SHAREemail sharing iconLinkedin sharing iconFacebook sharing iconTwitter sharing icon
Menu icon
Virtual Insurance Event | Broker Connect 
Insurance Business Canada hosted its first virtual event for Canada’s insurance industry in May. Over 300 insurance professionals participated in a keynote and round table sessions, virtual tradeshow and live networking events throughout  the  afternoon. As media sponsor, IBAO supported and promoted the event, encouraging  Ontario Brokers to check out the platform and connect with the broader industry. Thanks to Insurance Business Canada for hosting the initiative and setting the stage for exciting virtual collaborations to come.  

How the Coronavirus Pandemic has Changed (and will Change) our Industry  was a panel discussion featuring key leaders from across the industry. Here’s a snapshot of the conversation.    
Should the industry cover pandemic–related losses? 
“I’d love to be able to say that the industry is going to cover all pandemic losses past, present and future, specifically for business interruption. However, we also know that if the industry is going to continue to be resilient, they need to be able to model and price this risk. The trick is that pandemic risk is global, much longer lasting and potentially much more severe in scope and scale than anything we’ve seen. If P&C insurers are going to insure pandemic risk, they can’t underwrite it in the same manner they have every other risk—the premiums for the coverage would be prohibitively expensive. Most likely the scenario we see is that this may require some form of private–public partnership.”  
—Brian Parsons, Head of Canada, Willis Towers Watson 
Do you believe we can build a pandemic solution going forward with a permanent public and private partnership?
“I do believe we can build something permanent, but it requires us as an industry to do a lot of work with public and consumer advocacy groups—understanding what the pricing on a mechanism like that would look like—to see if there would be support to fund something like that through their premiums. I think we can get there, but it’s a lot of heavy lifting ahead of us and I don’t think the solution is an off–the–shelf product.”  —Tina Osen, President, Hub International Canada 
How is your brokerage responding to business interruption claims?
“Similar to other brokerages across the country, we’re trying to take a very consistent approach within our brokerage and make sure that our Commercial advisors are providing a consistent message across the board to our clients. As a broker, discussions about whether a claim is going to be denied are difficult. We’re trying to add value when we’re having those conversations—we’ll discuss premium reduction strategies and offer loss mitigation advice.”  —Michael Stack, Partner & Chief Executive Officer, Archway Insurance 
A lot of the questions I get asked are why can’t the industry just do things the same way? As you’ve alluded to, it’s not actually possible because of the differences between insurance companies. What have been some of the difficulties of putting  solutions in place? 
“It really is the complexity. Trying to make a provision for a barbershop is one thing, trying to make it for an oil refinery is probably a different conversation. And so,  statements saying the industry will do X and Y, the implication is that it applies to everybody. The world is unfortunately not that simple. Sometimes it’s cold comfort to say we’ll deal with these things on a case–by–case basis, but we’re dealing with them. Brokers play that important role of bringing each case forward and advocating on behalf of their customers.”  —Don Forgeron, President & Chief Executive Officer, Insurance Bureau of Canada 

Christine Nauth is Assistant Vice President on the Environmental Liability team at SUM Insurance. Starting as a broker at HKMB HUB International, she’s now been in the industry 10 years.   

“The Broker Connect event was the first opportunity to be involved in a large convention once again, since the pandemic started over 3 months ago. SUM Insurance hosted a booth. At first people were a bit nervous to enter the virtual booth and be put on the spot, but the platform has potential to be a vital tool in the new normal.  

“The event allowed brokers to ask an underwriter their urgent questions—most were about the pandemic, with a few on the hardening market. From the people I was able to interact with, most enjoyed the social interaction and the novelty of the set up. It was a fun way to interact with brokers once again. Personal connections are a big part of the insurance sector, especially as an MGA.  We’re proud of our network of strong relationships.”    
Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario
1 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700
Toronto, ON M4P 3A1
416.488.7422 | 800.268.8845
Follow Us
Copyright © 2020 by Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.