Cars and bikes: learn to coexist on the road

Sunny days are on the way, which is a joy for avid cyclists, who can at last get back on their bikes. It’s also the beginning of the sometimes strained relationships between cyclists and drivers. Sharing the road is a sensitive subject. Quite often the responsibility for accidents is shared between cyclists and drivers. For riders and drivers, sharing the road safely is everybody’s concern. Here are a few pointers for getting along successfully.

Road cyclists can never be too careful

In discussions with drivers, they sometime say that cyclists are at fault for accidents. So here are a few reminders for cyclists:

  • Keep visible at all times: It’s the rider’s responsibility to ensure that cars see them when they’re on the road. Gear up with reflectors and active lighting (a white light on the front and red in back) when riding at night. And when you pedal in the day, don’t hesitate to where colourful clothes. The one rule to keep in mind is this: the more visible you are, the safer you are.
  • Follow the sense of direction: This may seem obvious, but riding against the flow of traffic is a frequent cause of accidents on both two-way and one-way streets. The sense of direction applies equally to bikes and cars, so don’t do what you would never find yourself doing behind the wheel of a car.
  • Respect the Code of the Road: This means stopping at red lights! Even if the path looks clear. Nobody is insusceptible to slight inattention or misjudging vehicles that arrive faster than anticipated.
  • Make bike paths your priority choice: As bike paths are made for cyclists, they are safer than main streets, so use them as much as possible. Before heading out on the road, consult a map for the bike paths in your city.
  • Get yourself a mirror: A bike mirror helps you confirm if a vehicle or another cyclist is coming up behind you, keeping you more aware and able to adapt your riding as a result.
  • Establish eye contact: Always try to make visual contact with car drivers around you to ensure that they see you and understand your intentions.
  • Invest in a GPS for bikes: Have you heard of SmartHalo? Developed in Montreal, this smart device guides cyclists around town easily and intuitively.

In the driver’s seat, stay alert at all times

In discussions with cyclists about sharing the road, they most often bring up their feelings of not really being considered by drivers, and therefore not truly safe. So here are a few recommendations for drivers:

  • Keep the potential presence of cyclists in mind: Quick, smaller and quieter than cars, it may not always be obvious that a cyclist is near. Always keep it in mind that a cyclist may appear at any moment.
  • Be attentive: Check your mirrors and always signal before turning. Be just as attentive when opening your door and check your blind spot when turning to ensure that the way is clear.
  • Keep your distance: If you pass a cyclist, make sure to keep a distance of at least one metre beside them.
  • Slow down at intersections: Check to the left and right even if the light is green. You can never be too cautious.
  • Be courteous and patient: Bicycles are more fragile than cars, so let cyclists pass, particularly when it’s raining or snowing.
  • Use the “Dutch Reach” when opening the door: This technique, taught during driver’s tests in Holland, consists of opening the door with the right hand. This basically forces the driver to make a rotational movement that allows them to take a glance behind them. This way, they can see if a cyclist is coming from behind.

On the road, it’s up to everyone to be responsible, as one moment of inattention can cost the life of a driver or rider. Being cautious and courteous and communicating your intentions clearly makes all the difference.

One act at a time, the city is becoming more safe and secure for everybody.

Did you know that bicycles are covered by home insurance? Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more! 



Five Pitfalls Of Cybersecurity Insurance: Lessons From The United States

Five Pitfalls Of Cybersecurity Insurance: Lessons From The United States

Article by Ruth Promislow and Ethan Schiff

Given the increasing threat of cyberattacks and the corresponding costs, businesses are increasingly considering cybersecurity insurance. But insurance is only as effective as the scope of the coverage. Though Canadian courts have not yet interpreted insurance policies in the cybersecurity context, American cases highlight five noteworthy pitfalls.

  1. Coverage Denied Because the Insured Did Not Comply with Underlying Obligations

Just as health coverage may be contingent upon the insured maintaining a healthy lifestyle, cybersecurity insurance may be contingent upon the insured meeting certain technical standards. In Columbia Casualty Co v Cottage Health System, the insurer denied coverage and alleged that the insured failed to comply with required “procedures and risk controls”, which imposed an obligation to “follow minimum required practices”.

  1. Coverage Denied Because the Incorrect Party Was Injured

In P.F. Chang’s v Federal Insurance Co, the insured (P.F. Chang’s) made a claim on its insurance due to a data breach resulting in stolen records belonging to its customers. P.F. Chang’s did not suffer an injury. The court concluded that the relevant insurance policy did not cover P.F. Chang’s because the policy required that the claimant suffer an injury. The policy at issue was marketed as “a flexible insurance solution designed by cyber risk experts to address the full breadth of risks associated with doing business in today’s technology-dependent world.”

