With the end of 2016 upon us, we want to highlight some of the top insurance events and trends from the year. We look back at a few key events that impacted BrokerLink and our customers along with how the industry is evolving to meet the demands of global technology.
Fort McMurray Fire
In May, the wildfires near Fort McMurray began to sweep through the northern Alberta community. The fire forced the evacuation of the town and surrounding areas, destroying nearly 2,400 homes and buildings and costing more than $3.5 billion in damage.
As an active part of the community with two BrokerLink offices in Fort McMurray, the impact of the fire was felt throughout our organization. In response, BrokerLink established help stations in evacuation centres in Edmonton and Lac La Biche assisting customers during this time.
Our colleagues from other branches united to support the Fort McMurray evacuees by collecting donations and raising funds to donate to the Red Cross.
While many have returned to Fort McMurray and rebuilding is well underway, BrokerLink remains committed assisting the community and our customers as life returns to normal.
Overland Flood Protection
In response to increased amounts of precipitation and the unpredictable nature of severe weather, several insurance companies working with BrokerLink now offer water damage coverage. This means more options are available for customers to purchase water damage packages that include limited protection for:
• Damage caused by groundwater; i.e. a rising water table, underground stream or well
• Damage to water and sewer lines on your property
• Expenses to install a back flow valve, sump pump or sump monitoring system after a loss
Water damage coverage provides protection for damage caused by water suddenly entering your home during severe weather events, such as heavy rain, spring run-off, overflowing lakes and rivers and improperly positioned downspouts or eaves troughs.
In August, BrokerLink launched Farm Advantage in Ontario, a new farm insurance coverage program designed to meet the needs of working and hobby farms across the province. The program is a partnership with Heartland Farm Mutual and Trillium Mutual Insurance.
Farm Advantage has allowed our insurance experts, some of whom are farmers themselves, to support local farming communities by making sure they have the right insurance coverage whether it’s farm liability coverage, business interruption coverage, or home and dwelling coverage.
The Farm Advantage program supports many aspects of agri-business in Ontario including poultry, dairy, crop and livestock.
Ontario Auto Reform
During the summer of 2016, the Ontario government introduced changes to auto insurance regulations in an effort to make premiums more affordable.
This has allowed BrokerLink to work with customers and provide options between lowering accident benefit coverage to purchasing increased limits.
Regulatory changes can be complex and our detailed guide to deciphering the auto reform changes in Ontario can help. Along with the new auto reform, all drivers in Ontario must be required to carry Third Party Liability coverage, Uninsured Automobile coverage, Direct Compensation for Property Damage and Statutory Accident Benefits.
If you haven’t already investigated what the best options are for you and your family, contact your BrokerLink broker.
Sharing Economy and Uber
Also in the summer of 2016, the provinces of Alberta and Ontario approved the launch of Uber insurance coverage.
Uber, which was founded in 2009, represents a new type of business model in the sharing economy. Relying on a peer-to-peer based sharing of goods or services. Through technology and collaboration, the sharing economy empowers individuals to work for themselves. The sharing economy is unique and by working with our insurance providers, BrokerLink is able to provide coverage that protects both people working in and using the sharing economy.
The sharing economy will continue to grow in the future and BrokerLink is prepared to respond to the evolving needs of this sector.
These stories comprised some of the key events that occurred during 2016 and how they impacted the insurance industry. With the New Year just a few days away we at BrokerLink are eager to see what 2017 brings.