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Fraudulent Cheques | March 2016
Some individuals and customers may have received what appears to be a cheque written by Pembridge or Pafco from “My Shop Inc.” or “Staple Research INC” (could now be under another name) citing payment for a mystery shopper program. Please note that these are not authorized company cheques nor are we affiliated with either company in any way. The cheques should NOT be deposited. To the best of our knowledge, this scam is focused in the GTA.
We take these types of scams very seriously and we have reported this fraudulent activity to the appropriate authorities. We recommend that any individual who receives this letter report it to the police.
5 Important Spring Forward Tips
It may not feel like it yet, but spring is just around the corner, and it always brings at least one timely annual task. This year, at 2AM on Sunday, March 13, Daylight Saving Time will begin and clocks across Canada will need to be set ahead by one hour.
Beyond changing your clocks, it’s also a good time to perform other important seasonal home maintenance activities. Connecting daylight saving with these tasks can help build a routine, ensuring they’re done on a bi-annual basis, and not overlooked.
Here’s your “spring forward” to-do list:
Winter Driving | Be Smart Behind the Wheel
Leave Space: Rear end collisions are the most common type of collision on Canadian roads. It’s important to increase following distances in the winter. Leave at least eight to 10 seconds between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you so that you have time to react. You never know when you may need to brake quickly, and this is even more important on wet, icy or snowy roads and at night when visibility is worse.
Use your mirrors: The second most common collision occurs when changing lanes! Be diligent about checking your mirrors at regular intervals and use extra care when checking your blind spot when you change lanes.
Take it slow: It may be tempting to speed up when road conditions seem clear, but you can reduce your chances of being involved in a collision by simply slowing down. If you have to come to a sudden stop, or if you hit unexpected patch of black ice, driving at a slower speed will make hitting another car in front of you less likely.
Stay focused: Give the road your undivided attention whenever you’re driving. Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your phone and other distractions stowed away.
Use some courtesy and common sense: You can never go wrong by showing some courtesy behind the wheel. Obey the rules of the road; be respectful of other drivers and pedestrians; turn on your lights to remain visible; don’t pass snow plows; and keep in mind that bridges, ramps, and overpasses are likely to freeze first.
Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act | January 1, 2016
Have you heard about the new laws in Ontario for pedestrian crossovers and school crossings?
Starting January 1st, 2016, drivers, including cyclists, must stop and yield the entire roadway:
Tips for Safe Driving in Fog
If there is a fog warning, delay your trip until it clears. If you need to drive in fog, follow these safe driving tips:
Preparing Your Home for Cold Weather
Safety Tips for the Holidays
Avoid break-ins this holiday season by following a few safety tips:
If you’re going away:
Christmas Tree Safety
Decorating the Christmas tree is a cherished family pastime. Choose, place and decorate your tree wisely and keep it well cared for to ensure an enjoyable festive season.
Use these tips to reduce risk:
Halloween Safety Tips
Tips to Prepare for High Winds, Heavy Rains and Floods
Did you know that traffic laws changed in Ontario effective September 1, 2015?
The “Making Ontario Roads Safer Act” or Bill 31 was approved unanimously in June and will come into effect September 1st which imposes new rules for drivers and heavier fines as in most provinces.
According to Toronto.ctvnews.ca the new rules and fines are as follows:
Distracted driving: If you’re caught looking at your phone, texting or talking on your phone while driving, you will face much bigger fines and more demerit points, the province is warning. The current fine for distracted driving is approximately $200. As of Tuesday, those found guilty of distracted driving will face fines up to $1,000 and more demerit points. Drivers with G1 or G2 licenses could have their permits suspended on the spot.
Pedestrian crossovers: Drivers will have to wait until pedestrians have completely crossed the road at pedestrian crossovers and school crossings before proceeding. About half of all fatal traffic accidents involving pedestrians occur at intersections, the Ministry of Transportation said. The new law is an attempt to make roads safer for pedestrians. This change will take effect in January.
Passing cyclists: Drivers will have to give cyclists at least one metre of room wherever possible. The fine for breaking this rule has not yet been set. Motorists who open the door of their vehicle into the path of a cyclist without checking will face fines between $300 and $1,000 and three demerit points.
The “move over” law: As for Sept. 1, drivers will be require to slow down and move into the next lane whenever they see a stopped emergency vehicle with its red and blue lights flashing. This will apply to stopped tow trucks that have amber lights flashing. The fine for breaking these rules will be $490 and three demerit points.
Alcohol and drugs: Those caught driving under the influence of drugs will now face the same penalties as drunk drivers, the ministry said. These include between a three and 90-day license suspension and a week-long vehicle impoundment. More than 45 per cent of drivers killed in Ontario were found that have drugs or alcohol in their systems.
These tougher fines and penalties should help reduce injury or death on the roads and create safer driving habits.
Pembridge and Pafco Partner with CANATICS to Fight Auto Insurance Fraud
Insurance fraud affects all Canadians. Organized fraud schemes can put people at risk while driving up the cost of insurance for all consumers. In Ontario alone, fraud costs consumers as much as $1.6 billion every year.
Recently, the Ontario government’s Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force supported the establishment of the Canadian National Insurance Crime Services (CANATICS) - to identify potential cases of organized and premeditated fraud.
Pembridge and Pafco along with other insurance companies have partnered with CANATICS to discover new ways to fight fraud as part of our ongoing commitment to protect Canadian consumers.
Learn more about insurance fraud, what it looks like, and how you can help prevent it.
Help protect your home from flooding with these tips
The excessive snowfalls this winter in Atlantic Canada has been nothing less than extreme. And while dealing with the barrage of snow can be exhausting, it’s important to make sure the onslaught doesn’t create additional issues in the present and near future when the snow finally starts to melt. Varying temperatures can result in possible moisture intrusion, water damage, sewer backup and other related events around your home.
Protect your largest asset by making sure you manage the snow on your property, while preparing for the coming thaw with the following tips:
Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips
Increase to Québec Auto Insurance Premium Sales Tax
Effective January 1, 2015, the Québec government will be increasing the tax applied to all auto insurance premium payments that are made in 2015 from 5% to 9%, regardless of when the policy was purchased. New policies purchased in 2015 will have the new tax rate applied and outstanding balances on existing polices due in 2015 will be taxed at the new rate when payments are collected.
The announcement was made as part of the Québec government’s economic announcements in November 2014. On average, this additional 4% tax on premiums will increase the tax payment for passenger vehicles by $2 to $4 per month.
This change applies to all automobile and recreational vehicles insured in the province. Changes will be reflected on the first payment customers make in 2015, regardless of their billing plan. Customers will be taxed on amounts due in 2015, but not on amounts already paid in 2014.
For customers who have paid in full in 2014 and make no changes to their policy until renewal, the new tax will be applied at renewal. For customers who have tax-exempt status, we will be required to collect the tax and then remit it back, consistent with the current process.
Rest assured, the quality coverage Pafco customers currently enjoy will remain the same. This is our commitment to provide the best protection for you and your family.
If you still have questions regarding your premium, please do not hesitate to contact your broker. If you have any specific questions regarding this recent tax increase, we encourage you to visit the Québec government website or contact your local government representative for more information.
Tips to Protect Your Home in the Cold Weather
The following tips will help you protect your home and property during cold weather:
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