Spring 2021 edition
Martin Thompson – When the going gets tough, the tough get learning
A year into the global pandemic, IIC Chair and President and CEO RSA Canada, Martin Thompson reflects on some of the positive impacts the COVID-19 virus has had on the insurance industry and the importance of keeping up your insurance studies in tough times.
“The entire industry has had to reconsider how it works both in terms of physical location but also how we interact with customers,” says Martin. “There’s been a big push from the industry to move at a much quicker pace to meet customers’ needs.” He adds that the industry has had to change many of its conventional ways -- everything from its reliance on paper to its dependence on physical visits to brokers’ offices. “We have had to embrace technology and how to work remotely. This forces all of us to learn new skills to navigate the world in different times. But we’ve also demonstrated as an industry that when circumstances dictate, we’ve got lots of agility. So, the question is, how do we use that agility to keep moving the industry forward?”
Martin says they were fortunate at RSA that they had already moved to a flexible working model over the last two to three years. “We were able to take this model that was already a part of what we do and adopt it as our full operating model. We are finding the longer this pandemic drags on that there’s an element of fatigue and it starts to become more of a mental health challenge. So, we have implemented things like training on resilience for our leaders and we are trying to encourage ways for our people to connect virtually using technology to bring small groups together. It's important to help our people keep up their knowledge and skills even though they can’t do it in traditional ways.”
On whether there are greater opportunities for insurance professionals as a result of the pandemic, Martin says the reality is the insurance industry is still all about people and is full of opportunity. “The current situation doesn’t change what we do - taking care of customers, servicing brokers, managing claims and deciding the prices we charge. But you have to be a lot more disciplined around many things given the situation we are in.” In addition, he says the demographic side of things has not changed. “We still have a lot more people leaving the industry than are coming in which creates tons of opportunities especially in areas of the business that historically haven’t been there like technology, digital and other areas of the business that are now in more demand from customers.”
While we may not be able to control the challenges and uncertainty COVID creates, according to Martin, what we do have a lot more control over is our time. “The choice we have is how do we use that time? We can sit around and worry about what the world is going to look like but as I said in my previous message, the one fundamental is that you need a good foundation to do well in insurance. The fundamentals don’t change whether it’s more emphasis on technology, working virtually, how we take care of our customers, how we design the products or how we handle claims. There’s never been a better time to go and build up those skills and knowledge.”
He adds that spending more time setting educational goals and objectives and taking actions can provide a sense of accomplishment and may actually be helpful for navigating through some of the uncertainty.
One of the duties as Chair of the Insurance Institute of Canada that Martin looked forward to most was meeting and congratulating the graduates at several Convocation ceremonies across the country. With all in-person Convocations cancelled, Martin says he was still very honoured to take part in the virtual celebrations that took place in February and early March. “No doubt doing convocations virtually is no substitute to walking on stage and receiving your certificate. However, it is even more important in uncertain times to take time to recognize your achievements. You’ve invested the hard work and effort, and it is rewarding not only for graduates but also for parents, family and friends to see what you have accomplished as an insurance professional and feel that sense of pride.”
Martin’s message to the IIC grads of 2020 is this: “If you complete your exams and stop learning, you have wasted your time. Getting that designation is an important step in our industry and I’ve been in the industry 23 years. But it’s only the first step. There’s something new to learn every day in this business. There are lots of people who choose not to do their professional qualifications. But I always see it as a tremendous commitment to your profession that shows you take your career seriously. It’s a great signal of what I call self-drive and self-determination which are very important qualities. These are the people who will be the future leaders of the industry. To progress your career, to make more money, to be a more meaningful contributor to our industry, requires the continual absorption of knowledge in a lifelong journey to becoming an outstanding insurance professional.”
What’s next? – empowering your insurance career through learning
Students and insurance professionals often ask the Institute’s Career Connections team for advice on which course to take, when to pursue that next certificate or designation program, or how furthering insurance education can help achieve career goals.
Ninety-nine per cent of the time, their answer starts with, “it depends.”
“You are ultimately in the driver’s seat of your insurance career path,” says Trevor Buttrum, Manager, Career Connections. “There is no one ‘right way’ to go, and the path you take can be as unique as you are.”
Trevor’s team suggests asking the following questions to help make your decision about what course or program to enroll in next:
Have I identified a gap in my knowledge or skills that I need to help me take the next step in my career?
While learning is not the solution for everything relating to career advancement, knowledge is a key part of where competency stems from. And, it can also be a good way to signal your interest in something or demonstrate a commitment to honing your craft as an insurance professional.
This is usually a good starting place as it makes a lot of sense to pursue courses that can help you solidify or augment knowledge you have identified as required to excel in your career. Whether that is adding another fundamental building block to your industry knowledge base or taking your career to the next level.
What’s driving my career right now?
When it comes to your insurance education, aligning your learning to your career motivation can help you in keeping up your momentum.
For example, you may be building your career towards becoming a team leader or manager. The Advanced CIP (ACIP) includes course content like critical thinking and business acumen that can help foster your leadership competency.
Perhaps you are finding yourself working more and more alongside claims professionals. Taking courses that broaden your understanding of the claims management process or hot topics like insurance fraud may help strengthen these working relationships.
Or your career motivation may be financial as you want to upgrade your home or save for your children’s education. Many insurance employers offer bonuses and rewards to those who complete an industry designation like the Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP).
Do I thrive more as a specialist or as a generalist?
This is really a matter of career preference, and ultimately, where your goals may lie. Niche (subject matter expert and potentially, thought leader) or broad (a more agile knowledgebase that can be applied in a variety of contexts). One is not necessarily better than the other. It is up to you.
The good news? Institute offerings are designed to let you strike a balance if you don’t have a strong leaning one way or the other.
AND… even better news, your career is not etched in stone and nothing is irreversible. There are lots of mechanisms available through the Institute to help you acquire additional insurance expertise should you decide to make a minor shift in the course of your career or change direction altogether.
Are there trends or influences on the industry that I might benefit from knowing more about?
Change is a constant in the insurance industry. Products continue to morph and evolve to meet the needs of customers. Keeping your skills sharp, deepening your expertise to be able to move into an emerging area, or simply seeking a better understanding of the implications of a trend on your area of the business are all great rationales to apply when choosing your next course or program.
Not only that, but it also shows to others that you understand that in a dynamic industry like insurance, the learning never really stops!
What gets me excited?
Opportunity for learning, plus genuine interest in the topic, is usually a winning combination.
Yes, there are times when your learning needs to be focused on the fundamentals (*read* the stuff that may not always pique your interest, but without, you wouldn’t really be able to engage in a meaningful way with the stuff that does). That said, as you move beyond ‘the essential’ in your learning and career, you start to get to play a little more.
It might make sense to center your decision around nurturing your interests, passions, and sense of purpose. This can serve as a nice catalyst for what’s next in your career path.
So, there you have it. Just a few things to consider to help make your decision about your next course or program. If you would like to talk more, reach out to your local Institute or connect with us through our member services team. Let’s talk soon!
Six ways to improve your Linkedin profile
LinkedIn officially launched on May 5, 2003. As the platform comes of age later this year, it seems appropriate to reflect on how our use of this network to engage with our members and p&c colleagues has evolved over recent years. The Insurance Institute’s follower count is now more than 25,000, growing each day. We have attracted this growth, in large part because the platform itself has matured and improved. More individuals accept LinkedIn into their day-to-day social media mix and industries sharing quality, engaging content with their audiences has become the norm. Your digital professional persona is housed here and is, perhaps more than ever, the go-to place to host your bio, introduce yourself to colleagues and future employers, perform a job search and gain insights about industries you care about.
Here are 6 tips for using LinkedIn more effectively:
1. Don’t be shy, include a great photo.
This is a professional network and you should include a professional headshot of yourself so that people can identify you. Need an updated photo? Check out these DIY photo tips from our last issue of The Pace.
2. Be proud of your accomplishments and fill out your profile, completely.
There is room to include your education, experience, skills, and credentials. Are you a CIP, FCIP or CRM? Tell your connections so they know exactly what you’ve accomplished and what you bring to the table. You can do so in a few places. Here are some suggestions:
- Include in your Name/Title section
- Include in your Education Section
- Include in your licenses & certifications
3. Showcase your love of learning
When you complete a course, make sure to include the takeaways in the appropriate sections. Did you gain new skills? List them in the skills section. Did you obtain a certificate? Share it. Did you make any new professional connections that you could connect with? Look for them and request to connect. Could the instructor write a recommendation for you? Ask them. Could you complete a skills assessment on the LinkedIn platform? Take the test.
4. Share relevant content from your LinkedIn feed
According to LinkedIn: “It’s one thing to have a network of connections on LinkedIn – it’s far better to have an active role in that network, appearing in your connections’ LinkedIn feeds in a way that adds value for them. Sharing relevant content with your network is one of the most accessible ways of doing this. You can make a start by sharing content that you find genuinely interesting – and that aligns with your point of view.” Source. For example, if you see your colleague has been featured in our CIP Proud campaign, share it with your own network. See an event you are interested in attending or know someone who would be, share the post – if it’s relevant to you, then it likely will be for other p&c professionals as well.
