From all of us at ILScorp & ILStv, Happy Canada Day!

From all of us at ILScorp & ILStv, Happy Canada Day!

#HappyCanadaDay, We’ll be Back on Tuesday, July 2nd!

The ILScorp offices will be closed Monday, July 1st. As we take some time to enjoy Canada Day. We’ll be back Tuesday morning, ready to take your calls, answer your questions and register you for online insurance programs. You can reach us from 8 a.m. – 5  p.m. Pacific Time.

You can also register for our insurance training programs online, anytime, at ILScorp.com

ILSTVNews Canada’s Source For Insurance Professionals is taking this coming summer off to spend time with loved ones, family and friends. For subscribers to the ILSTV Insurance Industry Newsletter, your Daily dose of Canadian Insurance News returns to your inbox on Tuesday, Sept 10th.

But not to worry we have your insurance news covered. Our Weekly Canadian Insurance Newsletter will continue through the summer so I know if you haven’t already you’ll want to sign up for our weekly Canadian Insurance News to stay up-to-date while you enjoy your summer. :). Follow this link to sign up for our Weekly Insurance Newsletter –  ilstv.com

Stay safe and have a fabulous summer everyone!

 

 

EI program changes leave hundreds of post-secondary students without funds

Intent of the Fast Forward education program isn’t funding full-time students, province says

Mairin Prentiss · CBC News

Many post-secondary students in Nova Scotia are scrambling to find enough money to go back to school in the fall after the federal government requested a change to a program that allows people to draw employment insurance benefits while studying.

Students in the province’s Fast Forward education program don’t have to look for work while on EI, and can instead enrol in approved programs to update their skills and training.

“I’m extremely devastated by the news, me and along with all the students I know, because a lot of us really depended on this money when we go back to school,” said Jacqueline McNeil, a science student at Université Sainte-Anne.

Employment and Social Development Canada is now requiring participants to have been in the workforce for at least 24 months, which excludes hundreds of students from accessing the program.

Under the new rule, the province anticipates 540 students will no longer be eligible ⁠— a 30 per cent reduction of the over 1,800 people who benefited from the program in Nova Scotia last school year.

Study part time or take a year off?

Without the additional funding, some students are considering reducing their course load to part time or taking a year off to save enough money to continue their programs.

In addition to her student loan, McNeil was able to draw the EI she accumulated from summer jobs to help cover her rent and expenses while she lives in Church Point, N.S., during the school year.

Now, she’s no longer eligible.

‘No other option’

She plans to try to save enough money this summer to remain a full-time student.

“If I end up running out of money and the student loan can’t cover [the balance], I’m going to have to switch from full-time schooling to part-time schooling because I’ll have no other option,” said McNeil from her Sydney home.

“It’s pretty awful honestly. I don’t think it’s right. I think if you can apply for EI and get unemployment, we should still have access to these benefits. It’s money that we earned.”

The province’s Department of Labour and Advanced Education said the federal government asked that the program’s intention be changed to ensure applicants are unemployed workers taking training during a period of unemployment.

“The program is not intended to fund full-time students,” said department spokesperson Shannon Kerr.

Before the change, Fast Forward criteria permitted people who have been out of high school for a minimum of 12 months to access the program as long as they qualified for EI, said Kerr.

The criteria for new applicants came into effect on June 7. Some current applicants will be able to continue in the program until the end of the year.

Program changes

Summer or part-time employment for people enrolled in full-time school does not count toward the 24 required months.

Employment and Social Development Canada did not say how many programs across the country the change affects.

They also did not say the reason behind the change.

Nova Scotia’s program launched in 2015. Changes to EI eligibility the following year allowed students working in the summer months to access the program, said Kerr.

Dalhousie engineering student Allen Cox doesn’t know if he’ll again be eligible to use the program.

The sudden change has left him in the lurch as he considers whether he’ll need to take a year off school to earn money.

“A year’s not the end of the world, but it wasn’t my plan,” said Cox, who used the program for the spring term once he heard about it.

Participants were notified of the change by letter on June 10.

Short notice

Cox said with school resuming in September, that “isn’t very much time to come up with money you thought you had available.”

Had the rules not changed, he estimated he would have been able to draw around $10,000 of EI in the upcoming year — a larger sum than most full-time students would earn because of his program’s four-month-long work terms.

Roughly half of his class of about 80 people are enrolled in the program, he said.

“There’s a lot of students in my degree worried about it,” said Cox.

Most Canadians leave their families exposed when it comes to travel insurance

TORONTO, June 25, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — While 72 per cent of Canadians had some form of travel or medical insurance for recent travels, most leave their family under-insured, according to a survey released today by InsuranceHotline.com. The study showed over one half of Canadians (52 per cent) would not think to purchase insurance for their university or high school-aged children travelling abroad this summer.

“This oversight is not surprising and brings attention to assumptions around coverage Canadians often make regarding purchasing travel insurance for themselves and family members,” said Anne Marie Thomas from InsuranceHotline.com.

Coverage misconceptions

Of the respondents who were not likely to purchase travel insurance for their next trip, 36 per cent believe they are covered by their employee benefits and one in five believe they have insurance through their credit card. Additionally, over 37 per cent think they have provincial coverage for health insurance when travelling outside of Canada.

“The general assumptions being made by many Canadians on what coverages they believe are in place or that are available to them illustrate an overall lack of awareness that could prove to be quite costly,” said Anne Marie Thomas. “Check with your credit cards, employee benefits and provincial insurance to see what coverage you actually have before you or a family member takes their next trip.”

Additional misconceptions of available insurance coverage

  • One in five Canadians are unaware of lost luggage insurance
  • 24 per cent of Canadians are unaware of illness insurance
  • 43 per cent are unaware of insurance for missing connecting flights
  • 55 per cent are unaware of severe weather insurance
  • 39 per cent are unaware of theft of goods or money insurance

The fact is Canadians are either unaware these insurance exist or typically do not think to ask for them, or generally assume that no harm will come to them while travelling.

While over one quarter of Canadians travelling do not get any form of insurance for themselves, when it comes to family members visiting Canada, a full 82 per cent would not consider purchasing medical insurance for relatives from abroad. This could be problematic if a family member from abroad is involved in a medical emergency and requires a hospital bed. Typically, accommodations range between $3,000-$5,000 per day depending on the hospital and choice of room.

“The reality is that Canadians are not alone in their passive approach to travel medical insurance,” said Anne Marie Thomas. “You should be equally diligent in making sure your family members visiting from abroad are covered, especially those who are elderly or considered higher risk.”

Travel insurance is recommended by the Government of Canada and helps safeguard your health, travel plans and finances while you’re away or while family is visiting. Without coverage, you will be solely responsible for what can easily become exorbitant medical bills or unexpected trip-related expenses. Comparing travel insurance quotes will help you to get the best rate and the best coverage for your needs.

Furthermore, Ontario residents should be aware of upcoming changes to travel coverage under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). The Ontario provincial government is scrapping coverage for Ontario residents who require emergency medical services while travelling outside of Canada. The changes are expected to come into effect on October 1, 2019.

Policy coverage & cost examples*

  • 60-day coverage for student under the age of 30 travelling in Europe – $89/$1.50 day
  • 30-day medical coverage for student under the age of 30 travelling to Brazil – $51.60/$1.72 day
  • Three-week visit from parents both aged 65 in good health who live in Calcutta – $123.64/$5.89 day
  • Cousin aged 42 in good health visiting from Germany for four weeks – $50.85/$1.82 day

*all examples above are to illustrate relative costs and involve certain assumptions that may not be reflective of other considerations in finalizing available coverages

Emergency medical evacuation

The survey also revealed that 41 per cent of Canadians believe the cost of a four-hour emergency medical evacuation is under $2,000. Furthermore, 39 per cent of Canadians aged 18-24 believes the cost to be under $500.

“The reality of any emergency evacuation for medical reasons is that your costs are going to be in the tens of thousands of dollars,” said Anne Marie Thomas. “Furthermore, there is a good chance this cost will be compounded by the hospital visit they are being sent home from.”

About the survey
The InsuranceHotline.com Travel Insurance survey was conducted by Forum Research between June 4th – 7th, 2019 and polled 1005 respondents across Canada. The sample’s age ranged from 18 to 65+ years old. To participate in the survey, respondents were required to have travelled outside of Canada in the past twelve months. Survey questions were presented via telephone and respondents provided answers through the touchpad of their mobile device or home phone.

About InsuranceHotline.com
InsuranceHotline.com publishes rates from 30+ insurance providers so that Canadians can find the best insurance rates for themselves. Use the site to find the best rates on Auto, Home, Travel, Life and Commercial Insurance.

Pedestrian crossing flags taken down after City dismisses insurance company’s road safety plan

The excerpted article was written by Natalie Johnson, CTV News Toronto 

Aviva Insurance has removed the bright yellow flags it had placed at busy intersections across Toronto, after the city said the road safety campaign was unsanctioned and unproven.

The company had installed the flags to allow pedestrians to be more visible to drivers while crossing the street and had planned to reveal the plan Thursday, but had not cleared the initiative with the city.

“We support Aviva Canada’s efforts in enhancing road safety in Toronto, but permission was not sought from the City of Toronto before affixing flags to city-owned poles at crosswalk intersections,” said City of Toronto spokesperson Brad Ross.

“Any organization that wishes to share proposals with the city to improve the livability of residents and visitors must do so through due process.”

The flags were placed at several intersections the company deemed dangerous, including Bathurst and Nina streets.

Teachers from nearby Hillcrest Community School were seen using the pedestrian flags at that crossing Wednesday; many local residents told CTV Toronto the intersection was dangerous.

“It’s a little scary,” said Daniel Bogue. “People are really scrambling to get through this intersection.”

A bucket holding the flags at the crosswalk had read “each one of these tech enabled flags automatically tells city council how this road could be safer.”

But Aviva would not reveal ahead of the Thursday launch whether the flags contained sensors or data trackers.

Mayor John Tory said he believed Aviva meant well, but that the city could not condone a “patchwork” plan.

“We are going to solve it by changing behaviour and by an organized, determined city program that will make the streets and intersections of the city safer – that includes automated speed enforcement, it includes more red light cameras, it includes street design and it includes speed limits.”

Janis McCulloch, a spokesperson for Aviva Canada, said the company “respects the guidance from the City of Toronto and their request to remove the flags.”

“Raising awareness and starting a conversation around road safety was our primary intention, and continues to be the objective of the Take Back Our Roads platform,” she said. “We are in active conversation with them and look forward to working together on future initiatives to improve road safety for Canadians.”

The City of Toronto said that there was no evidence pedestrian flags increased driver compliance at crosswalks. The City of Seattle recently abandoned a similar initiative after finding that it was not effective.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada & RBC Insurance help families stay close

Today, RBC Insurance announced a $250,000 commitment to support families with sick children, becoming a National Mission Partner of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC®) Canada. All proceeds will support families with sick children staying at 31 Ronald McDonald House Charities program sites across Canada.

“We are truly grateful for the support of RBC Insurance as our newest National Mission Partner. This partnership provides much needed funding to families staying at a Ronald McDonald House or Family Room across Canada,” said Cathy Loblaw, CEO of RMHC Canada. “Every dollar raised from partners like RBC Insurance helps us create a Canadawhere all families have a place to stay together while their child is being treated at a nearby hospital.”

Every 20 minutes a family in need arrives on an RMHC doorstep across Canada and last year RMHC turned away 2,808 families due to lack of space. This new partnership provides an opportunity for RMHC and RBC Insurance to join forces in their commitment and care for Canadian families with sick children.

“We are proud to partner with Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada to help improve the lives and well-being of the thousands of families with seriously ill children that stay at the 31 RMHC program sites across Canada each year,” said Neil Skelding, President and CEO of RBC Insurance. “Our hope is to help Ronald McDonald Houses in their goal to never turn away another family, so all families will have a place to call home where they can be close to their child during these difficult times.”

