IBC – ICBC No-Fault Design will Further Limit Consumer Choice

VANCOUVER, BC, July 7, 2020 /CNW/ – Today, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) published an open letter to British Columbia Premier John Horgan, outlining the auto insurance industry’s concern with Bill 11 – Attorney General Statues (Vehicle Insurance) Amendment Act, 2020. IBC also provided a list of legislative amendments to the government that, if implemented, would give consumers more choice and help to lower auto insurance rates in the province.

As currently designed, Bill 11 will further limit consumer choice, create new barriers to stifle the limited competition that currently exists in BC’s optional auto insurance market, and risks driving other insurers out of BC’s optional auto insurance market entirely.

As part of the move to a no-fault system, Bill 11 creates a new mandatory Basic Vehicle Damage coverage that is only available through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). This product will provide coverage for vehicle replacement and repair when a driver is not responsible for an accident. Today, these repairs can be covered by the third-party liability insurance of the driver responsible for an accident, which is open to choice and competition above ICBC’s basic limits.

“Bill 11 will reduce what little choice drivers have in BC’s optional auto insurance market,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, IBC. “There is no rationale for this expansion of ICBC’s monopoly over vehicle damage insurance. 

A better, more affordable auto insurance system would allow drivers to purchase this coverage from any insurer they choose.”

IBC has suggested a number of amendments to Bill 11 that would provide consumers with choice in vehicle damage coverage – whether that coverage is mandatory or optional. This would make BC similar to the no-fault system in Quebec, where injury coverages are provided by the government insurer and vehicle damage coverages are provided by private insurers. Total premiums in Quebec (including the government’s no-fault coverage) are $717 on average1, less than half the $1,500 that ICBC projects its no-fault insurance will cost.

If enacted, IBC’s suggested amendments would create a more competitive market for vehicle damage coverage and, most importantly, would improve the affordability of this coverage over the long term. This would be particularly true if the government were to also remove the existing barriers to choice and competition in BC and provide all insurers with equal access to driver abstracts and provincial claims information.

“Under ICBC’s monopoly, British Columbians pay more for auto insurance than anyone else in Canada,” noted Sutherland. “Canada’s private insurers want to help lower premiums in the province and are committed to working with the government to create a system that works for everyone.”

QUICK FACTS:

  • ICBC basic insurance currently provides coverage for $200,000 in third-party liability, accident benefits and uninsured motorist protection. Optional insurance provides excess third-party liability (above $200,000), as well as comprehensive and collision insurance.
  • Today, vehicle damage claims are paid from the third-party liability coverage of the driver responsible for the crash. Bill 11’s Basic Vehicle Damage Coverage will move this coverage under ICBC’s basic policy and cover repairs when the driver is not at fault.
  • Removing excess third-party liability coverage under no-fault will shrink the optional insurance market by up to 30%.
  • Last year, BC drivers spent $2.9 billion on optional insurance, with $300 million of that being spent on policies with private insurers.
  • In Quebec (a no-fault insurance province), drivers have full choice in who they purchase their vehicle damage coverage from – both mandatory and optional. Total annual auto insurance premiums (including the government’s no-fault coverage) in that province are $717 on average, less than half the projected cost of ICBC’s no-fault insurance ($1,500).

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 128,000 Canadians, pays $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @IBC_Pacific 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.

__________________________________

1 2018, the most recent full-year available

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

www.ibc.ca

Insurance companies drop coverage for Trans Mountain pipeline

The excerpted article was written by Allie Miller, Saif Kaisar

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Plagued with delays, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has been dealt another setback after environmental groups put pressure on insurers, potentially forcing the project to find new coverage.

“If they look at the facts they will make the best decision and unfortunately some of these insurance companies have been tricked, I would argue,” said Cody Battershill with Canada Action, a non-profit supporting the country’s natural resource sector.

“If they’re going to try to paint themselves green at Canada’s expense, I think history will judge them poorly.”

For over a year now, environmental groups have been pressuring insurance companies to drop Trans Mountain and adopt climate policies, citing high risks of oil spills that could potentially endanger our coast and lands.

“Two have now signalled to us that they will drop the project, that policy is up at the end of August so we will be putting increased pressure on the other nine companies,” said Sven Biggs with Stand.earth.

“The big ones are Zurich Insurance, Liberty Mutual and Chubb.”

Battershill added that move is misguided, saying the companies are believing a lie that dropping coverage of Trans Mountain is somehow a reasonable climate policy.

“Canada is leading on renewables and environmental protection and we need to have that balanced conversation where we’re not attacking each other and if we do truly care about the global community and the global environment, Canada should be a supplier of choice.

“If Canada can’t supply countries who want to do business they’re going to be ultimately forced to buy from other suppliers, to our competitors,” Battershill said.

He added blocking Canadian oil has not kept a single barrel in the ground. Battershill believes the environmental pressure on insurance companies is nothing more than a targeted campaign to deter people from supporting Canadian energy development.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected a request for an appeal from a group of First Nations against the project’s approval.

