Tbnewswatch Local News
Sunday July 5 2015
9:17 AM EDT
2014-01-09 at NOON

Insurance hike?

Gillons’ Insurance general manager W. David Baxter says Northwestern Ontario homeowners might not be hit as hard with rising insurance premiums as residents elsewhere in Canada.
Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
Gillons’ Insurance general manager W. David Baxter says Northwestern Ontario homeowners might not be hit as hard with rising insurance premiums as residents elsewhere in Canada.
By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

A threat by some insurance companies to heftily hike homeowner premiums may or may not have an effect locally.

W. David Baxter, general manager of Gillons’ Insurance, said for most customers, shopping around for the best rate is a good way to avoid costly increases. But, he added, if a client has filed major claims in the recent past, it might make the most sense to stay put and eat the increase.

With the average homeowner in Thunder Bay paying in the neighbourhood of $600 a year for home insurance, any increase would likely it will amount to less than $100 annually, he said.

This week several insurance companies, hit hard by floods in Toronto and Calgary, forewarned consumers their rates were likely on the rise.

Intact Financial Corp., hit hard by last June’s Alberta storms, which caused $1.7 billion in insured damage, according to a story in the Globe and Mail, has said some customers can expect their rates to rise as high as 20 per cent.

The Globe and Mail story estimates losses to property and casualty insurers in the recent ice storms that struck Toronto, Quebec and the Maritimes as high as $600 million.

Baxter said Thunder Bay’s 2012 flood and the 2011 hail storm have had an effect on insurance rates in the city, but the damage was nowhere near that inflicted on other parts of the country, so the region won’t experience as high an increase as those living in Calgary or Toronto.

“We are now seeing minor increases, because it’s spread throughout all of Northwestern Ontario. But Fort Frances and Dryden and Kenora haven’t been hit with the same factors we have (been) with weather,” Baxter said.

“We still have claims out there with fires and other major claims, but not the weather-related. So we’re seeing some increases over the last couple of years of five, seven per cent. Could they get a little higher? Possibly.”

That’s the insurance companies stabilizing themselves regionally, factoring in losses in different parts of the country.

But while companies like Impact have been forced to raise rates in order to turn a profit and stay afloat, Baxter said other companies that offer policies in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario weren’t hit as hard by recent disaster claims in the region.

“So their rates may (only) go up five per cent,” Baxter said.

Of course, shopping around may not be the wisest decision for all consumers, he added. If one tries to jump ship in search of lower rates after receiving a large payout and subsequently has to file another claim, they may find themselves uninsurable or facing higher deductibles.

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My Point of View says:
I work in the industry as well and $600 is NOT the average home insurance premium and increases are much higher than $100. Thanks Mr. Baxter for posting information that's incorrect and is going to get everyone fired up. Insurance is a sharing pool so the catastrophic losses across the country will impact all of us and our premiums to some degree.
1/10/2014 9:25:09 AM
conker2012 says:
Funny my home insurance went down, and my coverage went up..... perhaps it is the companies you represent that are gauging customers?
1/10/2014 11:54:54 AM
smartguy83 says:
Also funny how Ontario auto insurance is a well known FRAUD. Highest rates in the country for what? Those days are about to be gone for good!
1/10/2014 1:36:46 PM
progress now says:
Interesting you would say that. I pay double that premium and I am not rich and I don't live on rolling acres estate. My father's house is more humble and he pays more than $600 as well.

The sharing pool concept makes sense.

