OACP team up with IBC & Accident Support Services International to stop thefts & valuables left in plain view

HAMILTON, ON, Dec. 4, 2019 /CNW/ – Ontario’s police leaders are teaming up with the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and Accident Support Services International to warn motorists to Lock it OR Lose it when it comes to securing their vehicles and valuables this holiday season.

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) has launched its annual Lock It OR Lose It campaign, which encourages drivers and passengers to take precautions to protect their vehicles and contents from theft, particularly during the holiday season. The campaign was kicked off at the Lime Ridge Mall in Hamilton.

“The holiday season should be about spending time with our families and friends. Our message is simple: don’t let would-be thieves play the role of Bad Santa by stealing your vehicle or valuables left unsecured. Keep things such as GPS and mobile devices, laptops, shopping bags, money, and credit cards out-of-sight as a way in deter criminal activities.” said OACP President Chief Paul Pedersen.

This year’s Lock it OR Lose it campaign is being launched during the holiday season because it’s easy for people to be distracted and leave their vehicles unlocked or valuables in plain sight during the festive hustle-and-bustle. Police will use Lock it OR Lose it notices throughout the year as part of on-going crime prevention efforts.

“About 236 motor vehicles are stolen in Canada every day. That’s 86,132 incidents per year. In Ontario alone, almost 24,000 vehicles were reported stolen,” Bryan Gast, the IBC’s National Director, Investigative Services. “Although we’ve seen increases in recent years, the rate of motor vehicle theft in Canada last year was 38% lower than in 2008. But it doesn’t mean we can drop our guard. In fact, we need to be more vigilant than ever.”

According to Gast, today’s auto thieves are turning to technology – and vehicles’ electronic systems – to bypass security systems and steal vehicles. Electronic auto theft is on the rise as more vehicles are equipped with technology such as keyless entry fobs. In fact, the insurance industry has seen the growing trend that thieves are able to copy FOB information and steal cars right from your driveway.

During local Lock it OR Lose it outreach initiatives by police services throughout the year, police officers, auxiliary officers, and crime prevention personnel examine parked vehicles to confirm they are locked and that no valuables are left in plain view. A small notice is placed on vehicles checked – not just ones that are found unsecured – advising what safety precautions may have been neglected and offering simple prevention tips for drivers to protect their vehicles against theft. The notices congratulate drivers who have secured their vehicle.

Motorists are urged not to keep personal documents such as vehicle ownership, liability pink slips, credit card invoices or other documents containing personal information in their vehicles. Identity thieves are looking for such documents so they can assume identities, secure credit card accounts, lease vehicles for export, and even take out a mortgage against victims’ properties without their knowledge.

#LockItOrLoseIt

The Lock it OR Lose it Campaign is supported by a number of OACP partners:

Accident Support Services International

arrive alive/DRIVE SOBER

Insurance Bureau of Canada

The OACP also supports arrive alive/Drive Safe’s  #HolidayRide Campaign http://www.arrivealive.org/

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

www.ibc.ca

Economical employees celebrate GivingTuesday by donating $65,000 to Canadian charities

WATERLOO, ON, Dec. 3, 2019 /CNW/ – This GivingTuesday,  Economical Insurance is granting donations to 14 community-based organizations across Canada through its employee-driven Choose Your Charity program.

Giving back to communities has always been and will continue to be a part of the story that defines Economical. This year marks the fourth anniversary of Choose Your Charity, a program that empowers employees from the Economical family of companies to nominate and vote for charities in their regions across Canada to receive individual donations of $5,000. Since the program’s inception, Economical has granted $222,500 to worthy causes nationally – including this year’s total of $65,000.

“Economical Insurance is committed to supporting causes that drive positive change in the communities where we live and work,” said David Bradfield, Vice-President, Marketing and Communication at Economical Insurance. “We’re proud to continue building a legacy that enables our teams to advocate on behalf of the causes nearest to their hearts.”

Each organization benefiting from this annual giving campaign is making a difference in the communities where Economical employees, brokers, and customers call home.

