Brokers of all sizes can embrace innovative technology says IBC executive

Published: August 20, 2018

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The broker network is a fabric of the Canadian insurance industry covering brokerages that are large, small, and everything in between. Some smaller brokers may believe that discussions on embracing technology are reserved for larger businesses, but the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) insists brokers of all sizes can embrace innovation.

George Hodgson, chief executive officer for the IBC in Alberta, told Insurance Business brokers throughout Canada provide a backbone to the insurance industry. When looking towards technology, companies of all sizes should embrace the challenges presented.

Technology is both a challenge and an opportunity for Canadian brokers,” said Hodgson. “Investing in new technology can turn out very expensive, which can be particularly challenging for smaller brokerages. For example, in Alberta the average size of our brokerages is 10 people or less. They don’t all have the investment dollars to make huge technology advancements. 

“But there are ways small brokerages can use technology to boost their growth and their presence in the marketplace. I recently had a conversation with a local broker after a technology seminar in Saskatchewan and the broker said: ‘This is not for me.’ I replied: ‘This is more for you than anybody. You’ve saturated the small community you’re in, so why don’t you use technology to reach out for opportunities in larger communities?’ That’s where technology and things like social media become so important.”

Hodgson is in a good position to offer his opinion as a judge on the Insurance Business Canada Awards 2018. As part of the judging process, Hodgson will look at how brokerages have embraced technological changes in the industry.

“This is my third year as a judge for the Insurance Business Canada Awards and I can honestly say the thing that stands out and stays with me is just how strong the submissions are. It makes my role as a judge really quite hard,” Hodgson told Insurance Business. “Generally, only the best brokerages apply for things like this, but what I would say is that there are tons of smaller brokerages in Canada, who might be leaders in the broker community but don’t necessarily get recognition for their work. Brokers don’t like to blow their own horns. I think it’s unfortunate because sometimes we should celebrate our achievements.”