Albertans With Distracted Driving Tickets Are Finding It Hard To Get Car Insurance - ehMac.ca
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Advertise


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old Oct 4th, 2019, 10:06 AM   #1
Resident Curmudgeon
 
SINC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Central Alberta
Posts: 85,437
Send a message via AIM to SINC
Albertans With Distracted Driving Tickets Are Finding It Hard To Get Car Insurance

This should be happening nationwide in Canada, not just Alberta. It just might be the one sure way to get people to turn off their phones when driving. It is harsh but really needed badly as distracted drivers have the potential to kill more people than impaired drivers.

Quote:
Albertans with distracted driving convictions are finding it increasingly difficult to get full insurance coverage at reasonable rates, insurance brokers tell CBC News.

Edmonton driver Derek Johnson got a distracted driving ticket last year.

When he and his wife approached Action Insurance Group earlier this month to renew their insurance, they were told no companies were willing to offer Derek comprehensive and collision insurance.


"Sorry, I don't have any other options with that conviction," broker Adam Kluczewski said in a message to Miranda Johnson. "Companies are really cracking down on distracted driving. I even called a couple to see if they would bend and none of them will."

Kluczewski and Action Insurance Group declined to comment on the situation.

"I think it's a load of ... nonsense really," Derek Johnson said. "I just have one single ticket on my licence and it was a distracted driving offence, and insurance companies are telling me that they're not going to give me full coverage."

Collision insurance optional

In Alberta, legislation only mandates auto insurance companies to provide liability and accident benefits coverage.

Liability insurance covers damages or injuries a driver may cause to others. Accidental benefits covers injuries suffered by drivers and their vehicle occupants, giving them access to medical treatments.

Companies can choose not to provide collision and comprehensive insurance because they're optional by law. Collision insurance covers damage to the driver's vehicle when it collides with another car or object. Comprehensive insurance covers other damages, such as theft, fire and hail.

Although collision and comprehensive insurance are optional, it's typically required if the car is financed or leased.

"If you're not able to get full coverage comprehensive insurance … you can't finance a vehicle, [because] you need full coverage on a vehicle," said Ray Robichaud, CEO of Edmonton Auto Loans, which works with 20 lenders.

'Having to turn people away'

Brokers help customers find the best deals on insurance by working with a selection of insurance providers. CBC News surveyed three insurance brokerages in Edmonton — Armour Insurance, MBS Insurance Brokers and HDF Insurance — to ask how drivers might expect distracted driving tickets to affect their ability to get insurance.

Of the three firms, two — Armour and MBS — said they've had to turn clients down for full coverage because of distracted driving convictions.

Robichaud said he worked for eight months with a client who couldn't get a car loan. He had been denied comprehensive and collision insurance because of a distracted driving conviction and two accidents on his record.

Armour Insurance CEO Rob Marusin said it's becoming more common for clients with convictions to be denied comprehensive and collision insurance.

Marusin said as "intermediaries," his brokerage firm has had to turn some clients with convictions away. "It's created a bit of a hard market for consumers," he said.

He said companies that offer the optional insurance for high-risk clients might require them to pay up-front for the full year.

"We try and help everyone, but right now … we unfortunately are having to turn people away because they maybe can't afford to pay the full premium for the year," he said.

Impact of 5 per cent annual cap

Some brokers blame the trend on the five-per-cent cap on auto insurance rates implemented by the former NDP government in November 2017. The cap expired Aug. 31 and Alberta's UCP government has said it will not be renewed.

"I think that was creating some problems for them, so this was one solution — albeit imperfect solution — but it was one solution that I believe some [companies] are undertaking," said George Hodgson, CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta.

Alberta Treasury Board and Finance said from Nov. 30. 2017 to Aug. 31 of this year, it received roughly 50 complaints related to availability of coverage. Of the total, three complaints were related to distracted driving.

"After annual rate increases were capped at five per cent in late 2017, we learned that some insurance companies were taking steps to limit their business as a way of minimizing their losses," said Jerrica Goodwin, a spokesperson with the ministry. "As not all insurance companies are taking these steps, Albertans are encouraged to explore their options."

15 to 25 per cent hike

Greta Gerstner, a customer service representative with MBS Insurance, said she got a distracted driving ticket in June 2017 after more than a decade with a clean record.

"I was just plugging my cellphone in at a red light and didn't realize that you can't have the phone in your hand for any reason while the vehicle was running, so I got the ticket," she said.

When she went to renew her insurance and the conviction showed up on her driver's abstract, Wawanesa Insurance increased her premiums by 15 per cent.

"Loyalty does help because if I were new to them, they wouldn't even offer me that coverage," Gerstner said.

"Wawanesa says it specifically will not even offer you collision and comprehensive coverage if you're new to them, if you have a distracted driving ticket. So for that financed vehicle, you're out of luck."

Distracted driving as a 'major' conviction

Other firms say insurance can go up by 25 per cent after a distracted driving conviction, depending on whether the insurer treats it as a major or minor conviction. If it's minor, the increase is typically 15 per cent. If it's major, the increase can be around 25 per cent, depending on the company and individual.

To be able to treat distracted driving as a major conviction, insurance companies must apply to Alberta's Superintendent of Insurance and the Alberta Automobile Insurance Rate Board. A spokesperson for the board said most companies still treat distracted driving as a minor conviction. But some brokers anticipate that will soon change.

Distracted? Impaired? Hands-on driver training shows the dangers

Leonard Belland, general manager of HDF Insurance, said he thinks more insurers are treating distracted driving tickets as major convictions.

"They have analytics that point to the fact that if an individual has a distracted driving ticket, the likelihood of an accident is greater," Belland said. "I'm sure their premise is … the odds of having an at-fault accident definitely goes up."

Ten out of the 12 insurance carriers HDF Insurance works with treat it as a major conviction. But at MBS Insurance, only one out of six carriers treat the offence as a major conviction.

A spokesperson for the insurance rate board said the board doesn't have the resources to analyze how many insurers are treating distracted driving as a major conviction.

23,000 distracted drivers in Alberta

After shopping around for weeks, Derek and Miranda Johnson finally got approved for full coverage by Sonnet Insurance Group.

Derek said with Sonnet's quoted price, his premiums will increase by nearly 25 per cent. Another company, the Co-operators Group Insurance, quoted him $2850—​​​​nearly double his old rate.

"It's just kind of surprising to me," Miranda added. "This is basically how to limit people from getting insurance, and that would just force people to be driving without it, because there are so many people, especially nowadays, who get that ticket."

Edmonton police say they have issued more than 5,200 distracted driving tickets so far this year. In 2018, they ticketed 7,739 distracted drivers.

Provincewide, more than 23,000 drivers were ticketed for distracted driving in the year ended March 31, 2019.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmon...E8kZDoqEef1eZg
__________________
Visit my website:
St. Albert's Place On The Web
(Over 3.1 million folks have.)
SINC is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old Oct 4th, 2019, 10:18 AM   #2
Honourable Citizen
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: S. Alberta
Posts: 21,189
Quote:
Originally Posted by SINC View Post
Albertans With Distracted Driving Tickets Are Finding It Hard To Get Car Insurance
Good!
__________________
Just a meat eating, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, Harley riding deplorable troglodyte peoplekind, back from a better place...

“Have no respect whatsoever for authority; forget who said it and instead look what he starts with, where he ends up, and ask yourself, is it reasonable?” —Richard Feynman

“Charm and nothing but charm at last grows a little tiresome...It's a relief then to deal with a man who isn't quite so delightful but a little more sincere.” — W. Somerset Maugham
FeXL is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 4th, 2019, 11:34 AM   #3
Honourable Citizen
 
Macfury's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Toronto Proper
Posts: 41,301
Why are they expecting "reasonable" rates with those convictions? I live on a street that gets busy during morning rush hour. A few weeks ago saw a gap in traffic of 10 house-lengths because three cars in a row had drivers on cell phones. The two behind the first one weren't honking because they were too busy texting.
__________________
"My life is my own."

Mac Pro 5,1 3.2 GHZ Quad Core; MacBook Pro 1,1; iPhone 4
Macfury is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 4th, 2019, 03:04 PM   #4
Honourable Citizen
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 17,145
Denying them collision coverage is fine. Distracted driving cannot possibly lead to a claim under comprehensive, so it should not be impacted.
__________________
Ad links appearing in my posts were not placed there by me. I do not endorse any products which may be linked to my posts. Do not click on those links.