– With files from CityNews

 

Why Now Is The Time To Stop Putting Off Insurance

Lawyers Financial

You’re not alone if the thought of a medical exam in your home feels like a hassle and it’s kept you from applying for life and disability insurance. Due to Covid-19 safety precautions, medical exams for life insurance have been temporarily suspended. Fortunately, you may be eligible to apply for life and disability insurance with a simple telephone interview – no medical examination. And you don’t need to meet face-to-face with an agent. You can apply over the phone or through a virtual meeting with your Lawyers Financial Advisor.

So, if you are looking for additional ways to protect your income or create a more substantial legacy, this is the perfect time to get the coverage you need to protect your family and your practice.

Qualify for higher amounts

To ensure that our clients have access to the coverage they need, our insurer has temporarily extended the amount of coverage available without medical evidence for non-smokers under the age of 60. The amount of your coverage and your premiums will be based on your age and other lifestyle factors.

No face-to- face meetings

You can book a phone or online meeting with your Lawyers Financial Advisor to review the amount of coverage you need and sign the paperwork electronically. No one will come to your home and we have instituted the use of secure digital signatures.

Book an appointment today

There’s no way to predict when in-person medical examinations will be required again. If you’ve been putting off your decision to buy or renew insurance, take the first step and contact your Lawyers Financial Advisor. All of the paperwork can be completed and signed digitally from the comfort of home.

Originally published 02 July 2020

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

Canada’s film & TV industry should be getting back to business — but no insurers are willing to provide COVID-19 coverage

It must have been music to their ears when the Toronto branch of ACTRA, the union representing Canadian performers, announced to its more than 15,000 members that “Ontario is getting ready to roll!” Anyone looking to make a film or TV production in the province is now free to do so — as long as they don’t do it in Leamington.

For content-starved Canadian viewers, this must be good news as well.

There’s only one problem: there’s currently not a single rated insurer in the world that will provide coverage to film and TV producers without a COVID-19 exclusion.

Unless government steps in, the situation won’t improve anytime soon.

Fortunately, the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has tabled a proposal that could solve the problem. Specifically, it’s asking the federal government to provide a $100-million backstop for COVID-19-related insurance claims.

The CMPA plan is not a handout. Producers would be required to pay an additional premium for the coverage. However, unlike the policies offered by large global insurance companies, whose COVID-19 exclusions are being driven by the out of control outbreak south of the border, this Made in Canada solution would be designed to address the specific risks of producing in this country.

It would allow the industry to get back to work. If the government decides to act.

Canada’s production industry is a highly fragmented web of small business owners (producers) and independent service providers (writers, directors, actors, composers, crew and others). Most producers have small full-time staffs and hire the bulk of their workers on a project-by-project basis.

This model applies equally well for a cooking show, a dramatic television series, a Telefilm-funded Canadian movie, or one of the many American films that are regularly seen shooting around Toronto, Vancouver and other Canadian locations.

In normal times, all this adds up to big business, supporting more than 180,000 direct jobs and adding an estimated $12.78 billion to the nation’s GDP.

Until there’s a safe and effective vaccine the biggest risk to any production is a COVID-19-related shutdown. That may take the form of a lead performer or director becoming seriously ill or dying, or a government reimposing lockdown in the middle of filming.

The TV networks, lenders and equity financiers who fund productions are not willing to assume that risk and require insurance coverage without any exclusions. Without such insurance, there can be no production.

Allowing this situation to continue is bad policy for several reasons.

Most obviously, a sizable industry that governments across the country have deemed safe to reopen is effectively prevented from doing so. In provinces like Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, which have active production industries and three diagnosed case of COVID-19 between them, the case for returning to work is especially compelling

Since writers, directors, performers, composers and crew are not full-time employees, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy provides no relief.

Some in the industry are eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which is a direct financial cost to the government and provides a bare subsistence income in the costly urban centres where production talent is most concentrated.

The Star

Birth of the largest mutual insurance company in the country with La Capitale/SSQ Insurance merger of equals

QUEBEC CITY, July 3, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – La Capitale and SSQ Insurance are pleased to announce that their merger of equals is now official, creating the largest mutual insurance company in Canada with over 3.5 million members and clients.

The name of the new company will be announced in the fall and integration will take place gradually. For the time being, nothing is changing for members, clients, and business partners. All agreements are being maintained.

The company is built on a solid foundation: 4,700 committed employees, well-established mutualist values, sound finances, and diversified expertise. Assets under management total more than $20 billion, and premiums tally at $5 billion. Its head office will remain in Quebec City.

The new company is now the 1st group insurer in Quebec and 4th in Canada, as well as the 4th largest personal insurer in Quebec and the 6th largest in Canada. In general insurance, it ranks 3rd in Quebec and 13th in Canada. It also holds an enviable position in savings, ranking 7th in Canada in segregated funds.

