(Toronto, Ontario) The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) is making changes to invite newly created brokerages to join their membership. To better reflect the current range of brokerages in the province, the association is adding a new category to its membership fee structure for Startup Brokerages.

“This category was created to allow new brokerages to join the association at a reasonable cost while they grow their new business,” said IBAO CEO Colin Simpson. “Attracting new members is crucial. The IBAO is most effective when it represents the majority of our profession.”

IBAO Members approved the proposed change in a vote at last week’s Annual General Meeting and it is effective immediately. Over a three-year period, Startup Brokerages will gradually build up to paying the full membership rate while they develop. In the first three years of their membership, Startups will only be required to pay 25% of the going rate the first year, 50% in the second and 75% in the third moving to standard rates in the fourth year.

This initiative is designed to attract new entrants to the industry. To qualify, brokerages must meet the following requirements:

  • The brokerage must be newly registered with RIBO – within the past 24 months
  • The brokerage must be joining the association for the first time

Each qualifying brokerage will only receive the pricing incentive once, and the IBAO Board of Directors will have discretion in admitting members into this new category.

Three brokerages that meet the new criteria joined the association last year. Within IBAO’s research, the majority of the approximately 22 who did not join cited cost as their primary reason.

“Our hope is that this incentive will attract and retain these brokerages once they have experienced the true value of being a member of the association. Welcoming these newly created businesses as members will strengthen our collective voice and enable us to leverage their unique perspectives,” said IBAO President Brian Purcell.

For any brokerages that are interested in taking advantage of this new membership opportunity, please contact Brett Boadway at bboadway@ibao.on.ca.