Aviva Canada to offer personal coverage for ridesharing drivers

Here’s the latest and greatest on insurance issues around services like Uber . . .

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Aviva Canada, a provider of home, auto, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance, announced the coverage for drivers that carry paying passengers in their own vehicles.

The coverage will become available for Ontario drivers in early February, and is a simple addition to an Aviva-insured personal auto policy, the insurer said in a press release, adding that Aviva will be “working with regulators across the country to make the solution available in other provinces in the coming months.”

There are more than 16,000 ridesharing drivers in the Greater Toronto Area, the insurer estimated.

The coverage will protect ridesharing drivers (such as those contracted with UberX and similar drivers) from the moment they initiate looking for passengers through to collecting and dropping off those passengers, Aviva Canada explained. Eligibility for coverage will be based on some simple underwriting criteria (for example, a maximum of eight passengers, licensed for a minimum of six years, no other commercial use, etc.).

Aviva Canada’s coverage will be available for drivers that spend up to 20 hours a week participating in ridesharing. The cost for the additional coverage will equate to a small portion of the income earned by the driver, calculated using factors such as time spent ridesharing, area driven and driving record, the insurer said.

“With ridesharing on the rise, consumers have new options available to them, however there is a gap in insurance coverage which potentially leaves them without appropriate protection and benefits,” said Greg Somerville, president and CEO of Aviva Canada, in the release. “When consumer needs change, we must evolve our insurance solutions to respond. We’re excited to offer a simple and affordable solution within a driver’s existing personal auto policy, thereby providing drivers and passengers with absolute peace of mind that they have insurance coverage while ridesharing.”

Doug Heaman, president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, added that the association is pleased to see an insurance company taking a “proactive stance in the ridesharing space. Aviva’s approach and coverage options are welcome as many of our members are struggling to provide clear insurance options for their customers to ensure they are properly covered.”

Another insurer, Intact Financial Corp., announced last September that it intends to offer “tailored insurance products” for Uber. “The intention is to offer and market these products under IFC’s two largest brands – Intact Insurance and belairdirect,” Intact said at the time, adding the company is “working closely with insurance regulators and different levels of government in provinces where the ridesharing service currently exists.”

Protecting your Home with Life Insurance

Buying a home can be the single biggest purchase an individual will ever make. According to statistics released this year by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales declined for the third consecutive month in December 2013. However, the CREA indicates that 475,000 homes were sold nationally, a 4% increase from 2012. For most buyers, that purchase involves a substantial mortgage and years of debt.

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Insurance Fraud

Insurance Fraud occurs when someone makes an insurance claim that is completely false or files a claim for more than the value of the goods actually lost, stolen or destroyed.  Fraudulent claims affect the cost of everyone’s insurance.  The Canadian Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that $1.3 billion worth of insurance claims that are paid in Canada every year are fraudulent.  This works out to 10 – 15% of every dollar you pay for insurance.

If someone you know is committing insurance fraud on a home, car or business policy, you can report it to Crime Stoppers.  Crime Stoppers is an international non-profit civilian program that assists police in solving crimes through tips reported by ordinary citizens who have knowledge or suspicion that crime has taken place.  If your tip helps the policy or an insurance company catch an insurance fraud, you may be eligible for a cash reward.  Your call will remain completely anonymous.

This information is compiled and copyrighted by The Insurance Brokers of Ontario


Impaired Driving – Not A Good Policy

Drinking and driving is not only illegal, it is socially and morally irresponsible.  Despite the horrific costs of impaired driving, measured not only in lives lost, injuries sustained and damage to property, the practice still continues.

Many Ontario drivers do not realize that they lose important insurance protection if they are convicted of a drinking and driving offense.  The financial consequences that they and their families will surfer in terms of loss of coverage’s can be considerable.

Did you know, your insurance company will not pay for loss or damage to your vehicle if you are unable to maintain proper control of your vehicle because you are driving under the influence of intoxicating substances?  Likewise, your insurance company will not pay for loss or damage if you are convicted of an offence such as impaired driving, driving with more than 80mg of alcohol in the blood or you refuse to provide a breath sample.

Whether you drive a car, motorcycle, snowmobile or all terrain vehicle, you could face life-long financial devastation by losing your income replacement benefits if you suffer a critical injury, or, at the very least, you could destroy your vehicle and get nothing for the value of it.

Please do not drink and drive.

If you are involved in an accident and are convicted of a drinking and driving offense, your Ontario Automobile Insurance policy will not pay:

The Income Replacement Cost Benefit;

The Non-Earner Benefits; and

Compensation for Other Expenses.

This information is compiled and copyrighted by The Insurance Brokers of Ontario

Tips to Save on Home Insurance

Home insurance protects your most value possessions, but that does not mean that it should cost more than it has to. Following these helpful tips will help you reduce your home insurance costs.

Increase your deductible

Your homeowner’s deducible is the amount in dollars, of risk that you are prepared to accept and pay in the event that you need to make a claim on your policy, If you are finding that the cost of your monthly premiums is increasing annually and you are looking to save, raising the dollar value of your deductible is an easy way to reduce the risk to your insurance provider, and therefore reduce your premiums. For example, if your deductible is currently $500 raising it to $1,000 or $2,500 can make a really big difference on your premiums – saving you as much as 10-25% on the cost of your annual or monthly premiums.

Claim Less

Your insurance is there to protect you when you have a loss, but a history of frivolous claims will increase your premiums. The size of your claim does not register against your history, but the quantity of claims does. Make sure that you review your loss and assess whether it is worth a claim – you will likely be paying your deductible anyway which is some cases, could cost more that the payout on the claim.

Increase Safety Measures

Installing safety devices in your home is not just beneficial for protecting your family, it could save you on your insurance premiums. By installing a monitored alarm system, a sprinkler system (in your home not your lawn!) or hard-wiring smoke and carbon monoxide detectors , you could qualify for reduced home insurance premiums. Make sure you contact your broker if you have made these improvements – otherwise, you will not see the discount on your policy.

Discounts and Deals

You may think that your insurance company will automatically provide you with any discounts that you qualify for. They do not know if you qualify unless you tell them. Many insurers offer discounts for; non-smoker’s, mortgagee free, burglar and fire alarms, etc.. Make sure you inquire so that you may receive some of these discounts.

Pay Annually

Premiums are often subject to financing or administration fees if you pay on a monthly basis – so if you can afford to pay for the year in advance, you will save on your premiums.

This information is compiled and copyrighted by The Insurance Hotline .com.