Global Weather Change and Property Insurance

A year ago a gentleman who has forgotten more about insurance than I am likely to ever know told me that we will see Home/Property Insurance premiums begin to rise along with claims (mainly due to extreme weather)  and Auto Insurance Rates start to slowly fall (due to vehicles becoming more autonomous).

I’m not writing this to annoy naysayers or start a conversation about what we can do to slow down or reverse climate change.  I’m writing this to give you an explanation as to why your Property/Home Insurance premiums can be expected to rise and why.

Each day our office receives calls about increases in the cost of insurance for homes, cottages and property in general.  There are of course a number of reasons ranging from your building’s updates for the roof, heating,  plumbing wiring to the structure’s age, location and state of repair not to mention the communities’ infrastructure.

More recently due to more severe weather and weather extremes Sewer Backup and Flooding have come to the forefront.   Adding Moisture Alarms, Sump Pumps and backups, upgrading the hose for your dishwasher and clothes washer also help with your rates and you (depending upon the company).

If you are still doubting consider the following  WMO (World Meteorological Organization) statistics for 2016:

  • Global Ocean Heat at second highest in history because of this Coral is bleaching and sea life dying
  • 2016 was the warmest on record 1.1C above the preindustrial period.
  • Carbon Dioxide reached new highs in the atmosphere in 2016
  • Global Sea Ice is 4 billion Square Kilometres below average
  • Global Sea Levels Rose to new record highs
  • More Severe droughts and floods than in the past

For more information visit:

Still doubting my explanation and feeling Insurance Companies are looking for a cash grab?  Well how about this:

Last month, the National Research Council told Global News that Canada’s national building codes are being updated to adapt to the effects of climate change

If you haven’t been directly affected by a more extreme weather pattern count yourself among the lucky but be advised that now is a good time to prepare and understand what is happening. 

Wishing you all a wonderful Spring.

Welcome to Sudbury Spring

The snow and ice build up has all but left our roads.

That is essentially the good news.   The bad news is that every night that drops below freezing means there is a film of ice and water on our roads that lasts well into the waking  morning hours. 

With better roads comes more aggressive driving and often drivers forget about the frost induced film on the roads as well as the large amount of sand both of which can bring a tragic end to an aggressive driver’s day.

Soon the motorcycles will begin to appear and they too will have to beware.  Conversely the motorists will have to start watching out for the bikes that will begin to share the roads also.

I would like to officially welcome spring on day 2 of the actual season change but at the risk of annoying my former English Literature Professors let me paraphrase Billy Shakespeare and say “Beware the roads of March”.

Safe driving everyone!

Winter Tires and the Auto Insurance Discount

Winter Tires and the Auto Insurance Discount

Well if you are receiving a Winter Tire Discount currently you should be either changing to winter tires or preparing to do so.  Depending on your Automobile  Insurance Company, the tires must be on either November 1st or December 1st (read your policy or call your broker to clarify).  I recently (yesterday) called my Tire Shop and they can work me in Friday at 3pm!  Remember you are not supposed to leave the winter tires on year round as the softer compound wears out quickly in warmer weather (again read your policy or ask your Broker).


It is that time of year and best you spring into action as soon as possible!  A few weeks ago I was cutting the lawn and a few snow flurries started as a not so gentle reminder of what is to come.


If you are a naysayer and prefer not to use the winter tires that is your call but the evidence is pretty conclusive and the now available discount just a bonus..  I personally have been using winter tires for years long before any discount was available just because it is safer, period.   I start better, brake sooner and have more control in adverse conditions not to mention my other tires last longer.  (what is not to like).


Yes there is an expense involved in acquiring winter tires but in the greater scheme of things it costs less than your collision deductible, possible increase in premium,  lost time at work and worse.  If you don’t have storage many car dealers and tire shops offer storage for a small fee.


There is a price for everything including your safety, maybe you will have to shorten the two weeks in the Dominican or Mexico to one week but at the end of the day it would be really nice to get out of your parking space without a push or tow.


Have a safe winter and wonderful holiday season!


Fred Edwards

Sudbury Insurance Brokers

860 LaSalle Blvd

2nd Floor

Sudbury ON

P3A 1X5

It’s that time of year again!

Fall is also the season black ice and until you have experienced it you don’t fully understand that helpless feeling that comes with no control for no apparent reason.

On my way to Sudbury Monday morning I came across a accident scene.  Neither the moose or the pickup truck (let alone the driver) fared well. 

On an ideal day there are many hazards and this time of year with hunters active in the bush the moose are on the move.  Moose are very large animals often going well over a ton  and colliding with one is just as likely to kill you as the moose. 

Add in poor visibility from the fog and mist in the traditional fall weather and slowing down and not over driving your lights seems like a good idea.  Remember that fall offers a variety of hazards not just moose. 

Fall is also the season black ice and until you have experienced it you don’t fully understand that helpless feeling that comes with no control for no apparent reason.   Speed reduction helps but so do the proper tires winter is on the way and depending on the terms of your auto insurance contract you will have to switch to your winter tires soon.  Most Insurance Companies choose either November 1st or December 1st for a starting date if you are receiving a Winter Tire Discount.  I strongly suggest that if you don’t know you should contact your Broker.

Have a safe fall and enjoy the colors and remember to watch out for Bullwinkle!

Happy First Anniversary on LaSalle

Happy First Anniversary on LaSalle

It is had to believe that a year has passed and we have actually unpacked everything!

Thanks to Allyson and Lori the office actually looks warm and professional now and less like an institution.   Their ascetic improvements are complemented on a daily basis and are certainly appreciated.

The addition of Joanne has given us depth experience and a bilingual staff member for those who are more comfortable with French.

Clients are beginning to get used to our new location and for the most part the comments have been positive.  Some folks don’t  like using stairs to get to the second floor but as we tell them on a regular basis we can use the closing rooms on the main floor if we have to courtesy of our landlords at Royal LePage.  Over all not paying for parking and not being down town has been considered a good thing by just about everyone.

Thanks to our clients comments  (new and old alike) we have made strides to improve our service and will continue to work toward even more improvements in the future.

Sudbury’s Largest Fraud Case is Underway Again

The largest fraud case to ever take place in Sudbury has been opened again, with the jury getting back to work on Monday after some time off. The break in the trial came as the prosecution and defense took time to ready their final submissions.
Through the trial, the Crown prosecution has tried to prove that Dirk Plate and Paul Caron defrauded Atlas Copco (Canada’s CMT division of the Swedish industrial company) of nearly $24 million. The two parties (Caron opted to defend himself) have been preparing their final submissions and are now before the jury this week.

Plate (who denies any part of the fraud) and Caron are accused of inflating the cost of benefit claims for employees, with Caron the named insurance broker in charge of the claims. The two are thought to have conspired with David Hillier, CMT finance controller, and Atlas Copco’s Canadian human resources manager, Leo Caron. The scheme was set up to get the company to overpay for benefit claims.

The fraud has been ongoing since 1996, as confirmed by Leo Caron last month. He pointed out that the bill should have been $4.5 million, but Paul Caron invoiced the company for $9 million. Leo Caron has already been tried and was found guilty, sentenced to five years in April with minus time served.

Ontario auto insurance reforms enacted from June 1

abstract empty asphalt blurry road and sunlight with spaceWith the highest auto insurance rates in Canada, Ontario is not a nice place for consumers to buy coverage. They often pay 40% above the national average and in Ontarian politics the oft dismissed topic of auto insurance is a big deal. Customers know they overpay and governments can get plenty of support if they have a proactive approach to insurance.

The Liberal government took a proactive approach in 2013 when it said it would reduce rates by 15 per cent before August 2015. The target was missed by over 8 per cent, but the government has pressed and now reduced premiums by 10 per cent.

Despite drawing criticism for missing its original goal, the Liberals say they are committed to reach the 15 per cent rate reduction. The new Ontario auto insurance reforms enacted by the province on June 1 are another piece in that puzzle to lower costs. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) says the reforms will reduce rates and new policies will be -3.07 per cent to begin with.

However, to achieve the lower rates the reforms are asking consumers to make some compromises, which means paying less to get less. The biggest changes have been made to Statutory Accident Benefit and minor collision policies.

Benefits for Non-catastrophic injuries are now reduced from a combined $86,000 ($50,000 for medical and rehabilitation and $36,000 for attendant care) to a combined $65,000, although it is possible to increase the coverage (i.e. pay for) to $130,000.

In terms of catastrophic injuries the benefits have been reduced from a combined $2,000,000 ($1,000,000 for medical and rehabilitation and $1,000,000 for attendant care) to a combined $1,000,000 with the option to increase it to $2,000,000 in total.

Changes have also been made to the minor collision system, and policyholders do not necessarily have to pay if they are involved in a minor hit. This means the driver will have to pay for the damages out of their own pocket, so it is a question of paying increased premiums or taking the initial financial burden from the collision.
Minor collision reforms are based on the following criteria:

No payment has been made by an insurer
There are no injuries
Damages are less than $2,000
One minor collision every three years.

When renewing your policy next, it is important to know that your rate may be higher and not lower. This is why it is hugely important to shop around to find the best deal possible to make the most of the recent changes to Ontario auto insurance.

Trudeau to Discuss Northern Ontario Spending in Sudbury Visit

Newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Northern Ontario to discuss the region’s infrastructure and spending plans budgeted for the often neglected part of the province. Northern Ontarians are often frustrated by the fact that government spending tends to be targeted to the more populated southern Ontario region.

Trudeau is predicted to be talking about budget and will be in Sudbury, a city that is a supporter of his liberal party. However, the city’s residents are equally worried by a lack of funding towards infrastructure in Northern Ontario, while the local government is hoping the central government will match the $26.7 million fund offered by the Ontario government.

The $80 million investment will go to completing the long planned for Maley Drive extension, while Trudeau has revealed plans for Sudbury in the past. During his election campaign, the then unelected politician promised $200 million for mining in the area.

The Trudeau government has garnered some criticism from within and without his party for its first budget, especially as it seemingly ignores the forestry sector.

“The idea of a Maley Drive extension is not new and it is a project that has a 30 year history, and now would cost $80 million to complete. The idea of the road is to create a semi ring around North Sudbury and add an east-west route to The Kingsway and Lasalle Boulevard, linking Frood Road and College Boreal to Falconbridge Highway.”

Gas Prices Back on the Rise

Oil prices continue to be very low, but gas prices are not necessarily matching the price and the good times are very much over.

Throughout 2015 we saw prices continuously fall, even if it was not quite as rapid as declining oil prices, but still motorists across Sudbury and Ontario were enjoying low prices at the pumps. However, gas stations in the Greater Sudbury area are creeping back up and slowly getting back to normal prices before oil started to decline.

Gas has routinely been below the dollar over the last few months, but for the most part pumps are starting to higher the price. For example Sudbury residents are paying around $1.08, which is above recent rates. Luckily there are still some areas where prices are lower, such as Espanola for 90 cents at several locations and places in Massey for 96.9.

Sudbury Unemployment Rates Second Highest in Canada

The job situation in Sudbury is concerning as the city has lost some 4,000 employment positions since March 2015, a rate that makes the Greater Sudbury Area the second worst in Canada. The NDP is laying the blame at the doorstep of the liberal Kathleen Wynne Ontario government, according to Nickel Belt MPP.
“Despite seeing the upward trend of unemployment in Sudbury, the Wynne Liberals sat on their hands as Sudbury mines closed and family supporting jobs disappeared,” Nickel Belt MPP said in a press release.

“Instead of investing in job creation, the Wynne Liberals pressed ahead with its fire sale of Hydro One despite increasing hydro costs that will put more burden on families and businesses, and hamper job creation.”

Statistics Canada released numbers yesterday that revealed poor Sudbury unemployment rates that increased to 8.6 per cent through the last month. Compared to the previous month the rate represented a 0.3 per cent increase from 8.3 per cent, both of which are the highest in Ontario. Indeed, the only municipality in Canada with a worse jobless rate is Quebec town Saguenay with a 9.1 per cent unemployment rate.

“The Wynne government needs to act now on job-creating projects for the city like (widening) Highway 69, the development of the Ring of Fire, and other infrastructure. This government has run out of excuses for doing nothing,” Gelinas said.

Sudbury’s mining industry has taken a hit in recent years thanks to declining metal prices, the industry is hugely important to the local economy. However, there is a little more nuance to the facts as despite increasing employment rates, job numbers in Sudbury actually increased month on month. There are 80,200 people employed in Sudbury during March, which was 700 more than through February.