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Kanetix.ca Releases 2017’s Most Expensive Cities for Auto Insurance in Ontario

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

TORONTO, Oct. 10, 2017 /CNW/ – There are a lot of variables that go into determining your car insurance premiums including your driving record, insurance history, the make and model of your vehicle, and how likely it is to get stolen to name just a few. Another important factor that matters is where you live. But how much does where you live truly matter?

When all else is equal, except the postal code, Kanetix.ca’s InsuraMap charts out how significantly premiums can vary depending on where you live.

2017’s most expensive cities for auto insurance in Ontario

If you live and drive anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), chances are you’re paying a lot for your auto insurance coverage. Provincially, the average comes in at about $1,316, yet many cities in the GTA exceed the provincial average.

The most expensive cities for auto insurance in Ontario are:

City

Estimated Premium

Brampton $2,268

Vaughan $1,825

Mississauga $1,788

Markham $1,785

Toronto $1,743

Premiums in Richmond Hill, Ajax, Hamilton, Pickering, and Whitby also exceed the provincial average. To view the full list, along with the estimated premiums for each city that made the top 10, click here.

2017’s most expensive neighbourhoods for car insurance in Toronto

As Canada’s largest city, it’s estimated that the city average for auto insurance premiums comes in at $1,743 per year. However, there are 22 neighbourhoods in Toronto where residents likely pay $2,000 or more; and, some of the most expensive premiums are found in parts of Scarborough.

The most expensive areas in Toronto for car insurance are found within the following postal codes:

Postal Code Starting With

Neighbourhood

Estimated Premium

M1S   Agincourt North   $2,384

M1V   Milliken   $2,384

M1W   L’Amoreaux    $2,384

M1B   Malvern   $2,313

M1X   Rouge   $2,313

To view the map that shows where premiums exceed $2,000 a year and to see which neighbourhoods pay the least for their auto insurance coverage, click here.

About InsuraMap

InsuraMap is an interactive tool, which lets drivers see how rates compare to other parts of their city or province. It is available to drivers in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

All estimated premiums are based on a 35-year-old driver of a 2014 Honda with a clean driving record.


$25 premium could have erased staggering medical bills for Canadians hurt in Vegas

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Meredith MacLeod, CTVNews.ca

At least one Canadian recovering in hospital from injuries sustained in the mass shootings in Las Vegas could face “catastrophic” medical bills. Sheldon Mack of Victoria, who did not buy travel medical insurance for his trip with friends to celebrate his 21st birthday, has had surgery to remove his colon and is waiting to be cleared to travel home.

It’s unclear what Mack’s hospital bill may be or what kind of help he may get from governments in Canada and the United States. But a $25 travel insurance policy could have eased any worries, says travel insurance expert Robin Ingle.

“The cost is low. A young person travelling for a week might be $20 or $25,” he said, with coverage up to C$10 million. A senior might pay $50 or a family can be covered for $100.

That pales in comparison to medical bills, which can mount quickly and drastically, Ingle told CTV’s Your Morning Friday. Specialized surgery can cost up to US$200,000 and each day in a bed is between US$3,000 to $5,000. A simple over-the-counter pain reliever can cost $10.

Hudson Mack, Sheldon’s father, says he fears his son’s intensive medical care will mean a “catastrophic” hospital bill.

“It’s a lesson to Canadians to not cross the border without coverage,” Mack, a former CTV anchor, told The Canadian Press.

Provincial governments will cover some medical costs abroad and many Canadians have employee benefits with travel medical insurance for travel out of province or country, said Ingle.

“The issue with that is you have to know how to activate it and you have to know what’s covered in it. You’ll have to go to your employee benefit administrator or go to your HR department and ask questions. A lot of times it’s hard to find the emergency assistance number and that’s not made easy.”

Additional options include insurance through banks and other financial services providers, CAA, or credit cards. Some providers offer annual travel plans, too.

Ingle, who is CEO of Ingle International, says travellers should be aware of their policy limits. Most will exclude unstable, pre-existing medical conditions and won’t cover risky activities, including hang-gliding, parachuting, scuba diving without certification, or climbing mountains. Travel to dangerous countries is also often not covered.

Ingle expects that in the case of the horror in Las Vegas, in which four Canadians are among 59 people killed and at least six Canadians are among the estimated 515 wounded in a mass shooting at a country music festival, there will be some special compassion shown when it comes to medical bills.

