P&C in Canada needs regulatory backing to innovate says IBC CEO

Published: October 27, 2016

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry is losing pace and needs a regulatory system that promotes innovation and responds to customer needs. That’s the view of Don Forgeron, president and CEO of Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), who was speaking on Tuesday at IBC’s 16th Annual Regulatory Affairs Symposium.

Forgeron’s comments come days after he lambasted the Ontario auto insurance industry as broken and in need of a fix. Turning his attention to P&C throughout Canada, he said regulatory measures need to change.

“We’re losing on the pace issue and I think that will bite us almost as much as regulation itself,” Forgeron remarked during a Q&A session following the panel discussion, the State of Market Conduct Regulation.

“It’s not that debates aren’t important and the issues aren’t real and there aren’t regulatory issues that need to be discussed,” he emphasized to attendees. “We’re just moving too slow.”

He adds “the pace at which things are changing out there. I don’t know what the threat is, and I don’t know what aspect of our business is most at risk, but somebody or someone is going to come along at some point, as Uber did, and create a need with consumers and they will not be playing by the same rules that we are,” Forgeron warned.

That disruptor will “ingratiate themselves with consumers to the point that consumers will demand regulators do something to allow for that to take place,” he predicted.

“We don’t have the luxury of doing it right and doing it too late,” he emphasized.

Forgeron added that creating a regulatory system for insurance companies thrive is essential, and not currently having one “is a very real issue.”

The need to innovate and transform – and a regulatory framework that allows insurers to do so – “is a very real issue” for the industry, Forgeron suggested.