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Advocacy in Action | The Unseen Initiatives
With Colin Simpson—Chief Executive Officer, IBAO
In this article series, we’ve covered a number of advocacy initiatives the IBAO and its members have undertaken on behalf of brokers and consumers including Bill 118, changes to AutoPlus Reports and the rising cost of trucking deductibles. But many of the issues we get involved in to protect our various stakeholders will never get public visibility.
“We often have IBAO Members reach out to us with individual cases that require our attention,” said Colin. “We’ve intervened in cases regarding conduct within the market, employee concerns, legal contracts, licensing, technical and operational issues, MGA relationships and M&A activity. In a recent case, an Ontario broker was rejected from getting licensed in a province outside Ontario. We were instrumental in supporting successful appeal for them and they ultimately obtained their license.” We’re in regular contact with insurers and technology vendors to protect brokers’ interests whether it be cyber attack settlements or run-of-the-mill contracts. Whenever a company drafts a new broker contract, we review it with our legal team and recommend constructive changes when needed.
“These are mainly changes to insurance products and processes within brokerage offices,” said Colin. “Hot topics in recent months include outreach to consumers, negative option billing on products being updated and MGA fee disclosures. As important as many of these are, we don’t publicize our efforts for the sake of confidentiality of the parties involved.”
In a recent case, an Ontario broker was rejected from getting licensed in a province outside Ontario. We were instrumental in supporting successful appeal for them and they ultimately obtained their license.
IBAO proactively maintains close ties with other industry associations like the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association (OMIA) and the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO), but often don’t publicize the work—it’s more about keeping a finger on the pulse of evolving industry issues and ensuring our members have a voice within the industry.
“We lead a number of national projects, technology initiatives and training developments,” said Colin. “This includes our recent work with CGI to develop broker-friendly changes to CGI Autoplus Reports and updating the Fundamentals of Insurance textbook. Each of these requires cooperation with multiple organizations to be accomplished properly.”
Even our more well-known advocacy relationships, specifically during consultation processes, address many other issues than the ones that are publicized. We’re always in close contact with regulators including the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR), the Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations (CISRO), Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO) and Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA). We also have regular meetings with government officials on a variety of issues—current discussions continue on trucking insurance and the framework for credit unions to distribute insurance on the same premises as the credit union itself, as announced in Ontario’s October budget statement.
“For every initiative we publish a press release for or cover in an article, there are at least a half dozen we’re actively working on,” said Colin. “We rely heavily on our Board of Directors, volunteers and specialist brokers to share their knowledge and expertise. If any brokers reading this want to lend a hand or have a particular issue they want to bring to our attention, we’d be more than happy to work together. Brokers raising an issue is often the way we learn about them in the first place. And if there’s something affecting one broker, it’s likely affecting many more. Advocacy is one way we can continue adding value to our membership and the industry.”
Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario
1 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700
Toronto, ON M4P 3A1
416.488.7422 | 800.268.8845
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