Canadian Underwriter

Q&A: ORBiT Real Time Education Days

May 3, 2012   by Suzanne Sharma

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ORBiT Canada is hosting its third annual Real Time Education Days. To help better educate Canadian brokers on real time workflows, this year’s event includes breakout sessions for broker staff, including principals, office managers and customer service representatives, as well insurance company employees.

“Last year we focused more on brokerage principals,” said John Foreman, interim executive director at ORBiT Canada. “This year’s will be the biggest and most comprehensive event to date because we’ve expanded the education to provide more value to the front line staff, as well as principals.”

Additionally, this year’s event features two guest speakers from the US insurance industry. Cal Durland, director member relations at ACORD, will discuss how real time technologies save time and increase profits, and Brian Bartosh, president of Top O’Michigan Insurance Agency, will provide insight on the brokerage of the future.

Canadian Insurance Top Broker spoke to each to get a preview of their sessions.

Q. Cal, can you briefly outline what delegates can expect from your session?

Cal Durland: Brokers want to sell more insurance and they need quality data to service their customers. The session will talk about sales, and detail how brokers in the US have found they have more time once they take advantage of real time data. It’s evolved to become a sales culture because now they have the tools in front of them so they have more time to talk to their clients and cross sell.

Q. What are the top 3 ways real time data can help improve a broker’s bottom line?

Cal Durland: Customers today want a quote right away so real time helps better service clients immediately, and this makes it a better experience for the client. Real time also provides brokers with opportunities because it allows more time to have a conversation with the client. This can allow brokers to cross sell products. Also, good data in the system helps brokers eliminate E&O potential. They’re quoting what they see in their system, which has already been populated by carriers.

Q. Brian, your session A Visit to the Brokerage of the Future is interesting. So what does the brokerage of the future look like?

Brian Bartosh: I believe we’ll be challenged by other delivery methods, and that the consumer is becoming more sophisticated in how they want to do business.

Brokers have opportunities to show their value. In the US, a lot of companies do Internet type based quoting, but there are still many sales that get referred back to the brokerage. We have a sophisticated transaction—we’re not withdrawing money through an ATM machine. We’re protecting assets and trying to make the right decision for the consumer.

There’s plenty of opportunity from technology. We are now equipped to get outside that 9-5 service window. In my session, I’ll discuss how we drive after hours support and guaranteed level of service, which is more responsive to the consumer. We need to be tied closer to the consumer in order to show our value.

Adopting technologies and changing workflows is the only way we can compete. I see brokers in the future working smarter in the way they look at workflows. Where they can add value to the consumer and save expenses using technology is definitely the key.

Dates and locations for ORBiT’s Real Time Education Days 2012 are:

May 29 – Toronto, Novotel North York

May 30 – Kingston, The Harbour Restaurant

May 31 – London, Four Points by Sheraton

Registration, including HST, is $95 for ORBiT members and $145 for non-members. The event includes breakfast and lunch and RIBO accredited training hours.

Additional information and registration is available by clicking here.

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.