Catherine Smola, President and CEO, CSIO | BC Broker February 2020
With today’s rapid pace of change, technology and digital innovation are transforming the face of the 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 player.
That’s where CSIO and its industry partners can play a significant role. CSIO formed the Innovation and Emerging Technology (Innotech) Advisory Committee in August 2019 to identify effective ways technology and business solutions can improve customers’ overall experience when dealing with their insurance providers. The committee has broad-based representation from industry leaders and technical experts whose range of expertise and knowledge is invaluable to the P&C insurance industry and its customers.
The Innotech Committee will help CSIO evaluate and promote any technology implementations that have the potential to reduce friction and cost in the insurance value chain. This work will help brokers automate the manual work that doesn’t add value to the client relationship.
The Innotech Committee agreed that their starting point should be to map specific customer journeys for various business transactions. Through the use of fact-based research and analysis, the committee will identify opportunities that may solve shared business problems, have the highest likelihood of success, and the broadest benefits to the industry and consumers.
Brokers play an important role
Peter Braid, CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada, has appointed 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 of directors. “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 sub-committees 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 Ontario and Alberta 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.
Mapping a path forward
The Innotech Committee had its first full-day working session in November 2019. The group agreed on major operational issues and challenges, and identified initial high-level solutions to investigate further. Through 2020 working sessions will build on this foundation with further exploration of potential digital solutions.
We at CSIO are excited about the many opportunities that the Innotech Committee will deliver. 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.