RBC Insurance is one of six RMHC Canada National Mission Partners where its $250,000 investment will go towards RMHC programs across Canada to support families with sick children in times of unexpected need.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities® Canada (RMHC® CANADA)
In Canada, 65 per cent of families live outside a city with a children’s hospital, and must travel for treatment if their child is seriously ill. The RMHC network of programs in Canada helps to keep more than 25,000 families close to their sick child and the care they need each year. The 15 Ronald McDonald Houses provide out-of-town families with a home to stay at while their child is being treated at a nearby hospital, while the 16 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms provide a comfortable place for families to rest and recharge, right inside hospitals. Through the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, basic medical care is available to underserved communities in Alberta. For more information, please visit rmhccanada.ca.

About RBC Insurance
RBC Insurance® offers a wide range of life, health, home, auto, travel, wealth, annuities and reinsurance advice and solutions, as well as creditor and business insurance services to individual, business and group clients. RBC Insurance is the brand name for the insurance operating entities of Royal Bank of Canada, one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC Insurance is among the largest Canadian bank-owned insurance organizations, with approximately 2,900 employees who serve more than five million clients globally. For more information, please visit rbcinsurance.com.

SOURCE RBC Insurance

Zurich Insurance to shift investment away from oil sands in broad carbon policy

The excerpted article was written by GLOBAL ENERGY REPORTER

Swiss-based Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. is blacklisting oil sands producers as well as the pipeline companies and crude-by-rail facilities that serve them, saying Tuesday that it will stop underwriting or investing in the companies within two years unless they can clearly show their business plans are consistent with a global effort to avert the worst impact of climate change.

Zurich said it is joining a United Nations compact to align its own business operations with the goal of limiting average global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in order to avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change. In a report last fall, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the 1.5-degree target is necessary to avert dire human impacts and the wholesale extinction of vulnerable species.

Zurich committed to using only renewable power in all global operations by 2023, and said it will work to create financial industry standards to measure and set targets for the carbon footprint of companies’ underwriting and investment portfolio.

“As one of the world’s leading insurers, we see first-hand the devastation natural disasters inflict on people and communities,” Zurich chief executive officer Mario Greco said in a release. “This is why we are accelerating action to reduce climate risks by driving changes in how companies and people behave and [to] support those most impacted.”

The Swiss insurer has US$190-billion in investments worldwide, and is the latest institutional money manager to target the oil sands for divestment. Others include British bank HSBC Holdings PLC; France’s BNP Paribas SA and France’s giant AXA Equitable Financial Service LLC, as well as several state pension funds in the U.S. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney publicly condemned HSBC for its stand, but recently dismissed the financial industry’s increasing focus on climate risk as the “flavour of the day.”

However, an expert panel appointed by the federal government recently warned that the pressure will only increase as global financial markets respond to the growing climate emergency. The panel – headed by former Bank of Canada deputy governor Tiff Macklem – said Canada’s oil companies must scale up the pace of innovation in order to reduce their carbon footprint or see their share of the global market decline precipitously.

Companies such as Imperial Oil Ltd., Suncor Energy Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. argue they have made great strides in reducing the greenhouse-gas intensity of their new facilities, which they say are now on par with the average crude refined in North America. Over all, the industry has reduced its per-barrel emissions by 29 per cent since 2000, the Macklem panel said.

“Canadian oil and natural gas is produced in one of the most highly regulated jurisdictions globally and is among the most sustainably produced energy sources in the world. The majority of global oil and natural gas reserves are held by nationally-owned companies accountable to little, or no climate legislation,” Jon Stringham, manager of fiscal and economic policy at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said in an e-mail.

Constraining Canadian production will only result in increased market share for companies that face little or no environmental standards, he said.

Zurich’s head of sustainability, Linda Freiner, said the company moved to eliminate coal used for electricity from its portfolio two years ago, but felt it needed to intensify its effort in line with the IPCC report that warned the world must begin to reduce greenhouse gases dramatically within a decade to have any chance of meeting the 1.5-degree goal.

The Globe and Mail

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