What it Means to be Empowered

Joseph Carnevale, IBAO President

First things first—I’m incredibly proud of the broker channel’s response to this pandemic. We stepped up to the plate to deliver valuable insight and support to Ontario consumers. We joined forces to find solutions and share resources with our clients, neighbours and communities. And we  demonstrated that we can do more to lead ongoing change in this  industry.

Although we’re still very much in the thick of it, everywhere I look I see leadership and endless examples of true compassion. As brokers, we’ve always put our client’s needs first. We understand what’s important to them, we offer our expert advice and we find  insurance solutions that protect them. When our clients are exposed to catastrophic  events, we have the opportunity to make those losses a little  less painful than they  might have been.

This pandemic has provided brokers an even greater opportunity to demonstrate who we are at our very core. In the vast majority of calls and emails, clients weren’t calling about claims, they were looking for advice and support. We were there for them and continue to be there as this crisis continues—listening, consoling, doing anything we can to help.

Current commission systems never envisioned this scenario where the harder you work and the more consumers you reach out to, the less revenue comes into your business. But our clients count on us, and we’d do anything for them. It’s the one thing  in our control—helping  our clients find solutions and delivering the best experience possible in today’s environment.

Something out of our control was how quickly this pandemic presented itself and forced businesses to close their doors to the public.  Many brokerages weren’t ready to operate remotely, but they made it happen. Our industry moved forward on technology in a matter of days and weeks, which means when we want to do something, we can. Let’s not let this become a memory but a mantra for what we can accomplish together.

As your association, we’re constantly advocating for you and your clients. Governments recognize and appreciate this advocacy. Insurers understand our collective voice is strong. We continue leading the  discussion on improving as an industry, knowing that now is the time to commit to bigger ideas and bolder actions that move us  forward.

I’ve always believed brokers have the ability and power to control their destiny. By our very nature, we’re problem solvers. It’s  incredible to see the commitment, agility and teamwork brokerages put into flattening the curve, working remotely to protect  their  staff and clients—I send my appreciation to all of you. You make brokers look their best and allow us to deliver on our promises. You’ve enabled us to achieve what we have in this moment by reaching out to assist and share best practices. You’ve demonstrated what it means to be empowered, and for that, I thank you.

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