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.

Covering the Expense of Interruptions and Cancellations

Ingle International

An unexpected flight interruption could blow up your travel budget like a balloon. A sudden storm or illness that forces you to cancel a pre-paid vacation could cost you even more. But, just as it can shift the potential burden of medical emergency costs, the right travel insurance can also limit your risk of unexpected trip expenses.

Q: What should I know about trip cancellation and interruption insurance?

Various all-inclusive travel plans provide coverage for medical emergencies as well as for cancelled or interrupted trips. If you do not require an individual medical policy, it’s possible to buy a stand-alone cancellation and/or interruption plan.

Q: How much would it cost me to purchase a comprehensive all-inclusive plan?

Prices vary from plan to plan, and from person to person. The cost of medical emergency coverage will typically go up with the age of the traveller and with any existing (or previous) health conditions. The cost of trip interruption coverage alone usually depends on age and coverage limit, while trip cancellation coverage will vary with the cost of your planned trip.

Q: What reasons would make me eligible for a trip interruption or cancellation claim?

You may submit a claim for expenses if one of the following interferes with your travel plans:

  • a weather disturbance
  • a medical or mechanical problem
  • legal or personal obligations
  • actions, threats, warnings, or decisions of others (e.g., governments and airlines)

Q: What is the most common reason for trip interruption claims?

“Typically trip interruption is associated with weather-type conditions. Any time we have a winter with a lot of snow in Canada, we definitely see an impact on our trip interruption and trip delay claims,” explains Rob Iafrate, assistant VP at Manulife Financial. “In theory, you are less exposed [to weather delays in the summer]. The exception a few years ago was when ash clouds from a volcano in Iceland disrupted travel during the European [travel] season.”

Q: Is the cost of trip cancellation and interruption coverage higher at certain times of the year?

Iafrate says no: “When you are putting the product together and trying to balance the ease or convenience of the application process and the pricing, you take a holistic view of the year and to what extent that type of claim happens over a 12-month period.”

Q: Is the demand for this insurance higher at certain times of the year?

The number of travel insurance purchases rise in Canada when families plan summer vacations, particularly costly trips to Europe, and winter vacations. Older snowbirds who drive south for long periods tend not to pay extra for trip delay or cancellation coverage, says Iafrate.

Q: Do consumers worry more about trip cancellation than trip interruption?

Yes. Consumers realize they can lose more money if they have to cancel a prepaid vacation because of illness, a death in the family, job loss, or a life-threatening event at their vacation destination. There are daily and total limits for the value of interruption expenses that may be claimed, but consumers may purchase much higher coverage limits for a costly vacation. Iafrate has observed that trip interruption due to weather is often an after-thought.

Q: When do consumers typically ask for trip interruption insurance?

“The only time trip interruption is brought up in a pre-sale discussion is if somebody is connecting (flying between airports before reaching a final destination),” says Iafrate. Travellers may be exposed to a loss if weather causes them to miss their connecting flight and they have to pay for another ticket.

Some travellers only add trip interruption to their next purchase of medical insurance after they have had to pay for a return flight, when delayed by a weather, medical, or other emergency, notes Karen Cullen, the Ontario regional director for Travel Insurance Coordinators Ltd. (TIC).

Q: How are trip cancellation rates determined? Are the rates just a set percentage of the total trip cost, or are there other factors?

“Trip cancellation rates can be based on a percentage of trip costs—usually around 6 to 8 per cent,” says Cullen. “But this can vary significantly depending on the benefits you are purchasing. Some companies take the insured’s age and trip duration into consideration.”

Q: Why is medical information sometimes required when applying for travel medical insurance, but not trip cancellation and interruption insurance?

A medical emergency could cost an insurer millions of dollars, depending on the policy limits, but only hundreds or thousands of dollars for a disrupted trip. So insurers are simply more careful when screening applicants for medical coverage.

Q: What protection does cancellation and interruption insurance offer against hurricanes and other extreme weather?

A trip interruption policy will typically pay for extra accommodation and flight costs, up to a fixed dollar limit, if you miss a flight due to a hurricane or other extreme weather. Trip cancellation coverage would reimburse pre-paid costs you could not otherwise recover.

But if weather conditions merely delay arrival, you may be expected to proceed once it is safe. Cullen notes that TIC’s polices state that you would be covered to cancel if you are not able to depart on your trip because of adverse weather, volcanic eruptions, or a natural disaster that would result in you missing 30 per cent or more of your trip.

Q: Can I get cancellation insurance for a flight booked with rewards points?

“Reward point companies can sometimes offer protection (for a premium) so that, if you cannot travel, you may be able to get your unused points credited back to your account,” says Cullen. “Because there is no actual cash value assigned to rewards points, [other] insurers usually will not allow cash reimbursements back to clients if or when they have to cancel their trip.

