Summer 2019 edition
A career in insurance is exciting and rewarding, but it can also be unpredictable. Just ask Jeff Goy, Chair of the Insurance Institute of Canada and President and CEO of Wawanesa Mutual Insurance.
Jeff will be the first to tell you that he did not “stumble” into an insurance career. But he also didn’t stay on the original path that he set out on. “I entered the insurance industry, specifically pursuing a path to become an actuary. Even though that didn’t work out, I saw so many other interesting paths to follow in insurance. I decided to pursue my CIP designation, which led to different positions and opportunities in underwriting and product management.“
A curious mind along with a thirst for learning propelled Jeff steadily forward in his career. He has witnessed many changes in the industry over the years – probably the most notable being technological advances. “With our industry becoming more information based than ever, data analytics is a growing area for young insurance professionals. Of course, it’s important for young people to learn the fundamentals of underwriting, claims, or adjusting, but if you have an aptitude for it, analytics is a good discipline to focus on.”
Being open to learning other disciplines is another important factor for career success, according to Jeff. “Don’t feel you have to stay in the same area you started with. The more you learn about the various disciplines of insurance, the more rewarding your career will be.”
Throughout his journey to the CEO’s office, Jeff says his appetite for learning has played an essential role in his career success. Here are a few of Jeff’s top tips for a successful career in insurance.
1. Be open to change and opportunity. Ours is an industry of vast opportunity and there are many different paths to success. To explore those paths, graduating from one of the Institute’s programs will definitely help. The Institute’s recent demographic research study says the industry will need to fill a large number of technical and leadership roles in the near future. Where better to look than the best-qualified people — those who have completed their GIE or hold the CIP or FCIP designation? A solid foundation in education will help you take your career wherever you’d like.
2. Be proud of what you do.
I have always been very proud to work in insurance day after day, year after year. Whether it’s the family in your community who loses their home in a fire or an entire community affected by a wildfire, flooding, hurricane or tornado, the insurance industry is called on to help. Wherever a catastrophe occurs, the industry works tirelessly to help get people back on their feet. That is something to be very proud of.
3. Find a mentor. There is book learning, and there is people-learning, or learning from others. I have found people in this industry to be very open to sharing what they know, and at Wawanesa, our whole culture is built around that. I had fantastic mentors along the way, and at every stage, people helped me when I asked for it. The great thing about mentors is that they often see more in you than you see in yourself and can help push you out of your comfort zone. Mentorship has played a huge part in my career, but keep in mind as you move forward in your own career, you have an obligation to mentor others.
4. Get involved. Volunteering, not only with the Insurance Institute but on other boards, at conferences and seminars. You’ll gain valuable learning experience and the opportunity to give back to the industry where you can.
On a final note, as this is my last newsletter message before I wrap up my term at our October AGM, I’d like to thank our many engaged volunteers for their skill, enthusiasm, dedication and hard work.
I’d also like to thank the senior industry leaders who make up our Board of Governors for giving me the opportunity to serve our membership and our industry. The Institute plays a leading role in our industry, and my term as Chair is an honour, a privilege, and a special memory I will cherish.
S.J. (Jeff) Goy, ACAS, CIP, Chair
A day in the life - Sue Collings
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 Sue Collings, who works in the Special Investigations Unit at a large insurer. She tells us how she landed in insurance, why she has spent the last 22 years working in the industry, and how you can get your start in the industry too.
From a very young age, Sue knew what she wanted; to be a police officer like her father. Out of high school, she enrolled in the Law and Security program at Cambrian College in Sudbury. Sue then continued her educational career at Carleton University for Criminology. After she wrote her last post-secondary exam, Sue hopped on a bus to Toronto, where she started working for Toronto Police Services.
When she left Toronto Police Services, Sue was unsure about where she was going to go next. “I was a bit lost,” she explains. She wanted a career that would still satisfy her love for investigating.
Insurance wasn’t on Sue’s radar. “By chance, I bumped into an old colleague who was working as an investigator,” she explains. “He later called to tell me that an insurance company was looking for an investigator, and gave me the information I needed to apply.” Sue had her interview, got the job, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Sue’s insurance journey
Her career journey didn’t begin in insurance, but Sue has found a rewarding career path that has afforded her many opportunities to learn and grow.
Once she decided on insurance, she knew she needed to build her technical knowledge and expertise. Early in her insurance career, she began taking Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) courses and regularly attends seminars and networking events to keep up-to-date on current trends.
Insurance has allowed Sue to pursue a career that aligns with her true passion, values, and goals. Being a part of the Special Investigations Unit at the companies she has worked for has offered tremendous variety bringing something new every day.
Sue primarily works on investigation of suspicious or potentially staged auto collisions and draws on her policing experience regularly. Case referrals make their way through various claims channels to get to Sue’s office, and she determines if a full investigation is required. She works closely with a variety of parties to make sure the investigation is done correctly including fraud analysts, witnesses, drivers, and passengers. If required, Sue will hire an engineer to conduct an accident reconstruction and will visit the scene to look for any evidence related to the collision. On occasion, Sue may also testify in court if criminal charges are laid against anyone involved in the accident she is investigating.
Sue describes her career as challenging and fun. “You would think that after 22 years of doing the same job that I’d have seen it all – but not by a long shot,” she says. Just when Sue thinks she has it all figured out, a new challenge comes along and pushes her career in a completely new direction. She loves that the industry is always evolving and changing.
“I also like the stability and security of insurance,” she says. Sue also finds satisfaction in the fact that she is there to help people when they are going through some of their hardest moments. She also has built a wonderful professional network that she draws on to support her in her work and has also developed many friendships.
Advice and insights
As someone who transitioned into insurance as a career changer, Sue knows the challenge of learning a new industry, building a network, and acquiring the technical skills required to succeed in your career path. Through the designation and seminar offerings of the Insurance Institute, Sue has built a substantial body of insurance knowledge to complement her expertise as an investigator.
Sue also values giving back – she recently became a Career Connections Ambassador and is an informal mentor to many of her colleagues. She also recommends, taking a few CIP courses in a classroom setting if possible so you can network with others in the industry – “It will allow you to learn more about the industry, and connect with other people that have the same interests and skills.
Wildfires - two lessons applied in High Level, Alberta
Celyeste Power, Vice-President, Western, IBC, reports on the lessons learned – and applied – from Alberta’s wildfires.
Wildfires present a very real and present danger to the lives of Canadians. The summer’s dry, hot weather conditions mean that once a wildfire starts, it can spread quickly, burn intensely and wreak havoc on a community. The recent crisis in High Level and other areas of northern Alberta provided Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) the opportunity to put the lessons we’ve learned from other wildfires, such as the fires that struck Fort McMurray, into play. These insights helped guide our activities during our assistance to residents of High Level and will guide us in other situations as well.
Lesson 1: Embed early
When a crisis is unfolding, speed is essential, and so is connecting with the people who are making the decisions about how to best manage the situation. IBC works hard to get involved with government officials early on in managing an ongoing crisis such as a wildfire.
In High Level, we leveraged an already established relationship with Alberta Emergency Management Agency officials to support the work they were doing on the ground. This was a relationship we developed over several years and really strengthened during the Fort McMurray wildfire. Embedding with government officials allows IBC representatives to integrate with emergency response teams and continue to be part of these teams after the crisis has passed, and the recovery phase has begun. In Fort McMurray, IBC led a large-scale clean-up, coordinating the industry in the removal of debris and damaged “white goods” (refrigerators and freezers) from the community.
During the northern Alberta wildfires, embedding early allowed us to further strengthen the trust and relationships we’ve built. IBC representatives worked in the Provincial Operations Centre, and we provided input on regular government situation updates.
Lesson 2: Communicate proactively
In a wildfire, it’s essential to mobilize as quickly as possible to provide emergency support. In High Level, we not only embedded with emergency management officials but moved quickly to get information out to those most affected.
Our goal during a crisis is to become a hub that residents and evacuees can access to have their insurance questions answered. We clear up myths, help people figure out what steps to take next, provide financial assistance to customers and assist with getting the claims process started.
Our representatives typically distribute printed material directly to residents and work with media to provide useful, relevant information. We also leverage online platforms such as www.ibc.ca, Facebook and Twitter to engage with community members affected by the wildfire.