The 2019 Economical Insurance Choose Your Charity recipients are:

Location

Charity

Amount

Vancouver

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

$5,000

Edmonton

Youthwrite Society Canada

$5,000

Calgary

Youthwrite Society Canada

$5,000

Winnipeg

Winnipeg Humane Society

Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation

$2,500

$2,500

London

Ronald McDonald House Charities Southwestern
Ontario

$5,000

Woodstock

Sakura House

$5,000

Waterloo

Nutrition for Learning

Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo
Wellington

$2,500

$2,500

Kitchener

The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo &
Stratford Perth

$5,000

Mississauga

SickKids Foundation

$5,000

Toronto

The Shining Through Centre

$5,000

Ottawa

Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

$5,000

Montreal

Bouffe pour tous

$5,000

Halifax

Nova Scotia SPCA

$5,000

As a proud supporter of Canadian charities and causes that directly protect the safety and security, youth and education, and health and wellness of Canadians — Economical remains focused on driving true change for Canadians through community funding.

About Economical Insurance

Economical Mutual Insurance Company (“Economical” or “Economical Insurance”, which includes its subsidiaries where the context so requires) is a leading property and casualty insurer in Canada, with approximately $2.5 billion in annualized gross written premiums and $5.9 billion in assets as at September 30, 2019. Economical is a Canadian-owned and operated company that services the insurance needs of more than one million customers across the country.

SOURCE Economical Insurance

www.economical.com

Ontario is about to scrap out-of-country emergency health care coverage

Travelling to the U.S.? Here’s what you need to know

The Star Vancouver

When Toronto resident Jill Wykes had a health scare over a racing heartbeat in Florida a few years back, the $3,000 hospital bill for a two-hour visit and three tests added insult to illness.

Fortunately, the seasoned snowbird had a comprehensive travel health insurance policy that paid the full tab.

But the incident, which turned out to be nothing serious, served as a reminder that medical emergencies can happen any time, anywhere.

Buying enough travel insurance to cover all eventualities becomes even more important for Ontario residents when the province scraps its out-of-country coverage of emergency health care expenses on Jan.1.

Until Dec. 31, OHIP will continue to pay up to $400 per day for emergency in-patient services and up to $50 per day for emergency outpatient and doctor services. Starting next year though, that coverage stops.

A new program will provide kidney dialysis patients with $210 toward each treatment — actual prices in the U.S. range from $300 to $750 — but travellers will be on the hook for everything else.

The province says it’s cancelling the existing “inefficient” program because of the $2.8-million cost of administering $9 million in emergency medical coverage abroad each year. OHIP’s reimbursements also tended to offset only a fraction of the actual expenses.

Without private insurance, travellers can face “catastrophically large bills” for medical care, warns Ministry of Health spokesperson David Jensen, who “strongly encourages” people to purchase adequate coverage.

Health care south of the border, in particular, costs an arm and a leg. On average, fees in the U.S. are double those of other developed countries, according to the International Travel Insurance Group.

The insurance provider cites an array of costs, including: ambulance, $500 and up; ER visit, $150 to $3,000; hospital stay, $5,000 per day; MRI, $1,000 to $5,000; X-ray, $150 to $3,000; hip fracture, $13,000 to $40,000.

The monetary ouch factor can be especially painful for snowbirds, who are flocking to warm spots like Florida, Arizona and Texas in growing numbers as baby boomers reach retirement age.

But a significant number of vacationers of all ages are putting their financial health at risk.

According to a recent survey by InsuranceHotline.com, 34 per cent of Canadian respondents said they were unlikely to buy travel insurance, often in the mistaken belief their province would cover them. And 40 per cent had unrealistic expectations of health care costs, thinking, for example, that emergency medical evacuation would be under $2,000. In reality, the service can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Jill Wykes and her husband Pierre Lepage leave nothing to chance during winters in Sarasota, Fla., an annual trek since 2011 when she retired as a travel industry executive.

