November 27, 2017 by David Gambrill, Editor-in-Chief
Monica Kuzyk, president of the Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association (CIAA), talked to Canadian Underwriter Monday about the most significant issues facing Canadian insurance adjusters going into 2018. Here is her list of Top 3 issues facing adjusters today:
Keeping up with rapid change
Canadian insurers are rapidly changing product offerings and how they are doing business, and keeping up to date is a top issue facing independent insurance adjusters going forward into 2018, says Monica Kuzyk, president of the Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association (CIAA).
“I think the pace of change with the carriers is incredible,” Kuzyk told Canadian Underwriter. “I think they are transforming, and I think as adjusters we need to be ready to respond with speed and agility along with them.”
To partner with insurers effectively, adjusters should be thinking about aligning their professional skills and knowledge alongside with emerging trends facing the p&c industry. “We need to develop talent and skills to deal with claims associated with autonomous vehicles, and smart homes and highly connected and integrated commercial risk,” Kuzyk said.
Adjusters must also think ahead to the future composition of the workforce in the property and casualty insurance sector.
“A diverse workforce today includes things like robots – it includes Aviva’s ‘Alexa,’ it includes artificial intelligence or AI,” Kuzyk said. “AI is a new area for adjusters and all claims professionals; we need to begin to build partnerships so we can connect into carrier systems and look to supplement that carrier experience that they are looking for in that environment. Technology has a huge place in the future and we need to be able to stay ahead of that.”
Licensing for better mobility across Canada
Mobility is the second top issue facing Canadian insurance adjusters. With the increase in catastrophic events such as the 2016 wildfire that devastated Fort McMurray, Alta., adjusters need to move between Canadian provinces quickly without licensing impediments.
“At the time of [a catastrophic claims event], you want to get people out there quickly,” Kuzyk said. “You want to get the right people with the right expertise out there quickly, and the last thing they should be worried about is whether their license is going to be recognized.”
Kuzyk applauded a recent move in the Atlantic provinces to harmonize licensing regimes for a quicker response to cat events across the eastern Canadian provinces. “The Maritimes have harmonized, for the purposes of cat, a quick expedited licensing so that they can get adjusters ready at the time of cat, so I think there’s now an appetite there to have a conversation [about harmonization].”
Mental Health Issues in Times of Crisis
Kuzyn said it’s important to remember the emotional, physical and mental strain on insurance adjusters as the frequency of extreme weather events increases the number of claims catastrophes in Canada.
“Particularly at a time of cat [response], adjusters are performing under immense pressure,” she said. “Every day, for long periods of time—days and weeks—adjusters are witnessing misery and grief for extended periods of time. They are exposed to threats such as smoke, mould, and in some cases with commercial risks, ammonia, for extended periods of time.
“There is no rest during catastrophic events. There is no Saturday or Sunday. And policyholders don’t want to wait for you to get back to work on Monday. They are in trouble and they need you to be there.”
Kuzyk said it’s important to raise awareness about mental health issues so that employers have the proper support programs in place.