Allstate Canada Issues Second Stay at Home Payment

MARKHAM, ON, June 8, 2020 /CNW/ -Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, together with Pembridge Insurance Company and Pafco Insurance Company (ACG), is announcing a second “Stay at Home Payment” to customers as they continue to drive less and get in fewer accidents.

The initial relief payment of more than $30 million dollars was announced in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second “Stay at Home Payment” will follow similar parameters, with ACG giving an additional $30 million dollars back to support its personal auto insurance customers.

All Allstate, Pembridge and Pafco customers who have active automobile policies as of July 6, 2020, and are in good standing, will qualify to receive this one-time payment of approximately 25% of their monthly auto premium. Customers need not apply for this payment, it will automatically be sent to them by cheque in August.

“The best response in a time of crisis is to act quickly and put people first, and this is one of the most meaningful ways we can do that,” said Ryan Michel, President and CEO of Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “We were overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the first announcement, not only from our customers but also from our various partners and stakeholders across our industry. Many of our customers are driving less, so offering this second payment back to them is simply the proper thing to do,” said Michel.

ACG continues to review its offerings to customers to find additional creative and tailored solutions that can help relieve the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the other ways in which ACG is providing relief to its customers include:

Legal Assistance and Identity Theft Protection
Until August 31, 2020, at no additional cost, we are providing customers with access to expert legal advice on home purchase/rental rights, trip cancellations, and employment labour issues. This coverage also includes identity theft advice to help restore your identity in the event that it is stolen.

Extension of existing coverage
Until August 31, 2020, we are extending insurance coverage for customers who use their personal vehicles to deliver food, medicine and groceries for commercial purposes. Standard personal auto insurance policies typically exclude this coverage.

Customers are encouraged to explore our online tools and contact their agents and brokers to learn about the options available to them.

About Allstate
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is a leading home and auto insurer focused on providing its customers prevention and protection products and services for every stage of life. Serving Canadians since 1953, Allstate strives to keep both customers and employees in “Good Hands®” and is proud to have been named a Best Employer in Canadafor eight consecutive years. Allstate is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as MADD Canada, United Way and Junior Achievement.

To learn more, visit www.allstate.ca. For safety tips and advice, visit www.goodhandsadvice.ca.

About Pembridge
Pembridge Insurance Company provides home and automobile insurance to Canadians through a network of select insurance brokers. Pembridge is backed by Allstate Insurance Company, giving it the scale and financial stability of one of the largest insurance companies in North America.  Committed to giving back to communities, Pembridge is involved with various charities, including Bridges to Community Canada.  To learn more, visit www.pembridge.com.

About Pafco
Pafco Insurance Company has built a strong foundation, offering a specialized insurance product and exceptional customer service through the support of our select, broker network. Pafco provides personal automobile insurance for drivers who do not qualify for coverage in the standard insurance marketplace. To learn more visit www.pafco.ca

SOURCE Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Apportionment Of Costs Based On The Insurance Policy Limits

Pallett Valo LLP

What discretionary powers can be exercised by the Court when deciding the apportionment of costs after a trial?

The 2020 decision of Hummel v. Jantzi, focused on the apportionment of costs as between the defendants. The facts are as follows:

Wesley Hummel was seriously injured in a single car motor vehicle accident. Philip Jantzi was the driver of the motor vehicle owned by his father. His ability to operate the motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol. He had consumed that alcohol at the All Star Tap & Grill.

In the reasons for judgment, after a 39 day trial, Taylor, J., found as follows:

  1. Philip Jantzi to be negligent in the operation of the motor vehicle in which Wesley Hummel was a passenger;
  2. The All Star Tap & Grill to be negligent for over serving alcohol to Wesley Hummel and Philip Jantzi;
  3. Philip Jantzi to be 80% at fault and the All Star Tap & Grill to be 20% at fault;
  4. Wesley Hummel to be 25% contributorily negligent; and
  5. Wesley Hummel and members of his family to be entitled to damages of approximately $12 million.

Offers to settle were made, an advance payment was made by the Jantzi defendants, but no settlement could be reached.

