Publications mail agreement #43155015
2021 IBAS ANNUAL REPORT | SPECIAL INSERT INSIDE
www.ibas.ca Volume 2, Issue 4 | Fall 2021
Looking after one another for 125 years. In 1896, twenty farmers got together to look after each other and their communities. 125 years later, this still holds true.
SASKATOON’S RESTORATION COMPANY
IBAS IS PLEASED TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOUR MEMBER BROKERS WHO HAVE DEDICATED THEIR CAREERS TO SERVING THE INSURANCE BROKERAGE INDUSTRY Congratulations to the recipients of the Broker Service Award for 2021 In 1997, an award was created to show our appreciation to individuals who have a minimum 30 years of service. • • • • •
Susan Nakonechny, Balcarres Agencies Ltd. Amanda Crashley, Panter Agencies Ltd. Trish Shewchuk, Shewchuk Insurance Ltd. Tracey Tarnowski, Knight Archer Insurance Ltd. Jacqueline Niedermaier, Affinity Insurance Services Meadow Lake Inc. • Lynne Bergen, HUB International Insurance Brokers
• • • • • • •
Debbie Burkart, Campbell & Haliburton Insurance Ltd Kelly Mochoruk, Dusyk & Barlow Insurance Brokers Ltd. Barb Oltean Milligan, Harvard Western Insurance Shelley Banda, Cherry Insurance Ltd. Cindy Watson, Cherry Insurance Ltd. Claude Tournier, Riverside Agencies / Long Lake Insurance Wayne Steen, Steen Agencies Inc.
Congratulations Canadian Accredited Insurance Brokers Graduates IBAS is proud to introduce the largest CAIB graduating class in Saskatchewan history. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Wendy Allingham, Big Sky Agencies Ltd. Anthony Aspaas, Melville Agencies (1974) Ltd. Eliza Belke, Carnduff Agencies (2015) Inc. Braden Bentz, Raymore Agencies Ltd. Ranelle Boehm, Lakeview Insurance Brokers Tia Bossaer, OASIS - Outdoor Adventure & Sports Insurance Solutions Inc. Rebecca Brigham, Western Finacial Group Ltd. Kayla Brown, Harvard Western Insurance Cary Brunett, HUB International Insurance Brokers Quinton Chastkiewicz, Westland Insurance Group Ltd. Blaine Chrest, HUB International Insurance Brokers Fitzroy Christey, HUB International Insurance Brokers Lea Chua, Westland Insurance Group Ltd. Randall Clay, Alvena Insurance Agency (1983) Ltd. Carter Coben, McCabe Insurance Services Ltd. Jennifer Currie, Westland Insurance Group Ltd. Michael Daher, Henderson Insurance Inc. Steve Demchuk, Knight Archer Insurance Ltd. Lauren Edwards, Green Teal Insurance Brokers Ltd. Caitlin Enns, Lakeview Insurance Brokers Brett Estey, Knight Archer Insurance Ltd. Mellissa Fitzpatrick, W. W. Smith Insurance Ltd. Samantha Frankiewitz, Henderson Insurance Inc. Thomas Froshaug, Coronach Agencies (2004) Ltd. Hayley Gibson, Lakeview Insurance Brokers Kaelah Gratton, Westland Insurance Group Ltd. Kristi Green, Cornet Agencies Inc. Jasmine Green, PCCU Insurance Ltd. Alex Grolle, Westland Insurance Group Ltd. Sheree Ann Gutierrez-Ramos, Western Finacial Group Ltd. Dustin Halvorson, Henderson Insurance Inc. Julie Hobenshield, EMTA Agencies Ltd.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Desiray Holland, Westland Insurance Group Ltd. Jared Hummel, TSA Insurance Ltd. o/a Proven Insurance Thomas Jackson, Bora Insurance Brokers Ltd. Stacey Johnson, Northern Lights Insurance Ltd. Sarah Johnston, Knight Archer Insurance Ltd. Ryan Kennedy, Cornerstone Insurance Services Inc. Matthew Kuhling, Aon Reed Stenhouse Annabelle Lopez, Cooke Agencies Ltd. Karen Lysholm, Al Hattie Insurance Brooklyn Malesh, Coronach Agencies (2004) Ltd. Pamela McDonald, St. Brieux Agencies Riley McRae, Butler Byers Insurance Ltd. Amanda Nasby, Westland Insurance Group Ltd. Tyrone Neufeld, Lakeview Insurance Brokers Wanda Newans, Western Finacial Group Ltd. Mark Niemegeers, Loewen Agencies Ltd. Matthew Pitts, Henderson Insurance Inc. Eldo Poliyaprayil Mathew, Westland Insurance Group Ltd. Krista Powell, Aon Reed Stenhouse Kylie Raven, Westland Insurance Group Ltd. Rochelle Riecken, Henderson Insurance Inc. Kelby Russell, Western Finacial Group Ltd. Jessica Schick, Westland Insurance Group Ltd. Kassandra Schultz, Westland Insurance Group Ltd. Erin Siebert, CAA Saskatchewan General Insurance Agency Craig Thompson, Thompson Agencies Ltd. Glennis Tony, OASIS - Outdoor Adventure & Sports Insurance Solutions Inc. Bonnie Upshall, Lakeview Insurance Brokers Krista Vancha, CAA Saskatchewan General Insurance Agency Catlyn Wonsul, Dusyk & Barlow Insurance Brokers Ltd. Bobbee-Jo Wood, Judy Johnston Insurance Services Inc. Samantha Zaporozen, Allan Agencies (1976) Ltd.
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INSURANCE BROKERS ASSOCIATION OF SASKATCHEWAN 2631 – 28th Avenue, Suite 305 Regina SK S4S 6X3 Phone: 306-525-5900 www.ibas.ca Derek Lothian President & CEO 306-525-4075 firstname.lastname@example.org
IN THIS ISSUE
2020-21 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dave Pettigrew (Chair) Harvard Western Insurance
IBAS 2020-21 Annual Report
Dave Reidy (Vice Chair) Henderson Insurance
IBAS provides a comprehensive report on the fiscal year, including updates from Board Chair Dave Pettigrew and important milestones in the 2020 – 23 strategic plan: Bold Progress. Sustainable Value.
Sarah Edwards (Secretary-Treasurer) Bora Insurance Brokers Jason Galon Galon Insurance Brokers Jaycee Turtle Lakeview Insurance Brokers
Industry in transition
CEO of MSA Research, CatIQ and Northwind Professional Institute, Joel Baker, fills us in on hard market conditions, Q3 financial results, tech disruption, and an ominous report on climate change from the United Nations.
Keith Jordan HUB International Nicole Korpusik Norquay Agencies Jenna Dusyk (EBC Observer) Dusyk & Barlow Insurance Brokers
Land of the living (unpredictable) skies
Large portions of Saskatchewan wrapped up summer with a damaging storm, totaling $120 million in insured damages. SaskBroker Magazine takes a look at the history of hail in Saskatchewan and how different organizations are approaching the data.
National Priorities The National Voice of Insurance Brokers
Editor’s Notebook It’s not more things, it’s the right things
Industry Insights Canola’s long and successful history
Special Announcement IBAS’s largest donation yet as part of the 2021 #BrokersCare Campaign for Mental Health.
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
PUBLICATION CONTACTS For editorial inquiries: Nicole Sinclair Editor, SaskBroker Magazine 306-525-4078 email@example.com For advertising inquiries: 1-877-880-3392 firstname.lastname@example.org Published and designed by RL Media Services © Copyright 2021, RL Media Services. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of the publisher.
Publications mail agreement #43155015 Return undeliverable Canadian copies to the IBAS office via the address above. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in and the reliability of the source, the publisher in no way guarantees nor warrants the information and is not responsible for errors, omissions or statements made by advertisers. Opinions and recommendations made by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher, its directors, officers, or employees.
Special message from IBAS
Board Chair Dave Pettigrew and President & CEO Derek Lothian
ver the past eight months, the team at the Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan (IBAS) has been working tirelessly towards bringing our members back together for our annual convention. Unfortunately, despite sold-out registration as well as significant planned measures to maximize delegate comfort and safety, circumstances left us no choice but to postpone this year’s event. Our AGM, meanwhile, will go ahead virtually on October 14.
Three key factors triggered this decision: A notable volume of member, partner, and speaker cancellations; mounting financial constraints; and, the need to finalize logistics despite the lingering uncertainty. There is no one more disappointed than our board directors or staff — each of whom have been fully committed to exploring every possible avenue forward. We simply exhausted our runway and options amidst the current public health situation and new COVID-19 restrictions. But while this is not the news we wanted to deliver, we are hopeful that we will be able to reconnect live and in-person again soon. Please save the afternoon/evening of Wednesday, March 30, 2022, as well as the full day of Thursday, March 31, 2022, in your calendars. IBAS is actively exploring the possibility of hosting a large-scale, in-person event in Saskatoon for our members and partners. These days are immediately prior to the SGI Convention, which is scheduled for April 1 & 2, also in Saskatoon. Thank you to all our stakeholders for supporting us through this unprecedented time, and our sincere apologies .for any inconvenience this change may cause. As always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns. To streamline responses, we kindly ask you send all event-related inquiries to email@example.com. Regards, Dave Pettigrew Chair Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan firstname.lastname@example.org
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
Derek Lothian, ICD.D President & CEO Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan email@example.com
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The National Voice of Insurance Brokers By Peter Braid, CEO, Insurance Brokers Association of Canada
ffective federal advocacy is a continuous process that is based on building and reinforcing strong relationships with Parliamentarians at both the local and national levels. These connections enable the Insurance Broker Association of Canada (IBAC) to successfully leverage the collective voice of 38,000 insurance brokers to advance key issues that support insurance consumers, brokers, and the overall industry.
The Bank Act IBAC’s primary mandate is to ensure that Canada’s Bank Act continues to uphold the separation of the pillars of banking and
insurance. IBAC was founded on this principle a century ago, and we carry on this fight today. Section 416 of the Bank Act contains consumer protection measures that prohibit banks from selling insurance at the point of granting credit when consumers may be vulnerable to undue pressure. We remain vigilant to ensure that these important provisions are maintained, and we intervene when they appear to be threatened. The last Bank Act review in 2018 resulted in new provisions for fintechs. IBAC supports technological advancements, but we were concerned that the strong protections in the Bank Act may be diluted. We engaged with Finance Canada from the early stages to
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SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
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“IBAC’s primary mandate is to ensure that Canada’s Bank Act continues to uphold the separation of the pillars of banking and insurance. IBAC was founded on this principle a century ago, and we carry on this fight today.”
COR Certification: Reducing Financial Risk A company’s safety management system is a valuable measure of a company’s commitment to safety. Injuries add risks and costs to every project but are largely preventable. Companies who attain the Certificate of Recognition (COR®) from the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association (SCSA) have completed an independently audited, fully implemented health and safety program that meets national standards. Studies from the University of British Columbia show that COR-certified construction firms reduce their injury frequency by 21%. To prevent the loss of financial and human capital, every financial investor in the construction industry should factor a COR® or equivalent certification into investment, partnership, and procurement decisions. A well-run safety program guards against the direct costs of health and safety failures as well as legal, regulatory, and reputational risks that harm project delivery. Effective safety programs like COR®, can also indicate an outstanding management team with excellent long-term thinking and clear vision. The vision of the SCSA is to create Safest Construction Environment in Canada through its mission of Constructing Safety Leadership. With almost 10,000 members, the construction industry funds the SCSA to provide affordable safety training, programs, and advice to build the foundation for safe, healthy, and profitable construction businesses. For a current list of COR-certified construction companies in Saskatchewan, visit www.scsaonline.ca/programs/cor-companies
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
ensure that the new fintech regulations would not change the provisions prohibiting a bank from providing prescribed customer information to an insurance company. Having seen the draft regulations, we are optimistic that our intervention will be successful when the regulations are finalized in the coming months. Open Banking (also known as consumer-directed finance) has also been on our radar screen. IBAC believes that existing consumer protection measures, including the separation of banking and insurance, must be upheld in an Open Banking environment. We provided a written submission to the government consultation and a recently released Open Banking report responds to our concerns, recommending that “banking data should not be used for underwriting insurance policies as part of the initial scope of open banking.” The possibility of using banking data for insurance in a later phase raises a red flag, and IBAC will continue to monitor this issue.
Small Business Advocacy Many insurance brokerages are family-owned and operated. IBAC contributes the broker voice on federal legislation that impacts small businesses. We advocated strongly for Private Member’s Bill C-208, which eliminates the previous tax penalties for the inter-generational transfer of small businesses and creates a level playing field for the succession of family-owned brokerages.
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IBAC representatives appeared before the Standing Committee on Finance, encouraging MPs to endorse the bill. A support letter was sent to Senators on the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, and proactive social media amplified the importance of this legislation. Bill C-208 ultimately passed and
received Royal Assent in June 2021 — a clear demonstration of the power of federal advocacy on issues that directly affect brokers across the country.
Your Voice in Ottawa IBAC’s annual Advocacy Day on Parliament Hill is the most visible aspect
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SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
of our ongoing advocacy efforts. This is a strategically important part of our federal advocacy program — a prime opportunity to keep insurance brokers top-of-mind with Parliamentarians, and to promote our key messages. For the first time ever, IBAC’s Hill Day/Week took place in a virtual format for 2021. Over the course of the week, broker delegates from across Canada met virtually with approximately 60 MPs and Senators, including members of the Finance Committee and key people in the Finance Minister’s Office. The success of this event year after year reflects the excellent reputation that IBAC has built throughout successive federal governments. Thank you to all the broker volunteers who participate in this annual effort.
2019-01-09 9:12 AM
The secret to IBAC’s successful advocacy is the involvement of insurance brokers in virtually every city and town across Canada. Members of Parliament value the input and perspective of individuals who live and work in their riding, are engaged with their community, and who are politically active at all levels. IBAC encourages all brokers to support national advocacy by taking an interest in the issues that directly affect you and your profession. Get to know your elected representatives. Make sure they understand the important contributions that brokers make to the economy and the community and highlight the work that we do to protect insurance consumers. These are compelling messages. Peter Braid is the CEO of IBAC. Prior to assuming that role in 2017, he served as a Member of Parliament for KitchenerWaterloo between 2008 and 2015.
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It’s not more things, it’s the right things By Nicole Sinclair, Editor, SaskBroker Magazine
ust over a year ago, IBAS President and CEO, Derek Lothian told me I was now the Editor of SaskBroker Magazine. I excitedly gripped the most recent edition and thanked him, but internally I was panicking. The publication was stunning, the information it contained was unlike any industry publication I had been a part of in the past, and it was clearly a meaningful tool for the association. This is now my fourth edition of SaskBroker magazine and it the portion of my job I look forward to the most. IBAS as an organization does many things. One could say we do too many things. I won’t list them here because not only would that take up way too much space in this precious publication, but it would be simultaneously overwhelming and a bore. What putting SaskBroker Magazine together does is force a moment of reflection. When I sit down at my desk and start reviewing the activities of the past four months and activities on the horizon, I am usually a bit taken back. The opportunity to look at a period and be truly proud of what a small team and an engaged membership can do
is typically reserved for annual reports, but SaskBroker Magazine allows for this type of reflection and appreciation multiple times per year. As the ultimate celebration of one year of publications, I have kicked Derek out of the driver’s seat and momentarily stolen his column, so I guess you could say my plans are all coming together.
Moving into 2022 In the spirit of never slowing down, IBAS scheduled a full slate of activities for fall of 2021. The annual golf tournament was the inaugural ‘return to in-person event’ and we wrapped it up in a furry of other meetings and engagements, some for groups who have only ever been able to gather via Zoom; and it felt great! Once we shifted gears into full-blown convention planning it felt like the world was (nearly) back to normal. We were all thrilled about convention — although it is not the full ‘return to normal’ we have all been dreaming of, but, IBAS is putting member safety first and foremost. We had secured a world-class line up of
“This group is some of our greatest brand champions, truly passionate about the insurance industry, about IBAS and about community — running charity campaigns, recruiting the next generation, being a voice nationally and locally and ensuring that the unique perspective of young and emerging brokers is present and reflected in all we do.”
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
speakers and entertainment, planned delicious meals, chosen a beautiful location and were organizing incredible décor, but none of that matters if safety does not come first. IBAS members are leaders in the business of risk management and it chose to show leadership in the face of risk and postpone the event. The right thing is not always the easy thing. This fall will see the return of the Rural Brokerage Advisory Committee. The committee was originally formed in 2019 but tapered away during the early months of the pandemic. IBAS members serve 241 different communities; the rural perspective is critical to ensuring that IBAS is representing the interests of all members, including those with unique challenges and opportunities. The committee will also serve as a forum for brokerage leaders to share ideas and learn from one another. As an avid cheerleader of collective voices being amplified, I am elated to have been involved in the process so far and to watch it grow and develop. Collective support, amplified voices and building community, be it through coalitions, committees, councils, or associations is my cup of tea; luckily for me it is also a large part of my position at IBAS.
Empowering the Collective My ‘cup of tea’ got a name from the IBAS Leaders Forum — I am a Mediator, “Kolbe found Mediators excel when working on teams, pulling forces together, bridging differences,
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responding to needs, and blending abilities into productive efforts.” What great confirmation that I am in the right place, entrusted with the right role. Also, a great example of the learning opportunities provided to even the fly on the wall of a marvellous program. The Leaders Forum blends peer mentorship, group discussion, targeted learning, and shared accountability; the first in-person session in September marked the half-way point for the
programs first year. Hearing the concept last fall and watching its development, launch and success in a single year has been fascinating. I believe it is a program that will make a giant impact on our journey of building and nurturing resilient, world-class insurance brokerages in Saskatchewan. In the same spirit, the IBAS Emerging Brokers Council has thrived in 2021. This group is some of our greatest brand champions, truly passionate
about the insurance industry, about IBAS and about community — running charity campaigns, recruiting the next generation, being a voice nationally and locally and ensuring that the unique perspective of young and emerging brokers is present and reflected in all we do. As positions change and new individuals step up to fill vacant positions, I believe that these individuals will continue to be advocates and leaders in the industry. If that isn’t building the next generation of brokerage leaders, I don’t know what is.
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SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
As we move into year-two of a threeyear strategic plan, IBAS will continue to pursue our mission of protecting Saskatchewan consumers, families, and businesses by nurturing world-class insurance brokerages. As the needs of brokers and brokerages evolve, so too will the types of events and education we offer. With principles in place to guide these activities and an open feedback loop between membership and leadership, the association will continue to generate extraordinary value for our members. Changing regulations, evolving demographics and even weather patterns affect the needs of the industry — being nimble enough to respond quickly to evolving needs is challenging but critical. Relevance is temporary. It is one thing to be busy, but ensuring we are busy with the right things is what ensures the continued relevance of organization like IBAS and that comes from member engagement. Survey feedback, discussions with principals, relationships with government, and an open mindset are the keys — and we have our members to thank for entrusting us with that information and providing us the opportunity to serve their needs, both in the moment and long-term. As we prepare to head into colder months with many unknowns stemming from provincial and national restrictions, election results and ever-changing policy targets, I believe we can be truly confident in one thing — that our communities, workplaces, and province are stronger when together.
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Canola’s long and successful history
In Saskatchewan and beyond By Peter Flengeris, Communications Manager, Viterra
ast spring, Viterra announced its intent to build a state-of-the-art canola crushing plant in Regina. With an initial targeted annual crush capacity of 2.5 million metric tonnes (MMT), this will be the world’s largest integrated canola crush facility. This significant project, the largest single site investment in Viterra’s 100year history, is the latest chapter of canola’s long and successful story in Saskatchewan and beyond. Since it was first developed at the University of Saskatchewan in the 1970s, canola has become one of the world’s most important oilseed crops and a profitable crop choice for Canadian farmers. Ongoing improvements have produced canola varieties with better resistance to disease and weeds, as well as improved crop yield, quality and shorter maturity time. In less than four decades, a booming canola industry has emerged from experimental fields in the Prairies to gain significant ground in the world oilseed market. The uses for canola have also expanded over the years, and presently
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
includes the production of low-carbon biofuels, such as biodiesel, renewable diesel and aviation fuel. These biofuels emit up to 90% less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional diesel, and their increased adoption is expected to create significant new demand for farmers’ crops. Today our farmers grow an average of 20 MMT of canola on the Prairies annually, double the amount grown 20 years ago, with Saskatchewan currently the world’s largest producer and exporter of canola seed. According to the Canola Council of Canada, production is expected to grow to 26 MMT by 2025. For Viterra, the long-term outlook for the canola market makes this an ideal time to make a substantial investment in its asset network through the construction of a new crush plant. “As we look ahead, we anticipate that oilseed crush demand will continue to strengthen, given continued demand growth for canola oil in food usage, as well as increases in meal consumption in animal feed markets,” says Kyle Jeworski, CEO of Viterra North America. “Further,
Kyle Jeworski, CEO of Viterra North America
this plant will play a key role in supplying the feed stock required for renewable fuel production, which will be vital in supporting the federal government’s intended Clean Fuel Standard, which aims to help reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.” Farm customers will derive significant benefits from the plant, including the ability to access additional marketing opportunities close to home, and reduce the risks associated with being overly reliant on export markets for their canola. Further, Viterra’s crush plant will significantly increase domestic value-
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added processing capacity, supporting the provincial government in meeting its target to crush 75% of the canola produced in Saskatchewan. In fact, the plant’s capacity of 2.5 MMT would surpass Canada’s second largest export market, eclipsing Japan which receives an average of 2 MMT of canola annually. “Through this project, we will be able to further leverage our strong relationships with farm customers and our commitment to providing them with superior service, while supporting Saskatchewan’s overall growth plan,” says Jeworski. “Further, this project will have a long-lasting and positive local economic impact, both in terms of employment related to the facility’s construction and permanent employment once the plant is up and running.” Third-party estimates indicate the plant will add approximately $500 million to the Regina region’s gross domestic product. Part of this figure stems from the approximately 1,000 jobs that will be created during construction, as well as up to 100 permanent, full-time jobs once the plant is operational.
The site for the plant is located in northeast Regina in the heart of southern Saskatchewan canola production. Strong access to labour, as well as the existing road and rail infrastructure, also make this site ideal for the plant. While Viterra is in the process of finalizing the plant’s capabilities and design, it will utilize modern technology throughout the building process to ensure that the plant is efficient and in line with its high environmental and safety standards. One of the facility’s key features will be the addition of loop tracks, which will support the faster and more loading and unloading of rail cars. Further, a highspeed receiving system will be capable of receiving three trucks every five minutes, making the unloading process for farm customers fast and efficient. While this plant represents the most significant single site investment Viterra has made, it comes on the heels of many other projects the company has executed on in recent years. It’s currently constructing a new high throughput grain elevator at Biggar, and has opened similar facilities in Kindersley and
Wadena. It’s also upgraded and expanded existing facilities across the province including Balgonie, Weyburn, Grenfell, Gull Lake, Swift Current, and Strongfield to ensure it’s providing the best possible service to farmers. “We’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars in our Saskatchewan asset network over the last several years, and are very proud to be moving forward in the planning process of our new crush facility which represents our confidence in the future of western Canadian canola production,” says Jeworski. “Whether it’s farm to table or farm to fuel tank, we aim to create new value and new opportunities for our farmers and our communities.” At this stage, Viterra expects to break ground on the project next spring and have it fully operational by the end of 2024. Peter Pleneris is the Corporate Communications Manager at Viterra, having worked in various communications with the company for 14 years and is the past president of the International Association of Business Communications.
“This significant project, the largest single site investment in Viterra’s 100-year history, is the latest chapter of canola’s long and successful story in Saskatchewan and beyond.”
#Brokerscare donation to Chief Red Bear Children’s Lodge By Kyle Halvorson, Manager, Community Engagement, IBAS
n September, IBAS announced the largest donation yet as part of the #Brokerscare Campaign for Mental Health. IBAS has earmarked $7,500 for the Chief Red Bear Children’s Lodge at Cowessess First Nation. The contribution is being graciously matched by IBAS member Westland Insurance, for a total donation of $15,000. “With more than 175 branch locations nationwide, we have a responsibility to our customers, our 2,000-plus employees, and the communities we serve to fully commit to the truth and reconciliation calls to action,” says Don Thompson, executive vice president of insurance and prairie operations for Westland Insurance. “While this is just one very small step on that journey, we are proud to team up with IBAS to demonstrate that commitment and begin to address the destructive legacy of residential schools.” September 30 marked the first-ever National Day of Truth & Reconciliation in Canada. IBAS viewed the day as an opportunity to educate ourselves and advance the responsibility we all have to builder stronger, more equitable social and economic relationships.
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
A free-to-members event was facilitated by John Lagimodiere. John is a proud champion for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. As a member of the Metis Nation, John’s great, great, great, great grandmother, Marie Anne Lagimodiere, was the first white woman to settle in Western Canada and was grandmother to Canadian Metis hero, Louis Riel. He is the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Award Business for Aboriginal Business. and Saskatoon’s Living in Harmony Award, President of ACS Aboriginal Consulting Services and the Editor/Publisher of Eagle Feather News. “This year, the concepts of Truth and Reconciliation have been front and center for many of us in Saskatchewan, as we reckon with the difficult truths of our collective past. The opportunity to support the Chief Red Bear Children’s Lodge has provided IBAS with an excellent way to invest in the future and to participate in meaningful reconciliation. We are grateful and honoured to include the Chief Red Bear Children’s Lodge as a 2021 #BrokersCare Campaign recipient,” said Jessica Yelland, Community Liaison, IBAS Emerging Brokers Council. By way of band council resolution, Cowessess Chief and Council chose April 1 2021, to bring the Miyo Pimatisowin Act to life. The purpose of the Miyo Pimatisowin Act is to affirm the rights and jurisdiction of the Cowessess First Nation over Child and Family Services for its Citizens, as well as to establish Chief Red Bear Children’s Lodge as the organization responsible for child and family programs and services for Cowessess citizens across Canada. Chief Red Bear Children’s Lodge was the name chosen by the elders to embody the place in the nation that offers opportunities to heal, protect and act with courage on behalf of Cowessess citizens and in particular their children Through the #BrokersCare Campaign, presented by Wawanesa Insurance, nearly $60,000 in project funding has been provided to date to 14 different community organizations throughout the province.
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Climate change is here and we need a game plan By Aaron Sutherland, Vice President, Pacific and Western Regions, Insurance Bureau of Canada
he recent unprecedented and shocking heatwave in Western Canada this summer is the latest evidence of two essential truths: 1. We need strong offence — we must reduce emissions as quickly as possible to limit our growing risk from climate change in the future. 2. We cannot ignore defence any longer — we are not prepared for the worsening severe weather we are already experiencing and must act with urgency to defend lives, health and property. As a hockey coach might put it, we need to work hard at both ends of the rink. That means staying on the offence to cut emissions. But it also means playing strong defence by making our communities better prepared for — and more resilient against — climateinfluenced events and disasters. In Saskatchewan, there have been close to 600 wildfires so far this year, more than double the five-year average. Provincewide drought conditions have ravaged farms and challenged government programs that support the agriculture sector. Two storms on July 22 and July 27, with hail, high winds and flooding rain, resulted in 2,200 claims for vehicle and property damage. Golf ball-sized hail pummelled Regina and Assiniboia August 31, and insured losses continue to be assessed for this event. In late June, the Insurance Bureau of Canada partnered with a broad coalition of Canadian organizations — including municipalities, disaster relief organizations, insurance industry representatives, physicians, Indigenous organizations, environmental NGOs and think tanks, to launch Climate Proof Canada. We came together to amplify an urgent message: People in Canada are increasingly vulnerable to severe, climateinfluenced weather events. But, focused government action can create a culture of preparedness and help to protect the health, homes and quality of life of all residents.
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
Let there be no doubt: Across Canada and around the world, climate change is contributing to more wildfires, hailstorms, heatwaves, windstorms, and intense flooding. It is increasing our exposure to risk. For instance, 20 per cent of households in Canada now have some vulnerability to floods — with 11 per cent defined as being at high risk. Each year, more people are being exposed to the risk of wildfire and extreme heat. The human, financial, health, and social costs of climateinfluenced events continue to escalate, with outsized effects being felt by Indigenous peoples and other vulnerable communities. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities estimates that $5.3 billion is required annually to protect our infrastructure from emerging climate risks. At the same time, our communities need new tools and resources to address and combat the increasing number of health challenges being caused by our changing climate. The takeaway is clear: Canada has the opportunity to be a leader in adaptation — but we need to invest today to reduce the risks we collectively face due to the climate emergency. We need to do more to protect Canadian communities and families from potentially catastrophic impacts and their cascading effects, such as the increased wildfire risk brought on by extreme heat. Defending against climate-related impacts will never be easy. In Canada, this will be particularly true as we are warming at twice the rate of much of the rest of the world. It also won’t be easy given the diverging opinions on how best to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, while also protecting jobs in high emission sectors of the economy. Decision-makers will need to develop the capacity to better coordinate information gathering and strategy and policy development. Climate Proof Canada believes that new investments could help reduce the risks we collectively face from the climate emergency. The federal government can make immediate and
important progress by creating a much-needed national game plan. In addition to immediate emissions reductions, that means: • Moving quickly to put in place a comprehensive National Climate Adaptation Strategy that incorporates measurable targets, leverages private-sector capacity and includes nature-based solutions. This will help drive and verify progress toward meaningful investments that provide real and lasting protection to health and property. • Appointing an advisor on national disaster resilience — a senior position empowered to inform and advise the Prime Minister and Cabinet on the rapidly changing landscape of climate-based and other disaster risks. • Extending and enhancing recent work to reduce the risk and impact of flooding across Canada.
• Ensuring that sustainable finance initiatives help public and private organizations to assess, disclose and manage escalating physical risks. Over the past several years, Canada has made important strides and commitments toward reducing emissions and fighting climate change for the long term. But we need bold action to protect communities now. We need to adapt. Our coalition was actively engaged in the recent federal election campaign to reach out to all party leaders and local candidates to raise awareness and seek support for a plan to make our communities more resilient. We will continue to remind the new federal government that offence wins games, but defence wins championships.
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Q&A with IBAS Annual Partner: Saskatoon Fire and Flood With Brennan Mills, Partner, Saskatoon Fire and Flood
Saskatoon Fire and Flood is an IBAS Annual Partner. Why is partnering with the brokers association important to your organization?
How can brokers and restoration companies better work together to serve clients during a claim?
Brokers are the face of the insurance industry, an integral part of the insurance network. IBAS’s mission and vision align with our own corporate values and beliefs in integrity, education, relationships, and giving back to the community. We enjoy working together to further strengthen and improve the insurance industry.
In our industry, we deal with emergencies and traumatic experiences daily, sometimes we receive calls as if we’re the fire department! We work with brokers to help people understand the insurance process and recover their property to pre-loss condition. This is a team effort and through relationships such as the one we have with IBAS, we can better communicate and serve our common customer. Saskatchewan brokers and Saskatoon Fire and Flood bridge the gap between the insurer and the insured — we aim to keep the many parties involved informed and keep the claim progression moving forward.
What is something your organization does that you think is unique? Saskatoon Fire and Flood is 100% local. What we do, and how we do it is grown from a Saskatchewan perspective. We invest in people and technology. We have gone as far as inventing new tools to simplify the claims process. This effectively reduces claim costs and improves timelines for everyone. Insurance brokerages are avid supporters of community initiatives. Can you tell us about some of your most recent involvement in community initiatives? The pandemic has affected our community in ways that were previously unimaginable; including our charitable activities such as the Blue Goose Pumpkin Drop which raised over $50,000 in its first three years. We have continued to partner with various foundations and services that assist families and youth in our community through volunteer hours and charitable donations. Saskatoon Fire and Flood has contributed over $50,000 locally this past year. Our partnership with IBAS gives an additional level of support by building awareness, creating greater industry recognition, and aiding community initiatives through continued charitable contributions. Internally we support buying local, developing relationships to partner with and support other small businesses in our industry and region. When planning for staff and customer appreciation events, we turn to local vendors to source products and venues, and we encouraged our staff to do the same. 26
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
How can Saskatoon Fire and Floor help brokers respond quickly when clients are mid-disaster? Time is of the essence. Saskatoon Fire and Flood provides a 24-hour emergency response that works hand in hand with brokers to immediately mitigate loss, prevent unnecessary costs and secondary damages. Quick advice? Instruct the insured to have us attend even before coverage is confirmed so we can minimize disruption and damage. Our response plan is a well-rounded, encompassing approach so the client can curb financial and time loss. We offer a reputable service that brokers can confidently present to their clients. What is one piece of advice you would give a new insurance broker? We are here to help! Lean on organizations like IBAS and Saskatoon Fire and Flood to become the most knowledgeable professional you can be. Don't overlook relationships, our industry changes but many of the people stay the same, we’re in this together. Please don't hesitate to call us with weird questions! Brennen Mills is a Partner at Saskatoon Fire and Flood, he has been with the company for 10 years, and in the insurance industry for 20+ years. Saskatoon Fire and Flood is one of Saskatchewan’s leading, largest, and privately owned restoration companies.
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Industry in transition – in three parts By Joel Baker, CEO, MSA Research and CatIQ
Part I: Financial Results and Hard Market Conditions The Canadian insurance industry entered the third quarter of 2021 in a very strong position, sporting record breaking profitability in the first half of the year following solid profitability in 2020. This despite COVID-related auto rebates and a sluggish economy. The hard market which began in 2018 shows no sign of stopping, bringing rate adequacy to most players after many years of inadequate returns driven by fierce competition. During the first half of 2021, 93.4% of the Canadian industry, when measured on direct premiums written, exhibited a combined ratio of less than 95%. More than half had combined ratios less than 85% and only 6.6% of the market had combined ratios over 95%. Compare this result to 2020 and 2019.
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SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
True, we don’t expect this outstanding result to hold for the balance of the year. Nonetheless, barring very large CATs, 2021 will likely be better for the industry than 2020 which in itself was a solid year. There are several forces that are contributing to the continued hard market as the industry executives and shareholders are loath to go back to lacklustre results. Here are some of the main reasons other than intestinal fortitude: • The reinsurance market battered by COVID and nasty catastrophes in Europe and the US is entering the 2022 renewal season with a firm stance. The traditional reinsurers (Swiss Re’s, Munich Re’s of the world) are pretty full up on exposure. The escape valve for additional exposure will come from the capital markets in the form of Insurance Linked Securities known as ILS (Cat Bonds etc.). The pension plans and other providers of capital to ILS are in no rush to underprice the risks. So, we can expect a hard reinsurance market as we enter 2022. • Interest rates remain low so carriers must continue to earn their keep on the underwriting side.
• Carriers remain wary and are positioning themselves to face the new world of CATs driven, in part, by climate change but also by choices made by society of where and how to re/build. Water, Fire, Hail and Wind. Need we say more? The cost of CATs in Canada is routinely cracking $2 billion a year and much larger mega CATs are always possible. • Inflationary worries. The amount of government spending during COVID in Canada and other western countries may trigger a resurgence of inflation of the CPI variety. Insurance premiums go along for the ride in an attempt to avoid erosion in value. Claims can experience two types of inflation (which can be uncorrelated), the CPI variety as well as the social variety — as courts award higher and higher payouts. Both types of inflation are keeping CEOs awake despite the stellar returns. • There is an expectation of ‘return to mean’ in terms of auto claims when Canada emerges in earnest from COVID. Remember those days with very high physical damage losses due to the high-tech nature of today’s cars? In addition, as government COVID supports are
withdrawn, there is fear that auto AB and BI fraud will come back strong. • Consolidation drives discipline. It is expected that Intact will keep its eye on the ball as it integrates RSA and will not want its outperformance to slip. Further, as Economical’s IPO as Definity takes place, it will retain laser focus on discipline.
Part II: CAT Country On August 9, 2021, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its sixth and most ominous report to date heralding an alarming future for the planet. Here are a few snippets: • It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred. • The scale of recent changes across the climate system as a whole and the present state of many aspects of the climate system are unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years. • Global surface temperature will continue to increase until at least the mid-century under all emissions scenarios
considered. Global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C will be exceeded during the 21st century unless deep reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions occur in the coming decades • Many changes in the climate system become larger in direct relation to increasing global warming. They include increases in the frequency and intensity of hot extremes, marine heatwaves, and heavy precipitation, agricultural and ecological droughts in some regions, and proportion of intense tropical cyclones, as well as reductions in Arctic sea ice, snow cover and permafrost. • Please visit https://www.ipcc.ch/ for the full sobering report. Our industry is on the front line of climate change. While not every CAT can directly be attributed to global warming, the frequency and severity of events in Canada and around the world is incontrovertible. The first two quarters of the year were light on CATs here in Canada, but they ramped up starting in July. The devasting fires in western Canada took out Lytton and have done significant harm elsewhere, including the White Rock Lake Wildfire which has been burning since August 4. Other CATs included a large CAT featuring hail and flooding in Calgary on July 2, a powerful tornado in Barrie, Ontario on July 15, severe storms in the prairies (AB, SK and MB) from July 22-23 and severe storms in AB and SK August 31-Sept 1. Other than the Barrie tornado, all of the action so far and most of the dollar losses were in western Canada. According to CatIQ, we are on track to surpass $1 billion in CDN losses very soon (perhaps even before this article is published) with about 80% of that occurring between July 1 and September 10. Personal lines writers, reinsurers and, to some extent, commercial writers are repositioning themselves for the new reality. Auto is already diminishing as a line of business as property comes to the fore. Another line with potential to wreak systemic havoc is cyber. While still a relatively small slice of the industry pie, it is growing and remains volatile and unprofitable.
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
Part III: Technology and Distribution The pandemic accelerated the race for tech adoption in the industry in carrier, distribution and claims adjuster arenas. Tech adoption is now table stakes, both internally devised and developed and in partnership with InsurTechs. The tech revolution is driving consolidation in all areas of the industry food chain. Scale is the name of the game. No area of the industry that can be automated is being overlooked and is being picked over by InsurTechs. There are three potential external tech threats to the industry: 1. Full stack InsurTech Unicorns (startups that provide both distribution and underwriting and that have values over $1 billion USD) such as Lemonade, Hippo and Metromile. All are US based and have yet to point their cursors north. They are currently rapidly chewing through their capital in the quest for market share and scale. The rate of capital burning is such that it is doubtful whether these players would want to attack the Canadian market any time soon. 2. The mega techs giants such as Facebook, Google, Amazon or Apple. They have the data, the IOT, they have the capital and they have the tech. They have dabbled but they have still not turned their formidable firepower at the industry. Perhaps because of relatively low returns on offer. But when they do decide to engage, there’s not much that can stop them. 3. Embedded insurance such as insurance offered with car leases or car subscription policies. As those that attended www.insurtechnorth.com back in April saw, GM’s OnStar is already working on such a product. Incumbents can’t afford to let down their guard. In conclusion, the industry is in transition and will be quite different than the one we knew pre-pandemic in 2019.
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To learn more or to register for IBAS professional development programs or exams, visit www.ibas.ca.
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
INSURANCE BROKERS ASSOCIATION OF SASKATCHEWAN
INSURANCE BROKERS ASSOCIATION OF SASKATCHEWAN
THANK YOU TO OUR 2021 PARTNERS IBAS’s 2021 Partners are organizations that invest in the long-term health of the association and its mandate through a minimum annual sponsorship commitment. On behalf of the IBAS board of directors and membership, thank you to the following partners that continue to go above and beyond to support the broker network in Saskatchewan:
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2021 IBAS Annual Report SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
YOUR ASSOCIATION, YOUR VOICE WHO WE ARE BOARD OF DIRECTORS IBAS STAFF OUR FOCUS
PRIORITY ONE COVID-19 RESPONSE BEST TERMS PRICING STAYING ATOP THE GOVERNMENT AGENDA BROKER ADVERTISING BILL C-208 CANCELLATION OF BROKER-BILLED INSURANCE POLICIES IBAC DAY ON PARLIAMENT HILL
PRIORITY TWO DX CONNECT ALLIANCE HARD MARKET RELIEF SGI CONTRACT RENEWAL ISSUER ADVERTISING
PRIORITY THREE LICENSING EDUCATION CONTINUING EDUCATION LEADERS FORUM NEW PROGRAMS BETTER TOGETHER
PRIORITY FOUR GIVING BACK BETTERTHANBASIC.CA EDUCATING CONSUMERS COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD
20 MEMBER SERVICES MEMBER INSURANCE PROGRAM GROUP BENEFITS PROGRAM CONSUMER PROTECTION BOND BROKER WEBSITE PROGRAM SASKBROKER MAGAZINE
22 EMERGING BROKERS COUNCIL 2021 MEMBERS
2021 IBAS Annual Report
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
LOOKING OUT FOR OUR MEMBERS. LOOKING AHEAD TO THE FUTURE. July 31 marked the end of IBAS’s 2020-21 fiscal year — the first in our new, three-year strategic plan. And while the past 12 months have been amongst the most challenging and uncertain in our organization’s history, the contributions of our members and partners have allowed us to make significant progress. On behalf of the board of directors and the entire IBAS team, please accept our sincere gratitude for your humbling support! A special thank you goes out to our brokerage members. We are only as strong as our membership, and I firmly believe we have the best, most engaged members of any brokers association in Canada. This high level of engagement is not something we take for granted, either. We understand that IBAS membership is an investment; and we must always strive to build the value proposition and enhance accountability. One of the ways we can work towards that goal is by ensuring you are connected to the work we are undertaking on your behalf. The purpose of this annual report is to do just that: To provide you with a quick summary of our highlighted achievements and progress to-date. I’d ask you to take 10 minutes to read through it at your convenience. There is no doubt our industry is changing — and the pandemic has likely accelerated many of those changes. For example, we have seen more brokerage consolidation in the past year than in the previous four or five years combined. Through this evolution, however, the role of the broker channel and the importance of IBAS have only been amplified. During my time as chair, I’ve often used the phrase ‘we are stronger together.’ Never before has that been more true. As the association that represents more than 95% of all P&C insurance brokerages across Saskatchewan, IBAS has a mandate in the marketplace that is unparalleled — with the added advantage of having an extensive national presence. Your involvement is what empowers us with that influence, and we are sincerely grateful you have put that trust in us. Thank you once again for your time and commitment to our association — your association. I look forward to continuing working with you, and for you, in the weeks and months ahead! Regards,
Dave Pettigrew Chair, Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan President & CEO, Harvard Western Insurance
2021 IBAS Annual Report
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
WHO WE ARE Founded in 1952, the Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan is a voluntary, membership-based organization, comprised of more than 95% of all P&C insurance brokerages across the province. We directly represent roughly 175 brokerage members, with 1,600 licensed brokers, operating 375 branch locations in more than 240 different Saskatchewan communities.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Dave Pettigrew (Chair) Harvard Western Insurance
Dave Reidy (Vice Chair) Henderson Insurance
Sarah Edwards (Secretary-Treasurer) Bora Insurance Brokers
Keith Jordan HUB International
Jaycee Turtle Lakeview Insurance Brokers
Jason Galon Galon Insurance Brokers
Nicole Korpusik Norquay Agencies
Jenna Dusyk (Emerging Brokers Council Observer) Dusyk & Barlow Insurance Brokers
IBAS STAFF IBAS maintained the same six staff members through 2020-21: Derek Lothian President & CEO
Nicole Sinclair Advisor to the President & CEO
Brianne Johnson Manager, Finance
Jordan Jensen Manager, Education & Operations
Kyle Halvorson Manager, Community Engagement
Jan Milton Manager, Events
OUR FOCUS Mission:
Protect Saskatchewan consumers, families, and businesses by nurturing world-class insurance brokerages.
A thriving, engaged community of trusted insurance brokerages delivering the best available advice and customer experience.
Priorities: We generate extraordinary value for our members by: 1. Influencing policy at all levels of government; 2. Championing member interests with insurer partners; 3. Developing next-generation brokerage leaders; and 4. Empowering local communities. 2021 IBAS Annual Report
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
Representing your interests. Fighting for your future. Helping you grow. As the unifying voice for insurance brokerages in Saskatchewan, IBAS advocates on behalf of its membership to all levels of government, including provincial and federal regulators. Our goal is not to be viewed as the loudest voice at the table, but to be a trusted, collaborative source of insight and ideas on the key issues that matter to brokers. That requires a consultative approach to dialogue, evidence-based and clear policy positions, the right connections, and a highly engaged membership.
COVID-19 RESPONSE Through the 2020 calendar year, IBAS President & CEO Derek Lothian served as chair of the Saskatchewan Business Council — a coalition of more than 20 industry associations that have come together to speak with one voice on policy priorities of common interest. This collective body was a primary advisor to the provincial government in creating vital COVID-19 supports, including the Saskatchewan Small Business Emergency Payment Program and the Re-Open Saskatchewan Training Subsidy, which directly saved IBAS members an estimated $250,000 in training costs.
BEST TERMS PRICING In late 2020, IBAS became aware the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA) was considering following the lead of its counterparts in B.C. and Alberta by taking regulatory action on the practice of best terms pricing (BTP) — a method of uniformly pricing a subscription policy using the highest rate offered by the subscribing carriers. While IBAS recognized the impact BTP may have on some consumers, the overriding concern was that any immediate change would have unintended consequences leading to a significant loss of capacity amidst an already hard market. This concern was validated by roughly a dozen carriers. Subsequently, IBAS lobbied its position with FCAA, the General Insurance Council of Saskatchewan (GICS), and elected officials. Decision-makers ultimately concurred with this position and decided against enacting changes at that time.
STAYING ATOP THE GOVERNMENT AGENDA Following the provincial election this past fall, IBAS connected with Premier Scott Moe and his newly appointed cabinet to outline three priority insurance issues for Saskatchewan consumers: 1.
Continue to work through the broker channel to deliver Canada’s most stable and bestserviced auto insurance system;
Work together with industry to identify and address challenges in a hard insurance market; and
Shift the burden of overland flood risk away from the taxpayer and onto the private insurance market.
The third priority was accompanied by a six-point policy position to facilitate the gradual phasing out of the current Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP) while ensuring protection for high-risk homes and limiting future development on flood plains.
BROKER ADVERTISING In December 2020 and January 2021, IBAS successfully advocated FCAA and GICS to issue a reasonable interpretation to Section 5-37 of The Insurance Act, which partly governs the permissions and responsibilities of intermediaries in advertising insurance services, including on websites and social media channels. GICS had been considering an interpretation that IBAS viewed as exceptionally cumbersome and impractical, and that would have resulted in new red tape for brokerages.
2021 IBAS Annual Report
IBAC DAY ON PARLIAMENT HILL
In conjunction with the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) and its provincial counterparts, IBAS helped champion the passing of Bill C-208 through parliament and the senate. This bill creates tax fairness and levels the playing field for insurance brokerages and other independent businesses wishing to sell or transition the business to a family member opposed to a non-relative.
IBAC’s annual Day on Parliament Hill looked a bit different this year and was instead held virtually as part of a weeklong advocacy blitz. This was an opportunity to keep broker issues top-of-mind with federal officials and culminated in meetings with roughly 60 members of parliament and senators. Issues broached by the IBAS delegation included: 1.
The Bank Act and the importance of maintaining the prohibition on insurance being sold at the point where credit is granted;
The development of open banking regulations and the need to ensure the pillars of banking and insurance remain separate through increasing digitization; and
The need for provincial and federal officials to work together, including through the National Flood Insurance Industry Task Force, to develop a national flood plan for high-risk properties.
CANCELLATION OF BROKER-BILLED INSURANCE POLICIES After months of dialogue, on behalf of its members, IBAS worked with regulators to successfully negotiate an easy-to-administer process that allows Saskatchewan brokers to cancel agency-billed policies mid-term for non-payment and collect remitted pro-rata premiums from the carrier — both of which are not explicitly permitted in current legislation. This, of course, had major implications for brokerages self-financing customer premiums.
PROTECTING CONSUMERS FROM OVERLAND FLOOD RISK IBAS support measures to phase down the reliance on taxpayer-funded PDAP payments and transfer more risk onto the private insurance market. Yet, this cannot be done in isolation. It will require a forwardthinking partnership between the private sector and all three levels of government to protect current at-risk properties and prevent or mitigate future development on designated flood plains. Specifically, IBAS holds the position that stakeholders must: •
Define affordable coverage and maintain protection for high-risk properties that cannot reasonably access private insurance (may be accomplished through a subsidized high-risk insurance pool or modified PDAP); Introduce new controls to limit future development on high-risk land or shift liability
2021 IBAS Annual Report SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
exposure through the permitting process; •
Improve access to flood maps for municipal governments, developers, and the general public;
Allocate freed-up PDAP funds to incent homeowners to invest in flood defences (there are innovative models whereby proper defences are recognized through a certification process to stabilize the values of high-risk homes);
Ensure governments consult insurers in the development of land use and water management strategies; and
Invest in a targeted consumer education campaign to raise awareness of flood risks and defences.
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
IBAS’s advocacy mandate extends well beyond government and regulatory bodies. With one of the most extensive membership networks of any business association in Saskatchewan (representing more than 95% of all eligible brokerages across the province), we are your voice with regional, national, and global insurance companies. Our goal is to be the first point of consultation with senior carrier executives on issues directly impacting Saskatchewan brokers. We are your voice — and, by extension, the voice of the consumer.
DX CONNECT ALLIANCE
SGI CONTRACT RENEWAL
In March 2021, IBAC and its member associations proudly unveiled the Data Exchange Connect Alliance (DXCA) — the next step in its data exchange project aimed at achieving real-time connectivity between carriers and brokers through the broker management system (BMS). The DXCA is comprised of leading carriers, BMS vendors, and broker representatives who share this vision. The DXCA prioritized two application program interfaces (or APIs) for development: Billing inquiry and claims inquiry.
In the fall of 2020, IBAS formed its Issuer Advisory Committee to guide the renewal of the broker – SGI Auto Fund motor licence issuing relationship — a near-$50 million source of revenue for IBAS members. After more than five months of research, review, and debate, the committee tabled its initial submission in April and will be continuing dialogue through the fall.
HARD MARKET RELIEF
Over the past 12 months, IBAS fielded a growing volume of concerns directly from consumers regarding online SGI plate renewal processes — particularly, situations whereby consumers inadvertently switched their issuer of record. In response to a direct appeal from IBAS, the SGI Auto Fund implemented new oversight controls to ensure all issuers were held to the same advertising rules and standards, and that non-compliance was enforced promptly and subject to penalty.
To help relieve pressure from hard market conditions, IBAS coordinated through Hospitality Saskatchewan — the industry association representing hotels, motels, bars, restaurants, and event venues in the province — to call for the creation of a specialty risk evaluation team at SGI CANADA to review hard-toplace hospitality risks and completed a successful pilot of IBC’s Risk Manager service in Saskatchewan.
“The relationship between brokers and carriers is vital to both the success of our industry and the value we deliver to consumers. That’s why the Insurance Bureau of Canada has worked so closely with IBAS over the past year to navigate the challenges of the pandemic as well as shifting economic and business conditions. This partnership has never been stronger and remains a cornerstone in our strategy to service the Saskatchewan market.” Aaron Sutherland Vice President, Pacific & Western, Insurance Bureau of Canada
2021 IBAS Annual Report
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
In any service-based industry, your people are your value proposition. Insurance is no different. Having the right team — with the right skills — can be the inflection point between brokerage growth and stagnation. That’s why professional development remains a core focus of IBAS. Our approach is threefold: Create learning and networking opportunities focused on brokerage principals and emerging brokerage leaders; promote insurance as a modern, rewarding, first-choice career pathway; and, provide brokerage leaders with affordable and accessible options to educate and licence staff.
On March 29, IBAS announced a new partnership with My Mutual Insurance and Utensil.ca to provide IBAS members with free access to two on-demand virtual training resources to help brokers better understand the agriculture industry as well as their farming clients. A few months later, IBAS unveiled a second partnership — this time with Regina-based Instinctive Solutions — to offer members a new, Kolbe-based training program to assist brokerages in aligning their people with the specific roles needed to grow and thrive.
During 2020-21, IBAS facilitated more than 1,300 licensing exams, enrolled a record 326 students in Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) Immersion courses and graduated the largest cohort of CAIB designates of any province across the country. We also renewed our agreement with longtime CAIB instructor Todd Hochban and West Coast Training through 2022-23.
This year saw the revitalization of the IBAS-led Saskatchewan Insurance Workforce Development Coalition — a group of roughly 16 industry stakeholders that have come together to promote insurance as a modern, rewarding, first-choice career pathway.
2020-21 was also a banner year for continuing education. IBAS processed more than 2,500 unique registrations for IBAS-led continuing education webinars, workshops, events, and programs — many of which were free or highly subsidized for IBAS members. This included the first-ever fully virtual IBAS Convention & AGM in October.
LEADERS FORUM In partnership with SGI CANADA, IBAS proudly launched the inaugural pilot intake of the new IBAS Leaders Forum. This yearlong initiative brought together 20 select participants in two separate cohorts for a structured program that blends facilitated monthly meetings with peer mentorship, group discussion, targeted learning, and shared accountability. Each meeting focuses on a topic of mutual interest — led by an expert guest speaker — and provides a confidential, constructive environment for participants to navigate the challenges facing their brokerages.
“I’ve immensely enjoyed the IBAS Leaders Forum. The speakers and the new ideas they have introduced have been very valuable tools for our current leadership goals as well as potential future initiatives. What interested me most about joining the program was discussing the similarities and differences in strategies, opportunities, and challenges that my fellow cohort members might be experiencing as compared to us. It is interesting that we share more similarities than differences — despite the differences we may have in brokerage size and situation.” Rob Barlow Dusyk & Barlow Insurance Brokers www.ibas.ca
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
With members in more than 240 cities, towns, and villages across the province, insurance brokers are an intrinsic part of the Saskatchewan identity. Wherever there is a hockey rink or post office, there is almost inevitably an insurance brokerage nearby. Our goal at IBAS to help you, our members, support the communities in which you live and work. We do that by leading targeted philanthropic initiatives that also raise awareness of the vital civic role brokerages play, and by increasing confidence in the broker channel through public education around key insurance issues.
2020 marked the first time in our association’s history that IBAS dedicated its annual philanthropic efforts to a single cause. We concluded that campaign in December with a $52,500 donation to our inaugural benefactor, STARS air ambulance. Shortly thereafter, IBAS introduced the 2021 #BrokersCare Campaign for Mental Health, presented in partnership with Wawanesa Insurance. As of July 31, the campaign had provided $44,353 in project funding to 13 different community organizations throughout the province — financed, in part, through the sale of approximately 640 #BrokersCare t-shirts to IBAS members and partners. This pushed our 12-month tally to more than $100,000 in donations and community sponsorships.
Building on IBAS’s renewed commitment to consumer education, IBAS partnered with the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) this past May to produce a special bulletin highlighting the insurance implications of aluminum wiring in Saskatchewan homes. Through the SRA, this document has been distributed to REALTORS®, potential home buyers, and sellers of real estate.
BETTERTHANBASIC.CA This past April saw the launch of BetterThanBasic.ca — the largest consumer awareness campaign in IBAS history — to educate drivers around the limitations of basic plate coverage and the importance of extension auto insurance. As of July 31, the campaign had already garnered more than three million unique online impressions, leveraged through an extensive social media and website ad buy, as well as a content partnership with travel blogger and social media influencer, Ashlyn George.
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD Insurance brokers are woven into the very social and economic fabric of Saskatchewan. They are the heartbeat of our communities, large and small: Champions for civic engagement, generous supporters of local causes, and compassionate business leaders, who go the extra mile to provide their neighbours with an unparalleled level of service and support. As an industry, it is imperative we celebrate these positive impacts. To do just that, IBAS joined forces with Saskatchewan Blue Cross in 2019 to establish the annual Community Leadership Award. The winner of the 2020 honour in the Brokerage Category was Dusyk & Barlow Insurance Brokers of Regina, while the winner in the Individual Broker Category was Jennifer Spitzig of Lakeview Insurance Brokers in Martensville. Both were announced at the October convention and AGM.
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
2021 IBAS YOUNG COMMUNITY LEADER BURSARY & CHAIR’S AWARD PRESENTED Last year, IBAS announced the creation of its new Young Community Leader Bursary, aimed at recognizing one graduating Saskatchewan high school student who exemplifies outstanding dedication to making their community a better place. This year, more than 130 applicants from across the province were considered, proving once again that the future of Saskatchewan is in good hands. On behalf of IBAS and our presenting partner, Red River Mutual, we are very pleased to announce the 2021 recipient of the bursary and its $5,000 cash award is Caralyn Engbers from the Regina Christian School. Caralyn’s extensive contributions have impacted not only inner-city youth, seniors, low-income neighbourhoods, and elementary-aged students locally, but has reached outside the city to northern communities and residents province-wide. As the founder of the Books for Community Schools initiative, Caralyn gathered an estimated $14,000 worth of literature this past year to be given to more than 750 children in 40 classrooms at Regina-area schools. During the pandemic, she also observed the need for children stuck at home to have a creative outlet, so she began leading an online art class, where she handmade and donated in excess of 100 face masks. Building on that experience, she then began volunteering at her nearby community centre to write personalized letters and offer virtual, livestreamed activities to isolated individuals.
Engbers was chosen by an independent selection committee, which reviewed anonymized applications. Lainie Goldstine, marketing manager with Red River Mutual, was a member of that panel. “Red River Mutual’s purpose is to be a positive force in the community and the lives of our customers," says Goldstine. “Ms. Engbers embodies that spirit with compassion and dedication to making a difference in the lives of her community members. She is extremely deserving of this award and our organization is proud to be able to partner with IBAS to make this available.” During the establishment of the Young Community Leader Bursary in 2020, IBAS was inspired to create a second award that recognizes an applicant who has demonstrated exceptional perseverance and character in service to their community — titled the IBAS Chair’s Award. IBAS and Red River Mutual are proud to present this honour and its $1,500 cash award to Emily Ives of Saskatoon. Emily has taken difficult circumstances and turned them into a motivation to create positive change within her community. She is making waves by bringing inclusion and representation to the fashion industry, while volunteering for the Ability in Me program, the Canadian Dystonia Research Foundation, and the Youth Advisory Council of the Saskatoon Community Foundation.
“Community involvement helps me recognize my ability to impact others and see beyond myself,” says Engbers. “I have learned that leadership is not something done individually, but the act of rallying others. It only takes a small spark to light a large fire.”
2021 IBAS Annual Report
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
In addition to our four strategic priorities, IBAS offers a growing suite of customized products and services that are available only to member brokerages. We know that running your business is hard enough. So IBAS is here to lighten the load with turn-key solutions — saving you money and enhancing member value.
MEMBER INSURANCE PROGRAM
CONSUMER PROTECTION BOND
In September 2018, IBAS entered into a service agreement with Sage Advisor Resources, a for-profit subsidiary of the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta, to deliver the association’s member insurance program. This partnership allowed policyholders who purchased errors and omissions insurance (E&O) under IBAS’s previous for-profit corporation, IBCO Services Ltd., to continue their coverage through Swiss Re, while having access to a full-service team of advisors. More than 70% of IBAS member brokerages now protect themselves with E&O coverage through this program. In 2020-21, Sage Advisor Resources also began offering IBAS members directors and officers insurance, as well as cyber liability products in partnership with APRIL Canada (underwritten by AXIS).
As part of IBAS membership, brokerages automatically receive coverage under an associationwide umbrella surety bond — underwritten by SGI CANADA — that meets the statutory requirement to maintain a $20,000 consumer protection bond as a condition of licence. This is provided by IBAS as an exclusive member benefit and foregoes the need for the member brokerage to purchase a bond on its own.
GROUP BENEFITS PROGRAM The IBAS Group Benefits Plan remains a staple offering for brokerage members. In partnership with Independent Financial Services and underwritten by Saskatchewan Blue Cross and Blue Cross Life, this employer benefits plan gives brokerages with as few as two employees the opportunity to provide health and wellness benefits at affordable, stable premiums, pooled with other IBAS members across the province. Available coverages include health, dental, life, dependent life, disability, accidental death and dismemberment, critical illness, and an employee family assistance program.
BROKER WEBSITE PROGRAM This unique offering provides customized web design and hosting services to more than 60 member brokerages. With one low monthly fee, members gain access a mobile-responsive, functional website that meets the requirements of SGI Auto Fund’s and SGI CANADA’s online services.
SASKBROKER MAGAZINE All IBAS members are eligible to receive a free copy of the association’s flagship publication, SaskBroker Magazine, delivered directly to member mailboxes. We produced three issues in 2020-21, combining leading-edge insight and expert analysis with the latest information our members need to make better business decisions. SaskBroker is edited in-house by IBAS’s Nicole Sinclair and is published by RL Media Services.
2021 IBAS Annual Report
In September 2019, the IBAS board of directors approved the creation of the IBAS Emerging Brokers Council. This member advisory committee replaced the former Saskatchewan Young Brokers Network, which was established in 2003. The council's mandate is segmented into three equally important directives: •
Ensure the unique perspectives of young and emerging insurance brokers are represented in IBAS activities, within IBAS policy directives, and at industry functions;
Promote the insurance broker profession as a modern, rewarding, first-choice career; and
Champion association-wide fundraising activities in support of IBAS’s Annual Charity Campaign.
2021 MEMBERS Jenna Dusyk (Chair) Dusyk & Barlow Insurance
Jessica Williams Henderson Insurance
Jessica Yelland Harvard Western Insurance
Nicole Crump Affinity Insurance
Kayla Brown Harvard Western Insurance
Reece Ricard Kelly Insurance Brokers
Talsa Warken Western Financial Group
Justin Kozakevich Trustmark Insurance Brokers
Michelle Venne Hordos Insurance Brokers
“Joining the Emerging Brokers Council has been an immensely rewarding and enriching experience. It has allowed me to represent the brokerage industry in the broader business community, give back to worthwhile local causes, and help champion the profession I’m so passionate about.” Nicole Crump Affinity Insurance
2021 IBAS Annual Report SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
Land of the
(Unpredictable) By Nicole Sinclair, Editor, SaskBroker Magazine
Saskatchewan lives up to it’s moniker sending summer out with a damaging bang.
askatchewan proudly calls itself the Land of the Living Skies — the epithet that won the 1997 Tourism Saskatchewan license plate slogan contest. As data continues to be gathered to officially declare summer 2021 the worst drought on record, the ‘living skies’ opened over southern portions of the province on the final day of August, pummelling areas with damaging hail, high winds and rain. “While Regina is reporting a large number, at least 34 communities have been involved in this event. Assiniboia, Moose Jaw, Regina, Yorkton, all stand out and even Prince Albert where it circled back on the tail end,” reported Andrew Voroney, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of SGI CANADA. The sky let loose hail and rain, doing the most damage to the north-west portion of Regina, leading to localized flooding, property, and vehicle damage and over five hours with no power in some areas. Gusts of wind over 93 kilometres per hour were recorded, a 100-year-old barn was destroyed near Moose Jaw ; the supercell led to claims for thousands, including customers that still have open property damage claims open from hailstorms in 2020. The most recent storm, in addition to multiple large storms in July — has made for a costly storm season. At the time of the interview, Voroney explained that SGI had 7,539 auto clams reported and 1,360 property claims, but claims were coming in slowly. Voroney elaborated on why claims weren’t coming in as quickly as with some other weather events, “Given the preliminary reports we know the impacted numbers are large, but claims are coming in more slowly than for example a large wind event. In general, we’re looking at cosmetic damage, so the urgency is less. People are taking their time to clean up the leaves and maybe haven’t even noticed their facia is dented, or that their siding has a few holes. As homeowners get a chance to assess the situation and potential costs, we expect to see claims come in, perhaps for several months.” Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance hoped it has seen the end of storm season, “As we approached the end of August, our fingers were crossed that we had seen the end of the major storm season, however, Mother Nature had different plans. On August 31, a storm crashed its way through southern Saskatchewan, pelting anything in its way with pea to golf ball sized hail. As of September 9, SMI had received a total of 49 property related claims due to this event in areas including Regina, Moose Jaw,
“As we approached the end of August, our fingers were crossed that we had seen the end of the major storm season, however, Mother Nature had different plans.”
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
Assiniboia, and Yorkton. We do anticipate that this event will be significant but until our adjusters are able to inspect all of the properties for damage, we won’t know 100%. We are extremely proud of our claims team and the quick turnaround times from notice of claim to being on-site to inspect the physical damage.” Saskatchewan is no stranger to late summer storms; it is after all the record holder for the largest hailstone to ever fall in Canada. A storm in Cedoux in 1973 measured a single piece of hail at 290 grams and 114 millimeters in diameter (the width of a popsicle stick, for the more visually inclined readers). Environment Canada data also shows that the prairies are exceptionally vulnerable to hail, receiving more severe hail events and more damage to crops and personal property from hail than from all other summer severe weather events combined, including tornadoes, severe thunderstorm winds and heavy rains. While Saskatchewan certainly experiences its fair share of chunks of ice falling from the sky, we aren’t as bad off as our neighbours in Alberta, which has played host to two-thirds of Canada’s major documented hailstorms. The largest weather event in Canada history was the very memorable Calgary storm which was the costliest hailstorm in history causing over $1.3 billion dollars in insured damages. Prior to that record setting event, the most expensive hail event in Canada also occurred in Calgary, in 1991. According to CatIQ data, of the 10 most costly natural disasters in Canadian history, six took place in Alberta. In fact, hail is so common in south and central Alberta that the area has been dubbed ‘Hailstorm Alley’. According to the Saskatchewan Flood and Natural Hazard Risk Assessment Prepared for Saskatchewan Ministry of Government, the greatest monetary loss from convective storms is from hail, which damages personal and auto property, the agricultural sector and can lead to loss of income. It is estimated
that three to four per-cent of prairie grain crops are destroyed or damaged each year by hail. For the insurance industry and policy holders alike, the seemingly sudden and without-warning appearance of hail is nerve-racking. Hail is unpredictable to locate in the actual zone of influence and there is no clear distinction between storm that do and do not produce hailstones. Three basic factors are needed to produce hail: adequate updraft to keep the hailstone aloft for an appropriate amount of time; sufficient supercooled water near the hailstone to enable growth as it travels through an updraft; and a piece of ice, snow or dust for it to grow upon. “Hail is directional, sporadic, different sizes and has various levels of impact. We often find one house or street can be pulverized and the neighbouring house or street has no damage,” explained Brennen Mills of Saskatoon Fire and Flood. In 2018 the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction’s (ICLR) released Hail climatology for Canada: An update. The report was written by David Etkin, Associate Professor of Disaster Management at York University. The paper serves as an update to Etkin’s Canada’s Hail Climatology: 1977-1993. Although national hail climatologies cannot be used to determine hailstorm severity or to infer damage, it is used to help identify vulnerable regions and areas where mitigation efforts should be concentrated. Etkin warned in the update that further hail research would be constrained by the lack of ongoing hail observations by Environment Canada. The report states that after 1993, the number of hail observing stations began to decline and after 2005 the number of stations reporting hail dropped precipitously. After 2007, the number of observation stations was trivial. This means that other datasets have to be used, such as those created by radar and satellite imagery.
“According to CatIQ data, of the 10 most costly natural disasters in Canadian history, six took place in Alberta. In fact, hail is so common in south and central Alberta that the area has been dubbed ‘Hailstorm Alley’.” There are organizations in North America with ongoing projects to develop technology to improve forecasting of hail, some scientists are even using artificial intelligence akin to facial recognition to predict the size of hailstorms. The tech and development are fascinating, but that isn’t helping Saskatchewan residents quit yet. In a hail awareness campaign IBC ran earlier this year, home and business owners were educated on hail preparedness. • Be prepared —watch for weather warnings. Saskatchewan residents are encouraged to download the SaskAlert app. • Get property ready for severe weather, including installation of sump pumps and backflow valves on homes. • Consider resilient building materials when completing repairs • Everyone’s priority must be their own safety, and the safety of their loved ones and neighbours. In an age where people never need to be ‘out of the loop’ unless they chose to be, the small amount of hail data and ineffectiveness in predicting when it will strike can be a harsh reminder that Mother Nature is in charge and sometimes all that can be done is to tuck vehicles away, strap down barbeques, make sure clients have adequate coverage and watch our the living skies live up to their reputation.
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Part 2: In-conversation with Saskatchewan brokers By Todd Hochban, President, West Coast Training
hope this summer was as relaxing for you as it was for me and my family. As we enter these last few months of 2021, we look with great anticipation for 2022 to begin. In my last article for this SaskBroker Magazine I discussed sales management within Saskatchewan brokerages and reviewed many of my findings from recent interviews with several Saskatchewan brokerages. In part two of the article, I would like to follow up by discussing the state of marketing management within Saskatchewan insurance brokerages. I remind readers that statistics quoted in this article are not scientific in nature but are reflective of answers that I received during my various discussions with brokerages. When I discussed sales management in the last issue, I found the state of sales management was quite strong with Saskatchewan brokerages. I hope that you understand the importance of managing sales operations to benefit your organization. Marketing is a natural topic that follows sales. In fact, some would say marketing happens first and sales follow. In my opinion, they happen in tandem in order to move sales goals of the organization closer to fruition. First things first: Brokerages must ensure that all employees understand that marketing is a system which positions organizations as the preferred
supplier of a product or service. For our discussion we will be looking at how insurance brokerages use marketing to position themselves as a client’s preferred supplier of insurance products. Critical to the success of any marketing plan is ensuring brokerages have the products prospects need and suppliers of those products. When I discussed marketing management with brokerages, I found it was pretty evenly split (50%-50%) with regards to brokerages researching insurer’s appetites. Brokerages that don't know what insurers want may find themselves marketing to clients where satisfaction may be impossible. For example, why develop a marketing strategy to attract ski hill operations when none of a brokerage’s insurers want to provide insurance for ski hill operations? By researching insurer’s needs, brokerages will be able to develop more focused marketing strategies and have a greater success rate. A quick note - insurers develop plans and budgets well in advance of the next fiscal year. As a result, brokerages should be having discussions about insurer appetite early to allow proper planning for next fiscal year. The next question I posed to brokerages about their marketing is “Do they have a marketing plan?” And to no surprise the same split became
apparent. 50% of brokerages in Saskatchewan develop marketing plans and 50% of brokerages in Saskatchewan do not. This split means there is pent up potential for brokerages not planning their marketing efforts. Often developing a marketing plan is nothing more than just documenting what is normally done during the year. But, by having written deadlines and people responsible for these activities, marketing plans are much more likely to occur. When these marketing activities occur in coordinated ways, they have a bigger impact. For example, if a brokerage normally sends out travel insurance information with fall billings, it may want to incorporate that into a marketing plan. Having someone in a position of authority monitoring this activity will ensure that it does not get overlooked. By planning activities there is a greater likelihood they will occur and if they're more likely to occur your brokerage will reap several benefits of these marketing strategies. They don't have to be complicated; they just have to be repeated over and over. Another marketing question I posed to Saskatchewan brokers centered around community involvement. As I suspected, responses were strong. 100% of brokerages supported local groups and charities. Hey, no big surprise, right? We are talking Saskatchewan after all.
“For example, why develop a marketing strategy to attract ski hill operations when none of a brokerage’s insurers want to provide insurance for ski hill operations? By researching insurer’s needs, brokerages will be able to develop more focused marketing strategies and have a greater success rate.”
SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
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SaskBroker Magazine | Fall 2021
“Look at the brokerage’s sales plan, understand insurers appetites and know your strengths. With this information the brokerage will become involved in the community in a way that will be most beneficial.”
A small percentage of brokerages, however, do not have a community involvement strategy, they just donate when asked. I believe a more strategic approach is needed. Look at the brokerage’s sales plan, understand insurers appetites and know your strengths. With this information the brokerage will become involved in the community in a way that will be most beneficial. Let me explain. Let’s presume you wish to grow your farm insurance portfolio. You should be supporting those community groups active in agricultural areas. With a little research you will find several worthy causes connected to this agricultural sector and your support of these causes will raise your brokerage’s profile in that desired sector. Have you ever heard the saying taking candy from a baby? Well, it might be easy to take that candy, but the baby will cry and scream. What does this have to do with marketing? Simple, if you don't know what your clients like, you might stop offering that service or product. Surveying clients is an important part of any marketing strategy. Maybe you've already experienced this. Have you ever not offered calendars one year? Have you ever not offered a pen when a client is signing a document? Have you ever removed a candy dish from your front counter? If you have, you may have heard strong comments from your clients. Taking these articles away from your clients might be a way to save a few dollars but do you really want to take candy from a baby? Many successful organizations are in touch with clients to know what they want and need. So too should insurance brokers. Surveying clients provides valuable marketing information.
Surveying does not have to be complicated; it could be asking maybe two or three questions in every piece of mail that goes to clients. Or having a footer on an email when connecting electronically with a client. Or having a link to a website where your web designer can build you a survey page. There are many ways to understand what clients need and want. Oh, and don't forget to ask them what they like about your brokerage. You don't want to take candy from a baby. Finally, I would like to discuss budgeting. Two thirds of Saskatchewan brokerages have money allocated to marketing efforts. This shows that there is lots of potential for brokerages to be more strategic and more deliberate with marketing expenditures. Many people ask what should happen first, a brokerage financial budget or a marketing budget? Well, my view is they should be constructed in tandem. You see, as a sales organization your financial budget will be largely dependent upon the sales of your brokerage. And we do know that marketing efforts will impact that sales strategy. Costing and developing targeted marketing campaigns within your immediate market and beyond will allow you to be more deliberate with your marketing expenditures. It's difficult if not impossible to measure the success of any marketing strategy if you don't know what it costs. Budgeting is one way to measure that success. As I close this article, I am thinking of all my Saskatchewan broker friends and the recent convention postponement announcement. We’ve all been through some crazy times eventually we will all be able to gather again. Until then, stay safe.
The pros know Thea Baird, CiP Assistant Vice President, Commercial Risk Solutions
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The Tao and the Path of Insurance By Pete Tessier, Host, The Insurance Podcast
he path to becoming a digital or connected broker is an evolution and not a race because there is no finish line. The last time I wrote about being a digital broker I posed three questions that brokers should think about as they embark on the transformative journey. Those questions were: What problem am I trying to solve; How much money does it cost to acquire a customer; and How much is too much? These questions don’t necessarily have firm answers or numbers and that’s because every brokerage is different. As insurance brokers, we all have different needs and markets to service which require different solutions or paths and our customers demand different services and interactions based on many different factors. Simply put, you can’t follow the same path to serve everyone because needs and comfort levels are diverse. What a brokerage wants to do is change to match the habits of its customers, and that means finding your path(s). The past eighteen months have forced every brokerage to change their processes to accommodate the issues presented by COVID-19, brokers have had to find new paths to accommodate their customer’s needs and expectations. Whether it be by over-the-phonetransactions, online forms, automated self-service, patiently waiting for distinct in-person service, or even mail. The traditional broker value proposition of advice and service was disrupted by a risk no one expected, and the solutions were not always obvious. What brokers did in the past may be gone, and possibly for good. Now is a great time to think like a Taoist as we look to the future. We cannot control what is happening around us, but we can let a natural order of how things exist help us choose a path to follow. This is a key principle of Taoist philosophy.
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A great book to understand Taoist philosophy is The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff; the book uses Winnie the Pooh as subject matter to explain Taoist philosophy. When it comes to discovering or choosing a path, there may be no better book to read. It is full of thoughtful quotes, lessons, and concepts about Taoism and it’s worth looking at this next quote as an entry point. “The main problem with this great obsession for saving time is very simple: you can't save time. You can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely or foolishly.” The path you choose will require time. Time to explore it, time to observe it, and time to react to it. Brokers have experienced interruptions where none existed before. Friction points have been created from new and untested processes while necessary adjustments have changed workflows and services. So how do you want to spend your time as you follow a post-COVID path? More importantly, how do you want customers to spend their time with their insurance transactions and experience? The situation caused by COVID-19 should not be seen as a temporary nuisance that, when COVID is eradicated, will end and business will return to normal. Rather, this situation can be used to a broker’s advantage by figuring out how to adapt to future variables and deliver services with unexpected restraints. At the same time, customers might be reviewing how they want to be receiving insurance products and services. Yes, we’ve hit the questions with no firm answers again, but the above thought is important. Brokers have to learn where the new paths are when it comes to the intersection of service and technology. Many software vendors (and some companies) are offering consumer portals that allow each customer to have their own space in the insurance
“Brokers need to determine what is the right technology path to support the efficiencies, experience, and customer needs now that many changes have become permanent. This is where understanding the market is paramount and listening to customers becomes critical. “ cloud. These are secure places to view documents, provide information, and conduct financial transactions with their broker. Do customers who enjoy the convenience of remote services want to return to the old way of business? Is that how they want to spend their time, or are they ready to evolve? What was learned about how to make something work even though the situations were not planned? The temporary fixes that each brokerage developed for workflows and processes can become a permanent solution with a few tweaks and a change in mindset. Those paths that we were forced to explore can become regular journeys.
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A change in mindset is important and the COVID-19 pandemic provides one, but perhaps in a business sense, it would be seen as a paradigm shift. There’s a Taoist way of looking at what a paradigm shift is and again it’s covered in the book. “Hui-tse said to Chuang-tse, "I have a large tree which no carpenter can cut into lumber. Its branches and trunk are crooked and tough, covered with bumps and depressions. No builder would turn his head to look at it. Your teachings are the same useless, without value. Therefore, no one pays attention to them.” "You complain that your tree is not valuable as lumber. But you could make use of the shade it provides, rest under its sheltering branches, and stroll beneath it, admiring its character and appearance. Since it would not be endangered by an axe, what could threaten its existence? It is useless to you only because you want to make it into something else and do not use it in its proper way.” We won’t dive into the purpose of trees and whether they exist for lumber or not, but the point remains, how can we take something that appears to have no use and find a purpose that proves valuable in other ways? This is part of discovery when discovering your path. The value may not be obvious until a path is explored, and right now brokers should not be afraid to explore. Brokers need to determine what is the right technology path to support the efficiencies, experience, and customer needs now that many changes have become permanent. This is
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where understanding the market is paramount and listening to customers becomes critical. A broker may want to change, but where do you start? Learning what customers want will allow the broker to spend time and dollars wisely. Remember, the goal is to spend time finding solutions that align with the customer’s needs and the strategic objectives of the brokerage. The path chosen by the broker will inevitably require technology and change, but not all or just any technology. Traditionally technology has been developed by the insurance industry with a lens pointing inwards. Now the lens is pointed outwards, and in many situations, the lens is held by non-traditional insurance entities. Brokers are being propositioned to solve many problems they didn’t know they had, at least that’s what they are being told. As a broker moves forward and thinks about what COVID-19 has allowed them to do, how will they explore this new path with what they have learned? The idea here is to find the inner path with the brokerage business and use tools and services that align with and help follow that path. Of course, there is a quote from the Tao of Pooh about this too. “Cleverness, as usual, takes all the credit it possibly can. But it's not the clever mind that's responsible when things work out. It's the mind that sees what's in front of it and follows the nature of things.” There are many smart and clever people in the insurance industry, and they are achieving amazing results but that might simply be their own ‘nature of things’, so what is yours? What path do you see in front of you and how will you naturally follow it? Terms such as ‘the new normal’ have shaped the way we think about the world and how we conduct business in it. How a brokerage moves to a new normal is controllable but requires a different way of thinking, a paradigm shift. Brokers should try to discover their natural path and align themselves with resources to support the journey that best serves their customers. Brokers are already planning for the end of the pandemic by evolving new ideas and initiatives created by the last eighteen months. Some changes will become permanent because they worked and now need to be refined. However, taking time to look at the different paths available will allow brokers to think strategically. The opportunity to change provided by COVID-19 is apparent, but how we manage the inevitable changes requires some patience and resistance to the forces of momentum. Brokers are and will be presented with many options about how to change, but identifying what changes have value and what is of value to customers is prudent. So, think about Winnie the Pooh and let me leave you with another thought from the book, “The goal has to be right for us, and it has to be beneficial, in order to ensure a beneficial process. But aside from that, it’s really the process that’s important.” The process is the path and allowing yourself and your brokerage to find its natural way will mean you likely will end up where you should be. After all, “How can you get very far, if you don’t know who you are?”
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‘Supper in the Field’ Contest Celebration By Nicole Sinclair, Advisor to the President & CEO, IBAS
askatchewan has a deep reverence for its farming community, insurance brokers included. This spring IBAS launched a new service for its members which allowed brokers to learn more about agriculture customers. In partnership with My Mutual Insurance, Know Your AG Clients is a collaboration with Utensil.ca to provide IBAS members access to on-demand educational resources to help brokers better understand the agriculture industry and their farming clients. All brokers who completed the training program prior to June 30 were automatically entered into a draw to win a prize, not for them, but for their client.
The Winning Brokers – and their client Chalen Schneider, partner at Heron Powers Insurance was the winner of the draw. As the winner, Chalen was entitled to select one of her farming clients to receive complimentary supper in the field this harvest. Staff from IBAS and My Mutual joined Chalen and her client on his farm near Marquis in early September. “It’s easy to overlook that the products and economic contributions that have kept us all strong though
all of this, come from right here, from our farmers. I have been proud of the #Brokerscare Campaign all year but knowing that in addition to this small token of appreciation, the annual charity campaign also has donated money to the Do More Agriculture Foundation really make a person feel like we are making an impact,” said IBAS Manager of Community Engagement, Kyle Halvorson. IBAS and Heron Powers Insurance were able to meet with the winning farmers on the perfect day, their last day of harvest. “It was their final day in the field bringing in the crop, turning it into a much-deserved end-of-season celebration, adding an
extra layer of enjoyment to the occasion. We were there to acknowledge their hard work through a difficult farming season and the success felt in the final day,” said Chalen Schneider. To commemorate the launch of Know Your Ag Clients, IBAS made a $5,000 donation to The Do More Agriculture Foundation on behalf of its members, My Mutual Insurance, Utensil. ca, and its #BrokersCare campaign partner, Wawanesa Insurance. Founded by two Saskatchewan farmers, the charity provides much-needed mental health resources and support to producers across Canada.’
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Building Enhanced Customer Experiences by Standardizing APIs by Catherine Smola, President & CEO at CSIO
hat if brokers could serve their clients much faster, easier and more efficiently? It is entirely possible. CSIO and its Innovation and Emerging Technology (INNOTECH) Advisory Committee are working to advance digital experiences for brokers and their clients by moving information faster - with policy data available in realtime. By the end of this article, CSIO will have outlined how it will support the broker channel with digital solutions to streamline how brokers do business.
Currently, a solution is underway that will standardize APIs to reduce the friction of data exchange among brokers, insurers and vendors. If insurer and vendor members structure their data in an agreed upon format, then faster, more efficient transaction times will improve the digital customer experience.
APIs are everywhere… what are they?
An “Application Programming Interface”, API, is a digital window into another digital system. An API connects different devices and allows transactions to occur between them. Think Inception of a solution of it as a software go-between that enables two different CSIO's INNOTECH Committee is engaged in the development applications to talk to one another. It takes a request, tells the of an industry API standard to address the pain points that system what needs to be done, then returns a response to you brokers face in supporting clients through the policy lifecycle. – instantaneously (in real time) and securely. The INNOTECH Committee, launched in 2019 to drive digital We encounter APIs in our everyday lives. They access data innovation and improve customer experiences within the broker from third parties. A good example would be a Google search TSW Management - 1/4 pg vertical cmyk adand 3.375 4.625” Feb10/17 channel, identifies major operational issues thenx develops of the weather. The forecast is obtained instantly through an solutions accordingly. API, yet all of the complexity of collecting the data is hidden behind the scenes.
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Today, information isn’t readily available in a broker’s BMS to support new prospects and to manage existing clients. Brokers must: • deal with different processes across insurers; • use third-party systems for quotes; • complete the sales process in insurer portals; • access client policy information via log in to an insurer’s portal or, call the insurer, wait in the queue, wait for the insurer to search for information, then call the client back. This takes time and results in a less than stellar client experience. To support clients through the policy lifecycle, the process is typically slow and cumbersome – and it takes a certain amount of time for brokers to respond. A gap exists in real-time policy data exchange between insurers’ and brokers’ systems to provide a more fluid information delivery and an optimal user experience. CSIO’s INNOTECH Committee will close that gap.
CSIO’s INNOTECH Committee drives solutions To fast-forward this API initiative, the INNOTECH Committee formed three API Working Groups comprised of industry subject matter experts to ensure that all aspects of the digital solution are considered and tested. The three Working Groups are:
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1. API Business Requirements: insurers, vendors and brokers collaborate to capture brokers’ operational requirements to foster a solution, and translate them into business requirements to drive digital advancement in the broker channel. This leads to improved customer experiences (the group examines the current broker workflow process to identify the data requirements for a real-time process). 2. API Technical Standards: create an industry API standard in JSON format for personal and commercial lines of business. Publish APIs using CSIO Data Standards to support members’ requested use cases in JSON and XML format (the group focuses on how to build and package the business requirements). 3. API Security: standardize authentication/authorization and/or define requirements for a security solution (how to provide access and exchange information) to facilitate data exchange among insurers, brokers and vendors using standardized APIs.
Build it; they will come – the API solution CSIO and the INNOTECH Committee understand the issues that brokers face to access real-time policy information in their BMS. That’s why through the collaboration of industry experts on the INNOTECH API Working Groups, they will leverage digital advancements in day-to-day transactions. This means that brokers will be able to obtain information in real-time to handle customer inquiries and transactions. That’s not all – the Working Groups are developing a framework so that all APIs will be built the same way.
“With the digital solutions and API standardization in place, brokers will benefit by starting and ending their transactions in their BMS. They will also have accurate, up-to-date (real-time) data with which to support their customers.” With the digital solutions and API standardization in place, brokers will benefit by starting and ending their transactions in their BMS. They will also have accurate, up-to-date (real-time) data with which to support their customers. CSIO’s INNOTECH Committee is advancing digital experiences, for brokers and their customers, by moving information faster and having policy data available in real-time. “As an INNOTECH Advisory Committee member, it’s exciting to see the progress we’ve made addressing industry pain points,” said Dennis Dalmas, Senior Vice President, Solutions Delivery at Northbridge Financial. “Standardizing APIs will facilitate data exchange and enable brokers to improve the overall digital experience for customers while also improving their own brokerage efficiencies.”
Next steps With a solution on the horizon, watch for more information about API standardization in the coming weeks and months. CSIO plans to host a webinar and issue more communications on the roll out of this exciting new digital solution.
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