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Category: Blog

Why thousands of unsafe commercial vehicles remain on Ontario roads

According to the 2019 Annual Report of the Auditor General of Ontario, the ministry has not inspected more than half of Ontario’s commercial vehicle carriers in the past two years and the number of vehicles inspected each year has decreased significantly.

The Auditor General recommends the Ministry of Transportation create a province-wide staffing plan to hire more enforcement officers and that enforcement officers are being regularly reviewed on productivity targets to increase roadside inspections. It is also recommended that random drug and alcohol testing is enforced for commercial vehicle drivers to reduce the risk of collisions involving impaired driving.

Based on the report’s findings, the Ministry of Transportation has agreed with the Auditor General’s recommendation to increase roadside inspections and reduce impaired driving involving commercial vehicle drivers.


A simple solution to the insurance “talent gap” equation

Today, insurance organizations are worried about the “talent shortage” in the industry as they struggle to attract new talent to fill positions as insurance veterans reach retirement age. Insurance companies need to work on making the industry appealing to the new generation of professionals.

KASE Insurance, a leading commercial insurance broker in Ontario, has avoided this issue altogether. The insurance company has grown exponentially since it was founded three years ago and the founders attribute this to their hiring process.

They believe the key is hiring people that are equally as excited about the insurance industry as they are, while also making sure their new hires are super ambitious with fresh ideas. How have they achieved this? By putting entrepreneurial spirit at the core of their recruitment strategy. Stanislav Kokojin, one the founders says that they’ve never had an issue finding talent:

“There are lots of millennials who want to make a difference and have cool ideas for projects that they’d like to implement, but too often they’re told there’s no budget or appetite for that idea. We’re looking for entrepreneurial people who strive to be the best, and we’ve been very successful in finding that talent.”

KASE is determined to break down the barriers that keep young professionals from getting a head start in the insurance industry. Their training process teaches young brokers to become excellent commercial advisors and there’s room for change in the status quo.


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.