Fort McMurray wildfire recovery ‒ do you need answers?

Most insurance claims from the Fort McMurray wildfire – the largest natural disaster in Canadian history – are progressing well. However, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is aware that a few people are dissatisfied with the decisions that have been made on their claim or with the pace of the recovery process.

Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC, reaffirms the home, car and business insurance industry’s commitment to the residents of Fort McMurray. “We’re here to stay until the job is done,” he said.

Every insurance company that writes policies in Alberta has had extra staff – claims adjusters and customer service representatives – working to help Albertans recover from the fire. In fact, more than 5,000 insurance company personnel have been deployed to work on these claims. “This is an historic undertaking,” Adams said. “It’s inevitable that, in a disaster of this size, some people will not agree with the claims decision. Consumers have appeal options in these situations.”

Consumers have the following options:

  • Ask your claims adjuster for an explanation. If your claim has been declined, you have a right to know why. Ask for a clear explanation, in writing if possible. You can also request to speak with the company’s claims manager.
  • All Alberta-licensed home, car and business insurers have an ombudsperson and a dispute-resolution mechanism in place, including a complaints liaison officer. This information should be available on your insurance company’s website, or consumers can visit the Alberta Superintendent of Insurance, which also has a dispute-resolution process.
  • Call IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422). Consumers can get unbiased advice from an insurance industry professional. You can also email us at fortmacfire@ibc.ca.

If you have exhausted the above options and still have not resolved your complaint, you can use this step:

  • The General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) is an independent, regionally based consumer dispute resolution system for the insurance industry. They provide consumers with a free, independent and impartial process to resolve complaints about home, car or business insurance. Call toll free: 1-877-225-0446.

For more information on insurance, your rights as a consumer and the complaint resolution process please visit ibc.ca.

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 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 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

Severe summer storms in the Southern Prairies cause over $66 million in insured damage

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that severe storms that swept through the Southern Prairies during the third week of July resulted in over $66 million in insured damage according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

From July 18 – 20, a low pressure system caused heavy rainfall, large hail, high winds, tornadoes, and extreme lightning across the southern regions of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. This system caused significant hail damage in Medicine Hat, AB and caused tornadoes in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This storm also saw winds of up to 107 km/h in the City of Winnipeg. Outlying areas west of Winnipeg reported winds upwards of 122 km/h.

“This summer has brought storm after storm to the Prairie provinces,” said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western and Pacific, IBC. “As the traditional storm season begins to wind down, Canadians should take this opportunity to review their insurance policies, make sure they’re adequately covered, and implement a plan for when bad weather strikes.”

Most damage was reported to have occurred in Alberta. Damage to homes and autos in that province, largely due to hail, resulted in close to $52 million in claims. This storm follows a previous system that hit Alberta and Saskatchewan a week earlier which resulted in nearly $65 million in insured damage.

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 120,000 Canadians, pays $8.2 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

About CatIQ
Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ) delivers detailed analytical and meteorological information on Canadian natural and man-made catastrophes. Through its online subscription-based platform, CatIQ combines comprehensive insured loss indices and other related information to better serve the needs of the insurance and reinsurance industries, public sector and other stakeholders. To learn more, visit www.catiq.com.

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

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Medicare on trial as private Vancouver clinic challenges coverage rules

VANCOUVER _ A lawsuit that begins today in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver has the potential to fundamentally change the way Canadians access health care.

Dr. Brian Day, who operates a private surgical centre in Vancouver, is challenging B.C.’s ban on Canadians buying private insurance for medically necessary services already covered by medicare.

Day alleges the restriction violates the constitutional rights of patients by forcing them to endure lengthy wait times, even as their health problems worsen.

British Columbia’s Ministry of Health, a defendant in the case, isn’t commenting while the matter is before the courts, but has said its priority is to uphold the Medicare Protection Act and the benefits it safeguards.

Adam Lynes-Ford of the B.C. Health Coalition, one of the interveners in the case, says a core Canadian value ensures patients have access to medical care based on need, not on ability to pay, but this case could derail that concept.

The lawsuit, described by University of Ottawa law professor Colleen Flood, as one of the biggest constitutional cases “perhaps ever,” is scheduled to continue for at least six months.

“This is about making medicare better,” says Day, arguing that opening the door for private insurance will ease pressure on the public system, freeing up resources that will cut wait times and boost quality of care for everyone, whether publicly or privately insured.

“Every time you allow the Canada Health Act to be chipped away at, it’s chipping away at some fundamental Canadian values,” says Ian Culbert of the Canadian Public Health Association.

He says he worries a victory for Day could introduce a hybrid public-private model of medicare, which he believes will lower the quality of care for those who can’t afford private health insurance.

In 2005, a Supreme Court of Canada decision gave Quebeckers access to private insurance when the top court ruled excessive wait times infringed on patients’ constitutional rights.

That decision was argued under the Quebec Charter, so didn’t extend beyond that province’s boundaries, but a judgment in Day’s favour has the potential to affect health care delivery nationwide.

canada-press

Court Finds It is an Abuse of Process For ICBC to File Inconsistent Pleadings From Single Collision

Today’s guest post comes from B.C. injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken

Interesting reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vernon Registry, finding it is an abuse of process for a defendant sued by multiple parties from a single collision to admit liability in one action but deny in the other “where there are no facts to distinguish the two”.

In today’s case (Glover v. Leakey) the Defendant was involved in a crash and injured two passengers.  One sued and fault was admitted and ultimately settlement reached.  The second sued but fault was denied.  In the midst of a jury trial the Plaintiff discovered the inconsistent pleadings and asked for a finding of liability.

Due to a misunderstanding the matter proceeded to verdict and the jury found the Defendant was not negligent.  Before the order was entered the Court considered the matter and found that the liability denial was an abuse of process, stripped the defence and granted liability in favour of the plaintiff.  In reaching this result Madam Justice Gropper provided the following reasons:

[67]         In considering my analysis of this application, I must note that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), the Province’s public mandatory motor vehicle insurer had conduct of both the Glover and the Yeomans actions. The evidence provided is sparse, but it is clear that the adjuster in the Yeomans Action determined that liability would be admitted on behalf of Mr. Leakey whereas the adjuster in the Glover action determined that liability would be denied. I expressly find that ICBC knew of the inconsistent pleadings and that the insured, Kenneth Leakey knew or ought to have known of the inconsistent positions…

[93]         The defendant claims that to find these pleadings as inconsistent and an abuse of process will discourage admissions, contrary to public policy. I find that there is much larger public policy at stake. It is an abuse of process to allow a defendant to admit liability in respect of one passenger and deny liability in respect of the other where there are no facts to distinguish the two. Requiring a party, even ICBC, to file consistent pleadings is not onerous and, with respect, is a principled way to proceed. The pleading of inconsistent positions in this case cannot be condoned.

[94]         I have declared a mistrial in this case. It may appear that my decision on the abuse of process application is moot. It is not for three reasons:

1.               A declaration of mistrial means that the matter will proceed to a new trial.

2.                I grant judgment on the liability issue in favour of the plaintiff.

3.               The plaintiff seeks special costs related to the abuse of process and has asked for leave to provide further submissions in that regard.

[95]         Both parties may seek to appear to address the issue of special costs based on my finding of an abuse of process.

David Peterson and Tom Ridge partner to Offer ‘Intelligent’ Cyber Insurance in Canada

David Peterson and Tom Ridge partner to Offer ‘Intelligent’ Cyber Insurance in Canada

Canadian firms struggling to protect their assets and brands from the growing scourge of cyber attacks can now access bespoke cyber insurance solutions that can be tailored to meet the needs of small and large organizations. The Honourable David Peterson, Chairman of Cassels Brock & Blackwell, and, Governor Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and former Governor of Pennsylvania, today announced the formal launch of Ridge Canada Cyber Solutions, Inc. (Ridge Canada), offering best-in-class informed cybersecurity assessments and bespoke cyber insurance products.  The packaged, customized assessment capabilities and insurance enable C-Suite executives to mitigate cyber risk, thereby closing a dangerous cyber insurance gap that often leaves companies – particularly small and mid-cap firms – vulnerable to the consequences of proliferating attacks.

“With destructive cyber attacks continuing to increase in both frequency and malicious intent, the c-suite understands how to protect against physical damage to its assets but still struggles with virtual damage, much to their peril,” said David Peterson. “That is why we have created customized insurance solutions that combine with our specific risk management and best-in-class pre-breach services. This ensures that companies and organizations create and maintain effective integrated cyber resiliency – managed to the highest level.”

Cyber crime is a growing problem that has cost businesses around the world more than $300 billion in the past 12 months, with North American businesses among the most heavily targeted. Boards of directors for financial services, retail, healthcare and energy companies, among others, will now have access to unique cyber insurance that leverages real intelligence that is sector and company specific, rejecting the ‘cookie-cutter’, process-oriented approach inherent in most cyber insurance offerings today.  Policies of up to$50 million are available beginning immediately.

“Cyber risk is different from other forms of risk, so you cannot purchase reliable insurance for this 21st Century risk in antiquated ways. Moreover, too many senior executives and risk officers are finding out that their existing cyber coverage is insufficient only after the chaos caused by a breach,” said Gov. Ridge, Chairman of Ridge Global.  “That is why we have created customized insurance solutions that we combine with segment-specific risk management.  Ridge Canada’s approach provides a better solution that not only provides more reliable coverage, but comprehensive services that may reduce the need to file a claim.”

The Ridge Canada comprehensive offering will drive organizations to better understand their risk, address deficiencies, obtain value from the cyber posture within their insurance coverage, and ensure that there are effective response services in the event of a breach. Lloyd’s of London supports this market-leading cyber insurance coverage, with insurance limits available up to $50 million. Three products that are broadly segmented around an organization’s size and cyber resilience priorities and tailored to the individual needs of the client.

ENTERPRISE PLUS:
Focused on large-cap organizations (private and public). A technology-focused underwriting process that will bring both cost savings, and rate flattening to large Canadian organizations.

ENTERPRISE:
Mid to large cap (private and public) solution. Hybrid or traditional underwriting options available.

PROFESSIONAL:
Typically organizations with revenues less than $50 million. Flexible, short-form application, and access to preferred vendors in regards to claims handling.

“These insurance products are a direct result of feedback from organizations both large and small,” said Greg Markell, Chief Executive Officer of Ridge Canada. “With expertise on both sides of the border, and a keen understanding of the Canadian market, these solutions will again provide organizations of all sizes insurance products for their cyber-needs. The value of Ridge Canada’s integrated service capability is that it can be offered to organizations with the specific goal of creating a tailored solution that fits.”

About Ridge Cyber Solutions Canada

Ridge Canada is a Canadian Managing General Insurance Agency incorporated to provide cyber insurance products and loss control services to Canada’s insurance agents and brokers. The company is headquartered in Toronto under the leadership of Greg Markell, Chief Executive Officer.  To learn more, visit www.ridgecanada.com.

About Ridge Global

Ridge Global was founded by Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania, to help organizations decrease security risks. He has assembled a team of globally recognized experts who offer clients strategic counsel on identifying, preparing for and mitigating cyber risk. Ridge Global offers the latest technology, is continually evaluating cyber security tool sets in order to make the latest technology available to clients and is recognized as an international thought-leader on cyber security. To learn more, visit www.ridgeglobal.com.

SOURCE Ridge Canada

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