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CAA Insurance and ACE PRS: Future in the Present Tense

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When we polish our crystal ball, some future trends for insurance and technology become obvious.  Recent developments in the Canadian P&C space demonstrate that some participants are transforming the future into the present at an impressive pace.

We sat down with two such insurers recently, and thought you’d be interested in their thoughts.

The tip of the iceberg…

On March 31, 2015, ACE announced the launch of a High Net Worth personal insurance program for Canada through ACE Private Risk Services, with auto coverage provided by CAA Insurance Company (Ontario).

The following day, CAA Insurance unveiled CAA Distinct, a comprehensive risk management solution for High Net Worth CAA members, which includes protection for high-end homes, luxury vehicles, valuable collections, family heirlooms and more.  This is enabled by a strategic relationship with ACE.

This piqued our interest, and we wanted to learn more.  We sat down with Matt Turack, President, CAA Insurance and James Hasley, Senior Vice President, Canada Country Manager for ACE Private Risk Services. We were intrigued by the depth of the relationship and equally intrigued with how their approach aligns with future technology trends.  We’ll look at the story through the lens of some of these trends.

Trend: Data driven decisions 

Data has been trending for some time on our futures list.  In the case of CAA/ACE, using data for operational, as well as strategic decisions was the bedrock of the alliance.

Hasley indicated that Canada had been on the radar for some time, and ACE was looking for a strategic alliance.  He said: “CAA was operating in a complementary fashion to ACE, and excelling with auto.”

Turack said that they consistently take a scientific approach to segmentation and underwriting, and a personalized approach to client service.  For example, CAA’s adoption of Telematics-enabled Usage Based Insurance (UBI) “Not only provides data for underwriting, but it also allows proactive support for clients, with features such as vehicle performance monitoring and location assistance in the event of theft.”

Trend: Customer mandated multi-channel sales and service

Recently, Catherine Kargas wrote a provocative post in this space, suggesting that customers are not selecting their insurance supplier on the basis of distribution channel, but rather on their service expectations.

CAA and ACE are acting on this basis.  ACE’s Hasley is clear that his company fully supports the independent broker distribution channel, but sees the relationship with CAA as offering technology and auto product advantages to ACE’s brokers.

Turack at CAA is equally clear about the value of in-house agents serving CAA members and insurance customers.  However, he recognizes that select independent brokers have demonstrated expertise and commitment to service levels with his company’s auto products and is actively working with them.

Trend: Culture of innovation

Innovation is key in the ACE/CAA relationship.  This includes new product features (e.g., cross-border solutions, surface flood coverage, deductible reserve for ACE’s homeowner offering, etc.), and service levels (CAA and ACE have dedicated teams available 24×7 to complement their on-line offerings).

And innovation is top of mind in the use of technology.  Both CAA and ACE recognize that on-line services are the norm for modern sales and service for clients and distributors.  CAA recently (2013) completed a refresh of its policy, billing, and claims with the installation of Guidewire’s suite of products.

The two companies came to an agreement that the ACE products could be housed in a segregated, secure part of the Guidewire install.  This allows provision of services to customers and brokers (portals and upload/download) by both companies, while maintaining separate ‘systems’ from a business perspective.

What’s next?

Plenty. CAA and ACE are planning additional technology support. For example, ACE is committed to upload/download for its brokers and both organizations are enhancing on-line customer portals.

CAA and ACE are looking to expand their services to other brokers and to other provinces. Both Turack and Hasley are careful to point out that there won’t be a rush: “We’d rather go deep than go wide.”

Are you realizing the future?

We know there are others who are putting the future into present tense. Perhaps you are involved. We’d love to get your story.

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