ICBC: a crash occurs every three minutes over the holidays

ICBC: a crash occurs every three minutes over the holidays

The holidays are here and many drivers will be traveling to visit family and friends to celebrate. With increased traffic and unpredictable road conditions, it’s important for everyone to be prepared and drive smart.

Over the Christmas holidays and New Year’s, 530 people are injured and two people are killed in 2,000 crashes every year in B.C.* That’s one crash every three minutes.

Here are ICBC’s tips to get home safe this holiday season:

  • Check your vehicle. Many B.C. highways require winter tires, labelled with either the mountain/snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M+S) designation. Top up wiper fluid for clearer visibility and pack an emergency kit including blanket, food and water.

  • Slow down. Posted speed limits are for ideal conditions only. It takes more time and distance to come to a complete stop on wet, icy or snowy roads. Adjust your speed to the conditions and always maintain a safe travelling distance between vehicles.

  • Avoid distraction. Make important calls and program your GPS before you begin driving and let your family and friends know you’re not available while driving. If you’re on a longer drive, use highway rest stops to take a break and check your messages.

  • Take a break. Pull over as soon as you start to feel drowsy. Get out and walk around to get some fresh air. If that’s not enough, pull over to a safe area, turn off your car and take a nap.

  • Plan for a safe ride home. If your holiday festivities involve alcohol, plan ahead for a safe ride home: arrange a designated driver, call a taxi, take transit or use Operation Red Nose where available. There’s no excuse to drink and drive.

Christmas holiday statistics:*

  • During the Christmas holidays, on average, one person is killed and 350 people are injured in 1,300 crashes in B.C. every year.

  • During the Christmas holidays, on average, 260 people are injured in 810 crashes in the Lower Mainland every year.

  • During the Christmas holidays, on average, 69 people are injured in 340 crashes on Vancouver Island every year.

  • During the Christmas holidays, on average, 45 people are injured in 180 crashes in the Southern Interior every year.

  • During the Christmas holidays, on average, 15 people are injured in 87 crashes in the North Central region every year.

New Year’s statistics:*

  • Every year during New Year’s, on average, one person is killed and 180 people are injured in 700 crashes in B.C.

  • Every year during New Year’s, on average, 130 people are injured in 470 crashes in the Lower Mainland.

  • Every year during New Year’s, on average, 17 people are injured in 78 crashes on Vancouver Island.

  • Every year during New Year’s, on average, 15 people are injured in 95 crashes in the Southern Interior.

  • Every year during New Year’s, on average, nine people are injured in 48 crashes in the North Central region.

*Christmas is defined as 18:00 hours December 24 to midnight December 26. New Year’s is defined as 18:00 hours December 31st of the previous year to midnight January 1 of the New Year. ICBC data for injury and crashes based on five year average (2014 to 2018); police data for fatalities based on five year average (2013 to 2017).

Twelve Days of Christmas Scams

Christmas is quickly approaching, and although the holiday is associated with cheer and generosity, scammers are in full force, ready to take advantage of unwary individuals who can be easily duped.

In the spirit of the popular holiday tune, Better Business Bureau wants people to be aware of the 12 scams of Christmas. These frauds and cons are common during the holiday season, and being alert can save clients from the negative repercussions of these frauds during the otherwise jolly holiday season.

Click through the following slides for Better Business Bureau’s 12 Days of Christmas Scams.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, a scammer gave to me:

Twelve malware e-cards

During the holidays, people love to spread the cheer, sometimes in the form of holiday e-cards. But viruses and malware often travel in e-mail attachments or links.

Better Business Bureau advises deleting e-mails from people whose names you don’t recognize. When in doubt, delete the e-mail or e-card. It is better to take caution than to fall victim to a corruptive virus.

Eleven stranded grandkids

Family is important, especially around the holidays. Scammers, however, can take advantage of this, utilizing what the Better Business Bureau characterizes as the “classic grandparent scam.”

If someone calls or sends an email pretending to be a grandchild, relative or friend, claiming they were robbed or harmed overseas, asking for money, check to verify that it is true before taking action.

Ten counterfeit gifts

Everybody likes a good deal, but low prices on luxury goods almost always means that the product is a cheap counterfeit.

Be careful while holiday shopping this year, especially online. Counterfeit transactions are illegal and harmful for brand owners and can leave customers dissatisfied.

Make sure that you purchase goods from a credible merchant. Read our article Safety Tips for Cyber Monday for online shopping strategies.

Nine pockets picked

Cold weather means bundling up. But with some of the extra padding of a puffy coat, we may not notice pickpockets who are willing to take advantage of the situation.

While out and about this holiday season, keep your purse or wallet secure. Better Business Bureau also warns against putting shopping bags down, even for a moment. Experienced thieves are waiting for the perfect moment to snatch up any valuables.

Eight stolen gift cards

Gift cards can be the perfect gift: easy to buy and are usually a big hit with recipients. However, make sure that you are purchasing gift cards from a reputable dealer.

Scammers can sell you a card and use the funds, even before you have the chance to give the card as a gift, the Better Business Bureau claims.

Seven fake coupons

Buying so many gifts during the holiday season, it is no surprise that many look to coupons to save a little cash, but Better Business Bureau suggests that people use caution when downloading coupons.

A retailer’s website is the best place to find coupons, and be wary particularly if a website asks for personal information.

Six Santa scammers

Receiving a letter from Santa Claus can be the highlight of the Christmas season for a young child, but these websites could put you at risk for identity theft.

Before entering any personal information, verify that the site is real, and not just gathering data to commit fraud.

Five fake charities

The Christmas season is about generosity, and many charities thrive on end-of-the-year giving as part of their annual income.

Although Better Business Bureau encourages charity, be careful when giving this holiday season. Scammers set up fake charities that have names that often sound legitimate or are similar to popular charities. Verify the organization before you make a charitable donation this Christmas.

Four bogus websites

For those who do not know what to look for, it can be almost impossible to differentiate a real website from a bogus one.

It is easy for a hacker to mimic a real website. A red flag is if a website reads “http” in the address bar instead of the more secure “https.” Additionally, if contact information is not listed, or they are asking for a payment by wire or money card, look for verification that the website is not a fraud.

Three travel scams

Travelling during the holidays can get pricey, so airfare bargains can be tempting. But this is just another way that scammers can take advantage of unsuspecting travellers.

Be cautious when booking travel through an advertisement online, and never wire money to someone you do not know. Using trusted travel agencies or websites recommended by friends and family members can ensure that you will not fall victim to travel scams.

Two phony loves

Everyone wants someone special to share a kiss under the mistletoe or as the ball drops on New Year’s. But for those looking for love online, the holidays are a prime time for scams.

Be careful when finding an online sweetheart, especially with an online match that that gets cozy too fast and asks for money, the Better Business Bureau warns.

… And a totally fictitious puppy

There may be no better gift than a cute and cuddly puppy, but be careful when buying a pet online.

Scammers take advantage of those who want to give puppies for the holidays. Sometimes these puppies can come from puppy mills, and could have serious health problems. Other scams could involve paying for the pet online, but never receiving the puppy because it was all a scam.

If you decide to give man’s best friend for Christmas, find a reputable breeder or local rescue league to avoid being burdened by an online con.

Excerpted article by Hannah Bender, PropertyCausualty360

 

Marsh Enhances Cyber Risk Consulting Capabilities

Clients to Gain Greater Insight into the Effectiveness of Cybersecurity Investments

Marsh, the world’s leading insurance broker and risk adviser, announced the launch of an enhanced suite of cyber risk quantification consulting capabilities that offer clients new insight into the impact of their cybersecurity investments.

The enhanced consulting capabilities are powered by Blue[i] Cyber, a new cyber risk analytics engine that integrates Marsh’s market-leading cyber risk quantification models with X-Analytics, Secure Systems Innovation Corporation (SSIC)’s patented cyber risk model for which Marsh is the exclusive insurance broker and risk consulting provider.

With these enhanced cyber risk consulting capabilities, Marsh clients for the first time will be able to quickly and easily:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of cybersecurity controls and prioritize risk mitigation accordingly.
  • Engage in data-driven “what-if” scenarios to evaluate existing and future cyber investments.
  • Evolve cybersecurity from technical jargon to a board-level conversation.
  • Meet cyber risk disclosures and reporting requirements more easily.

Use financial analysis of cyber risk exposure to inform their risk management strategies, including risk mitigation and risk transfer decisions.

“Although cyber often ranks high on risk agendas, many organizations struggle to understand how their cybersecurity strategy impacts their financial exposure to cyber risk,” said Reid Sawyer, US Cyber Risk Consulting Practice Leader, Marsh. “With Marsh’s enhanced quantification consulting capabilities, clients will be able to gain greater clarity into the impact their cybersecurity investments have on risk reduction and make more informed cyber risk capital allocation decisions.”

The enhanced cyber risk quantification consulting capabilities powered by Blue[i] Cyber are immediately available in the US, Canada, and Europe.

About Marsh

Marsh is the world’s leading insurance broker and risk adviser. With over 35,000 colleagues operating in more than 130 countries, Marsh serves commercial and individual clients with data driven risk solutions and advisory services. Marsh is a business of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With annual revenue approaching US$17 billion and 76,000 colleagues worldwide, MMC helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment through four market-leading businesses: Marsh, Guy Carpenter, Mercer, and Oliver Wyman. Follow Marsh on Twitter @MarshGlobal; LinkedIn; Facebook; and YouTube, or subscribe to BRINK.

38% of Canadian Professionals Will Shop Online From Work This Holiday Season

38% of Canadian Professionals Will Shop Online From Work This Holiday Season

Toronto, ON — Online shopping has afforded consumers the luxury of shopping around the clock, but how many professionals take advantage by shopping on the clock during the holidays? Nearly two in five Canadian employees (38 per cent) will be “workshopping” — shopping online from the office or when using corporate devices — according to a new survey from staffing firm Robert Half Technology. Of those respondents, 21 per cent admitted that looking for cyber deals hinders their on-the-job productivity.

Even though 76 per cent of technology leaders said their firm allows for it, more than half (55 per cent) prefer employees avoid shopping online during business hours or while using a company device. Security risks (62 per cent) and loss of productivity (30 per cent) are the top “workshopping” concerns among tech managers. 

“Between planning for the holidays, fitting in social obligations and wrapping up major projects, year-end can be a stressful time for workers,” said Deborah Bottineau, district director for Robert Half Technology. “Online shopping during the workday can be a helpful way to manage to-do lists and alleviate some of the pressures of the season.”

“Tech leaders should anticipate an increase in online shopping this time of year and make a proactive effort to refresh and communicate IT security policies with their teams,” added Bottineau. “Ensuring employees limit their browsing time and understand safe online practices can mitigate potential risks to the organization and help staff stay productive both at and outside of work.”

Additional findings:

  • Workers ages 18 to 34 (47 per cent) are the most likely to “workshop,” compared to 38 per cent of workers ages 35 to 54 and 17 per cent of workers 55 and older.
  • Forty-four per cent of all “workshoppers” say they’ll spend under 30 minutes per week shopping from work during the holiday season, while 38 per cent will spend up to an hour per week “workshopping.”
  • Thirty-nine per cent say they like to “workshop” just about any day; 22 per cent say Cyber Monday is their favourite day to “workshop,” followed by Amazon Prime Day (16 per cent).

About the Research
The online surveys were developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 500 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments and more than 270 IT decision makers in Canada.

About Robert Half Technology
With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at roberthalf.ca/technology

Brown & Brown, Inc. Enters into Agreement to Acquire Special Risk Insurance Managers, Ltd.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Dec. 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — J. Scott Penny, Chief Acquisitions Officer of Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE:BRO), and Mark Woodall and Tom Willie, the principals of Special Risk Insurance Managers, Ltd. (“Special Risk”), today announced that Brown & Brown Programs (CA), Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Special Risk.  The transaction is expected to close effective January 1, 2020, subject to certain closing conditions.

Founded in 1991, Special Risk has grown to a preeminent player in the MGA industry in Canada, recognized as MGA of the Year in 2018.  The acquisition of Special Risk is a strategic step forward for Brown & Brown in establishing a presence in the Canadian insurance brokerage market.  Special Risk will operate as a part of Brown & Brown National Programs, which, under the leadership of Chris Walker, consists of over sixty specialty niche programs and collectively represents over $3 billion in written premium.  Special Risk will become a distinct operating division in the National Programs Division alongside specialist operations such as Arrowhead General Insurance Agency and Bellingham Underwriters.  Mark Woodall will continue to lead the Special Risk team and will be part of the leadership team of the National Programs Division, reporting to Chris Walker.  Tom Willie will continue to the lead the underwriting team of Special Risk.

Chris Walker, President of Brown & Brown National Programs stated, “We are delighted to bring Mark, Tom and their exceptional team of professionals to our operation. We are excited about the opportunities in Canada and believe with Special Risk we now have the talent, reputation and platform to succeed.”

Mark Woodall stated, “I see this partnership as an exceptional marketing advantage going forward for Special Risk.  Brown & Brown will bring us new major insurer opportunities, enhanced Lloyd’s relationships and new and innovative products to offer our retail broker network.  We are very excited about our future within Brown & Brown National Programs.”

