2017 Technology Conference: Presentation Topics

15th Annual Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference

ICTC2017: “Disruption ⇒ New Realities, New Opportunities”

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 — Allstream (Beanfield) Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto

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ICTC2017 Presentation Topics

The 15th annual Insurance-Canada.ca P&C Technology Conference continues the tradition of content-rich, interactive sessions, presented by a faculty of senior practitioners, consultants, and suppliers.

The topics listed here generally illuminate the use of technology in the Canadian P&C insurance industry with best practices today and trends and directions towards tomorrow. The speakers, including insurance practitioners, analysts, consultants and technology providers, bring experience and thought leadership to their presentations.

The master of ceremonies for the Technology Conference and ICTA awards ceremony is Jim Harris, a highly regarded speaker on business and innovation.

“Creating a Culture of Innovation in a Disruptive World”

Craig Haney, Head of Corporate Innovation, Communitech

Innovation has never been more top of mind for executives. The evidence of the impact of organizations who are not able to respond to ever-changing customer demands is evident with large companies disappearing every day, and upshot “unicorns” rocketing to billion dollar companies. How can our largest companies leverage what they have; customers, brand, channels, and influence; and add speed, curiosity, and some “start-up DNA” to become Nimble Hippos.

Craig Haney, Director of Corporate Innovation at Communitech, will walk through how ideas are important, but it's the process and governance of innovation that drives value from these activities. Learn how to build a portfolio of innovation activities that creates a culture of people who are willing to take risks to drive their company forward.

“Core System & InsurTech Fusion: Catalyst for Innovation & Transformation”

Michael Connor, CEO, Silicon Valley Insurance Accelerator

InsurTech is a term frequently used to describe new technology and services that are accelerating development of a digital generation of insurance. However, real practitioners know that InsurTech is more than technology, it's a culture and a mindset. Those forces are creating a new, highly transparent, easy to use generation of connected insurance services. These services predict, prevent, mitigate, and recover from risk by leveraging modular, interoperable, Cloud / SaaS based platforms and solutions, big data, analytics and AI to interact with customers, Internet of Things and mobile devices.The result radically increases the effectiveness of core insurance processes and systems.

At present, there are over 140 InsurTech companies in Silicon Valley. This community is both decomposing and extending the Insurance Value Chain, enabling new products and companies to be launched quickly and effectively.

In this interactive session, Mike will:

  • Provide an overview of InsurTech capabilities and trends;
  • Describe the culture driving InsurTech;
  • Demonstrate how InsurTech will ultimately become the DNA of next-generation insurance.

“Fireside Chat: Omni-Channel – How the Customer Chooses to Engage”

Jason Storah, Executive Vice President - Broker Distribution, Aviva Canada
Carrie Russell, Chief Strategist, Fintech Growth Syndicate

Technology is shifting control from insurers and intermediaries to the end customer. A few short years ago, consumers had three discrete options: Broker, Captive Agent, or Direct. This is changing rapidly. Customer Engagement is the mantra and InsurTech is the enabler. Customers choose the products they want through the channel that best supports their individual preferences.

The competitive landscape is expanding: Virtually all consumer-facing financial services are encountering similar pressures. Two executives who are living the experience will share their views and projections.

“Managing Uncertainty Through Location Intelligence”

Jean Sebastien Guy, Vice President - Sales, Korem

For Canadian insurers, 2017 will be a time of uncertainty and change. Catastrophic loss events are one of the biggest challenges facing property and casualty insurers. In addition, consolidation and changing customer expectations will continue to disrupt the industry over the next 12 months.

The ability to accurately assess risk and properly price individual exposures is the difference between profit and loss on insurer balance sheets. The difference today is the speed in which information, particularly location intelligence, can be integrated into the real-time world of underwriter and claim decision making.

Early adopters of location intelligence have made clear that these technologies are ready for integration into market value propositions and standard operating procedures.

A strategy that incorporates operational efficiency and location capabilities – risk aggregation, visualization and analytics systems that integrate seamlessly into existing policy administration systems, claims systems and data repositories – will position carriers to gain a significant competitive advantage.

This session is designed to explore the advantages and challenges of adopting a comprehensive approach to location intelligence in the modern real-time underwriting and claim environment.

