Top 10 Stolen Cars 2014

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has released their annual report of the top stolen cars for 2014. This year, Ford F series trucks take 7 of the top 10 spots.

 

Top 10 Stolen Cars in Canada 2014:

Rank Year Model
1. 2007 FORD F-350 SD 4WD PU
2. 2006 FORD F-350 SD 4WD PU
3. 2007 FORD F-250 SD 4WD PU
4. 2003 CADILLAC ESCALADE 4DR 4WD SUV
5. 2005 FORD F-350 SD 4WD PU
6. 1999 HONDA CIVIC 2DR COUPE 2D
7. 2004 FORD F-350 SD 4WD PU
8. 2006 FORD F-250 SD 4WD PU
9. 2000 HONDA CIVIC SiR 2DR 2D
10. 2003 FORD F-350 SD 4WD PU

 

In addition to the popular Ford trucks, Honda Civics continue to be popular among thieves. One reason these models are being targeted may have to do with their popularity among Canadian consumers. The fact there are so many of these vehicles on the road make tracking stolen ones more difficult. Further, their high demand makes unloading re-vinned (given a false vehicle identification number (VIN)) vehicles on unsuspecting buyers that much easier.

 

Luxury cars such as those made by Lexus, Audi, BMW and Mercedes continue to be targets. Once stolen, many of these end up being sold abroad. Organized crime rings ship them out of Montreal and Halifax to West Africa.

 

The list also breaks down stolen vehicles by province. Here is the top 10 stolen cars in Ontario for 2014:

Rank Year Model
1. 2003 ACURA RSX TYPE S 2DR 2D
2. 2009 BMW X6 4DR AWD SUV
3. 2002 ACURA RSX TYPE S2DR 2D
4. 2013 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER 4DR 4WD SUV
5. 2013 TOYOTA 4RUNNER 4DR 4WD SUV
6. 1997 PLYMOUTH BREEZE 4DR 4D
7. 2008 ACURA TL TYPE S 4DR 4D
8. 2006 LAND ROVER RANGE ROVER SPORT 4DR 4WD SUV
9. 2012 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER 4DR 4WD SUV
10. 2010 HIGHLANDER 4DR 4WD SUV

 

While some thefts can be quite complicated, 50% occur while the keys are in the ignition. Warm-up thefts are especially common in Canada during winter. Remember to keep you car locked and don’t leave it running while unattended.

 

You can read the IBC release here

Lower Auto Insurance Rates Behind Schedule

Auto insurance rate cuts are behind schedule, but the Liberal government insists it can meet its 2 year target of a 15% reduction. Promising an 8% target in the first year, Finance Minister Charles Sousa says they’ve only seen a 6% decrease with than a year to go before their August 2015 deadline .

 

The Finance Minister believes that with legislation the majority Liberal government will reintroduce they can still meet their 15% target. Some companies, he said, already have cut rates in excess of 10%.

 

“We’re on track,” Sousa said Thursday. “We need to do better in terms of making those reductions happen. I’m looking forward to enacting the very piece of legislation that was held up so that we can get back and get on track.”

 

Originally introduce last Spring, Bill 171, the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Insurance Rates Act, would introduce a number of reforms aimed at lowering costs within the insurance system, like fraud. Some of it’s specific measures include:

  • Changes to the Dispute Resolution System to help injured Ontario drivers settle disputed claims faster.
  • Establishing a system for licensing health service providers.
  • Improving communication with insureds regarding vehicle storage after a loss, lowering claims costs.
  • Establishing of a special investigation and prosecution unit on auto insurance fraud.

 

 

Progressive Conservative critic Vic Fedeli said he doubts the Liberal government will meet its 15% target. “They haven’t met their numbers so far,” he said. “I can’t see them heading in a direction that meets their numbers.”

 

UPDATED: UberX Launches in Toronto & Mississauga- How are drivers covered?

Update #2: McClelland Insurance will soon be able to insure UberX drivers. Please read up on the latest news about ridesharing insurance HERE.

 

Uber is a service that allows users to hail a cab through an app on their smart phone. They describe themselves as a service that connects riders and drivers. In the past the drivers have been licensed taxi drivers but that is all changing.

