Newsletter Archive

Issue 2005-05:   February 1, 2005

This newsletter is for members of the Canadian Insurance Industry, and those who serve it. The newsletter is published weekly, and notes information mostly about the use of the Internet and related technologies in the industry. Some is international, where we feel it is relevant to Canada.


ISB and CGI Announce Agreement for Distribution of Information Products to the Property and Casualty Insurance Claims Market.

CGI Group Inc. (CGI) and Insurance Search Bureau of Canada (ISB) announce an agreement to distribute CGI information products through ISB to the Property and Casualty claims industry. This agreement gives clients the best combination of claims knowledge and expertise and the widest array of information products available to professionals who handle P&C claims.

With Customer Input, ISO Cites Factors in Holding Down Personal Injury Claims-Handling Costs.

With extensive input from insurer customers, a leading provider of antifraud and personal injury claims solutions has identified 10 key factors to help insurers reduce the rising costs of handling personal injury claims. The checklist was developed by ISO from the feedback of insurer customers involved in improving their claims management practices.

Marketing and the Market Place

Dealing with the Realities of Aging: RBC Insurance Survey.

When it comes to needing long-term care in the future, one-third of Canadians (34 per cent) say they are concerned about becoming a financial burden to someone when they get older, according to an RBC Insurance/Ipsos-Reid survey.

Canadians Increase Online Spending During Holiday Season: Ipsos-Reid.

After back-to-back years of flat online gift shopping, Canadians increased their online gift purchasing during the 2004 holiday season, according to a new study from Ipsos-Reid, Canada's leading public opinion and marketing research company. Just over 3.5 million Canadian adults purchased at least one gift online, up from 2.2 million in 2003. This represents an increase of 59%.

Consumer Information

Small Business urges government to follow through on their promises in upcoming Ontario Budget; presents 6-point plan to grow the economy: CFIB.

"It's time for this government to start keeping some of its promises to Ontario's small business community." This was the message delivered by senior representatives of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business during their pre-budget submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs at Queens Park today.

ICBC keeps its commitment to low and stable rates for BC.

The BC Utilities Commission has released its decision on the application submitted by ICBC in July 2004. The application did not include a request for adjustments to basic auto insurance rates. "Basic auto insurance rates will not increase in 2005," said Paul Taylor, ICBC's president and CEO, "which is good news for our customers."

BC Funding Ensures Tsunami Preparedness.

B.C. is providing one million dollars to coastal communities at risk from tsunamis to ensure they are properly prepared, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today. "While British Columbians continue to support relief efforts abroad, we also need to take steps to ensure that we can respond to a tsunami on our coast."

The General Insurance OmbudService web site reflects trend to access online consumer services.

The General Insurance OmbudService reports that for the nine-month period from April 2004 through to December 2004 their web site accounted for 24,385 unique visitors. This increased significantly (+278%) from the 6,450 unique visitors recorded for the same period in 2003.

Financial Services Commission of Ontario offers two new bulletins on auto insurance.

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has produced two new consumer bulletins on auto insurance. One addresses shopping for auto insurance, and some purchasing tips. The other presents tips for identifying auto insurance scams.

Seminar: Integrated P&C Insurance Distribution: Thriving in the Multi-Channel World,'s annual P&C Distribution seminar, will be held Wednesday Feb. 16 in Toronto. Joining the speakers are Ed Meiering, Manager IT Services, The Economical Insurance Group and Glen Piller, President, iter8. They will participate in the discussion on "Taking Advantage of Real-Time Processing Between Brokers and Insurers" which also features speakers Rick Alcock, Leader, Strategic Business Solutions, Royal and Sun Alliance and Catherine Trimble, Business Development Consultant, Applied Systems Canada. Follow the link for more details.


Atlantic Blue Cross Care Goes Live with DWL Unifi™.

DWL, the leading provider of customer data integration (CDI) solutions, today announced that one of Canada's largest health insurance providers, Atlantic Blue Cross Care, has launched the first phase of its new Web-based enrollment application, using DWL Unifi™.

Aviva verifies its commitment to the success of the CSIO portal.

In response to broker's feedback, Aviva Canada has ramped up its commitment to the success of the CSIO portal, by announcing a plan to connect directly to the portal in 2005. In the interim, Aviva Canada through its member companies (Pilot Insurance Company, Scottish & York and Traders General Insurance Company) will be guaranteeing quotes generated by brokers thorough the CSIO portal commencing March 1.

From Canadian Insurance ENEWS: SIAA Canada adds new Master Brokerage in Southern Ontario

The Strategic Independent Agents Alliance Canada has announced that Condotta, Merrett & Company Insurance Brokers of Niagara Falls, Ontario has joined SIAA Canada. In addition to four Master Brokers, there are 12 other independent members in Canada.

Study Shows Growth in USA Premium, Market Share: IIABA.

The overall property-casualty market grew 9.5 percent in 2003, and independent agents and brokers produced 59.4 percent of this market, according to "The 2003 Property-Casualty Insurance Market" recently released by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA).

Policy Management

Ontario Auto insurance rates for first, second, third and fourth quarters of 2004: FSCO.

The rate applications approved during the first, second, third and fourth quarters of 2004 indicate a weighted average rate change of -10.6%. The average rate change was weighted by 2002 market share in the first and second quarters, 2003 market share in the third quarter and fourth quarter, for those insurers making rate changes.

Business of Insurance

Conning Research: USA Property-Casualty Insurance Reserve Position Improved Dramatically in 2003.

Reserve deficiencies, which have plagued property-casualty (P-C) insurers in recent years, improved dramatically in 2003, according to a new study by Conning Research & Consulting. The Conning Research study, "Property-Casualty Loss Reserves: As Good as It Gets?" estimates P-C reserve deficiency improved nearly $17 billion from $24.8 billion in 2002 to $8 billion in 2003.

From Canadian Insurance ENEWS: Marsh Confirms Agreement With NY Attorney General and Superintendent of Insurance.

Under the terms of the agreement, the company neither admits nor denies the allegations in the Complaint filed by the Attorney General. The company will enact reforms to lead the industry in transparency and service to clients and establish an $850 million fund to compensate clients.

eBusiness and Technology

Norwich Union Signs New Contract With IBM.

Leading UK life insurer, Norwich Union, has signed a two and a half year contract with IBM to provide programme transformation expertise for its business services division. A team of specialists from IBM Business Consulting Services will work with Norwich Union Life to transform its business services division which consists of internal consulting, application development and maintenance. The project will enhance business services' ability to deliver quality services to the rest of the Norwich Union Life business.

LOMA Research Report Explores the Pros and Cons of Outsourcing and Offshoring.

The practice of both outsourcing and offshoring has been rapidly rising and will therefore have a huge impact on the business world for years to come, according to a new report available from LOMA, entitled Outsourcing and Offshoring: Challenges and Opportunities for Insurance Companies.

Insurance CIO/CTO Pressures, Priorities, Projects, and Plans: 2004 Survey Results: Celent.

Celent's second annual in-depth survey of senior IT executives finds renewed focus on supporting growth, increased use of Web services, and a swing of the "buy v. build" pendulum back towards "build."

from Doug:

The sun grows stronger and the days longer. Perhaps there is a light at the end of this winter's tunnel, although I think it shall yet be long.