February 27, 2020
Since 2014, more than one in four fatal crashes on B.C. roads have involved distracted driving, which is why ICBC and police continue to combat this dangerous driving behaviour that claims 76 lives each year.*
This month, drivers will be hearing one message – take a break from your phone when you’re behind the wheel. Not only is it dangerous, but the costs can add up quickly.
One distracted driving ticket is $368 plus four penalty points ($252) for a total of $620. And this number vastly increases to more than $2,500 if you get a second distracted driving ticket within 12 months. Yet tough penalities haven’t deterred some drivers, with an average of 1,335 drivers receiving multiple tickets every year.**
If you want to save your money for something more fun, remember to leave your phone alone while driving.
Police across B.C. are ramping up distracted driving enforcement during March, and community volunteers are setting up Cell Watch deployments to remind drivers to leave their phone alone. The campaign also features advertising and social media support.
Drivers can do their part by avoiding distractions while driving and encouraging others to do the same. Activate Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature or what’s similarly available on other devices. Free ‘not while driving’ decals are available at ICBC driver licensing offices and participating Autoplan broker offices for drivers to support the campaign and encourage other road users to leave their phones alone.
You can get tips and statistics in an infographic at icbc.com.
Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee
“Distracted driving continues to be a serious issue in our province – it’s the number one cause of crashes. Police officers see distracted drivers on the roads in every community. We are stepping up efforts making sure people leave their phones alone while driving.”
Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s Vice-President Public Affairs & Driver Licensing
“Using electronic devices, like smartphones, is one of the most common and riskiest forms of distracted driving. Safer roads start with every driver making a conscious decision to focus on the road and leave their phones alone. Let’s all do our part to create a safer driving culture in B.C.”
Every year, on average, 26 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Lower Mainland.
Every year, on average, nine people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes on Vancouver Island.
Every year, on average, 29 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Southern Interior.
Every year, on average, 12 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the North Central region.
*Police data from 2014 to 2018. Distraction: where one or more of the vehicles involved had contributing factors including use of communication/video equipment, driver inattentive and driver internal/external distraction.
**Annual average based on 2016 to 2018 ICBC data.
The excerpted article was written by Julia Mastroianni | Financial Post
Here are a few ideas:
Sheltering investment income
For any Canadian with the ability to save money, sheltering income from the taxman in one of the two main savings vehicles the government makes available is a no-brainer.
David Rotfleisch, founding tax lawyer of Toronto firm Rotfleisch and Samulovitch, recommends Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) to everyone.
“You should be putting away the maximum you can into your RRSP. That in and of itself is the most important tax-saving tip and it’s available to everyone,” he said.
Contributions to an RRSP are tax-free, meaning you don’t have to pay any income tax on them in the year of the contribution. The funds can also be invested with no tax on gains until the age 71 — at which point a taxpayer must begin to withdraw funds, which are then treated as taxable income.
Tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) are another option. While the money you contribute to your TFSA will be post-tax income, any interest, dividends or capital gains earned in it are tax-free for life, and you won’t have to pay taxes on the withdrawals.
Wealthy Canadians use these accounts too, though Jamie Golombek, managing director of tax and estate planning at CIBC, said they might use them a bit differently. They’re likely maxing out their RRSPs and TFSAs by contributing the yearly limit — but they aren’t stopping there.
“What the wealthy are doing beyond that is they are actually using TFSAs to fund for their children once the children reach the age of 18,” Golombek said. “So some wealthy families are giving money to their kids at 18 to encourage the kids to put money into their own TFSAs. And what that does is it’s able to transfer wealth intergenerationally while keeping all the investment income tax-free.”
Many wealthy Canadians run a side business (or their own business) for the benefits of lower tax rates, business write-offs and tax-deductible individual pension plans.
If you run a business, are self-employed or doing freelance and contract work, it’s worth considering incorporation. Barrett said the choice should depend on how you use the income you’re earning.
“If all the income that’s coming in is being consumed by you every year, then there’s no advantage,” he said. But if the money you’re making through self-employment, even if it’s a small side business, is extra money for you, incorporation has its benefits. The 2019 small business tax deduction rate was nine per cent after the federal tax abatement, meaning you’d be taxed at the much lower corporate rate on your income.
Before you incorporate, Rotfleisch said to evaluate whether it’s worth your time and money. “Incorporation costs a couple of thousand dollars, but then you have your accounting costs to do the financial statements and tax returns and that’s going to cost you around $1,500 dollars,” he said. “So you have to decide if it’s worth spending that for the other tax benefits.”
Income-splitting and prescribed rate loans
While this strategy is particularly effective for wealthier Canadians within the highest tax bracket, there are benefits for the average Canadian too. If one spouse is in a higher tax bracket than another, they may want to shift some of that taxable income to another family member, including children.
However, in Canada, if you just loan money to a family member, the money will be attributed back to you on your tax returns. Instead, you would need to set up a prescribed rate loan with the Canada Revenue Agency-approved interest rate (currently two per cent). As long as the family member pays that interest rate to you every year, the money you’ve loaned will count under their tax return. When loaned to a child or spouse who doesn’t earn any income, that money then becomes taxed at the lowest tax bracket.
Permanent life insurance
Most Canadians are familiar with term life insurance, which provides temporary coverage for a set time. Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, lasts for life. This life insurance comes with an investment component that grows free of annual taxation.
