Canadian InsurTech Leader Keal Appoints New General Manager to Build for the Future

MONTREALJan. 10, 2020 /CNW/ — Keal Technology, an expert in Canadian broker innovation powered by Vertafore, announced that Dimitrios Argitis has joined the company as Vice President and General Manager to lead Keal’s next phase of growth and roll out new solutions to the Canadian market.

Dimitrios Argitis appointed as Vice President and General Manager of Keal

Keal’s mission is to provide Canadian brokerages with world-class solutions that contribute to their success in an increasingly competitive marketplace. A respected leader and seasoned software and product executive, Argitis is known for successfully leading organizational transformations to enhance customer success, optimize revenue and build for the future.

“Canadian customers will benefit from a company determined to stay Canadian, but with the additional resources of a large international organization with a track record for delivering innovative, world-class software,” said Argitis. “Imagine the solutions we can bring to the Canadian market, both homegrown as well as those adapted from proven solutions in the United States to fit Canadian brokers’ needs. This will drive significant value for our customers.”

Argitis graduated from McGill University and has spent his 23-year career working for several leading software organizations based in Toronto and Montreal, such as TECSYS and Epicor Retail (currently Aptos). Often referred to as a Swiss Army knife, Argitis is well versed in all aspects of the customer lifecycle – spanning from sales to project delivery, custom development, customer support and business optimization.

Argitis succeeds Pat Durepos and Renee Durepos. In 2016, the Dureposes, then owners of Keal, joined the Vertafore family for the betterment of their broker partners and their employees. Having completed the goal of transitioning Keal from a family-owned company to a leader in the InsurTech space, the Dureposes are moving on from Keal to usher in a new wave of innovation and growth.

Argitis is excited by the opportunity to work for Keal, a staunchly Canadian software solution, made by Canadians for Canadians. He sees significant potential in Keal’s future thanks to the backing of Vertafore, the leading insurance software provider in the U.S.

About Keal

Keal Technology is the expert in Canadian broker innovation and a leader in the BMS (Broker Management Systems) marketplace for insurance and financial services brokers. Keal offers an integrated suite of products designed to increase revenue through efficient use of technology. In 2016, Vertafore acquired Keal Technology, a leading provider of broker and commercial management systems in Canada. For more information, visit www.keal.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Vertafore

For over 50 years, Vertafore, the leader in modern insurance technology, has built and supported superior InsurTech solutions to connect every point of the distribution channel. Vertafore’s agency management, ratings, regulation, compliance, and connectivity products streamline workflows, improve efficiency and drive productivity for more North American insurance professionals than any other provider – including more than 20,000 agencies, over 1,000 carriers and 23 state governments. Through a continual focus on operational excellence, development of innovative solutions, and alignment with key industry partners, Vertafore is leading the way for customers of all sizes by delivering results that make a difference. For more information about Vertafore, visit www.vertafore.com.

©2020 Vertafore and the Vertafore logo are registered trademarks of Vertafore. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE Vertafore

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http://www.vertafore.com/

CapriCMW Insurance Acquires New Office Location in Whitehorse, Yukon

Press Release:

January 13, 2019 – CapriCMW Insurance Services Ltd., one of Western Canada’s leading independent insurance brokerages, announced today its expansion into the Yukon Territory with the acquisition of a new office located at 201 – 9016 Quartz Road in Whitehorse.

As part of this acquisition from Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc., this longstanding office with its experienced team of insurance professionals will begin operating as CapriCMW effective March 2, 2020. It is CapriCMW’s fifteenth location in Canada and its first outside of BC and Ontario.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Greg and Dayna Woodford and the Whitehorse team to the CapriCMW family,” said Andrew Kemp, President of CapriCMW. “They bring substantial industry and regional expertise that will help us deliver even more value to our clients, employees, industry partners and communities.”

There will be no change to the day-to-day operations of the Whitehorse office. Clients can expect the same direct, personal service from the same dedicated staff. Service will not be disrupted and existing processes will not change.

This development is another step for CapriCMW towards achieving more scale and capabilities, to better serve their clients’ insurance and risk management needs nationwide, and further reinforce their position as one of the largest independent insurance brokerages in Western Canada.

About CapriCMW

CapriCMW is a uniquely independent, locally and employee-owned insurance and risk management company, created through the merger of CMW and Capri Insurance. With decades of experience and specialized expertise, CapriCMW advisors provide custom insurance and risk management solutions to personal and business clients across BC and Canada. With over 400 professionals in offices across Western Canada and Ontario, CapriCMW offers a wide range of professional expertise spanning a multitude of industries, products and services. Visit capricmw.ca for more information.

