Canadian municipalities must modernize to stay in touch

Published: July 14, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Large Canadian towns and the country’s cities are growing and are attracting extraordinary amounts of people. Massive growth of urban areas is changing the way in which municipal insurance companies provide coverage.

82% of all Canadians live in large and medium cities, with more than 33% occupying the three largest cities, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. As cities turn to metropolises and towns turn to cities, the municipal insurance market is finding it need to be more dynamic in its solutions.

While Canada’s municipalities remain mostly the same, this could easily change as city and town borders change over time. Frank Cowan Company’s manager, Marketing & Communications spoke to Insurance Business about the changing environment. The company is the market-leading municipal insurer, but Caryn McLean says there are challenges ahead.

“Products and services available must keep pace with municipal demand which is why many choose to work with a managing general agent,” said McLean. “We are proud to partner with select insurance brokers across Canada. These brokers are invested in their community, understand the complexities of municipal insurance and often have a vested interest in the political and social attributes affecting their area.”

The industry must also move with customer demands. For example, there is a growing need for cyber risk coverage in municipalities. Technology is pushing insurance companies to deliver solutions for companies that need to protect data and information.

Many of these innovations follow the general insurance market’s need for modernization. Brokers must also move with the times or risk being squeezed out of the market.

“Municipalities need an insurance partner who specializes in risk management and can provide advice and custom inspections to help mitigate risk while ensuring that these services remain available to the public,” said McLean. “Parks, bike lanes, skateboard parks, tobogganing hills and trails are all municipally managed with a higher sense of risk.”