CatIQ Connect

Quarterly Webinar Series

Bringing Together Industry, Academia and Government
to Discuss Canadian Natural and Human-Made Catastrophes

Read our January 4th press release here.

CatIQ Connect is a content-driven discussion to foster collaboration before, during and after catastrophic events. This quarterly webinar series, in place of the conference during COVID-19, provides a detailed overview of catastrophes, discusses strategies in catastrophe management and explores sector perspectives. Overall themes are on preparedness and resiliency, available tools, and impacted stakeholders and policy makers working together for the greater good of all Canadians.

The Financial Sector on Catastrophes & Climate Change
8:45 am
Webinar Waiting Room Opens
9:00 am
Task Force for a Resilient Recovery – Bold Moves to Guide Recovery Spending
Moderator: Joanna Dafoe
National Director of Climate Change, Insurance Bureau of Canada
President and CEO, Insurance Bureau of Canada
Member, Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance & Member, Board of Directors, Royal Bank of Canada
President and CEO, International Institute for Sustainable Development
Global Director, Sustainable Finance Center, World Resources Institute

The Federal Government has described the COVID-19 pandemic as “the challenge of our generation.” A budget deficit of $343 billion is expected for 2020-2021, and Canadians are bracing for the greatest economic contraction experienced since the Great Depression. As the Federal Government considers its recovery and stimulus spending program, it is presented with an opportunity to align its spending with the objectives of resiliency and climate risk. For this reason, a cross-section of thought leaders in the fields of finance, policy, and sustainability formed to join the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery. Its mandate was to develop high-level guidance on how recovery spending should be directed in a way that fosters long-term economic growth while advancing Canadian interests in resilience and climate change. This panel will discuss the reason to pursue a resilient recovery, the five key recommendations emerging from the Task Force (or “five bold moves”), as well as the lessons that COVID-19 can teach for future tail risk events. Participants can read the report and learn more about the Task Force at:

10:00 am
Risks and Opportunities for the Capital Markets
Moderator: Andrew Castaldi
Representative Consultant, PERILS AG
Senior Director, Sustainable Finance, Global Risk Institute
Key Account Manager, Swiss Re
Director, Global Coastal Risk and Resilience, The Nature Conservancy

One of the inevitable consequences of climate change is that the natural defenses will be overwhelmed and some risks, along the shoreline, woodlands, and other areas may become uninsurable. As an industry our choice will be to accept these consequences or do something to reduce the impacts of Climate Change. A handful of insurers, reinsurers, and capital markets are supporting the public sector in developing resiliency bonds intended to promote sustainability and risk reduction strategies. This session will look at the ILS sector's view of climate change and discuss some of the newer products used by the industry together with organizations like The Nature Conservancy to promote resilience.

11:15 am
Innovative Insurance Strategies from Low to Middle Income Countries and How to Apply Them in Canada
Moderator: Marjorie Brans
Director of Ecosystem Impact, School for Social Entrepreneurs Canada
Director and Senior Vice President, Adrienne Arsht–Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, Atlantic Council
Secretary General,
Insurance Development Forum

Costs related to extreme weather events are increasing and could cost Canada $21-$43 billion per year by 2050. As extreme weather events escalate, preparing Canadians will require effective emergency and infrastructure planning that can adapt to changing risk equations. The insurance industry, the not-for-profit sector, academia, and all levels of government will need to work together to shift mindsets toward prevention, risk mitigation, and cost-efficient response. This session will explore hard-earned lessons from around the world. We will review innovative strategies employed by institutions including the Atlantic Council, the Insurance Development Forum, World Bank, and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre. These strategies leverage parametric insurance, forecast-based financing of early warning and action systems, and technology that enables smarter and more cost-efficient risk management, streamlined processes, and enhanced customer experience.

12:30 pm
Impacts of Physical Climate Risk for Canada’s Housing Sector
Moderator: Joanna Dafoe
National Director of Climate Change, Insurance Bureau of Canada
Chief Climate Officer, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

The Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation confronts the risks and opportunities of climate change in fundamental ways. Its programs cover climate change mitigation and adaptation, including initiatives to improve energy efficiency of housing, and reducing systemic risk to which climate change contributes. At the moment, CMHC is undertaking a reflection on further opportunities to address climate risk throughout Canada’s housing system, as part of its long-term outlook and a new climate strategy. This presentation will describe CMHC’s work on climate risk and contemplate strategic opportunities as Canada shifts to a lower carbon economy. The first part of the presentation will explain how climate patterns generate risk in the housing and housing finance systems, as well as the suite of programs offered to address climate risk and advance a climate resilient housing stock in Canada. The second part of this presentation will reflect on challenges and opportunities for CMHC looking ahead five, ten, and twenty years into the future. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session on the issue of climate risk in the housing market.

