CCCA insurance up 22%, told insurers “have to be profitable”

·2 min read

Catfish Creek Conservation Authority (CCCA) board members agreed to renew their 2021-2022 insurance for $50,014 with Frank Cowan Company Limited through Hamilton Ward & Cathers Insurance Service Limited (HWC) in Aylmer.

This marks a 22% increase ($8,718) over last year’s cost. The new premium is based on the same level of coverage and deductibles as in the previous year, and excludes coverage for pandemic and contagious viruses.

The contract covers the CCCA from April 1 until March 31, 2022.

CCCA board members discussed the matter with Alison Varga of HWC at a virtual meeting on Thursday, April 8.

Board member Arthur Oslach asked if the CCCA could get a discount.

Ms. Varga said, “Insurance, I know most people don’t like us because we’re a non-tangible essential product.

“It seems to everybody—including myself, because I’m a buyer as well—that we just pay more and more and we get no value.”

She said she hoped it would give board members comfort to know that the insurance company would cover the CCCA should they experience a loss. “But unfortunately, I cannot give you a discount today.”

Board member Sally Martyn said she knew that insurance rates have skyrocketed everywhere this year. She asked whether it was due to the pandemic that rates have increased so dramatically.

Ms. Varga explained that the insurance industry is going through a hard market, which means insurance companies are experiencing high payouts and are less profitable as they have been in the past.

She said the pandemic is not having a truly negative impact on the CCCA policy per se, because virus coverage is not available.

“What you’re seeing for the conservation increase is due to Frank Cowan’s rate increases to respond to the hard market,” said Ms. Vargas.

“As a business, they have to be profitable, they have to pay their utilities like we all do, and pay their employees and look for growth.”

Board member Rick Cerna said he believed insurance companies as a whole were “pretty profitable” and asked what Frank Cowan’s profits amounted to throughout 2020. Ms. Vargas said she would follow up with that information.

Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express