AXIS Insurance: Supporting our colleagues & business partners during this time of uncertainty

March 19, 2020  

At this time of great uncertainty, AXIS is committed to providing the underwriting expertise and claims service our clients and distribution partners deserve and expect. To help protect the safety of our team members, business partners and communities, our colleagues globally are working remotely. In addition, we have paused business travel across the entirety of our company.

We are fully operational with our teams using virtual meeting and collaboration tools to stay connected internally with our colleagues and externally with our clients and distribution partners. And we are prepared to address the concerns that may arise for our clients and partners in distribution.

We are monitoring COVID-19, and the guidance from the World Health Organization and government authorities in every region in which we have operations and critical vendor support. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our colleagues while continuing to deliver superior client service and responsiveness.

We are grateful for the continued trust and partnership of our clients and distribution partners. Please contact us as you normally would with any questions or needs you may have in the coming days and weeks.

Canada Life lays off 85 employees in Winnipeg, Montreal & London, Ont

Insurance giant to replace staff by outsourcing services from Winnipeg-based telemarketing company

Dana Hatherly · CBC News Manitoba

Canadian insurance giant Canada Life is laying off dozens of employees working in three provinces.

In an emailed statement to CBC, the company confirmed Tuesday it is laying off 85 employees in its Winnipeg, Montreal and London, Ont., offices.

The insurance company cited shifting demographics and changing the way it engages with customers in its decision.

Canada Life says it’s partnering with 24-7 Intouch Solutions — a multinational telemarketing company based in Winnipeg — to offer bilingual services and longer hours.

“24-7 has the tools and infrastructure to provide longer service hours for our customers,” vice-president Diane Bezdikian said in the statement.

She added the change “will provide greater flexibility in servicing our customers in both official languages.”

When asked by CBC, a company spokesperson would not say how many employees would be laid off in each of the three affected cities.

Three life insurance companies recently came together under the Canada Life banner when Great-West Life Assurance in Winnipeg, London Life Insurance and Canada Life Assurance consolidated as part of a restructuring process.

No jobs were cut as a result of that announcement last spring.

NFP unifies brokerages under its brand

NEW YORK, N.Y. — NFP Canada Corp., an insurance broker serving the needs of the trucking industry, is unifying its Canadian businesses under the “NFP” brand, further integrating acquired brokerages.

The company announced Tuesday that several of its Canadian brokerages, including Capital Benefit Financial Group, Corporate Benefits Analysts Insurance Agency, Consortia Group, PBL Insurance Limited, Dalton Timmis Insurance Group, Mass Insurance Brokers, McLean Hallmark Insurance Group, Elective Benefits Services and Indemnis Trade Risk Management, will adopt the NFP name.

This implementation marks the latest in a series of strategic initiatives of NFP Corp. across North America, the company said.

“We are thrilled to come together under the NFP brand and unify our operations in Canada,” said Greg Padovani, president of NFP in Canada.

“The integration of these well-established firms creates a platform for NFP that has the size, scale, and capabilities to provide a full range of insurance solutions to Canadian corporations and individuals.”

NFP is one of the top 10 Canadian brokerages, with 750 employees.

POLL: Calls to fight insurance fraud grow louder among Canadians

A recent survey commissioned by Aviva Canada and conducted by Pollara Strategic Insight finds that Canadians overwhelmingly support strong action to fight insurance fraud and clearly correlate fraud with increased premiums.  The survey showed that combating fraud is becoming more of a priority for Canadians, growing from 77% in 2017 to 87% in 2019, with overwhelming support in all regions of the country.

“With March being Fraud Prevention Month, we wanted to release this survey data, highlighting Canadian’s attitude towards fraud,” said Ashish Bhargava, Vice President, Aviva VerifyAviva Canada. “At Aviva, we are committed to raising awareness and educating our consumers, many of whom are unknowingly victims of fraud. We’ve long been a leader in the Canadian insurance industry and continue to advocate and fight for reform to reduce the levels of fraud, and to establish stricter consequences for those found guilty of committing it.”

The survey revealed that:

  • 90% of Canadians are aware there is a direct relationship between what an insurance company pays in claims and their annual premiums – an 18% increase in awareness compared to the results from a similar survey from 2017, which was also conducted by Pollara using the same methodology.
  • 87% of Canadians want more time and money spent on policing and prosecuting fraudulent insurance claims.
  • In fact, 72% of Canadians agree that increased prosecution of fraud could result in lower auto insurance premiums.
  • Half of Canadians feel one in four claims involve some element of fraud; a further 20% feel it may be closer to half of all claims.
  • 15% of Canadians report knowing of someone that has inflated the value of their personal belongings stolen from a vehicle.

The survey also pointed to the need for more consumer education, including:

  • Insurance companies can do a better job of helping consumers understand their rights at the accident scene; including that tow truck drivers are required to supply them with a detailed cost list, written notice of where they will be towing a vehicle and whether or not there are costs associated with the repair shop being recommended.
  • A little under half of Canadians indicated they are knowledgeable when it comes to their rental coverage, meaning some may overpay as a result.
  • Very few Canadians feel they are very prepared to navigate the claims process, with half of all Canadians admitting they aren’t prepared at all.
  • Almost 60% of Canadians believe they are not required to record police information or remove their personal items from their vehicle at the accident scene.
  • Two thirds of Canadians are unlikely to use a repair facility recommended to them by their insurer. Data from Aviva Canada shows that claims are resolved, on average, 30 days faster when using a recommended repair shop.

We urge consumers to be alert of any suspicious activity that may lead them to become a victim of fraud. Aviva Canada customers who suspect they may be a victim of fraud can contact our 24/7 fraud hotline 1-855-332-5255 or email us at fraud.canada@aviva.com.

