By: Luke Jones, Published on May 23, 2018 02:56 PM, Last Update on May 23, 2018 11:59 AM
45% of all personal insurance in Canada is written by the broker channel, emphasizing the important role brokers play in the market. Tech companies understand this importance and some rely solely on brokers.
For example, Jeff Purdy, senior Vice President of international operations for Applied Systems explained "our only business is broker". Purdy was speaking at the Applied Systems Executive Symposium last Tuesday when he added "We don’t have a Plan B. If broker or agent distribution is not the channel of choice for the consumer, that’s not good for Applied.”
While the demise of the brokers in the face of advancing technology has long been mooted, the channel in Canada remains healthy. Those predictions of less reliance on brokers better describe situations in the UK and US, but Canada has a robust broker network.
In the U.K. And US markets, the broker coverage is "somewhere in the 30s" for the United Kingdom and "probably low 30s for the United States, Purdy explained.
"We’re a little bit agnostic about who the insurers connect to, and then we will provide professional services to actually map the data into and out of their back-end system,” Purdy said. “If they use that software, [and] it connects to our competitors, we have no issue at all with that actually. It’s for the benefit of broker distribution. Our role in the value chain is to enable our broker customers to connect to their insured and enable their insureds to interact with them in the way that the insured wants to.”
At the symposium, Applied Systems launched a new online tool for brokers. Called IVANS Exchange, the solution gives independent brokers tools to manage connections by viewing, tracking, and reporting.
Key capabilities of the tool include:
* Connections Report: A personalized report enables brokerages to review download connections that are inactive or have yet to be activated, as well as identify available download opportunities. Updated daily with the latest insurer download offerings, brokerages can customize the report to:
* indicate available lines of business of interest for future download;
* mark lines of business that are not currently available from select insurers, but would be of interest once available; and
* note lines of business that a brokerage is choosing to not download.
* Single policy resend: Brokerages can quickly find and resend policies that have already been downloaded, and resend multiple policies at once directly through the application.
* Access to archived download files: With 90 days of automatic data archiving, brokerages are protected even if their system is down for an extended period of time. Download data is picked up from the CSIO server and stored in the app.