Canadian Underwriter

Aviva Canada takes the plunge into cross-border business

September 4, 2019   by Adam Malik

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With the introduction of its new Global Corporate and Specialty (GCS) team, Aviva Canada is setting its sights on Canadian companies doing cross-border business in the United States. The GCS team will offer coverage in five key areas: corporate risk, programs, specialty risk, surety, and equipment breakdown.

Canadians companies are under-served by the bigger traditional players in the global space, John Mattioli, executive director at Aviva GCS, told Canadian Underwriter, and there’s great demand for insurance services.

“You have large international underwriters like Allianz, AIG and Zurich, who today are concentrating on what I would call international or global clients, and they’re under-servicing the Canadian nationals – the larger Canadian national corporations who have insurance needs outside of Canada,” he said. “That market is greatly under-served. We think we could beat the big guys to the punch and that’s why we’ve set this up.”

Aviva has added 250 pros to its roster to help offer its services, which will still be offered through the broker channel, giving them a chance to grow their business.

“All of our business is brokered, largely with internationals like the Aons and the Marshes, but there are big regional brokers in Canada that have clients in their neck of the woods that have a national footprint,” Mattioli explained. “The brokers have traditionally known Aviva as a personal lines business with small commercial. Now this enhances our product offering that they can deliver to their client by going after the larger corporate clients in their neighbourhood.”

The insurer is also positioning itself as a company that will develop closer relationships with these Canadian enterprises. “We actually spend time to get to know their business, get to know their unique needs,” with a client relations manager for each corporate client, Mattioli said.

He pointed to a solution the GCS team developed with ride-sharing company Lyft as an example of how it can help solve issues for larger companies. Instead of offering a personal line to each of its drivers, creating “an administrative burden,” there is now an all-encompassing master policy for all drivers. Rather than looking at Lyft drivers as individuals, Lyft is considered a large corporate client.

“So through their digital application, we know who’s driving, what time [and] who’s in the car,” Mattioli said. “That takes away all of Lyft’s administrative requirements. They know all times that whoever is driving for Lyft in Canada is covered by Aviva, so it’s actually driving changes in insurance and the way insurance is delivered.”

The GCS service has been in the works for the last three years. It follows a similar set up in Aviva’s home region in the U.K., which has been at it for a little bit longer.

“They started on this journey six years ago and have built up slightly better infrastructure but were catching up,” Mattioli said.

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