About the Canadian Broker Network

CBN_logo_small.png

The Canadian Broker Network is a consortium of leading independent insurance brokerages including CapriCMW Insurance Services, Cal LeGrow Insurance Limited, Firstbrook Cassie and Anderson Ltd., Group Deslauriers, Lawrie Insurance Group Inc., Rogers Insurance Ltd., Smith, Petrie, Carr & Scott Insurance Brokers Limited, Sharp Insurance, and Bullfrog Insurance, the industry’s first digital commercial broker. Together, CBN members represent more than $1 billion in property-casualty premiums as well as employee benefits and life and financial services, with over 50 offices across Canada and more than 1,500 employees.

Maturing out of a forum dating back to 2002 originally designed to exchange best practices, CBN today provides a unique alternative for members to grow and innovate their business. CBN’s guiding principles of innovation, collaboration, commitment to growth, and independence ensures that members can deliver the best possible value proposition to their clients, employees, and insurer partners. Visit canadianbrokernetwork.com for more information.

 

What you should know about health care for international workers & students

Santiago Guzmán · for CBC N.L.

Picture this: you just finished grocery shopping for the week. Standing in front of the glass door that leads to a crowded parking lot in St. John’s, you see a not-so-scary snowstorm coming before you.

Luckily, you’re just a couple of metres away from the bus stop, so it shouldn’t be that bad. You don’t take the bus regularly because of its lack of efficiency — sometimes it’s easier and faster to walk, instead of waiting for an extra half hour.

This time, the bus is your best bet. Plus, the bus will leave you almost in front of your door. Sounds like a well-thought-out plan.

You’re trying to be positive. Although this is not your first winter in Newfoundland and you know how to deal with it, sometimes it’s hard to keep yourself positive. Kudos to you.

Now that you’ve made a plan, you put your groceries on the floor to prepare yourself to face this winter crusade: you pull out your mittens, put your warm hat on, cover your mouth and nose with your bulky scarf.

You walk through the glass door.

You can feel the immediate change in temperature and the wind. You start walking slowly, aware of the slippery street, balancing the grocery bags you’re carrying. It seems like there is enough salt on the floor to protect you from sliding, and the bus stop is barely 60 metres away.

Slip.

Your right boot swiftly slides on an icy spot that the salt didn’t cover. Miraculously, you juggle the grocery bags, as though you were on a tightrope above a hungry shark waiting for its prey to fall.

You find your balance and stand still for a second. That was close!

You let a laugh out, take a deep breath and try all over again.

Now you’re sitting on the barely cleared sidewalk with all your groceries around you. No laughs this time.

Instead, slow tears that freeze as they fall down your face. Your ankle. Despite the cold making your body feel numb, you can feel pain. Deep, sharp, acute pain. It’s broken, you know it.

In the distance, you see the bus arrive, its passengers get out while some others hop on, and you’re still on the ground in pain. No bus, no groceries, no laughs, but a broken ankle and the fear of having to go to the doctor.

No, you’re not afraid of needles, and prescriptions — you’re afraid to have to pay fully for the medical service in ER.

The answer I’ve always encountered is ‘you’re not eligible.’

You don’t have health coverage.

You really don’t know why you’re crying now: if it’s the pain of your broken ankle or of depleting your minimum wage savings to pay the medical bills.

READ MORE HERE from CBC News

 

 

The path to fair and effective regulation of the collision repair industry

The excerpted article was written By Andrew Shepherd | CollisonRepairMag.com

In our last epistle in this space, we discussed the world-leading approach of Canada’s public insurance provinces in adopting ‘universal’ collision repair standards covering training, equipment and business operations. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and B.C. are addressing consumer safety and insurance cost control through the regulatory powers of government insurance agencies.

In Saskatchewan, this involves a two-tier accreditation scheme with a top tier modelled after the manufacturers’ specifications for operation and repair, and with these, the ‘rights’ to repair a far greater number of collision types. Tier 2 will have similar training requirements without the same investment in equipment. The sweetener in the deal is a payment of up to $15,000 per shop to compensate for investments in training and equipment.  The tiered system is very similar to that operating in Manitoba since 2018 and that proposed for BC in the coming months.

By any standard—no pun intended—these three western provinces are taking an enlightened approach to improving safety and controlling escalating insurance rates. But if training, equipment and operational standards are an obvious answer, how are other provinces following suit?