This technique, in particular, is something we leaned on heavily during the Alberta wildfires. We established a dedicated web page for the event, and it proved to be valuable in getting accurate, reliable information out to customers and government.
In many situations, such as the fires in Fort McMurray, we also deploy our Community Assistance Mobile Pavilion (CAMP). CAMP is a scalable operation, so IBC can staff and deploy it in proportion to the size of the crisis. In cases where we don’t establish CAMP on the ground during an emergency, we rely on the tools I discussed above to offer CAMP services virtually.
It’s possible that wildfires may become even more prevalent in the future and as second responders, insurers may find themselves in “on the ground” situations more often. It’s crucial to not only keep these lessons in mind but to continue to learn so that the insurance industry can continue to build trust while providing the best help possible to people when they need it most.
The reasons for pursuing a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP®) designation are as individual as the people who take it. The CIP is the benchmark of insurance professionalism for individuals starting or building a career in insurance.
Check out this Q&A with Siobhan Callander, Claims Specialist, Claims Services, ICBC.
The Pace: Why did you decide to take the CIP?
Siobhan: I decided to take the CIP courses to broaden my understanding of the Insurance Industry as a whole, not just within my company ICBC. The courses were being offered through my employer, and I thought it best to take the opportunity to further my education.
The Pace: How has the CIP helped you in your day-to-day job?
Siobhan: My course content has given me the ability to be confident in my communications with business partners, clients, customers and within my organization. Having a proper understanding of the terminology and application I feel is a tremendous asset to have.
The Pace: Have opportunities opened up for you since earning your CIP?
Siobhan: Having completed my CIP has allowed me to become an instructor with the Insurance Institute. I am excited to continue my journey and strengthen my relationships with other professionals in the Insurance Industry.
The Pace: What message do you have for anyone in the industry considering getting their CIP?
Siobhan: Just do it! Continuing your education not only strengthens your prospects to future employers and advancement in your roles but also offers an opportunity to meet new people and network within your industry.
Maintaining the high standards of Canada’s insurance industry
Our brand new promotional videos
We’re proud to celebrate the fact that there are more than 18,000 Chartered Insurance Professionals in Canada who are educated, knowledgeable and prepared for more. The CIP is our flagship education program and is endorsed by the industry as being the benchmark for insurance professionalism.
For this reason, one of our mandates is to ensure as many Canadians as possible know the value of the CIP and FCIP designations—both within the industry and the population who purchase p&c insurance.
With this in mind, we’ve been working to produce new short videos. Our first new video is an extension of our consumer campaign, which promotes the designation to those who purchase insurance. It takes a comedic approach to the message, using a clueless self-defence instructor to show how standards are needed in any industry—especially insurance. If you haven’t seen the first video, which now boasts more than 1.2 million views on YouTube, you can see it here. (In English only)
We’re pleased to present the second video in the series! This time, the message utilizes a nonsensical security guard to portray a similar message. (In English only)
If you’re looking for the French consumer campaign, you can watch those videos here and here.
Our other videos are geared towards those who work in p&c insurance, and illustrate how CIPs keep up with our constantly-evolving industry and are prepared to handle complex insurance needs.
Feel free to share!
If you’re a CIP or FCIP, we encourage you to share these videos with your network. It’s a great validation of the designation you studied so hard for and the high standards of professionalism you align yourself to.
If you have any feedback, we’d love to hear it! Feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
We want to hear from you. What is your response to our ethical dilemma?
Given the complexity of insurance principles and practices, it may be that ethical dilemmas in the workplace arise more often than you think. Being able to identify when a situation requires special attention, being aware of the resources available to you – including the Institute’s Code of Ethics and your company’s code of ethics or conduct – then implementing good ethical practices, are critical skills for insurance professionals. Practicing good ethics demonstrates high standards of integrity, professionalism, and accountability.
In this issue of The Pace, we share with you an ethical dilemma that you may encounter in a smaller community, and ask you to provide your feedback.
We would like to publish some of the most considered and thoughtful responses we receive from our graduate community to share with the broader membership in a future issue of our publication.
Here is the ethical scenario:
A small town broker prides herself on her ability to develop and maintain relationships both within the community and with her insurance associates. She serves on several civic boards and is active with her local Insurance Institute. In part, she leverages these relationships to provide excellent service to her clients.
