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On The Road to 2023: How Do We Describe Our Industry?

If you had recently relocated from Mars, and asked a Canadian insurance  professional to describe the P&C insurance industry,  you would likely get a more ‘qualitative’ perspective than a ‘quantitative’ one, according to a recent study.  And you would get a somewhat different perspective depending on whom you asked – an insurer, a broker, or a third party related to the industry.  We’d like to know whether the study’s results track with your experiences.

Here’s What We Asked

Late last year, set up a project, Insurance 2023, to help describe major trends which will impact the Canadian P&C insurance industry  over the next decade.  As part of this initiative, conducted a series of on-line polls to see how various audiences perceived the current ‘shape’ of the industry; what various audiences see as the important components of P&C insurance.  The final report is written and the results suggest that there are important similarities and differences among different constituent groups.

There were 12 elements presented for ordering.  Details of the elements and the process followed are provided in the report.

 Brokers and Insurers think alike (sorta)

Brokers and Insurers rated the same elements as the top four, and differed only in ordering sequence:


Broker Ordering

Insurer Ordering

The channel clients use to purchase insurance



The value that is seen with the product purchased



How clients make purchase decision



The service provided for sales and product selection




Not surprisingly, brokers ordered the channel clients use as first, and insurers rated this a close second.  For insurers, the first place went to determining how clients make a purchase decision.  This was somewhat lower in the brokers’ ordering.  Brokers rated the value of the purchase in second place; insurers rated this in fourth.  Service provided was rated third by insurers and fourth by brokers.

Suppliers had a slightly different take

Respondents who were suppliers to the insurance industry had a somewhat different take.    Their choices, in order of relative significance, was:

1. How clients make purchase decision
2. The value that is seen with the product purchased
3. The number of insured people and businesses
4. The channel clients use to purchase insurance

Three of of the top four were the same as the insurers/brokers.  The one left off the practitioners’ lists was the ‘service provided’.  In its place, the respondents selected ‘The number of of insured people and businesses’.  Brokers and insurers ranked this in the lower half of the overall choices.  Looking closer at the data, the suppliers  ranked ‘channel’ significantly lower than brokers and insurers.

What does all this mean? We have an opinion, how about you?

The polls were not scientific, so any interpretation should be viewed at ‘enlightened opinion’.  That said, the report’s author, Doug Grant, Partner,,  hits a resonant chord.  He writes: “Interestingly the seemingly obvious quantitative characteristics were eschewed in favour of the qualitative ones that tend to describe how things happen, rather than how many ‘things’ occurred.”

Grant concludes: “The top choice reaches right out to the insurance consumers and their behaviour. This runs in parallel with current interest in customer experience management – how we communicate with the public.”  We would add that it would seem that internally (as well as externally) , we are still a very relationship oriented business.

What do you think?  Do the results track with your experiences?

Make your opinion count.  Leave a comment below.