Both sets of the Defendants took the position that the other should pay the lion’s share of costs, based on the non acceptance of offers and where the focus on liability, during the trial, lay.

Taylor J stated that Section 131(1) of the Courts of Justice Act provides that the costs of a proceeding are in the discretion of the court. Rule 57.01 of the Rules of Civil Procedure sets out the factors to be considered when exercising the discretion to award costs. Not all of the factors listed in Rule 57.01 are relevant to the present case but those that could be considered are:

  1. the apportionment of liability;
  2. the complexity of the proceeding;
  3. the importance of the issues;
  4. the conduct of any party that tended to shorten or lengthen unnecessarily the duration of the proceeding;
  5. a party’s denial of or refusal to admit anything that should have been admitted; and
  6. any other matter relevant to the question of costs.

Taylor J stated:

I accept that more than two years before the commencement of the trial, the Jantzi defendants offered to pay their policy limits in return for a full and final release and then eventually made an advance payment in the amount of the policy limits without being given a release. However, it is clear that the plaintiffs did not forgo their entitlement to seek damages in excess of $1 million from the Jantzi defendants. The Jantzi defendants did not make a formal admission of liability for the motor vehicle accident nor did they admit the plaintiffs’ damages. The Jantzi defendants vigorously contested, and were successful, on the issue of contributory negligence.

It was held that apportionment of liability for an accident is not the same as the responsibility to pay a judgment or costs. Rochon v. MacDonald, [2014] O.J. No.362

The Jantzi defendants had a policy with limits of $1 million while the All Star Tap & Grill had a policy with limits of $2 million. It was held that both insurers had the right to attempt to protect their respective policy limits.

Taylor J stated,

…considering the unique factors of this case and the respective policy limits of the defendants, it is fair and equitable to require the defendants to contribute to the plaintiffs’ costs in proportion to their respective policy limits.

The Jantzi defendants were ordered to pay one third of the plaintiffs’ costs of this action and All Star Tap & Grill, to pay two thirds of the plaintiffs’ costs.

It is an interesting decision, because the apportionment of costs, was not in keeping with the apportionment of liability and the basis for that decision is Rochon v. MacDonald. The Court is in essence, relying on Rule 57.01(i) and that the Court is required to consider any other matter relevant to the question of costs.

I can understand this type of decision being rendered when one party is not insured but this decision really is troubling because it is not meant to punish, but simply focused on the policy limits. Without question, this decision will be appealed and rightfully so, because nowhere in the decision, was one defendant found to be obstructive or responsible for the delay in this action, settlement or the length of the trial. Because one party has greater insurance limits, this results in a greater payment on costs?

It just does not appear to be fair and just.

Originally published 28 May, 2020

Source Mondaq

Canada’s Film & TV Industry Presents Unique Insurance Solution with Government Support

The excerpted article was written by Manori Ravindran | Variety

Canada’s production community is working towards a bespoke insurance solution as the country looks to jumpstart production after it ground to a halt in March amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Variety can reveal that producers’ trade body, the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), is developing a proposal for a “market-based solution” that asks the federal government to serve as a backstop for coronavirus insurance claims.

An update from the CMPA sent to producers on Monday and seen by Variety details a plan in which producers would pay premiums to access COVID-19 coverage, which would then go into “a dedicated pot to pay for potential claims.”

“The government would only contribute financially if the funds generated [through] the sale of the policies was insufficient to cover the claims made,” reads the memo.

In Canada, like most other countries, insurers are refusing COVID-19 coverage for the production sector. “Left unaddressed, this would mean the financial consequences associated with another industry-wide shutdown, or an on-set COVID-19 incident, would fall primarily to the producer,” said the CMPA, warning that the repercussions of these scenarios would be “potentially devastating” to the sector and threaten its prospects of a smooth restart.

The org has now raised the insurance issue with the government and is to submit a “detailed proposal” in the coming days, outlining what it calls an “industry-wide solution.”

