Education and Communication Among Accomplishments, But More Work Remains

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Progress Report on Commercial Insurance in Atlantic Canada

HALIFAX, April 30 2007 – The Atlantic Task Force on Insurance Availability and Affordability released its Progress Report today, highlighting progress made by insurers, government and commercial insurance buyers towards implementing recommendations to improve the commercial insurance marketplace long-term.

“Much has been accomplished since the release of the Task Force Final Report,” said Don Forgeron, Vice-President, Atlantic, Insurance Bureau of Canada, and Chair of the Task Force. “There is also much more to be done to ensure that businesses, not-for-profit groups and insurers are prepared for future challenges concerning the availability and affordability of commercial insurance.”

Formed in February 2005, the Atlantic Task Force included representatives from the business sector, the voluntary sector, the insurance industry, and all four Atlantic governments (government representatives held observer status).

“The effects of the hard insurance market were felt in different ways by all stakeholders represented on the Task Force, but the common thread among all Task Force members was that we wanted to address availability and affordability concerns,” said Jamie Ferguson, CEO of Sport Nova Scotia, and member of the Task Force. “Now, 16-months after issuing the Final Report, we have the opportunity to look back on what has been done.”

In general, the insurance marketplace has improved over the past 16 months. Respondents to a survey conducted to gather information for the Progress Report have indicated that insurance availability and affordability is no longer the top-of-mind issue it was. However, there are still insurance challenges, and more work needs to be done to better safeguard against future crises. By giving businesses and voluntary organizations better tools, they can be equipped to continue to find the best insurance at the best price.

Initiatives completed to-date include the insurance industry’s efforts to improve communication and provide more education tools on risk management; governments in each of the Atlantic Provinces beginning to take action; and commercial insurance buyers beginning to take ownership of the insurance process.

“Snowmobiling is New Brunswick’s winter tourism, however it is often misunderstood that this resource (snowmobile trails) is provided primarily by volunteers, not government,” said Ross Antworth, General Manager, The New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs Inc., and member of the Task Force. “The volunteers of the New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs required assistance with the critical issue of trail insurance availability and affordability. At the height of the recent crisis the only resource to assist volunteers to find solutions was the Atlantic Task Force.”

The Progress Report outlines each of the 27 recommendations in the final Task Force report, and catalogues the progress made to-date. To ensure objectivity, research was conducted by Thinkwell Research, a Halifax-based market research firm. The information compiled in the Progress Report was collected through a survey conducted by Thinkwell, compiling of published articles and cataloguing discussions with stakeholders.

To view a copy of the Progress Report, or the Atlantic Task Force’s Final Report issued November, 2005 please visit www.ibc.ca.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents more than 90% of the non-government home, car and business insurance in Canada. To view news releases and information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca.