(Toronto, ON) On Thursday, May 24th the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) hosted an Industry Strategy Meeting to work through solutions on an industry-wide data connectivity model. The meeting, led by IBAO CEO Colin Simpson, IBAO Chair Traci Boland and members of IBAO’s Technology Committee — Adam Mitchell, Rick Orr and Jeff Roy — was held to discuss the BrokerFlow solution, coordinate efforts with industry leaders and reach consensus on a path forward.

“This is a pivotal time in our industry. In order for us to reduce the risk of outside competition, tangible progress on digital consumer service capability through the broker network must be made — now,” said Boland.

The IBAO has been developing the blueprint for an industry solution over the past year. Following in-depth research with insurers, tech vendors and a number of industry stakeholders, the discussion encompasses a centralized data translation service that allows brokers and insurers to connect with existing data capabilities, facilitating real-time transactions. This solution would better enable effective digital service for consumers and benefit all players in the industry.

“In order to service modern customers in the manner they choose, we need to evolve our digital capability as an industry,” said Simpson. “We’re trying to create critical mass to do just that.”

The presentation made clear that a solution is required in the immediate term to evolve the broker value proposition while companies move toward the adoption of industry data standards. Representatives from the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada, CSIO, 18 leading insurers, all major Broker Management System and third-party technology vendors involved in broker/consumer digital connectivity participated in Thursday’s forum.

“The broker channel has an important role to play in advancing connectivity solutions and encouraging insurance carriers and partners to make strategic decisions regarding the technology path that is best for them,” said Peter Braid, CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC). “We look forward to working with IBAO as this project proceeds to the next phase.”

It was clear that the IBAO and the industry as a whole are committed to keeping the momentum going. Next steps will begin immediately, with the IBAO forming a project team of industry stakeholders to determine the scope and viability of the BrokerFlow solution.

“Gaining this industry-wide support is a key step in obtaining critical mass in data connectivity,” said Simpson. “It will directly enhance the ability for brokers to deliver meaningful digital service to their clients through existing technology. Thank you to all participating companies for their time and ongoing efforts on this solution. We’re always overwhelmed by the amount of support we receive from insurers, vendors and partners.”