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Fire claim deal could bolster city coffers

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue staff will recommend city council enter into an insurance deal to recover the department's costs.
Greg Hankkio fire
Thunder Bay Fire Rescue deputy chief Greg Hankkio says home insurance rates haven't increased in other jurisdictions that have hired a company to claim for fire costs on municipalities' behalf.

THUNDER BAY -- There may be more money for the municipality in fighting fires

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue staff will present a potential deal to city council on Monday that could see the municipality recuperate $100,000 from insurance companies that has heretofore been left on the table. 

"There's coverage contained within insurance policies for response from fire departments that really isn't being acted on at this time," said Thunder Bay Fire Rescue deputy chief Greg Hankkio.

The fire service will recommend recovering that financial potential through entering into an agreement with Firemark, a Southern Ontario specialist company that claims insurance dollars on behalf of municipalities.

The deal would see the city receive 70 per cent of the potential windfall while the company would retain 30 per cent for its services.    

Hankkio said home insurance rates have not increased in other cities that have deployed the strategy.

"The information we got back from Firemark, in light of the fact that it's a huge market, we don't have any evidence to suggest insurance rates would go up as a result," he said.

"The other thing to keep in mind that's very important -- out of the payment that's made to a policyholder as an example, money that would be received by the municipality does not come off of the payment that would be received by the property owners -- it's in addition to."