5. Go one step further, and add comments
“Sharing is great – but it’s just the starting point. When you add comments to your shares, you give yourself greater prominence within the feed and start to express why you think a particular piece of content matters…It’s also more likely to draw additional comments, which then raise your profile across LinkedIn.” Source. Keep your comments centered on the topic at hand and use this as an opportunity to showcase your curiosity and expertise in that area. Avoid typing anything that would be off limits at work. Rule of thumb, keep it professional and remember that your employer and colleagues can see your comments.
6. Follow us!
“Following relevant influencers on LinkedIn helps to put a range of interesting content in your feed, which you can then share with others when you think it adds value. It also helps to give context to your LinkedIn profile, demonstrating your passion for what you do.” Source. The Insurance Institute is always aiming to provide high quality content on LinkedIn and we love seeing your engaging comments, questions and enthusiasm for seeing your colleagues featured in various campaigns. Keep it coming!
We are excited to share that you can now find us on Instagram @InsuranceInstitute.Canada
You can also find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
CIP Society Ethics Program - Responses to our latest dilemma
Through hypothetical examples we are engaging our members in a discussion to explore some of the grey areas inherent in ethical situations. In the last issue of The Pace, we included an ethical scenario about selling cyber insurance. We were very pleased to receive your responses and are including a selection below. We thank all our contributors.
Want to join the discussion? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is our ethical scenario:
It had been quite a year with a hard market and Covid-19. Our broker had struggled to obtain insurance that his clients needed, only to have to explain why his insurers would not be paying business interruption losses and having to calm his clients’ concerns in the economic crisis of the pandemic. Keeping up with revised and new insurance coverages being offered by insurers was becoming more than he could handle.
As many of his commercial clients scrambled to find the resources to enable employees to work remotely from home and carry out business online, the broker knew they might not have the insurance coverage they required for these new business activities. Cloud storage and third-party contracts exacerbated the situation. Regulators required more security and meaningful permissions to collect, use and store personal information. One provincial regulator had introduced a new bill, which if passed, would enshrine high fines in law in addition to the reporting requirements when there was a security breach. Meanwhile, cyber attacks using ransomware and social engineering were on the increase.
The broker was not savvy with technology and did not fully understand the terminology of cyber activity, let alone the coverages needed to protect the specific needs of his clients such as nursing homes and businesses which stored personal information. He was overwhelmed with different policies and endorsements offered by his carriers and competitors, but believed that fundamentally, one insurer’s coverage would be comparable with others and meet his clients’ needs.
To service his clients, he decided that on renewal he would offer the current insurer’s cyber policy; for new business he would quote cyber cover if it was part of the existing policy or wait for the client to request coverage. If he did not understand underwriting questions generated by the insurer, he would simply pass them along to the client to answer. He was reluctant to consult with a more knowledgeable broker or outside expert for fear of losing the account or his reputation as a broker.
The broker believed that the insurers would be updating their policies in the future to reflect the ever-changing nature of privacy and cyber needs, developing similar coverages and limits. What harm could come to his clients in the meanwhile?
Note: The responses below reflect the opinions expressed by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or employer.
James T. Giffen, B.A., CIP, CFE, CFEI
Executive General Adjuster / Managing Director
MGB Claims Consultants Inc.
What harm indeed??!!??
The cyber policy is largely considered the first entirely new form of coverage and insurance in decades. It is not an “add on” broadening of an existing General Liability, Professional Liability, or Property Policy but a new entity unto its own. True, it continues to be endorsements, or “throw ins” on some Policies; however, this is rapidly changing.
Only if you had been out of touch with any industry news and information, would have failed to appreciate that cyber event exposures are no longer limited to technology companies or commercial entities that gather and maintain Personal Identifiable Information (PII) on individuals, such as financial or medical. Cyber events are now the norm, affecting all shapes and sizes of businesses, industries, and individuals.
The last number of years has produced the most dramatic evolution in privacy and financial exposure concerns, more robust privacy laws relating to reporting and notification on a provincial and federal level, as well as the substantial increases in the cost exposure to remediate a breach and / or system lock out “extortion demand” by the threat actors.
Anyone employed and utilizing a laptop can easily be the victim of a business email compromise (BEC) which can debilitate anything from a small doctor’s office to a multi-billion dollar corporation.
It would be an understatement to suggest that both brokers and the insuring public have been bombarded with cyber information from all sides. Keeping up is no small feat; however, as professionals, brokers have an obligation to have an equal level of knowledge on any product they put themselves out as advisors.
