The Insurance Bureau of Canada
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is an organization that represents Canada's non-governmental insurance companies. This might make many consumers think that they are just another organization that represents industry against us. But the IBC gives a unique twist to their role by insisting that insurers and the insured are actually on the same side.
The IBC believes that both the insurers and the insured have an interest in preventing inquiries and property damage. We don’t want our lives to be ruined by injuries or property damage, and insurance companies do not want us injured or our property damaged, since that will cost them too much.
The IBC provides many services to both the insurers and the insured that promote this position:
- They lobby the federal and provincial governments to advance laws that help both the insurance companies and their clients. For example, they lobbied the government to outlaw cellular phone usage while driving and they are trying to obtain stronger penalties for driving intoxicated. After all, car owners do not want to be involved in accidents, and insurance companies do not want their clients to have accidents.
- The IBC’s Data Quality Management Department processes all the data provided by the insurance industry in one central place. This helps insurers set realistic premiums which is, of course, in the interestof their clients too. For example, they know which cars tend to break down and which cars tend to be stolen. Car manufacturers also benefit. They are able to use the data to alter vehicles’ features because they know what typically goes wrong.
- The Data Quality Management Department also records all instances of insurance fraud. Accurate information on the amount of insurance fraud helps insurers to prevent and combat it, which means that they try to keep their premiums to a minimum.
- The IBC’s statistics can only be as good as the data that the insurance companies give them, so they offer free training courses to insurance company statisticians to help them record accurate statistics.
- They also help to combat insurance fraud by training police officers to identify, for example, staged vehicle collisions which can lead to unnecessary pay-outs and, in turn, to higher premiums for the rest of us.
- The IBC further helps insurance companies to settle disputes when they disagree over which of them is responsible for a pay-out. Claimants cannot wait until insurers have dragged disputes through many courts and tribunals, so the IBC’s help here benefits everyone.
- The IBC provides many services directly to the insured too. They have five regional consumer centres where they answer questions and a website and social media accounts where they communicate with consumers. They inform potential claimants of new developments in policies. They inform people what is covered by insurance and what is not. They provide weather warnings. They release brochures and interactive games to teach people how to stay safe. They teach people how to be ready for snow storms, wild fires, Tornadoes and other disasters.
- They also sponsor safety drills and donate equipment to local safety organizations that cannot afford it otherwise.
So, if you didn’t know what the IBC was or what they did, now you should have a better understanding of who they are and what they do.