Councillor finds it ‘prudent’ landlords have proper fire insurance

The excerpted article was written by Adam Swimmer

Last month’s deadly blaze at an apartment high-rise raises the question as to whether landlords better fire insurance coverage to help their tenants in the event of a disaster.

The fire at 235 Gosford Park Blvd., on Friday, Nov. 15, left one person dead, injured six others and displaced around 700 residents.

Coun. Anthony Perruzza, who represents the area, said this fire was covered by the City of Toronto’s disaster bylaws to provide emergency shelter for those who couldn’t find other lodging.

“Anybody who was basically left homeless and … registered with the Red Cross, they were given shelter for 14 days,” Perruzza explained.

The displaced families were housed at both the Driftwood Community Centre and the Tait McKenzie building at York University.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

He said the number of people in these facilities fluctuated but went as high as around 60 people.

“It’s a tough situation to live in kind of like a makeshift shelter … especially when you have young kids and you don’t have any of your belongings,” the councillor said.

And providing this emergency shelter like this becomes “a very big burden for the city.”

But Perruzza said under current legislation landlords are ultimately responsible in these types of situations so it’s “prudent” for them to have the proper coverage.

The city required the building’s management company Ronkay Management Inc. to find accommodations for the remaining 30 people still in the emergency shelters after the 14 days expired, CTV had reported.

The landlord said on Facebook Dec. 7, those residents can continue to stay in the hotel through January but will have to pay their old rent and parking. Ronkay will cover the difference of the hotel costs.

Those who found their own accommodations don’t have to pay rent.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada recommends anyone who rents a lodging to have tenants insurance, which among other things can help you in the event of a fire or other type of damage to your home.

It insures your belongings and can help cover “any necessary expenses while your apartment is being repaired, such as hotel bills, restaurant meals and moving costs.”

But Perruzza said these types of plans often have a cap of around $5,000, which can be used up quickly, so he recently moved a motion at a council meeting to have the city look at what role it should play in ensuring landlords have access to the right type of insurance products to cover themselves and their tenants in a crisis.

Anthony Perruzza

@PerruzzaTO

My motion carried in City Council today, along with important item-PH10.4 supporting ⁦⁦⁦⁦@TorontoACORN⁩ ⁩ RentSafe Campaign. http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2019.PH10.4 

Anthony Perruzza

@PerruzzaTO

Tenants deserve and should have insurance coverage in the event that an apartment building becomes uninhabitable.

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See Anthony Perruzza’s other Tweets

As for the Gosford Blvd. apartment building, the city is working with Ronkay Management to help make sure the building is repaired and its residents can move back home.

Last month’s deadly blaze at an apartment high-rise raises the question as to whether landlords better fire insurance coverage to help their tenants in the event of a disaster.

The fire at 235 Gosford Park Blvd., on Friday, Nov. 15, left one person dead, injured six others and displaced around 700 residents.

Coun. Anthony Perruzza, who represents the area, said this fire was covered by the City of Toronto’s disaster bylaws to provide emergency shelter for those who couldn’t find other lodgings.

“Anybody who was basically left homeless and… registered with the Red Cross, they were given shelter for 14 days,” Perruzza explained.

The displaced families were housed at both the Driftwood Community Centre and the Tait McKenzie building at York University.

He said the number of people in these facilities fluctuated but went as high as around 60 people.

“It’s a tough situation to live in kind of like a makeshift shelter… especially when you have young kids and you don’t have any of your belongings,” the councillor said.

And providing this emergency shelter like this becomes “a very big burden for the city.”

But Perruzza said under current legislation landlords are ultimately responsible in these types of situations so it’s “prudent” for them to have the proper coverage.

The city required the building’s management company Ronkay Management Inc. to find accommodations for the remaining 30 people still in the emergency shelters after the 14 days expired, CTV had reported.

The landlord said on Facebook Dec. 7, those residents can continue to stay in the hotel through January but will have to pay their old rent and parking. Ronkay will cover the difference of the hotel costs.

Those who found their own accommodations don’t have to pay rent.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada recommends anyone who rents a lodging to have tenants insurance, which among other things can help you in the event of a fire or other type of damage to your home.

