Summer 2023 edition
Jason Storah: push yourself beyond your comfort zone, be willing to fail, and adapt quickly
IIC Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Aviva Canada, Jason Storah has experienced a highly successful career in insurance.He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Aviva Canada in 2019 after serving as Chief Distribution Officer responsible for all of Aviva’s distribution channels across Canada, including the broker channel as well as oversight of RBC Insurance.
Since joining Aviva Canada in 2004, he has worked across a number of lines of business and held the roles of Chief Risk Officer, Senior Vice President, Traders and National Brokers, and Senior Vice President, Strategic Development.
Recently, The Pace chatted with Jason about career aspirations, the importance of volunteering and why insurance education matters.
If you had it to do all over again, is there anything you would do differently in your career journey? What would you be sure to repeat?
I’d have become an insurance broker because that’s where all the money is! Seriously though, I’d have done many things all over again and particularly living and working in several different countries. However, with hindsight, I do wish that I’d worked harder at focusing on what I wanted to do within insurance, rather than what I didn’t. There are also of course plenty of individual decisions and interactions that I’m sure I could have handled better, or differently, but on balance, I think I’ve been pretty lucky.
What are you most proud of in your career and your personal life?
From a career perspective, I’d say that dealing with everything that’s been thrown at Aviva over the last few years, since COVID, has been incredible. The variety and scale of the issues facing the industry has been unprecedented and yet against that backdrop, I’m proud to be part of the team that has delivered Aviva’s best ever performance. The business is stronger and more resilient than ever, and we’re leading the Canadian financial services industry on sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion. In my personal life, I just consider myself to be very fortunate to have a fantastic group of family and friends here in Canada (and I’m amazed they put up with me).
Why do you believe it’s important to continue upgrading your skills and knowledge throughout your career?
Given how quickly the world around us is evolving, which means we’re always learning new things either by design or default, the exact same applies to insurance. There are new technologies, new ways to underwrite, new ways to assess risk, new business opportunities, changing expectations of corporate social responsibility and new customer expectations. These are all opportunities for us to continue upgrading our skills and knowledge to stay relevant and keep adding value wherever we can. My advice to anyone, regardless of their careers, is to keep learning, push yourself beyond your comfort zone, be willing to fail, surround yourself with people who make you better and be prepared to adapt quickly.
Do you feel volunteering within the industry is essential to expand your knowledge and skillset? If so, why?
Absolutely. Volunteering in all forms is a great thing. It’s one of the ways to educate yourself, broaden your perspective, expand your network, and impact others in a way that perhaps you might not otherwise be able to do. Plus, it feels good to help others.
As a volunteer with IIC, what has brought you the greatest satisfaction?
I’ve loved meeting everyone and learning more about the reach of the IIC. But I must admit that what I most enjoyed was meeting all of the graduates at the convocation ceremonies.
This will be your final message as Chair of IIC. What parting words of advice would you like to leave with the membership of the Institute?
I have two parting comments:
First, getting your Insurance Institute qualification is brilliant, and a testament to how serious you are about going the extra mile for your career…. but don’t stop there! Whatever you’re doing in your career today, or wherever you aspire to go in future, please keep challenging yourself. Never settle, don’t drift, and be deliberate about your choices – particularly in respect of where you work and who you work with. Be as deliberate about those things as you were about deciding to study at the Institute.
Then, second, I would just encourage everyone to think about how they can have a positive impact on the environment, no matter how big or small. If you work in the insurance industry, you will see the catastrophic impact of climate change. Building a sustainable future will take time and effort, but if we don’t do it, there could be millions of Canadians who find themselves in tough situations where insurance won’t be available or able to help. I think it’s worth mitigating the downside risks of climate change by taking sensible actions sooner rather than later.
Building your brand: influencer video campaign
With today’s complex array of messaging, marketing channels and mediums, end users crave personal insights from authentic sources. Now, more than ever before, it’s important to lean into and share the voices of those who express the value of your brand as a CIP or FCIP, for others to hear.
It's part of the Institute’s mission to continue to build your brand, by empowering the diverse, engaging, and authentic voices of industry leaders and peers, to create sustained awareness of your premier insurance education. Shining your light as a beacon also helps aspiring entrants to the p&c insurance space, who are hearing the buzz about an industry that is becoming recognized as the hidden gem of careers.
“The insurance industry is finally being recognized for its competitive compensation, flexible work arrangements, healthcare, inclusive and welcoming community and the ability to work on some of the most important issues of the day,” says Peter Hohman, MBA, FCIP, ICD.D. and President & CEO of the Insurance Institute of Canada. “In fact, this industry is providing some of the most meaningful careers out there. Right from the beginning it fosters your use of ingenuity to be part of positive change.”
It’s no surprise that personal viewing habits have changed dramatically over time and that daily digital video viewing time is now forecast to surpass TV viewing time by 2024. That’s why we have created this valuable content to communicate your brand in video format.
To do so, we engaged 15 graduates of the FCIP and CIP programs to feature in our Influencer Video Campaign. These contributors represent the p&c insurance industry in a wide array of roles and include leaders such as Heather Masterson, BA, BEd, FCIP, Immediate Past Chair of the IIC and President & CEO of Travelers Canada, whose stories represent the journey of our graduates.
Watch these influencer videos coming soon to our social media channels and digital ad space. Be sure to like and share to show your colleagues support, as they represent your profession and pay it forward to the industry.
An inside look into the p&c insurance industry: 2022-2023 Demographic Research
Every five years the Insurance Institute takes a deeper dive into the insurance industry by conducting demographic research. The Institute partnered with the Conference Board of Canada to conduct the fifth demographic analysis of the p&c insurance industry in Canada.
This new data allows business leaders to gain understanding of their employees. Organizations will be able to create business strategies that align with current statistical analysis of our industry. The report can also be a useful tool for individuals interested in mapping their own career paths.
Surveys of industry employees and HR professionals provide insight into workforce recruitment and retention, and employee satisfaction. Top issues such as salaries, career development, mental health and inclusion support, and hybrid or remote work opportunities are explored through both perspectives.
Notable findings from the 2023 report:
- Insurance careers are long, and employment is sustained. Most workers plan to stay in the insurance industry, but 29% plan to leave their current employer with the next five years.
- The strongest competition for labour comes from within the p&c industry.
- The Canadian insurance industry is diverse. 25% of the industry identified as a minority which mirrors the 2021 Canadian Census at 26.5%.
- Remote and hybrid work became the top non-wage priority for employees. In 2017 the number one issue was good healthcare and other benefits.
- Strong mental health and well-being policies will be critical for employers, as 62% of employees list these items as their top concern.
Find out more by downloading the free report today.
So you want to be a...Risk Manager
Property and casualty insurance has a multitude of career opportunities in a variety of settings. When connecting with insurance professionals, you soon discover that there are almost as many routes through the industry as there are people who work in it.
Continuing our series on the many roles available in the industry we recently chatted with Daria Agius, Risk Manager, Risk Insurance and Claims Management at the LCBO.
I started out as an independent adjuster for a global firm which enabled me to learn claims for all lines of coverage including automobile, property and liability claims and really enjoyed investigating how the situation happened and who would be liable. The cool part was you were on the road equipped with a digital camera and programs allowing direct reporting back to the client. You must learn the basics first, but I found the principles and education taught through the institute were a big addition to my learning.
I now have my FCIP, CIP, ERM, RIBO & CRM. Each designation played an important contribution into my career. The Insurance Institute of Canada, specifically the Ontario chapter have many course and day seminar offerings which I continue to sign myself up for. My latest educational experience is through the University of Toronto with continuing studies in Cyber Insurance where I’m learning how to place controls for the unexpected situations arising out of Cyber threats.
Risk Manager roles are accountable for the purchase of the entire insurance portfolio for the company. You essentially are the “insurance buyer” of the company. We play an important role in deciding the capacity, coverage, and the appetite the organization requires. I base my decision on the company’s strategic goals by identifying exposures and placing controls within our operations. The remarkable part of being in this role is the ability to communicate with every department in the company as each business unit requires insurance.
My typical day consists of the four C’s: Customers, Claims, Contracts, and Coverage. One day I may be working on a fire that just occurred in one of stores and dealing with adjusters and the next day I may be negotiating a contract with a vendor we will be working with. Each day is different. My favorite part is customer satisfaction and placing controls in the organization where improvements may be required to minimize risk.
At the LCBO, we are a contributor to Government and the people of Ontario. We give dividends back to Ontario so they may support healthcare, education, and infrastructure in our province. In beverage alcohol sales, the LCBO has been around for over 95 years with many stories to tell. We continuously collaborate with our partners and have initiatives in our strategic priorities such as promoting a platform to be more sustainable and support local. I am proud to work for the LCBO and the dynamic teams that promote our products.
Purchasing insurance is not always something everyone wants to talk about but I feel that my team’s role has an impact and we continuously demonstrate risk management through our core values daily for the safety of my fellow colleagues and our customers.
Advice for young professionals
My mentors, previous reports and CIP instructors all have had an impact on my career. I was fortunate to meet them and apply the principles, and ethical behavior they taught me. I learned from the onset about dealing with tragedy and loss with a customer and how you can turn that situation around with insurance. I can still recall my liability instructor describing to students the principle of foreseeability and the famous Polemis case regarding causation on the black board.
One of the challenges of my career has been work-life balance. I did miss a lot of family time when my children were young and had to count on others to take care of them. I think as a young person in the industry; it is sometimes hard to balance both. Many corporations now provide a hybrid work policy which alleviates some of the pressures. Both my adult children work in insurance or have a goal to work in insurance because they found what I did interesting and are enrolled in courses beyond their university studies.
A few other tips from Daria:
- For a new insurance professional looking for a similar role, I suggest starting as a junior analyst or in risk administration and know the business that you are in.
- Don’t overstep your ground but if you see a need for process improvement to help your team, then make a recommendation.
- Read a lot about your organization and the resources available to you in our industry.
- Be the best you can be in what you know; and always be open to learn.
- If courses are offered, sign up and see where they can add value to the position you are in now and where they might help you adapt to change.
- Risk departments are usually small but very interesting as your day changes frequently.
New Institute website coming later this year
The Insurance Institute is implementing a major website redesign. As an organization, our priority is to support students and members in achieving their professional goals, the IIC website plays a large role in delivering on this. The new website design is mobile-first making it much easier for you to use the website when you’re on the go. With a cleaner layout you’ll find it much quicker to locate the information you need. The new look will launch later this year.
Rhind Bursary recipient expresses gratitude for CIP opportunities
For Ziyue (Cindy) Wu, receiving the CIP Society’s Rhind Bursary means she can pursue the I nstitute’s Risk Management Certificate program and advance her career. The Rhind Bursary program encourages members of the CIP Society to further their education in the ACIP, FCIP or certificate programs in situations where they are not financially supported by their employer.
“Completing the Risk Management program will help me identify and assess potential risks that my clients may face,” says Cindy. “It also helps my clients mitigate financial loss in the event of unexpected events or claims through implementing risk management strategies.”
Cindy says earning her CIP opened many doors for her including landing her first job in Canada. “I had more than 10 years of insurance experience in China starting as a claims examiner then moving on to underwriting in Commercial lines, but I couldn’t find a job in insurance after I moved to Canada.” After learning about the CIP program, Cindy was sure it would help her to move her insurance career forward. “I learned that this program is accredited and well recognized by the insurance industry. With my perseverance and passion, I was able to complete my CIP designation last fall and landed a job at Park Georgia Insurance as a Commercial Lines Marketer.”
Cindy is responsible for reviewing the risk submissions handed over daily from producers, so the Risk Management program will help immensely with her job. “I feel that the CIP, along with the Risk program have provided me with a thorough understanding of the risk assessment process and best practices enabling me to make more informed decisions when reviewing risk submissions. It also allows me to make more sophisticated and reasonable judgements with greater confidence and significantly reduces the amount of back-and-forth communication.”
She received her C11 Principles and Practice of Insurance credit through taking the IIBC Level 1 licensing course which kickstarted her CIP journey. “This course, as part of the CIP program, can help you to gain a solid foundation in insurance principles and practices and acquire knowledge and skills that can be applied in various roles, such as underwriter, claims adjuster, risk manager and insurance adviser. I found that the best method for passing this course is to go through the textbook as many times as possible to the point where you can recite or summarize every bit of content in your head -- even without the textbook.”
Here are Cindy’s final thoughts on insurance education and career advancement:
- Benefits to the CIP program include self-improvement, in-depth knowledge, enhanced skills, competency, and confidence which can lead to career advancement.
- The CIP designation is highly valued by the industry and is recognized as a benchmark in your personal career path. It can also distinguish you from your peers and demonstrate your commitment to professional development.
- I believe holding a CIP designation can open doors to new opportunities which can lead to promotions, salary increases and greater job responsibilities.
- It can also help you to get to know alumnus and peers and build up a network of like-minded individuals in the insurance industry, which can provide mentorship and access to resources and industry insights.
- Pursuing your CIP designation is a wise investment in your professional development, but it is not the end of your educational path in this field. Therefore, be brave enough to challenge yourself to achieve the next level.
Wildfires in Canada: How insurance professionals help to mitigate risk
This year is set to break records for the number of wildfires in Canada. These fires not only endanger lives and the environment but also have a significant impact on insurance claims and rates. Insurance professionals not only work to help clients after a devastating loss to wildfires, they also advise on how people living in at-risk areas can prepare and stay safe.
When it comes to insurance claims, the wildfires in Canada have had a significant impact in affected areas. Homeowners need to be aware of the potential consequences, such as delays in claim processing, policy changes, and increased insurance rates.
