Canadian Underwriter

What’s New: In brief (June 23, 2005)

June 23, 2005   by Canadian Underwriter

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Motor vehicle collisions were responsible for more than half of the alcohol-related severe trauma hospitalizations in Canada in 2002-2003, representing a 9% increase over three years, according to statistics recently released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Over 30% of alcohol-related motor vehicle collisions involved Canadians under the age of 25. The number of youth (those under the age of 25) injured in alcohol-related motor vehicle collisions rose from 237 in 2000-2001 to 267 in 2001-2002, but declined to 250 in 2002-2003. Most of the collisions resulting in major trauma related to drinking and driving among youth occurred on weekends (77%) and at night (72%), and the most likely month for those between the ages of 10 and 24 to sustain severe injuries in an alcohol-related motor vehicle collision was June. According to Statistics Canada, 9% of 16 and 17 year-olds, 18% of 18 and 19 year-olds and 16% of 20 to 24 year-olds say that they have driven after drinking. The mortality rate in an alcohol-related collision varies with the age of the driver. The likelihood of death for a driver under the influence of alcohol who is younger than 25 are greater than that for any other age group.
Of those who died because of trauma in a motor vehicle collision, and had a positive alcohol level, 43% were under the age of 25. Among youth, 62% of severe trauma deaths related to alcohol were the result of a motor vehicle collision, and 30% of these fatalities occurred in people younger than the legal drinking age. The Canada Safety Council estimates that in Canada, over four million automobile trips are taken every year in which the driver felt they were over the legal limit. In 2002, there were 850 road fatalities related to drinking drivers. Of all road fatalities that occurred among youth, 42% had positive alcohol levels.

Walter Farnam and Jack Sullivan have recently been appointed to the Kingsway Financial Services Inc.’s (TSX: KFS) Board of Directors. Since 1998 until his retirement in 2001 Farnam served as chairman of the board of the CGU Insurance Group in the U.S. Prior to June, 1998 Farnam chairman and CEO of General Accident Insurance in Philadelphia. He also held the position of president and COO General Accident Insurance in the U.S. from July 1985 through August 1991. He is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and is past chairman of the council of Insurance Company Executives. Farnam also served on the executive committee and board of trustees of the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty. Sullivan has held various senior positions in the insurance and reinsurance business in the U.S., Canada and Europe. He was president of G.J. Sullivan, Co. in Los Angeles from 1985 to 1992 when he moved to the holding company of the Sullivan Companies as vice chairman. He retired from day-to-day service in 1996 but continues to serve as the non-executive vice chair of the Sullivan Companies. Sullivan is also a former member of the board of governors of Farmers Insurance Group. The nine-member board of Kingsway Financial is now comprised of David Atkins, John Beamish, Thomas Di Giacomo, Walter Farnam, Bernard Gluckstein, J. Brian Reeve, Bill Star, Jack Sullivan and F. Michael Walsh.