September 10, 2001 by Canadian Underwriter
A research study conducted by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) of the insuring buying public in Atlantic Canada suggests that over 85% of those surveyed believe that the property and casualty insurance industry continues to be profitable. Last year, insurers notched up a loss of $190 million from the region, observes the IBC’s Atlantic vice president Don Fergeron.
The IBC survey, initiated in May of this year, was conducted electronically with more than 1,000 adult residents within the Atlantic provinces. In addition to the poor recognition of the financial performance of insurance companies, the survey results indicate that one out of three residents have a "good or excellent" opinion of auto insurers, while another third hold a "satisfactory" opinion. Only 37% of those surveyed believe that the rising cost of claims are causing auto insurance premiums to go up. Fergeron says that the survey results clearly indicate that insurers have "more work to do" in improving consumer perceptions of the industry.
Fergeron says the survey information will be shared with all interested parties, including government officials representing the provinces. The IBC has already held meetings with government officials in an attempt to bring about product reform to stem the rise in claims costs. Further research is already in the works, according to the IBC, to determine the exact cause of the dramatic rise seen in auto claims costs.