(Toronto, Ontario) Yesterday, the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) released a position paper in light of the Ontario Government’s 2017 Budget, specifically “that insurers offer a discount to policyholders who choose to receive documents electronically,” a requirement the government’s putting forth to ensure any savings are passed along to the consumer. Titled Electronic Communication with the Ontario Consumer, the paper outlines how insurance industry stakeholders can work with the broker channel to ensure their consumer value proposition is upheld.

“Insurance companies across Ontario are launching or have launched consumer service portals and mobile applications to provide their policyholders access to information electronically, including proof of insurance,” said IBAO President Traci Boland. “While we applaud these initiatives, we must ensure that the primary vehicle for electronic communication with consumers is provided by insurance brokers.”

“If accessed directly by consumers, insurance company solutions will lead to multiple avenues for individual consumer communication,” said IBAO CEO Colin Simpson. “Creating multiple access points for a single consumer to obtain electronic communications, including e-documents, could be detrimental to the Ontario consumer. Not only will it cause confusion if consumers have different company policies and avenues to access them, it’ll create a fragmented consumer experience and ultimately dilute the broker-consumer value proposition and collective broker brand.”

The position paper outlines the importance of the broker channel driving the digital experience with Ontario consumers: insurance company platforms must allow brokers the option of providing electronic documents through a broker-chosen solution – a component that’s imperative in providing consistent service models to consumers.

“We’re dedicated to finding solutions that efficiently deliver customer information the way customers want to receive it,” said Simpson. “We’re having many positive conversations with our insurance company partners on their consumer service strategies. More information will become available as we progress in these joint efforts.”

The position paper was created by IBAO’s Technology Committee – a group of technology-driven brokers across the province, and has full support by insurance broker associations across Canada.