April 1, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter
In a series of road show presentations held across Ontario by the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO), independent brokers were provided with an update on development of the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO) company-to-broker technology platform – the “portal” – including the user fees which will be charged.
IBAO director of business operations Randy Carroll told brokers in Durham region that user fees will be based on number of users, as well as the number of companies each brokerage wants access to. In “phase I”, the portal will cost on a monthly basis $36.75 per company and $15.75 for IBAO members. The association’s members have negotiated a 50% discount over non-member rates, with 5% of phase I pricing going back to the broker associations to pay for marketing costs.
When the portal reaches phase II, the pricing will rise by 50% to reflect the added functionality of “single sign-on” and other features, Carroll notes. He also revealed the strategy for launching the portal across Canada, beginning with Quebec in September of this year, which will be followed up in Alberta by the beginning of next year. The last province to go online will be Prince Edward Island, slated for June 2006.
Referring to the insurers currently not part of the portal project, Carroll says, “you’ve got some companies who have got their skates on, but they’re not on the ice because they’re afraid they might slip and fall”. These companies are looking for the significant broker “buy-in” before they make a commitment, he adds.
Carroll also laments that broker management system vendors were not brought into the CSIO and broker discussion process sooner, and hopes meetings held with vendors since January this year will smooth over the process of launching the portal. “Broker management systems must remain a primary tool for organizing and maintaining control and ownership of the client database [for brokers],” he stresses.