Newsletter Archive

Issue 2007-05: January 30, 2007

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.

Update on "Business Intelligence" Conference on March 5.

Dean Bottschen, Senior Standards Analyst, CSIO will participate in the panel discussion "Standards for Consistent, Accurate, and Timely Information".
The early bird fee ends Monday Feb. 5 so be sure to register before the cost increases. For registration and more information on the conference.

Consumer Information

Travel insurance tips for Canadians -- Or, how $150 can save you $100,000: The Co-operators.
It's always a good idea to buy insurance that covers trip cancellation and interruption, as well as baggage loss and theft. But even more important is emergency hospital and medical insurance, which protects you against the astronomical medical bills that can be racked up should you require treatment in another country, says The Co-operators.

Ontario Auto Insurance Rates for the Fourth Quarter of 2006: FSCO.
Based on the entire market, the average rate change for the fourth quarter of 2006 was +0.05%. In 2004, rate changes approved for the entire market averaged -10.60%. For 2005, approved rates declined by 2.43% for the entire market, and for 2006, approved rates declined by 1.27%. The combined change in approved rates for 2004, 2005 and 2006 is -14.30%.

CIHI Release: Significant 10-year increase in the number of surgeries performed in Canadian hospitals.
January 10, 2007-The overall number of surgeries being performed in Canadian hospitals has increased by 17% between 1995-1996 and 2005-2006, and by 5% over the last year, according to new analysis released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). This first look at a 10-year trend reveals that in hospitals across the country, more surgeries are being performed in an outpatient day surgery setting, while inpatient surgeries have decreased over the past decade.


Univeris Enables MGAs and Brokers with Advanced Technology Platform for Insurance Administration.
For the last several years, the insurance distribution market has been experiencing significant and fundamental change. Through this period of insurance distribution evolution, both Managing General Agencies (MGAs) and Brokers have lacked the technology needed to provide competitive advantage and help grow their businesses.

Peel Mutual Goes Live with iter8 EDI Solution
Toronto, January 2007 - Peel Mutual Insurance Company has successfully gone live with iter8 Incorporated's leading-edge solutions to streamline electronic communication with its brokers. Peel Mutual Insurance Company has implemented communic8, part of iter8's leading-edge Exception-Based Underwriting Solution built upon a Business Process Management platform.

Commission disclosure does not stop conflicts of interest: Advocis
January 25, 2007, Toronto, ON - Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, today issued the following statement on the release of Principles of the Sale of Insurance by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Business of Insurance

Manulife-Sinochem gets approval from CIRC to operate in Changzhou and Deyang.
SHANGHAI, China, Jan. 22, 2007 - Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Canada-based Manulife Financial and the Official Life Insurance Partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, has received approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) to open a Sales Office in Changzhou, its third city license in Jiangsu Province, and a Sales Office

Kingsway Announces The Acquisition of Mendota Insurance Company.
Toronto, Ontario (January 24, 2007) - (TSX:KFS, NYSE:KFS) Kingsway Financial Services Inc. ("Kingsway") today announced it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Mendota Insurance Company ("Mendota"). Mendota is a wholly owned subsidiary of The St. Paul Travelers Companies, Inc. The transaction includes Mendota's wholly owned subsidiaries, Mendakota Insurance Company and Mendota Insurance Agency, Inc.


Oliver's Learning Launches Web-based LLQP Seminars.
Oliver Publishing, a division of Oliver's Learning, is a certified content provider of the Life License Qualification Program and provides both a self-study LLQP program and LLQP seminars in its Markham and Toronto locations.

Marketing and the Market Place

Nationalism gains ground as a major political risk: AON.
LONDON, 18 January 2007 - Risk complexity, nationalism and arbitrary regulation have emerged as significant threats to multinational corporations' balance sheets, according to the latest global analysis by Aon political risk experts. Each year, Aon's political risk and trade credit experts analyse the political and economic risk climate in more than 200 countries. Their findings are illustrated in the annual update of Aon's Political and Economic Risk Map, now in its 14th year.

Policy and Product Management

Setting the Bar: Key Metrics in Life New Business: Report Published by Celent.
Boston, MA, USA January 5, 2007 -- Most life insurers have a hard enough time generating their own process and cost metrics for new business. But getting that data for a peer group of top carriers is the only way for carriers to assess their competitive position.

Product Announcements

Standard Life Launches Model Dynamic Portfolios - A Straightforward Approach to Investing for Retirement.
MONTREAL, Jan. 24, 2007 - Standard Life announced today the launch of Model Dynamic Portfolios, the first product of its kind in Canada that combines the benefits of target-year and lifecycle funds. The Model Dynamic Portfolios offer an innovative approach to investment selection for members of group plans, along with tools for sponsors to improve plan governance.

Reference and Statistics

MIB Life Index Reports North American Life Insurance Activity Off 6.5% in December; Applications Down 3.8% in 2006.
(Westwood, Mass. - January 24, 2007) Applications for individually underwritten life insurance in North America were off -6.5% in December, year-over-year, according to the MIB Life Index?. This marks the tenth consecutive month where 2006 activity was below that of the same month in 2005.

Conning Research: Life Insurers' Lackluster Gross Investment Returns Turn Up In 2005.
Hartford, CT, January 11, 2006 - Although life insurers suffered a steep decline in gross investment returns over the last five years, there were signs of a recovery in 2005, according to a new study by Conning Research & Consulting, Inc. Overall, gross investment income returns on investable assets for the period 2001 to 2005 dropped from 7.10% in 2001 to 5.93% in 2004, before increasing to 6.02% in 2005.

eBusiness and Technology

Celent Model Carrier 2007: Case Studies of Effective Technology Usage in Insurance.
New York, NY, USA - January 16, 2007 - Celent's inaugural "Model Carrier" report recognizes 39 insurer technology initiatives as "Model Carrier Components." Recognized insurers participate in Celent's first Model Carrier Summit in NYC on Wednesday, January 17.

New Property & Casualty Technology Blog site launched; sponsored by Guidewire.
Austin, TX, January 23, 2007 - CastleBay Consulting Corporation, a consulting services firm specializing in providing high impact consulting services to the Property & Casualty insurance market, today announced that the company's CEO, George Grieve, has launched and will facilitate the P&C Technology Blog to offer the industry an open forum for opinion, conversation and experience sharing. Sponsored by Guidewire Software, the P&C Technology Blog is intended to coalesce and share perspectives from a broad group of technology minds in insurance for the benefit of the entire industry.

eMarketer: Merchant beware: E-thieves are out there.
JANUARY 25, 2007 - Fraud is still a problem for online retailers. But even though actual losses are rising, the rate of those losses is flattening out. In other words, the threat actually may be lessening - somewhat.

from Doug:

Our government discussion group, the Canadian Parliament, resumed sitting this week. The dominant issue in spades appears to be the environment. Fascinating to see how quickly public opinion can turn the crank of our political parties. It will be even more fascinating to see how we can all participate in resolving the situation, contrary to the usual finger-pointing that the other guy needs to do something, but not me. A recent editorial posited that global warming could mobilize the world community unlike any issue since World War II.