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Insurance Bureau of Canada Advice and Information Following Manitoba Storm

EDMONTON, Oct. 15, 2019 /CNW/ – In the aftermath of the snow and windstorm that hammered Manitoba over the weekend, knocking down trees and leaving thousands without heat or power, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reaching out with tips and advice for those affected.

“We know this storm has caused significant difficulties across the province and our thoughts are with the families who have had their lives disrupted. When you are able to call, your insurance representative is ready to help you with your claim,” said Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, IBC.

What insurance covers
Most home and business insurance policies cover damage caused by storms, including damage caused by snow and wind. Your insurance representative is at the ready to clarify the details of your policy.

The claims process
If you have been affected by the Manitoba storm and power outages and, if it is safe to do so, take the following steps:

  • Assess and document the damage. Taking photos is helpful.
  • Call your insurance representative and/or company.
  • List all damaged or destroyed items.
  • If possible, assemble proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Keep damaged items unless they pose a health hazard.
  • If you have to move out of your home because of insured damage, check with your insurance representative about whether your policy provides additional living expenses coverage, which may cover your costs if you have to move into a hotel/motel.

Damages to refrigerator and freezer contents

  • Your refrigerator, freezer and their contents may be covered for damage related to food spoilage caused by a power interruption. Typically, in this situation, your freezer and its contents are insured for a specified amount. Check your policy.
  • Before disposing of food from your freezer, make a list and take photos of the contents for insurance purposes.
  • If you suspect your fridge or freezer is contaminated by food spoilage or other damage related to the storm, speak to your insurer before discarding the appliance.
  • If your insurer agrees that the refrigerator or freezer must be replaced, the cost of de-gassing and disposing of the appliance is typically covered under the debris-removal portion of your policy.

Next steps

  • Once you have reported a loss, you will be assigned a claims adjuster. It may take some time, but you will be contacted.
  • The claims adjuster will investigate the circumstances of the loss, examine the documents you provide and explain the process. Take notes during these conversations and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Anyone with questions should contact their insurance representative or, for general information, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 128,000 Canadians, pays $9.4 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844‑2ask-IBC.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Vanessa Barrasa, Manager, Media Relations, 416-550-9062, vbarrasa@ibc.ca

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“Little Weight” Given To ICBC Experts in Three Cases Released Today

The BC government is making more noise about Rule of Court reforms regarding expert opinion evidence in personal injury cases in an effort to save ICBC money.  Their not so subtle message is that Plaintiff’s hire too many experts to prove their claims.  If cases released by the BC Supreme Court today are any guide it is ICBC that is in need of reform when it comes to the practice of hiring physicians hoping to refute collision related injuries.

In three separate cases published today by the BC Supreme Court three separate judges found ICBC hired expert opinions deserved “little weight“.

In the first case (Francello v. Cupskey) the Plaintiff was injured in two collisions.  ICBC retained a physician who provided opinion evidence minimizing the Plaintiffs injuries in connection to the crash.  In finding this opinion deserved “little weight” Mr. Justice Burnyeat provided the following comments:

[124]     I am not prepared to find that the Opinion and the testimony of Dr. Bell is inadmissible as was requested by counsel for Ms. Fancello. However, I am prepared to give it very little weight and prefer the evidence in these regards provided by those who remain licensed, continue to see patients, remain up to date in their review of applicable literature, and who saw Ms. Fancello in a professional capacity. I also cannot conclude as did Dr. Bell that the falls being experienced by Ms. Fancello were “just an isolated incident” or that it would be appropriate to discount reports of dizziness.

In the second case released today (Dinnisen v. Lee) the Plaintiff was a pedestrian struck by a vehicle while in a marked crosswalk.  She suffered serious injuries including a fractured right collarbone, a fractured left wrist, and an injury to her brain.  In the course of litigation ICBC had her assessed by neurologist who provided opinions minimizing her injuries.  In giving “little weight” to this opinion Mr. Justice Funt provided the following reasons:

[84]         I have given little weight to Dr. Dost’s opinion for several reasons. First, Dr. Dost takes a primarily statistical approach based on medical literature rather than focusing on the plaintiff with her particular health history, medical imaging, and her symptoms…

[90]         Second, Dr. Dost’s clinical testing is suspect. Dr. Dost met with the plaintiff for 27 minutes in the morning of September 24, 2017 in order to conduct his assessment. During this time, Dr. Dost asked her a number of unchallenging questions as part of an intake questionnaire (e.g., height, time in hospital, work hours, recreational pursuits)…

[92]         I do not accept that even an experienced neurologist can observe and determine decreased processing speed except in obvious instances (e.g., slow to answer easy and readily understandable questions). Dr. Dost’s method is further suspect in that he did not test the plaintiff later in the day after she had been at work for at least several hours. In the plaintiff’s case, her cognitive fatigue occurred later in the day after several hours of work involving mental tasks…

[95]         Third, Dr. Dost failed to consider the possibility that the patient lost consciousness in the Accident…

[103]     Fourth, Dr. Dost testified that none of the other experts diagnosed the plaintiff as having suffered a moderate traumatic brain injury. A moderate traumatic brain injury may have affected the “effect size” in his statistical analysis. However, as may be seen below, Dr. Cameron opined that the plaintiff “suffered a complicated mild traumatic brain injury or moderate traumatic brain injury”…

[105]     Fifth, as quoted above, Dr. Dost in his June 13, 2018 report states:

I would recommend a psychiatric assessment and I would like the report provided for a review.

[106]     The defendant obtained a psychiatric assessment from Dr. P. Janke but the defendant did not give Dr. Dost a copy of Dr. Janke’s report. Dr. Janke was not called as a witness at trial nor was his report tendered as expert opinion. Dr. Janke’s report was given to the plaintiff and the plaintiff gave it to her medical experts. Under cross-examination by defence counsel, Dr. Cameron referred to Dr. Janke’s report.