A CMPA spokesperson told Variety: “Without the availability of insurance policies to cover future COVID-19 risks, most production in Canada will not resume. A government-backstopped insurance program will provide confidence to the marketplace, encouraging insurers to offer COVID-19 coverage, allowing producers to purchase policies, and ultimately allowing Canada’s production sector to re-open, once it is safe to do so.”

In recent weeks, the CMPA has hinted at plans to develop a “made-in-Canada solution” to cover productions post-shutdown. The group has been examining international insurance solutions, such as France’s indemnity fund — a $54 million fund that will cover up to 20% of a project’s budget and work on a case-by-case basis — as well as programs being proposed in the U.K. and other territories.

The CMPA said previously that it was also looking at tax credits, shared risk pools and government liability protections.

As revealed by Variety last week, the U.K. recently submitted a proposal to the government for a guarantee around coverage of suspension or abandonment costs relating to COVID-19. This could manifest in the form a government-backed fund that may amount to hundreds of millions of pounds.

The CMPA estimated in April that Canada’s production shutdown put around 172,000 jobs at risk, and could ultimately cost the Canadian film and TV sector — whose service industry supports myriad Hollywood shoots in provinces such as British Columbia and Ontario — around CAD$2.5 billion ($1.8 billion) in both domestic and foreign production dollars if it continues until the end of June.

There is, however, finally some light at the end of the tunnel, with the first signs of production resuming post-shutdown. Manitoba became the first province to allow its production sector to restart as of Monday, with local soundstages opening back up for business.

The first wave of renewed production in Canada is expected to focus on domestic projects due to the limitations posed by mandatory quarantine periods for inbound travel, making it tricky for any international projects, particularly U.S. studios, looking to shoot up north.

Source: Read more articles like this at Variety

CMHC tightens lending standards to protect housing market during COVID 19

By Tara Deschamps

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ Canadians looking to borrow money for a home purchase a home are in for some extra challenges after the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation announced changes to its lending standards on Thursday.

The country’s national housing agency is increasing the qualifying credit score for mortgage insurance to 680 from 600 and limiting gross and total debt servicing ratios to their standards of 35 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively.

“COVID-19 has exposed long-standing vulnerabilities in our financial markets, and we must act now to protect the economic futures of Canadians,” CMHC head Evan Siddall said in a statement.

“These actions will protect homebuyers, reduce government and taxpayer risk and support the stability of housing markets while curtailing excessive demand and unsustainable house price growth.”

Under the changes effective July 1, CMHC will also no longer treat non-traditional sources of down payment funding, such as a personal unsecured line of credit, as equity for insurance purposes.

It will also suspend refinancing for most multi-unit mortgage insurance.

The move comes just weeks after Siddall appeared before the Standing Committee on Finance in Ottawa to warn of trouble ahead for the housing market.

‘Our support for homeownership cannot be unlimited,” he said.

“Homeownership is like blood pressure: you can have too much of it. Housing demand is far easier to stimulate than supply and the result, as we’ve seen, is Economics 101: ever-increasing prices.”

The majority of mortgages insured by the CMHC will not be affected by the more stringent qualifications.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, the average debt servicing ratios were well below the 35 per cent and 42 per cent thresholds, and depending on the metric, between 63% and 82% of all qualifying mortgages were below the limit.

Spokesperson Leonard Catling said the changes “were not made because of our current book of mortgage insurance business, rather to maintain its integrity.

“High household indebtedness continues to be a concern and the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the long-standing vulnerabilities in our financial markets.”

The CMHC forecasts a decline of between nine per cent and 18 per cent in average house prices over the next year because of higher mortgage debt and increased unemployment.

Siddall warned the finance committee a growing debt deferral cliff could be headed Canada’s way in the fall, when some jobless Canadians will need to start paying their mortgages again after deferrals run out, and as much as one-fifth of all mortgages could be in arrears if the economy has not recovered sufficiently, he warned.

“We need to avoid exposing young people and through CMHC, Canadian taxpayers to the amplified losses that result from falling house prices,” he said.

“Unless we act, a first time homebuyer purchasing a $300,000 home with a 5 per cent down payment stands to lose over $45,000 on their $15,000 investment if prices fall by 10 per cent,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2020.

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