By CRM staff
Toronto, Ontario -- March 22, 2019 -- What really happened this week? What were some of the big headlines? Collision Repair has recapped the five biggest car-collision-related headlines of the week.
1. How the Federal Budget will impact the collision repair industry
Canada's 2019 Federal Budget was officially tabled to Parliament on Tuesday and is expected to swiftly pass through both houses.
Repair facilities with more than half of a million dollars in annual revenue will not see any change to their rate of taxation. In the budget, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau introduced the Canada Training Benefit, giving individuals—not their employers—the ability to receive up to one month of EI benefits during training periods.
Expected to launch in 2020, after the next election, the program is designed to help improve the supply of qualified labour forces, especially in industries that fact a shortage of qualified workers—like the collision sector.
While the new training scheme may have a more direct impact on repair businesses, its impact on drivers could have a much more profound effect on the way repairs are performed. The government is investing $300 million to incentivize the purchase of mid-price electric vehicles.
2. B.C. insurance dilemma
As of April 1 British Columbia and Alberta will have substantially similar auto insurance systems, the key difference, however, will be the price. Both provinces auto insurance systems will have:
Tort-based systems with the ability to sue for pain and suffering;
A limit on pain and suffering awards for minor injury claimants;
Restrictions on the use of experts and expert reports;
Similar mandatory coverage levels;
Similar average injury claim costs: $50,658 in B.C. and $43,211 in Alberta (2017)
B.C. rates remain higher primarily due to the province having public insurance, eliminating competition from the market to drive down prices.
3. Volvo’s Care Keys
Volvo Cars is taking the dangers of speeding into consideration with its new vehicles. As a result, the OEM has come out with a new feature of technology that will set a speed limit on its vehicles. The CareKey will allow any Volvo buyer to a set a speed limit for themselves, their family member or friends and will be standard on Volvo Cars from the model year 2021. The company also views this as an opportunity for insurance companies to offer special rates to the Volvo community for using these safety features.
4. Western Alliance
The Saskatchewan Association of Auto Repairers (SAAR) annual spring conference had a number of announcements, most of which was revolved around the SGI’s 2020 accreditation model for shops. Industry relations advisor for British Columbia’s Auto Retailers Association David Ribeiro announced during his presentation that SAAR, B.C. ARA, and Manitoba’s Automotive Trade’s Association will be forming a western alliance. The members from the associations will now be apart of not just one but all three associations. “For example, the ARA has a group plan that is not only extremely competitive, but they actually have higher levels of payouts to their members,” said SAAR executive director Tom Bissonnette.
5. Aviva and Desjardins' joint investigation cracks down on fraudster
A man in Ontario is facing charges for selling fraudulent auto insurance to drivers, which was conducted from a joint investigation done by Desjardins Insurance and Aviva Canada. In mid-2018 Desjardins became suspicious of Sherif Aly, an Ontario resident who was selling fraudulent auto insurance. Desjardins reached out to Aviva and started the investigation. The police were also involved and found Aly guilty facing two counts of fraud under $5,000, falsification of books and documents, and fraudulent intent.