While some travellers may accept the risk of paying extra costs when their travel plans are interrupted or may even be able to tolerate losing it all if a trip is cancelled at the last minute, trip cancellation and interruption insurance can lift any concerns for a set price. The cost of this type of travel insurance isn’t that high to begin with, and can be minimized by comparing plans and purchase options. It’s also good to know that there are annual plans available for frequent flyers that have a trip cancellation and interruption component.

Source: https://www.ingleinternational.com

DYK: Medical reasons make up one-third of Canadian’ travel claims

NEWS PROVIDED BY

RBC Insurance

Highlights:

  • Canadians’ biggest pet peeves while travelling by air include bad travel etiquette, followed by flight delays and going through airport security. And when it comes to the worst things they’ve lost while travelling, the top three items are baggage, their passport and their travelling companion.
  • Over a quarter of Canadians have made an insurance claim as a result of something that happened to them while travelling, with visits to the doctor accounting for 33 per cent of those claims, followed by flight delays.
  • When asked the most important item to insure while on vacation, almost three-quarters had said themselves, followed by luggage, rental car and mobile phone.

TORONTO, June 19, 2019 /CNW/ – Tight airport security and flight delays can definitely be a downside to air travel, but the biggest pet peeve for over a quarter (27 per cent) of Canadians is bad travel etiquette, according to a recent RBC Insurance survey. And when it comes to the worst things they’ve lost along the way, the top three items are baggage (20 per cent), followed by their passport (13 per cent) and, interestingly, their travelling companion (6 per cent).

However, the overall pleasures of air travel seem to outweigh the pet-peeves. Canadians are often on the move, travelling outside of their home province by air roughly once every six to seven months.

Before you go, ensure you’re insured
Along with such frequent travel comes a greater opportunity for mishaps to occur that could result in expensive bills. In fact, one-quarter (26 per cent) of Canadians have made an insurance claim as a result of something that happened to them while travelling. One-third (33 per cent) of those claims were related to visits to a doctor, hospital or clinic, while flight delays account for one-quarter (24 per cent) of claims.

“Travel is a wonderful, educational experience and it’s great to see that Canadians are exploring the world outside their own province or country so frequently,” said Stacey Hughes-Brooks, Head of Travel, RBC Insurance. “However, given the data from the survey, a quarter of Canadians have needed to make an insurance claim so it’s best to make sure not only that you have coverage, but that you have enough.”

When asked the most important item to insure while on vacation, almost three-quarters (72 per cent) responded themselves – and this increases among travellers aged 55 and over (81 per cent) as compared to younger travellers (64 per cent). When it comes to insuring physical belongings, 12 per cent stated luggage is the next most important item, followed by a rental car (7 per cent) and mobile phone (5 per cent).

Barriers to filing travel insurance claims
Of those Canadians who have never made a travel insurance claim, 79 per cent have been lucky enough to say they have never been in a situation where they needed to make one. However, the remaining 21 per cent said they needed to file a claim but did not or were unable to do so. The top reasons for not making a claim include that it was too much of a hassle, they were underinsured, they incorrectly assumed they were covered by their insurance policy or their credit card or they didn’t know where to go.

“With so many credit cards offering travel insurance many Canadians may assume that they are covered if something happens while travelling,” adds Stacey. “It’s important that Canadians do their homework to understand their coverage otherwise they could find themselves out-of-pocket for minor or major expenses.”

RBC Insurance offers the following tips for Canadian travellers this year:

  • Consider purchasing travel insurance even if traveling within Canada.
  • Ensure you understand what your policy does and does not cover and what other coverages you may have through work or credit cards.
  • Label luggage by putting your name and contact information on the inside and outside of the bag.

About the RBC Insurance Survey
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 23-27, 2019 on behalf of RBC Insurance. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 years and over were interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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

Quebec-based credit union federation learned of data breach from police

Read more

$65,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Likely “Indefinite” Neck & Back Injury

 Written by ERIK MAGRAKEN

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Nanaimo Registry, assessing damages for long-lasting soft tissue injuries.

In today’s case (Poulin v. Armstrong) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2013 collision.  She was a passenger at the time and was 14 years of age.  The Defendant admitted fault.  The crash caused soft tissue injuries to her neck and upper back which became chronic and were expected to linger indefinitely.

In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $65,000

Mr. Justice Baird provided the following reasons:

11]        The plaintiff was assessed by Dr. Jonathan Hawkeswood, physiatrist, on August 13, 2018. He submitted a report that documented the plaintiff’s history of difficulties, his diagnosis, and recommendations for her future heath care. According to him the claimant continues to suffer from post-traumatic myofascial neck pain with large trigger points at the medial trapezial fibres, upper intrascapular pain, likely predominately soft tissue in nature, and headaches related thereto. He noted no pre-accident injuries or illness and concluded that the plaintiff’s current upper body pain and headaches are attributable to the accident. His overall prognosis and expectations were reported as follows:

Based on the duration of symptoms and today’s clinical presentation, a complete resolution of all accident related injuries has a probability of less than 50%. In other words, I expect Ms. Poulin will continue to have neck pain indefinitely. This can be reasonably described as a chronic neck pain issue. Furthermore, it is probable she will experience headaches in association with neck pain on a long term basis.

