Tuesday, July 5th, 2016The demise of Google’s online insurance comparison site Google Compare is being hailed by some in the industry as a victory for the traditional agency system.
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
Adding to this site’s archived soft tissue injury database, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Kelowna Registry, assessing non-pecuniary damages of $60,000 for lingering upper body soft tissue injuries.
In this week’s case (Olson v. Yelland) the plaintiff was involved in a 2012 rear end collision. The Defendant admitted fault. The Plaintiff sustained soft tissue injuries to her neck, mid back and shoulders which continued to pose problems at the time of trial. In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $60,000 Mr. Justice Weatherill provided the following reasons:
 On the whole of the evidence, I accept that the plaintiff received soft tissue injuries to her neck, trapezius muscles and mid-back and headaches that continue to negatively affect her function to some degree.
 I find that her pre-Accident lower back and left knee conditions would have significantly affected her ability to function at home and at work in any event of the Accident.
 I find that prior to the Accident and in any event of the Accident, her competitive employability and ability to perform homemaking tasks had already been significantly compromised. The soft tissue injuries she received from the Accident were superimposed on her Original Position and made it more difficult for her to manage her day-to-day activities.
 I find that the plaintiff has made significant recovery from the effects of the Accident within the past three years, but has been left with ongoing neck, mid-back, trapezius pain and related headaches.
 The injuries the plaintiff is left with, and that I accept, are soft tissue injuries to her neck, mid-back and trapezius muscles. They have caused increased frequency and intensity of headaches.
 I accept that these issues continue to affect her, and likely will continue for two to three more years. However, I find that the Accident related injuries pale in comparison to the unrelated issues she has with her low back and left knee…
 In the circumstances, and following the principles set out in Stapley, I find that a reasonable award for general damages is $60,000. As will be seen below, within this sum I have included the plaintiff’s claim for reduced homemaking abilities.
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016Images of a house slipping into a river near Victoria, B.C. earlier this week raise concerns surrounding extreme weather and its effects on some of Canada’s most enviable waterfront properties including whether or not your insurance company has your back.
“Now we’re seeing insurance companies starting to offer flood insurance for overland flooding in some cases and sewer backup coverage,” he says.But waterfront property owners shouldn’t hold their breath. “I think the concern is that, like any risk, homeowners go forward blindly. If you have a home with that kind of a view on a river or on a lake or at the edge of some nice precipice that you can see forever, you recognize there are some risks inherent of being located there,” he says. “So why should someone who is inland who has less of a risk of their property being flooded pay the same insurance rates of someone whose property backs onto a lake?” Not to say that there’s no recourse. It’s possible to question the liability of the municipalities who approved the development in the first place along an area deemed a floodplain. But the success of that has yet to be tested. “We have the conservation authorities and they know for the most part where the floodplains are,” says Karageorgos. “But that’s a longer conservation.” He says the question about access to coverage and protection for all those beautiful waterfront properties comes down to demand.
“The market is competitive and the standard policies typically exclude these types of things,” says Karageorgos. “You may be able to find an insurer who will offer you that coverage but recognize that in the likelihood you do find it, because of the limited market size the cost will be greater.”
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016Square One finds 65% of Canadians wrongfully believe that home insurance protects against flood damage - ILSTV.com
- Has escaped or been released from the normal confines of a lake, river, stream, natural watercourse, reservoir, canal or dam; or
- Is generated by snowmelt or rainfall that cannot be dispersed by soil absorption, runoff and drainage.
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016It appears Google Compare’s grand experiment in online comparison shopping for auto insurance is dead – for now at least.
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016Canadians travelling to Cuba will be required to present proof of health insurance to enter the country as of Saturday.
Supplemental health insurance urgedProvincial plans may cover only part of the costs and will not pay the bill up front as Cuba requires, Foreign Affairs noted. “It is therefore recommended that travellers purchase supplemental health insurance,” the department said. Canadian visitors carrying only provincial government health insurance cards will have to pay Cuban hospitals, doctors or other providers in full at the time of treatment and then seek reimbursement from their provincial plans, which normally cover only a fraction of the charges. Some private insurers also require the traveller to pay costs up front and be reimbursed later, Foreign Affairs noted. All health insurance policies will be recognized except those issued by U.S. insurance companies, which cannot provide coverage in Cuba. Provincial health plans also strongly urge residents to purchase supplemental travel insurance for any trips they make out of the country. Provincial plans also do not cover the cost of ground ambulance in Cuba or repatriation back to Canada on commercial airlines or air ambulance. “People do need to have supplementary insurance, either purchasing coverage through their employer or employer benefit plan or on a credit card,” Martha Turnbull, president of the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THIA), said in an interview. The association also encouraged Canadians to get a letter from their insurance company or employer stating they do have coverage. Turnbull suggested Canadians also consider insuring their travel arrangements since getting home early from Cuba or cancelling a trip can be expensive.
