Most Canadians don’t know key details about their properties & that makes getting home insurance quotes inaccurate & annoying

A recent home insurance survey conducted by LowestRates.ca found that the majority of Canadians don’t know key details about their homes, meaning when it comes time to get home insurance, their initial quote might not match the final price.  This also means comparing prices to get the best rate is often time consuming and a pain.

The survey found that 59.24% of respondents do not know the replacement cost of their home — essentially, what it would cost to replace the structure they inhabit. Many homeowners mistake this as the price they paid for their home when they bought it or what they could sell their home for now.

The survey also found that 30% of Canadians don’t know what year their property was built, 43% don’t know what the square footage of their property is when including the basement and one in four don’t know how close the nearest fire station is to their home.

Knowing this information is crucial to getting an accurate home insurance quote.

“These results are pretty surprising,” says LowestRates.ca’s Co-Founder and CEO Justin Thouin. “Having the right information is crucial to getting an accurate home insurance quote, but more importantly, incorrect information can invalidate your home insurance.”

Respondents fared better in other areas of the survey: 81.11% of homeowners are aware of the kind of primary and secondary heating their homes use. But in all areas, there was a significant percentage of Canadians who weren’t aware of basic details of their homes.

LowestRates.ca has simplified the home insurance quoting process by introducing a brand new comparison tool that automatically pulls all this information for homeowners. The new quoter is now live in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, and will go live in the rest of Canada in the coming months. Canadians can use the quoter to quickly and easily compare prices from leading brokers and insurance companies to find the best price.

“This will eliminate errors when it’s time to get home insurance,” says Thouin. “We’re thrilled to launch this brand new, innovative quoter, which will allow Canadians to quickly and easily compare home insurance quotes online so everyone can save money and get the right policy for their unique needs.”

The LowestRates.ca survey results show that the majority of homeowners, 75.44%, currently have home insurance, while just over half (50.36%) of homeowners have gotten a quote for home insurance during the past year. The survey asked how much time Canadians think it takes to get a home insurance quote — 40.76% of respondents reported they thought it takes ten minutes, while 20.43% believed it takes twenty minutes. The remaining responses are split down the middle: 19.40% of respondents reported that they thought it takes less than five minutes to get a home insurance quote, while 19.40% indicated that they thought it would take more than thirty minutes.

With the new LowestRates.ca home insurance quoter, however, it’s possible to get more than 15 quotes in just three minutes.

“We want to make sure that homeowners have the coverage they need to protect their homes, and to be aware of the costs associated with unexpected events,” said Thouin.

The LowestRates.ca home insurance survey was conducted from July to August 2019 and sampled 969 respondents across Canada.

About LowestRates.ca
LowestRates.ca is an online rate comparison site for insurance, mortgages, loans and credit card rates in Canada. The free, independent service connects directly with financial institutions and providers from all over North America to offer Canadians a comprehensive list of rates. LowestRates.ca’s mission is to help Canadians become more financially literate, with the goal of saving them $1-billion in interest and fees.

SOURCE LowestRates.ca

Police Officer in Pursuit Found Fully at Fault for Intersection Collision

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Chilliwack Registry, finding a police officer fully at fault for an intersection collision with another motorist.

In today’s case (Burroughs v. Chiasson) the Plaintiff was an RCMP officer involved in a crash in 2013.  At the time, while driving a fully marked RCMP vehicle, she “pursued a truck with an uninsured trailer by attempting to turn left, on a red light, onto Young Road from the westbound curb lane on First Avenue. While making this turn, she collided with a minivan driven by the defendant, Jennifer Chiasson. Ms. Chiasson was driving eastbound on First Avenue.”.

The RCMP officer sued the other motorist claiming damages from the collision.  The claim was dismissed with the Court finding that the Plaintiff entered the intersection when it was dangerous to do so in circumstances with no particular urgency.  In dismissing the claim and finding the officer fully at fault for the crash Mr. Justice Basran provided the following reasons:

[46]         As a trained and experienced police officer, Ms. Burroughs knew that there was a significant risk in turning left on a red light from a curb lane in front of a bus that blocked her view of oncoming traffic. She also knew that expired insurance on a trailer did not pose an imminent threat or danger. There was no need for immediate apprehension of the trailer.

