I had the pleasure of being invited to participate in the InsurTech – Broker Management System (BMSs) Panel hosted by the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAA). The event took place during the annual IBAA 2018 Convention in Banff, Alberta – where hundreds of brokers, agents, carriers, insurance technology vendors and other industry experts gathered to network and learn more about the latest trends and technologies. Over 200 people attended the panel, where the participants answered a series of prepared questions from the moderator, followed by a brief dialogue and concluded with a Q & A session from the audience.
The panel was moderated by Sherif Gemayel, the President of Sharp Insurance. I was joined by representatives from the other leading Canadian BMS vendors. It was an honor to be invited to participate, since TechCanary has only been in the Canadian Market for a little over a year.
The agenda the moderator prepared for us featured a wide array of questions focused on the growing role a high-functioning broker management system will play, especially in the Canadian market, in the future.
We opened with each panelist introducing their solution – its functionality, pricing, planned future developments, integration capabilities, etc.. Then the moderator asked each panelist to describe how their solution is designed to meet the changing needs of the Canadian insurance market. There has been little technology innovation in the Canadian insurance market for years, but as customer and broker needs change, the need for better technology is becoming critical.
Key InsurTech Trends
The questions and dialogue then segued into a deeper discussion on the future of technology and the role it will play in the insurance industry. Some of the areas discussed included:
Artificial Intelligence and Insurance Technology
Specifically, how AI can be used in broker management systems, and the insurance industry in general, to better automate processes, improve workflows, and instantly respond to customer requests and process transactions without a broker needing to take action.
Building Your Insurance Business With Blockchain
Blockchain is on everyone’s mind as its popularity explodes from cryptocurrency to mainstream financial industries and services. The future of blockchain in insurance is still undecided, but more industry leaders are recognizing the technology’s potential for data storage, transactions, digital security and more. The panel discussed how they see blockchain fitting into the insurance industry and what it could mean to brokers.
APIs for Insurance Data Sharing and Interoperability
The demand for open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) is quickly growing across all industries, and the insurance industry is starting to understand the benefits. Having an open API enables the customer to customize an out-of-the-box solution to meet their unique business needs and processes. Legacy software and technology products lack this functionality, forcing users to adapt their business to the system, rather than adapting the system to their business. Open APIs allow for greater interoperability between different systems as well, allowing for more automation and improved efficiency. This is why TechCanary and Salesforce built their products with an open API so that customers can easily create a customized, connected solution to help their businesses grow.
Carrier Integrations for Seamless Data Sharing
We also discussed the importance of sharing data between the brokers and the insurance carriers they write business with. The moderator asked each panelist to discuss how their platform works with multiple carriers and what this means to the brokers using the system. We at TechCanary have always believed the flow of data between carriers and brokers needs to be seamless.
IBAA InsurTech: Broker Management System Panel Summary
The IBAA InsurTech: Broker Management System Panel was a great event, where I was able to share the strategic advantage brokers using TechCanary experience and discuss the needs of the industry as a whole. Networking with other innovators in the InsurTech industry and seeing how our solution serves the industry provided great insights into how we can make our product even better for our customers.
Some key takeaways were:
- Innovations in insurance technology are on the minds of agents and brokers everywhere
- The insurance industry is changing and these professionals need technology to keep up
- Customers want their insurance needs met instantly, digitally and free from hassle
- Agents and brokers need technology that enables them to operate their entire business from a single, integrated system
Our invitation to participate in this panel was a true testament to the overwhelming response TechCanary has received since we expanded into the Canadian market last year. The other broker management systems represented on the panel have operated in Canada and dominated the market for years. We are honored that the IBAA recognized TechCanary as an emerging player in the Canadian market.