By: Luke Jones, Published on April 21, 2016 06:21 PM, Last Update on April 22, 2016 01:23 PM
Once again the changing landscape of Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry is under the microscope. Sylvie Paquette, chair of Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) Board of Directors, said that the industry must collaborate and remain consistent to face the challenges ahead, such as autonomous vehicles, ride-sharing, and overland flooding.
Speaking at a meeting in downtown Toronto, Paquette said the insurance industry is facing numerous obstacles that have increased over the last year and will continue to be more problematical in the future. She cautioned that “the need to improve how we work together has become even more urgent,” she said to industry representatives.
The sharing economy, which at the moment is dominated by ride-sharing company Uber, is perhaps the clearest example of how insurers need to work together to adapt. Paquette cautioned that the industry must work together to create insurance solutions before individual companies that provide services create their own coverage.
“All of these have insurance implications. We can’t let each and every one of them develop their own insurance approach,” she said.
“By being proactive through IBC, we can help develop a regulatory framework for the providers and their customers and insurers,” Paquette added.
“This will benefit the public by reducing confusion and encouraging those involved in such services to get the proper insurance coverage to protect themselves and their customers,” she claimed.
Paquette was asked to give her thoughts on insurance companies that are releasing products before the industry as a whole has agreed on how to approach a new market. This was a clear reference to Aviva’s ride-sharing specific auto insurance, which is unique in Canada and covers Uber and other ride-sharing drivers.
“It is difficult to all work together and to act as rapidly as you would act on your own,” she explained, citing the need for IBC to increase the pace of moving forward in line with insurers. “If we’re too slow, individual insurers will bring their own solutions. It’s not necessarily helping consumers if it brings confusion.”