“This is a political issue too. Look in Las Vegas, I think there are more than a million Canadians that go to Las Vegas, they travel there. First of all, Nevada, Las Vegas and the U.S. government won’t want to have a problem with this. The Canadian government also has a program. They’ll apply $10,000 formally towards Canadian victims of crime when they are outside of Canada.”

Ingle also believes American hospitals and healthcare providers will “come to the table on this.”

Nevada also has a fund for victims of violent crime who don’t have insurance.

But Canadians shouldn’t expect much support from their provincial coverage, where the daily coverage ranges from between $50 and $400 depending on the province, Will McAleer, president of Canada’s Travel Health Insurance Association told The Canadian Press.

“The amounts that you’d be paid for under a provincial medical plan are certainly insignificant, they’re almost non-existent.”

He said intensive medical care for an emergency such as a critical gunshot wound can cost upwards of $10,000 an hour as teams of specialists go into action.

“For significant emergencies, it’s not even a fraction of the coverage.”

A number of Las Vegas shooting victims, including Mack, have individual crowdfunding campaigns (https://www.gofundme.com/a-cdn-in-the-us-help-sheldon-mack )set up for them. Money is also being raised online for Ryan Sarrazin of Camrose, Alta., (https://www.gofundme.com/ryan-sarrazin ) who, according to a GoFundMe page, was “seriously injured” after being shot at the concert.

“This fund is to assist medical and travel expenses for Ryan and his family,” Tamara Johnson said on the funding page, which surpassed its goal and now sits at more than $77,000.

Braden Matejka from Lake Country, B.C., has also started a GoFundMe campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/3anau-las-vegas-shooting) with a goal of $25,000, saying on the page that the money will help cover his required time off work and other recovery costs after being shot in the back of the head.

The Las Vegas Victims’ Fund online (https://www.gofundme.com/dr2ks2-las-vegas-victims-fund), set up by an American businessman and politician has already raised more than $9.6 million of its $15-million goal.

An RBC Insurance survey earlier this year found that 75 per cent of Canadians planning to travel internationally in 2017 would purchase travel insurance. A majority of those who said they wouldn’t buy travel insurance indicated they are already covered through employee benefits or a credit card. Another 15 per cent said they were willing to take their chances.

In addition to bill coverage, travel insurance providers will contact next of kin, manage care with doctors and hospitals, and arrange flights home.

With files from The Canadian Press


Las Vegas attack leaves costly wake for uninsured Canadian victims

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

By Ian Bickis

THE CANADIAN PRESS

CALGARY _ Hudson Mack says he doesn’t know the cost of his Victoria-based son’s intensive medical care after being shot Sunday at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, only that he’s sure it’s already “catastrophic.”

Like many who make a short trip to the United States, his 21-year-old son Sheldon didn’t buy travel health insurance before crossing the border, and is now facing the potential of a staggering medical bill after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history left him with gunshot wounds that required major surgery.

“It’s a lesson to Canadians to not cross the border without coverage,” said Mack.

Thanks to a patchwork of funds for victims of violent crime, however, Mack says at least they might not have to worry about the hospital bills, on top of the emotional toll the family is facing.

“Emotionally, it’s been hellish,” Mack said. ‘We didn’t know what we were going to find when we got down here. So this has been terrible for Sheldon, a horrible thing for him, and a very difficult thing for us.”

He said he’s been told Nevada has a fund for victims of violent crime who don’t have insurance, while the FBI’s mass casualty unit may help him get Sheldon home, which he’s hoping will happen as soon as this weekend.

The Canadian consulate is also helping, with the potential to tap into a government program that provides financial assistance for Canadians victimized abroad, though the program is capped at $10,000 and doesn’t cover lost wages.

Friends have also set up an online crowdfunding page at GoFundMe to help with Sheldon’s recovery, as have friends of several other Canadians injured in the attack.

Mack said he’s not sure he would have set up the account on his own, but that it’s good to see people want to help.

“There’ll be a need for that money down the road because there’s going to be counselling and ongoing emotional support that Sheldon and the others are going to need after this.”

Money is also being raised online for Ryan Sarrazin of Camrose, Alta., who, according to a GoFundMe page started by Tamara Johnson, was “seriously injured” after being shot at the concert.

“This fund is to assist medical and travel expenses for Ryan and his family,” she said on the funding page, which has already surpassed the original goal of $50,000 and is nearing the $75,000 mark.

