Technology has become an integral part of our lives and our businesses even as it evolves at an ever-faster rate. Insurance industry practitioners – insurers, brokers, claims services providers, providers of other insurance services – have made innovative and beneficial uses of these technologies to gain a competitive edge, or to at least remain competitive.
As early adopters, insurers have been deploying computer technologies for more than half a century. The gradual evolution to digital processing took on new urgency in recent years when some began to take a more radical and aggressive approach by completely redesigning processes to take utmost advantage of digital capabilities. This digital transformation continues under such umbrella terms as innovation, disruption, and InsurTech. All terms relate to organizations seeking to gain or maintain a competitive advantage in this industry, invariably using technology as a key strategic component.
The Insurance Canada Technology Awards – the “ICTAs” – highlight and celebrate the use of technologies that impact insurance. They have been awarded annually since 2010 at the Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference.
The 2018 ICTAs will be presented at the 16th annual Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference (ICTC2018) in Toronto on February 27, 2018.
To celebrate organizations in the Canadian Property and Casualty Insurance industry whose implementation and use of technology shows a significant impact on a process or group of processes used in the marketing, sale, processing and servicing of insurance in Canada. All areas of the business are eligible: product development, distribution, policy administration, claims management, etc.
Historically, most business applications of technology were within a company. Today “multi-party business application implementations” are increasingly common. Both types are important; nominations of both are welcome.
Eligible Insurance Businesses
The ICTAs recognize deserving applicants who use technology for the processing of insurance business, the key factor being that the nominee must use the technology for the processing of their insurance business. If in doubt, please ask for clarification.
Eligible organisations include:
- Insurers — companies licensed to underwrite business in Canada (includes reinsurers).
- Distributors — companies licensed in Canada to distribute insurance underwritten by one or more insurers in Canada.
- Suppliers — companies that supply insurance-related services (data, information, restorations, repairs, BPO, premium financing, underwriting or claims services, etc.) to Insurers and Distributors in Canada.
There are no award categories or subdivisions; each nomination is assessed against all other nominations.
Note on Technology Providers: Organizations that provide technology to Insurers, Distributors or Suppliers, but do not use the technology themselves for insurance purposes, are not eligible. They are encouraged to nominate firms which do use their products. Technology providers appropriately identified in a nomination will be recognized alongside the nominated organization when Insurance-Canada.ca notes the nominees in any way, and they will receive a corresponding ICTA plaque if the nominee is a finalist or winner.
Publishing the “Business Use of Technology” Descriptions
The ICTA nominations represent many different uses of technology in support of the insurance business.
In order to provide more visibility for the nominees, their partners, and the usage of technology, two things will be published again this year for each qualified nomination:
- The “Executive Summary” will be published in the list of 2018 ICTA Nominees. All nominations will be posted by the end of January.
- An “Application Brief,” consisting of the “specific business uses of the technology” combined with the “business impact of the technology,” will be published and referenced in the Chronicle weekly newsletter, where permission has been granted to do so.
Publication of the uses of technology will enhance the awareness of not just what can be done, but some of the interesting ways that technology is being leveraged.
The primary criterion for all awards is the positive impact that a specific technology or application of technology has had on business. The impact will be judged relative to the investment made. A small application may have a large relative impact, while a huge implementation may not have so great an impact.
In order to have an assessment of the business impact, technologies should have been in production for a minimum of three months (i.e. debuting earlier than September 1st). Examples include:
- Introduction of new technology that enhances customer satisfaction;
- Utilization of technology to reduce costs or improve service;
- Development of technology that serves a need not previously served by technology within the industry;
- Innovative integration of technologies to reduce costs, improve service, or streamline processes;
- Offering new or improved self-service functions;
- Deploying technologies – tablets, smart phones, social media, analytics, telematics – for creative uses;
- Deploying new technologies – drones, robotics, AI, machine learning, cognitive systems, etc. – to improve your business;
- Leadership within the industry or a subset on the development of standards or practices for the utilization of technologies (industry associations, user groups, etc.);
- Use of technology to create new products or products with a difference (Internet of Things, ride sharing);
- New approaches to identifying or preventing fraud (analytics);
- Integration of new information or data into the claims or underwriting and rating functions.