The couple, now in their 70s, purchase a multiple-trip plan with a 60-day top-up for their four-month sojourn, which includes driving there and back and flying home for two short visits. Her policy costs about $900 while his is $1,600, because he falls into an older age bracket. They’re each covered for up to $5 million.

Wykes, a blogger and editor of, snowbirdadvisor.ca, calls it “foolish” to travel anywhere without health insurance and advises against thinking “you would just drive or fly home if you were sick.” The financial fallout from an accident or sudden illness “can quickly rise into six figures” in the U.S., she adds.

Anne Marie Thomas of InsuranceHotline.com, which provides free quotes for all types of insurance, echoes Wykes’s advice.

“Now, more than ever, you need travel insurance because there will be zero coverage (as of Jan. 1),” she says.

There’s no one-size-fits-all policy and insurance can cover everything from trip cancellation or interruption to lost baggage and medical costs, Thomas explains, so it’s important to match your needs and situation. A sunseeker driving south, for instance, wouldn’t need trip cancellation.

Okanagan woman fights for prompt insurance payout after serious overseas accident

The excerpted article was written BY

A Lake Country woman said she went into shock immediately after she was in a severe accident in Indonesia, but it was the pain that followed while she was waiting in the emergency room for her insurance coverage to kick in that was most agonizing.

Brittany Roth was exploring a small island near Bali on the back of a scooter when the road made a sharp turn.

“My left knee clipped a jagged rock wall and tore me off the bike,” she said.

Brittany said she looked down and saw an exposed kneecap, a foot that was ripped open and her leg covered in blood.

“I looked at my friend and I said, ‘We have to call travel insurance now’,” she said. “I know you have to call the insurance company before you make a claim or it’s void.

An ambulance then rushed her to a local medical clinic, but her injuries were too severe for staff to treat.

Brittany said she was told she needed to catch a boat back to the main island before sundown.

But despite her insurance coverage, she had to pay up first.

“The way that it works in Bali unfortunately, is the care is really, really good, but until you can pay the bill, you don’t get treatment,” Brittany said. “So they said, ‘we need a credit card now or you’re on your own for the night.’”

Her travelling companion called Brittany’s sister Brooke Roth in the middle of the night in Canada, asking for her credit card number.

“My sister said it was terrifying receiving the call, hearing me screaming in the background. She thought I was getting kidnapped, she didn’t know why I needed a credit card,” Brittany said.

Brooke said she tried to stay calm as she learned the details.

Brooke paid the bill, and Brittany was put on a spine board for transport to Bali.

Some locals and her travelling companion carried Brittany to the waiting boat.

“They had to go down really, really steep concrete stairs to get to the beach, and then they had to walk through the ocean, knee-deep through water to get me to this boat,” Brittany said.

When the 20-year-old arrived at the hospital in Bali, still in a bathing suit, she was met with another bill — this one for $12,000.

“I was there for about four hours,” Brittany said. “They had said, ‘Unless we receive payment in 15 minutes, I’m sorry, we have to let you go. We can’t keep you here anymore.’”

“We were terrified thinking that we might be on the street,” Brittany said. “I don’t know what to do with my leg. I can’t walk. I’m bleeding.”

Meanwhile, back in Canada, Brooke was in a bureaucratic battle with Pacific Blue Cross Insurance.

“It was really frustrating. We had the approval right in front of us, but it took them so long to send the confirmation to the hospital,” she said.

After hours on the phone, confirmation finally went through, and Brittany successfully underwent surgery.

She received 38 stitches, has a torn tendon and is now moving around with crutches.

The sisters are still waiting for their $3,500 back, and Brittany is out-of-pocket the $3,000 expense of flying home unexpectedly.

Friends have started a GoFundMe campaign to help Brittany recover some of her costs.

Pacific Blue Cross declined an interview, but emailed Global News a statement on Monday.

“All travel insurance policies require contact with the insurer as soon as possible after an event has occurred to ensure the best treatment for the insured individual and to properly facilitate the claim,” it said.

