Business Strategy

  • Peter Morris

    Why an insurer might pay more for a brokerage than what another buyer would offer

    November 7, 2017 by

    When it comes to the valuation of insurance brokerages, is the going rate driven up by the presence of insurance companies as potential purchasers? Certainly this is the feeling of many within the brokerage community. Just because many people believe

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  • Peter Morris

    Is technology about to render brokers redundant?

    October 31, 2017 by

    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

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  • Catherine Smola

    Post-Social Media: The Emergence of Platform Strategy

    March 17, 2017 by

    As technology evolves quickly, the terminology to describe it – and the ways in which we implement it – evolves even faster. Remember when the insurance industry first discussed “digital strategies,” only to be told shortly thereafter that because all

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  • Peter Morris

    Fintechs as a potential disruptor or enabler for the insurance industry

    February 13, 2017 by

    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

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  • Steve Kaukinen

    Digitization: “Get a horse!”

    February 1, 2017 by

    “Get a horse!” people would yell in the early 1900’s as motorized vehicles were starting to gain in popularity. The majority of the population would not believe or could not understand that the trusted horse used for over 1,000 years

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  • Peter Morris

    Blockchain. The next big thing?

    December 20, 2016 by

    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

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  • Glenn McGillivray

    ICLR lays out the next five years of hazard research

    December 15, 2016 by

    ICLR has just released its latest five-year plan, which sets out the Institute’s research and engagement strategy for the period 2017 through 2021. Over the plan period, ICLR will continue to focus on providing research that supports action by public

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  • Catherine Smola

    Millennial Spotlight: When Consumers Abandon Insurance

    October 26, 2016 by

    Since launching this blog in 2014, I’ve written a great deal about statistics and market research, particularly related to evolving insurance consumers, especially those of the millennial generation (those born between 1977 and 2004) and how our industry can leverage

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  • Peter Morris

    Competing effectively in a digital world

    October 3, 2016 by

    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.

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  • Patrick Vice

    If Digital Is Urgent, How Do We Play It?

    September 9, 2016 by

    InsurTech (Insurance Technology) is a hot topic in the insurance community these days. But how significant is the digital trend and how urgently do we have to respond? The recent Executive Forum (ICEF2016)  provided insight. What do we do

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  • Catherine Smola

    The Risk & Reward of the Empowered Customer

    September 8, 2016 by

    The so-called “age of the customer” we live in is driven by several factors, especially technologies such as smartphones and mobile apps that put more control and choice into customers’ hands than ever before. Forrester Research has dubbed this phenomenon

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  • Catherine Smola

    In a World Without Mail, Keep Calm: eDelivery is Here

    August 4, 2016 by

    This summer, the threat of a labour stoppage at Canada Post has caused many people and institutions to reconsider just how crucial mail delivery is to their business. In the insurance industry, we have already taken great strides to minimize

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  • Catherine Smola

    Good-bye Apps, Hello Chatbots?

    June 30, 2016 by

    We often marvel at the speed of technological advancement, but every so often one development stands out. Consider that just eight years after Steve Jobs introduced the App Store, mobile apps may become much less prevalent than today. Their replacement:

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  • FSCO Mandate Review Recommends Changes to Auto Insurance Regulation

    June 21, 2016 by

    The Ontario government should establish a new organization that would perform the functions currently performed by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO), an expert advisory panel said in a report released Monday.

    The panel recommends that a new Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) be established, and it should exercise both prudential and market conduct functions.  The panel – comprised of George Cooke, James Daw and Lawrence Ritchie – made its recommendation to create FSRA in an interim report released in November, 2015. The final report, dated March 31, was made public Monday and contains 44 recommendations.

    The mandate review was partly made necessary with the transfer of responsibility for operating an auto insurance dispute resolution system from FSCO to Ministry of the Attorney General’s Licence Appeal Tribunal on April 1, 2016.


    The report suggests that FSRA should consolidate functions, but it should have separate divisions for the regulation of market conduct; prudential oversight; and pension administration. These divisions of the regulator should operate in a coordinated manner, but each division should be insulated from the routine regulatory activities, pressures and resource demands of other divisions.

    FSRA should be a self-funded corporation without share capital, operationally independent of government, yet accountable to the Legislature through the Minister of Finance. The FSRA should be outside of the Ontario Public Service and be empowered to hire its personnel from outside of the Ontario Public Service’s collective agreements, compensation restraints, and other hiring restraints to support its ability to recruit professionals and industry expertise as it deems necessary.

    FSRA should have a skills-based Board of Directors appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. The Board would oversee FSRA’s operations and the Board should have the authority to appoint a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Board Chair should report directly to the Minister of Finance.

    FSRA’s Board should be given authority to make rules that would be enforceable pursuant to the statute, having a similar authority as Cabinet Regulations.

    Auto Insurance Rate Regulation

    The panel did not make any recommendations with respect to the prior approval of auto insurance. However, it did recommend that FSRA’s Board should be obliged and empowered to decide how auto insurance rates are to be regulated and make use of its rule-making authority to scope out a rate approval process.

    The view of the panel is that when it comes to the regulation of automobile insurance rates, FSCO is not ultimately protecting the public interest or enhancing confidence in the sector.

    Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund

    The panel recommends that responsibility for operating the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF) be transferred to the Facility Association (FA), a non-profit organization funded by automobile insurers in the provinces and territories that operate private insurance systems. This responsibility would fit well with the FA’s original purpose, which is to act as the ‘insurer of last resort’ for high-risk drivers. The FA already operates uninsured motorist funds similar to the MVACF in the Atlantic Provinces.

    Fraud Prevention

    The panel indicated that the new mandate should require FSRA to utilize its statutory authorities to adequately, firmly and consistently discourage fraudulent activities or behaviours that mislead or harm consumers and pension plan beneficiaries.

    FSRA should be directed to identify and seek to eliminate gaps in protection for consumers who might be defrauded by licensed sales agents, brokers and corporations. FSRA should also  have the authority to establish a fraud compensation fund such as exists in Quebec if or where enhancements to mandatory insurance coverage would not fully close current gaps.

    There is no word from the government on implementing the panel’s recommendations.

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