2021 ICTA Winner, Finalists & Nominees

2021 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Awards

The #ICTA2021 winners were announced May 19, 2021 in a virtual awards ceremony

The 2021 ICTA Nominees

The 2021 ICTA nominees are listed below. The executive summary of each nomination is posted – in alphabetical order – along with a link to a lengthier description. Each nomination summary was provided as part of the nomination.

Jump to the winner, runners-up, finalists or nominees – or browse the alphabetized list below (finalists are marked with an asterisk*).

The winners, as selected by our expert jury, were announced on May 19, 2021. Don't forget to check the results of the People's Choice Award.

2021 ICTA Winner

APOLLO Insurance

Exchanging Manual Steps for All Digital

Apollo is Canada’s leading online insurance provider. Our proprietary platform, the Apollo Exchange, allows insurance agents and their customers to purchase their policy immediately, from anywhere, on any device, 24/7. Unlike traditional paper-based processes, Apollo leverages extensive data and sophisticated algorithms to quote, collect payment, and issue policies for thousands of types of small businesses and individuals without human intervention. Through traditional agents and embedded finance partnerships, Apollo is redefining the distribution of insurance.

2021 ICTA Runners-Up

First Runner Up

Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company

Advancing real-time data exchange and IBAC DX Connect

Wawanesa is a great partner and friend of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada and the broker distribution channel. Their generosity in providing legal and technical resources to advance real-time data exchange and the IBAC DX Connect is unparalleled. They are not only the first insurer to operationalize the IBAC FNOL Reusable Data Service (RDS) but they also provided technical expertise creating the RDS-Common Implementation Specifications Guide for the benefit of all CSIO member companies. In addition, they have contributed nine more Reusable Data Services to the CSIO library.

Second Runner Up

Coalition

Would You Like Tools With Your Cyber Insurance?

In May 2020, Coalition launched its offering in Canada, providing proactive cybersecurity products and services and best-in-class cyber and technology error & omissions insurance to help keep businesses safe. In addition to Incident Response, Coalition offers a full range of free cyber security tools and services to support customers throughout the entire lifecycle of their risk exposure — before, during, and after an incident.

As a result of its real-time threat intelligence, automated security alerts, and pre-breach security services, Coalition has handled 45 percent of reported events without filing a claim and avoiding any expense to the insured. Coalition’s Incident Response and Claims teams have also recovered 84 percent of all funds lost by policyholders in social engineering events.

2021 ICTA Finalists

APRIL Canada

Insurance Made Easy

Insurance made easy – these are words we live by at APRIL Canada because our goal is to ease the lives of our brokers. In 2020, we managed to introduce in record time and thanks to an internal team of dedicated individuals, APRIL ON, our online quoting platform, which has been adopted by over 1.700 brokers in Canada and growing. Brokers are now able to quote risks in record time thanks to intuitive questionnaires, generating live premium estimates as information is filled. Thanks to APRIL ON, the quality of our broker service has drastically increased.

The success of APRIL ON can be traced back to its original mission: combining the best of people and technology to offer a remarkable insurance experience. APRIL ON is a great example of technology, having been shaped by cross-functional teamwork and user insights to make customer experience smoother. This structuring project is the main component of our company roadmap for the coming years, making best-in-class broker experience our main focus area.

Aviva Canada

So How Much Was My Car Worth?

Aviva Canada has deployed a real-time integration with AutoTRADER for total loss vehicle valuation. This initiative is a win-win for customers and Aviva. We have seen an increase in customer satisfaction and in the overall experience for customers dealing with total loss auto claims. In addition to the shorter claim lifecycle, the real-time integration means adjusters are able to provide customers with the recommended settlement value for their total loss vehicle quickly, with supporting comparable AutoTRADER sale listings, thereby reducing the number of phone calls between adjusters and customers. For Aviva, the initiative has resulted in greater efficiency and productivity. Adjusters save time on appraisal, and are able to settle claims more quickly, thereby reducing storage and rental costs.

  • Technology by TRADER Corporation.

Duuo

Automating Claims Settlement

Duuo is a Canadian, on-demand insurance distributor, providing customizable short-term insurance policies for events, tenants, gig workers and more. In collaboration with Slice, an insurance cloud service provider, they have worked to create Canada’s first end-to-end automated claims filing system in P&C insurance. Through this new system, clients can file, receive their loss evaluation and settlement offer, and issue payment all within one session, depending on the extent of the claim.

