Spring 2022 edition
IIC Chair, Heather Masterson: Technology and talent shine bright on the industry horizon
Two years into the global pandemic, IIC Chair and President and CEO of Travelers Canada, Heather Masterson 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 last two years have really shown us that digital connectivity and talent are more important than ever,” says Heather. “The pandemic accelerated the technology transformation already underway across our industry. From remote access and collaboration tools, to virtual risk assessments and contactless claims management, our digital capabilities continued to evolve from business efficiency to business necessity.”
Heather says Travelers, like most companies, had to adapt during the pandemic. “We continued to invest in new technologies that make us more agile and efficient, leverage data and analytics to fuel intelligence-driven growth, and take advantage of the scale and resources of our global company,” she says.
“But the biggest change over the last two years has been to the way we work. And in so many ways, it has changed for the better. Remote work has forced us to embrace new skills, new tools and new behaviours. Our office culture of caring became an even more supportive culture as leaders made it their top priority to keep colleagues safe at home, while also keeping them connected, motivated and engaged. Balancing human connection with technology, and rebalancing as necessary, will become even more important as we transition out of the pandemic to a different and new normal.”
Other positive examples she cites include video meetings like Zoom, Skype and Teams. “These platforms have given us a glimpse into the private spaces of our colleagues, blurring our once separate personal and professional lives. We are now used to seeing children and pets interrupting meetings on a regular basis. These personal interactions have enabled our teams to connect and get to know each other in new ways, bringing us closer together. “
She notes that while the sharp rise in mental health issues during the pandemic is in no way a positive outcome, it has resulted in a greater focus on employee’s mental health. “We are doing more than ever to protect and promote positive mental wellbeing – from our team of Mental Health First Aiders and community of wellness champions to mental health breaks and other resources to support employees. And we will continue to prioritize the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace in a post-pandemic world.”
Over the past year, one of the duties as Chair of the Insurance Institute of Canada that Heather looked forward to most was meeting and congratulating the graduates at several Convocation ceremonies across the country. “The record number of CIP graduates last year is a testament to the tenacity and resilience of our insurance community,” says Heather.
“I can’t think of a better investment of time and effort than learning. Education is an investment in yourself, and one that is sure to pay the best dividends. I know firsthand the commitment and sacrifice it takes to complete the CIP designation. Finding time to take courses while balancing your many work commitments and family responsibilities isn’t easy. It takes incredible discipline and time management, and even more so, in these challenging times.”
Heather’s message to the IIC grads of 2021 is this: “The CIP designation is a significant achievement and an important milestone in your professional development. But this is not the end of your learning journey – it’s just the beginning. Keep learning and continue to work hard, and there are sure to be many more successes in your future. Congratulations to our graduates!”
The Institute and Credly launch more Digital Badges
The Institute has partnered with Credly to offer digital badges to active members who have earned their FCIP, CIP, ACIP or CMGA designations as well as for Risk, Commercial, MGA and GIE certificates. Many members have already taken advantage of this new offering and are proudly displaying their badges on social media, email signatures, personal websites and digital resumes.
How the badge works
You invested valuable time and effort to earn your credential so why not show off your achievement as frequently and widely as you wish. Digital badges are portable images that represent accreditations. They allow holders to share their credentials easily in digital spaces. The badges can be displayed in a host of places and can even be used offline via a link on a business card, for example. With a simple click on the badge, interested parties are ported to a secure webpage where they can see details of the time spent, skills gained, and knowledge acquired during a particular course of study.
The Institute’s digital badges reflect completion of an entire academic designation or certificate. They are a distinctive visual representation of the holder’s knowledge that can be validated with a single click. Like a collection of plaques on an office wall, they enhance the credibility of insurance professionals as they move about the digital world. They can also help with employment. Employers can search the digital badge website for specialized skills, while the badge holders have access to labour market insights and other job data.
View all the digital badges the Institute offers
A day in the life – Rezwana Farah, CIP
Insurance is part of virtually everything we do in life and in business. There are many opportunities for career growth and to be a part of an inclusive community.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Rezwana Farah, CIP, who works as a Client Solutions Manager-Commercial Lines. Rezwana tells us how she landed in insurance, why she loves working in the industry, and how the CIP has helped her career.
