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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Insurance companies call for stricter distracted driving laws

Canadian insurance companies are demanding the federal government create stricter distracted driving laws.

Currently, each province approaches distracted driving differently. In Quebec, fines range from $80-100, with four demerit points added to the driver’s license. In comparison, distracted drivers in Prince Edward Island face $500-$1,200 in fines and receive five demerit points.

Insurance companies feel that these penalties are not enough to discourage distracted driving habits. According to Ryan Michel, Allstate Canada CEO, distracted driving accidents are increasing despite programs designed to reward law-abiding motorists.

Because every province now has bans against using handheld devices while driving, we must consider if the laws are tough enough and if people are abiding by them.

One solution may be for provincial governments (who have the authority to regulate driving) to take the lead in getting the message across.

Quebec’s Airbnb regulations: Will homeowners abide?

Although Quebec’s provincial government recently amended its tourist accommodation legislation to regulate people participating in home-sharing, some have doubts on how the law has affected this new service.

Under the law, anyone who advertises rental accommodations for no more than 31 days must purchase at least $2 million of insurance, as well as secure a $250 permit. According to one media source, less than 500 permits have been issued across the province—41 of those in Montreal.

To compare, it is important to note that over 10,000 units are listed on home-sharing websites in Quebec—meaning that renters are not purchasing the necessary insurance.

Users are finding loopholes in the law, making lawmakers realize the need to take a stance against the illegal activity. Because the modifications were only issued five months ago, there is hope that over time compliance will improve.

Why renter’s insurance is necessary

Many renters believe that they do not need insurance for their home, and that they are covered by the building owner’s insurance; however this is not the case. It is crucial for renters to purchase their own insurance, as the policy may help them out should they come across a variety of unfortunate events.

Though the landlord has insurance for the building, contents and liability their policy will not cover the renter’s personal property, and liability exposures. It is important to know the differences between your landlord’s insurance and your own.

If there is a fire in the building, the property insurance will pay for the demolition, and cover the expenses to repair or rebuild; whereas the renter’s insurance will cover all the contents in your unit in the case of a fire. This insurance will likely cover your additional expenses if you need a place to temporarily live while the damage is being repaired.

If there is a break-in, the landlord’s property insurance will not cover any of the stolen goods from your home. In most cases, your renter’s insurance policy will cover your possessions should you suffer a loss.

Also, if you caused a water damage loss by, for example letting a sink overflow, you could be liable to other renters and the landlord, affected by the water damage. Renter’s insurance would protect against claims brought against you.

No matter where you rent, insurance is much the same—your landlord’s property insurance is for the structure of the building, and the renter’s insurance covers your personal contents and liability. Renter’s insurance is available for a small monthly fee that ensures your protection from financial hardship should anything happen.