Thursday, March 29, 2012

Loonies and Toonies - spill on Highway


‘Loonies and toonies’ – heard this terminology for the first time today.  Insurers have  ‘cash  in Transit’ policy also known ‘Money Insurance’ – that primarily covers the cash that is being drawn for wages, salaries and the like; money being withdrawn or taken for deposit from / to bank and business premises; business money collected by employees and the cash on the premises during business hours and being kept in ‘lockers / safes’ after office hours……… the one contemplated in this post is different – it is the ‘liquid cash’ of a high magnitude in transit !


Canadian dollar is the currency of Canada – it is amongst the most traded currencies in the World.  Besides the paper money, they have coins of various denominations.   The coinage is  produced by the Royal Canadian Mint and denominated in Canadian dollars ($) or cents     The $2 coin, carrying a polar bear, was introduced in 1996, is called by analogy the "toonie" ;  Canadian $1 coin, is  the "loonie".

King's Highway 11, commonly referred to as Highway 11, is a provincially maintained highway in the Canadian province of Ontario.  Brinks is a security and protection company  popularly known for its bullet-resistant armored trucks which are used to carry money and valuable goods.  They also provide security services to banks, retailers, governments, mints and jewelers.

the road accident - Photo courtesy : the star Canada

In a road accident, Millions of dollars in loonies and toonies got scattered over a section of Highway 11 and reportedly  are under guard by provincial Police,  north of Kirkland Lake on  27th March 2012.  Huge amounts of coins lay scattered and reportedly, Authorities in northern Ontario are planning  to use an industrial strength magnet to pick up roughly $3 million in coins.  Two people were reportedly seriously injured in the accident and have been hospitalized.   

Newspaper reports suggest that  a Brinks security truck was travelling south at 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning (28/3/12)  between the communities of Ramore and Kirkland Lake when it crossed the centre line and hit a rock-face in the opposite ditch, said Const. Marc Depatie of the South Porcupine OPP. The driver and passenger from the truck were taken to nearby hospitals with life-threatening injuries.  The security truck’s cargo — slightly more than $3 million in uncirculated loonies and toonies — spilled out onto the highway and surrounding area, roughly 300 kilometres north of Sudbury.  In what is reported to be a multiple collision, a tractor-trailer travelling northbound then hit the security truck, which was then hit by a minivan. A third tractor-trailer, hauling candy, then smashed into the rear of the second tractor-trailer, spilling some of its load onto the road.

Coins spilled on road : Photo courtesy : nationalpost.com

Thus, $3 million in one and two-dollar coins with a considerable amount of confections and candy are lying scattered on the ground.  After the accident, the highway was  blocked in both directions; Police  were on the scene to provide  security for the removal of the coins and Traffic personnel have also started their investigations. 

Some amount could have been lost as  there were unconfirmed reports of some passersby helping themselves.  Immediately, lots of security was put in place and the road is not expected to be opened till the recovery operations are completed.  A spillage of this magnitude could not have occurred earlier and there are reports that Security firms do use tractor trailers for hauling coins intra-provincially because of the weight.

A perfect setting for a claim under an Insurance Policy, if insured

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
29th March 2012

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