When I was in my fourth year at Ryerson University, I attended a Retail Management conference, a few doors down there was an Insurance seminar open to the public. So after my conference I decided to learn a bit more about insurance and it piqued my interest.
I had no idea the various types of insurance and different career paths there are in insurance, after the conference I spoke to a friend of mine who had been in the industry for a few years to see if it would be a good fit for me. Needless to say, insurance has been a challenging yet wonderful career for me thus far.
I've been in the industry for five years. I worked in personal lines for two and a half years and commercial lines for two and a half years and have experience in working for an insurance agency as well as a brokerage. My role consists of handling renewals, endorsements and changes for a portfolio of commercial clients. Customer relationship building is a key component of my role. On a typical day I would be sending out renewal applications to clients, ensuring all documents required by insurance carriers to process renewals are sent on time, building relationships with underwriters, and responding to client requests in a timely manner.
Rezwana’s CIP journey
I decided to pursue my CIP designation a year into working for Belairdirect. They had a great program for employees and encouraged us to take courses in-house.
The pandemic has changed the way we think about work, life and where we see ourselves in the future. Working in the insurance industry has been a blessing as the transition to work-from-home has been an easy transition. While I do miss the in-person experience and the networking opportunities we had while taking our CIP courses in person, the Insurance Institute has been quick to adapt to the changing environment brought on by the pandemic. Taking online courses was a breeze with wonderful professors. The extra time I saved, not having to commute to and from work really helped motivate me to focus on courses, and I was able to allocate more time into studying after work.
Earning my CIP after three years of hard work and dedication has been such a rewarding experience for me. The knowledge I gained from taking various different courses has not only helped my confidence but given me a sense of pride being able to accomplish one of my career goals during the pandemic. I was over the moon when I got the completion letter from the Institute -- such an amazing feeling.
I plan to continue my insurance education, but for now I'm on a short break focusing on my new role as a Client Solutions Manager. However, I plan to complete my CRM designation at the end of the year to help me gain some perspective into risk management.
Advice and insights
My advice for those who are considering getting their CIP would be to get started as soon as you can. There is so much to learn about the insurance industry, if you're passionate about building this as a career, getting your CIP is the way to go. It unlocks so many doors for you as an insurance professional, and most companies provide support and encourage you to further your knowledge.
Elevating the CIP brand
No matter where you are in your career, your personal brand is something to be nurtured and cultivated and should establish for others what your brand value is. Your brand value also reflects positively on the organization that you represent in your career.
The Insurance Institute of Canada is extremely proud of the value that your brand as a CIP and a graduate of the Institute brings to the industry. While you have been busy working smarter and harder and pursuing your educational goals, we have been promoting you and your accomplishments.
We did this by launching an extensive National Ad Campaign which highlights the fact that CIP’s are Prepared For More.
During Q1 2022 we splashed the CIP’s Prepared For More Ad Campaign all over cable TV, smart TV’s, mobile and digital devices on Canada’s major news networks. These national promos included:
- A CBC News Sponsorship Package, running a :30 second ad spot and a :10 second Market Update Billboard
- A Globe & Mail custom sponsored digital piece, focused on Cyber Risk/Security and featuring native display ads and social media message amplification through the Globe Content Studio
- A series of YouTube :30 second and :15 second programmatic video placements in both French and English markets
- A strategic selection of Bell Network efforts including :30 second premium video pre-roll digital ad placements on CTV, CTV News, CTV-SciFi, CTV Comedy, CTV Drama, TSN, Much, BNN Bloomberg, E, Discovery and Animal Planet
“The campaign objective is to raise awareness of CIP’s amongst consumers and to promote the desire to work with CIP professionals and the organizations that they work for,” says Peter Hohman, President and CEO of the Insurance Institute of Canada. “The audience segmentation was designed to communicate this important message with key business influencers and consumers in market for p&c insurance products. We are telling the insurance industry and prospective customers that CIP’s are the gold standard.”
