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Floods : Denis Dubois invites the industry to find a common solution

by

Hubert Roy

15 August 2017 07:00

For Denis Dubois, chief executive officer of Desjardins Insurance, the insurers will afford to each have their own way to indemnify flood. A policyholder will not be treated the same way as another would go wrong in the population, he believes.

Several insurers, such as Desjardins Insurance, have launched their flood protection earlier this year, just before several of Quebec’s regions are affected by the historic flood waters. Mr. Dubois sees the all positively. He said he preferred that the whole has happened now. This will permit to foster the product right away, rather than when a new episode would take place in about ten years.

It is no secret that the coordination of benefits to be paid with the government was a daunting task to negotiate. «The solutions that we have put in place are temporary. It will be necessary to find something more permanent. How is this coordination ? If the answer can be found, it will promote the adhesion to the product. It is necessary to structure the whole thing «

Mr. Dubois sees another problem emerge : what is being done with the 5 % of people who are not insurable under the current rules, because their residence is too close to the edge of the water ? «It is necessary to address this somewhere. Should we compensate them ? It is clear that not. However, there is no mechanical way to prevent the all. It’s also important not to forget that the government has decided that a few hundred properties could not be rebuilt on their current location. «

For Mr. Dubois, the industry has a collective responsibility to find a solution. «For places that are very much at risk, that this is dealing with a flood or a forest fire, we must not allow reconstruction. This is not the population to pay for them or to the government, » he said.

Valérie Lamarre, a spokesman for Desjardins present at the interview, also pointed out that there is a lack of understanding of the population regarding the rate of recurrence of flood waters. «A flood with a 100 years does not mean that there will be an event per 100 years, but rather that there is 1 % chance that a flood will occur. «

What Mr. Dubois added that the flood maps are outdated. «In addition, people do not know about. We have this responsibility to educate them. «

The reflection of the industry needs to go further, » he said. «During a disaster, each insurer compensates its own way. For a peril such as flooding, is it a good thing that each insurer has its own distinctive brand ? At Desjardins, we do not believe it, » he says.

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