity Program (BIP) was launched in 1988 to promote the value and professionalism of the insurance broker to consumers, insurers and governments.

IBAC

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