Saturday, November 26th, 2016Press Release: On the eve of the start of Operation Red Nose’s 33rd annual campaign, an initiative supported by CAA-Quebec for more than 20 years, many people still underestimate the financial consequences associated with driving under the influence of alcohol. That’s why we remind drivers today that a first conviction for impaired driving can lead to a minimum of $6,000 in costs! And to that, it should be remembered, can be added the far more dramatic possible impacts on human lives. Every year in Quebec alone, some 15,000 motorists have their licence suspended for driving with their faculties impaired by alcohol. And driving under the influence remains, even today, one of the leading causes of death — not to mention severe and minor injuries — on our roads. “In addition to endangering lives, this behaviour has dramatic impacts on professional, social and personal lives. And the financial consequences are clearly worth thinking about,” emphasizes Sophie Gagnon, Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, for CAA-Quebec. An avalanche of costs and restrictions Once there has been a conviction for a violation, a minimum $1,000 fine must be paid, but be aware that the costs don’t end there! Add the fees for legal representation in court ($350/hour on average), the cost for the mandatory summary evaluation of the accused’s alcohol-related behaviours ($300), the fee to have a new driver’s licence issued and the payment of an additional contribution to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec ($300), in addition to the expense of an obligatory educational Alcofrein session ($150). There’s more:
- Immediate driver’s licence suspension;
- Towing and storage of the vehicle, and all the related costs!;
- Installation on the vehicle of an alcohol interlock device, if authorized.
- Operation Red Nose (November 25 to December 31, 2016)
- CAA-Quebec’s Safe Ride Service
- Zero tolerance
- Raccompagnements Point Zéro 8 (designated driver service)
- Taxis and Cool Taxi coupons
- Planned carpooling
Saturday, November 26th, 2016VICTORIA – The Insurance Corporation of BC has outlined possible steep rate hikes for basic auto insurance, compounding to more than 42 per cent, are possible in the next five years if it can’t cut costs and claims. The disclosure prompted the government to announce Wednesday it would no longer insure high-end luxury vehicles, to reduce the number of costly repairs and relieve pressure on basic rates for ordinary car owners. ICBC said it could hypothetically have to raise rates 6.4 per cent in 2017, 7.9 per cent in 2018, 9.4 per cent in 2019 and 7.9 per cent in 2020 — all rates that exceed a 4.9 per cent cap that Premier Christy Clark has urged the Crown corporation to hold. That’s in addition to a 4.9 per cent rate increase for basic auto insurance the corporation wants this year. Transportation Minister Todd Stone called the hypotheticals an “extreme worst case hypothetical situation.” “I want to reassure the public that these are extreme projections that do not consider the actions the BC government and ICBC are taking to reduce the pressure on rates,” he said. “We are not going to allow a scenario that would provide for that level of basic rate increases to actually happen here in British Columbia.” Stone said one of the first steps will be that ICBC will refuse to insure luxury high-end vehicles worth more than $150,000, because costly repairs to those vehicles are driving up basic rates. Legislation will be passed forcing those car owners to get private insurance, Stone said. Until then, as an interim measure, luxury car owners will have to pay double their ordinary basic insurance and ensure their premiums will fully cover the cost of any repairs. The average repair bill for a high-end luxury car is $13,000, compared to $2,500 for a typical vehicle, he said. Such cars include Aston Martins, Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Maseratis. Stone said the luxury vehicles are six times more costly to fix in a crash than ordinary vehicles, and 30 per cent more high-end cars are on the road in the past three years. Greater Vancouver has one of the largest concentrations of high-end luxury cars in North America. The insurance changes only apply to private passenger cars, not commercial trucks, pick-up trucks, collector cars, limousines or motorhomes. More changes are coming in future weeks and months to keep rates down, said Stone.
Saturday, November 26th, 2016HIGHLIGHTS
- Canada is not prepared to deal with the macroeconomic and fiscal consequences of a massive earthquake.
- A large-enough earthquake would overwhelm the Canadian economy, leading to financial contagion that would delay rebuilding and result in additional long-term economic loss.
- The government can play a role in mitigating these economic and fiscal costs.
Saturday, November 26th, 2016
Last week we looked at what you should be entitled to expect as a driver on B.C.’s highways. It only seems fair that we should examine what your duties as a driver are this week. As before, if I miss or misstate any of them, you are welcome to e-mail email@example.com and express your opinion.
It’s probably not something that you would consider first, but you have a general duty of care to all other road users. You must not collide with them or do something that causes them to have a collision or otherwise put them in danger. Supplementing common law, the Motor Vehicle Act makes it an offence to drive without due care and attention or to drive without reasonable consideration for others.
If you are involved in a crash, whether as the driver, operator or person in charge of a vehicle, you must stop, render assistance and provide information about yourself, the owner of the vehicle and it’s licence and insurance particulars to anyone suffering a loss.