“We’re obligated to work within each country’s medical system; it is not uncommon for medical facilities to require confirmation of payment, which we appreciate is unpleasant when injured.”

The insurance company also said that it can’t address specific cases because of privacy concerns.

Global News

Big data opens up new horizons for insurance companies

Amid regulatory changes and insurtech competition, Canadian insurers find that a one-size-fits all approach in the millennial era won’t work anymore

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2019 /CNW/ – With digital-savvy millennials now the world’s largest population segment and Gen Z following in their footsteps, Canadian insurance companies must rethink their business and harness big data to drive growth and profitability, finds a new KPMG in Canada report called Insurance frontiers: Here to horizon.

“The insurance industry will look radically different in 10 years from how it does today,” says KPMG’s Chris Cornell, Partner and National Insurance Sector Leader. “Forging a new path won’t be easy; insurers must digitize their operations, products, and processes, and use data-driven insights to address this seismic shift in customer dynamics. The one-size-fits-all approach won’t work anymore.”

As many as 86 per cent of chief executives at insurance companies around the world surveyed by KPMG are concerned over how millennials will change their business. Millennials aren’t following historical norms in terms of predicted life paths or milestones. Also, 84 per cent of Canadian millennials don’t trust traditional advertising and 95 per cent say the most credible source of product information is their friends.

Data allows insurance companies to know their customers in ways not previously possible, the report says. Big data can be used to inform assumption setting, better understand risk drivers, anticipated behaviours or events, make quicker underwriting decisions, and support strategies and decisions.

By using data analytics, social media listening, and artificial intelligence, insurance companies can make every customer ‘a segment of one’ with personalized care and customized insurance products, the report says.

“From the moment we’re born to the moment we die, we generate an enormous amount of data,” says Mr. Cornell. “Big data can open up new horizons for insurers. But, they must put into place much stronger data collection and analysis tools. This requires a total rethink of how to collect, store, analyze, and use data, not to mention how to ensure that it’s kept safe and secure.”

For example, by using data for predictive analytics, insurers can create more tailored, micro-insurance products to help companies better understand, manage, and respond to their unique risks, such as reducing fleet insurance premiums.

Released today at KPMG’s 28th annual insurance conference in Toronto, the report delves into five key trends that present risks and opportunities:

  • Seismic shift in customer dynamics
  • Business model disruption, innovation, and technological change
  • Focus on strategic alliances and partnerships
  • Game-changing regulations
  • Building a future-forward workforce

The report notes that while insurtechs have ratcheted up the pace of change, many are focused on enhancing or improving a segment of the insurance value chain rather than trying to disrupt the entire industry.

“Strategic alliances present a massive opportunity for Canadian insurers,” says Mr. Cornell.

Insurance companies would benefit from stepping back and thinking about what the insurer of the future looks like without considering their current organizational structures, he says. “By envisioning what is possible, insurers can look at how third parties and strategic alliances could help them achieve that vision,” he adds.

When it comes to digital change, an astounding 87 per cent of insurance CEOs said they are directly involved in devising and leading technological change within their firm, finds the KPMG’s 2019 Global CEO Outlook. However, three-quarters (76 per cent) of insurance CEOs also admit they ignored insights from data analysis and computer-driven models because the findings were contrary to their own intuition and experience.

KPMG surveyed 1,300 CEOs in 11 countries and key industries, including 132 CEOs from insurance companies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia with revenues from US$500 million to over US$10 billion.

The report also urges insurance companies to act soon in order to ensure they’re ready in time for IFRS 17. Already deferred by one year, companies must comply by Jan. 1, 2022.

“Insurers need to build in enough time to test, analyze and compare results and make any necessary changes,” says KPMG’s Stephen Smith, Audit Partner in Financial Services. “One of the biggest issues is that it’s not scalable, making the transition complicated for larger companies with large, complex books of business. Small insurers, meanwhile, are finding the regulatory burden quite challenging to address given their more limited internal resources and operational flexibility.”