There are few general contractors in the town, and it is challenging to engage them when a loss occurs. Therefore, the broker has an agreement with her primary insurer’s claims manager to engage one specific adjuster who, in turn, contacts one contractor exclusively for all repairs/replacements for the broker’s clients.
From time to time, the contractor has ordered extra materials and delivered them to both the adjuster’s and the broker’s homes for their personal use. Last year, the adjuster repainted his house, and the broker built a new patio with these materials. The contractor and broker also donated some of these materials to the community centre and received acknowledgement in the local paper for their generosity.
The claims manager believes the arrangement is good business because bringing contractors from other parts of the province would result in increased costs and time to complete the repairs/replacement. None of the manager’s superiors have questioned the relationship, and in fact, the manager has developed a good business reputation.
To acknowledge their excellent working relationship, the broker allows the claims manager to use her cottage for one week a year.
Due to the uniqueness of the situation, and the positive results within the town, the broker and claims manager have never questioned their actions. Are the broker, adjuster, and claims manager acting ethically in our scenario? How can the broker best serve her clients? And how can she best maintain good working relationships in her small community?
Send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be contacted should your answer be selected for publication. Thank you in advance for your participation.
Did you know that the CIP Society regularly publishes a column on professional ethics in Canadian Underwriter magazine? Each column explores issues surrounding a real-life ethical dilemma that professionals in the p&c insurance industry may encounter in the workplace. You can access past columns on our website.
Think insurance is boring? Think again! Here are a few fun facts about the fascinating world of insurance:
- Amusement parks are top-rated attractions in summer. Thrill rides must meet strict safety guidelines, and amusement parks must have a minimum of CAD $2m in insurance coverage.
Did you know that a coffeehouse chain in the UK insured the taste buds of its coffee taster for £10m? That’s over CAD 17m! It is said he can distinguish between thousands of flavours to detect defects in the product!
Every vineyard that grows grapes and produces wine is insured! Even those that have collections of vintage wines have insurance coverage should loss occur.
CIP Society Corner
We have a savings program
Did you know that the CIP Society, in partnership with Venngo Inc., offers members savings through the MemberPerks® program? MemberPerks® gives you and your family instant access to valuable discounts at the brand name stores and local places where you shop, eat and play.
Visit cip.venngo.com to create your account and get access to the perks right away. And to start saving on the go, download the Venngo app.
Have more questions? Join us for an interactive webinar on Tuesday, September 10, with Whitney Moore, Venngo Customer Success Manager. Register today.
CIP Society Trends Paper series
Your membership in the CIP Society supports various research initiatives, including our library of trends papers, which is available widely to the industry. Since 2007, our papers have covered a variety of timely issues, specialty markets, and new products.
From the Vault: Specialty Insurance Markets
Insuring Wine and Wine Collections (2011)
Wine is different things to different people. It's the winemaker's creation. For the vineyard owner, it's their product. To the restaurant or bar owner, it's inventory. Moreover, it's a beverage to be enjoyed with a meal for many. To some, collecting wine is a hobby, and for some, it’s an investment. Though it’s hard to find statistics and information about how prevalent wine collecting is, news about the proceeds from fine wine auctions is available, and the numbers are impressive: wine auctions held in Hong Kong this January brought in USD 25.5m.
Regardless of whether someone buys and keeps the wine to drink it eventually, or in hopes of selling it at a profit later, the question of whether to insure the collection is worth considering (and raising with a client).
Insuring Art (2013)
The reasons people collect art are as diverse as the types of art collected. Love of art and artists is undoubtedly a significant motivating factor for many collectors, but so is the investment value of art. “In times of financial uncertainty, more people have looked at art as an asset class that they’d like to be in because the art market is not subject to extreme fluctuations and hence tends to be less volatile. As a result, an art collector can diversify an investment portfolio, with a stable source of liquidity, while the collector also has beautiful objects to admire,” says Ann-Louise Seago, Vice-President and Senior Fine Art Underwriter at AXA ART in Canada. Proof of the investment value of art can be found in the fact that banks accept art as loan collateral.
Sports Insurance (2016)
Anxiety over concussion in our youth and professional athletes has not abated, but the political will to help address this issue is becoming stronger. In the US, class action lawsuits against the National Football League and the National Hockey League are progressing in the plaintiffs’ favour. A concussion-related lawsuit filed in B.C. on behalf of a former Canadian Football League player was struck down by the presiding judge on the grounds of jurisdiction. This is now being appealed. Meanwhile, serious problems with the 2016 Rio Olympics include fears over Zika, contaminated water, and inadequate security. This paper looks at the health risks associated with the world of sports, including travel, and the debate around “crumb rubber,” a component of some forms of artificial turf.
Call for content contributors
Are you looking to
- share your industry knowledge and understanding of current best practice?
- Learn new skills that can enhance other aspects of your career?
- Participate in a rewarding professional development experience?
Consider joining our community of industry professionals and contributing to the Insurance Institute of Canada’s expanding content library and course offerings.
We are looking for volunteers with
- a minimum of three to five years’ experience in the P&C industry, such as underwriting, claims, risk management, and sales;
- expertise in emerging and evolving fields, such as data analytics, climate risk,
autonomous vehicles, and cybersecurity;
- the ability to dedicate 20 hours over two to three months.
Past experience in writing or teaching is not required—a dedicated editor will guide you through the process and help you write content.
As a volunteer, you will:
- be included on the Acknowledgments page of the text and thanked in the Institute’s annual report;
- strengthen your professional development, industry engagement, and expertise;
- receive an honorarium for your contribution.
If you or someone you know would like to share your expertise and contribute to the development of the Institute’s professional designation and certificate programs, contact email@example.com
As a next step, you’ll be asked to fill out a brief online form outlining your experience and credentials. The academic programs’ team will then determine how your expertise aligns to the projects that are underway. The Insurance Institute welcomes your knowledge!
Course textbook and student resource guide update
All CIP courses include a comprehensive textbook developed by the Insurance Institutes. The Course Textbook and Student Resource Guide Update will show you the most current edition of the CIP learning material available.
IIC 2019 Annual General Meeting
The 66th Annual General Meeting of The Insurance Institute of Canada will be held at
The Sheraton Cavalier Saskatoon Hotel, 612 Spadina Crescent E, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G9, on Tuesday, October 29. The meeting will begin at 3:30 p.m. and follow this agenda:
- Notice Calling Meeting; Roll Call
- Reading of Minutes
- Reports of Officers, Councils, and Committees (including Chair’s Address)
- Annual Financial Statements and Auditor’s Report
- Approval of Acts of Governors
- Appointment of Auditors and the Determination of Their Fees
- Such other business as may be properly brought before the meeting
S.J. (Jeff) Goy, ACAS, CIP
Chair of the Board of Governors
Peter Hohman, MBA, FCIP, ICD.D
Chartered Insurance Professional
President and Chief Executive Officer
Membership renewal helps you stay in the know
As a member, you can continue to give your career a boost with our coveted CIP, ACIP, and FCIP designation programs and our Risk Management and Commercial Insurance certificate programs, as well as professional development opportunities that give you access to the latest industry knowledge and real-world practices.
Our membership year runs from June 1 to May 31. We have already sent notifications out to you or your employer by e-mail or post, and our Member Services team is busy processing renewal payments. If you haven’t renewed your membership already, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible to ensure that service interruptions are avoided.
Renew and pay online now—it’s quick and easy:
- Go to www.insuranceinstitute.ca.*
- Log in and go to “My Profile” and then “My Membership Information.”
If you have yet to receive your membership notification, please contact our Member Services Team as soon as possible at 1-866-362-8585, Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST.
* Visit www.insuranceinstitute.ca to view your profile, and don’t forget to update your details if they have recently changed.
IIC Annual Report now available
The Annual Report of The Insurance Institute of Canada for 2017–2018 has been printed. Copies are now available to members on request.
If you would like to receive your printed copy of the latest Annual Report, please send an e-mail to the Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (416) 362-1126.
Convocation ceremonies – mark your calendar
The new term is also the start of the season for ceremonies in honour of recent graduates. Our graduates have worked long and hard for their designations and are deserving of our full recognition. Mark your calendar for a special occasion, supporting our local graduates!
There will be more convocation ceremonies to follow in the months ahead. Look for details in the next edition of The Pace.