Brett Boadway—Chief Operating Officer, IBAO
In 2022, the entire insurance industry will be on its toes as the pace of change continues to accelerate. Certainly, IBAO isn’t immune—we’ll be picking up the skating speed, keeping our head up, and eyes on the prize. With a new year comes a whole new set of trends. Here are four we’re forecasting, and how we plan on responding.
COMMERCIAL LINES AVAILABILITY CHALLENGES WILL MEET THE EARS OF POLITICIANS
With 2022 comes a provincial election and you can bet campaign messaging across all major parties will be on economic recovery post-pandemic. As candidates begin campaigning in their local ridings, we’re predicting business sectors will flag insurance rates as a barrier to a full economic return, and IBAO will be asked to respond. We’ve already seen a surge of consultation invitations from Ontario government offices (trucking, condominiums and snow removal are three insurance issues that have already hit, but they won’t be the last). We’ve begun proactive messaging and relationship building with MPPs across the province and we’re in position to navigate election buzz. The primary message we’re making clear: brokers are navigating the insurance landscape on behalf of constituents and local businesses. We share the desire for a healthy economy and healthy communities and will advocate accordingly.
BROKER OWNERSHIP CONSOLIDATION WILL SURGE
While industry trade publications make it seem like brokerage consolidation counts have reached new heights, from our vantage point, Ontario’s M&A activity hasn’t recovered to pre-pandemic levels. In 2019 we tracked 40 brokerage mergers. In both 2020 and 2021, the count’s been under 20 (respectively). We’re predicting 2022 to be spring loaded with M&A announcements, making up for two years of delays and postponements. Big brokerages will keep getting bigger, which means IBAO’s value proposition must continue to evolve. Our new governance structure at the Board level should help bring diverse perspectives and valued strategies representing brokerages of all sizes.
THE DEMAND FOR EXPERIENCED BROKER TALENT WILL REACH A FEVER PITCH
It’s no secret that the demand for contemporary broker talent is high. An ongoing labour shortage following baby boomer retirement over the next several years is very real. We’re predicting labour demands will continue into 2022—and IBAO has a serious role to play. Educating and licensing new brokers quickly and efficiently is an area we’re starting to flex some muscle, with further enhancements coming next year. Write exams and get results, fast. In addition to licensing and education is our commitment to generating awareness on the benefits of the profession within key demographics of potential employees. This includes our partnerships with post-secondary education institutions. In 2022, we have a bursary budget for 100 students to write a fully facilitated RIBO Level 1 exam, complimentary, on behalf of Ontario brokers.
IN PERSON EVENTS WILL RETURN
It may seem that public health will never be as it once was, but there’s a willingness to work as best we can to return to some sort of normalcy. While the specifics IBAO events in 2022 aren’t clear right now, there’s a desire to make in-person events happen. This industry is based on relationships and connectivity and my goodness, we miss seeing you. So we’ll see you in Toronto next October at Convention.