For those who don’t know me, my name is Neil Weir and I’m the Vice President of Claims at Gore Mutual. Throughout my career, my two sons have asked me what I do when I go to work. What I’ve always said is that I work with a large group of people who take care of other people that have had really unfortunate events happen to them.
We do this every single day regardless of what type of claims we’re encountering. Taking care of customers is the reason we’re here. This doesn’t change either when it comes to large-scale CAT events.
It’s no secret that climate change is causing more frequent and intense weather events across the country and insured losses from these major storms are increasing. The Insurance Bureau of Canada recently announced that weather-related insured damages from severe weather events over the past 12 months are over the half billion dollar mark in Ontario alone.
April saw two CAT events in Ontario and Quebec. The first happened at the beginning of the month and brought damaging winds that approached 100 kilometres per hour, severe rain and heavy snow. The second one took place in mid-April and involved more snow, ice, freezing rain, water and wind. That storm produced 18 hours of ice pellets, six hours of freezing rain and more than 300,000 homes lost power.
At Gore Mutual, we’re unique in that we make certain that every single policyholder gets a call back the day they submit a claim during really big CAT events. I think we’re the only Canadian insurance company that has this goal and achieves it every single time.
As a modern mutual company, we do the right thing and our Claims Team genuinely cares about the outcomes that we create. We’re not here to maximize profits. We’re here to help people with their claims the right way as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Research shows that worldwide there has been a 46% increase in weather disasters since 2000, and this number will likely continue to increase. In 2017, we saw a number of extreme weather occurrences across Canada. British Columbia had the longest and most destructive wildfire season in its history and spring flooding in Ontario and Quebec resulted in 15,570 claims according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Windsor had the worst storm it’s ever experienced in August causing flooding to more than 6,000 homes as well as damage to city infrastructure.
Gore Mutual prides ourselves on our industry-leading claims service. We have a 97% claims service satisfaction score and we’re always looking for ways to improve. In times of catastrophic events, we utilize all internal and external resources necessary to make certain that we can help our policyholders.
We’re going to talk more about changing weather and some exciting new initiatives that will help our Claims Team continue to strengthen the services we offer customers in June at our Fast Forward event. It’s no secret that our Claims Team is already really good. But guess what, it’s going to get even better.