In a statement posted on the page, Sarrazin’s family thanked those who have supported them, while asking for privacy going forward.

“The Sarrazin and Moore families would like to extend our sincere gratitude and deep appreciation for all the contributions to the GoFundMe page as well as all the prayers and well wishes we have received.”

Braden Matejka from Lake Country, B.C., has also started a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $25,000, saying on the page that the money will help cover his required time off work and other recovery costs after being shot in the back of the head.

Victims may also find help from a general GoFundMe campaign started by Las Vegas’s county, which has already raised more than US$9 million, though it does not specify how much, if any, will go to Canadians.

Canadian travel health insurance policies generally have at least a million dollars of coverage, said Will McAleer, president of Canada’s Travel Health Insurance Association.

Once contacted, insurance companies will contact next of kin, co-ordinate with doctors and hospitals and manage care and flights home, so it’s important to have insurance, and your insurance card ready.

However, Canadians shouldn’t expect much support from their provincial coverage, where the daily coverage ranges from between $50 and $400 depending on the province, McAleer added.

“The amounts that you’d be paid for under a provincial medical plan are certainly insignificant, they’re almost non-existent.”

He said intensive medial care for an emergency such as a critical gunshot wound can cost upwards of $10,000 a hour as teams of specialists go into action.

“For significant emergencies, it’s not even a fraction of the coverage.”


Injuries sustained at mass shootings covered by travel insurance

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

NICK EAGLAND | Vancouver Sun

Canadian travellers injured in mass-casualty events such as Sunday’s shooting in Las Vegas could face financial devastation without travel insurance.

Six Canadians were among more than 500 people who were injured in the deadly attack Sunday night, including 21-year-old Sheldon Mack of Victoria. Mack was in intensive care Monday after he was shot twice and suffered a ruptured colon and broken forearm.

Also injured were Jan Lambourne of Teulon, Man., Jody Ansell of Stonewall, Man., Steve Arruda of Calgary, Alta., Carrie-Lynn Denis of Leoville, Sask. and Ryan Sarrazin of Camrose, Alta.

Will McAleer, president of the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada, said a typical travel insurance policy, which can cost a few dollars per day, will “absolutely” cover emergency treatment for significant trauma such as gunshot wounds, which can require intensive surgery, rehabilitation and air evacuation, otherwise costing upwards of US$300,000.

McAleer said travel insurance is also important because it provides assistance services that help people navigate health care systems abroad, where they may need someone advocating for them and acting as a point of contact for family members at home.

He recommends travellers carry copies of their policies with them at all times or use their smartphones to photograph their policy number and insurer’s emergency contact information.

McAleer said it’s vital to plan ahead and protect yourself with insurance when travelling, no matter the destination.

“The sad part, that I think we’re facing, is that this is sort of becoming the new normal,” McAleer said.

“We think, ‘Be careful before you travel to a risky place,’ maybe the Middle East, et cetera. But now, whether it’s Orlando, London, New York City — whether it’s Edmonton — these things are happening with increased frequency.”

Global Affairs Canada advised anyone in Las Vegas who needs emergency consular assistance to call the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles at 1-844-880-6519 or the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa directly at 1-613-996-8885.

— Nick Eagland with files from Canadian Press


Last winter’s extreme conditions contributed to a 10% increase in motor-vehicle casualty crashes in B.C.

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

RICHMOND, BC, Oct. 2, 2017 /CNW/ – Last winter’s extreme conditions contributed to a 10 percent increase in motor-vehicle casualty crashes in B.C. between October and December, where driving too fast for the conditions was a contributing factor. This is a 10 per cent increase from 2015, when 570 casualty crashes occurred, as compared to 626 in 20161 (police-attended crashes, 2012–2016).

While last year’s weather was unusual for some parts of the province, on average, each year in British Columbia the number of casualty crashes due to driving too fast for conditions doubles in December compared to October. Between 2012 and 2016, an average of more than 260 casualty crashes occurred in December compared to approximately 130 in October (police-attended crashes, 2012-2016).

For those who drive for work, October, November and December are the most dangerous months. Almost 30 per cent of all work-related crashes resulting in injury and time-loss claims occur during these three months.

In December 2016 alone, WorkSafeBC claims from crashes that resulted in injuries and lost time from work were 38 per cent higher than in December 2015.

