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Tue, 30th September, 2014 - Posted by (0) Comment|
Today’s guest CAA(Ontario)post is courtesy of Toronto Police Constable Clint Stibbe, Traffic Services. Photo via Tim Alamenciak/Toronto Star.
It’s a sunny day and the roads are dry. You just left the office and are headed home after a stressful day at work. Then you hear it… the sound of a message arriving on your device, the sound of the office tracking you down. We want to be connected to our work and social environment so badly that we are risking the lives of all those around us.
The human brain in some ways is similar to a computer, but vastly different in others. A computer has a set of rules that it must follow, if it doesn’t follow those rules an error occurs and you must restart the task or program. As a driver you have a set of rules that you must follow, if you don’t someone could be injured or even die. You can’t restart the task or program. You could face charges and possibly even be sentenced to time in jail… all just to answer that message. When you answer that message or phone call and are operating a vehicle you are predisposed to making a mistake, and that mistake could be anything from failing to stop at a stop sign, or maybe making a wrong turn or, worse, getting in to a collision.
A number of years ago I was at the intersection of Martin Grove Road and Highway 409. I was responding to a collision and had my sirens and lights activated. Cars that had been southbound on Martin Grove Road had come to a stop to allow me to make a U-turn and proceed to the call. I saw a grey Suzuki Grand Vitara approaching the cars which had stopped for me.
I saw through the driver side window that the driver had a cellphone to her left ear as she was approaching the intersection. I was watching the vehicle as it approached and noticed that it had not started to slow down yet, but the vehicle was getting closer and closer to the stopped cars. Then, while the vehicle was still travelling at approximately 60 km/h, it struck a blue Mazda 323 from behind and the Mazda was sent down the road approximately the width of the highway.
I immediately went to the driver of the Suzuki and asked what had happened. I will never forget the answer. “Where did that car come from?” I was surprised by that statement to say the least.
I charged the driver with careless driving; she never disputed the ticket. As a result, the driver accumulated six demerit points and almost $500.00 in fines, increased insurance rates and a vehicle that was a write off.
Do you think that phone call or text you answer is really worth it? What if the person that was struck was someone you knew, one of your family or friends and they were injured badly or worse even died.
The average social cost of a fatality in Ontario is $13.7 million dollars.
I ask you, what is your life worth?
In this connected world we live in, I am asking you to break your connection to your device. Please drive responsibly and safely every day. Someone’s life depends on it.
Fri, 26th September, 2014 - Posted by (0) Comment|
Canadian Business Magazine article Sept 25 2014,
How usage-based insurance will change the way consumers drive.
Insurance companies are turning to telematics to monitor your good driving habits and lower your rates. And they may raise them if you’re bad
Auto insurance companies usually sell services, not physical things. But last year when Desjardins General Insurance Group introduced its usage-based insurance (UBI) program, Adjusto, the company had to make sure the device that collects and transmits data on driver behaviour would stay firmly in place under the car’s dashboard. UBI transmits information on a customer’s driving habits to an insurer who can then adjust premiums according to good—or bad—behaviour.
Number crunchers at Desjardins found themselves overseeing laboratory testing of the performance of the device’s strap in extreme conditions. “The actuary in charge of that program said he would never have thought that working with Velcro would ever be part of his job,” says Denis Côté, Desjardins’ vice president of marketing and marketing research.A UBI telematics device usually contains a transmitter, a GPS, an accelerometer and a gyroscope to determine position, mileage, speed, sudden acceleration and sudden braking. This information can be sent to a central database periodically or in near real-time. The “black box” itself may only be a temporary phenomenon, since telematics sensors will eventually be built into most cars. And telematics data in all forms is set to permanently reshape the auto-insurance landscape.
One of the first big Canadian insurance companies to offer UBI, with 50,000 customers signed up since May 2013, Desjardins is not alone in asking customers to trade in some privacy for better rates. Intact Financial and The Co-operators have since introduced programs, and other auto insurers are investigating, piloting or negotiating to acquire UBI technology. “I don’t think anybody can ignore it anymore,” says Paul-André Savoie, CEO and president of Baseline Telematics. He’s worked with more than 30 insurance companies, including Industrial Alliance, which launched its Mobiliz program targeting younger drivers in 2012. Savoie says there are already more than 160 telematics-based insurance programs in the world, covering six million private passenger vehicle policies.
Telematics service providers (TSPs) like Baseline sell not only the technology to collect and transmit data with an onboard device, but are able to layer factors like weather conditions, time of day, speed limit and even speed relative to the flow of traffic, and then process, analyze and deliver the data in a useful form on a computer screen or phone. Depending on the system and the policy, the insurer may learn that a driver braked hard 20 times last month, or it may learn that the driver braked hard 20 times at night on a remote highway while it was snowing. Regardless of the factors that are monitored, they are considered better indicators of risk than mere demographic factors such as age and gender. So far, Canadian insurers have been offering discounts, rather than charging premiums, an approach that’s likely to attract customers who are confident they are safe drivers.Many customers also get access to data, so they can improve their driving and therefore their discount. But some TSPs go further, collecting and analyzing additional information about what’s going on in the car, which can be used for things such as coaching drivers, improving fuel efficiency and providing alerts when vehicles go beyond specific geographic boundaries, a service called geo-fencing, which is important to car-share and car-rental companies. “We see ourselves playing an important role between the people who have the data and the people who want that data,” says Christopher Dell, director of product management at IMS, a TSP that offers a range of connected car technologies, including UBI, fleet management and roadside assistance.