In particular, offering an existing client a current insurer’s cyber policy runs the risk that it may be wholly outdated and inadequate, particularly if it is the minimal “throw in” endorsement type cyber coverage, which tends to offer little other than some privacy breach exposure protection and expense coverage. When an insured comes to the broker with a ransomware extortion demand, unable to access any of their systems or back up, that client has only one thought – “I remember you told me I have cyber coverage?” That client assumes “cyber coverage” means anything to do with a computer. The broker now faces the dilemma of explaining that the cyber endorsement to the policy carries either no extortion expense and loss coverage, or extremely limited coverage and further, there is no privacy breach expense coverage in the event that either customer’s or employee’s PII may have been exfiltrated by the threat actors. This lack of detail in exploring the client’s cyber needs at renewal can result in a “company killer” loss to the client’s business if there is little or no coverage. This can lead to very difficult discussions.
Similarly, simply providing coverage from the existing policy for new clients may pose less of an ethical question, if assuming the new client received informed advice from the prior broker; however, to ignore a review of the coverage with the new client opens up its own can of worms. Again, it is incumbent on the broker to understand the new client’s business and risks as it relates to the cyber exposures and to recommend more robust coverage if required, including having knowledge of the stand-alone policies available in the marketplace and their current pricing. This also includes having knowledge and experience in assisting clients with questions they may have relating to cyber coverage applications which have become far more cumbersome and detailed due to ongoing loss ratio challenges and pricing pressures faced by insurers.
Failure to be properly informed on the evolving cyber exposures, and glossing over such coverage with clients is not only an ethical dilemma to be avoided but also bad business practice.
All brokers have significant strengths, as well as areas they are less familiar with, in which case being certain they have a member on staff or consulting to assist reviewing client’s exposures and needs in the cyber insurance world is a must and will continue to be an increasing obligation.
What harm indeed?!
Neal Jardine BSc CSM CRM CIP CFEI
Senior General Adjuster | Cyber Practice Leader Canada
Crawford & Company
Insurance brokers in Canada are licensed provincially, as independent insurance professionals representing the best interests of consumers and businesses in the purchasing of insurance products and services. In their role, brokers need to educate and assist clients to help them make the best risk management decisions for their needs in this ever-changing environment. To perform their obligations as an insurance expert for their clients, brokers must take the time necessary to educate themselves on new and emerging risks to be prepared to offer the best risk mitigation strategy for their customers. Broker associations, industry events and media often have content to help insurance professionals keep up to date on emerging risk trends and new products. A clear understanding of the available insurance products and strategies is critical to protect consumers. A broker who fails to provide the professional advice expected to their clients by failing to keep current on emerging risks and practices places their own professional liability in peril and their client at greater risk. Cyber is no longer a new and emerging risk and there are a number of experts and professionals who can assist insurance brokers in understanding how to best help their clients minimize their risk. Cyber risk management strategies need to be in every broker’s tool kit today for their customers.
Cybercrime continues to increase exponentially year over year with new and changing attack methods being used as criminals search for vulnerabilities in commercial technology. Each week we are bombarded in the media with stories of cyber-attacks, and educational pieces on what cybercrime is and recommendations on protective actions. As insurance professionals brokers must be at the leading edge of the option for cyber risk insurance to help protect their clients. The most prevalent cyber risk is data breaches when a criminal obtains access to a business’ systems and access to their data. Last year, 28% of all data breaches were to small businesses according to the Verizon 2020 Data breach Investigations report. Financial gain motivates threat actors to make anyone who works with, holds, or uses data a potential victim. Everyone who has a computer is at risk of a data breach not just large corporations but small to medium sized businesses are especially vulnerable as they lack the budget for robust technology protection and security of most large corporations. The cost of a data breach to a small business can be more devastating than other insurance perils.
An insurance broker who buries their head in the sand on cyber risk, suggesting they are not technologically literate is not acceptable and exposes themselves to a possible error and omission allegation if a client has an insurable cyber loss that is not insured as they were not offered the coverage by their broker. Saying you are not a “cyber expert” is an unacceptable excuse. Like many others involved in cyber claims every day, myself at Crawford & Company along with others are helping to educate insurance professionals in the industry on the emerging cyber threats, offering online seminars and discussions on cyber risks. Brokers can take advantage of these opportunities by reaching out to partners within the industry, the same way those partners reach out to brokers for their knowledge.
Coverages continue to evolve for cyber and no two policies are alike. Some insurers have personal or commercial property polices with defined “data” coverage or endorsement while others offer a standalone policy. When cyber insurance was first introduced policies changed frequently and definitions were revised based on claim outcomes. Now that cyber has become an accepted risk and peril, policies have “normalized” so that they are more easily compared. Underwriters should be able to clearly outline what their policy covers and when in doubt, contact a cyber expert in claims to discuss what they are experiencing on the front lines.
