Volume 10, Issue 3, 2012 - Western Financial Group Insurance ...


Volume 10, Issue 3, 2012 - Western Financial Group Insurance ...



Europe has always been a favourite vacation

destination for Canadians.

Due to good international relationships with European

countries, travel has been easy and hassle-free. But before

you plan your trip to Europe, make sure you are informed

about the new entrance requirements.

In addition to a passport or visa, some European countries

are now requiring proof of travel insurance. According

to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, countries

such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine will not allow

entry without insurance.

As your provincial or territorial healthcare plan may not meet

the European coverage requirements for health insurance,

travellers are encouraged to purchase additional private

insurance. Group insurance plans such as yours will often

meet or exceed these requirements.

Before you embark on your European adventure be sure to

find out about your destination’s entrance requirements at:


Look for the countries you are planning to visit to find out

if your insurance meets the minimum requirements for

entry. Any requirements can be found under the Entry/

Exit Requirements section of each page. Be aware that

requirements can change from day to day.

Be prepared and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

– Reproduced from the Spring 2012 issue of WEST,

Western Canada’s magazine

School Bus Safety

September means back to school

for our children – it's important to

know the safety rules regarding

school bus flashing lights.

A school bus with flashing amber

lights means it's about to stop.

You must prepare to stop.

When you approach a school bus

with flashing red lights (whether

from the front or back), you must

stop at least 5 metres (15 ft.)

from the bus.

Remember that children may be

crossing the street in front of the

bus – wait for the flashing lights

to turn off before proceeding.

Passing a school bus with flashing

lights could result in the injury

or even death of a child, and a

heavy fine / demerit points on

your license.

Help keep our children safe –

stop for school buses!

– Bert Walker, Assistant Vice-President,

Claims & Personal Lines



Used with permission of Western Financial Group

Paris Street

Carbon Monoxide

Sipan Island, Croatia

Take Precautions while Travelling

The same safety rules apply while abroad as at home,

only more so. Foreigners are usually at greater risk than

locals. In some countries, foreigners are specifically


• Be sure not to wander into unknown areas – find out how

safe they are first.

• Never leave drinks unattended while in bars or nightclubs

and never accept food or drink from strangers. Drugs may

be present that could put you at risk of assault / robbery.

• Watch your luggage and make sure it is locked.

• Never take anything, even an envelope, across a border

for someone else.

• Do not display large amounts of money or expensive

jewellery in public.

• Use a money belt or a case with concealed sections for


• Keep a separate record of your traveller’s cheques and

credit cards.

• Never carry your passport, travel tickets, identification

documents, cash, credit cards, and insurance papers

together. If you do so, you risk being left with no

identification or funds in case of theft or loss.

• Use the safety deposit box at your hotel. Never leave

valuables in your room.

– Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas that can occur in homes and buildings as a by-product

of a fuel burning process. CO is colourless, odourless, tasteless and non-irritating – but

it can be deadly.

Appliances such as furnaces, kitchen stoves, hot water heaters and automobiles can produce

carbon monoxide if not provided with adequate fresh air to allow proper combustion and ventilation.

When a faulty or unusual condition exists – such as incomplete combustion or a cracked heat exchanger in a

furnace – carbon monoxide may be vented into areas where people are present.

At times, wood burning fireplaces / wood stoves can draw a lot of air from the room up into the chimney. If a

furnace is located and running in the vicinity of the wood stove and does not have a fresh air intake, it can result

in fumes and carbon monoxide from the furnace to be drawn back into the room rather than up the chimney.

Carbon monoxide poisoning may be difficult to diagnose. Its symptoms are similar to the flu, which

may include headache, nausea, fatigue and dizzy spells. Often a sign of carbon monoxide build up is plants with

wilting leaves.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

• Have your heating appliances and chimneys checked annually

by a qualified contractor.

• Install a fresh air intake for your furnace and wood fired


• Annually inspect and clean wood burning stoves and chimneys

to ensure proper combustion and ventilation.

• Do NOT run your car for extended periods inside your

garage – even with the garage door open. Carbon Monoxide

in the exhaust will build up and if your garage is attached to

your house, CO will seep into your house.

• Do NOT use wood, oil or kerosene fired space heaters in

your home or garage unless vented to the outside with an

approved chimney.

• Do NOT use barbecues inside your home or garage even

if the doors are open. If your garage is attached to your home,

the fumes could find their way into the house and collect in the

lower levels.

Trevi Fountain, Rome



Life Insurance Coverage

Your group benefits plan may

offer you a Life Insurance

benefit – but do you have enough

coverage for your spouse and

dependents to maintain their

standard of living if something

were to happen to you?

When determining the amount of

Life Insurance required consider

immediate needs such as funeral

expenses, debts, taxes and legal

fees, as well as ongoing costs such

as educational expenses, food,

taxes, housing costs, etc.

To meet the need for additional

Life Insurance, your policy may

provide Optional Life Insurance

for you and your spouse. This

would allow employees to add

additional coverage to the Life

Insurance amounts provided

through the group plan.

Employees would need to be

medically underwritten for

Optional Life Insurance coverage

and are generally responsible

for 100% of the premium if

approved. Contact your Customer

Service Representative for more


If the Carbon Monoxide Alarm Sounds:

– Stephen Redmond, Manager,

Employee Benefits Service Centre

Installing a

Carbon Monoxide

detector in your home

could save your

family’s lives!

1. If the CO alarm sounds in your home – yell to alert / wake

up occupants.

2. Immediately open doors and windows to get fresh air into

the house and dilute any carbon monoxide in the air.

3. Check the house to make sure everyone is awake and moving


4. Determine if anyone is exhibiting symptoms of CO poisoning

– headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness.

5. If there are any signs of CO poisoning, evacuate the building

and get occupants out into fresh air.

6. Call 911 from a neighbour’s house / cell phone, advise of

possible CO problem and request an ambulance.

7. Shut down any equipment / appliance that is found to be

suspect and have it checked immediately.

8. Once levels of CO have been reduced to a safe level

attempt to reset the detector(s) and allow occupants to enter

the building if alarm is clear.

– Ken Fingler, Director, Risk Management

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