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Natural disasters : the regulators encourage insurers to raise consumer awareness

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9 August 2017 13:30

Photo : City of Gatineau

Natural disasters and the protection of insurance there are growing concerns in Canada. The issues extend well beyond the insurance market, and involve various stakeholders, each with its own responsibilities and the potential to ensure that Canadians are well-informed and adequately protected against the risks of natural disasters.

Such are thus summarized the results of a study conducted by the canadian Council of regulators of insurance (CCIR) related to natural disasters and the insurance of personal property in Canada.

The Report on the findings and position statement : The natural disasters and the insurance of personal property addresses several critical issues, including risk modeling, the sharing of risk, the insurance protections available against natural disasters in Canada as well as the awareness of consumers to the risk of losses caused by such events, and to insurance coverage in the matter.

«More commonplace»

Through this study, the CCIR seeks in particular to better understand the impact of an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters and potential on the insurance market and consumers. The study focused on the wording of the insurance policies, the types of protections currently offered, the impact of natural disasters on the awareness of consumers and other changes observed in the insurance market.

«Natural disasters are becoming more commonplace,» says Patrick Déry, president of the CCIR. Last year, we have witnessed the natural disaster the most expensive in canadian history with the forest fires in Fort McMurray, and the last spring, several regions of the country have been grappling with severe floods. And this trend will only intensify. «

Measures of all stakeholders

The CCIR concluded his study by several general comments and specific expectations towards the insurance sector, the major observation is the magnitude of the problem. «We are all affected by the natural disasters, says Dr. Déry. Adequate protection requires measures of multiple stakeholders : all levels of government, regulators, the private sector, academia, the insurance industry, consumers and owners of residential properties. «

The Report on the findings and position statement : The natural disasters and the insurance of personal property and also addresses the concerns on financial education and the lack of understanding of the risks and insurance coverages available with respect to natural disasters among the consumers.

Also, the CCIR wants the insurance industry to do more to educate consumers about risks and to promote a better understanding of the insurance coverage that they have or can procure. In the framework of its strategic plan 2017-2020, the CCIR will take measures to help consumers better understand the issues related to natural disasters.

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