Canadian Underwriter

Message From the President (February 01, 2011)

January 31, 2011   by Mary Charman, CIAA President

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I am extremely pleased to announce that a CIAA National Insurance Industry Advisory Board has been created. The board consists of CIAA executive members and insurance company and broker representatives. The mandate is to maintain a pro-active national forum working on behalf of Canada’s claims professionals to address and resolve mutual and individual issues of concern. This is a very exciting initiative, representing the interests of CIAA member companies and differentiating CIAA members by communicating and working side-by-side with key industry stakeholders for the benefit of the entire membership. Our first meeting was extremely productive, addressing property and casualty core issues to develop working solutions, protocols and standards to ensure CIAA member firms are consistently on the leading edge. Education, cross training and secondments between CIAA members and insurers are just a few initiatives being explored to help resolve the overwhelming concern of attracting, training and retaining the best people to ensure a bright future with top-quality industry professionals.

The Insurance Institute’s Annual Convocation and Awards night showcasing the industry’s academic achievements was held in January. CIAA is proud to support the Institute’s award ceremonies at both the national and regional level. The association also offers its own scholarship to assist the next generation of insurance professionals and more specifically those looking to pursue a career in the claims field. Further information on CIAA’s scholarship can be found on our website at

Congratulations to the CIAA and CICMA Ontario Chapters for hosting another extremely successful Joint Conference in early February. This event is always a big draw and attracts members from across Canada. The opportunity to learn and network with your colleagues and grow together as a profession is really what our associations are all about. I sincerely thank organizing committees across the country for their efforts in hosting these superb events and living up to the motto, “United & Committed Leadership through Education, Professionalism and Communication.”

The winter of 2010-2011 came in like a lion, especially in Atlantic Canada, and members were in full response mode bringing in extra staff, some from other provinces, to handle the excessive amount of claims. Severe weather events appear to be the norm and no longer the exception. CIAA New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Manitoba regions have expended a lot of time and energy in developing EMO response programs with their provincial governments. They are to be commended for their diligence and proficiency in the planning and execution of these programs on behalf of the CIAA membership. CIAA’s National Emergency Measures Committee is working on securing similar Disaster Assistance Programs in all regions.

I encourage the non-members waiting in the wings to make the investment and join us!