You must also provide this information to a witness if they request it.
Before you drive, you must be licenced for the operation of the vehicle you intend to use. It is also up to you to make sure that the vehicle has a valid licence, insurance and is mechanically fit. If required to, you must be able to demonstrate all of these things to the police.
If you are impaired by drugs or alcohol, physical or mental infirmity, fatigue or anything else that would prevent you from driving safely, you must not drive. If you become this way while driving, you are expected to stop until you can become safe again or turn the duty over to someone qualified to assume it.
If your health or driving skills deteriorate, you must take steps to compensate for or regain them. Minimum standards must be met throughout your driving career.
When you drive, you must obey all of the rules of the road. All the time. Not just when it is convenient for you to do so.
It is also your responsibility to know what these rules are. If you ever face the courts to be called to account for your actions as a driver excuses such as “I didn’t know” or “Someone should have told me” will not be accepted.
Responsible drivers will choose to do something to maintain or improve their skills and knowledge over time. If you find it difficult to do this on your own, taking instruction from a driving school is probably your best choice.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t bring a bad attitude to the driver’s seat! Driving is not all about ME, it’s all about US. Sharing and co-operation are concepts that should be foremost in our minds when we are behind the wheel.
Oh, and if you are a cyclist or pedestrian, most of this applies to you too. ALL road users have a duty to share, co-operate and be safe.
Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites
Saturday, November 26th, 2016Today’s guest post comes from B.C. injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, scrutinizing ICBC’s “checkered record” of paying for a plaintiff’s medical treatments. In today’s case (Olson v. Farran) the Plaintiff was injured in a collision and was awarded just over $92,000 in damages including special damages and funds for future care costs. The Defendant, who was insured with ICBC, requested certain damages to be deducted because of the overlapping coverage for some expenses under the Plaintiff’s own ICBC policy. Mr. Justice Pearlman denied aspects of the request raising concern about ICBC’s “past partial and disrupted” payments. In doing so the Court provided the following reasons.
 The onus of showing that a deduction should be made is on the defendant. I must estimate the amount to which Ms. Olson is entitled, exercising caution and taking into account any uncertainty concerning whether the benefits will be paid. Any such uncertainty must be resolved in favour of the plaintiff.
 Based on the Dr. Garbuz’s opinion, and the defendant’s position at trial that Ms. Olson would benefit from a three to six-month exercise program under the supervision of a physiotherapist, I am satisfied that a portion of the physiotherapy will be paid. I estimate that amount to be $500 and order that the amount to be deducted with respect to the physiotherapy is $500.
 In light of the Corporation’s past partial and disrupted payment for kinesiology, there is no certainty that the Corporation will pay for any further kinesiology treatments. I therefore decline to deduct any portion of the $800 sought by the defendant for kinesiology sessions.
 Similarly, there is no certainty that the insurer will pay for future massage therapy treatments, particularly where such treatments may only provide temporary relief to Ms. Olson, rather than a lasting improvement in her condition. Again, I decline to deduct any portion of the $920 sought by the defendant for massage therapy.
 The defendant also seeks a deduction of $870 for psychological services. Psychological therapy is a benefit payable in the Corporation’s sole discretion under s. 88(2)(f) of the Regulation.
 The defendant submits the Court should conclude from ICBC’s past funding for physiotherapy and active rehabilitation that there is no uncertainty about whether the Corporation will fund psychological therapy for the plaintiff.
 I disagree. The Corporation’s checkered record of funding the plaintiff’s treatment before trial raises significant uncertainty about whether this benefit will be paid. Further, Mr. Phan, the Corporation’s representative, offers no assurance in his affidavit that ICBC will pay for psychological therapy for Ms. Olson. Nor is there any opinion from the Corporation’s medical advisor, as required under s. 88(2), that the psychological services are likely to promote the rehabilitation of the insured. The uncertainty concerning whether this benefit will be paid must be resolved in favour of the plaintiff. I am not satisfied the Corporation will pay any portion of this benefit. Accordingly, there will be no deduction for psychological therapy.
 The deductions from the award of costs of future care for Part 7 benefits total $4000.
Saturday, November 26th, 2016The number of homes sold throughout the country last month hit a record for October, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Tuesday, November 15, 2016. There were 42,473 residential properties sold last month through the association’s Multiple Listing Service, up two per cent year-over-year. Sales were up from October 2015 levels in about 60 per cent of all Canadian markets, with gains in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding communities, though that was offset by declines in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. The actual national average price for a home sold in October was $481,994, up 5.9 per cent compared with a year ago. Excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, the average price was $361,012. The figures coincide with changes brought in by the federal government aimed at stabilizing hot housing markets. New measures introduced last month require stress tests for all homebuyers in need of mortgage default insurance in order to ensure they can repay their loans if circumstances change, such as a job loss or an increase in interest rates. Previously, stress tests were not required for fixed-rate mortgages five years and longer. “Early evidence suggests that the influence of tighter mortgage regulations on sales activity has been mixed,” said association chief economist Gregory Klump in a statement. “The federal government will no doubt want to monitor the effect of new mortgage regulations on the many varied housing markets across Canada and on the economy, particularly given the recent rise in uncertainty about economic growth prospects following the U.S. presidential election.”