  1. Coverage Denied Because the Incorrect Party Caused the Injury

In Zurich American Insurance Co v Sony Corp of America et al,1 Sony made a claim on its insurance for defence and indemnification due to losses resulting from a data breach by criminal hackers. The policy provided coverage for “oral or written publication in any manner of the material that violates a person’s right of privacy.” The court held, however, that the policy only provided coverage if Sony published the material itself. Since the hackers published the material, Zurich had no obligation to indemnify Sony.

  1. Coverage Denied Because the Cyber Activity Was Merely Incidental

Cybersecurity insurance may only provide coverage if the loss clearly results from cyber activity. In Apache Corp v Great American Insurance Company, the insured became the victim of fraud after an employee wrongfully determined that a known vendor’s telephone and email request to transfer money was authentic. The request turned out to be fraudulent and the insured reimbursed the vendor. The insured made a claim based on its insurance which covered for “loss of, and loss from damage to, money, securities and other property resulting directly from the use of any computer to fraudulently cause a transfer…”. The court held that the circumstances were not covered because the computer use was not the direct result of the loss, but rather was “merely incidental”.

  1. Coverage Denied Because the Litigation Was Outside the Scope of Covered Claims

Insurance may provide coverage for certain claims to the exclusion of others. In Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v Federal Recovery Services Inc, the insured made a claim based on costs incurred for litigation resulting from a tort claim for intentional misuse of its data storage activities. The insurer denied the claim because the policy only provided coverage if the loss was caused by “any error, omission or negligent act.” The court held that the lawsuit against the insured for “knowledge, willfulness, and malice” was outside the scope of the coverage.


The United States case law highlights the importance of understanding your company’s risks and vulnerabilities in order to define the precise scope of cybersecurity insurance required. A risk and vulnerability assessment is a critical component to establishing an overall cybersecurity plan that will mitigate risk and corresponding damages.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Water damage has surpassed fire as the leading cause of home insurance payouts, according to IBC.

Read more

2 men charged, 3rd sought in $10M fraud ring bust

By News Staff | City News

Toronto police have arrested two men, and are looking for a third, after they allegedly broke up a massive GTA fraud ring.

Police allege the trio used identity theft and fraud to fund a lavish lifestyle that included $10,000 crocodile shoes and $150,000 watches.

But the flashy clothing was just the tip of the iceberg: they allegedly stole $10 million from Canadians, Canadian institutions, and people living abroad.

The investigation began last summer. In the probe, police allegedly seized “37 fraudulently-obtained credit cards, hundreds of pieces of presumably stolen mail, and a series of notebooks containing the handwritten identity information of approximately 5,000 GTA residents.”

The details in the mail and in those notebooks was the starting point for the investigation, dubbed Project Royal. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Competition Bureau of Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, the Ontario Ministry of Finance, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service were all involved.

Adedayo Ogundana, 45, also known as Oladipupo Ogund, of Toronto, was arrested on Dec. 13, 2016. He’s charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000; 10 counts of fraud under $5,000; possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000; and possession of proceeds of crime.

He will appear in court on Thursday.

Adekunle Johnson Omitiran, 37, of Toronto, surrendered to police on April 27. He is charged with fraud over $5,000; four counts of fraud under $5,000; two counts of identity theft; trafficking identity information; possession of credit card obtained by crime; possession of proceeds of crime; possession of proceeds of crime; and fail to comply with probation.

He will appear in court on Friday.

Police believe the Omitiran had ties to people with “legitimate” access to identity information. Those people, police allege, sold information to Omitiran. Police are trying to track down those people.

A warrant has been issued for Duro Akintola, 44, also known as Michie Noah, of Toronto.

Emmanuel Salako, 47, of Toronto, also known as Gee Salaq, has been indicted by the United States Postal Inspection Service in Chicago under the name George Salako. He is wanted in the U.S.

‘Civil conspiracy’ alleged in Vancouver mortgage fraud case

By Sam Cooper | Vancouver Sun

In a claim filed April 11, Antrim Balanced Mortgage Fund, GCA Capital and Vancouver businessman Todd Elliott Gray allege that Paul Li and his wife Susie Li, aka Qing Ling Liang, forged documents to take out three mortgages against a home in the 3000-block of Nanaimo St. that was actually owned by Paul Li’s parents. They allegedly took a $1.4-million mortgage from Antrim at 6.95 per cent interest, a $400,000 home loan from GCA at 11.75 per cent interest, and a mortgage worth $150,000 from Todd Gray, at 18 per cent annual interest.

Paul Li’s parents, Jing Wen Li and Jian Al Li, are also named as part of an alleged “conspiracy”. Jing Wen Li and Jian Al Li live with Paul Li in Fort St. James, and they are “restauranteurs”, legal filings say. Susie Li lives in the Nanaimo home.

Proceeds of the Antrim loan were used to pay off an existing $800,000 mortgage on the property, which had been taken out in February 2016 by Jing Wen Li and Jian Al Li, the claim says. They took out the existing mortgage with Neighbourhood Holding Company, legal filings say, after they, Paul Li and Susie Li met with a consultant and a mortgage broker named in the case.

Legal filings say the remainder of the $1.4-million Antrim loan was paid into a joint bank account for Jing Wen Li and Jian Al Li; fee payments were made to several consultants or mortgage brokers named in the case; and payments were made to other defendants, identified as Yan Jun Tan, Cheng Yi Zhou, Chi Ya Chen and Tei Cheung Kam.

Paul Li and his wife then took out mortgages from GCA and Todd Gray, legal filings say, with proceeds paid into Jing Wen Li and Jian Al Li’s bank account, after which payments were made to other defendants.

Only several payments were made from defendants on the three separate mortgage loans, legal filings say, before pre-authorized cheques were returned for non-sufficient funds. The three lenders joined together in foreclosure actions against the Nanaimo property in March 2017.

Jing Wen Li and Jian Al Li responded, and filed a counter-claim seeking a declaration that the three mortgages are void and unenforceable, legal filings say.

Jing Wen Li and Jian Al Li said that the three home loans on the Nanaimo property were entered into “by persons who used forged identifications.”

Jing Wen Li and Jian Al Li acknowledged receiving large deposits into their joint bank account when each of the three mortgages were taken out, but in legal filings said they “understood the funds related to a group investment pool in which Paul Li had asked them to participate … and (they) were obligated to transfer the money to various such investors … based on instructions from Paul Li and or his wife, Susie Liang, the funds were transferred to these third parties.”

The plaintiffs allege that “by knowingly obtaining the benefit of some, or all, of the mortgage proceeds through the fraudulent acts of Paul Li and Susie Li … the predominant intention of the defendants was entering into a conspiracy … further by knowingly obtaining the benefit of a complete payout and discharge of the Neighbourhood mortgage the predominant intention of the defendants Jian Li and Jing Li was to injure the plaintiffs.”

Antrim has lost $1.48 million plus interest accruing at 6.95 per cent, GCA has lost $427,000 with interest accruing at 11.75 per cent, and Todd Gray has lost about $150,000 with interest accruing at 18 per cent per year, their claim says.

The claim says the plaintiffs should be re-paid their losses, and “it would be unjust and unconscionable for the defendants to retain the mortgage proceeds.”

Defendants named in the April 11 B.C. Supreme Court claim have not yet filed responses.

Many insurance policies don’t cover flooding, and homeowners could be on hook

By Alexandra Posadzki


TORONTO _ The majority of Canadian homeowners aren’t insured for flooding and could be left footing at least part of the bill after heavy rains in several areas across the country, experts say.

Craig Stewart, vice-president of federal affairs for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, estimates that only 10 to 15 per cent of Canadians have so-called “overland flood insurance,” which is offered as an add-on to insurance policies.

Stewart says that’s because it’s a fairly new product that wasn’t available prior to 2013, when severe flooding hit Toronto and Alberta.

“That was primarily because we did not have flood risk maps developed for the whole country,” Stewart says.

“The insurance industry needs to be able to quantify the risks so they can assess which premiums to charge which people. Up until then there was simply no risk mapping done to be able to support such policies.”

Heavy rains left several communities in Quebec and Ontario struggling with rising floodwaters over the weekend, while parts of New Brunswick and British Columbia also faced flooding.

Insurers started working on the overland flood insurance add-on after the 2013 incidents, but it took time to roll the policies out. Stewart says the product has been available since late 2015.

The low uptake is likely due to the fact that most Canadians only interact with their insurance broker when the time comes to renew their policy, Stewart says.

“Most people are not aware that overland flood insurance is available,” Stewart says. “Therefore, unless they have been directly in a conversation with their broker or their agent at the time of renewal over the past year, they likely won’t have it.”

Stewart says most homeowners grappling with flood damage will be left relying on government assistance, which typically covers less than insurance.

“Insurance is meant to make you whole,” Stewart says.

That’s in contrast to government assistance, which will help compensate homeowners for their losses, but typically focuses on core essentials.

Jason Thistlethwaite, an assistant professor in the faculty of environment at the University of Waterloo, says many Canadians lack the information they need about flood risk.

For example, many Canadians think fire poses the biggest threat to their homes, when in fact flood damage is more common, Thistlethwaite says.

Thistlethwaite co-authored a study last year that surveyed 2,300 Canadians who live in high-risk flood areas. The majority of those polled 70 per cent said they had not been contacted by an insurance company about newly available overland flood insurance, he said.

The survey also indicated confusion on the part of respondents about what is and isn’t covered by insurance policies. The majority of those surveyed thought overland flooding was already covered by default under insurance policies, Thistlethwaite said.

He said governments should do more to help homeowners get the information they need to protect themselves from future floods.

“We’re just looking at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to flooding because climate change is going to make the problem much worse in the future.”

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