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Insurance Blog

Travel Insurance

I’ll admit it – I used to think people who bought travel insurance were suckers (when I thought about insurance at all).

It just didn’t make sense to me – If I hit Seattle for a weekend and ate some bad seafood or broke my leg, I figured my provincial medical coverage would kick in and cover my medical bills. Besides, if I did have to visit a hospital how expensive could it be?


Home Insurance

Buying home insurance can often be a complicated and intimidating process, especially in today’s marketplace. There are so many choices on how and where we can go to buy our insurance policies; it is often a frustrating process trying to figure out who you can trust for the best coverage at a fair price.

For many insurance providers, the name of the game is all about providing customers with the lowest price to entice. In today’s economy it is understandable how this technique would appeal to many shoppers, but what is important to remember as an informed consumer is that price is one thing, but value and coverage can be quite another.


Beware the insurance scammers

There are reports of an insurance scam going on in Ontario right now. Will it happen in BC? The following recent article is from CIP Society, Advantage Daily: The News in Brief:

“The Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO) warns that several Ontario city newspapers have run ads for auto insurance with a 1–800 contact number. Perpetrators of the scheme have placed the ads in a city’s newspapers for a week and then moved onto another city with a different 1–800 number and a new business name. So far, RIBO notes, the names have included Arthur and Son, Interprovincial, Smith and Son, and Addison. Victims who phone the 1–800 number are directed to send an insurance premium by Western Union. The victims do not receive any policy, and when they call the 1–800 number, it is out of service. No valid insurance coverage has been placed, RIBO warns. “People should exercise caution when purchasing insurance and make sure they are dealing with a legitimate insurance broker or agent,” a RIBO spokesperson advised.

RIBO asks anyone who might have been caught in the scam to contact them.

Many thanks to RIBO and CIP Society for warning the public. Consider yourselves warned.

Be careful with your social media updates

It is incredible how fast the social media craze is growing! You no doubt subscribe to at least one such as Facebook or Twitter. Such sites are no longer considered just a vehicle to express one’s feelings or opinions on menial topics. These sites are being used extensively by well-respected and recognized commercial organizations – such as London Drugs. People and businesses alike can keep their friends and customers abreast on whats happening on a minute-to-minute basis.

However, a word of warning to those people who are addicted to updating their social media site on a regular basis. Stories similar to the following have recently been reported in the media:

Many people like to post updates such as, “Off to Cuba for a relaxing two week vacation”. Those types of updates are an invitation to any unscrupulous persons who view them to make their way over to temporarily unoccupied homes to help themselves to the holiday-maker’s household goods.

Be responsible with your social media updates, perhaps waiting until you get home from your vacation to post your photos.

Identity Theft – A Growing Problem

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received over 11,000 reports of identity fraud in 2009 totaling more than $10Million in losses. The CAFC believes that many more instances of identity theft and fraud go unreported. Victims of identity theft or fraud can experience financial loss and difficulty obtaining credit or restoring their ‘good name’.

Does your home insurance policy cover you for expenses relating to Identity Theft?

London Drugs has home, tenants and condo policies which extend to cover costs associated with any fraudulent use of a policyholder’s identity (Subject to policy terms and conditions).

Drop into any one of our insurance departments to speak with an insurance specialist regarding coverage details and limitations. Visit http://www.ldinsurance.ca/ to view our locations and hours.

Renting to guests during the olympics?

Where has the time gone? We are almost ready to say goodbye to 2009 and hello to 2010!

Can you believe the winter olympics is less than 2 months away? The City of Vancouver is excited to host the world and has many events planned to celebrate this monumental milestone in its history. You can bet its not only corporate organizations, hotels and restaurants who will be looking to cash in on the olympics. Many local residents will also be looking to make some cash by renting out their homes to visitors in town to watch their favorite events.

Are you considering renting out your home or renting out a room in your home to visitors during the olympics? If you are, make sure you speak with your insurance broker to find out if your home insurance company has any exclusions or limitations regarding renting out all, or part of your home to guests. You may find some insurance companies completely exclude renting to guests or may simply apply some special limitations or rules respecting any claims resulting from the renting guests. A simple phone call to your broker will save you a big headache.

Contact The Insurance Services Department of London Drugs at 1-800-681-6677 today for a competitive quotation on your home, condo or tenants insurance policy.

Snowbirds Prepare for Flight

The cold and wet weather has set in which means that summer is well and truly over. For many Canadian seniors, this means its time to start thinking about packing up and following the migrating birds south to warmer destinations for the winter. The majority of these snowbirds choose destinations in the USA with some even going as far as Mexico. It is highly recommended that these snowbirds purchase travel insurance during the time that they are going to be away from their home country as emergency medical treatment can be very costly if required. Especially in light of the fact that BC Medical will only cover a portion of the cost for receiving medical treatment outside of British Columbia.

For example, an elderly man had a heart attack in a U.S. airport while running to a connecting flight. During recovery from an emergency bypass, he suffered a stroke and remained in hospital under close observation before the doctors declared him stable enough to be airlifted home. TuGo covered his hospital and medical costs and his air evacuation to Canada. Total Cost = $305,000. Portion Paid by Provincial Government = $5,700. (2% of claim total)

Call or visit a London Drugs Insurance department to inquire about or purchase travel medical insurance before your next trip.

Vancouver Police Department’s Bait Car program celebrates seventh anniversary

The successful Bait Car program celebrates its seventh anniversary this month. This program has been a great help in reducing auto thefts by 71%, or by 1,780 fewer vehicles stolen, when comparing the first six months of 2009 to 2003.

This program was initially a pilot program in Vancouver, but its success lead to an expansion throughout the Lower Mainland in 2004. By 2005, it was expanded further to Vancouver Island, the Interior and North. When comparing the first six months of 2003 to 2009, auto theft decreased by 52 per cent province-wide from 12,090 cars stolen to 5,780.

Hopefully Car Bait program will continue to stall auto thefts, thus reducing claims and premiums for all BC motorists.

Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance

There are many setbacks that can cause one to postpone or cancel their travel plans. Emergencies can come up last minute, only days or hours before someone is to leave on their dream vacation. The costs associated with delaying or cancelling these plans can escalate quickly.

That’s why Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption protection is so essential. This insurance reimburses your travel costs if your travel plans are cancelled prior to departure, or if they are disrupted after the trip has begun. After all, sometimes life takes over and travel plans go out the window.

Nobody can predict the future. Unexpected family or medical reasons can force clients to call off, change, or even interrupt well–planned trips. Plus, there are other factors that can impact travel plans. In today’s unpredictable economy, you may suddenly find yourself out of work. After losing a job, you might not be able to afford the vacation anymore. Fortunately, job loss is a covered risk under Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption insurance. It is a good idea to always add this important product.

Collisions Can Cost Drivers, Even When Cyclists At Fault

An interesting article today in the Times Colonist (Victoria), Page A3, 18-June-2009:

Drivers beware: Colliding with young cyclists could end up costing you, even if you’re not at fault. On Tuesday in unrelated incidents, two young cyclists were hit by vehicles in Saanich. In the first, a 14-year-old was hit by a car on Highway 17 near Elk Lake as he attempted to cross two lanes of traffic. In the second, a 10-year-old boy slammed into the side of a moving truck on Canterbury Road while trying to cross the road. Both cyclists were taken to hospital. The 10-year-old had emergency surgery and is in critical care, while the 14-year-old is recovering from minor injuries. In both cases, Saanich police said the cyclist seemed to be at fault, and the 14-year-old was given a $109 ticket for careless cycling – what a driver who committed the same violation would be fined. (Given his age, the 10-year-old likely won’t get a ticket.)

Cyclists on roads and highways have the same rights and duties as drivers of vehicles and are governed under the Motor Vehicle Act, said Saanich police spokesman Sgt. John Price. Yet because cyclists are uninsured by ICBC and because both cyclists are minors, it’s likely the accident will end up costing the drivers. ICBC spokesman Adam Grossman said drivers who are hit by cyclists and only have basic insurance – and not collision coverage – end up paying for damages to their vehicles out of their own pocket. Even drivers who are fully covered could see the claim affecting their insurance premiums, possibly increasing the amount they pay for auto insurance, Grossman said. Drivers hit by cyclists can sue for damages, but not when the cyclists are minors.

“You simply cannot sue someone who’s a minor,” said Barri Marlatt, a personal injury lawyer at Hutchison Oss-Cech Marlatt, who is not involved with these cases. The Parental Responsibility Act, which allows people who have experienced damage to property caused by a child to sue the parents of that child, cannot be used in these cases either, because the collisions were not intentional, Marlatt said.

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