As we all maneuver through these challenging times, we have provided links below to help our members and consumers gain easy access to helpful information .
Updated: April 1, 2020
IBC Update - COVID-19 and Business Insurance - How Coverage is Triggered
Canadian Underwriter - What Canada's Brokers Have Asked Insurers
Canadian Underwriter - Will Commercial BI Policies Cover Pandemics After COVID-19
Canadian Underwriter - Why It Matters That Insurance is Declared an Essential Service
Nova Scotia Government You Tube Channel with news conferences related to COVID-19
Nova Scotia Declares State of Emergency
Nova Scotia Measures to Help Small Businesses
Official Nova Scotia Homepage for COVID-19
Access Nova Scotia
Federal Government Updates on COVID-19
Insurance Bureau of Canada - COVID-19 and Business Insurance
In response to concerns over the spread of COVID-19 and the State of Emergency imposed Sunday in Nova Scotia we wanted to keep you informed on what the Association has been doing on your behalf. We also wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work being done by ALL of our members to support clients through this difficult and uncertain time.
The Association has been working to keep the lines of communication open among provincial associations, IBAC, IBC and our regulator to address challenges imposed by the current situation.
- As noted in the announcement, to ensure the safety of all we ask that members comply with the regulations being imposed to slow the spread of the virus. Many of our member brokers have already closed their doors to walk in clients and eliminated face to face interactions as part of social distancing. During the announcement it was noted that social gatherings of more than 5 people are not allowed and many interpreted this to include workplace settings.
- UPDATE: Earlier today during the Halifax Chamber COVID-19 Committee call the Deputy Minister of Business and Office of Strategy Management Bernie Miller confirmed: that Offices/businesses can remain open with no limit on number of employees under the Health Protection Act (cleaning & 2+ metre separation). The gathering of five does include work spaces. No numerical restriction on the size of work spaces.
- In speaking with the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance they advised of the following items:
- They have extended license renewal dates to 60 days past expiry at this point. Should this need to be extended they will revisit that time frame.
- Fundamentals exams (this is not CAIB) are suspended and they are discussing nationally any options with other regulators however, they will look at increasing the number of exam sittings to accommodate any backlog created by this suspension.
- They will be flexible for filing requirements as well with respect to trust accounts etc.
- They are also staying in touch with their colleagues nationally and trying to be consistent wherever possible.
- One of the primary areas of concern for clients is Business Interruption (BI), continuity of renewals and the treatment of missed payments on policies during this declared state of emergency and beyond. Many insurers are sending out bulletins to brokers on any changes or updates and we have provided a link to the IBC webpage on BI for reference which notes that most BI forms provide coverage only when there is interruption to the customer’s business caused by direct physical loss of or damage to building(s), equipment or stock. Without direct physical loss or damage there is no coverage.
We will continue to monitor the situation and want to ensure you that we are accessible and willing to assist you however we can as we navigate the situation.
Bulletin #2 - March 24, 2020
Further to our earlier e-mail, we have added some additional information below to keep the lines of communication open with members.
- IBANS What's New Found on ibans.com. - With the overwhelming amount of information online, we wanted to post some links to reputable sites that members can visit; share or post on their own sites. They include Federal and Provincial updates, and also info on how the government is helping small businesses.
- Awards/Graduation Dinner - Postponed. We will be rescheduling this event to be held later this year. Details will follow.
- CAIB Exams - May 6, 2020 - The office is working to determine what options might be available to us. Please stay tuned and know that you will be notified ASAP. We appreciate your patience with this; we are doing our best to find a solution to try and have the exams on schedule.
- Producer Academy - We are working with our fellow Atlantic Associations to determine the status of the start date. This could be postponed until September, but as of now, will run in June. We will keep you posted on any changes.
- Social Media - The Association will continue to share relevant information on social media, including links to free webinars to assist brokers through the pandemic, and will be updating our website as information unfolds. Find us on Twitter @InsuranceNS ; Facebook IBANS ; LinkedIn IBANS Instagram @BrokersNS
- Open Communication - We are encouraging member principals to speak with other principals/brokerages related to best practice options and to share information on procedures/workflows, communication and technology - we need to work together during this challenging time.
- Financial Options - We recommend brokerages speak with their accountants for details on Temporary Wage Subsidy and other options in light or COVID-19
- Technology - Investigate having staff meetings using video conferencing platforms Facebook Messenger; Zoom; SLACK etc…
- TIP: when setting up meetings try not to have them on the hour/half-hour but at different times to avoid capacity issues with providers. Example 2:20 pm. Also, many staff could be feeling isolated or overwhelmed so it is nice to have an option whereby the conferencing has a visual component
- Adopt business related services such as electronic signatures – Examples: esignlive/onespan; docusign;
- Working with your bank to set up EFT payment options if possible.
We are here to help. We welcome any suggestions or tips on best practices that we can share with our membership. If we can assist in anyway, please reach out to us. E-mail is the best form of communication for us: Debbie Paul, email@example.com; Keri Foley firstname.lastname@example.org
Bulletin #3 - March 25, 2020
The Association has been investigating the options available to try and make the May 6, 2020 exam date for CAIB/CPIB/CCIB a reality including:
- Attempting to fast track our online process;
- Partnering with another provincial insurance association on the west coast who has an online exam portal.
Unfortunately, we could not come up with a solution where the logistics would work, and also where the exam would not be compromised; therefore I am disappointed to advise that we will not be holding exams on May 6, 2020, due to our current State of Emergency in the province.
For those students scheduled to write on this date, we ask that you follow the steps below to defer.
- Go to ibans.com
- Log into your profile and choose another exam date.
- To waive the deferral fee, enter the code DEFER2020 under the checkout section on the final check out at the bottom of the page you will where it asks for a promo code. Remember, you have to fully complete the checkout process to defer. You will receive an e-mail when you have successfully deferred.
To support our members/students the Association will continue to work on:
- Adding additional exam dates for the remainder of 2020. We will attempt to schedule a date as soon as life gets back to "normal" to allow students to write ASAP ( Keep up the studying!! )
- Online exams for our students, which we will do our best to get in place as quickly as possible.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. We do sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
Bulletin # 4 - March 30,2020
Message from our National Association - Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC)
Given the ongoing situation related to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on businesses and the economy as a whole, the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) is working closely with the Federal Government’s Small Business Directorate and Finance Canada, informing them of industry impacts and challenges, and accessing information that we can share with Member Associations for distribution to their brokers.
The following link provides the most up-to-date information on what government support is available to businesses and Canadians: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
IBAC also anticipates that additional measures and plans will be announced in the coming days and weeks. We will continue to represent your interests and concerns with federal government officials and decision-makers throughout this crisis. Please stay safe and let us know what more we can do to help.
HOW TO ACCESS RESOURCES
- Visit the website for businesses for information about supporting your employees and your business. It will be constantly updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolves.
- Download the Canada Business App to find tailored supports to address your specific needs and questions about COVID-19.
- Consult the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s pandemic preparedness guide to help prepare your business in the days and weeks to come.
Additional official information sources regarding COVID-19: