Toll Free: 1.877.225.0446

Category: Uncategorized

Potential premium impact on auto insurance from cannabis related claims

Canada’s recent legalization of Cannabis has raised some questions as to how it will affect the public –  particularly when it comes to auto insurance. Ratehub.ca’s senior business unit manager for insurance, Matt Hands, believes the increase in auto insurance premiums due to marijuana legalization is not a matter of why, but when.

“Once insurance providers analyze the data available to them, in most cases, they will need to apply with provincial regulators before they can raise rates,” Hands told Yahoo Finance in an interview. This could mean that it could take months or years for these policies to come into effect.

Data on cannabis-related accidents and impairments in Canada remain scant  as the substance was just legalized weeks ago. But data from the neighbouring USA suggests that auto insurance costs could actually increase as a result.

Source: https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/ca/news/breaking-news/get-ready-for-higher-auto-insurance-premiums-116230.aspx

Making a successful home insurance claim:

One in six household insurance claims are rejected each year. GoCompare has some advice to help ensure your claim is successful. Insurers have revealed the main reason for rejecting a claim is that the incident was not covered by the insured’s policy.

Make sure that you do your research and ensure that you choose the right coverage. If you are unsure, then contact your broker or insurance provider.

In the event of a possible claim, acting quickly, following procedures and being honest are 3 of the best tips listed by GoCompare. Acting quickly, despite being in shock, can ensure your success with a claim. Adjusters can assess the damage while it’s still fresh and prior to you having to live around it. Claims procedures can also be very detail-oriented. Ensuring that you follow procedures and give an honest and complete account of the incident   will go a long way in getting you to a successful claim resolution.

Source: https://www.themoneypages.com/insurance/tips-making-successful-home-insurance-claim/

One in three Canadians surveyed haven’t read their insurance policy: Sonnet Insurance

New research conducted by Sonnet Insurance shows that one in three Canadians haven’t read their home or auto insurance policy. Those who do care to venture into reading the fine print are often confused by lengthy descriptions and jargon making it difficult for them to understand their coverage and terms.

Sonnet believes that the first step in changing the perception of how Canadians feel about insurance is to simplify complicated industry language in policies. Roger Dunbar, SVP, at Sonnet states, “If we can empower Canadians to understand their insurance options, they can be confident they have the right coverage for their needs.”

Canadians have a good understanding of basic insurance terms, but awareness and comprehension drops for coverage options. The survey found that many struggled with key terms in both home and auto policies. Insurance plays a vital part in the financial well-being of Canadians, so it is important for them to understand not only what is covered but also how it is covered.

Source: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/one-in-three-canadians-surveyed-havent-read-their-insurance-policy-sonnet-insurance-700391031.html

Post-flooding woes: are you ready?

Quebec’s historic flooding this year could mean critter and pest-related woes in the months and years to come. Heavy water accumulation has created standing pools of water, which could translate into fertile ground for mosquito populations this year as well as other damaging effects to your home and neighbourhood.

Expect a higher number of mosquitoes this year in areas that experienced heavy rainfall resulting in ponds remaining full after a combination of saturated soil and repeated rainfalls.

In addition to mosquitoes, homeowners could be dealing with a host of other critter-related problems. Flooded homes face potential mould problems, which, in addition to the human health impact, bring their own set of parasites, such as flies.

Broken trees, debris and wood inside homes left humid from long-term water exposure could also be ripe territory for wood lice and carpenter ants.

As recommended by the article referenced below, use the following precautions to help deter pests: clean up properties, get rid of stagnant water, fix foundations and take care to dry out parts of the home exposed to water and replace any wood exposed to flood water.

For more information on home insurance options, contact your broker or company agent.

Source: http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/catastrophes/quebec-homeowners-face-potential-post-flooding-woes-mosquitoes-critters-parasites-1004114984/

Marijuana legalization raises concerns for insurance

The impending legalization of marijuana in Canada raises a number of legal issues related to property insurance policies, liability coverage and auto insurance. The referenced article below is used throughout this post as a source to discuss how such insurance policies are affected.

The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a decision in a case that dismissed the insured’s property loss claim under homeowner’s policy. The insured’s home was totally destroyed by an explosion arising from the illegal production of marijuana by a tenant on the premises.

The court found that the exclusion for indirect or direct loss or damage to dwellings used in processing or manufacturing of marijuana applied. Insurers may decide to continue to avoid coverage for illegal mass production of marijuana by individuals, while recognizing that the limited production that will be allowed under the proposed Cannabis Act is lawful.

Regarding liability coverage, it remains to be determined how preliminary underwriting considerations addressed by the application process will be determined, along with how that coverage will apply and any limitations in terms of limits, deductibles or aggregates.

