IBC sees spike in high-loss weather events across Canada


The nights are cooling down, and the floodwaters are rising.

As hurricane season hits its stride, it begs the question: are things getting worse?

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has an answer to that question – yes.

Insurers from coast to coast in Canada are seeing increases in severity and frequency of severe weather events, said Erin Norwood, manager of government relations with the IBC’s Atlantic office, Sept. 4.

“Last year, we noticed right across the country that insured damage from severe weather events reached over $2 billion, which is the highest amount of losses on record,” said Norwood, speaking on behalf of the national association representing the country’s private home, auto and business insurers. “That was from a high amount of high-loss events across the country.”

This is a pattern that has persisted over the course of a decade, from events like the historic flooding in New Brunswick in 2018, resulting in $6 million in insured losses, to the 2016 flooding in the Cape Breton area, which caused about $100 million worth of damage.

Overland flood insurance, Norwood said, is a relatively new option for consumers seeking additional protection.

“That’s something I think is really important for people to consider when they’re preparing for severe weather events,” she said. “It’s really important for people to check with insurance reps to see what optional coverages are available to them, and that includes overland flood insurance.”

Norwood recommends that property owners concerned about severe weather events reach out to their insurance representatives directly to go over their policies and learn more about what coverage is appropriate.

“It’s really important when people are preparing for severe weather events to have that conversation with their insurance representative about those types of products,” she said.

She stressed that it’s crucial homeowners understand severe weather is inevitable, and plan accordingly.

Flood preparation steps include keeping a current, detailed home inventory, installing sump pumps, ensuring downspouts drain away from the foundation of a home, and having an emergency preparedness plan.

“It’s important that everyone has as much information as possible as we’re heading into hurricane season here in Nova Scotia,” Norwood said.

Source: Hats Journal 

New Brunswick auto insurance rates are set to soar in 2020

Robert Jones · CBC News

New Brunswick drivers are being urged to watch out for double digit auto insurance increases of 20, 30 even 50 per cent when their policies come up for renewal over the next several months — and to hunt hard for better prices if that happens.

“We try to tell the consumer to shop around and see,” said Michele Pelletier, New Brunswick’s consumer advocate for insurance, on Wednesday about drivers beginning to call her office to complain about stiff rate hikes.

“I hope it’s going to stabilize pretty soon but it’s hard to predict.”

New Brunswick is in the middle of a three-year long escalation of auto insurance rates that has been hitting drivers in different ways, with some of the largest increases still on the way.

Last week the online auto insurer Sonnet, which serves just over 3,000 New Brunswick drivers, filed a request for an average 50.3 per cent rate hike in 2020 for new and existing customers.

It’s the single largest increase applied for by any auto insurer in New Brunswick over the last three years.

Sonnet is owned by Economical Insurance which covers nearly 55,000 New Brunswick drivers.  It raised rates in the province 14 per cent this year and has applied for an 11.9 per cent increase for next year.

No choice but to increase rates

In an email, company executive vice-president Paul MacDonald said neither company has a choice.

“Our proposed rates are calculated based on industry realities, and are a move to get to a more cost-appropriate position for both Economical and Sonnet, which have historically been underpriced in New Brunswick,” said MacDonald.

Insurance records show auto accident claim expenses among private passenger cars in New Brunswick in 2018 reached $380.2 million, a $147.3 million increase over six years.

Auto insurance premiums grew by $49 million during the same period and insurance companies say the large increase in their rates in New Brunswick is meant to close that gap.

“They’re saying they are losing money,” said Pelletier.

Sonnet’s proposed increase for next year is the most dramatic response by the industry yet, but other significant increases are also pending.

Others waiting for approval

Unifund Assurance, which covers just over 24,000 New Brunswick drivers, is currently waiting for a ruling from the New Brunswick Insurance Board on its request for an average premium increase of 24.5 per cent beginning later this fall.

But that is an average increase and 7,000 of those customers are facing much higher increases of between 30 and 35 per cent if Unifund’s plan is approved.

Pelletier said consumers need to look at their annual auto insurance renewal documents carefully the next time they arrive to understand what is happening with their own rates because companies often treat individual customers much differently from one another.

Earlier this year, New Brunswick’s largest auto insurer Wawanesa won approval for an average increase on its then 85,000 customers of 11.7 per cent. But that included 7,000 Wawanesa customers who saw rates jump 25 per cent.

This year Wawanesa has applied for another 8.6 per cent average increase which includes 25 per cent increases on about 4,000 of its policy holders.

Customers who have been issued traffic tickets or had accidents can guess why they are being singled out for large increases but Pelletier says for others, the reason can be a mystery and should be better explained.

“Some companies should be more transparent and if they’re charging me 35 per cent more with my premium they should send me a letter — not only my bill — but say ‘Hey Miss, (here’s why),'” said Pelletier.

