To all Members:
Governments and Health Authorities across the country are now warning everyone of a second wave of COVID-19. Certain Provinces, and areas within provinces, are starting to experience this. Although Provinces are responding slightly different the level of concern is certainly increasing. Officials are re-evaluating how many people should be allowed to gather both indoors and outdoors with smaller gatherings being recommended right across the country. The primary message continues to be: maintain social distancing, wear a mask when in close confines or when mandated by health authorities, and wash hands frequently.
We have seen the appraisal industry adapt to physical distancing particularly with the introduction of the “Modified Full Appraisal”. There have been numerous issues with gathering credible and usable data from homeowners which has created much more work for appraisers as well as more risk. Managing risk is an area that the Association has been looking at for the last couple of years and COVID-19 has certainly increased the risks taken on by appraisers.
We know that the difficulties in obtaining the information from homeowners as well as competitive pressures has resulted in appraisers making the decision to go into homes. Pressure to go into homes from Mortgage Brokers, Lenders, and AMC’s has only made it more difficult for appraisers but it is imperative that if you do not feel safe going into a home you should push back. After all you are the one taking the additional risk. During our recent AGM we were fortunate enough to have Derrick Leue from ProLink attend. In his presentation Derrick discussed the following points under the topic of “Other Exposures to Consider”
• COVID-19 illness risk: Commercial General Liability is the intended policy to respond, Not E&O;
• Critical to follow local and provincial Public Health guidelines;
• Liability exposure could result when you fail to follow Public Health guidelines.
Appropriate insurance coverage is an important tool in mitigating risk and one that ProLink can certainly help you with, but is not a substitution for prudent decision making.
CNAREA continues to recommend that members do not go into homes and risk passing the virus to other homeowners. We continue to encourage all members to be aware of what governments and local health authorities are advising and strictly adhere to that advice.