1:35 pm
The Threat of Physical Climate Risk: How Canada’s Banks can Provide Stability to the Canadian Economy
Moderator: Blair Feltmate
Head, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation
Chair, Business Development Bank of Canada

Banks and Climate Change: Looking ahead at the threats and opportunities. Physical climate change poses significant risks that can impact banks’ performance and reputations. As climate change becomes more challenging and its impacts more pervasive, it will be increasingly important for banks to think about both short- and long-term consequences and mitigation. This session will focus on how banks - and indeed any business - can manage these issues for a more prosperous tomorrow.

2:35 pm
Closing Remarks

New in Catastrophe Technology and Modelling
8:45 am
Opening Remarks
9:00 am
AI Applications in Catastrophes: Risks and Rewards
CEO and Co-founder, Disaster Tech

The acceleration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies and their applications are revolutionizing industries from transportation to healthcare, developing breakthroughs that are changing our daily lives and human-machine interactions. Changes in weather patterns, oceans, sea level rise, and catastrophic risk amplify the need for accelerated AI research and transition to practical use for decision-making to prepare, mitigate, and build resilience before, during, and after disasters. As recent studies have concluded (Sun et al, 2020), applications of artificial intelligence for disaster management have faced challenges, from data quality to data availability to train models, biases, or AI that has performed well in research environments yet fails in at-scale production environments. In addition, access to high performance computing (HPC) and infrastructure able to handle massive volumes and velocities of data can be cost prohibitive especially for local jurisdictions with limited budgets. The advancement of HPC in the cloud, marked reduction on hardware, and open source technologies are breaking down barriers and unleashing an AI revolution that disaster managers must harness to save lives, reduce catastrophic risk, and build resilient communities. In this keynote, our speaker will discuss the risks and rewards of AI for catastrophes and highlight the bright future ahead for our industry.

9:45 am
10:00 am
The Future of Flooding: Mapping Risk for a Changing Planet
Shawna Peddle
Program Director, Co-operators Community Funds, The Co-operators
Engineering Advisor, Public Safety Canada
Chief Operations Officer, Fathom
Managing Partner, Climate Engine

Flooding is a top (re)insurance CAT-driver worldwide, and Canada is no exception to that rule. Set against the canvas of a changing climate, understanding the risk posed by all types of flooding events is a more formidable challenge than ever before. And yet, that understanding remains key to planning a resilient future for Canada's communities. This panel features experts from public and private sector agencies working to tackle this problem, leveraging the latest mapping and modelling technology in Canada and abroad.

11:00 am
InsurTech Presentation
11:10 am
11:25 am
InsurTech Presentation
11:35 am
New Perspectives on Earthquake Risk in Canada
John Schneider
Secretary General, Global Earthquake Model Foundation
Research Scientist, Natural Resources Canada
Research Scientist, Natural Resources Canada
Research Scientist, Natural Resources Canada
Head, Aon Impact Forecasting
Head of Earthquake Model Development (EMEA, APAC, Canada), Aon Impact Forecasting

Canada has a history of destructive earthquakes, but there remains significant uncertainty regarding the likelihood and impact of future events. In addition, risks are increasing in urban areas due to increases in population and built infrastructure. At the same time, NRCan has just released the new 2020 National Seismic Hazard Model for Canada, which indicates significantly higher levels of ground shaking hazard in several major urban areas relative to the 2015 hazard map, and is nearing the completion of the first public national earthquake risk model. This panel will provide insights into the development of these new models, how they may influence risk models for the insurance sector, and the implications of new models for a broad range of risk management or disaster reduction applications. The panel will also discuss the importance of open data, transparency in model development, and the benefits of international collaboration.

12:35 pm
InsurTech Presentation
12:45 pm
1:15 pm
InsurTech Presentation
1:25 pm
Wildfire Science & Management: Modelling Update
Moderator: Mark Hope
Senior Vice President, Guy Carpenter
Assistant Professor, Wildland Fire, University of Alberta
Senior Director, The Nature Conservancy
Vice President, Model Product Management, RMS

Despite activity in Canada in 2020 falling below recent averages, wildfire remains a significant concern within the (re)insurance industry. The heightened wildfire activity of the past several years has corresponded with an acceleration in our knowledge and abilities regarding wildfire risk quantification, structural and community resiliency, and loss modeling capabilities. In this session we will hear from several experts discussing their work that has advanced our understanding of wildfire and helped bring clarity and quantification to a chaotic peril. Empowered with a greater understanding of wildfire as a catastrophic peril the (re)insurance industry will be able to proceed into the 2020s with the confidence to make informed risk management decisions and develop resiliency strategies to diminish future potential losses.

