OTTAWA, March 20, 2019 /CNW/ - Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) congratulates the federal government on the 2019 budget announcement that dedicates funding to help protect Canadians and their communities from the consequences of natural disasters. In addition, IBC is pleased to see a renewed focus on protecting Canada from cyber threats.
"IBC and its members have advocated for and welcome the dedicated funding for natural disaster mitigation," said Don Forgeron, President and CEO, IBC. "The property and casualty insurance industry continues to see the devastating effects of this new era of an unpredictable, changing climate.
"Last year, insured damage from severe weather across Canada reached $1.9 billion, the fourth-highest amount of losses on record," continues Forgeron. "However, unlike the 1998 Quebec ice storm, the 2013 Calgary floods or the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire, no single event caused the high amount paid out for losses in 2018. Instead, Canadians and their insurers experienced significant losses from a host of smaller severe weather events from coast to coast."
IBC regards the following Budget 2019 announcements as fundamentally important:
- A one-time doubling of gas transfer funds to accelerate infrastructure investments across the country, resulting in an additional $2.2 billion for municipalities to invest in priorities such as disaster mitigation.
- A $151 million investment in science and modelling funding over five years to improve Canada's ability to predict and respond to threats of severe weather events through the use of early warning systems. This investment will also enhance our understanding of the nature of the risks posed by floods, wildfires and earthquakes. Insurers rely heavily on government science and data to price premiums accurately, and municipalities leverage this data to prioritize disaster mitigation efforts.
- A $5 million investment over five years, starting in 2019-20, for Public Safety Canada to develop all-hazard, awareness-raising activities targeted to at-risk audiences, such as low-income Canadians, seniors, people with disabilities, recent immigrants and Indigenous peoples. This investment addresses IBC's research that shows that vulnerable Canadians will not take measures to protect themselves, unless they are aware of the risks they face.
- A $211 million commitment over five years, starting in 2019-20, with $49.4 million per year to support increased resiliency and emergency management for Indigenous peoples living on reserves. In addition, the government is investing $48 million over four years, starting in 2020-21, for infrastructure projects on reserves that will protect Indigenous communities from climate-related hazards. Indigenous Canadians living on reserves can be particularly vulnerable because they often cannot be relocated out of harm's way.
- A $144.9 million investment over five years to protect Canada's critical cyber systems, including those in the finance, telecommunications, energy and transport sectors. The government intends to propose new legislation and amend existing legislation to introduce a critical cyber systems framework. The funding will also support the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security in providing advice and guidance to critical infrastructure owners and operators on how to better prevent and address cyber-attacks. IBC welcomes investments in preventing this fast-growing risk to the financial and physical security of Canadians.
The budget also shows support for the work of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance and affirms a voluntary, phased-in approach for the disclosure of climate-related financial risk. The panel has consulted with financial market participants and other stakeholders, including IBC and member companies.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.
P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 126,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $54.7 billion.
For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow us on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.
If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.
SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada
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