Crisis Could Leave Some Provinces More Vulnerable Than Others

Should significant natural disasters strike simultaneously in more than one region in Canada, the long-term implications could be worse for some provinces than others.

 

That’s the concern of the Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association (CIAA), which has negotiated service agreements with some of the provinces — agreements that ensure adjuster services in the event of multiple incidents.

 

British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario have not been receptive to approaches by the CIAA to negotiate agreements that would prioritize independent adjuster services be made available to assist following a catastrophe.



Three of the Atlantic provinces, for instance, have arrangements that mandate the dispatch and dedication of independent adjusters and to date, those jurisdictions have leveraged those agreements in several instances following hurricanes and flooding, most recently in New Brunswick where the Saint John River rose to flood levels not seen since 1973. Prince Edward Island does use independent adjusters in times of widespread damages but on an ad-hoc basis rather than through a formal service agreement. That works well in such a small province but would not be effective in a large jurisdiction.

 

While the availability of adjusters wouldn’t be the first priority during a crisis, they are integral in the chain of facilitating insurance resolutions for ordinary people and have proven valuable in assessing damages for government led disaster relief programs, points out Fred Plant, CIAA national president.

 

“It’s just good management because if you don’t have resources in place in times of strife, what are they going to do?” queries Plant, who lives in New Brunswick, a region vulnerable to tropical storms. “From my perspective as both a member of the association and as a resident of New Brunswick, it’s more comforting to know the province is doing all it can” to facilitate recovery from a natural disaster, he says.

 

Environment Canada continues to forecast that natural disasters stand to increase in number and value of loss over the coming years. Its Canadian Natural Hazards Assessment Project involving a number of federal departments and private think-tanks, cites storms, drought and earthquakes as the primary costly risks in Canada.

 

The ministry also lists a number of factors that render Canadian communities “less vulnerable” to catastrophic losses including “well-established government disaster-assistance programs and private insurance companies.”

 

Plant is hopeful that eventually the opting-out provinces will come around. “CIAA remains open and looks forward to reopening discussions with provinces that do not have adjuster supply agreements in place,” he says. “Every government wants to be sure get qualified loss assessors out into the filed as soon as possible following a natural disaster to assist people with uninsured losses and CIAA has the resources and proven track record to be very effective in those situations.”

Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P.
Transcontinental Media G.P.