Peter adds, “This substantial promotional effort is a powerful extension of your personal brand strategy and supportive of your efforts to enhance your career. We are proud of our CIP’s who are well prepared to meet the challenges that lie ahead in the p&c insurance industry.”
In-person exams return in July
As some of you are patiently awaiting in-person exams to be available again, we are pleased to share that this option will commence in the July examination session for CIP, GIE, Risk Management and CIAA final exams. You will have the option to write your exam either through Virtual Proctoring or In-Person at one of our designated test centres, pending availability. If you have already registered for a spring course, you can schedule your Virtually Proctored exam immediately or wait until mid-May to schedule an In-Person exam.
For the April 2022 session, exams will be Virtually Proctored (VP) with the online timed exam format as an alternative for those who do not meet the technical requirements for VP exams and/or require French proctoring service. The online timed exam option will no longer be available after the April 2022 exam session.
Are you writing an exam in April?
Here’s a checklist for a smooth and seamless exam day:
Don’t forget to schedule your exam – seats are limited and a first come, first served basis
In your booking e-mail received after you registered for 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.
Tip: 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.
Review the Virtual Proctored Computer-based Examinations webpage for important information on the specific system requirements needed to write your exam.
To write the exam in a virtually proctored environment, you will need to start with:
- Using a Personal laptop or computer with an ability to download software using either Chrome or Firefox
- Work computers that cannot connect from VPN, Mobile devices, Chromebooks or tablets, Inactive Version of Windows and Test Builds/ Test Mode are not compatible with the virtually proctored format.
- 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.
If you do not meet the system requirements outlined above please contact Member Services at 1-866-362-8585 immediately or visit the alternate Online Timed Exam option webpage.
Tip: Watch the short video under 'Virtual Proctoring Set Up Process' which walks you through what you can expect on exam day.
Test your computer a few times before your scheduled exam in the exam portal.
Make sure your camera and microphone are set to the camera and microphone you plan to use for the session.
The ProctorU browser extension will be installed during the system test. On exam day, you will also be required to install a small application to complete the connection to your proctor.
Tip: Sometimes software updates can change the settings on your computer. If you previously tested your system, please complete another test a few days before your exam and on the day of your exam to avoid any disruptions.
Check your exam date & time in the exam portal, before your exam session begins.
Remember, when booking your exam, the times available were displayed as a 24-hour clock. For an example: 4 am displays as 4:00, and 4 pm displays as 16:00.
Tip: check your booking confirmation email and the exam time in the exam portal. If you intended to book your exam in the afternoon, and the time does not display in military time, you may have scheduled your exam for the early morning in error.
Give yourself plenty of time to set up your workstation and complete a system check
We recommend that you give yourself a minimum of 4 hours to complete a system check and prepare your room and workstation.
- Check that your lighting is good and that you have minimized distractions.
- Remove all books, papers and recording devices from your room. Headsets are not permitted.
- Shut down all programs and restart your computer before you launch your exam and start the setup process. Close any additional browsers you have open.
- Remind anyone in your household that they cannot enter the room during your exam
Be aware of your technical support options before or while writing your exam
ProctorU’s live technicians are your first point of contact for all technical issues. Please contact ProctorU through direct chat first, then by phone (1 855 772 8678, Option 1) (if you cannot connect through chat).
Wait times to connect to ProctorU support or your proctor may exceed 30 minutes during high volume periods. Don’t worry, the ProctorU setup time does not affect the time you allotted to write the exam. The exam timer starts only after the Proctor releases your exam to you.
Tip: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET
We hope these tips, along with the convenience of writing from home allow for a seamless exam day. We wish you all the best in your studies and a successful April exam.
Top 10 tips to optimize your professional appearance in virtual meetings
Virtual meetings are a convenient and efficient replacement to the in-person style of meetings we used to rely on. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine meetings without spontaneous meeting screen shares, meeting chats or clapping hands that quietly support our colleagues’ accomplishments and ideas. Is it possible that we won’t even miss waiting as each new presenter stepped to the front of the room and mastered the remote presentation pointer and then many times delegated someone in the room to “change to the next slide please?”
Now it’s as easy as clicking camera/audio on/off and joining the meeting armed with anything you might need to illustrate your point at your fingertips. While the phrase “You’re on mute” was the virtual meeting refrain of 2020/2021, it now seems a small price to pay for the added convenience of being powerfully connected.
On the other hand, the whole world has had a crash course in virtual online meetings, and some are more adept at applying techniques to enhance their environments than others. To level the playing field, we’ll share the Top 10 tips on how to improve your virtual presence in online meetings.
Let there be lighting:
Without overcomplicating it, here are some lighting hacks you can leverage to elevate your lighting game to near Hollywood film set status.
- Ensure that your main light source comes towards you as you face your camera/screen, vs. the opposite where the light source comes from behind you. If you get this right, it will eliminate shadows and improve visual quality.
- Your natural light source should also be coming from the same direction as your main lighting source, i.e. towards your face/camera screen. You may wish to organize your desk in such a way that you face the window. If that’s not possible, close the drapes or blinds to minimize shadows.
- Investigate light rings that can be positioned easily as your main light source. They can range from inexpensive to studio-grade kits. Even inexpensive light rings can completely light up a dark room and provide you all the edge you’ll need. Some light rings come with widgets to attach your phone to, or to attach to your laptop, giving you more device options. Many have a variety of lighting styles built into the rings which range from natural to cool. Once you have your lighting set up, you can investigate which tone looks best for you.
Set the stage:
If you don’t like the choppy pixelated look of downloadable backgrounds behind you when you move around in your on-screen environment, consider staging your real background.
- Reposition artwork in such a way that it is balanced in the background but still looks appealing in your space.
- A background bookshelf is a popular look. If you have one that can be repurposed, consider repositioning it behind you when you are on your video camera. Be selective about the books you include in the shot and artfully add some designer objects to the shelves such as interesting candles, picture frames and objet d’art.
- If there is no way to hide the stair climber in your background or you want to try something fun, you can always test out using photography studio backgrounds set up on a tri-pod stand.
Time to make-up:
While admittedly not for everyone, remember that even James Bond goes into makeup before a film shoot. Consider these tips if you wish but make sure to do a test run with your camera well before you enter any live meeting.
- Anyone can benefit from a nicely moisturized face with inexpensive nano blur cream applied to invisibly soften facial shadows.
- If you are already a pro at make-up application, consider soft neutral tones and illuminating creams that give your skin a glow-up.
- Test out self tanners and bronzers but make sure to try them out in a low-stakes way and not the night before the big interview or meeting.
Get the picture:
- Try out the fun and fresh backgrounds already available within your Webex, Teams or Zoom environments. Whether for work or home, be sure to limit background selection to what’s available through the platform you use so that you don’t download any malicious software in the bargain.
From solar panels to solo interviews: Highlights of National Education Month 2022
February saw the return of National Education Month, in which local institutes and chapters across Canada, along with the Institute’s Career Connections team, host activities highlighting insurance education and the career development opportunities available.
Though in-person events remained off the agenda this year, live webinars organized by local Institutes covered a range of topical current issues such as
- The latest case law on pandemic business interruption insurance
- Trends in liquor liability for the hospitality industry
- Growth in clean energy, and the risk management and insurance coverage needs related to implementing it
- The specific risks associated with solar panels and solar farms
National Education Month was also an ideal time to discuss careers with mentors and peers. Our Career Connections team facilitates many such conversations, and the February line-up included
- A Voices of Inclusion panel discussion with a focus on spotlighting the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) community – industry leaders shared rich stories about getting started in insurance, navigating through challenges, and building a successful career
- Virtual Coffee Chats – short, one-on-one informational interviews in which potential newcomers to the industry gathered tips and insights directly from current insurance professionals
- A Virtual Industry Day to introduce career changers and internationally educated professionals to the breadth of career paths within the P&C insurance industry and to connect with employers
For CIP students, February included the kick-off of several fast-track CIP classes, running for part of each weekend over several weeks. This format allows students to complete a course in a condensed timeline while still fitting in other activities that matter to them. Some institutes also offered complimentary CIP study skills webinars for their members, to help with preparation for the upcoming exams.
And as always, the Insurance Institute’s other education programs continued to promote continuous learning, career growth and success, including:
- Advanced CIP (ACIP)
- Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP)
- General Insurance Essentials (GIE)
- Certificate programs in Risk Management, Commercial Insurance and Managing General Agent (MGA)
- Licensing education in every province
Though National Education Month is over, it’s never too late to see where further education can take you. You can tour our free career mapping resources online at any time: www.insuranceinstitute.ca/mycareer
Five tips for success from our award-winning graduates
The Class of 2021 saw a record number of graduates. The Pace recently spoke to several of our award-winning graduates and asked them to share their tips for success.
Managing how you spend your time is the cornerstone for making progress toward your goals. One simple technique to improve your time management skills is to estimate the time each task will take as opposed to simply listing each item. Listing the time next to each item also helps set realistic expectations on how fast you make progress.
Learning how to prioritize was another common denominator amongst our award-winners. What are the most important items on your to-do list? How many can you realistically complete in one day? Pick two to three items to check off the list each day and practice step one.
After determining the most important things that need to be done and how much time each task will take, your focus should shift to organization. Some of our graduates used project management apps like Asana and Monday.com while others used pen and paper. Regardless of the tool, most reported spending time to make a detailed plan for each week. Organization allows more time to focus on productive work. Organization is also key to mastering the other steps listed.
Support from friends and family
Every award winner we spoke to mentioned the support that they received from friends and family. After the recent wave of stay-at-home orders our support systems became more important. Make sure you have a strong support system by supporting others.
An eagerness to learn and improve
Most of our award winners expressed an interest in continued education beyond the CIP. The CIP designation sets you apart from your peers and allows you to better serve your clients and your community, but as an insurance professional, learning never stops.
Congratulations to our grads!
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 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 44 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.
The application deadline for the 2022/23 academic year is May 31 and scholarships will be awarded by July 31.
Coming Soon! CIP Society Platinum Plus MasterCard®
In partnership with MBNA, the CIP Society offers the CIP Society Platinum Plus MasterCard® credit card. Every time you use your account for a qualifying retail purchase, you not only identify yourself as a member of the CIP Society, you also support the Society at no additional cost to you!
All proceeds of the CIP Society Affinity credit card program support the Rhind Scholarship.
Earning rewards points is easy:
- 2 points‡ for every $1 spent on eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, membership, and household utility purchases until $10,000 is spent annually in the applicable category
- 1 point‡ for every $1 spent on other eligible purchases
- Each year, you will receive Birthday Bonus Points‡ equal to 10% of the total number of Points earned in the 12 months before the month of your birthday, to a maximum Birthday Bonus each year of 10,000 Points.
- Receive 10,000 bonus points†† ($50 in cash back value) after your first eligible purchase within the first 90 days of account opening
- Receive 5,000 bonus points†† ($25 in cash back value) once enrolled for e-statements within the first 90 days of account opening
- Redeem points‡ for cash back, brand-name merchandise, gift cards from participating retailers, charitable donations, and travel
**Some conditions, exclusions and limitations apply to above MasterCard® Benefits**
Further details and how to apply coming soon!
Fun Facts about insurance
Think insurance is boring? Think again. Check out these fun facts.
Body parts insurance started in 1920 with silent movie star Ben Turpin insuring his eyes. Soccer star David Beckham had a $195 million policy on his legs.
The industry has stood the test of time! The first known insurance contract was signed in 1347 in Genoa, Italy for a marine policy.
It’s almost Membership Renewal time again
Your membership year runs from June 1 to May 31, and at the beginning of May, we’ll be sending out the 2022/2023 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. As well as this, we’ll 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 have either 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 March 31 through April 14. You should schedule your virtually proctored exam immediately after registration.
For more information about virtual proctoring, please visit our website.