CSIO’s INNOTECH Committee Bringing Technology Opportunities to the Forefront

Catherine Smola, President & CEO, CSIO | The Alberta Broker, January 2020 

More than at any time in the past, technology and digital innovation are changing the face of today’s P&C insurance industry. As insuretechs and non-traditional entities gain traction delivering services that are typically provided by insurers and intermediaries, established technology giants such as Apple and Amazon continuously assess gaps and opportunities in the insurance sector. It gets more challenging for the broker channel to remain competitive against this new category of insurance players.

And that’s where CSIO and its industry partners can play a significant role. CSIO’s Innovation and Emerging Technology Advisory Committee (INNOTECH) is a newly formed group whose mandate is to help identify effective technology and business solutions aimed at improving the overall customer experience when dealing with their insurance provider. CSIO’s INNOTECH committee has agreed that the starting point should be the important step of mapping specific customer journeys for various business transactions.

The INNOTECH committee has broad-based representation from CSIO’s industry partners. These Catherine Smola, President and CEO, CSIO CSIO’s INNOTECH Committee Bringing Technology Opportunities to the Forefront 14 The Alberta Broker December 2019–January 2020 committee members are industry leaders and technical experts who bring a range of expertise and knowledge that is invaluable to the P&C insurance industry and its customers.

The recommendations of the INNOTECH committee will help CSIO evaluate and promote any technology implementations that are found to be beneficial to customers, while also helping to remove friction and cost from the insurance value chain. At the same time, the work of the INNOTECH committee will aid brokers to make more productive use of technology and help them automate the manual work that doesn’t add value to the client relationship. Through the use of fact-based research and analysis, the committee will identify opportunities that are believed to solve shared business problems, have the highest likelihood of success and the broadest benefits to the industry and end consumers.

Brokers Play an Important Role

Brokers are integral to the efforts of the INNOTECH committee. Peter Braid, IBAC’s CEO is appointing broker representatives from across the country to bring the brokers’ perspective to the work that the committee is tasked to deliver. “The INNOTECH committee is a fantastic opportunity for brokers to really provide valuable input into how technology shapes our industry,” says Braid, who also sits as a guest member on CSIO’s Board. “The work of the INNOTECH committee will have the potential to change the way our industry looks at business problems that impact both insurers and brokers, and to work together to come up with innovative solutions that benefit us all.”

Passion Backed by Expertise

The INNOTECH committee is passionate about helping the industry and its customers by delivering the most effective and efficient business solutions available. While it is a large mandate, the committee will work collaboratively and may also form subcommittees and specially assembled working groups with expertise in areas of focus identified. When the committee selects initiatives to research and review, it will turn to the appropriate working groups to report back to the INNOTECH committee with their findings.

Partnering to Solve Industry Pain Points

Through the INNOTECH committee, CSIO is looking forward to working collaboratively with its industry partners to solve common pain points. The first step is to reach a consensus that the problems we identify are broadly shared among industry stakeholders, and that any proposed solution wouldn’t be to the benefit of any single member.

Collaborating with a competitor to share skills and information reflects the commitment of those participants to provide the best possible outcome for the industry and its customers. Working with competitors is not a new concept. In fact, we don’t need to look further than the 2018 launch of the My Proof of Insurance solution.

Together with our partner companies, CSIO built an industry solution that allows both brokers and insurers to digitally deliver auto liability cards and policy documents for their customers. All of this work came together quickly and allowed brokers to be ready when provincial regulators approved eSlips. This tremendous success speaks to what can be accomplished when insurers, vendors and brokers all work together for the benefit of the end consumer.

We are excited about the many opportunities that the INNOTECH committee will deliver to make a difference for brokers, insurers and customers alike. We anticipate that over the coming months, our work will make valuable contributions in helping brokers and insurers not only remain competitive, but also enhance their ability to improve their customers’ experiences. We look forward to taking the industry on this transformational journey.