Notes to editors

  • The survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insight through online interviews with 1,500 Canadians, 18 years of age and older, with a current auto insurance policy. The interviews were carried out from between October 14 to 21, 2019.  The results are considered accurate within plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.  For a full copy of the survey results contact Aviva.

About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country, providing home, automobile, lifestyle and business insurance to 2.8 million customers. A subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, Aviva Canada has more than 4,000 employees focused on creating a bright and sustainable future for their customers and our communities. Aviva Canada invests in safer Canadian communities through Aviva Take Back Our Roads. Launched in 2019, Aviva Canada is investing in data driven solutions and strategic collaborations to make safer roads a reality for all.

For more information, visit aviva.ca

SOURCE Aviva Canada Inc.

Related Links

www.avivacanada.com

Briza, an insurance-as-a-service startup based in Toronto, has raised $3 million CAD

By BetaKit

The round was led by a group of angel investors including board chair Mike McDerment, CEO and co-founder of Freshbooks, and Briza CEO Ben Munro. Angel investors included Sid Sankaran, CFO of Oscar Health, Alon Neches, former treasurer of AIG, Sharon Ludlow, former CEO of Swiss Re Canada, and Louis Beryl, founder and former CEO of Earnest. The round also saw participation from Leaders Fund.

“They say the commercial insurance industry walks slowly, but this can’t continue in the era of APIs.”

Briza, which is currently participating in Batch 26 of 500 Startups’ seed accelerator, also received capital from 500 Startups for the seed round. The accelerator typically provides $150,000 USD to startups accepted to its program in exchange for six percent equity.
Briza was founded in 2016 by Munro, who has 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, including at global insurance company AIG. The team is also led by Rishi Sharma (CTO) the former director of engineering at Freshbooks and Dom Bortolussi (COO), the founder of Toronto-based development agency TWG.

The startup has developed what it calls an insurance-as-a-service API that enables instant quoting, binding, and issuance of commercial insurance policies for businesses. Briza’s platform connects insurance underwriter systems to insurance companies allowing consumers to get quotes, pay online, and receive those insurance policies instantly.

“They say the commercial insurance industry walks slowly, but this can’t continue in the era of APIs,” said Munro. “Briza is creating the infrastructure that underwriting systems will use to talk to insurance agencies, consumer apps, and anybody who wants to instantly sell insurance with just a few lines of code.”

Briza claims its is revolutionizing commercial insurance by offering a solution to the process for writing insurance policies that the startup says can normally take up to five hours for a small business. The company noted that it currently has partnerships with four insurance carriers, Fairfax company Crum & Forster, Hiscox, Markel, and Coalition. It also claims to have more than 100 insurance companies in the United States signed up for a closed beta version of its product.

According to Briza, this seed funding round brings its total funding to date to $3.9 million CAD ($3 million USD).

Briza is one of five Canadian companies participating in 500 Startups’ latest seed accelerator cohort. An overall 29 companies are currently going through the program, which is slated to have its demo day on March 19.

PolicyAdvisor wants to help bring life insurance into the digital age

The excerpted article was written by Isabella Kirkwood

In its 2019 Insurance Industry Outlook, Deloitte claimed Insurtech is fundamentally changing the rules of the game, driving a new innovation ecosystem with both threats and opportunities for industry leaders.

Despite the exponential surge of connectivity and digitization, some insurance providers still hold on to outdated notions about the industry’s ability to ward off disruption.

“We are using the best of technology tools to significantly complement human expertise.”

“We are living in an age of disruption. How we engage with our customers is evolving and consumer expectations are changing,” said Don Forgeron, president and CEO of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, for a survey the group released last year. “As insurers, we need to have the ability to adapt to the rapid changes that are impacting our business.”

While these circumstances have left the industry more archaic and less agile in comparison to other financial services sectors, it has made room for Insurtech startups to target the around 30 percent of Canadians currently lacking any life insurance coverage. Enter: PolicyAdvisor, an Insurtech startup based in Toronto, which is looking to build a new kind of insurance experience. The company combines modern technology and human expertise in an effort to simplify the insurance-buying process for consumers. Most notably, the company claims it’s outperforming the traditional insurance broker.

Jiten_2

Jiten Puri, CEO of PolicyAdvisor

PolicyAdvisor harnesses data from multiple sources, using algorithms that scan hundreds of complex insurance documents to identify the right policy match for a customer. PolicyAdvisors’ approach is markedly different from other movers and shakers in Canadian Insurtech, which generally target the business and enterprise segment.

ProNavigator, is an example, having built a natural language processing AI platform that provids insurance companies with 24/7 virtual assistants. Montreal-based Breathe Life provides life and health insurers, distribution organizations, and advisors with white-label solutions to quickly and cost-effectively onboard new clients. Finaeo, another notable Canadian Insurtech company, has created workflow platforms for insurance advisors that help with repetitive tasks.

PolicyAdvisor not only works with consumers but is also an independent insurance advisor that directly provides policies to those consumers. BetaKit spoke with PolicyAdvisor founder and CEO Jiten Puri about how he’s looking to address gaps in life insurance, and what’s on the horizon for the company.

Puri, previously worked as a banker with Morgan Stanley out of New York, looking after mergers and acquisitions in the FinTech space. He called life insurance the last vestige of financial services that has yet to see the evolution other segments have embarked on. Canadian companies like Wealthsimple, Koho, Borrowell, and formerly Planswell, have all gone after a particular consumer segment with their own technology offerings. Borrowell, for example, deals with lending, while Wealthsimple takes on investing, and Koho deals with saving and spending. Puri saw an opportunity to bring together his understanding of, and connectivity in, the financial space to innovate insurance in Canada.

READ MORE HERE: 

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