Marcus Snowden, Principal
Snowden Law Professional Corporation, Coverage Counsel
Brokers are not the only professionals who need to stay in tune with changing risk profiles but they are uniquely situated when it comes to finding and placing insurance coverage for those profiles. This evolution in underwriting is not unique to cyber risk but is particularly challenging.
Is it sufficient to simply offer a one-size-fits-all cyber solution for all his renewal accounts? Not likely, and this is in part because he does not appear to be knowledgeable enough to know if his underlying assumption is correct. It’s rarely safe to assume a broker can offer the one product to all client accounts. Some may not qualify for the risk profile the selected market underwrites, meaning the broker is then left to scramble to place elsewhere or give disappointing news to his client.
Is it sufficient to quote based on an expiring program from another broker as new business or simply wait for his new business clients to come to him for the product otherwise? Again, not likely. He has not taken the time and invested in the effort to know what the expiring product offered, whether it was/is worse, as good as or better than the market he has decided to offer, or whether that product has evolved, etc. So, in this context the client is not necessarily getting the service expected or required. For new business clients with no existing cyber cover, he does not know why they are running bare for cyber – it might be a business decision based on pricing, or because they don’t qualify (or no longer qualify) under some other market’s underwriting guidelines which might be different from his available markets. It could just as easily be because they were not properly serviced by their previous broker (which is why they have come to him) and if that’s the case he’s simply repeating the poor service. In any case, the broker needs to understand the client’s needs and cannot service them without asking the client to consider cyber risk as an insurance and risk management problem to be solved.
Finally, is it sufficient to simply pass through underwriting questions the broker does not understand and rely on the client to address? Is it safe to rely on the evolving underwriting standards to be a safety net for his clients? In both instances, once again not likely. Consider whether the broker would be so passive with a conventional risk. Is cyber so different that the broker can afford to leave the client to his/her/its own devices without knowing at some basic level the product being offered and the underwriting requirements to place the coverage effectively? No – in this regard, the cyber risk is no different from the risk presented in other areas where, for example, the broker must have some general understanding of contractual risk under a lease or indemnity exposure in a construction project to ensure the client’s risk is properly addressed in the underwriting application or questionnaire. In each of the instances above, the client’s best interests are not served. If a claim is later made, the broker stands to lose more than reputation for not properly counseling his client or servicing his client’s needs. By either not knowing those needs or not knowing enough about what he was offering (or failing to offer) for those needs he could be held liable for failing to address them.
While brokers may not be required to be cyber experts, to properly service their clients, they do need to have a basic understanding of both the risk profiles of their clients and the variety of products available to address them, keeping in mind each risk profile is unique in many ways that are important for underwriting. Rather than throw up his hands, the broker would be wise to consult. This could be done cost-efficiently by spending a bit of time and hard-earned commission to sit down with a cyber professional (for example, his accounting firm or his lawyer or even his own E&O insurer might be able to refer him). If time does not permit, he could instead partner with a specialty broker for this purpose and enter into an agreement – perhaps time-limited to give him the time to get “up to speed”. Indeed, for his own business operations he may require such coverage, so there is an element of self-interest. His inquiry for his own risk management would serve as an important first step in understanding what his clients might be facing.
This approach would protect his business interests while permitting him to offer the expert advice he is too busy and overwhelmed to offer himself. Ultimately, even if he raises the cyber issue for review, he must be able to understand and guide his client on the best product(s) available, know enough to compare features and be able to advise on a recommendation. If he cannot do so, and it means referring the client elsewhere, the lost commission will be more than made up for by the peace of mind of knowing that the former client is not a ticking E&O timebomb lurking in his book of business.
Technology is changing. So are our courses!
Technology increasingly shapes the way we all live, work, and do business. Two new courses from the Insurance Institute explore the impacts and implications of these changes for the insurance industry.
CIP Spotlight on Cyber Risk
C20 Cyber Risk, which launched in January, is a new CIP elective course exploring the fundamentals of cyber risk and insurance. Cyber risk was of looming importance for the p&c industry even before the pandemic struck, and has been front of mind for many organizations over the past year while so many of us have been working from home.
The new course examines the nature of cyber risk and cyber crime; describes the role of privacy legislation and obligations for cyber incident reporting; and discusses cyber insurance, potential catastrophic cyber losses, and ways to promote cyber security.
In addition to its highly topical content, C20 also offers CIP students the opportunity to explore a flexible learning model. Students in the virtual classroom option can choose, from week to week, whether to engage with the class synchronously (logging in at set times for live sessions) or asynchronously (logging in at times of the week that suit them). In addition to weekly sessions with their cyber-knowledgeable instructor, students will have the opportunity to view a guest-speaker presentation at no additional cost. Uniquely, the course also provides students with choices about how they earn their class marks, offering up a menu of discussion, test and assignment options to choose from. As with any CIP course, all students must write the national final exam.
Both the course webpage and the associated online tutorial incorporate additional ungraded interactive learning activities such as scenarios and practice quizzes. Both also include an e-book to complement the printed textbook, featuring audio, bookmarking and highlighting features.
“With this course, we wanted to explore ways to give students some flexibility in tailoring the learning experience to meet their needs and strengths,” says John Stathakos, the Institute’s director of academic programs and product development. “At the same time, we also wanted to further engage them in the online environment. We’re looking forward to hearing what our students and instructors think of these new options and resources.”
Critical and Creative in ACIP
Also launched in January, A350: Technology in Insurance: Critical Issues and Creative Approaches is the latest addition to the ACIP program.* In keeping with the program’s objective to build critical thinking skills, students in A350 use the skills and knowledge from earlier courses in the program as they reflect on how technology is driving change in the p&c insurance industry. Through the course readings and thought-provoking written assignments, they get to apply what they learn to their own roles. The Pace interviewed Dana Al Nammari, the course facilitator, for her perspective on the new course.
Why is this course relevant for today’s insurance professionals?
This course demystifies components of the information revolution and its impact on the insurance industry. Industries have been impacted by this revolution in different ways and so have the various players within the industry. This course looks at the different moving parts. It allows students to question how and why changes are being implemented in their own professional environments, as the insurance industry grapples with the challenges of joining this revolution.
How does it help students develop the skills they need in today’s workforce?
Mundane and repetitive tasks previously performed by staff are now being farmed out to IT platforms and programs. As a result, data gathering and analysis have a greater role; the need for more specialized skill sets become evident. This course aims to shed light on this momentum, helping students plan for the skills they need to develop to meet the industry’s changing roles.
How is this course unique/different? At the same time, how does it complement the current ACIP courses?
This course investigates in depth the different challenges, opportunities and necessary changes that the information revolution is imposing on the insurance industry. While most courses touch upon technology as tangential to their main topic(s), this course analyzes the different angles of the industry using technology as a starting point. It also emphasizes the same critical thinking concepts reviewed in the previous ACIP courses but applies them to technology.
What are some of the benefits of the virtual learning format?
It allows for a greater representation of participants from across Canada, representing the different roles and disciplines of the insurance industry. It also allows time to think upon and analyze the material being discussed, at a student’s own time.
*Previously, students in the ACIP program were required to complete three ACIP courses (A300, A310, and A340) as well as an additional CIP elective. With the introduction of A350, students will no longer need to complete a CIP elective. The new A350 builds on skills and knowledge developed in the other three ACIP courses and is positioned as the final course in the program.
Exams: making virtually proctored virtually seamless
In response to the Covid-19 situation, the Insurance Institute’s computer-based exams now use a virtually proctored format in which a live virtual proctor observes you taking your exam through your webcam. If you’re writing an exam with us this spring, here are five key tips for a smooth experience.
1. Remember to schedule your exam.
Registering for the exam and scheduling it are two separate steps. Once you have registered and paid the exam fee, you will receive a booking email prompting you to schedule your exam. Click the link, log in with your Institute credentials, and select the exam you want to book. Select Remote Proctoring and book a date and time that works for you.
Seats are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. If no time slots are available in the drop-down menu for the selected calendar day, then there are no longer any reservations for that day and an alternative date and time must be chosen.
Bonus tip: The bookings are based on a 24-hour clock, so take care to select the correct time. For instance, if you want to write at 2 pm, select 1400 hrs. Please note that if you miss your exam due to an incorrect time selection, you will be permitted to reschedule to any available exam date remaining in the session – subject to a rescheduling fee.
Once you’ve booked your exam, you will receive an “Exam Booking Confirmation” email. Make sure to save this email: the link provided in the email is essential for rescheduling and writing your exam.
2. Plan to use a personal laptop or desktop computer on which you can install software.
Testing your equipment prior to your exam is the best way to be prepared. Without properly testing your equipment ahead of time, you may run into avoidable issues on the day of your exam.
On the day of the exam, you will need to go through a series of steps to set up your computer for virtual proctoring. You will be required to download and install proctoring system applications (if not already done in advance) and to grant the proctor access to your webcam and microphone. Mobile devices and tablets, including Chromebooks, are not viable options; you will need to use a laptop or desktop computer.
