Canadian Underwriter

National broker association appoints new broker connectivity lead 

September 4, 2020   by Jason Contant

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The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) has announced the appointment of Tom Reid as the new broker connectivity lead for the association’s Data Exchange (DX) project.  

“Broker connectivity is a key priority for IBAC, and the pandemic has intensified the need for strong digital solutions across the insurance industry,” IBAC chief executive officer Peter Braid said in a press release Tuesday. “We are committed to rapidly advancing our DX project in order to achieve efficiency and cost savings to business operations, and more importantly, to provide the digital capabilities that consumers demand. As our broker connectivity lead, Tom Reid will apply a concentrated effort to get this done.” 

Braid told Canadian Underwriter Friday that Reid was appointed because the “important goal of increased connectivity in our industry requires us to make a commitment of additional resources and effort.

“The broker channel wants to further enhance our ability to provide digital services to our clients,” he said. “We can’t do this without the solid foundation of real-time data exchange between insurers and brokers.”

Reid has over 15 years’ experience in the insurance industry, including executive leadership roles with a major carrier and a broker tech vendor, IBAC said. He also worked as a licensed broker, served on the board of the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta (IBAA), and is a strong champion for broker technology. 

“His strong breadth of knowledge and experience will be pivotal in tackling the complexities of the issue and generating collaboration and momentum to achieve real-time connectivity in the Canadian property and casualty insurance industry,” IBAC reported.  

“I have been passionate about connectivity in our industry for more than 15 years,” Reid added. “By working together as an industry with focus and purpose, I believe that a solution is imminent. I am privileged to join IBAC and lead the DX initiative forward.” 

The DX initiative is a collaborative industry effort based on a set of technology principles created a few years ago by IBAC. DX principles describe how real-time technology integration between brokers, carriers and other third-party partners should occur.  

Carriers pair up with broker management system (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 in Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO)-compliant “reusable services.” A completed reusable service is then posted into a reusable data service (RDS) library hosted by 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. 

Related: D/X initiative breaks ground with real-time first notice of loss transaction

The completion of the FNOL transaction as a RDS demonstrates the efficacy of this approach and sets the stage for further success, IBAC said.  

“Carriers and vendors are now able to implement the RDS in their own environment, allowing companies to develop and deploy their own solutions significantly more quickly and cost effectively than by working on their own,” the national broker association said. “With additional transactions at various stages of development, now is the time to focus on the widespread implementation of RDS solutions.”

Generally speaking, Braid said, there is a very strong commitment to increased connectivity on the part of insurers. Some are further ahead than others; there are a number of reasons for this, including the issue of legacy systems. “That said, we believe that a further push from the broker channel, more coordination across the industry, and the demonstration of a strong business case will get us all further down the field. We also plan to leverage the commitment and momentum of first movers — both insurance carriers and BMS vendors.”

Braid told Canadian Underwriter that Reid’s primary responsibility will be to accelerate the DX initiative, increase the number of available RDS and advance the goal of real-time connectivity across the industry.

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