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016OTTAWA _ Canada’s Senate, often accused of being an anachronism, is being asked to wrestle with the futuristic dream of driverless cars.
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016By Rick WestHead |
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016ICBC's Hall of Shame: Cyber Fraud Files of 2015 - ILSTV.com
A woman too hurt to go to work yet finds time for roller derby, a man who sets his own truck on fire then tries to make a claim, and a man who completes a grueling 12-mile obstacle race despite claiming to be severely injured — these are just three phony cases caught by ICBC, using evidence found publicly available online. Many of those who exaggerate claims expose their own lies by posting photos and updates on their social media profiles that are inconsistent with their claims.
Insurance industry estimates indicate 10 to 20 per cent of auto insurance claims contain an element of fraud or exaggeration. Meaning, fraudulent claims like these cost B.C. up to $600 million each year, or every driver more than $100 on their annual insurance policy.
In order to combat fraud and keep costs down, ICBC has enhanced its Special Investigations Unit by taking many of its investigations online. Last year, 2350 cyber cases were opened. ICBC has also beefed up its training program to help frontline staff detect fraud, and later this year, ICBC will purchase special fraud software that will help to quickly flag patterns and high predictors of fraud at the beginning of the claims process.
While the vast majority of ICBC’s customers are honest, there are some drivers that choose to exaggerate or make false claims. ICBC’s anti-fraud campaign intends to raise awareness about fraudulent insurance claims and its financial impact to all B.C. drivers.
Here are some cases that happened in 2015 of people caught red-handed online:
Roller Derby Ruse After getting into a crash, a woman complained that her injuries were preventing her from going back to work as a hairdresser. But according to her Facebook and Twitter accounts, although she may not have been able to go to work, she still had the energy to go hiking, running, and join a roller derby team. A rising star on the rink, her updates regaled the many injuries she incurred as one of the ‘hardest hitters’ on the team. When confronted with the evidence, the woman agreed fair compensation was about half of what she was originally demanding, and she settled her claim.
Kung Fu Cure A Lower Mainland man claimed that he was unable to go back to his desk job due to his injuries, following a collision in Vancouver. Shortly after his claim was submitted, investigators found pictures of him on Facebook showcasing his athletic prowess, while supposedly recovering from his crash. In one photo, posted by a friend, he’s seen crossing the finish line of a grueling 12-mile obstacle race in Whistler. In another, it’s a video of him taking down an opponent at a mixed martial arts facility. After the evidence was shown to him, he quickly settled his claim, citing a miraculous recovery from his injuries.
When There’s Smoke… A Kamloops man reported to police and ICBC that his truck – which he claimed was in good working condition – had been set on fire by vandals. The representative who took his claim smelled smoke, so ICBC’s cyber investigators did some digging and found the same truck listed for sale on Craigslist. In the description, the owner revealed his motive when he wrote that he was putting his vehicle up for sale because he couldn’t afford to pay for the repairs his truck sorely needed. Furthermore, the estimator inspecting the vehicle uncovered physical evidence confirming that the fire was suspicious. The man was denied payment on his claim, and was left with an idle truck.
Million Dollar Mischief A Kelowna woman was involved in a minor MVA when she was hit by a motorcycle while walking in a crosswalk with friends. The case went to trial where she demanded $1M for her injuries. In court, the judge heard the woman make inconsistent statements, and found the reports from her father and medical providers contradictory to her claims as well. ICBC investigators also submitted social media posts that challenged her claims. As a result of the overwhelming amount of evidence that showed she had grossly exaggerated her injuries, the judge denied her $1M request and awarded her only $20,000 for her actual injuries. She was also required to pay for ICBC’s legal costs – about $34,000.
Insurance fraud increases claims costs, which leads to higher premiums for every British Columbian needing auto insurance.
The public can protect their wallets by reporting suspicious activities related to insurance fraud to ICBC’s toll-free tips line at 1-800-661-6844. Tip information is confidential and callers can remain anonymous.