Author Archives: IBAO

  1. Ontario Brokers Raise $21,000 for the True Patriot Love Foundation

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    (Toronto, Ontario) The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) raised $21,000 in support of the True Patriot Love Foundation – a national charity that assists military families, funds community-based programs and contributes to the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research. The fundraiser took place at the IBAO Awards of Excellence Gala celebrating top performing brokers and brokerages as part of its 97th Annual Convention.

    “We wanted to pay tribute to the tragic event that took place the last time we hosted our Convention in Ottawa in 2014,” said IBAO President Traci Boland. “A Canadian soldier was fatally shot at the National War Memorial. It was a heartbreaking incident that deeply affected all of us. The fundraiser we held this year was in honour of the fallen soldier and his family, military families and Veterans across the country.”

    Currently there are over 700,000 Veterans and Veteran families in Canada. Every year about 5,000 soldiers leave the service and join them. Since 2009, True Patriot Love has supported over 20,000 military families, provided 7,500 hours of peer-to-peer counselling for transitioning Veterans and invested $500,000 to create a virtual reality therapy program for Veterans living with Post-Traumatic Stress.

    “We’re so grateful to the IBAO and to everyone who supported this important cause. Together, we can help change the lives of these brave men and women and work towards ensuring that military members, Veterans and their families receive the support they need and deserve,” said Bronwen Evans, Founding Director & CEO, True Patriot Love. “The road to recovery for a family dealing with an operational stress injury, like Post-Traumatic Stress, can be a long journey requiring a lifetime of support. We hope to remind Canadians that our service men and women, in volunteering to serve our great nation, have signed an unlimited liability contract.”

    “I want to thank everyone who contributed to this important cause,” said Boland. “With your support we were able to truly come together to honour the contributions and sacrifices of our soldiers and make a positive impact towards the well-being of our military and Veteran families.”

  2. IBAO Pilots Digital Awareness Campaign

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    In last year’s member survey, enhancing awareness of the broker channel was identified as the largest gap and greatest opportunity to increase member value. We agree there remains a percentage of the population that’s unaware or unclear of the broker value proposition.

    As part of our strategic plan we’re creating an environment that puts brokers at the forefront. We’ve launched a pilot campaign that leverages a new website – – to promote the broker channel and position it as the best choice for consumers.

    The site features relevant insurance information, client testimonials and a broker locator, and will expand to incorporate consumer-facing blogs that can be shared and repurposed. Other components of the campaign include a dedicated Facebook page and a number of landing pages that support search, display and social advertising. They target specific segments of the population to identify which should become of greater focus for our official campaign launch in 2018.

    In the meantime, please share any initial feedback you may have or request to have your brokerage details updated within the site.

  3. Top Ontario Brokers Recognized at 97th IBAO Annual Convention

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    (Toronto, ON) Last night, the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) acknowledged top performing brokers and brokerages throughout the province at their annual Awards of Excellence Gala. The event was held on the opening night of the association’s 97th Annual Convention at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa. With over 500 guests in attendance, it was one of the highest-attended galas in IBAO Convention history.

    “Coming together to celebrate outstanding achievement throughout the broker channel is something I look forward to every year,” said IBAO President Traci Boland. “There’s such incredible talent across our membership that deserves wide recognition and praise. I want to congratulate all finalists for their accomplishments – it’s truly inspiring to see.”

    Congratulations to the 2017 IBAO Awards of Excellence winners:


    The London Insurance Brokers Association (LIBA)

    LIBA’s involvement in the community, meetings, social events and activities keep their 300+ members engaged throughout the year. The association hosts a Free Education Day every year where members are invited to attend RIBO-approved seminars. They’ve proven not only to be committed to promoting young brokers through initiates like Meet the Grad which allow for outstanding recognition and networking opportunities, but to giving back to the community by participating in ongoing fundraisers, charity events and some of their own initiatives such as the LIBA Charity Fund.


    Ashley Holmes, Roughley Insurance Brokers

    Ashley’s proven her commitment to revolutionizing a 70 year-old brokerage by implementing key initiatives to bring the business in line with today’s market. With these changes Roughley Insurance experienced a sales increase of 25% and client retention of over 95%. Amongst her many initiatives was a VIP Program that resulted in an increase in referrals, the integration of numerous software and technology initiatives to digitalize the brokerage and an investment in hiring recent graduates. In the span of a decade, Ashley has gone from Administrative Assistant to Operations Manager at Roughley Insurance Brokers.


    Josslin Insurance

    Josslin Insurance helped develop the Real Insurance App – a client-facing solution that moves data directly from Broker Management Software and improves service and interaction between brokers and their clients. Their vision was to offer a unique, personalized experience for their customers. They were involved in all aspects of the app’s design, from its initial development stages in the DMZ incubator at Ryerson, through to completion and launch. As a result of these initiatives, Josslin is looking to achieve a dedicated client base by offering meaningful services through personalized, digital communication.


    BrokerTeam Insurance Group

    BrokerTeam consistently participates in a wide range of events and activities that transpire into a great sense of comradeship for newcomers and the general public. Their mandate to serve and meet the needs of the GTA’s multi-cultural population has allowed them to expand and aid in the success of their own individual producers: CoreService, who offer services to a vast Korean community; and PrimeService, the largest Persian brokerage in Ontario. BrokerTeam operates in 14 different languages and were the first Ontario brokerage to partner with CAA Insurance.

  4. What should be done with Ontario Auto Insurance?

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    Ontario’s auto insurance is the most expensive in the country. What is causing this? What can be done?

    At next week’s BIP Talks event at Convention David Marshall, the Ontario Ministry of Finance Adviser on Auto Insurance, and Don Forgeron, President & CEO of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, will discuss the Ontario Auto insurance system.

    Our speakers gave us a preview of what to expect.

    Don, in one word, what is the status of the Ontario auto insurance product today?

    DON: Broken.

    In your opinion, why is it important that the brokers come to hear your presentation?

    DON: David Marshall’s report is a comprehensive diagnosis of what’s wrong with auto insurance in Ontario. It provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity for product reform and shows us a path forward. He’ll be speaking about his vision for a vastly reformed Ontario auto insurance system – one that finally works for consumers, your customers. 

    Without giving away any of the good stuff you’re going to share on stage at the IBAO Convention, what is one interesting piece of information you want the brokers to know about the future of Ontario auto insurance?

    DON: Ontario’s auto insurance product is once again not sustainable. We’ve run out of Band-Aids for the current system. While accident rates are falling, claim costs continue to rise. David Marshall credits this in part to leakage in the system: Each year about one-third of benefit costs, approximately $1.4 billion, go toward competing expert opinions and legal services – instead of paying for the treatment of injured people. If we can’t collectively find a way to eliminate inefficiencies and abuse from the system, costs will continue to rise.

    David, how have you enjoyed your experience working on this project thus far? 

    DAVID: This project has been one of the most enjoyable and productive I have ever worked on. The subject matter is complex and I felt I was learning something new every day. I opened my door to anyone who wanted to talk to me and I met so many smart, fascinating people.

    What have been the most enjoyable components of the project? 

    DAVID: Working on the project was like solving a giant puzzle. Each day I would take the pieces of information I had gathered and try and fit them together. At first, it seemed there would never be a solution to the puzzle but then gradually over the summer and fall of last year, a picture began to emerge. That was an exciting time. I worked many hours putting the picture into words which eventually became my report. The best part is that I feel I got to know so many good, smart people in the course of the work and maybe I have also contributed to a better understanding of how to solve the problems that have plagued us for a long time.

    You can hear more on October 25th in Ottawa. If you haven’t already, there’s still time to register for Convention.

  5. IBAO Announces 2017 Awards of Excellence Finalists

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    (Toronto, Ontario) The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) is excited to announce the 2017 Awards of Excellence finalists across all categories: Affiliate, Young Broker, Innovator and Brokerage of the Year. Winners will be revealed at the Awards of Excellence Gala Wednesday, October 25th at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa during the 97th Annual IBAO Convention.

    “We celebrate top performing brokers and brokerages every year by recognizing and honouring their achievement,” said IBAO President Traci Boland. “High achievers deserve recognition, whether they’ve elevated the broker channel or given back to their communities in extraordinary ways. Our members are some of the highest caliber – it’s our job to spread the word.”

    Candidates were evaluated by an independent panel of judges representing insurance company reps and consumers.

    Congratulations to this year’s IBAO Awards of Excellence finalists:

    Insurance Brokers Association of Hamilton
    London Insurance Brokers Association
    Ottawa Insurance Brokers Association

    Ashley Holmes, Roughley Insurance Brokers
    Eric Mak, BrokerTeam Insurance Group
    Shahin Shawn Shirdarreh, BrokerTeam Insurance Group

    Josslin Insurance

    BrokerTeam Insurance Group
    Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers
    Petley Hare

    Tickets are available for the Awards of Excellence Gala at

  6. Why Brokers Should Get Started in Commercial Lines

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    MSA research shows that brokers remain dominant in commercial lines, but direct writers have taken over about half of the personal lines business. Now is the ideal time for a broker to build up their commercial production and service and become a trusted advisor to their business clients.

