We had the pleasure of meeting with Chief Executive Officer, Colin Simpson, and Vice President of the Executive, Greg Kruk, who represent one of our partners, the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO). They discussed the role of brokers in Ontario’s competitive insurance industry, ensuring that clients get the right insurance for their individual needs.
With over 15,000 members, IBAO provides a voice for brokers by advocating for issues facing brokers, consumers, and the industry as a whole. IBAO advocates on topics like environmental concerns and modernizing the brokerage industry, and collaborates strategically on interprovincial and national initiatives. In its advocacy, IBAO remains non-partisan. Mr. Simpson explained that creating a healthy political environment is key to advancing brokers’ perspectives, so working across party lines helps produce the best solutions.
However, they stressed that brokers’ concerns fluctuate over time and vary across different parts of Ontario. For example, brokers in rural areas have vastly different perspectives than those in urban areas. Thus, having a unified advocacy body like IBAO helps bring all issues to the government’s attention.
COVID-19 has also created a new set of concerns for brokers. As businesses have had to adapt in response to the public health requirements, brokers have had to adapt as well. The pandemic has pushed brokers to eliminate antiquated technology and evolve to do business the way that suits each client, for example, by offering paperless documents. IBAO’s recent initiative, the Going Paperless Project, helped brokers provide more online services and reduce paper use while still providing clients with the right coverage, despite the difficulties of the pandemic.
With the adoption of digital documentation and communication, IBAO is also working to enhance cybersecurity in the brokerage market. This process includes identifying weak points, tightening up security through multi-factor authentication, and working to prevent privacy breaches to protect assets.
Overall, we enjoyed learning about the evolution of the insurance industry and hearing about IBAO’s role in our province. Thank you to Messrs. Simpson and Kruk for an enjoyable, open conversation, and to IBAO, for your generous support of OLIP.