IBC’s main focus is to strengthen the business environment for the property and casualty insurance industry. IBC strives to create and sustain a positive image for the industry. The Bureau’s activities include relations with governments, the public, consumers, and media as well as with member companies and other institutions which share some of the concerns of member companies.
IBC identifies and monitors key policy issues affecting the general insurance industry, and develops appropriate policy papers and plans. The Bureau also commissions public opinion research to assess public attitudes on insurance-related matters and to measure the effectiveness of communication programs. IBC campaigns actively on a range of loss-prevention issues, including the promotion of safe driving, home safety, and fraud reduction. IBC-led “settlement” conferences are reducing the load on Canada’s overburdened court system, and the IBC five regional consumer centres are widely appreciated by claimants, policyholders and others.
The Bureau’s legal staff keeps a very close watch on proposed legislation; members are informed by bulletins of changes or proposed changes in federal and provincial law which could affect them. Judicial interpretations of insurance contracts and legislation are also monitored closely and IBC frequently intervenes or arranges for appeals in cases of importance to the industry. The Bureau monitors a variety of legal and other reports in Canada and elsewhere to keep the Bureau and its members abreast of developments in the law affecting insurance.
The Bureau’s Committees (e.g., Financial Affairs, Standards and Practices, etc.) work with a range of important topics, including insurance claims and product lines. Ad hoc committees of the Board are formed as needed to address topics such as bank/insurance competition, catastrophic loss mitigation, effective regulation, privacy, and opportunities for privatization.
IBC Regional Offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax adapt and deliver services that are tailored to local needs. To improve liaison with the federal government, IBC maintains an office in Ottawa, too. The core services are public relations, government relations, legal services, and industry liaison.