Depending on where you drive in the province, winter road conditions vary, from snow and ice in the north and on high mountain passes, to rain and fog commonly found in the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island. Drivers need to prepare for the possibility of changing road and weather conditions, and adapt.

Between October 1 and March 31, most B.C. highways require passenger vehicles to have winter tires (three-peaked mountain and snowflake, or mud and snow) and commercial vehicles to carry chains. The Winter Driving Safety Alliance advises all drivers to prepare now to stay safe on the roads this winter:

Don’t go — If conditions are bad, postpone your trip if possible.
Plan your trip — If you have to travel, check road and weather conditions and select the safest route. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination to avoid rushing, and have an emergency plan if you get stuck.
Prepare your vehicle — Install a set of four matched winter tires and keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Every year, be sure to give your vehicle a pre-season maintenance check-up.
Slow down and drive to the conditions — Even the most confident and seasoned drivers are at risk in hazardous road conditions. Slow down to match road conditions and maintain a safe following distance, at least four seconds,between you and the vehicle ahead.
For employers and supervisors — The Winter Driving Safety online course and Toolkit on the Shift Into Winterwebsite provides useful information for planning, implementing and monitoring a winter-driving safety program.
For more information about what you can do to stay safe while driving this winter, visit ShiftIntoWinter.ca.


$220,000 Non-Pecuniary Assessment for Leg Amputation and Chronic Pain

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Today’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, assessing damages for a leg amputation caused by a vehicle collision.

In today’s case (Bye v. Nelson) the plaintiff was operating a dirt bike which was involved in a collision with an ATV operated by the Defendant. The collisions caused severe injuries including a left leg amputation.

In assessing non-pecuniary damages at $220,000 Madam Justice Choi provided the following reasons:

[3] …Not in dispute is that Mr. Bye’s dirt bike and Mr. Newman’s ATV collided near a curve in the road. Both vehicles were damaged, and Mr. Bye was left with a number of injuries including a fracture to his neck and multiple fractures to his legs. Although Mr. Bye was rushed to the hospital, his injuries required a through-knee amputation of much of his left leg.

[93] Mr. Bye is a young man. He was 35 years old at trial and 31 at the time of the accident. He was an active man who enjoyed various recreational pursuits. He had been employed by Teck Metals as a carpenter commencing February 2010. It was a job he loved, which paid him handsomely.

[94] The injuries from the accident have changed his life dramatically forever. He now suffers from daily pain and fatigue as a result of the amputation and is permanently disabled from returning to carpentry work and to many of his recreational activities. He testified that, before the accident, he enjoyed dirt biking, boating, hunting, fishing, hiking, and swimming, and that his injuries have either cut off, or severely limited his enjoyment of these.

[95] Additionally, Mr. Bye is now a father, with his son born during the litigation, in 2016. While he is still able to play with and care for his son, many of these interactions are made more difficult by his injury. He testified to the difficulties of lowering himself to the floor to spend time with his son…

[102] Mr. Bye has been dealing with his injuries since he was 31. He will continue to face difficulties for the rest of his life. Considering all the evidence, the Stapley factors, and case law submitted by the parties, I conclude an award of $220,000 is fair and appropriate in all the circumstances.


Suggesting Driver At Fault for Collision Based on Past Convictions is “Frivolous”

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Today’s guest post comes from B.C. injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken

Reasons for judgement were published today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, describing the suggestion of deciding fault for a collision based in part on a motorist’s past driving convictions as ‘frivolous’.

In today’s case (Rezai v. Uddin) the Plaintiff was a pedestrian involved in a collision with the Defendant. Fault was disputed. Prior to trial the Plaintiff sought to amend her pleadings to allege “The Defendant Driver had on several previous occasions driven in a manner that put pedestrians and motorists at risk of injury” based on

a. on Nov. 27, 2008, the defendant was charged with speeding, for which he plead guilty;

b. on Dec. 4, 2008, the defendant was charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian on a green light, for which he plead guilty;

c. on December 5, 2008, the defendant was charged with entering an intersection when the light was red for which he plead guilty;

d. on March 11, 2009, the defendant was charged with speeding, for which he plead guilty;

e. on January 17, [2015], the defendant was charged with using an electronic device while driving. He failed to appear at the hearing and was deemed not to dispute the charge.

The court rejected this request noting that past convictions likely do not constitute similar fact evidence. In dismissing the application Master Wilson provided the following reasons:

[22] The parties agree that there is no British Columbia authority on the issue of whether a pleading alleging similar fact evidence in the context of a prior driving record should be allowed in British Columbia. The defendant refers me to some Ontario authorities in support of his position that such pleadings are improper.