Bonus tip: Some work or personal equipment with employer-imposed settings will not allow the installation of software. We strongly recommend that you use a machine that fully allows you to download and install software. Work laptops are typically equipped with Virtual Private Networks (VPN) with enhanced security that prohibits connectivity to the exam applications – thus preventing you from taking the exam.
3. Review the system requirements and test your equipment in advance.
To write the exam in a virtually proctored environment, you will need to start with:
- Personal laptop or computer (see above) with an ability to download software using either Chrome or Firefox
- Microphone and camera (headset mics are not permitted)
- An internet connection with at least 1Mbps upload and 1.5Mbps download speed. A wired internet connection is recommended.
Bonus tip: For complete details, and to test your equipment in advance, make sure your check out our Virtually Proctored Examinations page. If you cannot meet the system requirements, please contact Member Services to discuss your options prior to the start of the exam session.
4. On the day of your exam, allow lots of time to complete the setup process.
Set aside a minimum of four hours from start to finish, as it may take some time to set up and connect to a proctor.
First, check that your lighting is good and that you have minimized distractions. Remove all books, papers and recording devices from your room. Shut down all programs and restart your computer before you launch your exam and start the setup process.
When you do click the Launch Exam button, note that you are not yet starting your exam; you are setting up the proctoring service. Take your time and follow the instructions on your screen. On average it takes 5 to 15 minutes to connect to a proctor, but at peak times it can take as much as 45 minutes. Please be patient and do not refresh your screen.
Bonus tip: Your setup time does not eat into your exam time. Your exam does not start until after you have connected to a proctor and started your exam yourself.
If you need to, make sure you go to the bathroom before you start your exam.
5. Know your support options.
Once you’ve started your exam setup process, you will have access to ProctorU’s live technicians. To contact them, click on the owl icon at the top right of your screen and click ‘help’.
You will be directed to fill out an online form and will be connected to a technician. Please be patient as this can take a few minutes. Don’t worry about the wait – your exam will not start until you complete the setup steps and start the exam yourself.
Bonus tip: ProctorU’s live technicians are your first point of contact for all technical issues.
Afterwards, if you have been unable to complete the setup process with them, or if you lose connection during setup and your session time expires, IIC Member Services can reschedule you. It is important to call Member Services within 24 hours following any technical issue to ensure a suitable solution can be provided within the existing exam session.
Member Services: 1-866-362-8585 or email@example.com
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET
Like so many aspects of life since the arrival of Covid-19, virtually proctored exams involve doing things a little differently than we are used to. Preparing ahead of time with the steps outlined on our Virtually Proctored Examinations page can smooth the transition and help you unlock the convenience of writing your exam remotely.
Convocation goes virtual
Last spring the world changed and our students found themselves abruptly forced to study in new ways. Virtual learning became the watch word, living rooms became offices, and classrooms and exams went online. It was a lot to adapt to.
Our Student Strong campaign was designed to keep us abreast of the many changes students were experiencing and the strategies they developed to cope with it all. Despite the challenges, many students were able to stay on track with their education and graduate as part of the class of 2020.
The Insurance Institute was determined to reward these resilient students with a convocation worthy of the effort they had made to reach it. However, transforming a series of live events into virtual occasions is quite a feat. Several digital tools were employed to pull it off.
The Encore platform was used to host the formal ceremony and networking event that followed. Registrations were done through Survey Monkey and Microsoft Forms. Graduates were directed to the IIC website for a range of resources including branded graphics for use on social media platforms, downloadable event programs, congratulatory messages as well as a preview video of the Institute Chair’s speech.
The combination enabled the IIC to recreate the excitement and charm of the live event while allowing each student to feel seen and honoured.
Life may be different, but convocation 2020 was a triumph and we thank the students, sponsors and guests for helping us to make it so.
Fun Facts about insurance
Taco Bell once purchased ‘taco insurance’
When the Space Station Mir was intended to crash somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean in 2001, fast-food chain Taco Bell pledged to provide every American with a FREE taco if the space station crashed within a designated perimeter in the Pacific Ocean.
Ultimately, Mir did not hit the target. If it had, Taco Bell would have been down almost $280 million dollars. Just in case, the restaurant chain purchased a ‘taco insurance’ policy to cover the risks.
Insuring the Loch Ness monster?.
In 1971, whiskey manufacturer Cutty Sark, offered up one million pounds (approx $2.4 million) to anyone who could capture the Loch Ness Monster. The company asked Lloyd’s of London to underwrite the contest. Lloyd’s agreed under one condition: that it would get to keep ‘Nessie’.