However, it’s not quite accessible to the average Canadian, as it’s sometimes six to 10 times the cost of term life insurance. Permanent life insurance is usually an additional investment option for the wealthy who have already maxed out their RRSPs, TFSAs and other investment options and know that they have extra income that they’d rather not pay taxes on every year.
Jennifer Poon, director of advanced planning at Scotia Wealth Management, said that this is an option normally favoured by wealthier Canadians because it’s a long-term investment. “You can’t always just lock up all your cash in a life insurance policy because this is a tax shelter,” she said.
Ultimately, Barrett noted, the more money you have, the more tax planning you can do with it. Average Canadians can try out these strategies, but the savings won’t come close to the thousands and millions that the wealthiest are saving every year.
But with the right planning, savings are still possible.
“Even if you’re making 60 grand a year, and you’re smart and you’re frugal, and you’ve done all your tax planning properly, you can still get some really good savings that may be meaningful to you at that kind of an income level,” he said.
NEW YORK, N.Y. — NFP Canada Corp., an insurance broker serving the needs of the trucking industry, is unifying its Canadian businesses under the “NFP” brand, further integrating acquired brokerages.
The company announced Tuesday that several of its Canadian brokerages, including Capital Benefit Financial Group, Corporate Benefits Analysts Insurance Agency, Consortia Group, PBL Insurance Limited, Dalton Timmis Insurance Group, Mass Insurance Brokers, McLean Hallmark Insurance Group, Elective Benefits Services and Indemnis Trade Risk Management, will adopt the NFP name.
This implementation marks the latest in a series of strategic initiatives of NFP Corp. across North America, the company said.
“We are thrilled to come together under the NFP brand and unify our operations in Canada,” said Greg Padovani, president of NFP in Canada.
“The integration of these well-established firms creates a platform for NFP that has the size, scale, and capabilities to provide a full range of insurance solutions to Canadian corporations and individuals.”
NFP is one of the top 10 Canadian brokerages, with 750 employees.
It may seem like un-Canadian behaviour, but new research from Finder Canada shows that a surprising number of Canucks not only hope for an ‘insurance-paid upgrade,’ but would actually crash a car, break a bone or burn down a house to get it … if they wouldn’t get caught.
“Honestly, we thought the numbers for the illegal insurance actions would be much lower,” said William Eve,” Country Manager for Finder Canada. “We began this as an exercise to show how stereotypically honest Canadians are.”
Key Findings of the research:
i) Canadians are willing to do the crime… if they don’t get the time!
21% – one in five Canadian adults – would stage an event or mislead an insurance company to get an insurance-paid upgrade… providing they don’t get caught.
12% would crash their car or pretend it was stolen, 10% would flood or burn down their house and 6% would go as far as breaking their own arm or pretend to have a chronic illness for insurance money.
More than twice as many men (13%) vs. (6%) women would burn down or flood their home. Significantly more men (15%) vs. women (8%) would crash a car or pretend it was stolen.
ii) Younger Canadians are more likely to create a car catastrophe
Gen Z (26%) and Millennials (16%) are far more likely to crash, damage or say their car was stolen than older Canadians–like the Silent Generation (5%), and Baby Boomers (5%).
iii) Nearly half of Canadians are secretly hoping for an insurance-paid upgrade
43% of Canadians surveyed said that they are secretly hoping for damage to their property and possessions to get an upgrade.
iv) Many Canadians are unhappy with their cars
27% of Canadian adults are hoping for an insurance paid upgrade on their cars and 24% would endure a car accident (where no one is hurt but the car is totaled) to get one. On the extreme side, 11% of Canadian adults would endure a car crash where they broke bones but suffered no permanent damage to get an upgrade.
v) Nearly no-one would endure a bed bug infestation for the insurance money
Only 8% of Canadians would suffer through a bed bug attack for an upgrade, meaning they would prefer to suffer through a car accident (24%), a massive flood in their home (14%), or a fire where their home burns down (16%) than deal with bed bugs.
“The truth is that false claims and fraud drive insurance costs up for all Canadians,” added Eve. “For those who are caught, there are severe fines, costs and even jail time. At the very least, they lose their coverage and ability to get insurance coverage in the future. It’s much smarter (and safer) to carefully compare policies and get the very best deal possible on insurance premiums.”
You can find the full report here: www.finder.com/ca/insurance-paid-upgrade-report
Please refer to this Finder Canada research in any media coverage
About Finder Canada:
Millions of North Americans use Finder to help them make better financial decisions. Finder understands that making everyday life decisions such as finding a credit card, buying a home and getting health insurance can be daunting. That’s why we’re here. Our goal is to help Canadians navigate those complex decisions by making them less of a chore (and hopefully less of a bore, too!)
Data is from a national representative survey of 1,200 Canadian adults commissioned by Finder and conducted by PureProfile in February 2020.
SOURCE Finder Canada
Ontario, Manitoba, Québec and Saskatchewan have already introduced legislation against bullying and B.C. recently enacted Bill 14 [Workers Compensation Amendment Act] to address the effects of bullying at work.
Become compliant with existing laws—complete ILScorp’s “Understanding Workplace Bullying & Tools for Safeguarding an Organization from Bullying Behaviour” courses.
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- determine whether a problem exists in a workplace
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This course is included free of charge as part of your ILS General CE Course Subscription. This course is General and Adjuster CE accredited. However, ILScorp recommends that all employees receive this training for law compliance.
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