Progress Report on Commercial Insurance in Atlantic Canada - Education and Communication Among Accomplishments - More Work Remains

    HALIFAX, April 30 /CNW/ - The Atlantic Task Force on Insurance
Availability and Affordability released its Progress Report today,
highlighting progress made by insurers, government and commercial insurance
buyers towards implementing recommendations to improve the commercial
insurance marketplace long-term.
    "Much has been accomplished since the release of the Task Force Final
Report," said Don Forgeron, Vice-President, Atlantic, Insurance Bureau of
Canada, and Chair of the Task Force. "There is also much more to be done to
ensure that businesses, not-for-profit groups and insurers are prepared for
future challenges concerning the availability and affordability of commercial
    Formed in February 2005, the Atlantic Task Force included representatives
from the business sector, the voluntary sector, the insurance industry, and
all four Atlantic governments (government representatives held observer
    "The effects of the hard insurance market were felt in different ways by
all stakeholders represented on the Task Force, but the common thread among
all Task Force members was that we wanted to address availability and
affordability concerns," said Jamie Ferguson, CEO of Sport Nova Scotia, and
member of the Task Force. "Now, 16-months after issuing the Final Report, we
have the opportunity to look back on what has been done."
    In general, the insurance marketplace has improved over the past 16
months. Respondents to a survey conducted to gather information for the
Progress Report have indicated that insurance availability and affordability
is no longer the top-of-mind issue it was. However, there are still insurance
challenges, and more work needs to be done to better safeguard against future
crises. By giving businesses and voluntary organizations better tools, they
can be equipped to continue to find the best insurance at the best price.
    Initiatives completed to-date include the insurance industry's efforts to
improve communication and provide more education tools on risk management;
governments in each of the Atlantic Provinces beginning to take action; and
commercial insurance buyers beginning to take ownership of the insurance
    "Snowmobiling is New Brunswick's winter tourism, however it is often
misunderstood that this resource (snowmobile trails) is provided primarily by
volunteers, not government," said Ross Antworth, General Manager, The New
Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs Inc., and member of the Task Force.
"The volunteers of the New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs required
assistance with the critical issue of trail insurance availability and
affordability. At the height of the recent crisis the only resource to assist
volunteers to find solutions was the Atlantic Task Force."
    The Progress Report outlines each of the 27 recommendations in the final
Task Force report, and catalogues the progress made to-date. To ensure
objectivity, research was conducted by Thinkwell Research, a Halifax-based
market research firm. The information compiled in the Progress Report was
collected through a survey conducted by Thinkwell, compiling of published
articles and cataloguing discussions with stakeholders.
    To view a copy of the Progress Report, or the Atlantic Task Force's Final
Report issued November, 2005 please visit

    Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national trade association of the
private property and casualty insurance industry. It represents more than 90%
of the non-government home, car and business insurance in Canada. To view news
releases and information, visit the media section of IBC's website at

For further information:

For further information: or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Amanda Dean, Advisor, Community & Stakeholder Relations, Insurance Bureau of
Canada, (902) 429-2730 ext. 226, C: (902) 222-1898,

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