The long term outlook for automobile insurance in Canada

In a recent online article, Canadian Underwriter magazine asked the question, Is the sun setting on auto insurance in Canada? In my view, it may be late afternoon for the automobile insurance market, but I think it will be a while yet before the sun fully sets on this line of business. Although automobile insurance premiums represent a smaller

The challenges of being a small regional insurer

In a recent article, Traci Boland, chair of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, commented that ‘the sophistication of technology for rating overland flood could conceivably lead to smaller insurers ending up with a disproportionate share of flood risks’. As noted by Ms. Boland, a challenge facing smaller insurers is that large insurers using sophisticated modelling

Potential pitfalls awaiting insurers and consumers who spurn telematics.

Not everyone has embraced telematics. It was reported the other day that at least one insurer has been told by its brokerage force that their customers are ‘not fans of telematics’. Carol Jardine, chief strategy office for Wawanesa, is quoted as saying, ‘Our customers that buy from our brokers do not wish to have a telematics

Is technology about to render brokers obsolete?

A recent press release from a B.C. brokerage was entitled, Automated online office insurance could make brokers redundant. The press release itself dealt with the introduction of an automated system that allows owners of small businesses to buy and download insurance policies online ‘without ever having to talk to a broker’. It’s not clear whether the brokerage authored

Fintechs as a potential disruptor or enabler for the insurance industry

Whenever a new technology emerges, there is always the question as to whether it will assist or threaten existing industries. With the surge in activity from fintechs, the property and casualty insurance industry is facing this question on a number of fronts. In a recent article he wrote for The Globe and Mail, Michael King, Co-Director, Scotiabank

Blockchain. The next big thing?

Without a crystal ball it’s hard to know whether any technological innovation will live up to the early hype. Such is the case with blockchain technology. While some insurance industry analysts see great promise in this emerging technology, others have yet to be convinced. Until it becomes clear whether or not this technology will live

Competing effectively in a digital world

As the marketplace becomes ever more digital, it becomes increasingly easy for consumers to engage in comparison-shopping. This is true for a wide range of products and services. It is certainly true when it comes to many types of insurance. A recent study discusses how savvy insurers and brokers are using digital capabilities to add

Earthquake: The risk that could take the industry down

When the CEO of the largest insurance company in the country warns of a risk that could take down the industry, it’s time to take notice. In an article published in the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, Charles Brindamour, CEO of Intact Financial Corp., commented, “We sailed through the financial crisis with no issues.

As the direct channel expands, how should brokers respond?

If the broker distribution model is to remain dominant in the face of an expanding direct channel, brokers will need to find a way to distinguish themselves from direct writers in something other than price. In my view, the winning strategy for brokers is to offer their customers unparalleled service and expert advice. As evidence