It is true that a provincial insurance agency provides an ideal regulatory mechanism to drive changes to the collision repair industry, and there are no signs that other provinces are considering this direction, but there is a wide range of alternatives to government regulation.

Quebec’s insurance approach might be called ‘quasi-regulated’—the Groupement des assureurs automobiles (GAA) was created in 1978 to bring risk sharing, claims settlement and rate-setting standards to private insurers operating in the Province. Clearly, it would be an easy step to adopt training and equipment standards as well.

Ontario, with the largest population of collision repair facilities, has been very active in looking for ways to reduce insurance costs. AIA Canada has been in discussion with Ontario’s Conservative government regarding the adoption of the Canadian Collision Industry Accreditation Program (CCIAP) as a form of industry self-regulation. These discussions are based on an AIA White Paper entitled “Collision Repair Facility Accreditation: Implications for the industry and the public and the role of a national accreditation program – An AIA Canada Position Paper”—available on the AIA website. Alberta has recently created an expert advisory committee to review the province’s automobile insurance system to reduce costs for consumers—they may well consider the same options being reviewed in Ontario.

One could confidently predict a trend to further regulation of the repair industry, particularly as we move rapidly toward autonomous vehicles, increased complexity and growing safety concerns. Industry self-regulation, through programs such as CCIAP, provides governments with an effective model which avoids red tape and reduces public costs – and at the same time serves the collision repair industry itself by avoiding the regulatory burden of paperwork, licenses and inspectors.

Andrew Shepherd is the executive director of I-CAR Canada, a non-profit organization that provides collision repair training and ongoing education. He can be reached at andrew.shepherd@aiacanada.com.

New numbers confirm Alberta drivers facing higher auto insurance costs

By Dean Bennett

THE CANADIAN PRESS

EDMONTON _ New numbers confirm that many Alberta drivers are getting hit with rate hikes, and even some sharp spikes, in their auto insurance.

The Automobile Insurance Rate Board says that 27 insurers operating in Alberta were granted rate hikes in recent months, ranging from less than one per cent to almost 30 per cent for basic coverage on private passenger vehicles.

But the board, in its latest report, stressed that it now expects the changes to work not only for insurers, but also for drivers who were having trouble getting the coverage they needed under the old rate cap.

“Following nearly two years of rate restriction, some Albertans found it difficult to obtain the coverage they required or access to payment plans,” said the board in its fourth quarter report, issued Friday.

“These actions by insurers were directly related to their inability to receive approval for rates commensurate with the risk.

“The (board) expects insurers who received approval for a rate increase to cease practices that limit access to certain coverages for Albertans.”

The board said more than 92 per cent of the insurers offering coverage for private vehicles asked for rate changes.

The move comes after the insurance industry warned repeatedly that sharply rising payouts in recent years had put it in a financial squeeze, and those problems were worsened when a five per cent ceiling on rate hikes was imposed two years ago by the former NDP government.

Last fall, the new United Conservative government lifted that cap, saying it wasn’t working because some Albertans were not able to access certain non-mandatory coverages or payment plans.

Celyeste Power with the Insurance Bureau of Canada said the new hikes are about 10 per cent on average per insurers, but that average will vary widely depending on driver records and how many drivers each firm insures.

She said the increase is not a surprise.

“Insurers actually don’t want to increase rates. They would rather keep their customer happy, give them the best rate possible,” said Power.

“But we have seen increasing claims costs over the past few years that have become quite unsustainable, and that’s when you see premiums follow.”

She said she hopes longer term reform will come from a provincial panel currently reviewing the entire auto insurance system to determine ways to improve it for the industry and drivers.

The panel is to report back in the spring.

Alberta Finance spokeswoman Jerrica Goodwin, in a statement, stressed that the board makes its rate decisions independent of government.

“Today’s release shows many companies with combined rate hikes below five per cent,” said Goodwin.

“Given the numerous options available, we encourage Albertans to shop around for the best rate.

“We will be taking action in the coming months to address long-term affordability in a sustainable manner.”

Jon Carson, the Opposition NDP critic on auto insurance, said the five per cent cap was reasonable, noting some firms in the latest report managed to keep their hikes to five per cent or less.

He urged the government to bring the cap back, adding that the UCP removed it last August with no consultation.

“Albertans are paying hundreds of dollars more in auto insurance alone and that’s very concerning,” said Carson.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2020.

Leading Canadian insurer to transition from on-premises deployment to Guidewire Cloud to increase business agility and deliver more value to policyholders

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