[23] In Wilson v. Lind, (1985) 35 C.C.L.T. 95, O’Brien J. struck from the pleadings allegations of prior or subsequent impaired driving by the defendant. The application was brought on the basis that the allegations were prejudicial, scandalous or an abuse of process, a rule akin to our R. 9-5(1). At paragraph 12 the court held the following:

Our Courts have held for a long time, and for good reason, that prior negligence of a party is generally irrelevant to proof of subsequent negligence. …

[24] I note that of the five driving infractions in our case, only two of them are for the same offence, namely speeding. Both were over five years old at the time of the accident. Indeed four of the five convictions were over five years old, with the fifth occurring some months after the accident. The defendant was not issued a violation ticket arising out of the accident.

[25] The only possible purpose for Similar Fact Pleading here, given the variety of infractions, would be to enable the plaintiff to suggest that the defendant is a generally bad driver based on his driving record. However, this does not inform the analysis of whether or not he was responsible for the subject accident, any more than a clean driving record would tend to absolve him of responsibility.

[26] It is highly improbable that the trial judge would admit the defendant’s prior infractions as similar fact evidence to support a finding of liability on the part of the defendant. Evidence of prior speeding infractions does not lead to the inference that the defendant was speeding at the time of the accident. Drivers often speed without receiving violation tickets. Proof of speeding does not conclusively establish negligence in the case of an accident. In Hamm Estate v. JeBailey (1974), 12 N.S.R. (2d) 27, evidence of driving record and habits was held to be irrelevant and inadmissible for the purpose of determining liability.

[27] In Witten v. Bhardwaj, [2008] O.J. No. 1769, the court was asked to strike certain portions of a statement of claim that also involved a pedestrian struck by a vehicle. The plaintiff had pleaded that the defendant had a ‘pattern of reckless conduct’ that included multiple speeding offences. The allegations of speeding in the Witten case were a year before and a year after the accident in issue.

[28] After reviewing the decision of Wilson v. Lind, Master Haberman said that there were only two purposes for the plea about the defendant’s driving record and held the plea should be struck regardless of which applied:

The plaintiff’s purpose in including these additional allegations about Paawan’s driving patterns could only involve one of two issues: 1) to enable the plaintiff to ask the court to rely on Paawan’s driving record when assessing whether he was likely speeding at the time of this accident; or, 2) to provide “colour” for the court, so that Paawan will be viewed as a bad driver generally, and hence, be seen as likely responsible for this accident. If the former, what the plaintiff seeks to plead in the impugned portion of paragraph 15 is clearly evidence, not material fact, and on that basis should be struck. If the latter, it is frivolous and should be struck.

[29] I agree. The Similar Fact Pleading is either evidence and therefore improper to include in a pleading, or is intended to suggest that the defendant is generally a bad driver and therefore he is more likely to be the cause of the subject accident, in which case it is frivolous.


Drinking while travelling? Your insurance may not cover that

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

CBC News Canada

A Kitchener, Ont. man who ended up in hospital while visiting family in the United States has learned the hard way that drinking alcohol can nullify your claim to insurance coverage.

Ernie Ceres flew down to New York on Sept. 18 for a family funeral and spent the first evening visiting with his brother, whom he hadn’t seen in several years.

According to his girlfriend Lucy Reis, who stayed behind in Cambridge, Ont., Ceres was drinking with his brother before he left to spend the night at his son’s house.

“Ernie told his son to go ahead, because he’s a little bit slow,” Reis said. “The next thing he knew is his dad had fallen down at least ten to 12 stairs.”

Ceres was unconscious and was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where doctors discovered bleeding in his brain.

Ceres has been in hospital since Sept. 19, and his girlfriend said that the last she checked his hospital bill was $100,000. (Lucy Reis)

His son called Reis with the news and she immediately booked a flight down to New York. Then she called the Canadian Automobile Association – Ceres’s insurance provider – to file a claim.

Ceres was a frequent traveller and Reis said that for the past four or five years he had been buying CAA’s multi-trip annual plan travel insurance.

Alcohol exclusion clause
A few days after calling them, she says she was told that the claim had been denied, because Ceres had too much alcohol in his blood at the time of the fall.