It insures your belongings and can help cover “any necessary expenses while your apartment is being repaired, such as hotel bills, restaurant meals and moving costs.”

But Perruzza said these types of plans often have a cap of around $5,000, which can be used up quickly, so he recently moved a motion at a council meeting to have the city look at what role it should play in ensuring landlords have access to the right type of insurance products to cover themselves and their tenants in a crisis

As for the Gosford Blvd. apartment building, the city is working with Ronkay Management to help make sure the building is repaired and its residents can move back home.

Toronto couple baffled after their vehicle was stolen for the 3rd time

Danny Goulis has had 2 different vehicles stolen from his north Toronto driveway

Adam Carter | CBC Toronto

Danny Goulis has come to know his way around an insurance claim.

That’s because somehow, thieves have managed to steal his vehicle from the driveway of his north Toronto home on three separate occasions.

He has even had the same SUV stolen twice.

It’s a situation that has left Goulis and his wife, Kathleen Moss, baffled and frustrated.

“Obviously they have some sort of way of doing it, some sort of technique,” Goulis said.

“To take a car like this with no recourse and it’s that easy? I think there’s a problem there.”

The latest theft happened early Wednesday morning at the couple’s home in the Lawrence Park area. Goulis was having his coffee and was going upstairs to get ready for work — and that’s when he noticed his SUV was nowhere to be seen.

“I just thought, ‘Oh not again.'”

He checked his security tapes, and sure enough, someone could be seen hunched by the side of his 2017 Lexus 570 SUV just after 3 a.m.

Within nine minutes, the thief had managed to get into the car, disable the steering wheel club and drive off, he said.

“He opened the door, no key, no broken window, nothing,” Moss said.

This was the second time this vehicle was stolen. The exact same thing happened in mid-April. Police eventually found it in a shipping crate in Montreal about a month later.

Steve Kee, spokesperson for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, told CBC News vehicles can be stolen for anything from joyrides, to shipped out of country and chopped up for parts.

“Thieves are going to look for patterns. They’re going to look for the availability to let them to do that,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate that someone would have a vehicle stolen twice. That’s rare, and it’s terrible for these people to have to go through that.”

In an email earlier this year, Toronto police said they believed Goulis was the victim of an electronic car theft — specifically, a relay theft.

CBC Toronto reported on the new electronic theft methods late last year, describing how thieves can use high-tech gadgets to relay fob signals  — even from inside your home  — to a device outside, or override a vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system to steal it without ever having access to the keys.

Danny Goulis is speaking out after thieves stole his Lexus for the second time. 2:08

Toronto police said last year that investigators had seen a 90 per cent jump in the electronic theft of luxury vehicles across the city from December 2017 to 2018.

In 53 Division, where Goulis is located, thefts were up 240 per cent.

An ‘industry-wide issue’

Const. Caroline de Kloet wasn’t able to provide updated statistics Thursday, but said it’s something 53 Division is still dealing with, as there tend to be higher-end cars in the area.

That, coupled with a more traditional car theft in 2013 where thieves broke into Goulis’s home, swiped the keys and drove off with another car, has him very frustrated.

Goulis told CBC News that he’s convinced there is an issue with Lexus’s fob systems.

“They’re so organized. Obviously they have some way of getting into the car,” he said.

Toyota spokesperson Michael Bouliane, which also owns Lexus, told CBC News in an email that auto theft is an “industry-wide issue” and certain vehicles are in higher demand than others.

“Our industry has been working closely with the Canadian insurance industry and police authorities across Canada to assist with investigations related to vehicle theft,” Bouliane said.

Goulis said after his last theft, Lexus told him to use a Faraday shield, which is an enclosure used to block electronic signals. He said he was also told to move his keys away from the front door.

In response, he moved his keys toward the back of the house and away from his vehicle, and used a Christmas cookie tin as a makeshift Faraday box.

Clearly, that didn’t do the trick. Now, he and his wife are constantly feeling a little wary, he said.

“You really feel like you’re worrying about everything all the time here now.”

