Atlantic Newsletter

January 2023


​VP Letter


Insurance is complicated. Most people will tell you that, even those who work in the insurance industry. It's complicated because it needs to be. Every home that has experienced a fire requires different processes, expertise and skills to be rebuilt. Every car requires different parts and specialized mechanics to repair it. Therefore, insurance is based on legal agreements, or contracts. If a house catches on fire or a car is in a collision, each party has documentation on what their rights and obligations are. While home and car insurance contracts – or policies - are relatively standard across the industry, they can still be complicated.

Commercial insurance is tailored to the needs of organizations such as businesses and non-profits. These contracts can be even more complicated depending on the needs of the organization. IBC always recommends that organizations spend time talking with their insurance representative and asking questions during the annual renewal process.

IBC provides resources to assist business insurance customers to navigate the insurance market. Any organization that obtains commercial insurance products can access the two resources from IBC: namely, a helpline devoted to business information and a website with information based on the questions we have received through our Business Insurance Helpline. That site is located here, and the Business Information Helpline is 1-844-2ask-IBC or 1-844-227-8422.

On the website, there are a number of resources designed for specific industries. Two items that I would like to call to your attention are IBC's risk management services and tips for snow clearing operators.

Risk management services

Risk management is important for commercial enterprises and organizations seeking commercial insurance. In many cases, what we find from the organizations we have assisted is that they already have great risk management programs – they just need to document them and provide that documentation to their insurance representative. With other organizations, there are some small actions they can take to improve their risk profile; with minimal effort, these actions can open doors for quotes on coverage.

Snow clearing operators

Lately, we have heard from a few snow clearing operators about the difficulty they are experiencing in shopping the commercial insurance market. In addition, we have heard about other operators having difficulty through media stories. If you know someone who has a snow clearing operation, please provide them with the tips document contained in the link above and also the Business Information Helpline's phone number, so they can speak with a risk manager. Snow clearing is an important service that professionals provide. What is equally important is ensuring that they take a few extra steps to ensure that they are protected in the event of an injury or damage. In some cases, keeping a detailed log will help. In other cases, having clients sign a contract (either tailored or a template) that outlines areas of responsibility can help.

Personal insurance customers as well as commercial insurance customers can also call our Consumer Information Centre, toll-free, for help: 1-844-2ask-IBC or 1-844-227-5422.

Amanda Dean, Vice-President, IBC Atlantic  

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NS Government Launches Automobile Insurance Consultation


Following persistent and consistent advocacy by IBC, NS issued its auto review consultation paper on December 5. IBC is consulting with its members on the submission, which is due February 3. Aiding greatly in making industry's case, IBC along with two member company CEOs and one CFO met with Premier Tim Houston on September 20, 2022. The Premier recognized the need for the auto review to proceed more quickly than had originally been planned.

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Hurricane Fiona: The Recovery and Claims Process


After any disruptive weather event, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) understands how urgently homeowners want to put their lives back together. Wait times for insurance adjusters and contractors can add to homeowners' frustration.

Insurers began preparing for the wrath of Hurricane Fiona even before she came ashore. Unfortunately, with the unprecedented number of homes impacted by Fiona, coupled with supply chain issues and building material shortages, the recovery time may be longer than any of us would hope. IBC recently created a document to help homeowners understand the recovery process and what they can do to mitigate further damage while they wait for their claim to be settled.

It's important for anyone who was impacted, or with a claim still open, to communicate with their insurance representative and/or their insurer directly. Mitigation efforts, anticipation of timelines, and what comes next in the process are all things that the industry is ready and willing to discuss.

Anyone who has questions about coverage is encouraged to contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre by phone (toll-free) at 1-844-2ask-IBC (1-844-227-5422) or by email at AtlanticCIC@ibc.ca

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Property and Casualty Insurance Industry Continues to Pay Increasingly Large Claims for Severe Weather


Hurricane Fiona is estimated to have caused over $800 million in insured damage, according to preliminary estimates by Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ).

Across the industry, severe weather is one of the main drivers of claims costs, which have been rising steadily for decades. In Atlantic Canada, personal property claims rose by nearly 20% from 2017 to 2021, with the highest increase (44%) in Newfoundland and Labrador. In that same period, the Region's commercial property claims rose by over 53%, and nearly 90% in Prince Edward Island alone.

Insurance claims from severe weather have more than quadrupled across Canada since 2008. The new normal for insured catastrophic damages in Canada has reached $2 billion annually. IBC continues to advocate for governments to urgently prioritize investments that build resilience and better protect families and communities from a changing climate.

