The Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (Intact Centre) has collaborated with the Insurance Brokers’ Association of Canada (IBAC) to develop a new online broker training course, entitled: ‘Helping your Clients to Protect their Homes from Flooding’. This free, 1.5-hour, self-directed course has been developed based on four years of community-based flood protection research carried out by the Intact Centre. It is available to all 38,000 IBAC brokers across Canada.
Brokers who take the new flood education course will have to complete five 15- to 20-minute modules, covering the following topics: why residential flooding in homes is on the rise; different types of flooding and common flood risks in the home; top actions to reduce flood risk outside the home; top actions to reduce flood risk inside the home; and how can insurance brokers help their clients to protect their homes from flooding? At the end of each module, they’re asked to complete a three question quiz. If they answer at least 2/3 of the questions correctly, they can proceed to the next module.
“In dealing with brokers in our day to day work, we know how busy they are. We know they’re always on the run or going to meet with people face to face, so we designed this course to be as straightforward as possible,” said Daniel Filippi, program manager, resilience and adaptation, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation. “There’s no time limit for completing the modules. They could sign up and do the first module on a Monday, and then save their progress and return to it the following week or month to finish the course. We’ve also optimized the course for tablets and smartphones, so it can be taken on those devices, as well as laptops and computers.
“Once brokers successfully complete the course, they will receive a certificate of completion and they will gain access to a load of free resources that we’ve developed at the Intact Centre and have tested with homeowners. Essentially, it acts like a bit of a hub containing free resources and infographics that brokers can share with their clients. In some provinces, the course qualifies for continuing education credits. It’s currently accredited in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta.”
Flood has surpassed fire as the top catastrophic peril to homeowners in Canada – and now homeowners want answers. Everyone knows flood is a serious risk. They don’t need to be told that again and again. What they do need to be told about are the practical steps they can take to mitigate their flood risk. When it comes to flood, brokers are well and truly on the front lines. They’re the ones getting the questions: ‘Why is my home flooding? What can I do to protect my home?’
“Through this new course, we’re putting all of that information in the hands of the brokers,” Filippi told Insurance Business. “One of the documents they get in the fifth module provides three steps: What flood risk mitigation can you do around your house for free? What can you do for under $250? And, what can you do for over $250, most likely with the help of a contractor? The fact of the matter is, a flood can happen to any homeowner in Canada, but there are a lot of things homeowners can do to protect themselves that are either fairly cheap, or totally free. We just need to educate homeowners about what they can do.
“Homeowners know that flood risks are increasing every year. They know people are at risk due to climate change. They know there’s more urbanization, and that those things combined together are causing higher flood risk occurrences, especially with urban flooding, which this course focuses on. We really wanted to provide something to say: ‘Here are some answers. Here are some feasible and implementable actions that you can take to mitigate your flood risk.’ We’re giving that to brokers through this course, which in turn, they can share with their clients.”
The ‘Helping your Clients to Protect their Homes from Flooding’ is available now to complete in both English and French.