Brown & Brown, Inc. is a leading insurance brokerage firm, providing risk management solutions to individuals and businesses. With Brown & Brown’s 80 years of proven success and thousands of teammates, we offer knowledge you can trust and strive to deliver superior customer service.  For more information, please visit bbinsurance.com.

This press release may contain certain statements relating to future results which are forward-looking statements, including those associated with this acquisition. These statements are not historical facts, but instead represent only Brown & Brown’s current belief regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of Brown & Brown’s control. It is possible that Brown & Brown’s actual results and financial condition may differ, possibly materially, from the anticipated results and financial condition indicated in these forward-looking statements. Further information concerning Brown & Brown and its business, including factors that potentially could materially affect Brown & Brown’s financial results and condition, as well as its other achievements, is contained in Brown & Brown’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such factors include those factors relevant to Brown & Brown’s consummation and integration of the announced acquisition, including any matters analyzed in the due diligence process, and material adverse changes in the business and financial condition of the seller, the buyer, or both, and their respective customers. All forward-looking statements made herein are made only as of the date of this release, and Brown & Brown does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or correct any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that subsequently occur or of which Brown & Brown hereafter becomes aware.

R. Andrew Watts
Chief Financial Officer
(386) 239-5770

Okanagan woman fights for prompt insurance payout after serious overseas accident

The excerpted article was written BY

A Lake Country woman said she went into shock immediately after she was in a severe accident in Indonesia, but it was the pain that followed while she was waiting in the emergency room for her insurance coverage to kick in that was most agonizing.

Brittany Roth was exploring a small island near Bali on the back of a scooter when the road made a sharp turn.

“My left knee clipped a jagged rock wall and tore me off the bike,” she said.

Brittany said she looked down and saw an exposed kneecap, a foot that was ripped open and her leg covered in blood.

“I looked at my friend and I said, ‘We have to call travel insurance now’,” she said. “I know you have to call the insurance company before you make a claim or it’s void.

An ambulance then rushed her to a local medical clinic, but her injuries were too severe for staff to treat.

Brittany said she was told she needed to catch a boat back to the main island before sundown.

But despite her insurance coverage, she had to pay up first.

“The way that it works in Bali unfortunately, is the care is really, really good, but until you can pay the bill, you don’t get treatment,” Brittany said. “So they said, ‘we need a credit card now or you’re on your own for the night.’”

Her travelling companion called Brittany’s sister Brooke Roth in the middle of the night in Canada, asking for her credit card number.

“My sister said it was terrifying receiving the call, hearing me screaming in the background. She thought I was getting kidnapped, she didn’t know why I needed a credit card,” Brittany said.

Brooke said she tried to stay calm as she learned the details.

Brooke paid the bill, and Brittany was put on a spine board for transport to Bali.

Some locals and her travelling companion carried Brittany to the waiting boat.

“They had to go down really, really steep concrete stairs to get to the beach, and then they had to walk through the ocean, knee-deep through water to get me to this boat,” Brittany said.

When the 20-year-old arrived at the hospital in Bali, still in a bathing suit, she was met with another bill — this one for $12,000.

“I was there for about four hours,” Brittany said. “They had said, ‘Unless we receive payment in 15 minutes, I’m sorry, we have to let you go. We can’t keep you here anymore.’”

“We were terrified thinking that we might be on the street,” Brittany said. “I don’t know what to do with my leg. I can’t walk. I’m bleeding.”

Meanwhile, back in Canada, Brooke was in a bureaucratic battle with Pacific Blue Cross Insurance.

“It was really frustrating. We had the approval right in front of us, but it took them so long to send the confirmation to the hospital,” she said.

After hours on the phone, confirmation finally went through, and Brittany successfully underwent surgery.

She received 38 stitches, has a torn tendon and is now moving around with crutches.

The sisters are still waiting for their $3,500 back, and Brittany is out-of-pocket the $3,000 expense of flying home unexpectedly.

Friends have started a GoFundMe campaign to help Brittany recover some of her costs.

Pacific Blue Cross declined an interview, but emailed Global News a statement on Monday.

“All travel insurance policies require contact with the insurer as soon as possible after an event has occurred to ensure the best treatment for the insured individual and to properly facilitate the claim,” it said.

“We’re obligated to work within each country’s medical system; it is not uncommon for medical facilities to require confirmation of payment, which we appreciate is unpleasant when injured.”

The insurance company also said that it can’t address specific cases because of privacy concerns.

Global News

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