Filing claims is a tiresome task for clients. Many customers complain that filing a claim can be too complicated, difficult to understand, and/or that the entire process of making a claim and receiving the settlement takes too long. Manually processed claims are also subjected to human error and biases. The automated claims settlement feature simplifies the process of filing a claim, reduces the chance of human error, unconscious bias, and allows our clients to receive their settlement in a matter of seconds.

This remarkable feat is made possible by the settlement feature’s machine-learning models working in tandem with natural language processing and optical character recognition. The system’s algorithm has been trained by Duuo and Slice’s team and programmed by Slice to understand how to classify losses, depreciation values, policy terms as well as how the everyday person will word their claim. The algorithm is always learning and improving itself to provide the most accurate settlement offer to our clients. In 2021, it’s clear that world is moving towards increased automation, and Duuo recognizes that it’s time for insurance providers to start doing the same.

  • Technology by Slice Labs.

Fuse Insurance

Improving The Commercial Insurance Broker's Process

Fuse Insurance is a digital commercial insurance brokerage working to provide more efficient ways to complete the quoting, submission intake and pre-underwriting processes. Recognizing the lack of innovation in the Canadian commercial insurance space, Fuse Insurance developed a proprietary quote system that improves the daily workflow of commercial brokers. This application process is designed to dramatically decrease the time it takes to turn a new lead into a marketable submission. By asking customers the right questions, we are able to automate the process, improve data accuracy, and put time back into broker’s hands as a result.

Lepelco Assurance

Transforming A Brokerage to Serve Today's Customers

Lepelco has transformed into a digital brokerage that provides a paperless experience through integrated workflows that deliver an exceptional customer experience in personal and commercial lines. Applied’s Digital Brokerage software enables the brokerage to deliver digital experiences to insureds throughout the policy lifecycle, from foundational management technology, mobile apps, insurer connectivity, and commercial lines automation. The partnership has created higher-value business transactions.

  • Technology by Applied Systems Canada.

2021 ICTA Nominees

Ai Insurance Organization Inc.

Taking Customer Communications to a New Level

The team at Ai Insurance Organization Inc. developed a tailored BMS/CRM solution. API capabilities interact with several external applications. Our integration with PowerBroker provides EDI uploads and downloads. The QuickBooks API provides a stand-alone account system with real-time profit-loss, balance sheet, AR, AP and budget actuals. Express quoting solutions with our premium financing partners are fully integrated into the CRM as well and provide a one-step process for our producers at point-of-sale, including automated broker disclosures as required by regulation.

In 2020 we invested in Act-On, a true marketing automation and communication platform. Our CRM syncs with Act-On to allow our marketing team to produce tailored communications, utilizing client data for onboarding, cross-selling and renewal processes. When a lead comes into the CRM from an external landing page, it automatically signals Act-On to send out a ‘thank you for submitting your request’ email, along with links to current blog articles that may be of interest.

Once a lead converts to a customer, Act-On sends the customer a welcome series of five emails over the course of two weeks for onboarding, cross selling, and testimonial purposes. Our results from 2020 show that our automated system contributed to an increased close ratio by 340%, an increase in GWP of 41% and our ROI from advertising increased by 82% from the previous year.

BlueMind

AI-Powered All-in-One Digital Office for Financial Advisors

Powered by AI, BlueMind is an all-in-one smart digital office that helps advisors manage their business, from lead nurturing to policy execution. We use AI to automate compliance, handle unstructured data, generate policy recommendations, highlight revenue opportunities and perform advisor analytics. The application is a CRM platform, database and risk management tool, cutting costs and complexity by moving from many systems to one while protecting the backend of the business through clean data, simplified compliance and enhanced data security.

Charles Taylor Canada

Pollution Loss Database Helps Adjusters

In late 2019, Charles Taylor Canada launched a unique and comprehensive Pollution Loss Database of insurance losses related to oil field incidents in Western Canada over a ten-year period. By providing in-depth analytics of sector loss patterns and risk trends, the database enables our adjusters to combine their own industry experience with historical market data; improving their ability to estimate accurate loss reserves. It also provides decision makers amongst insurers, brokers and oil and gas companies with quantifiable insights into environmental risk analysis; improving risk management and pricing of risks. The database is accessible through user-friendly digital dashboards offering interactive data utilization tools, delivering at-a-glance summaries of key facts. Data includes year of spill, region, cause, type of loss contaminant, age of line, average inflation-adjusted gross quantum, number of claims and more.

Finaeo

Digitizing Distribution for Life & Health Insurance

Finaeo is an insurtech that has built a next-generation digital ecosystem for the life/health insurance industry. Finaeo’s digital marketplace connects insurance advisors, carriers and clients to streamline policy fulfillment and revolutionize insurance distribution. The platform centralizes policy information and insurance applications across multiple carriers, helping advisors streamline their workflow and provide their clients with an end-to-end digital experience. Finaeo is built on a foundation of intelligent technology, empowering brokers and carriers to automate client onboarding, policy paperwork and compliance management for a truly integrated prospect-to-policy experience.

LowestRates.ca

Taking Comparative Quoting to a Higher Level

The LowestRates.ca home and auto insurance quoters were designed to eliminate notorious pain points in the quoting process for consumers. To get an accurate home insurance quote, for instance, consumers are typically required to look up detailed information about their home that they do not have immediate access to, such as the replacement cost (something many confused with the purchase price of the property). If these are not provided accurately, which is all too common, then their quote can be wildly inaccurate. Our quoters not only quickly find you an insurance quote — they also compare the market for you, allowing you to quickly and easily find the lowest rate from Canada’s top home and auto insurance providers.

NUDE Solutions

Moving into the Digital Mainstream

Nu Digital Experience (NUDE) Solutions is a Canada-based, software-as-a-service business. At the core, Nude has developed a fully-functioning, digital broker management system. This means brokers and their clients can quote, bind, issue, change, cancel, and renew insurance policies in real-time, from any internet-connected device. The platform also allows brokers to house all their traditional business in the platform. Nude Solutions is cloud hosted and driven by carrier application program interfaces (API). The platform’s ability to connect to carrier APIs allows brokers and clients to get quotes for carrier insurance products.

Beyond being a digital BMS, Nude Solutions offers future-forward capabilities that are unheard of in the Canadian insurance industry. These features include a built-in payment processor, email and chat functions, API connections to business-level marketing and accounting platforms, and underwriting capabilities where brokers can pre-screen clients before binding insurance. We’re creating a movement, and the technology to back it, where the insurance industry can continue, survive and thrive in our evolving digital world.

Opta Information Intelligence and EQ Works

A New Dimension To Influencing Customer Behavior

Opta Digital Edge is the first of its kind for the Insurance Industry in Canada and the only solution that connects the features of a property to its occupants and maps against their behavior in the digital world. Leveraging Opta’s wealth of location intelligence, AI and machine learning technology, Opta Digital Edge provides layered insights to identify the characteristics of an ideal customer and precisely locates all their digital twins in any geographic region across Canada. The integration of Opta’s Peril Score into the audience build also ensures the delivery of quality business leads to help carriers reduce media waste and maximize conversions by engaging their desired audience with the right message at the right time—directly to their mobile devices.

Relay Platform

Placing Larger and More Complex Commercial Risks

Relay is a state-of-the-art SaaS platform equipping brokers, wholesalers, and their capacity providers with the leading white-labelled electronic placement solution in both P&C insurance and facultative reinsurance.

Relay speeds up placements by 50% or more, improves client proposal success rates, and automatically organizes submissions to free up brokers’ time to capture more business.

The platform uniquely supports complex, high-ticket layered placements in addition to simpler, high volume quotes.

Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB)

Digitizing the Process for Hearing Loss Claims

The noise-induced hearing loss online claim form provides a new digital channel to submit claims, attach necessary supporting documents and provide us with claim information up front, improving the adjudication process. It successfully takes a fresh approach to agile development and delivery, helping to drive a culture of innovation and pushing boundaries in our use of technology to deliver efficient digital solutions for people with claims, health care providers and WSIB employees.

  • Technology by Guidewire Software.

Zensurance

Using Technology To Help Small Business

Zensurance leverages data analytics and technological advancements in process automation to deliver curated custom business insurance policies to Canadian entrepreneurs. With over 50 insurance partners, Zensurance has serviced over 150,000 small businesses and sold 10,000 policies across numerous industries. It is the most advanced business insurance platform operating across nine Canadian provinces.

Discover the results

Discover the winners on May 19 – the ICTA and PICTA winners will be announced, and the nominees celebrated, in a virtual ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions.