Toronto Van Attack: Travel Insurance Coverage and Recent Traveler Behavior Explained

Canada is a top destination for United States travelers but many travelers may be on edge after a man drove a rental van and killed 10 pedestrians and injured at least 15 others in Toronto. Canadian authorities are calling the act deliberate but have not classified it as terrorism. Travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth, breaks down traveler behavior for trips to Canada and explains what options travelers have if they’re concerned about traveling to Canada after the Toronto van attack.

Recent Concern for Terrorism Coverage Low
Most travel insurance policies include Terrorism coverage which allows a traveler to cancel or end their trip early in the event of an act of terror. However, despite a 34% increase in travelers purchasing travel insurance for trips to Canada, the number of travelers specifically searching for Terrorism coverage has decreased by 27% compared to this time last year, suggesting travelers consider Canada to be a safe and peaceful country that would not require the Terrorism coverage.

Terrorism Benefit Explained
Travel insurance is always available for future trips but travelers who want to cancel their trip to Canada can no longer buy a policy with cancellation coverage for the van attack. Any policies purchased after the attack happened on April 23rd will not provide coverage for this event.

While it is still unclear if it was an act of terrorism, if the U.S. Department of State declares it terrorism, travelers who purchased a policy before the attack happened may be able to cancel or end their trip in Canada early. Additionally, in order to have coverage, many policies state that travelers must be traveling within a certain distance from where the attack happened and within a certain amount of time from when the attack occurred.

Cancel For Any Reason Coverage Explained
Travelers who purchased policies before April 23rd with the added Cancel For Any Reason coverage, can cancel their upcoming trip to Canada and receive a partial refund of their trip costs. This time-sensitive benefit allows travelers to cancel their trip without giving any reason. While this benefit can be more expensive and only refunds travelers up to 75% of their costs, it is the best option for those who are nervous to travel.

Squaremouth created the Toronto Van Attack Travel Insurance Information Center to explain coverage for the attack. This page is regularly updated by Squaremouth’s travel insurance experts, and includes answers to frequently asked questions and official statements from providers.

ABOUT SQUAREMOUTH

Squaremouth compares travel insurance policies from every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth’s comparison engine and third-party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare travel insurance policies side-by-side. More information can be found at www.squaremouth.com

AXA S.A. announces the launch of the Initial Public Offering of AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc.

AXA S.A. (“AXA”) announces today the launch of the initial public offering (“IPO”) of its wholly-owned subsidiary, AXA Equitable Holdings, Inc. (“AEH”) and the commencement of the roadshow for the offering.

AXA, as the selling stockholder, is offering 137,250,000 shares* of common stock of AEH, and has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 20,587,500 shares of common stock. The IPO price is currently expected to be between USD 24 and USD 27 per share.

The shares are being offered by a group of underwriters led by Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Barclays Capital Inc. and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. Copies of the preliminary prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained from Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, 180 Varick Street, 2nd Floor, New York, New York 10014; J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, Attention: Prospectus Department, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, New York 11717 or telephone: 866-803-9204; Barclays, c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, New York 11717, email: Barclaysprospectus@broadridge.com or telephone: 888-603-5847; and Citigroup, c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, New York 11717 or telephone: 800-831-9146.

The shares are expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “EQH”.

A registration statement relating to the proposed IPO has been filed by AEH with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities, and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of that jurisdiction.

*Out of 561,000,000 total common shares

Wells Fargo to be fined $1B as early as Friday

By Ken Sweet

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK _ Federal regulators plan to fine Wells Fargo as much as $1 billion as early as Friday for abuses tied to its auto-lending and mortgage businesses, The New York Times and other news outlets reported, citing unnamed sources.

The potential $1 billion fine would be largest ever imposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the bank’s main national regulator, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal watchdog bureau set up after the Great Recession.

The fine against Wells Fargo had been expected. San Francisco-based Wells Fargo said last week that it was negotiating with federal regulators to pay as much as $1 billion in fines to settle various charges.

A CFPB spokesman declined to comment, as well as a spokesman for the Comptroller’s Office. A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo also declined to comment.

The problems with Wells Fargo this time are not tied directly to its well-known sales-practices scandal, where the bank admitted its employees opened as many as 3.5 million bank and credit card accounts without getting customers’ authorization. But they do involve to significant parts of the bank’s businesses: auto lending and mortgages.

Last summer, Wells Fargo admitted that hundreds of thousands of its auto-loan customers had been sold auto insurance that they did not want or need. In thousands of cases, customers who could not afford the combined auto-loan and extra insurance payment fell behind on their payments and had their cars repossessed.

In a separate case, Wells Fargo also admitted that thousands of customers were charged unnecessary fees in order to lock in their interest rates on their home mortgages. Wells Fargo is the nation’s largest mortgage lender.

This would be the first fine against a bank by the Trump administration since Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the CFPB, took over the bureau in late-November.

While banks have benefited from looser regulations and lower taxes under President Donald Trump, Wells Fargo has been called out specifically by Trump as a bank that needs to be punished for its bad behaviour.

“Fines and penalties against Wells Fargo Bank for their bad acts against their customers and others will not be dropped, as has incorrectly been reported, but will be pursued and, if anything, substantially increased. I will cut Regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating!” Trump wrote on Twitter back in December.

USA Gymnastics sues insurance carriers amid Nassar lawsuits

INDIANAPOLIS _ USA Gymnastics is suing its insurance carriers, alleging that they haven’t fully reimbursed it for defence costs incurred in lawsuits filed by victims of disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

The Indianapolis-based governing body for gymnastics sued seven insurance companies Friday in Marion County.

The Indianapolis Star reports that USA Gymnastics accuses the insurers of breach of contract and alleges they haven’t provided a full defence or fully reimbursed it for defence costs in 10 lawsuits filed by women who say Nassar abused them.

Nassar worked for USA Gymnastics for 29 years and also worked at Michigan State University, which is named in many of the lawsuits.

The women’s lawsuits accuse USA Gymnastics of failing to protect athletes from Nassar’s abuse.

USA Gymnastics has denied those and other allegations.

Insurance for ride booking drivers is a must 

Source: Lacie Glover: NerdWallet:

Uber and Lyft drivers might seem well-insured, between the ride-booking companies’ coverage and their own policies. However, a crucial gap leaves drivers at risk if they have an accident at the wrong time.

THE GAP

Once a driver accepts a fare or has passengers in the car, each company’s insurance policy is pretty generous. But while a driver is waiting for a ride request, coverage is slim. It includes only basic liability coverages, which pay other people if you’re at fault in a crash.

If you cause an accident before accepting a request, you’ll be on the hook for your medical bills and any damage to your car. You’ll also have to pay for injuries and property damage beyond these liability limits:

_ $50,000 bodily injury per person

_ $100,000 bodily injury per accident

_ $25,000 in property damage per accident

THE RISK

You can rely on your personal auto policy during that time, right? Not so fast.

When you use your car for “livery” _ carrying passengers or goods for a fare _ it’s not covered by a traditional policy.

So if you file a claim with your insurer for an accident that occurs while you’re waiting for a new fare, it will probably get denied. (Uber and Lyft expect drivers to file claims for these accidents with their personal insurers first.)

What’s more, your insurer could cancel or refuse to renew your policy if it finds out about undisclosed driving for ride-booking companies, no matter when an accident happens.

THE SOLUTION

Many insurers now offer what they call ride-share auto policies , which extend your personal policy to cover ride-booking and guarantee you won’t lose coverage because of your job.

Sound like too much insurance? It’s not a separate policy _ just an add-on some companies offer _ often for under $20 per month. There is an option in most states.

Troubled Chinese insurer receives government bailout

The troubled Chinese insurer that owns New York City’s Waldorf Hotel said Wednesday, April 4, 2018 it is receiving a $9.6 billion bailout from a government-run fund.

Regulators seized control of Anbang Insurance Group in February after a global asset-buying spree raised questions about its stability. Its founder, Wu Xiaohui, went on trial last week on charges he defrauded investors and misused company money.

The case added to a string of scandals in China’s insurance industry. The industry’s former top regulator was charged in September with taking bribes and other insurers have been accused of reckless speculation in stocks and real estate.

The injection of money from the China Insurance Security Fund will help Anbang “maintain stable operations,” the privately owned insurer said on its website.

The injection of 60.8 billion yuan ($9.6 billion) will increase Anbang’s registered capital to 61.9 billion yuan ($9.8 billion), the company said. That would mean the government fund owns 98 per cent of the company, wiping out most of the equity stake of Wu and other shareholders.

Anbang said it would look for strategic investors. That suggested they might be expected to buy out the government’s funds ownership.

The Communist Party has made reducing financial risk a priority this year after a surge in debt prompted rating agencies last year to cut Beijing’s credit rating for government borrowing.

Anbang is being run by a committee of officials from China’s insurance regulator, central bank and other agencies. They have said its obligations to policyholders and creditors are unaffected.

Wu founded Anbang in 2004 and, while rarely appearing in public, gained a reputation for aggressive expansion in a stodgy industry dominated by state-owned insurers.

The company grew to more than 30,000 employees with 35 million clients. It diversified into life insurance, banking, asset management, leasing and brokerage services.

Wu is accused of fraudulently raising 65 billion yuan ($10 billion) from investors and abusing his post to benefit himself. State television showed him confessing in a Shanghai court last week but no verdict has been announced.

Anbang discussed possibly investing in a Manhattan skyscraper owned by the family of U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner. Those talks ended last year with no deal.

The negotiations with Kushner Cos. about 666 Fifth Ave. prompted members of the U.S. Congress to raise ethics concerns.

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