After the hailstorms pummelled Assiniboian streets in late June, the adjusters arrived in town to assess the damages.
Amongst the adjusters representing SGI were American employees originating from the Catastrophe Response Unit, or CRU.
Saskatchewan Government Insurance said they were unaware of their third-party inspection partner’s six American hires working in Canada.
However, CRU’s American-Canadian ties have been well-established for almost 16 years.
Founded in 2004, the CRU GROUP, with their head office based in Dallas, Texas have delivered loss adjusting, claims management and staffing issues related to insurance claims throughout the United States and Canada.
Although CRU also has Canadian employees, American insurance representatives have been crossing the border quite often as of late, with a noticeable presence in both Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Adam Toy of Global News noted a car park outside of a hotel in northeast Calgary was filled with vehicles with American licence plates from Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Utah and South Carolina at the end of June.
According to Global News, 300 adjusters disembarked in Calgary to appraise the costs incurred after the hailstorms walloped the city.
CRU said nearly 100 adjusters in Calgary were American in origin. Furthermore, they came to Alberta for a mixture of desk and fieldwork.
In Saskatchewan, American adjusters were also present in the areas struck with hailstorms such as Assiniboia.
In most instances, SGI have commonly used their own employees to address similar catastrophes in the past. However, during a pandemic when the border is closed to most travellers, its astonishing to realize American adjusters were present in both Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Allison Bamford of Global News said CRU sent six American inspectors to Saskatchewan to assist with SGI evaluations.
In an email, SGI said their “Understanding was that only Canadian inspectors would be assigned to SGI CANADA claims.”
The Crown corporation declared their innocence by saying they were unaware of these American inspectors deployed by CRU.
An executive for CRU said the corporation were adhering to strict COVID-19 guidelines, saying their American employees in Canada were advised to stay in the rooms, wear masks and were mandated to practise social distancing at the homes of their customers.
Also, customers were advised to remain inside their houses during the assessments.
The recent hailstorms over the Canadian Prairies called for immediate action from insurance adjusters. However, CRU acted irresponsibly by sending American adjusters into Canada at an especially precarious moment in history.
Even if SGI were right in claiming their innocence, the Crown corporation is still implicit in these highly questionable activities.
Recently, Prime Minister Trudeau stated the border between Canada and the United States would remain closed until August 21, nixing the reopening originally planned for July 21.
Why were foreigners from a country with volatile rates of COVID-19 transmission allowed to travel across the border to adjust insurance rates in Saskatchewan and Alberta, even as the border closure to the United States was extended?
With cases exploding in several states, it’s impossible to understand why CRU sent adjusters across the border.
Although a number of adjusters were required to evaluate the losses experienced by several home and business owners in Saskatchewan and Alberta, surely Canadian employees could have fulfilled these obligations.
Moreover, one wonders if SGI were merely pretending to be unaware of the presence of American adjusters in Canada.
Whether they were adhering to COVID-19 protocols or not, the manifestation of American adjusters in the Canadian Prairies during a pandemic is simply mind-boggling.