forest fire with smoke

BCFSA Endorses CCIR Position Paper on Climate Change, Natural Catastrophes and Consumer Awareness

BCFSA has endorsed the Climate Change, Natural Catastrophes, and Consumer Awareness Position Paper from the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (“CCIR”) on the role of insurers and insurance products to better protect Canadians’ personal property against the risks posed by natural catastrophes and a changing climate. BCFSA is currently the chair of the working group that prepared the position paper.

British Columbia is highly exposed to natural catastrophes and residents have witnessed first-hand the devastating impacts that natural catastrophes like heat domes, wildfires, and floods can have on their lives and their properties.

As the provincial regulator for financial services, BCFSA wants to ensure existing and prospective homeowners have the information and advice required to better understand the likelihood and extent to which a natural catastrophe like a flood, wildfire, or earthquake could impact their homes.

Homeowners should understand how property insurance products could provide financial compensation if a natural catastrophe occurred, and what their insurance covers when they purchase or renew. Insurers and insurance intermediaries (brokers and agents) play an important role in helping homeowners better understand this information.

“Insurance plays a very important role in protecting consumers’ assets against natural catastrophes and changes in climate,” said Blair Morrison, Chief Executive Officer at BCFSA.

“BCFSA shares the concerns raised by the CCIR that homeowners may not fully understand how their properties are exposed to risk from natural catastrophes and how insurance products can better protect them against those risks. “We are encouraged by the commitment from the insurance industry to work together to find ways to better protect homeowners.”

CCIR’s position is that the insurance industry needs to take more coordinated action to address knowledge gaps and ensure consumers have the information, advice, and incentives necessary to make informed decisions respecting their insurance coverage.

The paper further describes CCIR’s intention to work with industry and other stakeholders including BCFSA to develop an approach to translating recommendations into actions that help Canadians better protect themselves from natural catastrophes and climate-related risks.

With the release of the position paper, CCIR will engage industry stakeholders to review and advance the recommendations. The position paper is available on the CCIR website.

About CCIR

The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators is an inter-jurisdictional association of insurance regulators. The mandate of the CCIR is to facilitate and promote an efficient and effective insurance regulatory system in Canada to serve the public interest. CCIR members work together to develop solutions to common regulatory issues.