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Insurers pledge small business help as pressure mounts to address rising rates

October 29, 2020   by The Canadian Press

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A group representing Canadian insurance companies say it is launching a team that will help small businesses find affordable coverage as rates rise because of the pandemic.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada, an association that represents the industry, says the team will start its work by focusing on helping the hard-hit hospitality sector in Ontario.

The move comes after business owners and politicians in Ontario raised concerns over increasing instances of sky-rocketing commercial insurance rates and outright denial of coverage in some cases.

Premier Doug Ford twice warned the insurance sector last week that it could face possible regulation if it did not help businesses.

The insurance bureau says the new team, which will begin work next month, will evaluate the needs of the businesses and find them appropriate coverage.

Related: Ontario promises action to address rising commercial insurance rates, critics urge regulation

The CEO of the insurance bureau acknowledged the frustration small business owners are facing.

“We have a shared interest in making sure that as many small hospitality businesses as possible in Ontario can find the insurance they need – even in a time of heightened uncertainty and risk,” Don Forgeron said in a statement.

The Ontario government said that Ford and Finance Minister Rod Phillips organised a conference call with the heads of insurance companies last week to press them to take action.

Phillips’ office said he told the companies the government wants to work with them, but needed to protect small businesses.

“The expectation is to see solutions within days, not weeks,” Phillips said in a statement.

Ford had slammed the companies during a press conference last week when he urged them to take action to stop what he called “gouging” by some in the sector.

Ontario does not currently regulate commercial insurance, something the Progressive Conservative government said last week that it has not ruled out.


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1 Comment » for Insurers pledge small business help as pressure mounts to address rising rates
  1. paul armstrong says:

    Governments must have a say even though they seldom have solutions.
    The demand to the industry to do something hopefully worked. Insurers collectively have a duty to provide a programme where businesses can survive even with higher premiums and possibly new exclusions. Society and our legal system have a duty to avoid frivolous claims to help get our economy back on it’s feet. If we are all in this together, then integrity at all levels is required.

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