DYK: Nearly half of Canadian drivers think vehicle safety technology poses a risk to road safety

DYK: Nearly half of Canadian drivers think vehicle safety technology poses a risk to road safety

Over-reliance on technology and lack of education cited as main factors

Toronto, ON, November 27, 2019 – Your vehicle brakes automatically to avoid a collision. It beeps to warn you if there is a car in your blind spot. The steering wheel vibrates if you unintentionally drift out of your lane or start crossing lanes without signalling. A light flashes to warn you of a risk of a frontal collision. These features are all designed to make driving safer, but nearly half of Canadian drivers also think they pose a risk to road safety, according to a recent survey released by Desjardins Insurance.Increasingly, vehicles on our roads are equipped with highly sophisticated safety features to prevent crashes or warn drivers of unsafe conditions. While a majority of drivers agree that these safety features are needed to make our roads safer (51%), the survey data suggests more needs to be done to ensure drivers not only understand what these features are meant to do, but also what they don’t guard against.

“While studies clearly show that crash avoidance and other safety systems in newer cars are reducing collisions and saving lives, the survey’s findings are enough to give us pause. They are an important reminder that no matter how sophisticated the safety systems, the driver’s vigilance and attention are essential to ensure safe driving, both for the people in the vehicle and those who share the road with motorists,” said Alain Hade, Vice-President, Marketing and Member Client Experience at Desjardins Insurance.

Among the survey’s highlights, it was found that:
  • 48% of drivers think vehicle safety technologies pose a risk to road safety
  • 46% of drivers think Canadian drivers are over-reliant on vehicle safety technologies
  • 80% think there should be more education on how to use safety features in vehicles
  • 63% of Canadians, drivers or not, feel advanced safety technology can contribute to distraction among drivers
However, the survey did reveal some positive points, including:
  • 52% of drivers believe vehicle safety features help reduce the number of collisions
  • 51% of drivers feel vehicle safety features are needed to keep our roads safer

“It’s important that driver knowledge of safety features and confidence in them is on the rise, particularly as they are exposed to features that are increasingly standard on new vehicles,” said Robyn Robertson, President and CEO of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation. “Caution is warranted in the promotion of safety features and their benefits to ensure Canadians understand the functionality and limitations of them, and to discourage drivers from relying on them in situations for which they were not designed.”

Are we ready for autonomous vehicles?
With most car manufacturers expected to unveil semi- or fully autonomous vehicles in the not-too-distant future, it is clear Canadians are somewhat reluctant to fully embrace the technology. According to survey results, less than a third of Canadians who expressed an opinion on that matter (28%) say they would trust being driven in a fully autonomous vehicle.

“These results lead us to believe that people experienced with the technology have confidence in vehicle safety systems, but not blindly,” added Hade. “Drivers need to be well informed about the car they’re driving before getting behind the wheel. This means knowing what the features and technology can and cannot do. Safety technologies are important to prevent injuries and fatalities, but they also have limitations.”

Impact on insurance
Half (52%) believe the safety systems help reduce the number of crashes; however, they rely on costly electronic components and sensors that also have a direct impact on the cost of repairing a vehicle. Between 2009 and 2016, the average cost of a two-vehicle collision (at-fault and not-at-fault) jumped 30%.

Insurance offered in Elliot Lake for water-sewer problems

The excerpted article was written by Brent Sleightholm | Elliot Lake Today

For the second year running, the City of Elliot Lake has offered residents a way to be insured against water and sewer issues.

“The City of Elliot Lake has partnered with Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC) to offer protection to city homeowners with Service Line Warranties of Canada to offer protection to city homeowners for the water and sewer service lines that connect their homes to the city’s systems,” Elliot Lake CAO Daniel Gagnon, explained in an email.

“The coverage is voluntary and available at affordable monthly prices. Since 2015, SLWC has partnered with over 50 leading cities in Ontario to provide repair service plans that offer homeowners peace of mind and convenience,” said Gagnon.

“Many homeowners do not know that damage to the service lines on their property is their responsibility to repair. In the event of a service line repair emergency, the homeowner is responsible for scheduling the repair and covering the associated cost. The SLWC Service Line Warranty Program protects against repairs needed to pipes on homeowners’ property,” Gagnon added. “Repairs to these pipes are not often covered by basic homeowners insurance. If a customer’s service line is in need of repair, a simple call to the SLWC 24-hour hotline will dispatch a local, licensed contractor familiar with local code. There are no service fees or deductibles.”

“A recent mail-out was done by SLWC to homeowners in Elliot Lake and is completely voluntary. The city is not delivering the service but is simply facilitating the offer,” Gagnon concluded.

