As a result of large commercial insurance losses happening all over Canada, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has decided to form a national task force with the aim of helping consumers in Canada to manage costs and mitigate risk.
The idea behind the National Commercial Insurance Task Force is to bring together various brokers, insurers, small businesses, local chambers of commerce, trucking shareholders and risk experts together. Their task will focus around examining the global market and in turn develop recommendations that will keep insurance affordable and available.
The main focus of the task force will be looking into how increased commercial insurance premiums are affecting companies and consumers in Canada. But the main focus still lies in mitigating risks and managing costs for consumers.
According to recent sources, the first meeting will be held in Edmonton. Subsequent meetings are already scheduled to follow the inaugural one and will be held in Halifax, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.
The inaugural recommendations that the task force needs to provide will be released this fall.
The Task Force
As things stand, the task force has already been formed and will include representatives from Canadian Condominium Institute, Canadian Trucking Alliance, Insurance Brokers Association of Canada, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Risk and Insurance Management Society, and IBC of course. It will also add the insurance industry and some other stakeholders will also take part.
Don Forgeron, president and CEO of IBC, said that the Bureau has heard a lot from various concerned parties across the country. The complaints were mainly aimed at them not being able to find affordable insurance within the country. Actions had to be taken and thus comes the reason for forming this task force.
Forgeron exclaimed that he believes that if all stakeholders work together a solution to control costs will be found. It will ultimately help in improving insurance available as well.
Acquiring a Risk Manager
One of the first steps made was employing a risk manager. IBC said that employing one will ultimately help with making recommendations in regards to condominium corporations in reducing risks. IBC plans to allow the risk manager to make recommendations particularly in the area of Alberta, where there is already a lot of problems acquiring insurance. However, a risk manager is yet to be named and we can expect to see one really soon.
Some Expert Suggestions
Chuck Byrne, executive director, and chief operating officer of the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C., gave his thought on the matter. He exclaimed what needs to be done when it comes to rising strata/condo premiums and deductibles.
Some of the suggestions include a) Making insurance mandatory for all condo unit owners within the condo corporation; b) A heightened discipline in relation to depreciation reports and future capital and elated planning needs to be implemented for strata buildings in B.C.; c) A campaign needs to be formed which will attract unit owners and condo buildings to start adopting technology (e.g. shut-off valves, water detection sensors, and flow meters) in order to mitigate losses; d) adding standard “bare bones” definition of a strata unit and allowing a $50,000 cap on loss assessments.
All in all, this is a great idea that IBC has decided to implement. If things go as planned it would be more than fruitful for citizens in Canada to lessen their losses and diminish risks. Years of significant commercial insurance loss have already had a devastating effect on businesses in Canada. The formation of the task force should start turning things around.