This is a strange article. Why is it even newsworthy? I may be missing something of course.
1/10/2014 6:46:48 PM
dynamiter says:
When the markets are doing well the insurance companies usually do well. However recently there have been so many major events such as the Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Thunder Bay floods. When that happens, these companies increase rates and cut of service to high risk customers. But we have all heard about people who got roofs repaired due to hail damage that did not occur - but did it really happen? If so that is kind of fraud and maybe it should be investigated. As far as sewer backups, the fault for most of it falls on the city. There is some responsibility for the owners of homes who have been repeatedly backed up. Back up valves should have been installed. But just because a valve was installed doesnt mean that they installed a good one. And just because you have a backup valve it doesnt mean that you can set it and forget it. They need maintenance too. Especially the cheaper flapper type. Shoulda bought the gate type.
1/10/2014 2:05:34 AM
nvjgu says:
Speaking of insurance, What ever happened to the sewer investigation anyway.
1/9/2014 8:56:27 PM
whatelseisnew says:
Sewage treatment plants on auto-pilot is not a "natural disaster". That is called being cheap at town hall! With all the corners that have been cut over there why not build a metro dome or events center because we all know they can afford it from the huge amounts of tax dollars they collect and the very tiny they put back in to infrastructure.
1/9/2014 7:49:54 PM
RelaxinginMurillo says:
Do yourselves a favour and increase your deductible. You will save on premiums and not be tempted into small claims that only raise your rates anyhow. Put the savings away if you're afraid you might not be able to make the deductible "if" a major incident happens, or to help pay for the small things.
You could tell a scam was going on when all the Tom & Dick Roofing companies from southern ontario started showing up here. I'll live with my only slightly damaged roofing, but I gotta help pay for all the others .
1/9/2014 7:15:22 PM
James Gang says:
The city cost the flood victims a tonne of money. The insurance costs are just more salt in the wounds.
1/9/2014 4:55:51 PM
Papercut says:
A HUGE part of this is the contractor's that GOUGE the insurance companies as well as homeowner's.....they should be ashamed of themselves....I heard they tripled the price of re-shingling homes during this free-for-all hail-damage fiasco as well as the flood.
1/9/2014 4:13:03 PM
CM Punk says:
After the hail on the PA side of the city, I saw and know of many who got their roofs replaced even though the shingles were already 20 plus years old.
So they pay the claim and get a new roof.
That is the insurance companies fault for doing that.
Maybe a roof that has shingles 5 years or less I can understand but still a homeowner needs to maintain some level of care to their residence.
Many I talked to faced a $200 to 400 increase in their home insurance. Oh well.
Like I said, enjoy your new roof.
1/9/2014 3:55:33 PM
tanda says:
Companies wouldn't have to raise their rates if contractors or auto body shops stopped gauging them. Its sad that once these companies learn it going through insurance, they raise their quotes by 30-40%. When my roof needed to get done, the price was almost double what my neighbours cost. Same style house and same company. His wasn't through insurance. I can't understand how these companies are getting away with it
1/9/2014 2:53:32 PM
PAgirl says:
Just got my insurance bill for this year. Gone up close to $25 a month, and no claims. Ugh. Enjoy your new roofs, everyone. Did some looking around online and every company was about the same.
1/9/2014 2:35:14 PM
S Duncan says:
Thank the city of thunder bay for filling up hundreds (thousands?) of homes with sewage due to their failures.

good thing people will get some of this money back via lawsuit.
1/9/2014 3:43:51 PM
PAgirl says:
Someone's misjudgment with regards to a natural disaster is not even in the same ballpark as thousands of people scamming the system when another natural phenomenon occurred.
1/9/2014 4:22:42 PM
S Duncan says:
natural disaster? there was no natural disaster.

there was a sewage treatment plant failure. Not a single "natural" thing happened to flood peoples homes with sewage.

the only one scamming anything is the city of thunder bay trying to scam their way out of their responsibility.

luckily the lawyers and courts will see right thru it.
1/9/2014 7:58:14 PM
Thor Odinson says:
I really wish trolls like you would post under their own names. That way the people of this city would know just who is so proud of suing all of us because he chose to live in an area susceptible to flooding. So much for personal responsibility, eh Timmy? Guess that only applies to other people. As soon as some misfortune befalls you, you're calling the government to come wipe your bum.
1/9/2014 8:37:56 PM
S Duncan says:
you still whimpering there thorson?

If you want to know whos suing the city, all you have to do is look at who got flooded. Everybody that has not gone out of their way to opt out of the class action suit, is by default involved in the suit. So, go find people whos homes were filled with crap, condoms, and used hygiene products and tell them that its all their own fault.

Go over to the East End and start knocking on doors to tell them that. Lets see how far you make it. You obviously aren't smart enough to know that people didn't get flooded out, they got their homes wrecked by a sewage backup. If you don't know the difference you should read your insurance policy, because theres a big difference between a flood and a sewage backup.

If you had any of the personal responsibility you bemoan of others, you would know that. Cant teach stupid I guess?

This isn't a call for government welfare, this is a suit for damages from contract failure. Big difference.
1/9/2014 10:46:01 PM
Tannoy says:
Not a single natural thing? how about 200mil of rain? that's not natural? or did the sewage plant make it rain?
1/14/2014 8:13:50 AM
Jeannied says:
Too bad you were an irresponsible property owner. Should have taken measures to ensure your property was protected via backflow prevention valve, especially living so close to a sewage treatment plant. Not rocket science.
Blaming others because you failed to take measures is worse than the people you constantly complain and whine about on here.
1/9/2014 7:56:30 PM
S Duncan says:
People that had backflow valves still got their homes filled with sewage. You dummys just keep repeating the "backflow valve" mantra. You don't even know what it is or how its supposed to work.

I have one. One little foreign object can prop it open and render it useless, which can easily happen when the city starts pushing crap back up the pipes on such a massive scale.

Every single house is subject to sewage backup. If theres a pipe connecting your house to the sewer, it can happen to you. When the city failed to perform its contractual duty, they ruined many homes and cost millions in damage.

those damages will be re-cooped. trying to blame this event on homeowners is just ridiculous. Face it little jeannied, the city is going to lose and its as obvious as the nose on your face.. and that's pretty darn obvious.

