Breakfast Meeting May 20, 2017

My name is Jokelee Vanderkop*. A head-on collision cost me my career as a secondary school teacher and left me with a chronic pain disorder as well as some brain impairments. For twelve years, I was embroiled in a battle for benefits with my car insurer and extended health carrier. The emotional toll this battle takes is tremendous. I am but one of many legitimate claimants who has had to fight their insurer tooth and nail to have their insurance policy honoured.

The story of my insurance battle was compounded by an incurable cancer that developed four years into the process, followed by rheumatoid arthritis. My book, ‘So You Think You’re Covered! The Insurance Industry Rip-Off’ contains valuable advice about how I won on all fronts. I wrote it to inform others so that they would be on a more equal footing with their insurer. I have learned some very useful lessons that should help others when they have to file a claim for benefits.

The author has her M.A. in Political Studies, along with a Bachelor’s in Education. She is proficient in French, having lived in Switzerland for eight years. Before becoming a high school teacher, she worked at the University of Guelph, Ontario, playing a key role in conceptualizing and organizing the five day international “Ethics and Technology” Conference at the University of Guelph in 1989. She produced and co­edited two books, pre­conference and post­conference publications entitled, ‘Ethics and Technology: Ethical Choices in the Age of Pervasive Technology’, and has co­authored articles on food security, the Shining Path in Peru, as well as on international development issues. She was the editor/producer of Worldscape, an International Development periodical put out by the Centre for International Programs in Guelph. For nine years, she worked as a volunteer in various capacities with the Rural Women’s Shelter Program. Ms. Vanderkop has traveled extensively in Europe as well as in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.

Before her car accident, she taught French Immersion and Core French, History, Economics, Geography and Law in Palmerston, Ontario, where she still resides.