February 27, 2005 by Canadian Underwriter
In response to rising premiums and availability issues, B.C.’s tourism operators have some new tools to improve their risk profile and hopefully receive lower rates, but also to provide coverage in specific sectors.
The province’s Council of Tourism Associations has put together a program which not only offers liability insurance, but also safety and risk management standards. The program was developed with insurance broker Shaw Sabey & Assoc. and Adventureinsurance.ca, as well as risk management firm Pinnacle Risk & Insurance Consultants.
The extensive consultations with the insurance industry that led to this program’s development take us a giant step forward to securing affordable and accessible coverage for nature-based tourism businesses,” said Brian Gunn, president of the Wilderness Tourism Association of B.C.
Nature-based tourism operators will be the first targeted for liability insurance, based on their dire need for affordable coverage. “Nature-based tourism operators’ access to affordable insurance has been evaporating over the last three years forcing many to hire fewer people and to put expansion plans on hold,” notes a COTA press release. “Many of these operators have reported paying double, triple even quadruple what they used to pay for similar liability coverage with a lower deductible.”
Western Economic Diversification Canada and B.C.’s Ministry of Small Business and Economic Development (with Minister John Lee a former insurance broker himself) also led the project’s development, hoping to help the tourism industry expand in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Whistler.