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New data shows 85% of Canadians want action on climate adaptation


Canadians Want Action on Flood and Climate Change Adaptation, according to a poll commissioned by IBC. Some of the poll's highlights specific to the Atlantic region include the following:

  • Despite feeling that governments have done a good job on climate change policies, NL residents are much more likely than those in other provinces to feel that governments should continue doing more to prepare against natural disasters.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador residents (24%), New Brunswick residents (16%) and Nova Scotia residents (14%) are among the most likely to report having experienced overland flooding.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador residents (32%), followed by 11% of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia residents, and 13% of British Columbia residents are most likely to report experiencing forest fires such that they have been evacuated from their home or had their home damaged. Of Newfoundland and Labrador residents, 30% have experienced an evacuation, and 27% have been impacted by smoke inhalation.
  • NS residents (along with Ontario residents) are more concerned about tornadoes and hurricanes than the rest of the country, and feel governments should do more to prepare for these events.
  • Across Canada, only 4 in 10 homeowners (38%) report having natural disaster insurance coverage specifically for the event they feel their home is at risk of experiencing.

IBC is committed to working closely with the private sector, first responders and governments to improve Canada's preparedness for and resilience to severe weather events.

Recently, IBC met with environment ministers and other key government officials in Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick to discuss climate change and a national flood insurance program. We are also working to secure a meeting in Nova Scotia.

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It's Time to Modernize New Brunswick's Auto Insurance


For too long, New Brunswick's auto insurance rate regulation system has been outdated and inflexible, resulting in unpredictable premium spikes for consumers. In fact, it hasn't changed much in over 20 years. With the cost of groceries, gas and just about everything else going up, an unpredictable insurance spike is the last thing New Brunswickers need right now. We believe drivers deserve better, and we are letting the government know it's time to modernize the system.

You can send a message for positive change. Visit AvoidtheShock.ca to learn more about how New Brunswick's auto insurance can be improved.

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Insurance Validation Program Launches in Newfoundland and Labrador


The Newfoundland and Labrador government, in partnership with IBC, has launched the Insurance Validation Program (IVP), a digital insurance confirmation system. This system allows IBC to verify that the vehicle identification number (VIN) submitted with a vehicle renewal has an active insurance policy in place. The confirmation of coverage takes place quickly through the MyGovNL portal, or at the counter at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. IVP applies to all passenger-plated, owned or leased private passenger vehicles with a model year of 1983 or later.

Residents of the province who have upcoming renewals, will receive a letter from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) indicating whether a valid insurance policy number needs to be updated in the Registry's system prior to renewal.

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New Research Shows Small and Mid-sized Businesses Need to Improve their Staff's Cyber Risk Awareness


As many companies continue to operate remotely and put a greater reliance on the internet, cyber criminals are looking to take advantage of this new work model to attack vulnerable systems, such as mobile devices and less secure networks.

According to IBC's recent research, some organizations may be overlooking one relatively affordable cyber defence mechanism: staff training.

A survey of 1,525 Canadians who work at a small or medium-sized business (defined as fewer than 500 employees) revealed a number of startling findings:

  • Two in five of the employees surveyed (42%) said they have seen an increase in cyber scam attempts over the last year.
  • Only about a third of surveyed employees (34%) reported that their company provides mandatory cyber security awareness training.
  • Only half (50%) of the employees surveyed reported that their organization has introduced multi-factor authentication, a critical cyber security defence mechanism that requires a user to provide two or more verification factors to access a corporate network or application.
  • Only about a quarter of the employees surveyed (24%) reported that their employer conducts phishing email simulations to help promote cyber vigilance.

IBC's survey also revealed that 7 in 10 employees of small and medium-sized businesses (72%) reported at least one behaviour that could allow a cyber criminal to gain access to their company's computer systems. This further demonstrates the urgency for more employers to educate their employees on how to reduce cyber threats.

As cyber criminals get savvier, business owners and staff have a collective responsibility to stay ahead of them. That's why IBC has launched cybersavvycanada.ca, a new cyber education initiative to help Canadians better understand the threat of cyber attacks and what they can do to reduce their risk.

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About IBC

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2-ASK-IBC.

Disclaimer

© (2023) Insurance Bureau of Canada. All rights reserved. This document contains copyrighted material and is not to be modified, copied, reproduced or redistributed in whole or in part, in any way, without the express written permission of Insurance Bureau of Canada. The content contained in this newsletter is being provided for information purposes only.