Frequently asked Questions and Answers

Will insurance rates go up as a result of the Fire Marque program?

Essentially, no.  Property insurance underwrites the building and contents.  Buildings generally remain constant.  What the insurance company considers includes: how close is a building to a fire hydrant or fire station?  Is the building sprinklered?  What materials were used in the construction of the structure? Is there an alarm system?

With regard to property insurance premiums, the Insurance Bureau of Canada has stated that data collected between 2005 and 2009 shows the cost of $1,000 of home insurance paid by customers in Ontario dropped by 11 per cent during that time.

“Consumers are spending more on home insurance because they’re buying bigger policies to cover the recent rapid rise of home values in Canada and because they have more possessions to insure. Basements, once used to store old clothes and hockey equipment, are now often finished and filled with expensive electronic equipment.”

Insurance companies have already calculated the premiums to include charges for Fire Department services.

Property insurance is very different than Auto insurance.

 

Who is Fire Marque?

Fire Marque is a privately owned Canadian company licenced in all provinces and territories.

Fire Marque’s Board of Directors have over 170 years of insurance claims experience and over 33 years of firefighting experience.

 

Can we use the funds that Fire Marque recovers for fire prevention, public education programs and for fire department capital purchases?

Yes, it’s in the agreement that the Municipality signs.

 

Why should a municipality use Fire Marque?

Fire Marque provides a new revenue stream for Fire Departments.

Fire Marque has the insurance claims technical expertise. 

Fire Marque owns the intellectual rights to Indemnification Technology®

Fire Marque’s program doesn’t cost anything.

Fire Marque has a six year established track record.

 

Can Fire Marque recover the cost of a fire investigation?

No.

 

How much revenue can a Fire Department expect to receive?

The amount will vary with the number of “insured peril losses”, along with whether the area of the Municipality is urban or rural.

 

Won’t this impact the insurance companies’ bottom line?

Not really. Insurance companies have been calculating and including Fire Department expenses in the premiums they have been charging. In fact, some insurers offer added endorsements for additional Fire Department expense coverage.

 

If the property owner pays property taxes which include Fire Department charges, why should the Fire Department charge again?

Property taxes pay for Fire Department services such as:  the expense of the fire hall, the pumper, ladder trucks, and the salary of the firefighters.  A property insurance policy covers, “the loss” as per the policy wordings.

 

Are there any requirements of the property owner?

As with any fire, the property owner must cooperate with the fire investigation and the Statutory Conditions of the Insurance Act and the Municipal Act.

 

Why is the Indemnification Technology® by-law required?

Most insurance policies state that a “contract or formal agreement is required prior to the loss”, while others say the insured must be “legally responsible” or “required to pay”. The By-Law provides the legal contractual agreement for the requirement to pay.

 

Is Fire Marque Insured?

Yes. Fire Marque is bonded and carries full legal liability coverage. A copy of the policy is available for the municipality.

 

What happens if there is no insurance coverage for fire department services on the structure?

Nothing happens.  No “loss” funds are recovered from the building insurance company.

 

Can we recover on Hazardous Material incidents?

Generally, yes. Fire Marque’s expertise in recovering funds determines if “Haz Mat” incidents resulting from an insured peril are “escape” damages rather than erosion, etc. The “Haz Mat” coverage is summed up as follows:   

The regulatory obligation to return a spill site to pre-existing conditions (when possible) is consistent with legal obligations at common law and the insurance principal of making the injured party whole, but with no betterment. The insurers' obligations are governed by the policy wordings and their contractual duty to their insured.

 

Why does the municipality need a bylaw? Won't an agreement with Fire Marque do?

Some insurance company wordings state a bylaw is required prior to the loss before a payment will be made.

 

Will the homeowner be required to pay a deductible?

No. The policy wordings are normally clear on this point. No deductible applies.

 

Has the Fire Marque Program deterred residents from calling the Fire Department?

No.  The residents are not deterred from calling the Fire Department.

 

What will the homeowner say?

Fire Marque conducted a study with the homeowners.  Every policy holder in the study was unaware of the Fire Department Services coverage in their policy and in every case they were pleased that their Fire Department benefited from the coverage.

 

Will the Fire Department Charges reduce the insurance payment? 

No. The Fire Department Charges are additional coverages in most homeowner policies. Your agent, broker or adjuster will assist you with these questions.

 

Are residents concerned about the charges for additional fees or services?

No, there isn’t a concern.  To date, every resident surveyed, is happy that their insurance policy helps with the costs of the Fire Department being called out to save and protect their property. There are no charges for additional fees or services.

 

Who has opposed this program?

Six years ago, the push back was from a few Insurance Broker/Agents and a few of the Insurance Companies.

With our changing environment, many insurers have recognized more than ever the significance of the Fire Marque program. Many insurers have issued additional coverage endorsements for firefighting expenses. The insurance community is gratified that the Municipalities have pledged through their signatures the funds they receive are committed to the fire departments public education programs, and/or the fire departments capital expenditure program, and/or the fire department’s firefighting training program.