How city growth is changing demands on municipal insurance

Surge to the metropolis is spawning considerable change and growth

How city growth is changing demands on municipal insurance

Risk Management News

By Bethan Moorcraft

Canadian towns and cities are growing at an extraordinary rate. A huge 82% of residents live in large and medium-sized cities across the country. More than one third of Canadians are spread between the three metropolitan hubs of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

This surge to the metropolis has spawned considerable change and growth in the municipal insurance market. While the number of municipalities across Canada remains relatively static, a need for new products and services is driving change in the insurance market.

A market leader in municipal insurance is the Frank Cowan Company, which has been serving Canadian municipalities for more than 90 years. Caryn McLean, manager, Marketing & Communications, told Insurance Business about changes to the market.

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Almost every municipal strategic plan cites sustainability, providing a safe and healthy community, high quality of life and economic prosperity as key drivers to success. So what does that mean for municipal insurance?

“It means the 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.”

Municipal insurance is about much more than protecting risks in public spaces like parks and roads. Some of the more recent trends in the industry are rising demands for cyber risk insurance and protection against social engineering fraud. Technology is the driving force behind all walks of life and municipalities are brimming with data and information. A data breach could have very significant consequences.

As well as being innovative and matching new products to demand, brokers working in municipal insurance must also stay up-to-date with regulatory changes, municipal guidelines and make regular risk inspections.

“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.”

The Frank Cowan Company has recently created a Risk Management Centre of Excellence website that houses risk management articles and a new contract workbook template for municipalities. The company also supports risk management initiatives, and gives back to municipal clients through a Home Town Program.

Related stories:
Frank Cowan Company donates to Waterloo charity organization
Frank Cowan presents municipality with award for risk management

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