We Are the Community We Keep.
Community is essential. In many respects, it is at the very heart of humanity, serving as the glue that holds it together and the power that propels it forward. When a community is thriving, it not only reflects its members, but also gives back to them, providing a profound sense of belonging, security and purpose.
To propel communities forward and keep them investing in themselves, the Municipal Insurance Association of British Columbia (MIABC) invests in the communities of British Columbia. Each day, through every piece of advice shared, every outreach program offered, every insurance policy written, our organization proudly declares that what makes each community unique is worthwhile, empowering the communities that are at the very heart of our province and the people who are the heart of those communities.
THE ORIGINS OF INSURANCE ARE ALIVE AT THE MIABC
The concept of insurance as a means to transfer and distribute risk is as old as humanity. Where people lived together, they supported each other as a means of securing their own survival. If one family’s house was destroyed by fire or storm, neighbours would help to rebuild it. In early trading days, the goods of one merchant were split up and transferred in different shipping boats to mitigate the risk of loss. Importantly, these actions weren’t established through intricate calculations, rather through the human need to bring some sense of predictability to life by making it less risky.
The birth and early maturation of insurance was always driven by an innate, community-based need. It supported and encouraged collective growth and reliance, and provided a foundation of security for people where it would otherwise not exist. Yet over the past three centuries, the reputation of the insurance industry has been tarnished by those embracing the letter of a policy rather than the spirit of it, and answering to Wall Street before Main Street.
The MIABC stays true to the ideological roots of insurance. The MIABC was established so that communities could help each other achieve the stability they need when the private sector was unwilling or unable to do so. Communities supporting themselves, their people and each other is at the very heart of the MIABC and remains true to the founding ideals of insurance.
THE BACKSTORY — A SHORT HISTORY OF THE MIABC
In the mid-1980s, local governments in this province were facing a crisis. Liability insurance premiums had increased five-fold for more than half of British Columbia’s local governments, deductibles were soaring, and coverage limits were dropping. This crisis reached every community in BC, across Canada, in the US and as far away as Australia. Most concerning was the lack of available coverage for major liability exposures faced by some governments. It seemed that the only options were either to increase taxes or accept insufficient coverage.
Seeing that the solution was not going to emerge from private industry, communities in BC turned to each other for support. The Union of BC Municipalities created a task force that returned with the recommendation to establish a self-insurance pooling program. And so, in November 1987, the MIABC was born and accepted its first members: all 144 of them. Over the decades that followed, the organization grew in reach, expertise and capital base. By 2006, the MIABC was able to return dividends to its members for the first time, and has continued to do so every year since but one.
Today the MIABC stands as an example of consistency, reliability and responsiveness. It is a model of communities working together to support each other and offer levels of service that none, independently, could find on their own.
UNDERWRITING TOMORROW — THE SHARED VISION OF THE MIABC
The vision of the MIABC serves as our True North, providing direction and guidance for every member and every employee, every day. It is in the name of this vision that we do what we do.
Our vision is:
A British Columbia in which its communities not only have the means to grow, but also the freedom to thrive, enriching the lives of British Columbians in the process.
THE POWER OF PREMIUMS — THE MISSION OF THE MIABC
Our mission reflects how we specifically ensure that BC communities have the means to grow and the freedom to thrive. The MIABC’s mission is achieved through its consistent delivery of a comprehensive range of products and services.
Our mission is:
Through stable liability and property insurance, outreach programs and expert advice, the MIABC gives members the dependable support they need to keep their communities vibrant and alive.
THE VALUES WE ENSURE — THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF THE MIABC
The MIABC’s guiding principles reflect how our organization, staff and members work to deliver the promise of our mission and the potential of our vision.
The four guiding principles of the MIABC are:
ONE: Membership has its benefits and its responsibilities.
The MIABC works to provide great service and support, but like any association, is only as strong as those who are a part of it. By giving us feedback, supporting other members, sharing our knowledge and being an advocate for best practices, our members invest in the association they own, making it more effective and relevant for themselves and for others.
Members, in turn, receive a wealth of services and support from our association. They experience consistent, transparent and responsive approaches to their concerns and have a say in the organization and the services offered. They may also share in the success of the operation in the form of a dividend or benefit from grants that help them identify and mitigate exposure to risk. Educational seminars conducted by the MIABC provide two levels of benefit: members receive information and training to help them better manage their risks, and members connect with other members, increasing their opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences and best practices.
TWO: The MIABC serves every member equally and uniquely.
The MIABC is owned by its members and serves them with parity and consistency. The smallest member is as important as the largest one. Yet we also recognize and react to the uniqueness of our members. We act as an extension of our members, offering an array of services and expertise to their offices, if and as required. Success for the MIABC is not simply written in the bottom line; it’s written in the faces of citizens and neighbours who are making their community full of life.
THREE: Principles precede profit.
Principles, precedence and fairness are at the heart of the MIABC’s procedures. As we are owned by and accountable to our members, we work in their best interest, even if the results of this work don’t result in profits. We will spend $40,000 fighting a $10,000 lawsuit that has no merit, because winning the case means limiting other meritless cases.
The MIABC has a strong commitment to the communities of British Columbia, with its roots in the collective. It was established to provide stability where none existed, and invests in this stability where, at times, others wouldn’t. By embracing the long view, the MIABC puts its principles and that of our members before all else.
FOUR: From partnership comes power.
Our organization was founded on people coming together to react to a crisis and resolve a problem, which is precisely what communities do. By keeping our members top of mind, by ensuring we are providing the products and services they need and remaining relevant to them, the MIABC ensures the stability of our province’s communities and their abilities to thrive for decades to come. Together, we can accomplish great things, and an organization born of crisis — which is now providing the stability to our members - is a living testament to the principle that in working together we empower each other.