IBAC data service marks insurer-broker milestone

As printed in Thompson’s World Insurance News Sept 20, 2019, the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada’s data exchange working group has completed its first reusable data service, which will improve data flow between insurers and brokers, the association said.

The project traces back to a proof of concept launched by the Toronto Insurance Council, the commercial insurance brokers association, in 2018 that led to the creation of the IBAC working group earlier this year.

IBAC said the working group developed the first notice of loss transaction as a reusable data service which members of the Centre for Study of Insurance Operations can access through a CSIO library.

Gina McFetridge, chair of IBAC’s technology committee, said the reusable data service allows insurance brokers to enter a first notice of loss into their broker management system, send it to an insurance carrier, and receive an acknowledgement and claims number back from the carrier in real-time.

Kim Opheim, IBAC’s broker technology and innovation consultant, said that broker management system vendors are sharing their intellectual property in order for the data exchange to work.

All major Canadian broker and commercial management system vendors are on board for the project and five insurance companies, RSA Canada, Travelers Canada, SGI Canada, AIG Canada and Northbridge Insurance, have been involved since TIC’s proof of concept.

Mr. Opheim said achieving this first milestone lays a foundation for ongoing data exchange projects.

He said now that first notice of loss data can be exchanged seamlessly between broker and carrier, the other data exchange initiatives on loss runs, claims inquiry and billing inquiry will be easier to complete.

“The vendors are donating their time and making sacrifices but as we get better and have more refined processes, we expect timelines to shorten,” Mr. Opheim said.

He said Wawanesa Mutual Insurance is paired with vendor Custom Software Solutions on the billing inquiry data exchange project and Aviva Canada and Applied Systems are working on loss runs, which is a breakdown of a policyholder’s claims history.

“When everyone contributes to the data exchange ecosystem, everyone benefits,” Mr. Opheim said.