March 20, 2012
On a recent long weekend style trip to New York City, Audrey and I went to lunch with some friends from the industry (yes, Relocation invades our vacation mindset). The wife of the couple has her own business that provides auto insurance for expatriates on global assignments. Expatriates make actuaries and insurance companies twitch. They are anti-statistical from an auto insurance perspective ? they don’t exist. Furthermore, as they are on global assignment, they don’t even represent long-term relationships to insurance companies.
Our friend had worked with insurance companies the world over to broker this neglected form of insurance into reasonable products to offer her clients. She had mentioned that Canada was not only one of the tougher countries for which to procure this form of insurance, it was truly one of the toughest. She ranked us in an elite group of countries for which procuring this insurance was bordering on the impossible ? North Korea, Iran and Canada. We’re #3!
All Points Relocation is doing its part
I could have told her this. It is one of the banes of our existence when we bring expats into the country. It is also confirmed by another industry friend of mine who works in Canada. He has been trying to broker this business for years. All Points is able to work with insurance companies, and work out a better rate, if the employee also takes contents insurance as a renter. But the rates are still very high. I actually am completely embarrassed that the situation is so bad in Canada for expatriate auto insurance.
Your Cost of Living Report is Wrong
There are a couple of things that should be said with regards to those administering global assignments into Canada.
1.Your cost of living report is WRONG! It is almost certain that the statistical research that goes into these reports does not accurately reflect the cost of auto insurance for expats in Canada (please cost of living people make a comment and prove me wrong).
2.Can the employers themselves do something to help? I don’t believe so.
I had a Canadian company contact me to offer its brokerage services for such insurance. The only catch was that they wanted the employer (via All Points) to pay a fee per successfully brokered insurance equivalent to more than $700. Our clients want this problem solved, but they don’t want it solved with their financial (or back-stopping) involvement. And I don’t blame them. It should not be their role.
Time to solve this problem
Quite frankly it is the role of the insurance industry to solve this for this need. This blog post isn’t meant to solve any problems, just to highlight them and to beg the insurance industry to figure out that these fantastic global expatriates represent a very good business opportunity that is not currently being met adequately. Put your actuaries into a room for a week with little food until they come out with the problem solved.