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Monthly Archives: November 2020

The COVID-19 Pandemic is Taking its Toll on Canada’s Economy and Insurance Industry

According to a recent report, Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry has so far fared better than their life counterparts amid the volatile economic and market dynamics created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its Best’s Market Segment Report, titled “COVID-19 Taking Its Toll on Canada’s Economy and Insurance Industry,” AM Best states that the country’s overall insurance industry remains well-capitalized.

However, for Canada’s life insurance industry, top-line growth has been materially affected, as consumers reacted to COVID-19-fueled economic strain, and agents and life insurance representatives transitioned with varying degrees of success to a digital sales environment. Life insurers’ operating earnings also have been impacted because of the market dynamics and asset valuations, and earnings likely will be pressured by the prolonged volatility in the equity markets and low interest rates, leading to lower fee-based revenue as well.

Canada’s property/casualty companies continue to show that they have the ability to remain profitable and meet the challenges presented by COVID-19, on top of those presented by increasingly volatile weather and climate conditions, fire and seismic activity, as well as economic volatility and competitive and regulatory issues.

The personal auto insurance line remains a soft spot, however, as performance deteriorated again in 2019, and experienced a 10-point rise in the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio, reversing two years of improvement. All auto lines remain exposed to loss frequency brought on by factors such as distracted driving and more miles driven.

In addition, inflation and a continual increase in loss severity due to rising repair costs are still affecting the auto lines. Early indications are that frequency trends will be down significantly in 2020, as shelter-in-place requirements, business closures, and remote working arrangements have caused a steep decline in miles driven across the country. AM Best maintains a stable outlook on Canada’s property/casualty segment.

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Identity theft is on the rise and Canadians are uncertain about the warning signs

As instances of fraud and identity theft have been on the rise with COVID-19, Canadians are equally split on knowing how to spot it.

According to a recent survey commissioned by Johnson Insurance, over half (52 per cent) of Canadians are unable to identify all of the warning signs that they have become a victim of identity theft, when provided with a list of the signs.

Further findings show that 27 per cent of Canadians have noticed an increase in suspicious COVID-19-related activity on fraudulent websites and online advertisements, as well as increased suspicious emails (23 per cent), and text messages or phone calls (20 per cent).

“COVID-19 has created new avenues for identity theft – including applications for the CERB in the name of an identity theft victim,” says Alex Rafuse, Vice President, Home & Auto, Johnson Insurance. “With more people working from home during the pandemic – answering home phone calls or disposing of personal and work-related documents in residential recycling bins – there is a higher than normal susceptibility to fraud.”

The first line of defense against identity theft is prevention. Canadians can take steps to help protect themselves from identity theft with some of the following tips:


  • Use secure passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Use different passwords for all of your accounts, and change them often.
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails that ask you to follow links, login to accounts, or provide personal information.

On the Phone

  • Never provide personal information over the telephone unless you initiate the call, and never provide information via text message to an unknown sender.
  • If asked to call someone back, call the organization the person claims to belong to and confirm that the person works for them.

Around the Home

  • Avoid keeping a written record of your bank account, PIN number(s), social insurance number or card, and computer password(s) out in the open or in a wallet or handbag.
  • Remove mail from the mailbox immediately or keep the mailbox locked.
  • Shred or destroy all personal or sensitive documents before placing them in the recycling bin.

For additional information on identity theft coverage, speak with your broker or agent.

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