I retain all rights to photo-images I have posted on ehMac. They were posted that other members of the community could enjoy them. They may not be used or sold in any other way without my written consent.

Bill C-51 is an act of Terrorism! It cannot be fixed and should be immediately repealed!
eMacMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 4th, 2019, 10:30 PM   #5
Honourable Citizen
 
Macfury's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Toronto Proper
Posts: 41,301
Quote:
Originally Posted by eMacMan View Post
Denying them collision coverage is fine. Distracted driving cannot possibly lead to a claim under comprehensive, so it should not be impacted.
Makes sense.
__________________
"My life is my own."

Mac Pro 5,1 3.2 GHZ Quad Core; MacBook Pro 1,1; iPhone 4
Macfury is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 4th, 2019, 10:43 PM   #6
Full Citizen
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Mill Bay, BC
Posts: 446
A lot of people finance their vehicles or lease them. Those companies require comprehensive insurance so a distracted driving conviction/ticket will have an impact on their ability to live up to the terms of the contract to finance or lease.
__________________
My height is 5' 9" ... My weight is 6' 8".
18m2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 5th, 2019, 07:34 PM   #7
Honourable Citizen
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 17,145
Quote:
Originally Posted by 18m2 View Post
A lot of people finance their vehicles or lease them. Those companies require comprehensive insurance so a distracted driving conviction/ticket will have an impact on their ability to live up to the terms of the contract to finance or lease.
Probably denying them collision coverage will have a far greater impact as there are way more major claims under collision than comprehensive.

To me it would make more sense to deny coverage if the individual has more than one distracted driving ticket. Sometimes people figure it out after a good belt to the wallet.
__________________
Ad links appearing in my posts were not placed there by me. I do not endorse any products which may be linked to my posts. Do not click on those links.

I retain all rights to photo-images I have posted on ehMac. They were posted that other members of the community could enjoy them. They may not be used or sold in any other way without my written consent.

Bill C-51 is an act of Terrorism! It cannot be fixed and should be immediately repealed!
eMacMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 6th, 2019, 02:37 AM   #8
Used to be Tilt
 
TiltAgain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 204
I would be on board with this if we knew for sure that cops would enure that such a charge were not made indiscriminately.

For example, prima facie, this example: '"I was just plugging my cellphone in at a red light and didn't realize that you can't have the phone in your hand for any reason while the vehicle was running, so I got the ticket," she said.' should not have deserved a ticket with such drastic consequences.

Cheers
__________________
I used to be Tilt until EhMac phucked me up.
TiltAgain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 6th, 2019, 12:05 PM   #9
Honourable Citizen
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 17,145
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiltAgain View Post
I would be on board with this if we knew for sure that cops would enure that such a charge were not made indiscriminately.

For example, prima facie, this example: '"I was just plugging my cellphone in at a red light and didn't realize that you can't have the phone in your hand for any reason while the vehicle was running, so I got the ticket," she said.' should not have deserved a ticket with such drastic consequences.

Cheers
Aye there's the rub. Truth of the matter is nowadays cops have an obligation to chase revenue, end of story!
__________________
Ad links appearing in my posts were not placed there by me. I do not endorse any products which may be linked to my posts. Do not click on those links.

I retain all rights to photo-images I have posted on ehMac. They were posted that other members of the community could enjoy them. They may not be used or sold in any other way without my written consent.

Bill C-51 is an act of Terrorism! It cannot be fixed and should be immediately repealed!
eMacMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 6th, 2019, 09:35 PM   #10
wwj
Full Citizen
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 100
If we "really" want to minimize the problem

Hello? Just confiscate the cellphone for a period of time. With DUI, the car is automatically impounded, licence suspended. So why pamper cellphone flaunters?
__________________
wwj
wwj is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:42 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright © 1999 - 2012, ehMac.ca All rights reserved. ehMac is not affiliated with Apple Inc. Mac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, Apple TV are trademarks of Apple Inc. Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2

Tribe.ca: Urban living in Toronto!