Canadian Underwriter

MGAs launch their own made-in-Canada trade forum

December 19, 2017   by Jason Contant, Online Editor

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A new trade forum for managing general agents (MGAs) has been launched in Canada to help address changes in the market.

The Canadian Managing General Agents forum (CAMGA) is an attempt to draw MGAs together and will provide an opportunity for discussion and networking, CAMGA membership secretary Gary Hirst told Canadian Underwriter Monday.

While similar MGA forums are operating in Australia, the United Kingdom and United States, among others, none specific to Canada have been available until now. The forum will look at a variety of issues, including the following:

  • Recruitment – while information is available for those interested in becoming a broker or insurer, there is “not much about being an MGA,” Hirst said;
  • IT – Again, information is geared towards broker communication, but not MGA communication specifically, and the forum is inviting a better approach to MGA communication; and
  • Regulatory compliance – a number of MGAs have reported that they would like to see something in provincial regulations more for MGAs than brokers.

“There are a number of aspects to do with regulations here in Canada that have disturbed a number of MGAs,” said Hirst, who is also president and CEO of CHES Special Risk.

At the moment, regulation falls into two areas; for example, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario regulates insurers in the province, while individual broker licensing authorities for each province regulate brokerages.

“MGAs fall unfortunately right in the middle,” Hirst said. “There are aspects that are not quite correct. A number of members of the forum have voiced that they would like to see something in that provincial regulation more for MGAs than insurance brokers.”

CAMGA is actively seeking members and people can apply for membership through the website or LinkedIn. The forum is also seeking a president or chairperson and will be looking at holding an annual convention, provincial “meet the underwriter”-type nights and providing a magazine and newsletter to members.