Canadian Underwriter

IBC launches ‘Know Your Policy’ consumer awareness campaign

September 14, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has launched ‘Know Your Policy,’ an online campaign designed to promote insurance literacy among Canadian consumers.

“A car collision, a home damaged by wind or hail and a business interrupted by vandalism or floods are risks that people face each day,” Sally Turney, vice president of communications with IBC, said in a press release on Wednesday. “After a loss happens, everyday life can change in many different ways. Now is the time to know your policy and better protect yourself.”

In a series of online tips and videos across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, IBC will educate consumers on the importance of insurance, how to start a claim, how to buy insurance and where they can go with insurance-related questions. This campaign will also help make sense of coverage limits, deductibles, and other complex policy items that all consumers should be familiar with, the release said.

“As consumers, we often invest a significant amount of time researching purchases for household or personal items than we do researching our insurance products,” Turney suggested. “For those who have insurance, this campaign is designed to help consumers better understand why they should know what their policy covers. If you don’t have insurance for your car, home or business, now is the time to ask questions and protect your most-valuable assets.”

IBC’s Know Your Policy webpage provides information on how to read an insurance policy, including the four sections that a consumer can expect to see in a policy:

  1. Declaration – what risks are covered; policy limits; premium due; others who have an interest in the policy (e.g., mortgage holders, lenders); and a list of form numbers and endorsements that add to or alter the policy;
  2. Insuring agreements – what losses are covered; the subject matter of the insurance and description of the property covered; and the perils insured against – the circumstances when the insured may receive the proceeds of the insurance. For a claim to be valid, it must be covered under the insuring agreement and not stated as an exclusion;
  3. Policy conditions (requirements the insured must fulfill to maintain coverage) – if an insured breaches a condition, the policy can become void or the insurer may refuse a claim arising out of the breach; statutory conditions that the insurer must comply with; understanding how the law affects the policy; and
  4. Exclusions and special limits – certain property and perils are excluded from coverage; other insured property may be insured up to a special limit.

The Know Your Policy webpage also includes information on insurance basics; how to buy insurance; buying tips; a policy checklist; public versus private auto insurance; critters; and financial literacy.

Consumers should contact their insurance representatives to review existing policies, or to start new ones, IBC advised in the release. Consumers should also talk to their insurers about any questions they might have and to make sure they are properly covered. In addition, they can also contact IBC’s consumer information centres across Canada by calling 1-844-2ASK-IBC.

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