April 23, 2014 by Greg Meckbach, Associate Editor
The Centre for Study of Insurance Operations held its annual general meeting Tuesday, acclaiming eight members of the board of directors, touting its eDocs certification program and presenting awards to 12 members who have passed eDocs certification.
Eight board members were appointed by acclamation for two-year terms: CSIO vice-chairman Ted Harman, president of Accent Insurance Solutions; Cam Loeppky, vice-president of information services for Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company; Sean Christie, chief information officer and vice-president of information services at Gore Mutual Insurance Company; Jack Ott, senior vice president and chief information officer at Intact Financial Corp.; Andrew Wood, chief information officer of Northbridge Financial Corp.; Bill Simms, commercial accounts director of Crosbie Jobs Insurance; Sheldon Wasylenko, general manager of Rayner Agencies Ltd.; and Robert Merizzi, chief information officer and executive vice-president of business systems transformation at Aviva Canada.
Four members of CSIO’s board of directors have another year in their two-year terms, CSIO chairman Steve Whitelaw noted during the AGM. Those four are: Whitelaw, vice president of business services at Travelers Canada; Rick Orr, owner of Orr Insurance & Investment Group; Steve Knoch, senior vice president of information technology and eBusiness at Royal & Sun Alliance (RSA) Insurance Company of Canada; and Keith Jordan, president and chief executive officer, Hub International Horizon Insurance.
Toronto-based CSIO is a standards association of property and casualty insurers, brokers and technology vendors. It oversees development, implementation and maintenance of industry standards in Extensible Markup Language (XML), electronic data interchange (EDI) and forms. Its eDocs standard is intended to let brokers download policy documents directly from a carrier’s computer system to a broker management system (BMS), and to store those documents in their BMS without manual intervention.
Last year, CSIO announced that eDocs would be the first business activity available for certification as part of its standards certification program. CSIO plans to expand that certification program to cover other business activities, such as claims notification and billing inquiry.
The eDocs certification program is “designed to ensure standards-based solutions are uniformly implemented across the country, significantly improving efficiencies to the broker channel,” CSIO president and CEO Catherine Smola told members Tuesday after the formal portion of the AGM, held at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel.
Smola then presented awards to the 12 members who have passed eDocs certification. The six carriers now certified are Northbridge, Intact, RSA, Gore Mutual, Aviva and The Guarantee Company of North America. The six vendors who have passed certification are Applied Systems Inc., Quindell plc, Brovada Technologies Inc., Mastercom Consulting Ltd., Keal Technology and Logiciels Deltek Inc.
CSIO certification is free to vendors and carriers paying CSIO membership fees. In order to be certified, members need to submit a completed application package that includes a self-assessment, including supporting documentation. CSIO then reviews those applications. Those who are successful receive a certification letter. CSIO also adds the names of those certified to its list of certified products and post that information to its Certified Solutions page.
After the formal portion of the April 22 AGM, members were shown a video of several officials commenting on eDocs.
“The time savings allows us to be more efficient so we can handle more clients with the same amount of time or we can use the time to have a more in depth conversation with the client …. other changes that have gone on in their life that they might need additional coverage for, or be able to review their policy a little bit better, or just talk to get to know them,” said Rick Dresher, president of Oavkille, Ont. brokerage Affiliated Insurance Management Inc., in the video.
CSIO also recorded comments from Alister Campbell, chief executive officer of The Guarantee.
“One of the obstacles for the broker channel has been the fact that so many different systems and so many different models, so many different data dictionaries, so many different languages, have evolved over 20 to 30 years,” Campbell said in the video. “So for me part of the power for eDocs was not just that the broker channel was asking … it was an opportunity to move to a common language for a key part of the transactional flow of a transactional business.”