Brokers Harness Technology
August 12, 2003
In this current hard market and for the first time in many years, brokers are using their marketing prowess to sell risks to insurers. The softmarket characteristics have reversed. At the same time the significant premium increases are forcing brokers to spend more time educating customers about the reasons for the increases and reminding them of years of small increases.
Technology and access to information has shown positive returns in handling routine functions, but the ever-changing technology landscape is presenting a whole new round of management challenges.
8:00 – 8:30: Registration and Coffee
|8:30||Welcome: Doug Grant Insurance-Canada.ca|
|Gaining a Competitive Edge in Commercial Lines
– Kevin Campbell, Tec4 Systems Inc.
When the going gets tough, the tough upgrade their technology. This is not the mantra of the commercial insurance industry but maybe it should be.
Brokers today have to maintain a balancing act of retaining an existing book of business, keeping talent within the brokerage, satisfying underwriters and clients, all the while trying to grow the business in hard market conditions.
Kevin Campbell, the President of Tec4 Systems Inc. (the makers of Policy Works), discusses the benefits of a commercial management system. While broker management systems provide varying degrees of support for commercial lines, the progressive “tough” brokers are discovering that commercial management systems give producers a competitive edge with underwriters, clients and prospects, which ultimately improve the bottom line.
|Paper free? NO, REALLY paper free!
– Catherine Trimble, and Vince Conroy Applied Systems Canada.
Three ways to implement scanning and avoid the five commonly made mistakes. Improve the security and privacy of your customer’s information, increase customer satisfaction and reduce your paper storage costs. With new privacy legislation ahead, how can you lock up your file cabinets and yet keep the content available to those who need it?
For those of us operating in paper intensive business, computers have yet to solve paper storage and security problems. Your office may have stacks of paper covering your workspace. You may have vast archives of documents in onsite or offsite storage facilities. As this information is important to day-to-day business, it must be secure and accessible at all times. Organizations are rapidly discovering the tremendous efficiencies associated with distributing documents electronically. Studies show that workers waste approximately 20% to 40% of their time searching for documents manually. In the past, losing or misplacing paper files was a fact of life every business had to deal with.
|Improving business performance with CRM
– Robert Bradaric, FigmentSoft Inc.
In today’s business environment when acquiring and retaining customers is more crucial than ever, building customer satisfaction and loyalty is critical to business success. Regardless of when, where and how your customers, partners and prospects interact with your insurance brokerage, your ability to successfully manage relationships gives you a critical advantage in markets crowded with competition.
A complete Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy can significantly improve business performance. Studies show companies that have implemented a CRM system report on average an increase of 17% in revenue, 20% in customer satisfaction, 16% in customer retention and 19% in employee productivity within just 10 months of implementation.
Robert Bradaric, Sales Engineer for FigmentSoft Inc. will discuss what a complete CRM strategy involves and the benefits specifically relevant to insurance brokerage firms.
– Richard Shallhorn, Hunter, Keilty, Muntz & Beatty
In a hard market with premiums up but with significant difficulty in placing risks many brokers, with their staff under severe client service pressure, have opted not to embark on any grand technology initiatives. Instead, they are re-visiting their current systems to extract maximum operational performance with minimum investment and less disruption to staff.
HKMB, while in the process of integrating their personal lines departments, has taken the opportunity to evaluate past practice and the use of technology. By utilizing what is now a basic technological infrastructure of: scanning, e-mail, broker management system, standard desktop applications, high-speed Internet and company web system access coupled with procedural reform and effective staff training – significant performance gains have been made.
Richard will review what worked and what didn’t! With a year “back in the trenches”, on the frontlines of personal insurance, Richard brings a background in technology and operations together with a current “CSR’s eye view” perspective to provide some practical insights and advice on making the most of what you have.
|Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity
– David Gerrard, Keal Technology Inc.
The secret of successful disaster recovery, while maintaining business continuity, is having a comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan in place. This presentation outlines the process involved in preparing to create a Disaster Recovery Plan and suggests the content for the Plan.
Don’t wait until the disaster occurs – be prepared!
|Enabling Brokers to Provide Better Service in Packaged and Niche Products; A Case Study of the Ecclesiastical Yacht System
– Terry Neilson, Insurance Systems Inc.
– Charmayne Lund-Pedersen, Ecclesiastical Insurance
Consumers, be they commercial or personal, have much higher expectations of service levels today than a decade or two ago. The “instant access” of the Internet has only exacerbated this expectation. At the same time competitive pressures have forced all companies to seek workflow and process improvements, both within their own company and out to their distribution channels.
Ecclesiastical Insurance undertook a review of their yacht insurance niche and determined to make a significant leap forward. They partnered with Insurance Systems Inc. who had previous experience in this boating niche. They challenged the status quo and decided to use technology where possible to attain their goals. The new approach brought computer tools to do rating, controlled automated underwriting leading to instant issue within a set of guidelines, automated referrals and workflow for those cases which exceeded the automated underwriting guidelines, and communications via the Internet to allow brokers to use the system themselves.
Based on ISI’s WebWriter Yachts, the Ecclesiastical Yacht System went into production in March 2003. This presentation will offer experiences and lessons learned from such a significant undertaking, from broker training to underwriter buyin. Ecclesisatical will offer some insights into the challenges and issues uncovered and met, and the benefits they are now experiencing.
|Access to Source Documents for Daily Decision Making
– Michael Damm, Insurance Search Bureau of Canada
ISB a “Source Document Retrieval; Company” has for the past 9 years has supplied the Insurance Market with needed documents to make fast, cost effective decisions from binding new risks, underwriting, and daily claim decisions.
“Source Documents” are the undisputed hard evidence to support, confirm and verify what people are telling you, or not. With brokers competing for business and the ever increasing educated public you have the inevitable battle between good and evil. You want to take that clients businesses with utmost good faith but the world is quickly changing. The one’s that would prey upon you to their own gain are smarter, more aggressive and have an even greater knowledge of not only your business but the insurers. So the old analogy “Business as usual” is out the window and those that still believe this will be preyed upon by those that wish to extract dollars form you and the insurers you represent. We cannot look solely look to the insurers to protect your book today, do to mounting losses, shrinking Special Investigation Units and lack of experienced adjusters.
The Insurance Search Bureau leads the way in a one stop shop effectively putting the tool’s into your hands quickly and cost effectively while offering a personal service praised industry wide, we believe in what we do, we can make a difference, see how documents like knowledge, is power.
|Driving new business and increasing retention using the Internet
– Lee Romanov, The Consumer’s Guide to Insurance
More and more potential customers are pouring onto the Internet daily. The tools and methods for bringing the rewards of good customers are better and easier to use than ever. Most importantly, there’s finally a proven “System” you can follow that removes all the doubt, guesswork, false starts and blind alleys that sabotage most would-be internet entrepreneurs and stop them from achieving their true market place – and financial – potential.
This is NOT another Internet get-rich scheme. It is a proven way to generate revenue through the internet and expand services to your clients for profit. Everyone attending this seminar will be given a free website. You will also have access to a network of ‘Affiliate Partners’ which you may include on your website to help attract new customers, keep existing ones and automatically generate additional revenue.
|Examples, Discussion, Conclusions
– Doug Grant: by Doug Grant Insurance-Canada.ca
Beyond the scope of the topics presented thus far in the seminar are many other examples of the use of technology in the P&C Broker Distribution Channel. Doug will review a few of those, from within Canada and from beyond our borders. Some discussion of the day’s material will lead to a few conclusions.
|3:20||Close: by Doug Grant Insurance-Canada.ca|
Robert Bradaric, B. Eng, Sales Engineer, FigmentSoft Inc.