Shaw informs customers of data breach six months after incident

ZACH LAING | The Calgary Herald

Some Shaw customers received letters in the mail this week saying some of their customer information was breached six months ago, Postmedia has learned.

The breach happened on June 22, 2019, when a Shaw employee had their corporate laptop stolen. In a letter to affected customers, Shaw stated the laptop contained “a limited amount of customer information — including customer names, account numbers, a list of services they subscribe to with Shaw, and whether their accounts were active or closed.”

The letter said the risk was believed to be “very low” and recommended users change passwords and enable two-step verification on their accounts.

In a statement to Postmedia Friday, Shaw said the laptop contained no financial information.

“These documents did not include any customer financial information or personal identifiers. Over the past week, we’ve informed our customers of the incident and asked them to take precautionary measures to ensure their account information remains secure,” they added.

Shaw says their investigation into the matter was complex and took several months to conclude.

“Following our detailed investigation, we have no evidence of misuse of any information contained in the documents on the laptop, and believe the risk to our customers is very low,” they stated, adding they continue to work with local authorities to locate the stolen laptop.

The breach comes after Shaw-owned Freedom Mobile suffered a data breach affecting 15,000 customers in late March. Freedom said at the time a “very limited amount” of customer data was exposed as a result of a misconfigured server.

When asked why it took six months for customers to be informed, nor how many customers were affected, Shaw did not respond.

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta said in a statement there was no record of a breach reported by Shaw Communications to them since June but that since Shaw is a federally regulated entity, they may have been required to report the breach to the federal privacy commissioner.

Cyber Attacks Becoming More Common Says Insurance Specialist

Written by Zack Drake | Discover Moose Jaw

Technology is advancing at a faster rate every single day, and with the advancements in technology comes a greater risk of being the victim of a cyber attack.

Cyber attacks can render your personal computer or an entire business completely out of operation.

Greg Marcyniuk is with Heritage Insurance and gave some scary statistics on cyber attacks.

“You have a higher chance of having a cyber attack, which is a 1 in 4 chance now and it keeps increasing than receiving a customer complaint. There is a cyber-attack every 36 seconds or 4000 a day in North America.”

Marcyniuk detailed what could happen if your business was attacked through a local example.

“Your business is basically shut down. Your accounts receivable is out, no access to your clients, we’re talking serious situations. This is an actual situation, fortunately, the person was able to retrieve their data by getting an intrinsic computer specialist to come in., He had to pay a fair amount of money which I cannot disclose and he was down for two days. He’s was a lucky person.”

Marcyniuk added that with proper insurance a person can protect themselves from even the worst kinds of attacks.

Police bust alleged $1.6M car theft ring that exported high-end vehicles out of Canada

The excerpted article was written by Sean Davidson CTV News Toronto

TORONTO — Four people have been charged after police busted an alleged $1.6-million car theft ring that spanned across southern Ontario, exporting high-end stolen vehicles out of Canada.

Police in Hamilton, Ont. began their investigation, dubbed Project Seagull, in August 2019 after authorities became aware of the thefts.

The auto theft ring, which operated out of the city of Hamilton, targeted mainly rental cars, police allege.

Seven of the 39 vehicles stolen were found on a shipping container bound for Iraq, police said. Investigators believe other vehicles that have not yet been recovered have been shipped around the world.

On Dec. 5, police executed search warrants on six Hamilton businesses and three residences. While conducting their searches, officers seized 12 more stolen vehicles, numerous vehicle parts, cash, gold jewelry and other suspected stolen items.

Police said they also recovered fraudulent vehicle identification numbers, shipping documents and stolen Mexican passports.

How the alleged car theft ring operated

The majority of the auto thefts carried out by the accused targeted rental car companies, police allege.

Police said the suspects would use fraudulent documents to rent vehicles and never return them.

In some cases, the suspects would allegedly rent vehicles and clone the keys before returning them. Police said the suspects would then go back and steal the cars with the cloned keys.

“These four accused have a network going on,” Det. Sgt. Andrea Torrie said on Monday. “We have evidence they have probably been doing this for a couple of years.”

“We’re hoping we caused a major disruption in their business at this point.”

Who police charged

Three men and one woman have been charged in connection with the car thefts.