Experienced, well-balanced management team
The new company is also announcing its management team. Jean-François Chalifoux, former CEO of SSQ Insurance, becomes President and CEO of the new company, whereas Jean St-Gelais, former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of La Capitale, has been named Chairman of the Board of Directors. He will also lead the Integration Steering Committee.

The following people have joined the management team:

  • Pierre Marc Bellavance is appointed Executive Vice President and Leader, Legal Affairs, Compliance and Corporate Secretary. He served as Vice President, Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretary at La Capitale.
  • Patrick Cyr is appointed Executive Vice President and Leader, Integration. He was Senior Vice President, Finance at SSQ Insurance.
  • Catherine Desgagnés-Belzil is appointed Executive Vice President and Leader, Business Performance and Information Technology. She was previously Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board and Chief Information Officer for the Quebec government.
  • Christian Fournier is appointed Executive Vice President and Leader, Property and Casualty Insurance. He was Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at La Capitale General Insurance.
  • Mélissa Gilbert is appointed Executive Vice President and Leader, Finance. She was Executive Vice President, Finance, Corporate Actuarial and Risk Management at La Capitale.
  • Stéphane Morency is appointed Executive Vice President and Leader, Strategy, Customer Experience and Marketing. He was previously Senior Vice President, Strategy, Marketing and Client Experience within a major insurance and financial services group.
  • Lara Nourcy is appointed Executive Vice President and Leader, Individual Insurance and Financial Services. She was Vice President, Customers Experience, Partners and Operations Management at La Capitale.
  • Martin Robert is appointed Executive Vice President and Leader, Talent, Culture and Communication. He was previously Vice President, Talent, Culture and Communication at SSQ Insurance.
  • Éric Trudel has been appointed Executive Vice President and Leader, Group Insurance. He previously served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Product Management at SSQ Insurance.

The merger of equals between La Capitale and SSQ Insurance was presented to members last January and has since gone through the various regulatory stages.

“We are very proud to make this merger of equals official today. Our new company has given itself the means to grow and make its mark in a fast-changing industry. We are now a major player across the country. We’ve opened an exciting new chapter for our 4,700 employees, who now make up the largest mutual insurance company in Canada.”

—  Jean-François Chalifoux, President and CEO
La Capitale/SSQ Insurance

Source: thelargestmutual.ca

SOURCE La Capitale Insurance and Financial Services

www.lacapitale.com

Own Or Rent – The Life Insurance Choice

There are two ways to purchase life insurance. You can pay-as-you-go, like when you rent. Or you can pay in full and own the policy forever, like buying a home. Your Lawyers Financial Advisor can help you determine which type is right for you.

Term Life

Term Life is, as the name implies, insurance for a specified term. The term can be a fixed number of years or until a specific age. That means the policy has an expiry date. In that sense, it’s like renting an apartment. At the end of the term, you may be able to renew or you can simply walk away.

Term life
“RENTING”
Some people only want coverage for the period in life when their household debt is high and there may not be enough money in savings to take care of loved ones if their income was lost due to death.
How it works Select the amount of coverage you need and pay the premium for as long as you need it. Term Life 80 from Lawyers Financial provides protection up to age 80.
Major advantages
  • Relatively low premiums, compared to permanent insurance
  • Coverage to age 80
  • Your Lawyers Financial coverage automatically increases every year1

Non-Par Whole Life Insurance

Non-Par Whole Life insurance provides insurance protection for life. Unlike renting, it’s more like buying a home, paying it off, and living it in forever. And like a home, a portion of your policy can grow over time, creating a form of equity you can access if you cancel your policy (like selling your home). Your Lawyers Financial Advisor can demonstrate how it can work for you.

Permanent insurance
“BUYING”
Some people are willing to invest in the purchase of a lifetime plan as part of their family estate plan because permanent insurance has the potential to create additional wealth.
How it works Non-Par Whole Life Insurance

Select the amount of coverage you need and pay the premiums for 20 years or until age 100. The policy stays in effect for life, even if you live beyond age 100.

Major advantages
  • Coverage for life when premiums are paid in full
  • An excellent estate planning tool.
  • Source of inheritance for children and grandchildren.
  • Can be used to bequest a large donation to charity.

When to decide

Whether you choose to rent or own your life insurance policy, it typically makes good financial sense to apply while you are young and in reasonably good health. Premiums tend to be at their lowest when you apply early. Either way, all that matters is choosing the right type of coverage to meet your needs at a price you can afford, as part of your overall financial plan.

Footnote

1. When you take out new coverage through Lawyers Financial, eligible clients receive our unique Automatic Increase Benefit. (AIB) This benefit increases your coverage by an amount equal to 10% of your certificate’s original face amount every December 1st, following 12 consecutive months of initial ownership. Increases to your face amount are applied automatically and do not require any evidence of continued insurability. You may decline an AIB increase at any time. Some limitations apply.

Originally published 13 April 2020

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

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