Snowbirds Beware! New Law in Florida Requires International Driver’s Permits

We’ve been hearing a lot about this topic in the news over the last couple of weeks, and is of great interest for those of us in Ontario who drive south in the winter, especially for March Break!

Florida has passed a law requiring all out-of-country drivers to have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP).  Failure to do so could result in fines and/or other charges.  It’s not clear what the intention of this legislation was, and if it was to ensure that tourists from overseas were confirmed to be properly licenced.  Those of us who have handled auto claims know that it can be quite arduous to confirm licence details from drivers from overseas, further hindered by communication and language barriers.  In all likelihood, this law stemmed from such issues, and not because of us, their cousins north of the border.

In Ontario, anyone staying in the province for less than 3 months does not need an IDP. These drivers only need a valid licence from their home province or country, and need to be at least 16 years old.  After 3 months, an IDP is needed. More information can be found here on the government’s website.

What are the implications of failing to get your IDP for your Florida vacation?  One is that your insurance company might not cover you if you are in an accident.  This can have dire consequences for large repair and medical bills. As per CAA (the only place in Canada where you can get an IDP) this new law is not being enforced for Canadian drivers, pending further review of the law.  However, strictly speaking, if you do not have a valid licence, your insurer can deny coverage.  So, what now?

You’ll likely want to err on the side of caution, and join the lineups at CAA to get your International Driver’s Permit.  It’s a quick process, the cost is $25, and you must be at least 18.  Don’t worry!  It’s just a translation of your information.  You don’t have to write a test.

Stay tuned for further updates!

Jim Cameron to be Awarded the Fellow of Distinction by the Insurance Institute

We are thrilled to learn that our president, Jim Cameron, was nominated for the Fellow of Distinction Award, and has been selected as this years’ recipient!

Jim has been actively involved in the insurance industry throughout his over 30 year career, and is highly sought for his expertise, passion and philanthropy.  Jim is a past president of the Ontario Insurance Adjuster’s Association, has facilitated several CIP and other courses for the Insurance Institute, and is an active member of the Huntington Society of Canada.  Jim was recently awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work fundraising and creating awareness for the Huntington Society.

Please join us in congratulating Jim!  We’re very proud to have him as our boss.

Jim’s award will be presented at the GTA Fellows’ Reception on February 12th, 2013.  We hope to see you there!


Sharon, Jim, Kim, Jeannie & Susan at the 2012 OIAA Christmas Party

Our Social Media Sites

We really enjoy keeping up with “Friends of Cameron” through our social media outlets.

Check out our efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instouch as we take on the social media world by storm!

We’re always looking for guest bloggers to write for us.  Please let us know if you have something to add to our blog, or have information on your own blog that you’d like to share:

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

OIAA Golf Tournament June 8, 2012

Jim, Brian, Sharon and Derrick attended the OIAA tournament at Deer Creek. Beautiful weather all day long made for a very pleasant day on this lovely course.

All proceeds of the day went to Big Brothers and Big Sisters the charity chosen by the OIAA.

Blair Boilard, the Northern Ontario Delegate all the way from Elliot Lake, Ontario, ran a tight ship (again) so that the tournament with 600 golfers went like clock work. Jim won a Sony Blue Ray DVD player which will be re-donated to our upcoming Huntington Society Golf Tournament on August 22nd at Deer Creek.

We look forward to next year and always love meeting up with old friends on the course!

Jim, Sharon, Brian and Derrick

Jim, Sharon, Brian and Derrick OIAA Golf 2012

Golfers walking to their carts

The Call to the Carts

Coaching and Mentoring Program (C.A.M.P.)

With the summer fast approaching, we got to thinking of C.A.M.P.!  Even though this C.A.M.P. doesn’t involve mosquitoes and campfires, we’re still very excited.

This program is specifically tailored to your needs.  We offer one-on-one coaching and mentoring both in-person and on the phone.