2:30 pm
Closing Remarks

Catastrophes - 2020 Review, 2021 Preview
Times are in Eastern Standard
8:45 am
Waiting Room Opens
9:00 am
Opening Remarks and 2020 CATs in Review
Managing Director, CatIQ

2020 will go into the history books as both one-of-a-kind and the same old, same old. While a global pandemic paused many aspects of our lives, catastrophes gave us no reprieve. Natural catastrophe records were broken globally, including some right in our backyard. Though 2020 was a year of exceptions in many ways, it falls right in line with the past decade when it comes to Canada's increasing trend of annual catastrophic loss. Our first panel of the day will discuss Canada's record-setting CAT year in detail, reviewing the events that pushed 2020's insured losses toward CAN $2.5 billion.

9:30 am
State of the Industry
Paul Kovacs
Executive Director, ICLR
President and CEO, Guy Carpenter
President, Canadian P&C Operations, Wawanesa Insurance
President and CEO, Canada and English Caribbean, Swiss Re

2020 brought profound change in the operating environment for insurance companies. The panel will explore the implications of these changes for the management of catastrophe claims. What is the current state of the industry? How have insurance companies, reinsurers and brokers responded to change over the past year? What is the new ‘normal’ for the industry, with a focus on management of cat hazards? The pandemic has increased awareness of low probability / high consequence hazards, what are the implications for the insurance industry? How will extraordinary spending by governments affect their financial and political capacity to address other issues? In particular, what might we expect from the government to address climate change? Why has the pandemic increased the importance of legal wording of coverage? Importantly, what actions best address the mental and physical health of employees?

10:30 am
11:00 am
The Future of Claims Adjusting
Supervisor– National Claims Management Centre, Crawford and Company
President, Paul Davis Canada
EVP, CRU Group
Executive, CoreLogic

The Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated technology solutions in the insurance industry. While some companies were already invested in remote programs and automated solutions, others struggled to adapt to the sudden and unexpected shift. How are adjusters, insurers, vendors, and the overall industry continuing to meet the needs of customers through this unpredictable climate? There are success stories and challenges throughout the last year and “Business as Usual” will look different in the year ahead. The Future of Claims Adjusting will look at this period of unprecedented change, how the industry has adapted, and what to expect in 2021 and beyond.

12:00 pm
12:30 pm
Impacts of the Supply Chain on the Insurance Industry
Moderator: Elizabeth Kepes
Claims Corporate Vendor Manager, RSA Insurance Group
General Manager, PDR Hail Team
Vice President, Installation Services, Peak Services
AVP, National Accounts, Insurance Company Solutions, Verisk
AVP, J.S. Held

The Supply Chain for the insurance industry is an integral component of the claim process ensuring customer satisfaction by returning them to pre-loss conditions quickly. It is also a vital ingredient for insurers and service providers in maintaining continuous operations and mitigating financial risk. In current times, when there are many potential disrupters to the Supply Chain, we will review the impacts that CAT events, Covid-19 and other potential disrupters pose and strategies being considered to protect and safe guard against disrupters of the future.

1:30 pm
1:45 pm
Fireside Chat: Learning From “No More” Moments: Implementing Adaptation Ambition in 2021
President and CEO, Insurance Bureau of Canada
Canada’s Ambassador for Climate Change
David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment, Council on Foreign Relations

A groundswell of adaptation ambition emerged in 2020 and culminated in the global Climate Adaptation Summit. World leaders like Prime Minister Trudeau, President Biden, President Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Secretary General Antonio Guterres all attended this global Summit, underscoring the imperative for climate adaptation. Building on the success of 2020, a new opportunity has emerged to translate this high ambition into pragmatic solutions which integrates climate risk into decision-making and investments in countries and communities around the world. This panel brings together three internationally recognized adaptation experts – Alice C. Hill, Ambassador Patricia Fuller, and Don Forgeron -- to discuss the adaptation opportunities that have been unlocked in the past year. The discussion will address what lessons have been learned from 2020 on adaptation, and some of the key initiatives that will be pursued in Canada and the U.S. in the year to come.

2:45 pm
2021 Natural Catastrophes: The Forecast Says?
Meteorologist and Head of Catastrophe Insight, Aon

Following a highly active year for natural catastrophes in 2020 across North America, the focus shifts to 2021. This session will give a quick overview on current ENSO projections, and how that phenomenon may provide some clues as to what Mother Nature could bring for the rest of the year.

2:55 pm
Closing Remarks

Communicating and Collaborating to Mitigate Loss to
Catastrophes and Climate Change
More information coming soon!