CIP Society Corner
Nominations now open for the National Leadership Awards
The CIP Society’s National Leadership Awards are a prestigious program honouring CIP Society members who have achieved in three areas: within their organizations, the p&c industry, and their communities.
The program was on hold last year due to the pandemic; however, we anticipate that this difficult year has revealed exceptional examples of leadership as we managed our newly remote workforce, navigated the pressures of the hard market, and faced unprecedented mental health issues in the workplace. We hope that the Leadership Awards can help bring those examples to light this year.
The program recognizes both Emerging leaders and Established leaders in two distinct categories. Winners are honoured at local convocation events across the country, and welcomed into the prestigious Leadership Circle, which now includes 42 distinguished leaders (you can meet the leaders here).
CIP Society members can play a major role in ensuring the Leadership Awards remain relevant and reflect the brightest and best of the p&c community in Canada, by helping to identify possible candidates for the program.
Nominate a leader today
Do you know a CIP or FCIP graduate who deserves a place in the CIP Society National Leadership Circle? Begin the nomination process today with a survey to help you assess your candidate’s leadership qualities as set out in the awards program.
The full nomination package includes a form to substantiate the nomination through examples of your candidate’s accomplishments and contributions. You will also be asked to include reference letters from the industry. The full nomination package must be submitted by the deadline of June 30.
Nominations are reviewed by our prestigious Selection Committee of senior industry professionals, and winners are selected based on the program’s stringent criteria. An announcement to the industry will follow in September.
Bursaries available for CIP Society Members
This year, the CIP Society is making available two bursaries to candidates interested in pursuing further education with the Insurance Institute, and who are not being financially supported by their employer. (This includes keen graduates who may have used up their organization’s education allowance for the year and wish to pursue more education!)
In three cascading tiers, the bursaries prioritize CIP Society members who are pursuing courses in the FCIP or Advanced CIP programs. The second tier is for members pursuing the Risk Management, Commercial or MGA certificates. The third tier is for dependents of CIP Society members who are pursuing the CIP designation.
Each of the two bursaries covers the full cost of tuition, textbooks and exams for one course in the intended program.
The bursary program is named after former Insurance Institute CEO Chris Rhind and was created to promote the CIP Society’s values of lifelong learning and professional development. Just this past year, after a careful review, the program has been upgraded to better meet the changing needs of our Society members.
The application deadline for the 2021/22 academic year is May 31 and scholarships will be awarded by July 31.
It’s almost membership renewal time again
As you know, your membership year runs from June 1 to May 31, and very soon we'll be sending out the 2021/2022 Membership Renewal Notices. Prompt renewal of your Institute membership enables you to continue towards your educational goals and be offered exciting professional development opportunities along the way. We’ll also keep you up to date with the latest industry knowledge and news.
If your employer participates in our MemberDirect Membership Renewal Program, you might not receive an invoice yourself, as your HR team will be handling it. If you do receive an invoice, or if you are a member who is billed individually for your renewal, please respond promptly—we appreciate it. Keeping your employer information and other contact information up to date on your profile will ensure you receive your renewal invoice in a timely manner. Continued active membership will ensure that service interruptions are avoided and that you will always have access to the latest industry knowledge and news.
Keep in touch
Have your contact details changed? Help us to keep you up to date.
The Insurance Institute is here to help you enhance your professional life and keep you abreast of all the latest industry knowledge and exciting new opportunities. We’re always developing new seminars, courses, and events for industry professionals. However, to ensure we’re able to keep you in “the industry loop,” we need to have your current contact details.
Have you changed jobs? Do we have your e-mail address?
The Institute is now making an effort to be more environmentally conscious by sending out more e-mail communications. So, if you haven’t received anything from us in e-mail format, chances are we either have an incorrect e-mail address for you or no e-mail address at all.
It’s so easy to update your on-line profile now by visiting /en/My-Page/My-Profile. Just log in as a new or existing on-line user, go to “My Profile” and click “Update” beside your address—it’s quick and easy! And while you’re there, remember that, on our website, you can research, register, and pay for courses, seminars, and events, all from the comfort of your own home or office.
Goodbye winter, hello exams
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, examinations for the CIP and GIE programs are now virtually proctored.
Virtual proctoring works by a live virtual proctor observing you taking your exam through your webcam. The virtual proctor will also help you troubleshoot any technical issues if necessary.
Computer-based, virtually proctored exams will be offered at various times during the day, seven days a week, from April 1 through April 14. You should schedule your virtually proctored exam immediately after registration.
For more information about virtual proctoring, please visit our website.
Three hours are allowed for each CIP subject and two hours for GIE subjects. Good luck!