Winter Subrogation

What are some common situations for subrogation in winter?  There are a few!

1.  Potholes

With the temperature fluctuating, our streets become riddled with potholes.  Driving over these can often cause significant damage to vehicles.  Who is responsible for maintaining roads?  It’s likely the city or municipality.  It is important to send notice to the city or municipality immediately after the damage occurs.  This is important for two reasons.  One is that the city will attempt to repair the pot hole, preventing further damage.  The other reason is that the notification for most cities is needed within 7-15 days if there’s any chance of subrogation recovery.  It is important to follow up on these notices, and to thoroughly document loss details.

2.  Snow Plows

Most often, when vehicles are parked on the side of a road, and a plow goes by after a heavy snow, there is a chance for damage to the parked vehicle.  Snow plows long gone though, right?  Maybe not.  Ensure that photos and a cause of the damage to the vehicle are documented as soon as possible.  If the damage is consistent with being hit by a plow, there is a chance of recovery.  Find out what time the damage occurred, if there were any other vehicles damaged, and who was responsible for the snow removal.  Not always easy, but worth a shot!

3.  Snow Birds

Lucky folks will get out of the snow for winter, and head south to the U.S.  Almost all states are tort for recovery.  This means that you go to the at-fault party for recovery of damage.  If one vehicle does not have collision coverage, that driver has to go directly to the other insurance company for their damage.  It’s important to ensure adequate reserving for these losses, as the at-fault company has an exposure to third party property damage, as well as injury claims.

The important keys for pursuing subrogation successfully is to recognize the opportunities early, and to get complete details of the loss, and documentation to support damage and payments.  Attempting recovery too late often leads to failure.

Huntington Society of Canada National Conference: Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal Award

Jim Cameron, President of Cameron & Associates, after being presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

Jim and Sharon Cameron are actively involved with The Huntington Society of Canada. It is a cause very near and dear to their hearts, having family members with the disease.

On November 9th and 10th, The Huntington Society of Canada held their annual conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto. Jim and Sharon Cameron attended along with about 350 people from across the country. After a rousing introduction by the Young People affected by Huntington Disease, YPAHD, the conference kicked into high gear.

Renowned scientists Jeffrey Carroll, PhD, an Assistant Professor of neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at Western Washington University and Ed Wild, MRCP, PhD,  Clinical Lecturer in Neurology at UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square and graduate of Cambridge University in London, presented 3 different times on various facets of the latest experiments attempting to attain a treatment for HD. A multi-prong approach to attacking the disease targets:

  • gene suppressants
  • gene silencing
  • gene therapy
  • cell protein and DNA alterations
  • deep brain stimulation by electrodes and others

Huntington’s disease is the incurable disease that scientists know the most about. Unlike Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, and ALS, scientists know the cause of HD. This is a tremendous advantage to research towards developing treatment and ultimately a cure.

 The movie “Do you really want Know?” directed by Academy Award Winning Director John Zarisky, was presented at the conference. The Canadian film, supported by TVO and Canada, amongst others, chronicles the discovery of the disease in 3 families and their differing approaches to testing among siblings and children. Dr. John Roder, whose story you can view by clicking on this link,  attended the conference with his wife Mary Lou and has significant HD symptoms, was shown continuing to try to live a normal life, working as a researcher in cancer and schizophrenia at Toronto General Hospital. Dr. Jeff Carroll, who has been diagnosed along with 3 of his 5 siblings, was also featured. After learning that he carried the genetic mutation for HD, he changed career paths to become a neurologist, studying under Dr. Michael Hayden at UBC. He is now a world leader in research and along with Dr. Ed Wild edits HD Buzz which is available to the global community in 67 languages and presents easy to read research findings and papers by leaders in the HD scientific community. Dr. Carroll has twins who were the first infants born after pre-implementation genetic diagnosis, their embroyo screened for the mutation, and implanted to ensure the children cannot get HD.

There were a number of helpful seminars on how to better communicate with HD patients at various stages and assist caregivers. The active participation by young people in the YPAHD throughout is an encouraging sign that the tireless work by the many volunteers will continue and flourish into the future. The world wide HD community is organizing to record a data base to assist researchers to select participants in drug and therapy clinical trials, which will be starting soon.

On Friday night, many attendees joined friends of the cause at the Hockey Hall of Fame cocktail reception, with its many interactive exhibits thrilling young and old. Saturday dinner featured an Awards ceremony where years of service awards were given to caregivers and social workers, and special awards for individuals whose efforts contributed greatly to the cause. 38 Queens’ Diamond Jubilee Medals were also presented at the conference. The awards by the Queen through the Governor General of Canada are presented to 60,000 Canadians who have made a significant contribution to a particular province, territory, region or community within Canada.  Our own Jim Cameron was thrilled to be one of the recipient’s of this medal, in recognition of his fund-raising efforts for the Huntington Society of Canada.  We’re all very proud!

The conference closed with one slide: Drugs are on the way.

The conference was a tremendous success and provided inspiration and hope for all who attended for an eventual world without Huntington’s.

Huntington Society of Canada logo

Guest Blogger: 5 Ways to Save on Insurance Costs

We’re pleased to present a new Guest Blogger! We came across Gifford Associates’ blog recently & love what they’re saying.  We invited Tammy to blog for us, and are thrilled to feature her first entry.

Tammy Southin

Tammy Elizabeth Southin, BA (Hons) combines her solid insurance experience and extensive communication skills as an independent Social Media Consultant, with a particular interest in connecting the insurance industry in cyberspace. She provides top-level marketing and branding awareness services as the Social Media Marketing Director for Gifford Associates Insurance Brokers in Ottawa. Her work in this role earned Gifford Associates a special mention as a social media example for insurance brokers at the 2012 IBAO Annual Convention.


Car insurance does not have to cost you a wheel and a hubcap; there are ways to help lower your premiums and still maintain sufficient car insurance coverage for you and your family.

Protect your car from theft
Does your vehicle come have an anti-theft device? Models having factory-installed devices are usually included in a company’s premium calculations. If you have an alarm system installed after purchase, you may qualify for an anti-theft discount. Note however that steering locking devices like the Club generally do not qualify.

Are you an older driver?
Experience pays off. If you are an older driver with a good driving record, your carrier may offer an age discount. As well, there are several insurance providers catering exclusively to drivers fifty and older.

Young drivers and driver’s education
Young drivers and high rates go together, but taking driver’s education can payoff in discounts for new drivers. Some companies also offer discounts for young drivers who are doing well in school, which means more incentive to study. Check for discounts that may apply for young drivers away at university.

Exclude drivers with poor records
Does a driver in your household have a poor driving record because of accidents, numerous traffic tickets or cancelled insurance policies? Consider taking out an endorsement to exclude that person from driving your vehicle. Avoid having to pay higher premiums for the mistakes of others.

Do your homework

Shop around for insurance quotes to see if you are getting the maximum discounts and rewards available. Comparing coverages and costs will help you decide on the right policy for you.

Your car is a necessity and so is having sufficient insurance. There are ways to keep your auto insurance rates down without sacrificing coverage. Talk to your insurance professional and review your policy to discover the many ways you can save money.