But they’ve got an unlikely ally—a savvy, ‘unpaid representative’ who is giving beleaguered homeowners a fighting chance against stingy insurers
PRINCE TOWNSHIP — With council braced for soaring expenses and fewer provincial dollars this year, the pressing issue at January’s meeting was whether the township could stretch its budget to include cyber liability insurance when it renews its municipal policy next month.
Carlo DiCandia, of Algoma Insurance, told council it would cost $2,500 extra to include cyber liability insurance in a policy whose premium is already poised to top $33,000 plus HST.
DiCandia said the township’s present policy with Jardine Lloyd Thompson Canada would cover damages to computer and telecommunications systems caused by virus infections and hacking events.
But it would not provide protection if residents and vendors had their privacy breached and decided to sue the township.
DiCandia said cyber liability insurance would not prevent information thefts; however, it would provide coverage for responses to cyber attacks, and for funds stolen from bank accounts.
It would also cover the cost of business interruption, and provide personnel to notify individuals whose data was in the municipal system of the privacy breach and to advise them to contact their banks and credit card companies.
“The new legislation that came in October … (requires) that you have to report hacking incidents immediately,” DiCandia said.
Cyber liability insurance would also cover the cost defending a municipality in court in case of a lawsuit, he added.
DiCandia noted too that cyber attacks on municipal computer systems are no longer rare events, citing incidents in Wasaga Beach and Midland, Ont., last summer, where cybercriminals encrypted their systems with ransomware, forcing them to pay huge ransoms in bitcoins to have their systems released.
“It cost Wasaga Beach roughly $35,000 to get their system back,” he said. “In Midland, it must have been a lot more, because they didn’t even disclose what it cost them.”
Closer to home, Wawa had its system disabled by ransomware in December. DiCandia predicted the final cost would be “absolutely exorbitant,” as Wawa did not have cyber liability insurance.
Coun. Dave Amadio asked whether the township could scale back other items in its insurance policy to make cyber liability insurance more affordable.
DiCandia suggested opting for higher deductibles but cautioned against cutting back on coverage.
Coun. Michael Matthews asked whether the township could lower the $2,500 price tag for cyber liability insurance by installing specialized software on its system to reduce the risk of a cyber attack.
DiCandia said he would send the township information on how to enhance the security of its computer system.
Council agreed to review DiCandia’s information before the Feb. 12 council meeting, when the question of whether to purchase cyber liability insurance will be put to a vote.
In other council news:
— The result of this month’s poll on the topic of recycling pickup dates suggests that most residents want to continue recycling every two weeks instead of switching to 3-week or 4-week intervals.
Of the 47 residents who responded to the poll, 31 wanted to keep biweekly recycling, and 11 opted for monthly recycling. Five thought three-week intervals would suffice, but Prince CAO Peggy Greco said GFL Environmental Inc. didn’t favour this option.
The poll was conducted via the township’s web site, its Facebook page and Instagram account as well as in the January Prince Township Newsletter.
Given the response, council agreed to maintain biweekly recycling for now, but to revisit the issue at budget time.
“If we went to (every) four weeks, it would save us $20,000,” Amadio said.
— The township’s Official Plan, which dates from 2014, is due for its five-year review. Council agreed to have township planner Steve Turco update the OP at an estimated cost of $2,800 once this year’s budget is approved.
The update will bring the OP into compliance with the Provincial Policy Statement and provide direction on whether the micro-cultivation of cannabis should be a permitted activity in rural areas.
All resident Saskatchewan licensees are required to complete an Insurance Councils of Saskatchewan approved ethics course, that is at least three hours in duration. The following courses are approved by the Insurance Councils of Saskatchewan for 3 C.E. credit hours and meets the ethics training requirement.
These courses discuss professional codes of conduct, with dilemma or scenario-based examples so licensees may spot issues and make the right choices. The aim is to help licensees make sense of what might seem like a convoluted situation and determine the ethical choice.
Insurance Councils of Saskatchewan Approved Ethics Training
Courses approved for All Classes other than Life Licensees (General)
Ethics and the Insurance Professional Part 1 – Approved for 1 ethic hour
Ethics and the Insurance Professional Part 2 – Approved for 1 ethic hour
Ethics and the Insurance Professional Part 3 – Approved for 1 ethic hour
Courses approved for Life and Accident & Sickness and Accident & Sickness licensees
Life Ethics in the Insurance Industry Part 1 – Approved for 1 ethic hour
Life Ethics in the Insurance Industry Part 2 – Approved for 1 ethic hour
Life Ethics in the Insurance Industry Part 3 – Approved for 1 ethic hour
Courses approved for Adjuster/Adjuster Representative licensees
Ethics Training for Adjusters Module 1 – Approved for 1 ethic hour
Ethics Training for Adjusters Module 2 – Approved for 1 ethic hour
Ethics Training for Adjusters Module 3 – Approved for 1 ethic hour
Once you have successfully passed these courses please provide the Saskatchewan Council with documentation to support completion.
Ethics training is important and can have an impact on business, reputation, and daily office morale. You cannot afford to leave ethical decision making to chance, as one hasty action or decision by a licensee can harm an entire organization.
Lexology | Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
The day when you hop into a driverless vehicle without giving it a second thought may be closer than you think.
Car manufacturers are betting heavily on autonomous vehicle technology. Toyota has committed nearly $3 billion U.S. to develop new AV software. Ford recently bought start-up Argo AI for $1 billion and will spend $4 billion on AV development through the year 2023.
There are even non-traditional players like tech companies making waves in the AV space. Case in point, the self-driving car project Google began back in 2009 is now Waymo, a wholly independent company with a fleet of self-driving SUVs and minivans.
As AV technology gains momentum, it is even influencing the way we design our cities. Construction on Quayside, Toronto’s first autonomous vehicle-only neighbourhood, is set to begin in 2020. This ambitious $50-million project, spearheaded by Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, will also enable data collection on a massive scale. How that data is used is just one legal issue the industry will need to come to grips with.
On the regulatory front, it is still unclear who is in the driver’s seat when it comes to autonomous vehicles. Myriad issues lie ahead for all industry players — especially insurance companies.
A Premium Impact
The rise of AVs has major implications for the Canadian insurance industry. If this new technology drives collision rates down by 40 per cent or more as predicted, insurance premiums will likely decline – and revenues along with them.
Not surprisingly, Canada’s insurers are anxious for provincial governments to come up with a fair model for insuring AVs.
One they might consider is the U.K.’s recently enacted Automated and Electric Vehicles Act. In addition to regulating the deployment of AVs, the Act extends insurance coverage to the operator of vehicles even when the vehicle is in automated mode.
This shift is significant. Currently in Canada, it is driver conduct that is insured. If a driver causes an accident, his or her insurance policy will pay for damages and injuries up to limits available under the policy. But there is confusion as to whether insurance will cover third-party damages if a vehicle was operated in autonomous mode. In order to get compensation, an injured party might have to sue the driver, the vehicle manufacturer and the makers of the various self-driving sub-systems.
The U.K.’s so-called “one policy” approach lifts that confusion. Insurance policies there must provide drivers with coverage whether their vehicle is operating autonomously or not. Because they are essentially covering both driver and manufacturer — at least as far as the injured party is concerned — U.K insurers may be able to maintain higher premiums because they are absorbing all of the risks associated autonomous vehicles, including driver behaviour and product liability. The insurer can, however, seek recovery against the manufacturer or technology provider where warranted.
Evolving Regulations Despite a number of fatal accidents involving self-driving vehicles, the U.S. National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has decided it is too early to regulate that country’s growing AV industry. Instead, it developed voluntary guidelines for designers and manufacturers, telling them what safety and other factors they should take into account. Canada has not yet followed suit, although there are signs that regulators here are moving in that direction, including the October 2018 release of guidelines for testing highly automated vehicles.
An Eye on the Future of AVs
For the legal community and those clients touched by this transportation revolution, self-driving technologies pose many fascinating legal questions. The hardest part at this early stage of the AV game is discerning which ones are critical.
Climatologists have long warned that extreme weather, including floods, will become more common as temperatures warm.
Cyber-security scammers ‘getting more and more creative