[12]        Dr. Hawkeswood said that the plaintiff is not disabled from light or moderate duty work because of her injuries. In particular, he did not consider her to be disabled from a career as a physiotherapist but concluded that her work tolerance and productivity will likely be compromised by her injuries. “In the future”, wrote Dr. Hawkeswood, “she may well require consistent sick time or perhaps vacation time dedicated to physical recovery due to her injuries.” He also recommended, if the plaintiff ends up pursuing another career, that she should choose a field that does not require heavy lifting, allows for frequent positional changes, and minimises overhead work.

[13]        The plaintiff was also examined by Brent Armstrong, a functional capacity evaluator. He spent the better part of a day with the plaintiff putting her through various physical tests. He concluded that the plaintiff is competitively employable as both a physiotherapist and a kinesiologist, but he predicted that she will experience exacerbations of neck and upper back pain in the course of her work in either occupation. He predicted that she would need to moderate her pace, take regular breaks, and ask for assistance or accommodations in order to succeed in her daily tasks…

[18]        Here, the plaintiff was injured at a very young age. According to the uncontested medical evidence she will likely continue to suffer indefinitely from pain in her upper back and neck with associated headaches. She has been deprived of the full enjoyment of her physical person in the prime of her life and will suffer from these deficits for many years. This is a significant setback, especially for someone as active as the plaintiff.

[20]        I have concluded that a fair award under this heading is $65,000.

bc injury law, Mr. Justice Baird, Poulin v. Armstrong

Medical reasons make up one-third of Canadians’ travel claims

Poll also uncovers travel pet peeves, most important items to insure, claims barriers

NEWS PROVIDED BY

RBC Insurance

Highlights:

  • Canadians’ biggest pet peeves while travelling by air include bad travel etiquette, followed by flight delays and going through airport security. And when it comes to the worst things they’ve lost while travelling, the top three items are baggage, their passport and their travelling companion.
  • Over a quarter of Canadians have made an insurance claim as a result of something that happened to them while travelling, with visits to the doctor accounting for 33 per cent of those claims, followed by flight delays.
  • When asked the most important item to insure while on vacation, almost three-quarters had said themselves, followed by luggage, rental car and mobile phone.

TORONTO, June 19, 2019 /CNW/ – Tight airport security and flight delays can definitely be a downside to air travel, but the biggest pet peeve for over a quarter (27 per cent) of Canadians is bad travel etiquette, according to a recent RBC Insurance survey. And when it comes to the worst things they’ve lost along the way, the top three items are baggage (20 per cent), followed by their passport (13 per cent) and, interestingly, their travelling companion (6 per cent).

However, the overall pleasures of air travel seem to outweigh the pet-peeves. Canadians are often on the move, travelling outside of their home province by air roughly once every six to seven months.

Before you go, ensure you’re insured
Along with such frequent travel comes a greater opportunity for mishaps to occur that could result in expensive bills. In fact, one-quarter (26 per cent) of Canadians have made an insurance claim as a result of something that happened to them while travelling. One-third (33 per cent) of those claims were related to visits to a doctor, hospital or clinic, while flight delays account for one-quarter (24 per cent) of claims.

“Travel is a wonderful, educational experience and it’s great to see that Canadians are exploring the world outside their own province or country so frequently,” said Stacey Hughes-Brooks, Head of Travel, RBC Insurance. “However, given the data from the survey, a quarter of Canadians have needed to make an insurance claim so it’s best to make sure not only that you have coverage, but that you have enough.”

When asked the most important item to insure while on vacation, almost three-quarters (72 per cent) responded themselves – and this increases among travellers aged 55 and over (81 per cent) as compared to younger travellers (64 per cent). When it comes to insuring physical belongings, 12 per cent stated luggage is the next most important item, followed by a rental car (7 per cent) and mobile phone (5 per cent).

Barriers to filing travel insurance claims
Of those Canadians who have never made a travel insurance claim, 79 per cent have been lucky enough to say they have never been in a situation where they needed to make one. However, the remaining 21 per cent said they needed to file a claim but did not or were unable to do so. The top reasons for not making a claim include that it was too much of a hassle, they were underinsured, they incorrectly assumed they were covered by their insurance policy or their credit card or they didn’t know where to go.

“With so many credit cards offering travel insurance many Canadians may assume that they are covered if something happens while travelling,” adds Stacey. “It’s important that Canadians do their homework to understand their coverage otherwise they could find themselves out-of-pocket for minor or major expenses.”

RBC Insurance offers the following tips for Canadian travellers this year:

  • Consider purchasing travel insurance even if traveling within Canada.
  • Ensure you understand what your policy does and does not cover and what other coverages you may have through work or credit cards.
  • Label luggage by putting your name and contact information on the inside and outside of the bag.

About the RBC Insurance Survey
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 23-27, 2019 on behalf of RBC Insurance. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 years and over were interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

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

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