IBC says upcoming flood roundtable presents a “terrific opportunity”

Published: November 15, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) describes the upcoming National Roundtable on Flood Risk a “terrific opportunity”. The roundtable will be held Thursday in Regina, and IBC vice president of federal affairs, Craig Stewart, says it provides a “terrific opportunity [to] launch a national conversation on flood risk.”

Stewart will attend the roundtable alongside IBC president and CEO Don Forgeron. The event will be hosted by Ralph Goodale, Canada’s public safety and emergency preparedness minister, and Saskatchewan government relations minister Larry Doke.

“We believe and the federal government agrees with us that the present approach is not sustainable and we need to transition to a different financial model,” Stewart told Canadian Underwriter. “On Thursday we will be initiating that conversation with all the key players about what a different model might look like.”

Canada has been slow to adopt flood-based insurance solutions, but they have been increasingly launched by providers since 2015. However, there are gaps in the market. For example, no solutions exist to cover coastal flooding, while at the National Insurance Conference of Canada in 2015, Forgeron said existing coverage “will likely not deal with all of the high-risk properties and for that we believe we need government involvement.”

Both the IBC and the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) have argued private companies should not have to work alone and that government participation is necessary. Flooding can have a major impact on homeowners and can result in huge insurance losses. In its commissioned 2013 report, IBAC showed two flood events from that year.

Total flood losses surpassed $2.5 billion in losses, against $6 billion catastrophic losses for the year.