IBAO Takes the National Stage

With so many moving parts between the Federal and Provincial governments and insurance regulators, it’s important to keep communication channels open across all stakeholders. So last month, IBAO hosted a National Advocacy Day in Ottawa for the first time. Six brokers had 20 Meetings with MPs, including a private meeting with Pierre Poilievre, the Leader of the Official Opposition. 

Here are a few of the key messages we shared with elected officials—specifically those around natural catastrophes—to protect the interests of consumers and brokers alike. 

Keeping the Nat Cats Away

Insurance to mitigate the financial implications of natural catastrophes is becoming increasingly important for our communities as we see incidences of wildfires and flooding in particular, increase across the country. Many policyholders don’t have the protection they need against natural catastrophes, which is a big concern. 

The increased frequency of natural catastrophes worries many Canadians, especially property owners. Canadians can lose everything they own in a single event, and then find out that they lack the financial recovery tools that they need to rebuild their lives. We’ve seen this time and again in Ontario with flooding in the GTA, tornados in the Ottawa region and forest fires in Northern Ontario. The financial exposure of a significant earthquake event in BC or Eastern Ontario/Quebec could be material to both individuals and governments alike. 

The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) is working to improve the gap between the risk to individual Canadians, their take-up of adequate insurance and/or over reliance of their Province’s Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) program. This is a positive step, one that the IBAO is leading the industry in assessing and implementing their recommendations. There is more to be done and communication between all stakeholders, insurance brokers and consumers is going to be key.  

Getting Aligned

We must take a coordinated approach to ensure Canadians have climate coverage, so after a disaster happens, policyholders aren’t unknowingly on the hook for their damaged homes, businesses and personal property. Through our work with IBAC, we’re asking the federal government to continue to support public awareness initiatives that inform Canadians of the risks and how to mitigate them. We support the National Adaptation Strategy, which includes a government funded program for retrofits that increase the resilience of residential and commercial buildings and provide greater protection from the impacts of extreme weather events caused by climate change.

As the federal government implements the National Flood Insurance Plan and National Adaptation Strategy, we encourage all stakeholders to continue to look for opportunities to expand and clarify public knowledge of the natural catastrophic risks that they are exposed to. In addition to the development of digital tools, insurance brokers are a vehicle for consumer education, providing professional advice to Ontario property owners each and every day.

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