Canadian Underwriter

New Insurance Institute webinar to explore the sharing economy as an “opportunity and a threat” for Canadian p&c industry

May 30, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC) will host a webinar examining the sharing economy as both an opportunity and a threat to the Canadian p&c industry.

The webinar is scheduled for June 14 at 1 p.m. EDT. It offers “future-forward perspectives on the growth of the sharing economy and the opportunities and the threats to the insurance industry,” IIC explained in a press release on Tuesday.

The webinar features Paul Kovacs, author of the institute’s research report, Sharing Economy: Implications for the Insurance Industry in Canada. He will discuss research findings, changes that the sharing economy is expected to bring to the industry and recommendations identified in the report.

Among the recommendations in the report for industry:

  • Work with regulators to ensure that the “supervisory system” better supports innovation and flexibility by insurers to serve the needs of sharing providers while also protecting the public;
  • Prepare a “sharing economy readiness assessment” to identify how the industry will develop products, and choose wording that best suits the unconventional needs of sharing providers;
  • Partner with other stakeholders, including sharing organizations and governments, to better document the current and expected future state of the sharing economy in Canada;
  • Monitor and report on developments in the sharing economy in other jurisdictions around the world, including the availability of insurance and appropriate regulation of the sector; and
  • Prepare to respond to the direct challenges new competitors will direct toward established industry practices, including plans to directly challenge false statements.

Related: Sharing economy not fully served by insurance industry, but opportunity is there: Kovacs

Kovacs will be joined by Karim Hirji, senior vice president, international & ventures with Intact Financial Corporation and David McGown, senior vice president of strategic initiatives at the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Hirji will discuss how consumers’ expectations and demands are changing and how the industry will respond, the release said. McGown will “speak to navigating the sharing economy together as an industry” and poses the question “Is all disruption innovative?”

Other questions that the webinar will answer include: As Airbnb and Uber become mainstream, are we past the tipping point of disruption? Is more disruption expected as the sharing economy expands? With insurtech and peer-to-peer startups on the rise, is insurance as we know it ready to innovate too?

“The sharing economy is changing the way consumers conduct business, blurring the line between commercial and personal transactions, as well as redefining concepts of ownership,” said Peter Hohman, IIC president and CEO, in the release. “There is reason to believe that the sharing economy will continue to grow, and as it does, continue to disrupt industries. Our webinar, based on our research, provides a framework for discussion about the role the p&c industry can play in meeting both the opportunity and the threat.”

Sharing Economy: Implications for the Insurance Industry in Canada is the third in a series of Emerging Issues research reports by the institute. The first two publications dealt with the implications of cyber risks and automated vehicles on the insurance industry in Canada.

Webinar registration is available at

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