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The City of Edmonton looks to flood mitigation options

Staff from the City of Edmonton are scheduled to look at flood mitigation options for the city as the next step in its examination of upgrades to drainage infrastructure.

Cities need to invest to protect residents, home and businesses in preparation for changing weather patterns. Edmonton’s city council is considering four options based on an analysis of extensive infrastructure and rainfall studies.

Options presented balance risk, cost and the likelihood of major rainstorms. Next steps include working with water services company EPCOR to examine the impact of the citywide flood mitigation strategy on the drainage utility rates and public engagement results to date.

Options for flood mitigation could also impact solutions for underpass flooding, as upgrading the system will increase capacity to absorb rainfall that might otherwise flood roadways.

For more information on your policy’s flood insurance options, contact your broker or company agent.


Drug screening devices: a new method to protect against impaired driving

Results from the federal government’s oral fluid drug screening device pilot project suggest the devices can be successfully used in Canada to identify drivers who test positive for certain drugs in various conditions.

A total of 53 police officers from seven jurisdictions across Canada collected over 1,140 samples between Dec. 18, 2016 and March 6, 2017 with two oral fluid screening devices that were selected for the pilot project.

Oral fluid screening devices can detect the recent presence of several drugs, including THC from cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamines, opioids, benzodiazepines and amphetamines.

Feedback from officers involved in the pilot project was largely positive. Officers reported that the devices were easy to use at the roadside with some standard operating procedures.

Drug impaired driving is a serious problem and giving law enforcement more tools to detect and deter drug-impaired driving will better protect communities.


Interview with Le Journal de l’Assurance

The General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) was pleased to hold its summer Board meeting in Montreal this past June 2018. As part of our visit, we met with representatives of Le Journal de l’Assurance, one of the leading media sources for insurance and investment within Quebec. Read all about the discussion here:

Safety-first is essential with the anticipated increase in drone activity

New risks emerge for underwriters to assess in connection with increase in use of drones.

Sales of drones for private use have increased substantially in the last few years but now commercial drone activity is growing at an alarming rate. Current uses of drones include disaster relief, inspecting and exploring inaccessible places, precision agriculture, claims handling and logistics.

To improve air traffic at a low altitude, authorities and drone manufactures need to respond to changes due to the rapid development of technology and its capabilities.

Insurers have taken a proactive approach to fill the gaps in knowledge and to offer a comprehensive cover for all stakeholders. Since drone-related accidents involving bodily injury and/or property damage could provoke legal action, drones for both private and commercial use should have legal liability insurance to cover third-party damage.

With no uniform regulation currently existing for drones, insurance has to be tailored around diverse national regulations, in addition to being flexible enough to adapt to the frequent changes made.

We will continue to monitor the use of drones and their development, along with how drone insurance is affected next year. If you have any concerns, make sure to speak to your broker or company agent.


Insurance needs to adapt to new technology

Technology-focused investments are pushing business model changes across industries. With the continuous development of technology and its applications crossing traditional boundaries, insurance policies need to adapt to rising pressures of meeting new demands.

Insurance policies within the personal lines insurance value chain, including product development, client acquisition, underwriting, and claims are being challenged to update their policies as technology changes. Digital capabilities and the arrival of new competitors carving off pieces of the insurance value chain may well drive a significant restructuring of the industry.

Insurance needs to continue to adapt as technology advances. We will continue to provide information regarding technology and its relation to insurance developments.


Cyber security risk: malware designed to perform attacks on power supply infrastructure

ESET Canada Inc., an IT security company, reported that its researchers have been analyzing samples of dangerous malware capable of attacking a power supply infrastructure.

They have named this malware Industroyer and state that is was most likely involved in the December 2016 cyber attack on Ukraine’s power grid. This attack resulted in power outages for over an hour in the capital of Kiev.

This newly discovered malware is capable of directly controlling electricity substation switches and circuit breakers. It uses industrial communication protocols used worldwide in power supply infrastructure, transportation control systems and other critical infrastructure.

The potential impact may range from simply turning off power distribution, triggering a cascade of failures, to more serious damage of equipment.

Kiev’s cyber attack is a prime example that cyber insurance should be at the forefront of your business’ budget to protect your company from harm.


Banks vs. Insurers

Denis Ricard deplores the fact that the regulation imposed on banks is much more lax than that imposed on insurers. But who supervises the banks, dare he even ask?

There is the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments, but this organization has much shorter teeth than the panoply of regulators that oversee the insurance industry.

“The fair treatment of consumers is very important for our regulators. We are very much in agreement with that. But when we consider the weakness of the regulation of banks compared to insurers … Phew! There is nothing for banks,” says Executive Vice President, Insurance and Individual Annuities.


Tesla argues for setting premiums based on technology

The United States electric car manufacturer Tesla is in favour of pricing auto insurance based on vehicle technology that promotes risk reduction, says data analysis firm GlobalData.

“The exponential advances in technology have made drivers much more cautious, as the potential for driver errors is reduced when Tesla’s autopilot function is up and running,” said Daniel Pearce, a senior financial analyst. GlobalData. Collision rates for all Tesla models have dropped 40% since the introduction of the autopilot system. However, when owners wish to insure their Tesla, this is not reflected in the premiums. “

The automaker’s solution has been to partner with insurers in 20 countries to set up the Insure my Tesla program. GlobalData indicates that this program wants to offer insurance vehicle owners insurance products that reflect the increased safety offered by the technology included in their car.


What is the value?

Marc Cohen, who will be taking charge of the Hub International insurance brokerage firm on January 1, 2018, expects digital technology to play a major role in the transformation of insurance for both individuals and businesses.

The change will primarily affect the simplicity and ease with which the consumer will transact. “We will have to go through a multichannel approach. This will combine both the digital and a physical place around the corner. Technology and innovation will intertwine. It will look like what banks have experienced. The insurance must be delivered to meet the needs of the consumer. Innovation will come from the voice of the consumer.”

This new interaction will generate innovation, he says. But for that, brokers must innovate. Acting as the intermediary doer today will not be enough tomorrow, says Cohen.


Collision frequency continues to climb

Collision frequencies continue to grow at an overall rate of 2.5%, according to the Allstate Canada Safe Driving Study. In addition, the results of the study reveal that the most serious type of collision is that involving pedestrians or cyclists, followed by frontal collisions.

“It is certainly encouraging to see a drop in the frequency of collisions in some parts of the country. However, the overall frequency of collisions is on the rise, which we find all the more disturbing as the most serious collisions involve cyclists or pedestrians,” says David MacInnis, Vice President, Product Management at Allstate.

These results show that there is still much to be done to reduce the number of accidents, especially as we approach the most dangerous season on the road.