June 16, 2017 by Canadian Underwriter
The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) and Intact Insurance Company announced on Friday that they have created a working group to explore ways for brokers to integrate Intact’s new online Client Centre with their existing systems.
This newly-formed group between Intact and IBAO’s Technology Committee will examine ways brokers can integrate the Client Centre with their existing broker management systems or other online gateways, IBAO explained in a press release. It will also “consider scenarios based on future digital developments,” the association reported. “IBAO is fully committed to working with its broker network and industry partners to find solutions that deliver information more efficiently to customers in the way they want to receive it.”
According to the release, Intact will “soon launch” Client Centre, an online solution that provides brokers and their customers with secure, 24/7 access to policy documents, billing statements and real-time claims status updates. Brokers will be able to offer customers a choice to use Client Centre – a new, paperless way to access their insurance information conveniently. In addition, IBAO said, brokers will benefit via the ability to: co-brand Client Centre with their brokerage logo; see what customers see; and save time by reducing administrative touch points and focus on providing value-added services.
“This collaborative initiative with Intact demonstrates how we can all Come Together in the marketplace to further consumer interests as well as benefit the broker network,” said IBAO president Traci Boland, referencing the association’s theme for 2017. “We are very pleased to be working with Intact at this pivotal point in time in our industry.”
Debbie Coull-Cicchini, senior vice president of Intact Insurance’s Ontario division, said in the release that “Client Centre can be accessed directly from a brokerage website via a connection provided by Intact so that brokers remain the central point of contact for their customers. We strive to make things easier for brokers and their customers; this working group will explore additional ways to support the broker network in its efforts to increase service options and elevate customer service levels within our industry.”
IBAO said that following the Government of Ontario’s recent budget announcing a discount for customers who choose to have their policy documents delivered electronically, “pressure to provide service options is on the rise.” Full details have yet to be disclosed, but the introduction of electronic liability cards expected in 2017 will be the “first major launch of broad, electronic communication to Ontario consumers,” IBAO said.
“The IBAO and Intact commit to ensuring that our joint capabilities are fully leveraged to enhance the broker/consumer value proposition,” Boland said in the release. “More details on how Intact’s initiative will support our members’ relationship with their customer base will follow once the working group is underway. There is still much to do to assist our members in responding to evolving market conditions and the IBAO’s Technology Committee is working on projects with several other industry stakeholders.”
Boland said that it in early July, it will develop an action plan that includes a comprehensive road map of all these industry initiatives. “This collaboration with Intact is the first of many such initiatives,” she said.
Earlier on Friday, IBAO released a position paper, titled Electronic Communication with the Ontario Consumer, arguing that creating multiple access points for a single consumer to obtain electronic communications, including e-documents, could be detrimental to consumers in Ontario. “Not only will it cause confusion if consumers have different company policies and avenues to access them, it’ll create a fragmented consumer experience and ultimately dilute the broker-consumer value proposition and collective broker brand,” IBAO CEO Colin Simpson said in a statement.
The statement added that “insurance company platforms must allow brokers the option of providing electronic documents through a broker-chosen solution – a component that’s imperative in providing consistent serviced models to consumers.”
IBAO is a not‐for‐profit association representing and serving the interests of over 12,000 independent property & casualty insurance brokers in Ontario.
Intact Insurance is Canada’s largest home, auto and business insurance company, with more than four million consumers. Intact Insurance is a member company of Intact Financial Corporation, the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada.
More than 50 brokerages across Canada are already using Sharp Mobile which allows this same kind of functionality for the broker- but ensures that the broker remains at the center of the customer service. So while the discussions continue a broker can get all of this right now through Sharp Mobile.