The Fort McMurray wildfire of May, 2016 has had a profound impact on the insurance industry. We have seen most companies slip financially because of the event, which was Canada’s largest insurance loss in history. Also, companies are now looking into ways to change the home insurance model in the prediction of more major natural disasters.
However, the auto insurance market will also be impacted. We are seeing the first signs of the Fort McMurray effect in Alberta, where a local insurance provider has stopped selling its recreational auto insurance products to any new clients in Fort McMurray.
Alberta Motor Association Insurance (AMA) says it wants to focus on helping customers affected by fire, instead of offering them more coverage. It is worth noting that the company says the decision is temporary, but does not say when recreational auto insurance will be offered in the town again.
“Right now we are focusing on those individuals in Fort McMurray who are our customers and have suffered losses and damages as a result of the fire,” AMA chief operating officer Mathew Wesolowski told CBC.
The CEO added that the company has not offered any recreational coverage since the wildfire started and that will remain the case at least until all other insurance claims have been settled.
In the interview, the company says it will still honour current recreational policies and will renew coverage for existing customers. AMA says it has over 8,000 claims associated with the Fort McMurray wildfire, 7.000 of which have been settled.