(Toronto, Ontario) This morning, the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) announced that they will be hosting an Industry Strategy Meeting to address data connectivity. Company CEOs and CIOs in support of the IBAO’s BrokerFlow Proof of Concept – a key component of IBAO’s Roadmap for Broker Digital Enablement – have been invited to a strategy session May 24th.

“Data connectivity has plagued our industry for many years,” says IBAO CEO Colin Simpson. “In order to ensure that brokers and broker insurance companies can service their customers in the manner that the modern consumer demands, we need to evolve as an industry and work together to address our data connectivity hurdles.”

The IBAO and its Technology Committee have successfully obtained support from sixteen insurance
companies and all key broker technology vendors to support a Feasibility Study that addresses data connectivity in the industry. Participants represent approximately 85% of the Personal & Commercial Lines volume written through Ontario brokers and the vast majority of the technology vendors supporting that volume within the broker’s office.

“With over 90 insurance companies supporting the broker distribution channel in Ontario, it’s very refreshing to see so many parties agreeing to come together to address such a pivotal issue within our industry,” says IBAO Chair Traci Boland. “More than ever before, there’s a need and opportunity for us to work together to look for a solution to improve the end customer experience. The timing in the industry for us to align is now – collectively we must continue down the path to service consumers digitally.”

The Broker Flow Feasibility Study is due to run until mid-May. Over the last few weeks, the IBAO has successfully established data exchange from a subset of the group of participating insurance companies and broker technology vendors using their existing data services. Additional carriers and vendors from the group are expected to be added in the coming days.

“Through simple mapping, we can have all of our broker carriers participate in this data connectivity initiative,” said Simpson. “For brokers, it’s critical that all markets are able to participate in order to facilitate the change necessary to effectively service consumers digitally. IBAO continues to support the adoption of CSIO Standards. We need to ensure data connectivity is achievable for all market participants within a reasonable timeframe in order to address modern consumer demands. We are very much looking forward to our discussions and thank all participating companies for their time and effort in supporting this very worthwhile endeavour.”