Pelletier is worried more and more New Brunswick policy holders will be looking for that kind of an explanation over the next year although most insurance companies have not yet filed applications for their 2020 rates.

Source CBC News

Integrated team offers premium service and prevention-first approach to risk

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SSQ Insurance hires François Joseph Poirier to accelerate its national growth

SSQ Insurance is pleased to announce the appointment of François Joseph Poirier as Vice-President of Business Development and Partner Experience, who will officially begin his duties on September 5, 2019. A 30-year veteran of the insurance industry, François Joseph has developed a results-oriented management approach and acquired an in-depth understanding of customers’ and partners’ needs, as well as the leadership skills required to forge strong bonds with everyone he works with.

“I am confident that François Joseph will be able to help us in reaching our ambitious national growth objectives and help position SSQ Insurance as a leader and business partner in all the markets we operate in. He will also be there to support the Sales Vice-Presidents of all business lines by providing them with the tools they need to maximize the partner experience and growth throughout Canada,” said Geneviève Fortier, Senior Vice-President, Sales and Distribution at SSQ Insurance. “He is a Canadian insurance industry expert and his knowledge and expertise will be precious assets in his new functions at SSQ Insurance,” she concluded.

François Joseph obtained a bachelor’s degree in actuarial sciences from Université Laval and is a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. Before joining SSQ Insurance, François Joseph was Vice-President of Business Development at Desjardins Financial Security. Prior to that, he was a senior leader for Mercer, Morceau Shepell and Willis Towers Watson, and an actuary for Retraite Québec. Having spent most his professional career in Toronto, where he still resides, he will be working out of SSQ Insurance’s Toronto office.

About SSQ Insurance
Founded in 1944, SSQ Insurance is a mutualist company that puts community at the heart of insurance. With assets under management of $12 billion, SSQ Insurance is one of the largest companies in the industry. Working for a community of over three million customers, SSQ Insurance employs 2,000 people. Leader in group insurance, the company also sets itself apart through its expertise in individual life and health insurance, general insurance and the investment sector. For more information, go to ssq.ca.

SOURCE SSQ Insurance


ILScorp Offices closed Monday for Labour Day

ILScorp Offices closed Monday for Labour Day

ILScorp offices will be closed Monday, September 2, 2019, to celebrate Labour Day.

Our offices will be open on Tuesday, September 3.

Hope you had a great summer and enjoy the long weekend!


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ICBC asking drivers & parents to keep kids safe as school returns

ICBC asking drivers & parents to keep kids safe as school returns

Next week, children and adults return to school and work which creates congestion on our roads. ICBC is asking drivers to leave extra travel time, stay focused on the road and watch for children especially around school zones.

Every year, 380 children are injured in crashes while walking or cycling and five are killed throughout the province.*

Police and Speed Watch volunteers will be closely monitoring drivers’ speeds in school zones to help children get a safe start to the school year.

Parents are encouraged to review ICBC’s tip sheet with their children and go over their daily route to and from school with them.

ICBC’s tips for drivers:

  • If you drop off your child in a school zone, allow them to exit the car on the side closest to the sidewalk. Never allow a child to cross mid-block.

  • If a vehicle’s stopped in front of you or in the lane next to you, they may be yielding to a pedestrian, so proceed with caution and be prepared to stop.

  • Watch for school buses and when their lights are flashing, vehicles approaching from both directions must stop.

  • Before getting into your vehicle, walk around it to make sure no small children are hidden from your view. Always look for pedestrians when you’re backing up.

  • In residential areas, a hockey net or ball can mean that kids are playing nearby. Watch for children as they could dash into the street at any moment.

  • Remember that every school day, unless otherwise posted, a 30 km/h speed limit is in effect in school zones from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In playground zones, a 30 km/h speed limit is in effect every day from dawn to dusk.

ICBC provides free road safety educational materials to B.C. schools to help students from kindergarten to grade 10 learn about road safety topics unique to their grade level using fun and interactive activities.

Editor’s note: Local road safety coordinators across the province are available for interviews. Please contact Lindsay Wilkins.


  • In the Lower Mainland, 300 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.
  • In Vancouver, 61 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.
  • On Vancouver Island, 65 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.
  • In Victoria, 12 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.
  • In the Southern Interior, 49 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.
  • In Kelowna, 17 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.
  • In North Central B.C., 16 children walking or cycling are involved in crashes every year.

Notes about the data:

Children defined as age five to 18. Pedestrian includes a person in or on a wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy. This includes rollerblades, a skateboard, scooter, unicycle or similar wheeled device.

*Crash and injury averages based on 2014 to 2018 data reported by ICBC. Fatal averages based on 2013 to 2017 police-reported data.

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