After graduating from the University of Guelph with a System and Computing Engineering Degree, Robert worked in the field of telephony; specializing in Speech Recognition and Text-to-Speech applications. In 2001, Robert joined FigmentSoft Inc. where he not only continued his Speech Recognition work on the Unified Messaging platform, but also began PDA software development for the Palm Pilot and built various web applications, including an innovative web personals site. After making a successful transition from development to sales, Robert is currently involved in the development of business management software from a design perspective.
FigmentSoft Inc. specializes in business management software, custom software development and communication solutions for small and mid-size enterprises. FigmentSoft has recently partnered their industry expertise with the award winning ACCPAC CRM solution to offer FigmentComplete, a comprehensive CRM strategy that is customized to fit individual companies’ needs.
Kevin Campbell, President, Tec4 Systems Inc.
Kevin Campbell has been developing commercial software for over 20 years. Prior to co-founding Tec4 Systems Inc. in 1991, he contributed to the development of software for Calgary’s Light Rail Transit system. In 1987, he joined Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Ltd. as a project leader, developing object-oriented software for real time systems.
Kevin has spent the last 12 years pioneering the development of commercial management systems. His dream, to bridge the communication gap between brokers and insurance companies with technology became reality with the creation of Policy Works, Tec 4’s flagship product. With Policy Works, a broker can electronically deliver a submission to one or more insurers, complete a proposal, and bind the risk all within a matter of minutes. His visionary approach to amalgamating insurance with technology has set new standards for the way commercial insurance is sold.
Kevin is a graduate of the University of Calgary, holding a Masters degree in electrical engineering. In addition, he also holds a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) designation.
Tec4 Systems Inc. – pioneers and industry leaders in commercial management systems have been developing commercial insurance software for over 10 years. Their flagship product, Policy Works is a single system application specializing in commercial lines entry and policy management. Policy Works is fast becoming the industry standard and is being integrated with Broker Management Systems throughout Canada.
Vince Conroy, Senior Technology Specialist, Applied Systems Canada
Has been with Applied Systems since 1990. Has worked in most capacities on the service side, from Software Support and Training, to Hardware Support, Hardware Config and Installations. His current role with Applied is Senior Technology Specialist, which has him involved with many projects, such as Applied Consulting Services, testing and approving new hardware solutions, technical education as well as being a technical resource for both sales and support. He is certified in Citrix, Microsoft and Novell and graduated from Centennial College in 1990 with a Business Administration diploma.
Michael Damm, President, Insurance Search Bureau of Canada
Michael Damm has over 20 years insurance experience. Beginning at State Farm Insurance as a BI adjuster, Michael moved to the “Litigation Unit” specializing in negotiations, trials and mediations. Michael flew from coast to coast in the US as a senior CAT specialist in the Cat team, and finally entered the Special Investigation Unit handling a myriad of losses from AB stage motor vehicle accidents to Arson and Property Fraud. He worked on claim files that involved multiple organized crime groups, lawyers, law clerks, body shops and medical practitioners as well as internal investigations. As part of the SIU it was their mandate to train agents, management and adjusters about present criminal activity being perpetrated against the insured so they, as the front line, could protect the policy holders’ dollars.
Michael went on to become an independent adjuster with Cunningham Lindsey for 2 years in their SIU and carried on the in-depth investigations, expanding to large commercial losses, death claims and criminal rings operating in Canada. Believing that awareness was the best defence, Michael and the SIU team provided awareness and training programs to major insurers.
In 1998 Michael moved to the Insurance Search Bureau of Canada as President. The company has grown to become Canada’s leader in document retrieval.
Michael in his 5 years with ISB has given many training seminars for brokers and insurers, and has been a guest speaker at several local colleges and Law Enforcement Groups. Michael is an active supporter of the OIAA, and is a board member, founding member and editor for the Canadian Association of Special Investigation Units.
David Gerrard, Vice-President, Quality Assurance, Keal Technology Inc.
David spent 35 years in the life insurance industry in the UK and Canada. More recently he joined Teleglobe Insurance Systems to manage the implementation of their brokerage management systems and became Director of Client Services. The CGI Group bought the business from Teleglobe and subsequently sold it to Keal Technology, where David is now Vice-President, Quality Assurance.