[47]         Ms. Burroughs’ position that the offence was “arrestable” and that this explanation justified her actions demonstrates that she failed to weigh the risk of the required maneuver in relation to the risk to the public of letting the trailer proceed. Ms. Burroughs should have abandoned her pursuit and followed up at the trailer owner’s address instead of pursuing this vehicle by making a dangerous maneuver. In my view, the risk to the public from turning left significantly outweighed the risk to the public posed by expired insurance on a trailer. As in Watkins, there was a safer option, but Ms. Burroughs failed to consider it.

[48]         After deciding to pursue the trailer, Ms. Burroughs should have followed her training and cleared the lanes one at a time by ensuring that she could see, and be seen, by all vehicles in, and approaching, the intersection. She knew that the bus created a blind spot and obstructed her view of oncoming traffic. She therefore should have addressed this by stopping and exercising considerable caution prior to crossing in front of the bus. Her poor visibility of oncoming traffic is a factor that increased the potential harm to the public: Regulations, s. 4(6)(b).

[49]         Both Ms. Burroughs and Ms. Chiasson testified that there was no time to react prior to the accident. By the time they perceived each other, the accident was imminent.

[50]         Ms. Sawatzky had a clear and close view of the events leading to the accident. Ms. Burroughs did not stop in front of the bus. She kept moving in front of it and then accelerated past it causing the accident with Ms. Chiasson’s vehicle.

[51]         No witnesses corroborated Ms. Burroughs’s recollection that the siren was on prior to the U-turn. I do not accept that Ms. Burroughs turned on her siren when she executed the U-turn on First Avenue, 20 to 30 seconds prior to the accident. Ms. Burroughs may have thought she activated the siren well before the accident, but no one, including Ms. Sawatzky and Ms. Marchuk, recalls hearing a siren until mere moments before impact. I find it is more likely that while making the left turn maneuver, Ms. Burroughs knew she could not see past the bus, but was nevertheless determined to pursue the trailer, and activated her siren immediately before accelerating in front of the bus. I accept Ms. Chiasson’s evidence that she heard the siren shortly before the collision and that she had no time to react to it.

[52]         Had Ms. Burroughs stopped in front of the bus and waited for the southbound light on Young Road to turn green, the accident would not have happened. If Ms. Burroughs had done this, it is possible that she may have lost sight of the trailer, but as noted above, immediate apprehension of the uninsured trailer was not required.

[53]         In my view, Ms. Burroughs contravened s. 177 of the MVA by not activating her siren before entering the intersection of First Avenue and Young Road.

[54]         Ms. Chiasson could not see Ms. Burroughs’ car and did not hear a siren until shortly before the collision. Ms. Chiasson had no visual and virtually no audible cue to warn her of the presence of Ms. Burroughs’ vehicle. She had a green light and entered the intersection as she was entitled to do. She could not have avoided the accident and is therefore not liable for it.

[55]         I find that Ms. Burroughs’ actions were the sole cause of the accident and she is 100% liable for it.

bc injury law, Burroughs v. Chiasson, intersection collisions, Mr. Justice Basran, Police Pursuit Cases

New insurance solutions round out Sun Life’s permanent product shelf

Added simplicity, flexibility help Canadians protect what matters most to them

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2019 /CNW/ – Today Sun Life announced that it will offer simple and flexible options for guaranteed protection, with the addition of two new permanent life insurance solutions:

  • SunUniversalLife Pro
  • Sun Permanent Life

SunUniversalLife Pro is the ideal corporate insurance solution. With guarantees, cash accessibility and a wide variety of optional benefits, SunUniversalLife Pro helps business owners with their long-term planning, allowing them to focus on the day-to-day challenges of running their business.

“We’ve listened to business owners share their stories,” says Vineet Kochhar, Senior VP, Insurance Solutions, Sun Life. “They want to protect shareholder value and maximize their estate. Primarily, they want to focus on growing their business without worrying about outgrowing their insurance. SunUniversalLife Pro gives them that peace of mind.”

Sun Permanent Life provides lifetime, guaranteed protection to Canadians with the simplicity they’ve asked for. Guaranteed premiums and death benefits ensure that protection is available to our Clients, when they need it most. The policy also provides a guaranteed cash value starting in year three, which can be used in case of an emergency.

“In addition to guaranteed protection, we know convenience is important to Canadians when it comes to life insurance,” says Kochhar. “People want to protect what matters most to them and they should be able to do that in the easiest way possible. Sun Permanent Life allows Clients to set it, forget it and rest easy knowing your family is protected.”

Focused on simplicity, Sun Life has also introduced Accelerated Underwriting, which makes it easier and faster for more Canadian Clients to get their policies.

Connect with Sun Life

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About Sun Life

Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2019, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1,025 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to editors: All figures in Canadian dollars

Media Relations Contact:

Michael Gaspar
Manager, Corporate Communications
T. 416-496-4237
Michael.gaspar@sunlife.com

SOURCE Sun Life Financial Canada

Why Having the Right Insurance is Important

MARSHA MOWERS | Travel Pulse

Travellers may not be aware of the financial or medical risks they are taking when travelling. Once a traveller steps outside their home province or territory, their provincial health plan coverage provides little to no coverage for medical expenses while travelling outside Canada, and even has limitations when visiting another province.

The emergency hospital and medical benefits provided by travel insurance can help protect against the potentially high costs resulting from an unexpected visit to the doctor or emergency room while abroad.

TravelPulse Canada went to the professionals at Allianz Global Assistance to find out how travel advisors can best help their clients understand the need for finding the right insurance for their travel.

Generally speaking, emergency medical travel insurance is a must-have when travelling abroad. In fact, the Government of Canada recommends all Canadians have some form of medical coverage in place when travelling beyond our borders. When selecting a plan, high level details such as your trip length, age and destination, but a more detailed understanding of your trip is also important, which is where travel advisors add significant value for their customer. For example, if a traveller plans to take part in higher-risk activities while on vacation, such as scuba diving, bungee jumping, parachuting or skydiving, it is important for them to be aware of what is covered by their travel insurance policy. Some policies may extend coverage, some may limit coverage and others may exclude certain activities entirely. Travel advisors should ask questions about the types of activities planned, while reminding customers to read through their policy in detail to ensure it provides sufficient coverage for their needs. Policies typically provide a 10-day free look period which allows customers to review their policy in detail and cancel for a full refund if it does not meet their needs, which can alleviate some of the pressure with their decision at time of booking.

It is also important for travellers to be aware of licenses that may be required before engaging in popular activities such as scuba diving or riding a motorbike. If they get hurt and don’t have the proper licensing or certification, they may be on the hook for unforeseen medical bills that ultimately are not covered by travel insurance due to certain exclusions.

Travellers need to know and understand just what they are getting when they rely on their credit cards travel insurance benefits. Coverage can vary greatly between credit cards and there may be restrictions on age, trip length and the benefits. If included, the emergency medical benefits offered by some credit cards might be inadequate for travellers’ needs or may be only for shorter trips. In addition, trip cancellation and baggage coverage might not be included.

It is critical that travellers review the policy wording for any existing coverage they have in place, whether through their credit card or employer, to ensure it meets their personal and travel needs. Travel advisors can help travellers ensure they are protected for their trip by highlighting the limitations and recommending a travel insurance plan with sufficient coverage for their trip.

Through its valued travel advisor relationships, Allianz Global Assistance provides travel coverage options that are competitively priced, and backed by reliable and caring emergency assistance and support to help travellers go on their journeys with confidence.

Source: Travel Pulse 

Why Cybersecurity Should Matter To Your Small Business

Huffpost Canada

In an increasingly demanding economy where time and efficiency are crucial, it’s incumbent on small business owners to ensure their proverbial ducks are in a row. Perhaps none of those ducks are more important than security, namely cybersecurity. Having e-commerce protection for both consumers and owners is essential to ensure your business doesn’t suffer from potential privacy breaches. In partnership with Intact Insurance, we’ve identified five reasons why cybersecurity should be top priority for your business.

1. Protect your business from phishing schemes

One of the biggest online foes for small businesses are phishing schemes. According to this 2019 US report, one in every 99 emails is a phishing scheme. This is when a scammer pretends to be a legitimate company or individual in the hopes of receiving your personal, banking or credit card information. Opening these emails can open up a Pandora’s box of problems. It’s important that business owners and employees recognize certain characteristics of these emails to avoid being a victim. If you don’t recognize the company or name of the sender, don’t open on the email. If you’re still unsure, try calling the company directly to verify the authenticity of the email.

“Invest in the ongoing training of your employees and managers to be able to recognize phishing scams,” recommends Yan Lacoursière, Senior Loss Prevention Consultant at Intact Insurance. Scammers use the human aspect to trick you (lack of knowledge and kindness, for example). “Remember, when in doubt, don’t click on anything and don’t give away any sensitive information,” he says.

2. Protect your business from denial of service attacks

Cybersecurity has also grown in stature due to the fact that phones and tablets can do everything traditional computers can. However, it also opens other avenues for risks from outside computers including a DDoS, or distributed denial of service attack. It’s a malicious attempt to crash one’s server by flooding the website with too much traffic. A strong preventive measure would be to use a cloud-based DDoS mitigation service – it’s what keeps a website running during an attack. Offloading server functionality to a cloud platform allows it to filter through malicious traffic before it reaches you.

3. Protect your business from online hackers

No matter the size of the company or its location, the looming threat of hackers stealing sensitive information is very real. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, nearly one in five small businesses (18%) have been affected by a cyber attack or data breach in the last two years. This not only applies to your company’s website but all social media and email accounts, too. Avoid the online threat by changing passwords regularly (quarterly is recommended) and disabling auto-fill forms. Store data in a virtual data room and hide admin pages from search engines, so hackers can’t find it easily. Above all else, keep your operating system and antivirus programs up to date to stay protected from malware.

4. Protect your business from wi-fi eavesdropping

By default, wi-fi is not secure. Hotspots don’t use encryption, providing no protection at all when on a public network. So, if you’re working remotely, the best way to secure data is to connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN). By doing this, every activity on your or your employees’ computers is sent through an encrypted tunnel, making it extremely hard for anyone to eavesdrop and capture any passwords, emails and file transfers.

5. Have the right insurance when all else fails

The cost of repairing a breach and covering legal expenses could set you and your company back. Contact your broker to learn how privacy breach coveragecan manage the impact caused by theft, loss, or unauthorized access to your customers’ or employees’ personal information. Running a small business online can be both overwhelming and exciting. By staying informed and taking the right steps, you can ensure the safety of your business, employees and clients’ data. Not only that, you’ll be able to watch your business grow and fulfill your dreams.

 

 

Should you consider buying supplemental health coverage?

TARA DESCHAMPS

The Canadian Press

When Canadians seek medical attention for broken bones or emergency appendectomies, the country’s health care system allows most to head to the hospital and be looked after without the burden of a big bill.

But filling a prescription, seeing an optometrist or going to the dentist for a checkup all come with a price tag passed along to patients. While many have health insurance through employers, spouses or schools, plenty of people lack such a luxury because they are unemployed, self-employed or simply working for a company that doesn’t offer such benefits.

Jessica Moorhouse, a 33-year-old personal-finance blogger, says those without additional health care coverage should educate themselves on what is and what isn’t provided by the government to identify gaps they might need to cover.

Then, work out what kind of health expenses you typically have and calculate how much it would cost to pay cash versus paying an insurance provider for that extra health care, Moorhouse says.

People who require pricey prescriptions or a high level of medical attention not covered by the government might find signing up for a health care plan is a better value than paying out of pocket, but the opposite might be true for people who have few medical needs.

“The past few years it’s made more sense for me to just save and pay cash, but in the future as I get older or start a family, my position and needs may change,” Moorhouse says.

“Health coverage beyond what’s included in Canada’s medical system may not be necessary for everyone, so you really need to look at your situation right now and also consider what you may require in the future in terms of health care.”

If you decide that a plan is right for you, Moorhouse recommends putting aside plenty of time for research. Alternatively, you could go via a broker who will find you the best price and policy.

If you’re a university or college student, most schools will offer plans at discounted rates. Some will auto-enrol every student in the plan, but if you already have coverage, you can apply to opt-out of it and receive your money back.

When seeking quotes, Moorhouse recommends people take a peek at some of the online calculators run by health insurance companies that will provide a free quote. Sun Life Financial and Blue Cross Canada are among the dozens of businesses offering such estimates.

“In the past when I’ve asked for quotes I’ve heard $100 to $150 per month just for a basic dental and vision plan is the norm, but again, it really depends on a number of variables,” says Moorhouse.

Keep an eye on restrictions and percentages of coverage too, she says.

“Just because you’re on an insurance plan does not mean you will be covered 100 per cent for that dentist visit,” she explains. “Usually you’ll be paying your insurance premiums plus 40 to 50 per cent of the cost of going to the dentist.”

Moorhouse says if you decide to forgo a plan, put aside some money for health care expenses instead.

According to her, the best way to figure out how much to save is to calculate the costs of the services you’ll need.

“Everyone’s needs are different,” says Moorhouse. “For myself, my needs are dental cleanings twice per year and an eye exam and possibly new glasses every two years…. I don’t need any prescriptions and I don’t have any health issues.”

Once you determine what it will cost for the services you need, you should put that money in a savings account along with some extra cash for unexpected charges or changes in prices, says Moorhouse.

You should be putting automatic contributions into the savings account so it becomes part of your regular budget and so you’re never left with an empty fund, she says.

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