Im going to take my lawsuit money and buy a place just out of town so I can come use all your tax funded nonsense without paying for it. Thank you t-bay!

1/9/2014 10:56:23 PM
Ccarlucci says:
"People that had backflow valves still got their homes filled with sewage"

No, we didn't. Eastender for nearly 40 years, put the valve in back in 2004, no sewage or water in my basement (you act like entire houses were filled, it was basements). I live very close to the plant and the floodway, no problems. My neighbours with valves had no issues or flooding. I am also using my real name.

If you think you are entering a new house out of this lawsuit you're out of your mind!
You should have taken preventative measures. Stop trolling under fake names and grow up.
1/10/2014 10:16:53 AM
Toot Sweet says:
my next door neighbour had a backflow valve. it didn't save him.
1/10/2014 4:09:23 PM
mystified says:
Face it little Timmy, the flooding was caused by an unusual amount of rain fall that overwhelmed a system.
Without the unusual amount of rain there would have been no failure therefore the flood was caused by rain not equipment failure.

You will not be getting enough money to purchase any rural property from this lawsuit. Stop dreaming and trying to sound like the most educated person on earth, Timmy.
1/10/2014 10:43:42 AM
S Duncan says:
Who's little Timmy? My name is Scott. The rain damaged the plant, it did not damage my home.

You really have no clue about liability do you? If you run over me with your car just because the sun was in your eyes is not an excuse that releases you from your damages.

At least if you formed an actual debate your comment would have some significance. Instead you are just a typical internet hater trolling for attention.

and again for the 1000th time on this site. Flooding and sewage backup are 2 very different things. I reccomend you get the wording of your insurance policy and study it. The insurance companys know this business, you obviously do not.

I will collect more money than you will and rightfully so as I incurred great financial hardship as a result of the citys misdeeds. All of those damages are not covered by my insurance.

thats where lawsuits come into play.

Sorry to tell you but its a slam dunk case with plenty of precedent. Thats why the suit was certified.
1/10/2014 12:30:48 PM
Carlnfan says:
So is it Tim h or Scott Duncan...using another person's identity when you got barred? Would you care to discuss how ip numbers operate?
As a former city worker I can tell you those that had backflow valves DID save their own butts in the flood. I went from house to house and saw it over and over again. Now people who chose to live so close to a sewage plant are crying and looking for a payout when they chose to live in those houses so close to the plant. Their homes weren't ruined. They're just looking for money when they didn't bother to live in a better house or area.
1/11/2014 12:25:45 AM
Back-in-the-bay says:
While I'm sure Timmy and Scott are the same person, judging by their writing ability, I don't see how you can claim to have deduced that from 'how ip numbers operate'. Always funny how the interweb jockeys on here try to claim they know who people are from their IP address. If you knew anything about ISPs, Internet technology, web development and the internet in general, you'd know just how silly you sound. Your point would have been more convincing had you simply stuck to reality.
1/11/2014 3:31:05 PM
Ringettemom says:
That is pretty dramatic. Great financial hardship? You should have taken precautions and had good insurance. Love the hypocrisy you show regularly, not least of which is your addiction to lying in these comments.
1/11/2014 1:55:28 AM
Ringettemom says:
You need to educate and inform yourself before you spout off as though you know anything. A class action law suit being certified has nothing to do with the content or subject of the suit or evidence either way. The only thing a certification indicates is that it is more practical for plaintiffs to share a suit instead of suing individually, and a judge or court signs off on that.
Should have bought good insurance for your family's home living so close to a sewage treatment plant.
1/11/2014 2:05:19 AM
Eastender says:
Just to clarify things, those houses in the eastend were there long before the sewage treatment plant was built. There has never to my recollection been a sewer backup such as happened in 2011. If you had put a backflow valve in your sewer line in the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, when all tnese homes were built, it probably would have deteriorated to the point where it would either plug up your sewer, or fail to control any backup. The city knew this and should have had a failsafe system in place, and ensured that it was functioning as required.
Incidently I dont live in the eastend, but am very familiar with the area since I have had many friends and aquaintances who lived in this area for over 30 yeats
1/12/2014 8:48:42 PM
nvjgu says:
Ok so the average home owner pays $600. And there's around 50k houses here on average, so that's 50k x $600 on average of cource= 30000000. Id say that's a lot of money. Never enuf is it. Id also say insurance companies are rolling in doe.
1/9/2014 1:16:41 PM
progress now says:
I agree the finance sector is doing very well.

I just don't understand the point of the article. We with fewer claims will face lower premium increases than cities with higher claims.

If it was the reverse - now that would be a story.
1/10/2014 6:40:57 PM
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