“Accelerating Insurance Transformation: The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Innovation Partnerships”

Mike Fitzgerald, Senior Analyst - Insurance, Celent
Dave Kruis, Director, FairVentures

While innovation can be achieved through a variety of means, one thing appears certain--those who attempt to disrupt the market on their own are less likely to succeed. Leading companies in the industry are realizing that partnerships are vital to success. These firms seek to proactively establish partnerships with the emerging InsurTech companies, which offer new capabilities and business models. However, experience demonstrates that the process of establishing successful innovation partnerships is challenging, even in the rare cases when corporate values and cultures align. This session brings to life what is and is not working and shares insights from those on the leading edge of innovation partnerships. Both quantitative survey data of industry professionals and qualitative comments are referenced to build a picture of the current state of new partnership models in the industry.

“What Lessons Can Broker-Based Insurers Draw From Direct Carriers?”

Philip Henville, Head of Canadian Operations, Hubio

In the past 20 years both direct and broker channel insurers have made significant investments in technology to support Personal Lines P&C insurance. Over this period, most directs have acquired significant market share from the independent broker channel while increasing their customer satisfaction scores.

To level the playing field many brokers and broker companies have invested heavily in standardized connectivity solutions. While there have been some successes, different insurers' underwriting guidelines, risk preferences, and a lack of insurer/broker consensus on processes and technology priorities have led to an uncoordinated collection of implementations that limit the efficacy of the program.

How are the direct writers architecting their processes to move quickly, and expand their market share? How are they addressing their technology needs and what lessons can broker-based insurers draw from this, and how should they respond?

This session identifies specific direct writer technologies and processes to reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction and highlight the benefits only a broker can provide. This presentation highlights the top actions needed to compete and win for all brokers and insurers that want to work with a broker channel.

“What an Insurer Must Do To Retain Clients”

Sue Britton, CEO & Founder, Fin+Tech Growth Syndicate

The global insurance industry – which generates nearly $5 trillion in revenue – is at risk of losing a share of this market to new entrants entering the market with new technology, unique business models and strong go-to-market strategies. The banking industry has invested more than $19 Billion in new FinTech start-ups. While banking has been disrupted at a faster pace than insurance, the new entrants see insurance as a similar target.

New entrants are leveraging new technologies and offering a better understanding of customer expectations. Some of the newcomers are helping incumbents deliver better end products, while others are direct competitors.

This session will describe what steps an incumbent must take to address the threat. If you choose to partner with the new entrants, how do you work with start-ups? What are some of the new business models you need to consider and new ways to generate revenues? How can you leap-frog other industries that are just responding to this changing market?

“Big Data and Analytics: Beyond the Hype”

Cindy Maike, GM - Insurance, Hortonworks

A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute – The Age Of Analytics: Competing In A Data-Driven World – suggests that the range of applications and opportunities has grown and will continue to expand. Data and analytics are part of an insurance company's core strategic vision; where the success cases are happening. During this session we will discuss what key success criteria is required and examine examples of insurance companies that have moved the needle and do not see this as simply a technology investment.

“Architecting an Agile Enterprise”

Samir Ahmed, Senior Architect, X by 2

Architecture, in its most basic forms – enterprise, solution, and data – strives to bring order, consistency, and flexibility to a business and technology ecosystem. On the other hand, agility, in its most basic form, strives to make an organization adaptive, change-friendly, and unafraid to make mistakes and learn from them, all stemming from the realization that the complexity of modern enterprises makes it impractical to fully design them up front.

While seemingly contradictory in nature on the surface, a deeper understanding of these concepts leads to the realization that combining these two disciplines gives organizations the best chance to conceptualize, implement, and deliver effective and sustainable business-driven technology solutions. It is a powerful combination!

This presentation explores the ideas, concepts, and actionable steps required to unify these two powerful approaches for the betterment of forward-thinking organizations and their customers.

“Digital Insurance Done Right (Featuring Assumption Life)”

Andrea Masterton, Director - Corporate Marketing, eSignLive™ by VASCO
Georges Leger, PMP, Project Manager - IT, Assumption Life

Insurance policy sales and service are increasingly moving online. e-Applications combined with secure electronic signatures make it possible for insurance companies to achieve an end-to-end digital process and as a result offer a better broker and customer experience.

Assumption Life, a national financial services provider, is a shining example of "digital done right". As of April 2016, Assumption has offered its 8000+ brokers the ability to complete regulated authorization forms with customers completely online. The new process eliminates errors and reduces the time brokers waste chasing down paperwork.

In this session, you will hear best practices for how to unleash the full value of your agent systems of engagement by adding e-signatures and how to avoid common pitfalls along the way.

“Technology Award Nominations: Behind the Scenes”

Doug Grant, Partner, Insurance-Canada.ca
Alice Keung, CIO, Economical Insurance
Emma Mehler, National Appraisal Manager, GUARANTEE GOLD

The nominations for the 2017 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Awards were submitted in late 2016. The essence of each – an executive summary and ‘application brief’ – has been published since New Year's (see them all here).

With a brief introduction by each participant, this discussion will explore the behind-the-scenes experiences involved in the execution of their technology projects, including challenges faced and issues overcome.

“Tales of Machine Learning, Analytics at the Edge and Deep Learning”

Kelly Southall, Senior Analytics Solutions Architect & Data Scientist, SAS

In this session, Kelly will explore emerging areas of innovation within the insurance industry as a result of today's proliferation of data, affordable storage options and processing capabilities. Case studies will cover examples of:

  • Machine learning applications in P&C insurance via image recognition analytics;
  • Edge based analytics and the client experience;
  • Deep modeling and impacts on pricing.

“InsurTech: Hype or Real?”

Jeff To, Global Head of Insurance, Salesforce

Digital Transformation:

  • What key use cases will set you apart?
  • How do big insurers foster agility in an industry that's averse to change?

New models of distribution:

  • How are insurers changing the way they sell insurance products? What role will aggregators play?

“Digital Strategies for Insurance Customer Acquisition, Retention and Engagement”

Srinivas Thota, AVP, Kumaran Systems
Razi Parvez, Regional Business Head, Kumaran Systems

Today's insurance customers are more informed, empowered, and prepared to switch providers to get the product and service levels that they expect. This session will outline digital strategies to help insurers meet or exceed customer expectations in three areas:

  • Customer acquisition — The informed customer who is looking for alternatives wants a journey that offers unique services with on demand 24x7 information available online and facilitates to do business with ease.
  • Customer retention — While most policies renew annually, your customers renew themselves much more frequently. Maintaining contact with your customers by providing various options to connect and interact offers opportunities to strengthen customer understanding, enhance loyalty and retention.
  • Customer engagement — Today's customer needs to be 'part of the process', not just a passive receiver. Using digital technologies allows the insurer to deliver information what customer's value, that's relevant and personalized, beyond the standard communications at the right time and the right place.

“Technology Award Nominations: Behind the Scenes (II)”

Doug Grant, Partner, Insurance-Canada.ca
Marc Philips, AVP - Digital Strategy & Sales, TD Insurance
Robin Ingle, CEO, Ingle International

The nominations for the 2017 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Awards were submitted in late 2016. The essence of each – an executive summary and ‘application brief’ – has been published since New Year's (see them all here).

With a brief introduction by each participant, this discussion will explore the behind-the-scenes experiences involved in the execution of their technology projects, including challenges faced and issues overcome.

“Business Analytic Disruption: Driving Profitable Growth By Reframing Core Systems And Enabling Digital Customer Experience”

James Barber, Director - Global Insurance, Information Builders

Our research found that insurers have an even experience in surviving and thriving in the current environment.

In the current low-interest environment with slowing growth, driving profitable growth requires shifting from efficiently processing to more financially substantial impacts around product/risk or customer intimacy. In today's insurance environment, product and customer engagement are best effected with support from disruptive analytic journeys and clarity of vision.

Internally, successful insurers focus on disruption by framing traditional problems in new ways. For example:

  • Core systems must move beyond policy and claims admin systems to leveraging enterprise data to deliver transformation and double the core system ROI.
  • Digital transformation must:
    • Move from product-centric to value-added customer service;
    • Deliver next-gen customer and broker portals;
    • Incorporate omni-channel, omni-device tools for social, analytics and IoT applications.

This session will provide case studies of insurers that have increased profitability and avoided common detours and delays.

“Ripe For Disruption? Navigating The Hype Around #InsurTech And Blockchain”

Magda Ramada, Senior Economist, Willis Towers Watson

Are you ready for disruption? Blockchain may bring that and more.

A new social interaction paradigm is driving different consumer needs and expectations as to the type of interactions they have with insurers. In addition, the nature of risk is changing, with new sources of risk, new ways of mutualising risk, new interconnection, and new ways of measuring and tracking risk in real time.

That is why the insurance ecosystem is transforming, with an acceleration in InsurTech as both new and old players invest heavily in new technology. One of those technologies is Blockchain.

This session will navigate the blockchain hype and explore what blockchain is and isn't, identify how blockchain could disrupt the financial services industry as we know it today, and outline the threats and opportunities that players will have to navigate. The session will also cover current use cases and existing products developed based on blockchain technology.

“Customer Experience and Faster Payments for the On-Demand Economy”

Duane Williams, Sr. Manager - Product Platform, Interac

Consumers are demanding better experiences from every brand they interact with, including financial institutions and insurance companies. During this session, Duane Williams, Sr. Manager, Product Platform at Interac will provide insights into the rise of mobile, changes in consumer behaviour and the role of faster payments in your digital strategy.

“New Opportunities: Integrating Telematics Data in Claims for Immediate and Future Value”

Cletus Nunes, Director - Sales, Octo Telematics North America

Though the Canadian insurance market is adopting telematics more slowly than some other countries, opportunities in claims management present compelling use cases for both insurers and consumers:

  • Examine how data collection is directly actionable for the benefit of both insurers and policy-holders;
  • See how behavior analysis and claims data can be used for predictive analytics and risk management;
  • Explore future scenarios where insurance telematics data can improve safety and enhance a connected lifestyle.

“Big Commercial Disruption: A Case Study”

Dave Kruis, Director, FairVentures
Kevin Forestell, CEO, Dozr
Alex Callahan, Director - Client Strategy & Business Development, Federated Insurance

The sharing economy has focused on disrupting incumbents handling smaller services, transactions and payments. Sharing disrupts taxi services (Uber), hotels and motels (Airbnb), pet boarding (DogVacay), bike rentals (Liquid), and credit card cash advances (LendingClub).

So what happens when the shared items – and values – get big?

How big? Think cranes, bulldozers, trucks, tractors, mulchers, aerial work platforms, and more.

Dozr not only has taken the sharing big, it has taken the sharing wide; encompassing more than just the equipment. In partnership with two arms of the Fairfax family – Federated Insurance and FairVentures – Dozr can tap into built in protection for the users and financing for the sharing enterprise.

Join executives from these organizations who will discuss:

  • Unique elements in large equipment sharing;
  • The importance of careful alignment between a business and financing plans;
  • The value of adding insurance to the equipment renters and owners;
  • And more.

“Creating Content Out of Contacts: Measuring the Customer Experience through Advanced Analytics”

Jon Kelso, Project Manager - Customer Experience Management Reporting & Analytics, Manulife

Harnessing the power of advanced analytics Manulife manages and visualizes the customer experience, taking data from several large, formerly disparate datasets. Providing executive leaders, supervisors and CSRs a unique view into their own contact centre environment. We will also cover some of the unique analytic solutions built for other operational teams and some powerful functionality that Qlik provides to users within Manulife's Canadian Division.

“InsurTech and MatureTech: Blending the New with the Old”

Moderator: Mark Breading, Partner and Chief Research Officer, Strategy Meets Action
Craig Arnatt, CEO, Shephard Ashmore Insurance
Alice Keung, CIO, Economical Insurance
Jeanne Merola, SVP - Operations, Hartford Steam Boiler

The InsurTech movement has been nothing short of a phenomenon, with significant capital, startups emerging practically every day, and events popping up everywhere. There is general agreement that InsurTech is important and has implication for the industry, but how that will play out is still up for discussion. In the meantime, insurers have businesses to run and policyholders to service every day. Are these two different worlds on an inevitable collision course? Or will there be a convergence that provides new opportunities for the industry to advance? This session will debate those questions and more, with InsurTech and Insurer participants in a panel discussion moderated by Mark Breading from Strategy Meets Action.

“Behind the Wheel of Disruption: What's Driving Your Consumers?”

Andrew Lo, President & COO, Kanetix Ltd.

Technological innovation, and how consumers embrace it, continues to disrupt long established business models. How do we know what is coming, and more importantly, how will it affect the ever-changing ways consumers want to be engaged? The answer lies in understanding the forces that drive how consumers want to interact with brands and ultimately make a purchase. The consumer experience, from how retail goods are purchased to ordering take-out and ride sharing, are setting the minimum standards for the next wave of InsurTech that is about to disrupt the insurance industry. This session explores six driving forces that is shaping consumer behaviour and ultimately the future of business, including your business.

Speaker Bios

Individual biographies of the speakers, moderators and hosts can be found on the ICTC2017 Faculty page.