The Insurance Bureau of Canada is pointing to widespread losses across Manitoba and Saskatchewan flood regions to suggest business interruption insurance could serve as an important growth area for the industry.
Above damages to various pieces of infrastructure, farmers’ lands have been hit hard by the overwhelming flooding. That’s highlighting the need for adequate business interruption insurance for commercial business still grappling with the idling effects of some of the worst flooding in years.
Both of the hardest-hit prairie provinces estimate millions of acres have been affected.
More generally, in terms of micro-coverages needed the IBC detailed providers should emphasize property insurance to consumers, particularly relating to adequate sewer back-up. Also, the IBC stressed the importance of provider adaptability and convenience for consumers. For example, insurers can make their hours for filing claims explicitly clear and assure simplicity for consumers in terms of spelling-out services available.
On a larger scale, moving forward there needs to be more coordination between the insurance industry and all levels of government. Considering the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters, preventative mitigation plans are a focus. Creating more support opportunities for municipalities, notably for over-stressed infrastructure, is an area IBC identified needs improvement.
Moreover, many of the issues this summer stemmed from a lack of upstream mitigation resulting in widespread wetland and farmland flooding. Crop output could miss projected forecasts as much as 10 percent from last year’s all time high of 18 million metric tons, according to Errol Anderson, President of ProMarket Wire newsletter in Calgary. The inter-connected nature of flooding in the prairie regions opens up the opportunity for insurers to bring together neighboring municipalities when establishing mitigation efforts.
Providers should use the IBC website
as a source for not only connecting with consumers, but also relevant government entities. Weekly bulletins are sent out to members who subscribe to the IBC’s infosource, which is available on the website.