Access a full copy of the 2019 Canadian insurance industry opportunities and risks report at https://home.kpmg/ca/en/home/insights/2019/11/insurance-frontiers-here-to-horizon.html

LEARN MORE
KPMG in Canada Website
@KPMG_Canada
KPMG on LinkedIn

About KPMG in Canada
KPMG LLP, an Audit, Tax and Advisory firm (kpmg.ca) is a limited liability partnership, established under the laws of Ontario, and the Canadian member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG has over 7,000 professionals/employees in over 40 locations across Canada serving private and public sector clients. KPMG is consistently recognized as an employer of choice and one of the best places to work in the country.

The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International, a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity, and describes itself as such.

SOURCE KPMG LLP

Driver who wrecked his brakes to avoid clobbering a moose wins ICBC battle

Rhianna Schmunk · CBC News ·

Hurtling toward a burly moose on a remote stretch of highway in northern B.C., Ronald Driedger did what any driver with enough time would do: he slammed his brakes to the floor.

It wrecked his brakes but took the edge off what could have been a deadly collision: Driedger did hit the moose, but both driver and animal survived.

What followed was a year-long battle between Driedger and the Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC) over the cost of the $1,700 brake repair.

Driedger argued he was covered, ICBC said he wasn’t.

After a flurry of emails and one showdown in B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal, Driedger​​​​​​​ won.

Brakes couldn’t stop car ‘creeping forward’ after crash

A ruling posted online Tuesday said Driedger​​​​​​​ saw the moose along a highway near Smithers, B.C., northwest of Prince George, late in the evening on Aug. 3, 2018. The decision didn’t say how fast Driedger​​​​​​​ was going when his car hit the moose.

The animal survived and ran off. The 2008 Mazda 3 was still driveable but left with minor body damage, so Driedger​​​​​​​ filed a claim with ICBC.

“Over the next two days, he noticed his brakes were ‘soft.’ He had to pump the brakes repeatedly to stop fully. When the vehicle was stopped but in gear, the brakes could not keep the car from creeping forward,” the ruling read.

Driedger​​​​​​​ called ICBC four days after the crash to add brakes to his claim for the body damage.

The insurer denied his brake claim more than a week later, saying he hadn’t proved the damage was caused by anything other than wear and tear — which isn’t covered.

An estimator said the likely reason for the brake problem was that the master cylinder had failed. The cylinder creates the pressure that feeds brake fluid into the brake circuit.

An ICBC employee told Driedger​​​​​​​ master cylinders “rarely fail even under abusive driving conditions.”

“[The worker] concluded that ‘one simple panic stop should under no circumstances result in brake system damage.’ In other words, [the worker] did not believe that the hard braking before the collision caused the brake problem,” the ruling read.

Driedger​​​​​​​ appealed with ICBC and the issue then went to another committee within the insurer. That committee said the issue wasn’t with the master cylinder, but with a pre-existing fault that meant the brakes would have eventually failed under hard braking — even if Driedger​​​​​​​ didn’t know about i

Again, Driedger’s claim was denied. He filed a claim with the CRT, which handles small claim disputes in B.C.

ICBC asked for the claim to be dismissed, saying Driedger​​​​​​​ hadn’t proved the moose crash caused the brake failure. The tribunal sided with Driedger​​​​​​​.

“The brakes were damaged very close in time to the collision and in the same sequence of events. I find that whether there was a pre-existing issue with the brakes, as ICBC alleges, is not relevant,” wrote tribunal member Eric Regehr.

Regehr ordered the insurer to pay Driedger​​​​​​​ more than $1,900 in compensation. More than $1,700 was awarded to cover the brake repair, as well as additional reimbursement for interest and tribunal fees.

ICBC handled an average 2,900 crashes involving animals in the north central Interior of B.C. between 2013 and 2017.

The Wildlife Collision Prevention Program in B.C. says more than 10,000 wildlife vehicle collisions happen every year in the province, resulting in approximately 570 personal injuries and three deaths.

CBC News

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