But by taking proactive measures to prepare for wildfires and staying informed about fire conditions, individuals can enhance their safety and reduce the risk of property loss. Working together as a community is key to effectively addressing the challenges posed by wildfires and minimizing their impact on insurance claims and rates. Here are some tips to minimize the impact of wildfires and ensure personal safety for individuals in at-risk areas.
Home Protection: Clear vegetation and debris from the immediate vicinity of your home to create a defensible space. This involves removing flammable materials, trimming overhanging branches, and maintaining a clear zone around structures.
Fire-Resistant Construction: Consider using fire-resistant materials when building or renovating your home. Fire-resistant roofing, windows, and siding can help reduce the vulnerability of your property to wildfires.
Emergency Plans: Develop an emergency plan for your household, including evacuation routes and communication methods. Stay informed about fire conditions through local authorities and be prepared to follow evacuation orders if necessary.
Insurance Coverage Review: Regularly review your insurance policy to ensure it adequately covers wildfire-related risks. Understand the details of your coverage, including policy limits, deductibles, and exclusions.
Community Engagement: Get involved in community initiatives focused on fire prevention and preparedness. Collaborate with neighbors and local authorities to develop strategies for mitigating wildfire risks at a community level.
Risk Managers play an important role in assessing and mitigating risks such as those posed by wildfires. The Institute’s three-course Risk Management certificate program offers p&c insurance industry professionals the opportunity to further their risk qualifications. Click here to find out more.
Fun Facts about insurance
Think insurance is boring? Think again. Check out these fun facts.
- The concept of insurance is much older than you may have thought, about 4000 years old to be precise. The first insurance style practices were adopted by Babylonian, Chinese and Indian traders and the first known insurance contract was signed in 1347 in Genoa, Italy.
- The most expensive insurance policy in the world belongs to the American director Steven Spielberg, his life was insured for $ 1.2 billion.
CIP Society Corner
The 2023 Rhind Bursary Recipient
The CIP Society is pleased to announce the 2023 recipient of the Rhind Bursary Award, Ziyue (Cindy) Wu. Congratulations to Ziyue!
The Rhind Bursary was created to support CIP members in the ongoing professional education, in situations where they are not financially supported by their employer. Additionally, the scholarship committee will consider applications from dependents of CIP Society members enrolled in the CIP program. The Rhind Bursary offers up to two (2) bursaries each year. Each of the bursaries covers the full cost of tuition, textbooks, and exams for one course in an eligible designation or certificate program.
Read more about the Rhind Bursary program.
Wanted: Professional Ethics Scenario Developer
Are you interested in human behaviour and decision making? The CIP Society Ethics Committee needs a writer to help develop ethical scenarios for publication. The Society publishes several ethics scenarios a year to keep the insurance community in the practice of ethical thinking and maintaining the highest professional standards. Today’s insurance industry is faced with challenges from a variety of sources, such as the use of technology in business, climate change issues, communication channels, and work in a post-pandemic world.
If you want to know more, please send your resume or LinkedIn profile to email@example.com.
Member Benefit: Rogers Preferred Program
The Rogers Preferred Program is just one of the great benefits available to CIP Society members. The Program is free to all active CIP Society Members. Members have access to smartphone deals and discounts on Roger’s mobility plans.
Access the Rogers Preferred Program for CIP Society Members by logging into your exclusive Venngo online account.
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, FCIP, and CMGA 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 on-line now—it’s quick and easy:
1. Go to www.insuranceinstitute.ca.*
2. 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.
2023 Annual General Meeting
The 70th Annual General Meeting of The Insurance Institute of Canada will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Monday, October 23, 2023, at the Lord Nelson Hotel. The meeting will now begin at 2:15 p.m. AT and follow this agenda:
1. Notice Calling Meeting; Roll Call
2. Reading of Minutes
3. Reports of Officers, Councils, and Committees (including Chair’s Address)
4. Annual Financial Statements and Auditor’s Report
5. Approval of Acts of Governors
7. Appointment of Auditors and the Determination of Their Fees
8. Such other business as may be properly brought before the meeting
Jason Storah, BEc
Chair of the Board of Governors
Peter Hohman, MBA, FCIP, ICD.D
Chartered Insurance Professional
President and Chief Executive Officer
Course text updates - July 2023
Call for content contributors
Are you looking to share your industry knowledge and understanding of current best practice? Are you eager to 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; and
- expertise in emerging and evolving fields, such as data analytics, extreme weather, pandemics, autonomous vehicles, and cyber security.
Past experience in writing or teaching is not required—a dedicated editor will guide you through the process and help you review, update, and/or write content.
As a volunteer, you will be thanked in the Institute’s annual report and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 under way. The Insurance Institute welcomes your expertise.