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CIAA comments on use of foreign adjusters following Calgary hail event


July 3, 2020   by Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association

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TORONTO, ON, JULY 2, 2020/insPRESS/ –  The Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association (CIAA) has been asked for comment in recent social media postings related to the use of insurance claims adjusters from the USA by Canadian insurers in response to the recent hail and weather related claims arising from the storms on June 12 and 13, 2020 in Alberta.

The concerns expressed in social media posts relate to whether deployment of US adjusters to handle claims in Alberta was appropriate given the current pandemic travel and quarantine restrictions, and whether hiring adjusters to travel to Alberta from another country was appropriate given the current ample capacity within the Canadian adjusting industry to assist.

Due to Covid19, insurance claims activity in Canada has also fallen dramatically over the past several months as normal business activity and motor vehicle travel, both large contributors to claims frequency, have declined leaving the Canadian adjusting industry with significant excess capacity to take on new claims work. With many adjusters either on temporary layoff or employed by firms who are being supported by various levels of government under the pandemic economic recovery programmes, CIAA member firms have the capability to respond to disasters across the country.

As the voice of independent adjusters in Canada, CIAA has long supported and advocated for reducing barriers on licensed adjusters working across provincial and international boundaries, especially in the aftermath of disasters, when immediate needs of the insuring public require significant claims resources to be deployed. The USA and other countries as well as Canada have a long history of responding when the call to assist our neighbours comes. CIAA continues to support these mobility initiatives, however, feels there were significant gaps in the recent Alberta storm response including the potential health risks to Albertans given the current pandemic travel and quarantine restrictions to help control the spread of the COVID 19 virus.

Subsequent to a disaster, insurers and adjusters work together to assess resource needs and capacity to make the necessary requests for any special border crossing permissions or licensing arrangements once it is confirmed there is not sufficient domestic capacity to respond to the event.

Following the recent storms in Calgary, member firms of CIAA confirmed they have both capacity and ability to provide claims resources to adjust the claims that resulted. CIAA contacted Government and Industry advising of the significant capacity available in Canada and questioned the hastened release of the bulletin facilitating the process for foreign adjusters to cross the border.  Concerns around consumer protection with adjusters arriving from the USA and whether Alberta Health Services had been consulted and agreed to the proposed use of foreign adjusters and the terms of their entry whether any waivers under essential services regulations such as mandatory quarantine or testing programs would apply were also made known. Unfortunately, there were no discussions with CIAA regarding the request to have adjusters from the USA travel to Canada in this specific situation.

“For over 65 years Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association has played an important role in ensuring the highest level of professionalism in the adjusting profession in Canada” says John Jones, CIAA National President. “We work closely with insurers, regulators, other industry associations and our member firms to ensure claims adjusting remains a vital part of the trust that the insuring public has in the claims process. We recognize these are especially challenging times because of the current pandemic and we have reached out to our industry and government partners to reinforce the need to engage with all of the partners in this relationship when decisions around consumer protection and domestic capacity such as the recent situation in Calgary are made.”

CIAA is the national voice of Independent Adjusters in Canada, providing leadership through advocacy, education and recognized professional standards.

 

For more information, please contact:

Patricia Battle
Phone: 416-621-6222
pbattle@ciaa-adjusters.ca


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