Yehia Al-Jbouri, 50, faces more than 50 charges in connection with the investigation, including possession of property obtained by crime and trafficking of property obtained by crime.

Zeyad Al-Khafaji, 45, has been charged with fraudulent concealment and conspiracy to commit.

Amer Al-Ogaili, 46, faces over 25 charges, including possession of property obtained by crime and trafficking in property obtained by crime.

Nahla Khayon, 46, is facing one charge of possession of property obtained by crime.

Three of the accused were released on their own recognizance and their first court appearance is Jan. 6, 2020. Khayon has been released on a Promise To Appear, with a future court date set for Jan. 21, 2020.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates auto thefts costs Canadians close to $1 billion yearly. In 2018, southern Ontario alone saw 9,500 thefts.

Hamilton police is asking anyone with information to contact Detective Sergeant Andrea Torrie at 905-546-2991 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

How to avoid a massive holiday health care bill when OHIP out-of-country coverage ends

The excerpted article was written by Solarina Ho CTV News

TORONTO — If you are an Ontario resident planning to travel outside of Canada over the holidays and will be out of the country after Jan. 1, make sure you have adequate travel health insurance coverage or risk dealing with a crippling medical bill should a medical emergency arise.

The Ontario government’s decision earlier this year to scrap its “inefficient” out-of-country health insurance coverage takes effect January 1, 2020. This means Ontarians who end up requiring major inpatient emergency care, for example, can no longer claim the $400-a-day maximum that OHIP currently provides and the $50-a-day maximum allowed for emergency outpatient services, such as an MRI or a CAT scan.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott announced the decision in May following a public consultation, pointing to the inefficiency of the province spending $2.8 million administering $9 million claims each year.

The existing OHIP coverage is quite minimal given the cost of medical care abroad, said Robin Ingle, chief executive of travel insurance firm MSH Ingle International, especially in countries such as the United States, the most popular destination for Canadians.

“Today they cover about five per cent of your global health bill,” Ingle told CTV’s Your Morning, noting that the province used to cover some 80 per cent of a traveller’s out-of-country medical bill. The province was forced to change its coverage in 1991 due to the cost of the U.S. healthcare system.

A hospital stay in the U.S. could cost $5,000 a night, said Ingle. An MRI typically costs US$1,000 to US$5,000, an X-ray can range from US$150 to US$3,000.

Some locations might require a cash payment up front or refuse treatment altogether without proof you can pay or have adequate coverage.

“There was a recent example of a Canadian who was in Thailand, fell off a ladder, was stuck in the hospital because the family didn’t have travel insurance,” Ingle said Monday.

“The bill starts ramping up, and if you need an air evacuation, it’s not just the hospital bed cost. An air evacuation back to Canada from Thailand would be about US$150,000; from the Southern U.S., it would be about US$20,000.”

Ingle argued the new set-up will actually be better in the long run and expects other provinces will follow Ontario’s lead.

“As an insurer, for example, it’s a major hassle for us to actually get compensation back from the provincial government. So you might get a little bit of a rate increase now, but you will have it go down over time, because the processes will be simpler for the travel insurer,” he said.

Patients living with kidney failure will continue to have the same partial coverage for out-of-country dialysis care under a new program.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

You can ask about travel insurance through your credit card company, your employer’s insurance provider, a broker, or a travel agent, for example. Shop and compare insurance plans, and make sure you understand any requirements, conditions, and exclusions. Ask questions, such as:

• What does it cover? Does it include hospitalization while abroad?

• Ask specifically for the kind of products that you will need.

• What is the deductible, if any?

• How comprehensive is the plan? Are there coverage limitations or exclusions for certain destinations?

• Is the coverage renewable while you are out of the country?

• Who pays the bills upfront?

Regardless of your destination, the federal government recommends that your insurance covers the following:

• Medical evacuation to Canada or the nearest place with appropriate care, as well as the cost of a medical escort.

• Your pre-existing condition and have it in writing. Find out how your insurer defines “pre-existing condition” and what the limitations and restrictions are, and make sure the agreement covers a compassion clause and change of health clause.

• Preparation of your remains and repatriation to Canada in case of death.

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