In relation to auto insurance, there could be an increase in impairment cases. Noting that impairment is not as straightforward as alcohol and no test comparable to the breathalyser is available at this time.

With the legalization of marijuana around the corner, the Canadian insurance industry will have to adjust to its presence. We will continue to keep you updated with developments, but in the meantime contact your broker or company agent with any questions or concerns.

Source: http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/insurance/marijuana-legalization-raises-legal-issues-related-property-policies-liability-coverage-auto-insurance-arc-group-canada-event-hears-1004114705/

Many Canadian firms do not have cyber security insurance

More than a third of surveyed Canadian firms do not have cyber security insurance. This is a concern that has been made worse by a lack of understanding on how premiums are priced and failure to do everything possible to guard against breaches. As a result, businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to cyber threats that could affect both the company and consumers.

The percentage of Canadian businesses with cyber security insurance is lower than the 50% of surveyed respondents in the U.S. and the 40% for respondents globally.

It is important for businesses to assess the strength of their cyber security defences and to make sure they are covered if they are faced with a data breach. The ripple effect of a breach can be felt throughout the organization for a very long time, especially now that Canada’s Digital Privacy Act will require organizations to report any breaches to regulators and customers.

Contact your broker or company agent today to protect your business from cyber threats.

Source: http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/insurance/36-polled-canadian-firms-no-cyber-security-insurance-fico-1004114548/

The City of Edmonton looks to flood mitigation options

Staff from the City of Edmonton are scheduled to look at flood mitigation options for the city as the next step in its examination of upgrades to drainage infrastructure.

Cities need to invest to protect residents, home and businesses in preparation for changing weather patterns. Edmonton’s city council is considering four options based on an analysis of extensive infrastructure and rainfall studies.

Options presented balance risk, cost and the likelihood of major rainstorms. Next steps include working with water services company EPCOR to examine the impact of the citywide flood mitigation strategy on the drainage utility rates and public engagement results to date.

Options for flood mitigation could also impact solutions for underpass flooding, as upgrading the system will increase capacity to absorb rainfall that might otherwise flood roadways.

For more information on your policy’s flood insurance options, contact your broker or company agent.

Source: http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/insurance/city-edmonton-examining-flood-mitigation-options-1004114958/

Drug screening devices: a new method to protect against impaired driving

Results from the federal government’s oral fluid drug screening device pilot project suggest the devices can be successfully used in Canada to identify drivers who test positive for certain drugs in various conditions.

A total of 53 police officers from seven jurisdictions across Canada collected over 1,140 samples between Dec. 18, 2016 and March 6, 2017 with two oral fluid screening devices that were selected for the pilot project.

Oral fluid screening devices can detect the recent presence of several drugs, including THC from cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamines, opioids, benzodiazepines and amphetamines.

Feedback from officers involved in the pilot project was largely positive. Officers reported that the devices were easy to use at the roadside with some standard operating procedures.

Drug impaired driving is a serious problem and giving law enforcement more tools to detect and deter drug-impaired driving will better protect communities.

Source: http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/insurance/oral-fluid-drug-screening-devices-can-successfully-used-canada-public-safety-canada-reports-1004114882/

Interview with Le Journal de l’Assurance

The General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) was pleased to hold its summer Board meeting in Montreal this past June 2018. As part of our visit, we met with representatives of Le Journal de l’Assurance, one of the leading media sources for insurance and investment within Quebec. Read all about the discussion here:

https://journal-assurance.ca/article/resolution-de-plaintes-un-organisme-pancanadien-compte-mieux-se-faire-connaitre-des-quebecois/

Safety-first is essential with the anticipated increase in drone activity

New risks emerge for underwriters to assess in connection with increase in use of drones.

Sales of drones for private use have increased substantially in the last few years but now commercial drone activity is growing at an alarming rate. Current uses of drones include disaster relief, inspecting and exploring inaccessible places, precision agriculture, claims handling and logistics.

To improve air traffic at a low altitude, authorities and drone manufactures need to respond to changes due to the rapid development of technology and its capabilities.

Insurers have taken a proactive approach to fill the gaps in knowledge and to offer a comprehensive cover for all stakeholders. Since drone-related accidents involving bodily injury and/or property damage could provoke legal action, drones for both private and commercial use should have legal liability insurance to cover third-party damage.

With no uniform regulation currently existing for drones, insurance has to be tailored around diverse national regulations, in addition to being flexible enough to adapt to the frequent changes made.

We will continue to monitor the use of drones and their development, along with how drone insurance is affected next year. If you have any concerns, make sure to speak to your broker or company agent.

Source: http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/commercial-lines/drone-activity-sky-anticipated-safety-first-approach-essential-scor-newsletter-1004114944/