 

Earlier this week, the company launched UberX in Toronto and Mississauga. Through UberX, regular people can sign up to be drivers and make some extra cash on the side. Drivers must pass a background check and drive a vehicle that is not older than 10 years.

 

The new service has raised controversy in Toronto. The Toronto office of Municipal Licensing and Standards has criticized the service because drivers don’t hold a city-issued taxi license, haven’t taken training, drive vehicles that haven’t passed safety inspections, lack safety equipment such as cameras and may not be properly insured.

 

Indeed, drivers operating in this “ride share” grey space don’t have the same financial overhead as properly licensed taxis. Because of this, UberX is able to offer riders fares that are up to 40% cheaper than the standard Toronto/Mississauga taxi fares.

 

What are the risks for drivers? As mentioned, the Toronto office of Municipal Licensing and Standards feels that UberX drivers aren’t in compliance with existing by-laws. They’re currently reviewing with The City’s legal department and considering their options. Then there’s the insurance.

 

The Ontario Application for Automobile Insurance is the standard car insurance application, and forms part of the insurance contract for drivers in Ontario. It asks several questions that would apply to UberX drivers:

  • Business/commercial use – Drivers are asked how far they drive. If they are using their vehicle to commute to work, they’re asked how far the commute is. It also asked how far the driver will be driving for business/commercial. Typically, any business use will place the driver in a commercial insurance class as opposed to a personal use class.
  • Automobile used for car pooling – Most people answer “no” to this question on their applications. However, if they’re driving for a “ride share” program, this could be considered carpooling.
  • Automobiles used to carry passengers for compensation or hire – This one is fairly black and white. UberX drivers will be getting paid for carrying passengers and should answer “yes” to this question on their application.

 

As mentioned earlier, the application forms part of the insurance contract. Any misrepresentation can void the contract. What does that mean in practice? If you have an accident, your company may not be obligated to pay the claim if they learn that the application doesn’t accurately represent what the insured is doing with their car. Even if you become an UberX driver partway through your term, you’d still have a responsibility to inform your insurance company of the change.

 

Knowing that most of their drivers will not have proper commercial auto insurance, UberX carries supplemental insurance to cover their drivers. This insurance has a $5 million liability limit and $50,000 for physical damage to a driver’s vehicle. While these are likely sufficient for average drivers, those with newer or more expensive vehicles will have to keep the $50,000 limit in mind. We’re looking at you Mr. Deadmau5, and your $300,000 McLaren: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/09/11/deadmau5-uber-taxi_n_5805094.html

 

UberX doesn’t just cover their drivers while they’re on a fare, it kicks in as soon as the driver accepts a job through the app. This covers them while they’re on their way to a fare as well. So does this system leave any holes?

 

Before a driver accepts a fare, they’re on their own insurance. As soon as they complete their trip, they are also back on their own insurance. As we covered earlier, if you’re carpooling or receiving compensation for driving, your personal policy may not cover you. If you had an accident and your company felt you were in that situation as a direct result of working for UberX, they may have grounds to deny the claim. As always, you should review any changes to how you’re using your automobile, including becoming an UberX driver, with your broker to make sure you’re still covered.

 

UPDATE: I’ve received conflicting information from Uber on their limit for physical damage coverage. Will update once confirmed.

 

Update #2: McClelland Insurance is unable to insure UberX drivers at this time. A special product is being developed in partnership with Intact and we’ll update this article as soon as something is available. In the meantime, sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates.

Toronto Fire Safety Awareness Week Follows Brampton Blaze

Toronto Fire Services is launching Fire Safety Awareness Week on Monday June 8. The campaign will see Fire Services working in cooperation  with Toronto Community Housing, educating Torontonians on how to survive a highrise fire. Roughly half of the residents in Toronto live in multi-storey buildings including rental units and condos.

 

The blitz comes following a tragic weekend in Brampton. Early Sunday morning a fire broke out in a townhouse complex taking the life of a 10 year old boy and leaving up to 100 homeless. Eighteen families, many of whom did not have insurance, are in shock from the disaster. The full story can be read here.

 

Those wishing to help can make donations here.