[107]     The fact that Dr. Dost recommended a psychiatric assessment of the plaintiff and asked to see the relevant report makes his report provisional…

[110]     It is unhelpful to the fact finding process that a party holds back from one of its own experts an opinion of another of its experts where the areas of expertise overlap, especially when the opinion has been provided to the other party.

[111]     As seen above, in his June 13, 2018 report, Dr. Dost states:

I would expect that if these issues are based on psychiatric issues, then treatment of her psychiatric problem will lead to improvement. [Emphasis added.]

[112]     Dr. Dost’s opinion was provisional. In his October 15, 2018 addendum, his opinion remained unchanged. By this time, he had received the October 26, 2017 independent medical examination report prepared by Dr. D.H. Smith, a psychiatrist. In his October 26, 2017 report, Dr. Smith agrees with Dr. Cameron that in terms of outcome, a mild complicated traumatic brain injury is more like a moderate traumatic brain injury.

[113]     In sum, I have given little weight to Dr. Dost’s report, addendum, and evidence. I find that he did not undertake a sufficiently thorough analysis of the plaintiff’s symptoms and surrounding circumstances in order to provide sufficient reliability of opinion evidence to the Court. He was also somewhat hampered by not having been given a copy of Dr. Janke’s report.

In the final case released today (Miller v. Resurreccion) the Plaintiff was injured in a 2011 collision that the Defendant admitted fault for.  ICBC again retained an expert who minimized the connection of the Plaintiff’s injuries to the collision.  In finding aspects of his opinion deserved “little weight” Madam Justice Baker provided the following comments:

In his second report he questioned whether the flare up of symptoms experienced by Ms. Miller in 2016 could be related to the accident. He did note that migraines fluctuate and can worsen when psychological issues develop.

[81]         Dr. Woolfenden’s opinions were based in part on his understanding that Ms. Miller had a longstanding history of pre-accident headaches, including severe headaches, and neck pain. Under cross examination, Dr. Woolfenden agreed that his understanding of Ms. Miller’s pre-accident pain and headaches arose primarily from the records of Ms. Gibson and Dr. Miles. Both Ms. Gibson and Dr. Miles testified at trial, and their evidence did not support the understanding Dr. Woolfenden gained from their notes. As such, I place little weight on Dr. Woolfenden’s conclusions on the possible origin of Ms. Miller’s headaches.

Advocacy in the Guise of Opinion, bc injury law, Dinnessen v. Lee, Fancello v. Cupskey, madam justice baker, Miller v. Resurreccion, Mr. Justice Bunryeat, Mr. Justice Funt

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

By Tom Fletcher | Victoria News

Private insurers say they would be happy to take B.C. Attorney General David Eby up on his challenge to compete with ICBC for optional insurance, if the Crown corporation would share its driver history information directly with them.

“ICBC denies other insurers access to a customer’s driving record and accident history, as well as to the claims information that all insurers need to price and sell auto insurance,” the Insurance Bureau of Canada said in a statement released Friday. “As the monopoly insurer in the province, ICBC holds this information and uses it to price its products.”

The private insurance industry group was responding to Eby’s comments last week about big increases for new drivers as ICBC moves to a new risk-based rate structure. Eby said the biggest increase in mandatory basic liability insurance new drivers will face is 12 per cent, or about $200 a year.

It’s the optional insurance, including collision repair, where younger drivers are facing the biggest increases, Eby said, and if private insurers believe they can do it at a lower price, “they should do so.”

Vehicle insurers make driver information available between companies everywhere else in Canada, including Quebec, where the government insurer shares driver data, the Insurance Bureau of Canada says. That’s why Quebec has more than 100 private insurers competing for optional insurance, and B.C. has “only two insurers that compete with ICBC in any meaningful sense.”

Eby has argued that drivers can retrieve their own driving records from ICBC online and take them to a private insurer to compare rates. Private insurers say that is the barrier that prevents better competition in B.C.

“If the Attorney General is suggesting that he will force ICBC to provide other insurers with the data they need to sell auto insurance in B.C., other insurers will gladly provide British Columbians with the choice they deserve,” the bureau said. “Given ICBC’s current performance, it’s a choice that’s desperately needed.”


Victoria News

Are insurance companies ready to handle a major disaster?

By Cindy White

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – What would happen to insurance companies if Canada is hit by a major catastrophe?

While the Calgary floods of 2013 and the Fort McMurray wildfire hit insurance companies hard, a report from the University of Calgary warns larger disasters could lead to the financial collapse of the industry.

Risk Management Professor Anne Klefner said when you have a multi-billion dollar event, it could see some firms crumble.

“For any insurer that becomes insolvent, the rest of the insurance industry then is assessed in order to pay the liabilities of the now insolvent insurers. It’s that which ultimately creates this domino effect.”

Flefner believes as many as 18 insurance companies could go bankrupt following major disasters, leaving property owners in the lurch or governments having to pick up the tab for recovery.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates about $3.7 billion in insured damages came from the Fort McMurray fires, making it the costliest disaster in Canadian history.

The southern Alberta floods cost insurance companies $1.6 billion.

In 2017, the IBC said losses due to natural disasters have increased dramatically over the last ten years.

Klefner said an earthquake in places like Vancouver or Montreal, could cause $35 billion in damages.

“We’re talking about events much, much larger than what we’ve seen to date. Much bigger than Fort McMurray, for example. The idea is there is limited capacity, so although it’s high, it’s not unlimited.”

Canada is the only G7 nation that doesn’t have a federal government plan to help the insurance industry as a whole deal with mega catastrophes.

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