Canadian Underwriter

Battle cry issued to push momentum for pandemic-stalled D/X Initiative

May 21, 2020   by David Gambrill

Print this page Share

The novel coronavirus appears to have put broker-carrier data exchange connectivity into a temporary state of suspended animation. But the pandemic is a time to push forward with industry-supported data exchange innovations, not put them on hold, one carrier has challenged.

“Let’s not use COVID-19 as an excuse to push off the work required to get broker integration moving at a faster pace,” Graham Haigh, vice president of broker distribution at Wawanesa Insurance Company, said during a webinar on the progress of the industry D/X Initiative. “In fact, we’d even be responding better to the pandemic if we made more advances — and earlier — on initiatives like D/X. Let’s use COVID-19 as a reason to move along at a quicker pace, not slower….

“Excuses are over. Data integration is past the stage of possibility. It’s now into the reality phase. Customer experience demands that we deliver on this as a partnership,” he added. “It’s time for insurers, brokers and vendors to get this going and require progress from each other. Niceties are so last-decade. Let’s just get things done.”

The D/X Initiative is a collaborative industry initiative based on a set of technology principles created a few years ago by the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC). The D/X principles describe how real-time technology integration between insurance brokers, carriers, and other third-party partners should occur.

One of the key principles is that a transaction should start and end in a broker management system (BMS). The data should flow from broker to carrier systems (and back) electronically, transparently, without user intervention.

In the D/X Initiative itself, carriers pair up with BMS vendors to create codes for common, non-proprietary carrier-broker data transactions such as first notice of loss (FNOL), billing inquiries, policy changes, claims inquiries and loss runs (showing claims history). Once completed, the codes are bundled into Centre for the Operation of Insurance Operations (CSIO)-compliant “reusable services.” A completed reusable service is then posted into new Reusable Data Services (RDS) Library hosted by the industry’s data standards body, CSIO.

Once posted in the library, the reusable services are available to all CSIO members, allowing brokers and carriers to connect across multiple platforms in real-time. A reusable service for FNOL has already been posted in the RDS library. Other transactions are being prepared, but COVID-19 appears to have stalled the potential delivery of a reusable service for claims inquiry.

“Claims inquiry is a paused project,” reported webinar panellist Kim Opheim, IBAC broker technology and innovation consultant and INNOTECH advisory committee. “The insurance company that was involved paused it, stating that COVID was the reason for doing such.”

Meanwhile Aviva Canada and Applied Systems have partnered to create a reusable service for loss runs, which is continuing into the late stages of development. Wawanesa is working with CSSI and Keal-Vertifore on a reusable service for billing inquiry. IBAC worked with CSSI to create the reusable service template for the FNOL transaction, and Wawanesa is the first insurer in Canada to have completed a draft of the insurer’s side of the FNOL reusable service.

FNOL is the first (and is still the only) reusable service posted in the CSIO-hosted RDS library since 2018.

“Two years later, we still only have the original first notice of loss reusable data service in the library,” Opheim observed in the webinar. “We need our [BMS] vendors to step up and push forward and build a complete set of reusable data services covering the standard transactions that brokers use every day. Remember, no one vendor needs to do all the work. This is about collaboration and sharing non-proprietary know-how.”

Also, Opheim said, “specifically, I am asking the Top 10 insurers that support the broker channel to prioritize D/X Initiatives on their road maps. Prove that you do really support the channel and help us achieve critical mass on all of these workflows. Let’s get this done during the 2020-21 cycle.”


Feature image by

Print this page Share

4 Comments » for Battle cry issued to push momentum for pandemic-stalled D/X Initiative
  1. James Key says:

    This isn’t 2 years in. This is almost 20 years in. This model does not work as shown by time.

    As an IT leader at an InsurCo, I can tell you (and have told IBAC and CSIO,) that there is no reusability possible outside of the standards set out by CSIO. my core systems and my competitors are totally different & we use the same “software”. The only shared part is the data standard. But nobody understands. There are no technology voices in the room. Meetings like this happens and divert from the possibility of real progress. I have friends at startups who would start delivering value in insurance in a heart beat but for the total dysfunctional nature and lack of of interoperability here.

    My call is that we are going to see this group roll out the very same tired story each year. And sorry this is the exact same “success” that they are saying are new today. And last year. And the year before. People will start finally retiring and progress will then get made.

    It will be those that make the choice to deliver actual value before the wave of old guard retirement that will have success. They will start supporting brokers (not just the TIC ones) They will provide the actual services and features being sought. They will be the future.

    We have seem some old guard CIOs being retired in the industry at long last. It is time for change across the board.

  2. Eric Lapenis says:

    CSIO standards just aren’t compatible with how insurance is actually done in Canada. Keep pushing standards that don’t fit the way business is conducted and you’ll have the same problem every time.

  3. Michael Loeters says:

    The UK has real-time connectivity between insurers and brokers through the BMS platform, and it is all built on data standards, and looks exactly like the Data Exchange model. I have seen it with my own eyes and it works extremely well . Without the use of standards the cost of connectivity skyrockets. Connectivity across the board from bluetooth, the internet, to banking transactions all use standards. Why would the Canadian P&C industry be any different? Suggesting there is a different and better path to getting this done when we can clearly see it works elsewhere is simply misguided and misinformed. This is what Wawanesa was clearly stating yesterday, and challenging the rest of the industry to get on board. They are ready to go today but need willing technology and insurers partners to get off their butts and make it happen because the technology here.

  4. Sheldon Wasylenko says:

    What is more possible today wasn’t as easy or as possible 20 years ago; hence, that’s a big reason (like it or not) for the “progress” we’ve seen or lack thereof. As an IT leader, you understand the value of standards as do the technology voices supporting those in the room. They are present and accounted for. Standards are key to interoperability and the progress made in the last two years has as much to do with the new systems carriers have implemented enabling better, faster, and easier integration, as it does with our technology partners who have supported an interoperability-based approach for years. For sure there is some work to do making sure we are aligned in our approach and development efforts, but as one senior IT person from an InsureCo said to me recently, “I believe we’ve finally cracked the nut.”

Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *