Canadian Underwriter

Will brokers have a one-stop shop for MGAs?

February 23, 2022   by Jason Contant

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The Canadian Association of Managing General Agents (CAMGA) is looking at using a technology platform that will make it easier for brokers to deal with MGAs.

“CAMGA’s currently in the exploratory process of building a platform that will make it even easier and more efficient for brokers to deal with MGAs,” reports CAMGA president MaryKate Townsend. “The idea would be that with just one quick click, brokers across Canada are able to submit the client application to every MGA writing that exact class of risk.

“So no longer will brokers have to search which MGA writes what, or have so many different conversations just for that one client. The entire MGA channel will be at the doorstep of all brokers in Canada,” Townsend said earlier this month at a Property Casualty Underwriters Club event, The Role of CAMGA and MGAs in the Insurance Industry.

Townsend says such a one-stop shop would help take out some of the legwork on the broker side, particularly for those who may have to figure out which MGA to source for business. There is a need to redirect one submission, she says. “So, it’s just going to really strip out all of [those] extra emails that I really don’t need in my day.”

MaryKate Townsend speaking at PCUC event

MaryKate Townsend, CAMGA president, speaking at a Property Casualty Underwriters Club event.

She points to what the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO) has been building, where brokers can go in and submit one application to different carriers. “Nobody’s really overseen it and said, ‘Well, you know if we all are working for the same purpose, why don’t we just try to do this one way and make it easy on everybody?’ That need has arisen.”

Townsend notes some MGAs prefer to use their own applications, while others will use any application. For example, Townsend, who is also senior underwriter and manager of Pacific Marine Underwriting Managers’ eastern Canada region, works out of Applied Epic (a broker platform), while other underwriters may use Guidewire.

Standardization could also allow brokers to focus on more high-risk or detailed underwriting forms, where more touchpoints are involved. Using application programming interfaces (APIs) is another possibility to streamline the process for brokers.

As the role of MGAs evolve, so too does the need for technology, Townsend says. “We’re seeing an implementation of artificial intelligence as a tool for simplifying the application process, [and] managing submissions at both the broker levels and [for] underwriters,” she says. “Developments are being made in data management systems for MGAs as we all have unique needs that differ from company to company.”


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