(Toronto, Ontario) The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) shared an important message in their recent webcast Electronic Communication with Customers: Horizons for Brokers.

“This isn’t just about the automation of liability cards,” said IBAO CEO Colin Simpson. “We’re at a tipping point. Brokers’ response to this change in the marketplace will lay the foundation for the future development of consumer service in Ontario.”

In their April budget, the Ontario Government announced the introduction of electronic liability cards and discounts if consumers choose to receive documentation electronically:

Distributing documents electronically, including proof of insurance and other documents such as policy renewals will enhance consumer convenience and result in savings for insurance companies. To ensure these savings are passed along to the consumer, the government will require that insurers offer a discount to policyholders who choose to receive documents electronically.

Although the introduction of electronic liability cards is currently expected toward the end of this fall, full details have yet to be disclosed.

Said Simpson: “Consumer interests are the foundation of every Ontario broker’s business. Our members are proactively responding to changing consumer needs by ensuring their businesses are ready to support both of these initiatives.”

Earlier this year, the IBAO set up a Technology Committee, a group of leading brokers within the technology space with a mandate to enhance a broker’s ability to respond to changing consumer needs through effective development and use of technology within Ontario. The initial step was an industry position paper Electronic Communication with the Ontario Consumer to provide guidance in the marketplace. It was issued in May with the full support of all insurance broker associations across the country.

Mid-July, the IBAO hosted a webcast for brokers and industry partners outlining existing technology solutions and implementation steps. Additional training sessions have been scheduled with vendors to ensure brokers have the most up-to-date information on how to prepare their businesses for the coming market changes.

The IBAO continues to work with multiple insurance partners to ensure full collaboration across the industry.

“It’s imperative we’re all working toward the same goal,” said Simpson. “We must ensure brokers have what they need to service consumers electronically. Although there are only a few months for brokers to adapt their business models, there’s wide support across the industry to ensure it’s done efficiently and effectively. We’ll continue to work with all stakeholders, government officials, insurers, technology vendors and in particular our members to ensure we create a clear roadmap on how we as an industry can and should work together to ensure consumer needs are taken care of.”

Recently, IBAO member Josslin Insurance launched a new BMS-integrated client app providing access to coverage details, proof of insurance and the ability to chat with a broker, request changes and report claims.

“Engaging clients how they want to be engaged and providing them with more meaningful experiences is what Josslin’s all about,” said Josslin Insurance Partner Scott Wagler. “It was only a matter of time before electronic proof of insurance was legalised. Now that there’s incentive built in for consumers, it’s crucial we adapt our brokerage business models to provide this service and continually think of other ways to enhance our businesses.”

Adds Simpson: “Electronic proof of communication and document delivery is only the beginning.”

Recording of Electronic Communication with Customers: Horizons for Brokers Webcast: http://www.www.ibao.org/education/e-learning/
Info Sheets: Vendor Table + Vendor Handouts