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Broker Connectivity: Canadian Milestones, and Potholes, On Display at ICTC

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.

Encouraging Signs

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.

The Challenges

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.

Conference Details

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.

2 Comments

Pat Durepos

We are fortunate in Canada to have IBAC establishing guideline on electronic transactions and CSIO to support these with XML standards.
UNICA is now doing an automated policy change with Keal that starts and ends in the BMS. These APCH transactions account for at least 24% of a broker’s transactions and a mere 1% of commission revenue.
The million dollar question: Why are not all insurers doing this? I can tell you that none of the insurers I spoke with told me that they could not do this; it comes down to a question of priority and of course costs.
My final thought on this is that it will only happen once brokers actively promote, lobby, and demand this from insurers. As a broker, I think you will agree that insurers listen to their brokers.

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Insurance-Canada.ca BlogEditor

There will be several sessions at the 2013 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference (March 18-18, 2013, Toronto) which will focus on the implementation of CSIO Standards. In addition, the conference will include presentation of the Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Awards (ICTAs). Unica is a finalist in the insurer category for the implementation that Mr. Durepos references.
Conference information is available at //www.insurance-canada.ca/seminars/seminar20130318.php
– Ed.

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