‘Insurance companies are fighting everything, every step of the way’

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‘London’ officially out as insurance giant completes rebranding

NORMAN DE BONO | The London Free Press

The final hurdles have been cleared for the end of an iconic London brand.

London Life and its sister firm Great West Life will be no more in 2020 with the insurer getting final approval from government and its board of directors to rebrand as Canada Life.

“This has been a massive amount of work for the entire organization,” said Canada Life President Jeff Macoun “I’m relieved and so excited about Jan. 1, 2020.”

The insurer announced in April it will drop its London Life and Great West Assurance Co. names and become Canada Life. It recently got approval from its board and the federal finance ministry to make it happen in the new year.

The rebranding is needed to streamline and simplify the marketing of the business, said Macoun.

“We are doing this to be bigger and stronger to better serve Canadians . . . it’s a growth play to be a bigger player in the market. It allows us to simplify our brand.”

There will be no changes to policies or the more than 3,000 staff now working in London under the London Life banner, he added.

“What you will see from a customer standpoint, nothing will change,” Macoun said.

“London Life has deep roots in the city. Our only our intent is to carry that forward and underline our strong new London brand” under the new name.

London Life was founded in London in 1874. It now has about 13 million customers. It has been headquartered at its stately Dufferin Avenue offices since 1927.


ABOUT LONDON LIFE:

1874: Founded

Early 1900s to 1951: Permanent headquarters built and expanded

1963: Staff of 1,600 in London

1971: Maple leaf logo introduced

1984: Freedom 55 brand launched

1996: Acquired most of Canadian operations of Prudential Insurance Co. of America

1997: Became a subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco

2020: Rebranded as Canada Life, more than 3,000 staff in London.

The need to understand travel health insurance coverage

The need to understand travel health insurance coverage

As 54 per cent of Canadians prepare to travel this already frigid winter, the Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) is releasing the results of its most recent traveller survey that reveals that 26 per cent of Canadians are unsure of their coverage when they travel.

Ninety per cent of respondents make mobile phones a part of life even on holiday, but these modern conveniences are increasingly a source of injury with 13 per cent overall (and 18 per cent of millennials) reporting that they’ve been injured while posing precariously for selfies.

“Everyone deserves a carefree vacation and travel health insurance is designed to pay for unexpected medical emergencies,” said Will McAleer, Travel Health Insurance Association. “Understanding what activities might impact coverage, whether it be climbing a mountain or consuming more alcohol than usual, is part of what’s required for a good getaway. With Ontario being the first province to eliminate coverage for out-of-country medical expenses, it’s more important than ever to know what is and isn’t covered by insurance policies.”

Starting on January 1, 2020, OHIP is changing its out of country travel health coverage for Ontarians and will no longer provide any coverage for travellers (aside from kidney dialysis). According to the survey, 45 per cent of Canadians believe provincial health insurance covers some medical expenses incurred while travelling abroad. These changes underscore the importance of consumer awareness and understanding of their travel health insurance coverage.

Being aware of what is or isn’t covered under a policy, or federal regulations related to marijuana, will go a long way in ensuring that hard-earned holidays aren’t jeopardized either by unexpected medical expenses or criminal changes.

Twenty per cent of survey respondents admit to having consumed more than five drinks in two hours on holiday while 31 per cent of millennial males have climbed mountains while travelling. And, 21 per cent of respondents believe it’s acceptable to travel with marijuana packed in their luggage.

The survey also revealed that Canadians are more likely to travel domestically this year and less likely to travel to the US due to the exchange rate (58 per cent) and current political climate (48 per cent).

Wherever Canadians plan to travel this winter, they are more likely to have a carefree holiday and navigate unexpected medical issues with appropriate travel health insurance. Will McAleer recommends that all travellers familiarize themselves with the following key elements of travel health insurance:

  1. Understand your travel insurance policy – Insurance providers have staff available to answer any questions related to policies.
  2. Know your health and consult a health care provider if you have any questions.
  3. Know your trip – How long will you be gone? Are you a snowbird? Will you be travelling many times during the year? Do you plan to scuba dive? Find a policy that is specifically tailored to your trip.
  4. Know your rights – The Bill of Rights and Responsibilities will help provide all travelling Canadians with additional confidence in their travel insurance purchase knowing their company is supporting their rights as a consumer and making them aware of their responsibilities.

About the Survey
The online survey, conducted in October 2019, polled 1,053 respondents, ranging from ages 18 to 60+ across Canada.

About the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA)
Founded in 1998, the Travel Health Insurance Association (THiA) is the national organization representing travel insurers, brokers, underwriters, re-insurers, emergency assistance companies, air ambulance companies and allied services in the travel insurance field. THiA is the leading voice of the travel insurance industry in Canada and is engaged in public education and issues relating to regulatory affairs and member communications.

SOURCE Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA)

Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA)

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