According to CAA’s travel insurance policy, the provider does not have to pay medical expenses in the case of “alcohol related sickness, death or injury or the abuse of medication, drugs, alcohol or any other toxic substance.”

Also, according to the policy, “alcohol abuse includes having a blood alcohol level in excess of 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.”

Exclusion not stated up front
It is unclear what Ceres’s blood alcohol level was when he was admitted to hospital; however, if it was over 0.08 per cent, it would give CAA cause to deny his claim.

‘You’ve got to know what you’re buying.’– Marvin Ryder, professor of marketing and entrepreneurship

But Reis said that CAA did not tell Ceres that drinking could nullify his claim to insurance coverage, and for that reason the company should pay for the health care he is receiving in the United States.

“He’s purchased a product and not been informed,” she said. “I understand that some of it was his responsibility to read the fine print, but let’s be serious, people buy insurance all the time and you just expect the person you’re buying it from is selling you a product that they’re going to stand by.”

Consumer responsible to know
When asked whether CAA was obligated to tell Ceres that drinking could affect his insurance eligibility, industry experts all agreed that the company was not liable.

According to the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada, it is the traveller’s responsibility to know what their policy does and does not cover.

“You need to understand your policy and you need to take time to read that policy document,” said association president Will McAleer. “In this case, I certainly would have thought there would have been the opportunity and responsibility to take a look and see whether or not there is an exclusion related to excess alcohol consumption.”

Insurance industry experts say travellers need to be aware of what their policies do and do not cover, and that means reading the fine print.

You must read fine print
The policy document for CAA’s travel health insurance is more than 50 pages long and is available online. The exclusion related to alcohol is on page 14.

“Is it realistic to read all of this? Maybe it’s not,” said Marvin Ryder, a professor of marketing and entrepreneurship with the Degroote School of Business in Hamilton, Ont. “On the other hand, you’ve got to know what you’re buying. You can’t assume that what you’ve bought or what you think you bought is what you actually did buy.”

‘No one says in these things that you can’t have a drink. The problem is the magic word ‘drunk’, ‘intoxication.”– Marvin Ryder

And he said that reading through insurance policies is actually a lot easier than it was 30 or 40 years ago, when they were written by lawyers.

“Unless you had a law degree you wouldn’t understand it,” he said. “Today, though – 2017 – all these insurance companies have hired communication specialists to take the legalese, if you will, and try to translate it into more basic English so that people would understand.”

‘Drunk’ is the problem
As a result, he said consumers are expected to read, understand and know what to expect from their insurance provider.

If your provider is CAA, that means your blood alcohol content can’t be higher than 0.08 per cent, which is used as the criminal impairment level for drivers in Canada, although Ontario considers a level of 0.05 per cent as reason to take a driver off the road. Ryder said the limit may be different for other providers. And currently the federal government is consulting with Queen’s Park to lower the impaired driving legal limit to 0.05 per cent.

Marvin Ryder says having a drink while on holiday shouldn’t be a problem, but getting drunk could nullify your claim to insurance. (YouTube)

“No one says in these things that you can’t have a drink. The problem is the magic word ‘drunk,’ intoxication,” he said. “If you’re planning to get intoxicated – then you need to know that those actions could nullify your insurance.”

And Ryder said that having alcohol in your blood could nullify your insurance claim even if your injury or sickness was not related to drinking.

‘There’s all those maybe, could-have, should-haves. So, that’s why they’ve drawn this line this way. If your alcohol level is too high in your blood stream, your insurance is cancelled.’– Marvin Ryder

“In other words, if you have a heart attack while intoxicated, but the intoxication didn’t cause the heart attack – nonetheless your insurance is null and void,” he said.

The reason is that in medicine, it’s hard to know what is a contributing factor. A person might trip, fall and end up in the hospital, but would the person have tripped if they had a lower blood alcohol level? Ryder said that’s a difficult question to answer.

“There’s all those maybe, could-have, should-haves. So, that’s why they’ve drawn this line this way. If your alcohol level is too high in your blood stream, your insurance is cancelled.”

CAA says claim is open, not denied
In theory, high alcohol in Ceres blood could give CAA cause to deny his insurance claim, but a spokesperson from the company told CBC News that the claim would be considered if alcohol was not the cause of the fall.

In fact, Director of Corporate Communications Tony Tsai said Ceres’s claim had not been denied, but that it was still open.

“It really depends on what was the cause of the injury or what was the suspected cause of the injury,” he said. “We’re still waiting to get all that data back from them.”