Saturday, November 26th, 2016Excerpted to article was written By Erica Johnson, CBC News One of Canada’s largest insurance companies has done an about-face and offered payment to the mother of a girl who lost eyesight after a serious soccer accident. Nancy Desrosiers was featured in a CBC Go Public story yesterday, after Industrial Alliance insurance refused to honour an accident insurance policy that would have awarded a $50,000 payout. Desrosiers’ daughter, Emily Laprise, lost a significant portion of vision in her left eye after a hard hit by a soccer ball detached her retina and ripped a hole in the retinal lining. Desrosiers had an accident insurance policy for her daughter, but the insurer said Emily didn’t qualify because her eye injury was not sufficiently severe. She has patches of black in the lower half of her field of vision, and the upper portion is blurry. When her eye wanders, Emily has double vision. More than half a million people viewed the article online, and many took to social media to express their outrage over Industrial Alliance not paying. Industrial Alliance responded on social media quickly, tweeting that it was “…in discussions….to resolve this issue in the most positive way.” The company has now offered a settlement, the terms of which cannot be disclosed. “Industrial Alliance listened to my concerns and showed genuine effort to make me a satisfied customer,” says Desrosiers. “We have come to a mutually agreeable solution, which I’m very comfortable with, and for that I am very appreciative.” Speaking with Go Public, Desrosiers became teary, saying she was overwhelmed by the public support she and her family received. “It was unbelievable to see so many people [on social media] saying something had to be done,” says Desrosiers. Desrosiers says the money will be used to provide special prescription glasses Emily will now permanently require, and to help fund Emily’s goal of one day becoming a doctor. Source: CBC News
Saturday, November 26th, 2016Excerpted article was written by Paul Mitchell | Stuff The way your insurance premiums are calculated could be in for a massive overhaul that relies on big brother technology. Flocks of driverless cars and fridges that report on their owners’ eating habits are some of the innovations a Massey University academic is predicting will affect premiums in the near future. Insurance researcher Dr Michael Naylor is predicting “smart” technology will drastically shake up the insurance industry by 2030. Every device and appliance in our daily lives is becoming “smart”, embedded with data-collecting sensors and connected to the internet. This allows your devices to communicate – an electronic key-fob might unlock your car door when you get close and cue-up your favourite music playlist from your phone or ipod. The flip side is all those devices will be gathering data on their users, and companies are going to want this for their benefit. That’s where Naylor sees the insurance industry heading. “Through the connection of objects to the internet, it will be possible for insurers to know how healthy the food in your fridge is or how often you exercise. Imagine how accurately they can then predict your health risk for insurance purposes,” he said. “You have to agree to share this information, of course, but if you do and you are healthy, you should see your insurance premiums plummet. But if you don’t agree to it, you’ll be classed as high-risk and your premiums will be very expensive.” Consumer Institute spokeswoman Jessica Wilson said under the Consumer Guarantees Act and current New Zealand insurance industry guidelines, insurers had a responsibility to deal fairly and reasonably with customers. If they were deemed high-risk unless agreeing to share data, consumers would be able to challenge the decision. But there was a need to have a closer look into standards and regulations in this area, Wilson said. “Consumers will need assurance that if insurers are collecting that data, it’s robust and accurate and they are being transparent about how the data will inform their risk calculations.” The car insurance industry is likely to be the first to see major changes, Naylor said. He predicted car insurance premiums will fall as much as 90 per cent by 2030. Self-driving cars are expected to reduce crashes. And developments in voice and facial recognition may mean future cars won’t start unless they know you – making them harder to steal. Research, by Volo, found nine out of ten crashes are caused by drivers making mistakes or getting distracted. This will be avoided by driverless cars. “You don’t even need 100 per cent self-driving cars. Just with adaptive cruise control and automatic parking the crash rates drop by half. “That’s not the future, that’s happening right now. Most newer cars have those features already.” Insurers need to adapt to the new industry all these changes will bring or they will go under, Naylor said. Insurance Council of New Zealand chief executive Tim Grafton said insurers were aware there were challenges. Some firms had set up laboratories specifically to consider how new technology could be used more effectively and what changes would need to be made, he said. “It depends on how adept they are at changing to meet the demands that new technology brings. But this is not an industry that is a dinosaur asleep at the wheel.”
Saturday, November 26th, 2016
I had a bit of a scare the other day when I tried to back out of a space in a busy parking lot. There was a large van beside me blocking my view so I scanned as completely as I could and began to let up on the clutch. No sooner had I started to roll than a woman paying more attention to her smart phone than where she was walking appeared from behind the van. We both slammed on the brakes and after looking at each other for a moment, she continued on her way.
I wondered just how dangerous parking lots were, so I asked about it and ICBC provided me with data for the five year period from 2011 to 2015. During that time there was an average of 2 deaths, 5,900 injuries and 120,000 property damage incidents each year. Parking lots do appear to be hazardous places!
Returning to my near miss with the pedestrian it occurs to me that most parking lots are designed only with vehicles in mind. Even then, the object seems to be to get as many vehicles into the lot as possible, crowding them together. The lane between lines of vehicles seem to be narrower as well.
There are usually no safe places to exclude the path of pedestrians from the path of vehicles.
Would it not be better to have a sidewalk with a row of parking on either side of it? You could park and walk safely between the rows of vehicles to and from the businesses. Vehicles would be prevented from crossing the level sidewalk area by curbs and the curbs would have gaps in them to allow you to move the shopping cart to your vehicle’s side doors.
I imagine that the biggest drawback to this design would be the difficulty with snow removal.
For my part, there were at least two things that I could have done to make this safer for the pedestrians. Backing into the parking spot would have afforded a better view when I tried to leave it and a gentle tap or two on the horn just before I moved would likely have called attention to me too.
The woman should not have been intent on her phone while walking along the edge of the corridor between vehicles. She could instead have been watching for illuminated backup lights that would tell her she needed to make eye contact with the driver before she walked behind the vehicle displaying them.
What really scares me is the possibility that the pedestrian could be a child that was a bit ahead of their parent. Since I don’t have a backup camera, it’s possible that they would not be taller than the top of my tailgate and I could drive over them without knowing anything was wrong until I felt the bump. That’s far too late.
From now on, I’m taking my own advice. If I can’t pull through the spaces to be nose out, I will be backing into my parking spot. There is a much smaller chance of colliding with something backing in than there will be when backing out.
Saturday, November 26th, 2016CBC.ca As an emergency room nurse two decades ago, Desrosiers had seen many children in trauma. “You see how injuries can truly change people’s lives,” she said. “So I made sure when I had children, I got insurance for them.” “In my experience, ‘corrected’ vision means if you’re able to remedy it with surgery, and have it fixed. She never needed glasses before, however if she does not put on them, she sees double and there is still parts which are black.” The ball detached the retina in her left eye and tore an opening in the retinal lining.
Nitty-gritty of accident insurance planShe remembers falling, screaming in discomfort. “Nowhere within the policy will it say, ‘by applying glasses’ the insurance policy is not relevant,” Desrosiers stated.
“Insurance coverage is worded in very deliberate, clever ways. Insurance providers have to show people more clearly what their definitions are.”“When the retina would re-remove, that may cause complete lack of vision in that eye. She’ll also develop what we should call a traumatic cataract. In the event that cataract requires surgery to get rid of and there is complications from that, that may also damage her vision.” The insurance coverage giant states even though Laprise only sees black towards the bottom 1 / 2 of her vision, she will put on strong prescription glasses to get rid of fuzzy, double vision within the upper field, so she does not be eligible for a coverage. ‘It’s like having fun with a slot machine game that … never pays out.’ – Lawyer Scott Stanley You want to listen to people across the nation with tales they want to make public.
For Industrial Alliance, it sent an inspection, too — for $8.40 — to pay for mileage costs for Desrosiers to drive her daughter in the soccer field towards the hospital following the accident.“The insurer states it’s OK because ‘She comes with some sight,’” stated mother, Nancy Desrosiers. Vancouver personal injuries lawyer Scott Stanley says accident insurance is not worth buying. “The thing is how injuries can truly change people’s lives,” she stated. “And So I ensured after i had children, I acquired insurance on their behalf.Inch
Accident insurance ‘almost never pays out.’Mom of the 12-year-old girl who endured a traumatic eye injuries playing soccer is angry that her insurance provider will not shell out since it states the injuries is not sufficiently severe. Laprise now sees double within the eye and does not have the majority of her lower visual view.
“I had been letting them know, ‘I can’t see anything! I can not see anything!’” Laprise stated. Desrosiers bought accident insurance from Industrial Alliance, the 4th largest insurance provider in Canada. She no more plays soccer, afraid another injury could damage what vision she’s left. “It’s like having fun with a slot machine game that … never pays out,” he stated. All players using the BC Soccer Association are covered within sports accident policy, administered by Crawford & Company.