Canadian Underwriter

How IBAO is leading brokers to go paperless

January 27, 2021   by Greg Meckbach

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The cost and hassle of printing and mailing large insurance policies is one of the drivers towards digitization, suggests the board member of a broker association.

Consumers do not want to sift through 75 pages of insurance documents, said Greg Kruk, first vice president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario. “They want the ‘Coles Notes’ version [of insurance policies],” Kruk said in an interview with Canadian Underwriter shortly after IBAO’s 2020 annual convention.

Kruk was commenting on IBAO’s Going Paperless project. In addition to his full-time job as president of Sentinel Risk Insurance Group, Kruk also chairs IBAO’s Going Paperless committee and the IBAO Technology committee.

“The Going Paperless movement is about really trying to make it a better customer experience as well as cutting costs from an old, clunky, antiquated system,” said Kruk.

“In Ontario, it took far too long to get approval to use something as simple as a digital [auto insurance] pink slip. A lot of companies have been focussing on the movement to go paperless because most insurance policy wordings are very bulky. It is very costly both for printing and postage.”

This year, IBAO plans to conduct a benchmarking study to help brokers in their own business, said Kruk. The idea is to give brokerages data on competitive salaries, compensation structures and sales cycle times in the industry, he suggested.

“That data can help brokers find out where they are at on certain benchmarks. Brokers could realize they are lagging or above average,” said Kruk.

IBAO is also supporting the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada Data Exchange (D/X) Initiative. It aims to reduce the collective time and effort needed to build application programming interfaces or web services that would let a brokerage’s software exchange information with a carrier’s software.

A key component of D/X is what IBAC calls a “repository,” or a “reusable data services library.” That way, one company can build a data service and other companies could use it. The idea is that APIs can then let brokers input data — such as policy changes and first notices of loss (FNOLs) — without having to type customer information one time into the broker management system and then a second time into a carrier’s portal.


Feature image via Chizhevskaya

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4 Comments » for How IBAO is leading brokers to go paperless
  1. W Hazelton says:

    What utter BS. The coles notes version of a policy is of no use to the client when something goes wrong. Stop trying to dumb down insurance. It is complicated. So suck it up butter cup. As for going paperless? This will just force the client to due the printing. If the idustry truly wants to make real improvements, they could start by not continuing to make changes for the sake of making changes. In short, it is the insurance companies, the brokers, the agents, and the regilators who are the problem. Not their clients.

    • Mike says:

      I fully agree. Insurers have been dumbing it down for decades. How about the decision makers all smarten up for the benefit of the consumer. Starting with mandatory education for brokers/ agents to get into the business.

      How embarrassing it is we sell legal products and no one needs a grade 8 certificate or any education at all to get e license. Get a RIBO license and you’re good for life.

      Old boys club with old boys rules – A JOKE!

  2. Eric says:

    Just because it’s paperless, doesn’t mean the insurer is cutting down pages. In fact, the trend has been for more and more wordings. Those 2 issues aren’t related at all. “Coles Notes version” is just a lie.

    Call it what it is, costs savings. Fair enough, but many consumers don’t want it. Plenty do, but plenty don’t.

  3. Andrew Clark says:

    This is just another way for insurance companies to try and cut out the broker. They want to send documents directly to the customer and exclude the broker from the process.

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