Who this program suits:

  • Small claims departments
  • Claims handlers who need focussed and specific training
  • New adjusters
  • Adjusters transitioning to handle a new line of claims (e.g. from Auto Physical Damage to Bodily Injury or Accident Benefits or from Personal Lines to Commercial)
  • Brokerages who handle claims in-house

This is a suggested program:

  • One on one mentoring with an experienced claims professional
  • In-person & telephone mentoring
  • Technical assistance on coverage and procedural issues
  • Assistance with file action plans, including investigation
  • Call observations, and feedback
  • Assistance with correspondence response
  • Reserve recommendations
  • Exposure identification
  • Negotiation best practices
  • Statement taking basics, observation & feedback
  • Coaching on the Litigation process

In a nutshell, this program provides you with immediate technical expertise, coaching and training to further hone your claims handling skills.

Program Delivery and Timelines:

Month one: One to two days per week of side-by-side coaching (can be full or half days), followed by as-needed phone consultations, charged hourly

Month two: One to two days every two weeks of side-by-side coaching, followed by as-needed phone consultations, charged hourly

Ongoing: Phone consultations, with one day per month of side-by-side coaching and follow-up after month 2

Contact Us

If you have specific claims training requirements for an individual or small group, we can design this program for you.

We’d love to chat more about our C.A.M.P., let us know how we can help!

Nicole Langley, Training & Business Development:  or 416-306-2857

Brian Grieve, Vice President: or 416-350-7359

Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society Membership

We’re pleased to announce that the President of Cameron & Associates, Jim Cameron, has been accepted as a member of the Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society.

Jim is honoured to be part of such a great group of arbitrators.

From the Toronto Commercial Arbitration Society’s website:

TCAS mission statement

To promote and develop in Toronto a world centre for arbitration excellence to resolve international and domestic disputes by providing

  • qualified arbitrators,
  • exceptional facilities,
  • experienced counsel,
  • innovative research, and
  • a supportive legal environment regardless of the location of the parties or their systems of law.

And to promote the use of arbitration to resolve commercial disputes by

  • developing alliances with other arbitral organizations and centres of learning,
  • sponsoring international conferences featuring preeminent practitioners as speakers,
  • advocating supportive international and domestic legislation, and
  • providing a forum and network for the exchange of ideas on all aspects of international and domestic arbitration
  • promoting and understanding of available rules and arbitral institutions to facilitate commercial arbitration.

Congratulations, Jim!

AB Mediation Backlog

35,000 cases and counting.  What happens when the dam bursts?

Under the current Ontario Insurance Act, if you have a dispute with an Insurer involving the payment of accident benefits under the SABS (Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule), you must file for mediation with the Dispute Resolution Practice Group (DRPG) at FSCO (Financial Services Commission Of Ontario). This mediation must take place before the claimant can proceed to the courts through a law suit or by arbitration (again to be filed with the Dispute Resolution Practice Group).

The Act provides that such mediation shall take place within 60 days of the filing date with FSCO.  FSCO have found themselves facing some staffing issues and an unusual volume of cases being presented which resulted in a backlog of about 35,000 mediations.

The Auditor General of Ontario commented on this situation and FSCO has posted an RFP for outside services to assist in aggressively attacking the backlog.  One of the problems may be, however, what happens when the case is not settled at mediation.  If only 60% settle, 40% of these or 14,000 new cases will appear before the courts or at arbitration within the next few years.  Are we ready?

A great article in the Law Times talks a bit more on this subject.

We can help Insurers to get ready for mediations, and coach on mediation best practices.

Let us know if we can help! 

Thanks for reading,

Jim Cameron

New Vice President Announcement

Jim Cameron is pleased to announce the promotion of Brian Grieve to Vice President of Cameron & Associates Insurance Consultants.

Brian has been invaluable to us since joining Cameron in the role of Operations Manager. He is a key contributor to our past successes and will continue to monitor and manage our anticipated rapid growth in the exciting times ahead.

Congratulations, Brian!