OTTAWA _ Statistics Canada says the number of people collecting employment insurance in April fell to the lowest level in at least 21 years.
The federal agency says 453,100 people received the regular wage insurance payments in April, down 100,200 or 18 per cent since April 2017, and the lowest number since comparable data became available in 1997.
The reduction in beneficiaries was reflected in every province and coincides with a reduction in the national unemployment rate from 6.5 per cent to a record low of 5.8 per cent over same 12-month period.
StatsCanada also points out there was real gross domestic product growth in every province in 2017 for the first time since 2011.
The agency says the sharpest year-over-year decline in EI recipients took place in Alberta, where the 56,300 people collecting benefits was down nearly 29 per cent from a year earlier.
Other provinces with big declines included Quebec, down 24 per cent; British Columbia, 22 per cent; and Ontario and New Brunswick, each down by 16 per cent.
Changes in the number of beneficiaries are affected by the number of new claims, recipients who go back to work and the number who have exhausted their benefits.
Insurance brokers and their clients will enjoy accurate real-time quotes and faster, more efficient new business submission and policy issuance with a software integration project from Economical Insurance and Custom Software Solutions Inc. (CSSI). The real-time data exchange project will integrate Economical’s Vyne™ offering with CSSI’s vendor rating software IntelliQuote (IQ) and broker management system The Broker’s Workstation (TBW).
“We share Economical’s commitment to improving the broker channel through technological innovation,” said Scott Andrew, CEO of CSSI. “This new real-time connectivity, which adheres to CSIO standards, enables our CSSI brokers to provide a better quoting experience and faster new business policy turnaround for their customers.”
“Incorporating CSSI software into our Vyne offering has allowed Economical to deliver an enhanced experience to our broker partners,” said Alice Keung, SVP and Chief Transformation Officer, Economical Insurance. “This real-time data exchange provides a streamlined workflow that allows both Economical and brokers to deliver faster and better service for our customers.”
Shifting customer expectations means brokers increasingly need new tools. Economical and CSSI recognize the opportunity to improve the quoting and policy issuance process by implementing new technology. The integration project will enhance broker quoting capabilities for new business in personal auto, personal property, and individually rated commercial auto (IRCA). Immediate benefits to the broker are improved rating accuracy, real-time rate updates, and rate maintenance efficiencies. A quote can quickly be turned into a new business submission in one customer interaction. If no underwriter intervention is required, a policy will be issued in real-time and an eDoc download will be available within minutes.
IntelliQuote and TBW integrated rating and new business issuance with Vyne will roll out regionally beginning June 2018.
About Economical Insurance
Founded in 1871, Economical is one of Canada’s leading property and casualty insurers, with more than $2.2 billion in annualized premium volume and more than $5.4 billion in assets as at March 31, 2018. Headquartered in Waterloo, ON, this Canadian-owned and operated company services the insurance needs of more than one million customers across the country. Economical conducts business under the following brands: Economical Insurance, Economical, Western General, Economical Select, Perth Insurance, Sonnet, Petsecure, Economical Financial, and Family Insurance Solutions.
About Custom Software Solutions
Custom Software Solutions Inc. (CSSI) was founded in 1991 and is a leader in the development and delivery of real-time digital solutions and business process automation systems for Insurance Brokers, Companies and MGAs in Canada. Our proven Broker products, The Broker’s Workstation, IntelliQuote, The Underwriter’s Workstation and I-Client, and Insurance Company Products, I-Company, I-Broker, and I-Biz, are today providing significant efficiency gains leading to increased productivity and decreased operating expenses for both Broker and Company users. CSSI boasts a team of highly experienced programmers, insurance industry professionals, and certified computer technologists. CSSI services its growing clientele of Brokers and Insurance Companies from its offices in Virden, MB. For more information, visit our website at www.cssionline.com.
For its 16thAnnual Technology Conference (ICTC 2018) Insurance-Canada.ca is focusing on the opportunities and challenges provided by new technology in use by Canadian insurers and brokers.
Artificial Intelligence is becoming a reality for Canadian insurance. Since the origin of electronic computing, “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) has been a goal for programmers and fodder for science fiction. These two groups are now coming together as reality emerges. AI and its counterparts – machine learning and advanced analytics – are coming into play in insurance companies and larger brokerages. Early implementations are demonstrating the use of AI in claims settlements, providing more accurate insurance product pricing and allowing customers ease of access to a variety of coverages.
From the buyers’ perspective, insurers and brokers are finding that Customer Experience is a critical success factor for attracting consumers while utilizing advanced technologies. Kanetix Ltd will discuss some of the challenges for customer-facing insurance providers as they optimize the customer experience, and techniques – including AI – to better address human behaviours.
Other sessions at ICTC 2018 will cover a larger landscape. Experts from the analyst, insurer and technology supplier communities are preparing sessions focused on Blockchain, IoT (Internet of Things) and Digital insurance technologies. These include:
- New risks and developing insurance products
- De-risking strategies through climate adaptation
- The impact of autonomous vehicles on the automotive insurance product
- Customer experience technologies on the business of insurance.
Taking a user’s angle on the insurance industry and its technologies, David Coletto, CEO at Abacus Data, will provide the keynote address. Based on more than seven years of research, Coletto’s presentation will describe the context around all the technologies, and will offer a Canadian perspective on generational change (Millennials and Gen Z) and the disruptive forces at work in both consumer and insurance markets.
The 2018 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference, entitled Insurance Vectors in Play, will be held on February 27-28, 2018 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto. Details on the location, agenda, and registration can be found here. (www.insurance-canada.ca/ictc)
TORONTO – Incoming Manulife (MFC.TO 1.55%) chief executive Roy Gori said on Thursday the insurance industry is “still in the dark ages” and needs to transform its technologies to adapt to changing consumer behaviors.
Speaking at the Scotiabank Financials Summit, Gori, who is taking over as CEO next month, said the vast majority of Manulife’s technology budget is spent on maintaining existing systems rather than investing in new technologies.
“We need to transform our business to be much more of a technology-driven company,” he said. “We need to become a much more customer-orientated organization and quite frankly the entire industry does. In many ways, if I’m absolutely honest, our industry is still in the dark ages.”
Gori, who will replace Chief Executive Donald Guloien, said customers are looking to be able to buy insurance products instantly rather than be bogged down with paperwork.
“If you apply for an insurance product you’ll get a 16-page application form with 120 questions more often that not. It’s still very paper-based, very manual and, as a result, our industry net promoter scores are really very poor,” he said.
Gori said embracing new technology was key to changing processes.
“Customers engage today on their phones with other organizations in a seamless, transparent and very efficient way,” he said. “That’s not how they work with the insurance industry, so we need to transform our technology footprint.”