    For brokers who want to take that next step into commercial lines, it can be tough to know where to begin. Getting Started in Commercial Lines is intended to be brokers’ entry point into commercial insurance. This four-part webinar series is taught by fan-favourite facilitator, Jo Anne Mitchell, CIP. Each module in this series covers a topic crucial to understanding commercial lines risks and coverages:

    • Module 1 – Risk Management
    • Module 2 – Building Construction Property
    • Module 3 – Property Insurance
    • Module 4 – General Liability

    Jo Anne especially recommends the course to newly licensed brokers pursuing positions in commercial lines, as well as any broker working in personal lines looking to transition to the commercial side of the business.

    “The knowledge and skills you will gain by attending this webinar series will help you position yourself as the ‘go to’ broker for business insurance needs in the minds of your commercial lines clients,” said Jo Anne.

    Jo Anne brings over 30 years of industry experience and more than 25 years as a trainer to the Commercial Lines Series. She is known for her enthusiastic and interactive teaching style.

    “I started teaching in a classroom and I always tried to be as engaging as possible,” said Jo Anne. “So, when I began facilitating webinars it was important to me to make the webinars I facilitate as interactive as possible.”

    The modules can be taken individually, though brokers will get the most out of them if they are taken sequentially. For each module you complete you will earn two Technical Hours, for a total of eight Technical Hours.

  7. IBAO Convention to Live Stream CEO Panel

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    (Toronto, Ontario) The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) continues to evolve the offerings of its annual Convention, to be held at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa this year. IBAO will offer a live webcast of their popular CEO Panel. The event will take place on October 26th from 9:00AM–12:00PM.

    Last year IBAO introduced a new format for their Panel: CEOs took part in one-on-one conversations instead of a traditional panel discussion. Each CEO was asked questions specific to their company in addition to questions submitted live by brokers. After a very positive response, this year will follow a similar format.

    Also returning from last year, author and former journalist Jim Harris will act as moderator. This year’s panel will include:

     * Rowan Saunders, President + CEO, Economical Insurance
     * Heidi Sevcik, President + CEO, Gore Mutual
     * Jean-François Blais, President, Intact Insurance
     * Martin Thompson, President + CEO, RSA

    Questions will revolve around recent mergers and acquisitions across the market, consumer trends, technology, brokerage ownership, broker distribution and lessons learned from going direct. “This year we have a lot to celebrate,” said IBAO President Traci Boland. “But we want to address company strategy and learn how brokers can better align with these valued markets. It’s coming together but it’s what’s next, how do we keep the momentum and where do we go from here as an industry, together.”

    The CEO Panel will open with an address from incoming IBAO President Brian Purcell, Owner of James Purcell Insurance. Purcell’s been involved with the IBAO Executive for the past 2 years and the IBAO Board of Directors 4 years prior; he will officially begin his presidency January 2018.

    The webcast is $125 for IBAO Members, $50 for additional viewers and $250 for Non-Members. Brokers will earn 3 Management Hours for attending the event in-person or viewing the webcast on October 26th.

    Details about registering for the webcast can be found here. More information about the IBAO Convention is available at

  8. Go for Broker — New Brokers Offer Insights

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    Why would someone want to be a broker? We had the chance to hear from a group of new brokers about what drew them to the field.

    Nancy Outwater and and Michelle O’Leary-Brunton of Allen Insurance Group brought some of their newest recruits to the IBAO office as part of a tour to provide a broader sense of the industry. Though the trip was meant to give the brokers context, it was also a great opportunity for us to get to know them.

    The recent grads were within their first six months on the job, but they already have a clear sense of purpose. The most common refrain among them was that they chose this career to help people. A young broker, Shannon, joked that she came from a family of nurses, but since she couldn’t see herself in that profession, this was a great alternative.

    “My passion lies in trying to see how I can make the customer’s life better,” said Simone, the newest of the group.

    Another broker, Victoria, was in financial services, but decided to become a broker after a career defining moment. She had sold debt protection insurance to a young family, who hadn’t planned on purchasing it. When tragedy struck the family a short time later, they were covered, thanks to her intervention.

    “Building relationships with the customer is the most important part of the job,” said Melody, a third generation broker.

    Many of the new brokers said they chose their role because it was a career they can grow into over the long term. They were attracted by the potential for growth and the opportunity for specialization. For them, the career represents both stability and room for innovation. New broker Matt, mentioned that he would like to focus on the burgeoning need for insurance to protect people’s digital assets — even while speculating about technology, the conversation was focused on how they could best assist their clients.

    The new brokers then had a chance to hear from Colin Simpson, IBAO CEO. Following his summary of IBAO’s services, the new brokers got to ask about their particular areas of interest. They discussed the insurance implications of driverless cars, the in-the-works paperless insurance discount and value they could get from earning their CAIB designation. The common thread of all their questions was their excitement about their future in insurance. We’re glad to have such an enthusiastic, caring group adding to our industry.

    Thank you to Nancy and Michelle for organizing the event and everyone from Allen Insurance Group who visited our office — a trend we hope will continue as many new brokers join the industry.