Although Ceres did have alcohol in his blood when he fell, Reis said doctors are suggesting that the fall was caused by pre-existing bleeding in his brain. If that was the case, it may be the information CAA needs to approve the claim.

In the meantime, Ceres remains in a New York hospital, where his expenses continue to accumulate. Reis said that the last she checked, the hospital bill had reached almost $100,000.


British Columbia wildfires cause more than $127 million in insured damage

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reports that the two most significant wildfires in British Columbia this summer caused more than $127 million in insured damage, according to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

“The size and scale of the wildfires this summer have been the largest in British Columbia’s history,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, IBC. “These wildfires are yet more evidence that severe weather events are happening with greater frequency and intensity across Canada. Given these trends, a more disciplined and sustained approach is required to help British Columbians prepare for natural disaster. Governments, businesses, and individuals all have a role to play to help build a culture of preparedness in this province.”

The wildfires around Williams Lake caused close to $100 million in insured damage to homes, vehicles, and businesses, while the Elephant Hill wildfire caused over $27 million in insured damage. These fires also caused the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents to emergency centres in Kamloops, Prince George, and across the province.

“Immediately following the evacuations, IBC and Canada’s insurers were on the ground in BC’s interior and Cariboo helping evacuees with their insurance-related questions,” added Sutherland. “We were proud to work in close partnership with the Government of British Columbia, Emergency Management BC, local municipalities, and the Canadian Red Cross to help British Columbians affected by these fires get the service and support they needed.”

For more information on how to protect property against fires and other disasters please visit IBC’s website.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

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About CatIQ
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SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada


Negligent Ski Resort Saved From Liability Based on Waiver

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court dismissing a lawsuit against a negligent ski resort based on a waiver patrons must agree to when using their facilities.
In today’s case (Fillingham v. Big White Ski Resort Limited) the Plaintiff was skiing on a short cut at the end of a ski run named ‘highway 33′ to a parking lot which was, at the time, open for use for skiers. Shortly prior to this a snowplow came through exposing users of the path to a 10 foot drop to the parking lot. The Plaintiff fell, was injured and sued for damages.

The Court found that the ski resort was negligent with Madam Justice Adair noting as follows

…as of Noon on March 4, 2013, when Mr. Fillingham was coming down Highway 33 , the rope line at the short cut was still open. However, the path had been removed, thereby creating a hazard if the short cut was used, and the open rope line failed to mark or warn of that hazard.

[39] I find further that, in not taking steps after clearing snow in the Solana Ridge parking lot to ensure the rope line at the short cut from Highway 33 was closed, BW Limited failed to take reasonable care and was negligent.

Despite the finding of negligence the Court went on to dismiss the lawsyuit noting a broad worded waiver covered this situation. In reaching this conclusion the court provided the following reasons:

[51] On the other hand, when I apply the analytical framework described by Binnie J. to the Exclusion, in my view, the intention is clear: it is to exclude liability on the part of the Ski Area Operator to the Ticket Holder for “all risk of personal injury . . . resulting from any cause whatsoever” [underlining added]. “Any cause whatsoever” specifically includes, but is not limited to, negligence on the part of the Ski Area Operator. Mr. Fillingham, as I have found, was very familiar with this language. He had seen it many times, and carried on his activities on the basis that he was assuming “all risk of personal injury,” including, without limitation, risk of personal injury caused by the negligence of BW Limited. That is what Mr. Fillingham did at Big White on March 4, 2013.

[52] Mr. Fillingham, based on his evidence, knew that some of the time, the short cut was roped off, and some of the time it was not. The essence of his complaint in this action is that, as of about Noon on March 4, BW Limited failed to adequately mark – by closing the rope line – a hazard it had created, and was negligent in doing so. I have found that BW Limited was negligent. However, in my view, what occurred is not so extraordinary or unique that it could be said the parties did not intend for it to be covered by the Exclusion.

[54] Mr. Berezowskyj submitted that, if the Exclusion were found to be valid and broad enough to encompass Mr. Fillingham’s claim, then there are strong public policy reasons for preventing a recreational operator from relying on a ticket waiver to avoid liability in circumstances where it actively creates the hazard from which its guests were not properly protected, and were in fact invited to court. However, in my opinion, this is not a case where an overriding public policy (evidence of which was thin at best) outweighs the case in favour of enforcement of the Exclusion.