Charmayne Lund-Pedersen, Assistant Branch Manager, Ecclesiastical Insurance
Charmayne has been at Ecclesiastical for a year and has been a key member of the team which developed “The Anchor”, their yacht product. Prior to Ecclesiastical, she spent fourteen years at Zurich Insurance, where she managed the Transportation and Warehousing Department. She has a total of twenty-five years in the insurance industry.
Ecclesiastical is more than churches – it provides a variety of niche insurance products.
Terry Neilson, President, Insurance Systems Inc.
Insurance Systems Inc. (ISI) is a Canadian Software development company that specializes in developing transactional Web sites for Insurance Companies. Terry was an Insurance Broker for 25 years and in 1997 started ISI to develop web based solutions to increase productivity between Insurers and Brokers.
Lee Romanov, President, The Consumer’s Guide to Insurance
Lee started this referral service for brokers and agents in 1994. Presently, it refers 500 to 1,000 Auto, Home and Life leads daily, and has recently expanded nationally.
She hosts the Insurance Hotline Talk TV Show on City Pulse 24, does regular morning spots on Global TV, Channel 11 and features The Romanov Report on 740 AM Radio.
Previous to CGI, Lee owned a direct response Travel TV Show and Travel Agency, worked with the marketing and promotion of Expo ’86 in Vancouver, and did marketing and underwriting for The Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, Safeco Insurance and Halifax Insurance.
The combination of her insurance experience, promotion, and direct response techniques have made a powerful impact on the way consumers are now beginning to purchase their insurance.
Richard Shallhorn, Manager at Hunter, Keilty, Muntz & Beatty.
Richard joined Hunter, Keilty, Muntz & Beatty in January 2002. After a year managing a large Personal Lines Group Program, he accepted the challenge of integrating the Group and Personal Lines Departments and evaluating the “way things work”.
Richard Shallhorn has over 20 years of insurance industry experience. He was the Operations Manager for two large insurance brokerages where his operational knowledge, business skills and technological expertise was employed to significantly increase the effectiveness of both enterprises. Richard then joined ebix.com (formerly Delphi Information Systems) as their General Manager for Canada where he gained the behind the scenes knowledge that only comes from working at a broker management system and B2B / C2B e-commerce vendor. In May 2000 he established his own consulting practice to help brokers, industry organizations, companies and vendors address their unique requirements to stay in the forefront of this increasingly competitive industry. Richard is the Chairman of the Board of the registered charity YES (Youth Employment Services) and resides with his wife in downtown Toronto.
Catherine Trimble, Business Development Consultant, Applied Systems Canada.
Catherine joined the staff of Applied Systems in 2002. Through the provision of personalized services, Catherine assists Applied Systems clients in the optimization of the productivity of their offices. These services include, but are not limited to, custom programming for add-ons to Applied Systems’ products, third party application integration, strategic planning, organizational and procedural analysis, website analysis and development, and network and software utilization consultations.
Prior to commencing her duties at Applied Systems Canada Catherine was the Internet/Intranet Communications Manager at the IBC. Her experience include positions with the broker management vendors and in the distribution channel as a licensed insurance broker and as an underwriter with a direct writer. Catherine is an enthusiastic supporter of the use of technogly in the insurance industry. Catherine has served on a number of industry committees and has had a number of articles published. Catherine and her husband live in West Hill now as empty nesters.
Host and Moderator
Doug Grant MBA CIP, Consultant, Insurance-Canada.ca
As a keen analyst of computer and networking evolution for more than thirty years, and the opportunity and impact on the insurance industry, frequent industry speaker, columnist, and consultant. Doug is cognizant of the changes that are occurring in the Internet insurance world. As a principal in the Insurance-Canada.ca Web site, he brings a unique perspective to the session.
Doug will be host of the seminar and will welcome and set the stage, build the linkages between topics, and then provide conclusions and points to ponder at the end of the session.
See a list of our Previous Seminars.