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Where insurance fits into bicycle accidents

How does liability insurance work for bicycle accidents? Typically bicycle accidents are covered under a home insurance policy but cyclists who are unsure of their coverage should be asking their insurance broker or agent.

In different situations, the liability would fall on different parties. If a cyclist is involved in an accident with a pedestrian, the pedestrian can launch a personal injury lawsuit and the cyclist would likely turn to a home insurance or renter’s policy first. If a motor vehicle is involved, the cyclist has access to accident insurance benefits.

Speak to your insurance broker or agent to find out if you are covered.


These behaviours raise your client’s cyber risk

Some classic examples of employee behaviour that is risky are clicking on an obviously suspicious email, opening attachments they weren’t expecting and creating passwords that are easy for anyone to guess. The root causes of risky computer use are lack of awareness, lack of understanding about how security affects ordinary workflows and competing priorities.

It is important for senior leadership to transmit implicit and explicit messages about cyber safety. They should educate employees and encourage them to practice safe computer use to decrease risk of a phishing attack.


Why cyber insurance is critical protection for any business

Digital information is one of the world’s most valuable commodities and is at risk of being attacked, stolen, held for ransom or destroyed. It’s not only the large businesses that require protection against hacks and other malicious activity, any company in possession of sensitive information should have a comprehensive Cyber Insurance policy to guard against cybercrime and data breaches.

Companies in any industry can be impacted. If a company handles sensitive information or holds onto confidential information on behalf of third parties, they carry a risk for the information to be altered or lost, a violation that can cost millions.

Data breaches are one of the most common events covered by a cyber policy. Speak to your insurance broker or agent to better understand your coverage.


Condominium insurance: the Ministry of Finance publishes its draft regulation

A draft clarifying six new proposed regulations was published by the Ministry of Finance in Quebec. The text governs the capitalization and contribution to the self-insurance fund and says valuers must be members to evaluate the amount of insurance of the building.

Condominiums will have two years to capitalize the new self-insurance fund that their union will set up. The law also states that co-owners must obtain liability insurance and buildings must be inspected every five years to determine the value of reconstruction (determining the amount to be insured). Additionally, there are risks that must be covered in the property insurance contract including: theft, fire, lightning, storm, hail, explosion, etc.

Speak to your insurance broker or agent to better understand your coverage.


How slip-and-fall lawsuit rules could change in Ontario

Ontario is looking to change the province’s deadline for serving notice about starting slip-and-fall lawsuits. Currently, plaintiffs have two years after an accident to start a lawsuit suing for personal injuries. If Bill 118 is passed into law, plaintiffs would only have 10 days to give defendants notice of slip-and-fall claims caused by snow and ice.

Some people feel this would not be enough time for someone if they are dealing with medical treatments. However, they would still be able to proceed with a lawsuit if they convince the judge there is a reasonable excuse for the delay. The bill is meant to give defendants earlier notice, allowing them to preserve records and evidence.


How might car sharing insurance be changed?

Ontario’s government is considering applying changes to insurance relating to vehicle subscription services. Currently, services like Zipcar and Car2go allow their members to hop into cars parked throughout the province, drive and pay by account based on how much time they use the car. Typically, the insurance is included in some way as part of the service.

Tom MacMillan, as associate with Toronto-based Rogers Partners LLP predicts the changes would be that the coverage wouldn’t be through the subscription service itself but be member-independent. Although this would be labour-intensive for the insurer, being able to target drivers that wouldn’t meet the more stringent conditions of the policies would make it worthwhile.

At a recent stakeholder consultation, this was not on the list of priority items which means it’s not on the radar for the government until 2020 or beyond.


Data Shows Canada’s Climate Changing at a Rapid Pace

A government-backed report by Natural Resources Canada states that both past changes and predicted future trends in Canada are about double what is being seen globally. Driven by human influence, the nationally widespread warming is projected to intensify. The report explains how weather extremes will increase in the future, including frequency and severity of heat waves, risk of drought and wildfire, precipitation and coastal flooding.

These events are no longer occurring only in areas that have been traditionally exposed to them and this is bringing us into an era of increased threat to life and property. More severe weather events are leading to more damage and more insurance claims, causing greater strain on the government treasury for which they are financially unprepared for future disasters.

The government needs to take steps to help Canadians understand and adapt to the reality of climate change. The first step is to invest in consumer education, sharing data on how the changes are impacting the country. The government can also invest into water and sewage systems and make changes to improve land-use and building codes and standards.

The insurance industry is leading the discussion and encouraging citizens and governments to adapt to the rapidly changing climate. For more information, contact your broker or company agent.


Renters Still Need Insurance

The number of renters is increasing, especially in highly populated urban areas. With this increase, comes a decrease in people requiring comprehensive home insurance policies. However, if an accident or damage occurs on the rented property, is the renter liable to cover the costs?

Homeowners typically take out a traditional home and contents insurance policy, covering any significant damage caused to the property or personal belongings. However, renters should consider other risks that landlords are not responsible for covering, such as theft, loss or damage to personal property within the home (ex. laptops, televisions and other electronics). Additionally, if an injury occurs to a visitor on the property, or large-scale damage occurs (ie. flooding in the bathroom or a fire in the kitchen) the tenant may be liable.

If there are several tenants in one building, it is possible to save costs and share a contents insurance policy if there is stability in occupancy. Individual tenant policies may provide peace of mind for their own valuables. Additionally, tenant liability policies are transferrable between properties and can move with the tenant without affecting the total amount. A monthly fee is affordable and can save renters money in case of accident or damage. For more information, contact your broker or company agent.


Spring Brings Floods to Quebec

The spring flooding is at its peak and although most water levels are down, some areas of the province are still considered to be major flood zones. Some flooded residents are facing an incident that is not their first and in the face of repetitive flooding, it is essential to rethink urban planning in high-risk areas.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault says his government is implementing new programs that will take into account repetitive incidents encouraging people to relocate out of flood zone areas. A new version of the compensation program came into effect April 15th, simplifying the process of receiving financial assistance for citizens dealing with the consequences of disaster.

Insurers are less likely to insure homes that have previously suffered water damage. For more information, contact your broker or company agent.


IBC Welcomes Reform of Compensation Program

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) welcomes the new Government of Quebec Coalition’s compensation and financial assistance program, which came into effect April 15, 2019. Genevieve Guilbault, Deputy Prime Minister of Quebec and Minister of Public Security, says the new program is part of a sound management of funds and is an updated solution. During a press conference in Sainte-Marie, she stated that the program is more humane, flexible and efficient.

Peter Babinsky, IBC’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, says this is the first step to a solution for the organization. They have been asking various governments to stop building or rebuilding in flood zones but their recommendations are not always heard. They want to encourage residents who are at risk to relocate or install certain infrastructures, such as flood barriers or sand bags to greatly reduce risk. He emphasizes that the new assistance program provides for a severance allowance or immunization for a resident in a high-risk area.

The insurance industry cannot cover all flood risks if flooding continues in the same places annually. For more information, contact your broker or company agent.