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VOLUME 20 | ISSUE 3
VOLUME 20 | ISSUE 3
Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario
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Toronto, ON M4P 3A1
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I’ve said it a lot, and I’ll say it again. I’ll keep saying it, this year especially, over and over.  Insurance brokers are problem solvers by their very nature. Assessing our client’s needs, risks and exposures to bring solutions to the table is what we do every day. This is also the expectation from our association—to bring solutions to the table that address the needs, exposures and potential risks that face the Ontario broker channel and the clients and communities they serve. What I’ve witnessed and feel privileged to be part of is IBAO’s proactiveness and success bringing stakeholders together on key issues for the benefit of both consumers and brokers. Our membership has given us the very strong mandate of moving the industry where it needs to be to empower brokers and their clients. Our objective is to lead the industry towards collaboration, conceiving a variety of solutions that work.  Similar to brokerage operations, we need to understand our clients’ needs by understanding their risk exposure.
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Our current initiative in the tech space—Going Paperless, Getting it Right for Consumers—is a great example. Given the current environment, there’s a real need to provide both brokers and brokerage clients the choice of electronic access to their documents, and it’s not realistic or strategic for brokers to have different workflows for every insurer they represent.

Survey results and many conversations indicate just how important it is for brokers to know in advance—12 months in advance—that companies are planning on moving to a paperless or paper light solution. We all know practical challenges exist around digital documentation. So we’re helping Ontario’s insurance community coordinate its approach.

We’ve watched brokers do an incredible job innovating throughout this pandemic, adapting to digital delivery and remote service. In this environment it’s become even more important to bring stakeholders together to determine the industry’s desire and capacity to move paperless.  Some of the best advice I’ve picked up over the years was from a speaker at an insurance conference who asked us to raise our hands if our banks had an app. Everyone raised their hand. They followed up asking if we’d switch to a bank that didn’t have an app. No one raised their hand—it seemed obvious we wouldn’t switch to fewer service delivery options.
Bringing together insurers, brokers, BMS providers and tech vendors to develop guiding principles we can all accept and work towards is imperative to moving the industry forward for today’s consumer.

In order to be successful we need to realize the envisioned benefits for all involved, from the consumer to the insurance company and all those in between. We need to approach this in a coordinated manner taking into account the laws and regulations we all operate within, consumer privacy and data security requirements and ensuring correct consumer consents are in place. Most importantly, we need to ensure that each party’s contractual arrangements reflect each of our responsibilities while protecting our own, very significant, business value propositions.

We’ve created an association that’s nimble, experienced and determined to lead. One that relies on its members for success stories, entrepreneurial spirit and advice while it encourages the channel to come along for the ride. You can expect over the next twelve months a focused effort to establish the much needed framework we hope will help Ontario Brokers deliver to consumers the communication choices they experience from other industries, and we look forward to working with the industry to get there.
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We need to present risk profiles to insurers and ultimately recommend a solution that meets everyone’s needs.
Quite honestly, many insurers hesitate to adopt new technology if it doesn’t have the broad backing of brokers. And when they do, they spend a lot of money doing it.
Insurance is Going Paperless
With IBAO President Joseph Carnevale
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