Canadian Underwriter

Canadians brokers more likely to offer self-service capabilities: Applied Executive Symposium

May 2, 2018   by Greg Dalgetty, Editor

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Photo copyright: it comes to adopting self-service technology, Canadian brokers are leading the pack, according to Jeff Purdy, senior vice-president of international operations with Applied Systems.

Speaking to reporters at a media briefing ahead of the Applied Systems Executive Symposium in Toronto on Tuesday, Purdy said Canadians have been adopting Applied’s self-service offerings at a higher rate than brokers in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland.

“Our highest rate of adoption of the consumer portal and the mobile app in all of our markets is Canada,” Purdy said. “At the end of last year…24% of our broker customers had adopted self-service capability. In other words, they are putting their brand on the web, they are putting their brand on a mobile app and providing that capability to their customer.”

Related: Applied launches IVANS Exchange

One might think that urban brokers are most likely to make use of this technology, but Purdy said that isn’t necessarily the case.

“We have a lot of business owners who are not in cities that you might consider urban who are super aggressive on the technology side,” he said. “You might think that if you’re in Toronto, you have to have all of those tools, and if you’re in Collingwood, Ont., you don’t have to worry about it—but I’m not so sure of that anymore.”

Purdy said digital self-service tools are faring better in Canada than Applied’s other markets because more personal lines business is written through the broker channel in Canada.

“I think it’s circa 45% of personal insurance in this country is written through the broker channel. If you were to do a compare-and-contrast, in the U.K. it’s in the low 30s, and in the U.S. it’s probably similar,” he said. “As a result of being personal-lines oriented, the digital tools are super important. You’ve got to get to your customer through a portal, you’ve got to get to your customer through a mobile device.”

Purdy also discussed Applied’s financial results with the media, noting that the company’s revenue grew by more than 10% last year and sales grew by just over 9%. Self-service adoption grew by 70%, and users of Applied’s rating service grew by 4% to just under 16,000.

Applied also saw significant growth in users of its EPIC broker management system.

“The number that is indicative of whether the business is doing well or not would be end users of the software, and we added 1,000 users to the EPIC platform in 2017,” Purdy said. “Our EPIC penetration—the number of end users running our EPIC platform, versus our TAM platform—grew to 45% of our seats in this marketplace.”

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This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.