Fort McMurray: Wildfire insurance claim deadline approaches

By Laura Beamish | fortmcmurraytoday.com

Just weeks away from the two-year insurance deadline for claims related to the May 2016 wildfires, Mayor Don Scott is feeling better after meeting with Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci after he was told the province could not extend the deadline for insurance companies.

In March, Scott sent a letter to Ceci, asking for insurance companies to extend the deadline. Last week, the province said they could not grant an extension as requested.

“We don’t have the ability to grant blanket exemptions with regard to folks who haven’t made claims,” said Ceci during a Wednesday visit to Fort McMurray. “What we can do and are doing is we’re insuring that the residents of Fort McMurray who need to have extensions have the support they need to request one.”

Ceci said that the government is working with the Insurance Bureau of Canada to make sure residents who need an extension are aware of their options.

“If a person is coming up against that two year timeline and they’re finding their insurance company is being somewhat slow or not supportive, they can contact the superintendent of insurance and the superintendent will get information both from the insurer and the insured and work to get that person an extension so that they can take the time they need to resolve their claim properly,” he said.

Scott said when he first heard the decision he was disappointed, but he was happy with how the meeting went, saying he understands that the government will try and help get the message out in other ways.

He said he is always worried there is someone out there that the message isn’t reaching and suggested that insurees be told directly about the deadline and their options, not simply relying on notices and messages on social media.

“I’m really asking the province to do a better job getting the message out,” said Scott. “We want him to understand the importance of that issue.”

Scott encourages to seek many options, including getting in touch with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, seeking legal advice, speaking with their own insurance company and speaking with the superintendent of insurance.

“It is critical that people talk and get advice,” said Scott.

The minister, mayor and councillors also discussed the importance of pipelines and their impact on the region, as well as key issues including homelessness and a potential ring road around Fort McMurray.

“It was a good, open, frank discussion,” said Ceci.

The superintendent of insurance can be contacted at 780-427-8322 or residents can get more information at finance.alberta.ca/insurance.

Insurance typically doesn’t cover the entire dental bill, often leaving patients with large out-of-pocket expenses.

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B.C. offers financial aid to southern Interior residents hit by March flood

VICTORIA _ Residents of British Columbia’s southern Interior hit by flooding or other damage from an early spring downpour can apply for relief from the provincial government.

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General says financial assistance is available after heavy rains in late March caused overland flooding or landslides.

A news release from the ministry says disaster financial assistance is available to homeowners, tenants, farmers, small businesses and even local governments that could not obtain insurance for certain disaster-related losses.

If allowed, the ministry says assistance claims can cover 80 per cent of eligible damage that exceeds $1,000, to a maximum claim of $300,000.

Applications are available online and will be accepted from claimants across the North Okanagan, Columbia Shuswap, Okanagan-Similkameen and Central Okanagan regional districts.

Torrential downpours swept across the southern Interior starting on March 22 washing out roads, causing localized flooding and bringing down rock and mudslides, prompting several regions, including the City of Armstrong, to declare local states of emergency.

Crawford Forensic Accounting Services Launches an Online Business Interruption Calculator

Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc. today announced the launch of an online simple loss calculator as an enhancement to its Crawford Forensic Accounting Service offering. Coupling technological innovation with the company’s forensic accounting and claims management expertise, this loss calculator was developed to assist in the management of business interruption losses. By design, the loss calculator is tailored towards retail and wholesale business interruption claims where the loss duration is 14 days or less.

“As a claims and risk management firm we are committed to simplifying and expediting the claims cycle by developing and investing in innovative technology and tools, and leveraging appropriate experts,” said Paul Hancock, vice president, Global Technical Services (GTS) Canada, Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc. “This tool was designed to assist our clients and the marketplace in determining the initial extent of a business interruption loss, set reserves, and map out an appropriate course of action.”

For risk management purposes, Crawford’s loss calculator can assist in managing the impact of business interruption losses by requesting initial information required to take appropriate action. The calculator is easy to use. It consists of a five-step process, with prompts, that directs users through each step to help ensure that all the necessary information is captured.

Across all of its global service lines, Crawford is building industry solutions and this loss calculator is one more addition to its product suite.

Crawford’s mission is to restore and enhance lives, businesses and communities,” said Pat Van Bakel, president & chief executive officer, Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc. “This calculator helps to accelerate the claims process, helping businesses to recover and return to normal business operations quickly.”

