February 18, 2020 by Jason Contant
Following years of significant commercial insurance losses, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has launched a national task force to examine ways to help Canadian consumers mitigate risk and manage costs.
The National Commercial Insurance Task Force will bring together insurers, brokers, local chambers of commerce, small businesses, trucking stakeholders and risk experts to look at the impacts of the hardening global market and develop recommendations to help keep insurance “affordable and available” across the country. The task force will look at how increased commercial insurance premiums are affecting Canadian companies and consumers, as well as ways for consumers to mitigate risk and manage costs.
An inaugural meeting will be held this month in Edmonton, followed by meetings in Vancouver, Halifax, Toronto and Montreal in the coming months. The task force’s report providing recommendations is due this fall.
“We’ve heard from concerned parties across the country about challenges with finding affordable insurance and we want to know what can be done to overcome the problems,” said Don Forgeron, president and CEO of IBC, in a press release Feb. 10. “We strongly believe that if all stakeholders work together, we can find solutions to control costs and, ultimately, improve insurance availability.”
The task force includes representatives from the Canadian Condominium Institute, Canadian Trucking Alliance, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Insurance Brokers Association of Canada, Risk and Insurance Management Society, IBC, the insurance industry and other stakeholders.
Last month, IBC announced that it was engaging a risk manager who can make practical recommendations to condominium corporations to reduce their risk. IBC will make the risk manager available to assist condo corporations – especially in Alberta – who are having trouble acquiring insurance, IBC said in a release Jan. 7. An IBC spokesperson told Canadian Underwriter at the time that the risk manager has yet to be named.
Engaging the risk manager is part of IBC’s Condominium Action Plan to further assist affected condo corporations in Alberta. Other components of the plan include:
Consumers who have questions or want to learn more about commercial insurance, risk management or factors that impact premiums can call 1-844-2ASK-IBC or visit ibc.ca.
Chuck Byrne, executive director and chief operating officer of the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C. (IBABC), was asked recently by Canadian Underwriter about what he thinks would help address rising strata/condo premiums and deductibles. Among his suggestions: