November 23, 2021 by Jason Contant
Digitization efforts and consumer choice are at the top of Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) agenda, the association’s chief strategy officer said last week at an industry event.
“We essentially want to look at how does the consumer want to be served and what regulatory impediments are there stopping us from serving them in that way,” said Celyeste Power during KPMG’s 30th annual insurance conference last week.
For example, although many provinces allow digital proof of auto insurance, that’s not the case in every province across the country due to regulation, Power said. “We need to break down those rules and regulations, [and] be able to get the customer service the way they want it,” she said, whether that’s through a broker, agency, online, on paper or email. “And so, I think we have a bit more work to do there.”
The second major component of IBC’s agenda is consumer choice, Power reported.
“We do have a mandatory product on the auto insurance side,” she said. “But there’s a lot of other choices customers can make to make sure they have the right level of benefits after an accident, or to make sure if they own, on the property side, that they have the right level of flood coverage. We want to be able to offer customers more of that choice and make sure that we’re educating them in how to make those choices to make the best-informed decision.”
Power made her comments in response to a question from Peter Hughes, partner and national leader, customer practice at KPMG in Canada. “Anybody related to P&C is going to be very interested in what’s on your agenda,” Hughes said to Power during the panel discussion, Reimaging Customer Experience.
Power also noted that the P&C insurance industry in Canada has many human touch points (particularly around catastrophes) — from brokers and agents to adjusters, claims handlers, repair shop workers, and more. “And they go in with a level of empathy I have never experienced in any customer relationship,” she said.
So, while there is a lot of focus on innovation and digitization, it’s important that the human touch is not lost, particularly as companies move towards digitization.
“We can’t forget that human touch point. I don’t think it’s a negative,” she said. “I think it’s actually a huge strength of the industry. We don’t tell enough of the good stories about when it goes really well, we often just hear about the times when it may not have been what we wanted.”
Feature image by iStock.com/Jirsak