About Crawford®

Based in Atlanta, Crawford & Company (NYSE: CRD‐A and CRD‐B) is the world’s largest publicly listed independent provider of claims management solutions to insurance companies and self‐insured entities with an expansive global network serving clients in more than 70 countries. The Company’s two classes of stock are substantially identical, except with respect to voting rights and the Company’s ability to pay greater cash dividends on the non-voting Class A Common Stock (CRD-A) than on the voting Class B Common Stock (CRD-B), subject to certain limitations. In addition, with respect to mergers or similar transactions, holders of CRD-A must receive the same type and amount of consideration as holders of CRD-B, unless different consideration is approved by the holders of 75% of CRD-A, voting as a class. More information is available at www.crawfordandcompany.com.

SOURCE Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc.

Nunavut government’s insurance deductible rose to $20M after 2 school fires

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$12M GoFundMe for Humboldt Broncos to close Wednesday

CBC News

The Humboldt Broncos organization will soon be closing a GoFundMe that raised $12 million to support players and families affected by a crash that left 16 people dead and 13 injured.

The outpouring of support began 10 days ago after the team bus collided with a semi on the way to Nipawin, Sask., on April 6.

Kevin Garinger, president of the Humboldt Broncos, made a statement Monday evening about how the team plans to secure and manage the funds that have been raised.

Garinger said the Humboldt Broncos board of directors, with legal counsel from MLT Aikins, and advice from GoFundMe executives, has decided to close the campaign and take it offline at 11:59 p.m. MDT on Wednesday, April 18.

The donated funds will be transferred to a newly created non-profit known as the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund Inc.

An advisory committee is being established to make a recommendation for the allocation of funds.

‘Working to support our Bronco families’

He said the organization’s board of directors has immense love and gratitude for all those who have donated time and money to Humboldt Broncos fundraisers.

“If there is any light shining through this dark time, it has come in the form of love for one another,” he said. “Our families and our entire organization has been blessed to feel this love from people from around the globe.

“Our priority currently remains focused, as it has since day one, on working to support our Bronco families, especially now as they are celebrating the lives of their loved ones and supporting our players who are struggling to heal.”

Garinger also thanked fund creator, Sylvie Kellington. Kellington, who is from the small community, started the fundraiser in hopes of covering parking costs for the families who were at the hospital following the crash.

undraisers and donations outside of the GoFundMe will go to the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation, created with legal counsel from Robertson Stromberg LLP. Garinger said its mission will be to support Humboldt Broncos players, employees, families and volunteers as well as first responders, emergency personnel, teams, athletes, organizations and communities affected by the crash and its aftermath.

Only fundraisers and initiatives directed to the foundation will be endorsed, sanctioned by or held in conjunction with the Humboldt Broncos organization. Garinger said the team’s management will not be able verify any other fundraising events.

In an update posted on the GoFundMe page on Friday night, the Humboldt Broncos announced the team was getting assistance from western Canada law firm MLT Aikins LLP law firm which is supporting the organization pro bono.

“Know that we are working around the clock with our advisers to get the funds to our families as quickly as possible,” the post said.

“We appreciate your patience as this process takes time and thoughtful consideration.”

As of the latest update, 10 people from the Humboldt Broncos crash remain in hospital, with two in critical condition, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Little is known about their specific injuries, except that 18-year-old Ryan Straschnitzki is paralyzed from the chest down.

If some suffer severe injuries, including paralysis and brain injuries, financial support could be required to pay for 24-hour care.

If someone needs to use a wheelchair, home modifications could be a large expense.

The cost of psychological and emotional recovery for team members and their families could also come out of the fund.

Insurance coverage also on the table

Because the deaths and injuries resulted from a road accident in Saskatchewan, some of the costs will be covered through SGI, the province’s public insurance company.

SGI president Andrew Cartmell said benefits available for people who are injured range from travel and accommodation costs for families visiting their loved ones in hospital to long-term rehabilitation and keeping their standard of living consistent.

No-fault insurance means that funds aren’t tied to the cause of the crash and can be distributed before the investigation is complete.

Saskatchewan insurance also covers funeral costs up to about $10,000, plus additional death benefits, including grief counselling.

Hockey Canada’s insurance program also covers the Humboldt Broncos players, coaches and staff, spokesperson Lisa Dornan told CBC News in an email.

Dornan said crisis management staff from both Hockey Canada and insurance provider AIG were on-site in Humboldt to help support the families by making funeral arrangements and organizing travel.

Both SGI and Hockey Canada said that money received by survivors and family members from fundraising campaigns would not affect their insurance benefits.
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