Expo Insurance Brokers is proud to support the Air Cadet League of Canada, Ontario Provincial Committee in partnership with the Gore Mutual Insurance Company Foundation. A presentation on June 23 2014 from the OPC Chair Bill Cumming to Heidi Sevcik President and CEO and Sarah McLennan V.P. of Marketing / Broker Relations with Thomas Taborowski President of Expo Insurance Brokers. Thanks You Gore Mutual for supporting the Air Cadets of Ontario through the foundation and your Broker partners.
CANADA HOLIDAY OFFICE HOURS 2014
Closed Monday June 30th 2014
Open Tuesday July 1 2014.
Proud to Be Canadian. The Staff of Expo Insurance Brokers Inc.
Keep your business ‘cyber-safe’
By Travelers Canada.
As a business owner, you store data that is critical to company operations, as well as sensitive information about employees and customers. You have a responsibility to secure that data, and a special duty to protect all personal identification information. If that information is stolen, lost or contaminated due to a cyber attack, your business and reputation could be jeopardized. With more businesses reporting data breaches every day, here are a few guidelines to help keep your business protected from the financial and property loss that could occur: Set up an incident response team to create a plan that outlines how your company will address any data breaches; establish clear roles and responsibilities for team members. Develop a data retention policy that explains how your company will retain data and keep it secure. It should also show how you will destroy and dispose of unneeded data, such as dormant customers’ accounts, job applications and former employee privacy information. Make sure you and your employees back up critical information regularly. Have secure locations where this data and its backup can be stored. Keep up to date on state and federal laws and regulations regarding data breach and privacy, and on mandates that outline how you must notify customers if your data is breached. Incorporate them into your data policy. Failing to do so could critically damage your company’s reputation. It could also result in fines, penalties and lost customers if a breach is ill-handled. Be sure your anti-virus protection is installed and kept up to date. Designate a limited few within your company who will be responsible for downloading and installing programs. Only download programs from trusted sources, and instruct all employees to stay away from software ads or links on email or pop-up ads. Teach employees how to identify and report breaches. Email is the most prevalent way of spreading computer viruses. Inform employees to never to open an email that looks suspicious or contains odd spellings or characters. They should only open emails from people they know or with whom they have communicated in the past. Explain phishing and hacking techniques. Have them fully shut down their computers at the end of the business day. Require employees to change passwords on a regular basis and to use strong, unique passwords. Passwords should be unique to each program, account and computer in use. They should not be written down or shared. A good password is sophisticated enough to thwart hackers, but straightforward enough to be remembered easily. Make sure mobile devices that contain company information – laptops, smart phones, tablets and flash drives – are encrypted and password secured in the event they are lost or stolen. Control access to your computer systems and establish a process to deactivate former employees and third party contractors whose service has ended.
New Address for Expo Insurance Brokers Inc
5484 Tomken Rd
Same Phone Numbers
Wed, 22nd January, 2014 - Posted by (0) Comment|
Driving safely in winter weather,
By Travelers Insurance Company
Falling snow can be picturesque, but it can also wreak havoc on the roads. While no one enjoys driving in snowy or slippery conditions, there are steps you can take to help improve your safety.
Here are some guidelines that can help you stay safe when driving in adverse winter conditions:
Make sure your car is prepared for cold temperatures and wintery conditions like snow and ice. Keep your equipment properly maintained and include a winter survival kit in your vehicle: an ice scraper, snow shovel and sand/salt. Jumper cables are also a good idea since batteries are prone to failure during cold weather.
Clear snow and ice off your car – including windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk.
Drive with your headlights on, and be sure to keep them clean to improve visibility.
Use caution when snow banks limit your view of oncoming traffic.
Avoid using cruise control in snowy or icy conditions. In adverse conditions, you want as much control of your car as possible.
Know how to brake on slippery surfaces. Vehicles with anti-lock brakes operate much differently from those that do not have anti-lock brakes. You should consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for instructions on how to brake properly if your vehicle should start to skid.
Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season. This helps ensure you have a source of heat if you are stuck or stranded.
If you do venture out or are unexpectedly caught in a snowstorm and encounter problems, stay in your car and wait for help. Make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow. There is a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning if snow blocks the pipe and enables the deadly gas to build up in your car. Open your window slightly to help prevent the buildup.
Keep your windshield washer reservoir full, and make sure your car has wiper blades that are in good condition.
Remember that speed limits are meant for dry roads, not roads covered in snow and ice. You should reduce your speed and increase your following distance as road conditions and visibility worsen.
Be cautious on bridges and overpasses as they are commonly the first areas to become icy.
Avoid passing snow plows and sand trucks. The drivers can have limited visibility, and the road in front of them could be worse than the road behind.
Monitor road and weather conditions by checking local news stations or Internet traffic and weather sites.
If you must travel during a snowstorm or in blizzard conditions, be sure to let a relative, friend or coworker know where you are headed and your expected arrival time. Avoid the temptation to check or be on your phone while driving as all of your attention should be on arriving safely