To address issues that have arisen in the commercial insurance market, and especially in condominium insurance in Alberta, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) will be engaging an expert in risk management to assist those having trouble accessing affordable insurance.
According to IBC, it will make the risk manager available to assist condo corporations that are having trouble acquiring insurance. The risk manager will make practical recommendations that will reduce condo corporations’ risk and help improve the availability of insurance. For example, if a condo corporation can’t obtain insurance because of numerous water damage claims, the risk manager will identify that as the obstacle for the condo corporation and advise them on the maintenance required to reduce that risk.
While the commercial insurance market has been hardening globally, there are a number of condominium corporations in Alberta that are feeling the pressures more significantly than others. The IBC risk manager, to be hired early this year, will work closely with the insurance industry, the provincial government and condominium corporations to understand risks facing condos and how they can prioritize actions needed to access much-needed insurance.
“We recognize the seriousness of the issues facing a number of condominium corporations in Alberta, especially in Fort McMurray, and want to help all stakeholders find solutions,” said Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, IBC. “Insurance is all about understanding and pricing for risk. Engaging with a risk manager will help those who are having difficulty finding insurance to take steps that will help them get the insurance coverage they need.”
There are about 9,000 condominium corporations across Alberta, and recent media reports suggest at least a handful are having trouble accessing insurance or are seeing increased rates. Being better informed will help condominium boards to examine and respond to these concerns. The risk manager hired by IBC will be able to increase boards’ awareness about how insurers view risks and evaluate properties. The risk manager can also provide advice on how claims history, building materials and location can affect insurance rates.
“We understand this is an incredibly stressful situation for Albertans in the affected condos. We do not want to see any Albertan lose their home or have difficulty paying their bills. We are hopeful that this first step will help inform those affected and improve the situation,” Power added.
This is just one step of many that the insurance industry is taking to address this issue. IBC has brought together industry representatives and key stakeholders to take action and is also working closely with the provincial government.
“It is essential that all stakeholders work together to find common-sense solutions to relieve the pressure in the condominium market right now,” Power concluded.
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada.