Back in the early 1980s, an analyst at an insurance company had been working on electronic policy communications with brokers for about a year. One day, the analyst’s supervisor went to an early-days meeting of CSIO. The supervisor returned with a picture of a cloud , marked ‘Standards’ with lightning bolts coming out of it, connecting with boxes marked ‘brokers’ on one side and ‘companies’ on the other. He showed this to the analyst, and said, “What do you think?”
The analyst replied, “That’s the future.”
The supervisor said, “That’s where you’re wrong; it will never happen.”
After more than a quarter century, neither the analyst nor the supervisor has been proven wrong. The question now: How long can this particular limbo go on? There are important developments, and challenges, many of which will be on display at the 2013 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference (ICTC), March 18-18, at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.
The most recent IBAO ‘Rate Your Company’ Survey indicates that industry Broker Connectivity initiatives are getting traction. As reported in Insurance Business, Randy Carroll, IBAO CEO indicated that brokers are recognizing carriers are adopting technology which supports the brokers workflow.
Carroll cited the adoption of the CSIO Standard for eDocs, allowing policy documents to be sent electronically to the broker for loading directly in the broker’s management system. At the ICTC, Wendy Watson, president of ORBiT, will review the progress on eDocs and reveal results of a recent survey on next steps with the technology.
Also at the 2013 ICTC, several speakers will look at specific initiatives that go beyond eDocs, such as policy change transactions.
Last, but not least, several organizations have been nominated for Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Awards (ICTAs) based on success with Broker Connectivity. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony just prior to the Welcoming Reception on Day 1.
No project occurs in a vacuum. There are challenges facing brokers and carriers that can easily take priority over advancing standards based connectivity. At the ICTC, there will be several sessions discussing some of these competing challenge and how brokers are coping with them.
For example, Canadian Insurance Top Broker Editor, Daryl Angier, will moderate a panel of leading brokers examining challenges including pressures on market share and ability to deliver on the promise of choice to the consumer.
In addition to informative sessions, there will be an active exhibit area. And opportunities to network with carriers, brokers, suppliers and analysts.
Information on the 2013 insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference and registration information is available on the Conference Site.
See you there.