Winter 2019 edition

IIC Chair, Pat Van Bakel: Take ownership of your insurance career

“If you want to succeed in the insurance industry you need to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable,” says Pat Van Bakel, incoming Chair of the Insurance Institute of Canada and president and CEO of Crawford Canada.

This advice has served Pat well during his career which began as a claims adjuster for Crawford almost 28 years ago. “I started my insurance career right out of university with the same company I am with today. Undergraduate degree in hand, I remember looking at the job board at Wilfrid Laurier University. The opportunity to work in the insurance industry as an insurance claims adjuster just jumped out at me. It was an opportunity to do meaningful work and to make a difference,” says Pat.

Pat says he’s pleased that today, through the efforts of the Insurance Institute, there are now full-time insurance programs available to university and college students who are pre-selecting insurance to study as a career choice—not just finding their way into the industry by good fortune. “I have enjoyed a very fast-paced career progression, rising from a trainee to CEO, with many stops along the way. I attribute my success to being a student of the business and always being open to new opportunities and challenges.

One of the biggest challenges Pat sees for industry leaders is adapting to the changing demographic of insurance professionals. “We need to find innovative ways to lead these new generations of people,” he says. “We can’t just use our old way of doing things and be effective. There’s going to need to be more of a competency built around risk taking from a leadership perspective—not an insurance perspective.”

With the pace of change in the industry, he says the opportunities to build an exciting and successful career are limitless. Here are Pat’s top tips for success:

Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Technology and digital transformation will drive the industry in the next decade. Consumer expectations are changing rapidly and finding ways to use technology to enhance the customer experience is going to be the secret to success for the industry. It’s important to be able to operate at a fast pace in an environment of ambiguity. We are not always going to have perfect information even though as an industry we tend to look for perfect information when we evaluate exposures and claims.

Never stop learning. The theme of continuous learning is probably my biggest message to members. As we enter the industry there are clear and obvious paths to begin our learning and the CIP is a great example. But it doesn’t stop there. Institute programs such as the ACIP, FCIP, Risk or Commercial have been specifically designed to allow people to continue to develop their learning and skills. Continuous learning is also a key aspect of change. The historical norms of getting your education early in your career and then being done with education will no longer withstand the test of time. We are going to have to be learning new concepts and models all the time.

Have 2020 vision. Using Crawford as an example, the heart of what we do is to fulfill the promise that was made by our clients to their customers when they sell an insurance product. Our people get to live and breathe that opportunity every day. We are in the business of helping people at some of the most difficult times of their lives and we see lots of examples of this every day. It’s very fulfilling for our people to deliver something of real value. Our mission and vision states that we are in the business of restoring and enhancing lives, businesses and communities. It gives purpose to what we do. We are not selling insurance, we are not trying to figure out the profitability of a product. We have a single purpose and that is when a loss occurs we bring the best of the industry to the community in need.

Take ownership for your career. My favourite saying is “If it is to be, it is up to me.” One of my mentors once told me that there are a lot of things that we have no control over, but there are three things that we can control when we come in to work every day and those are our attitude, our work ethic and our willingness to learn. I always encourage people to volunteer within the industry. Whether it’s with the Institute or other parts of the industry, just get involved and be a student of the industry.

I’m truly honoured to take on the role of Chair of the Insurance Institute of Canada and look forward to helping guide the Institute’s vision over the coming year.

Pat Van Bakel, BA, CIP
Chair, The Insurance Institute of Canada

Pat Van Bakel


For an MGA a “typical” day is atypical

The MGA (Managing General Agent) marketplace has seen rapid growth as the demand for high-risk and specialty coverages outside the scope of general business policies increases. These policies include unique product liability exposures, very high limits of liability coverage, or coverages which most insurance companies will not provide. The MGA field of the insurance business is never routine and requires professionals to constantly think outside of the box to craft coverage solutions. The Pace recently spoke to Nona McCreedy, FCIP, CRM, Owner, Aurora Underwriting about a career as a Managing General Agent.

The Pace: How did you become involved in the MGA side of the insurance business?

NM: After spending 20 years on the company side of the business from personal lines underwriter to a branch manager’s position, I tried the retail broker side for three years. While I was working for a retail broker he got a Lloyds contract. Every day I would talk to a fellow in London and finally he said to me “Would you like to learn how to broke to Lloyds?” I immediately said yes, so every day after that for a year and a half he trained me over the phone. Then one day as I was talking to him and several others in a meeting, they asked if I would like my own contract to do business with Lloyds.

The Pace: Why did you choose that area?

NM: To be an MGA for Lloyds means they have to vet you and give you coverholder status. This is very coveted and sort of the pinnacle of an insurance career.

The Pace: How does the work of an MGA differ from other insurance professionals?

NM: When you work for a domestic insurance company, basically you only have to know what products your company offers and they are usually quite ordinary covers, similar to all the other domestic companies. But to be able to work with Lloyds means that you can place just about any risk.

The Pace: What is a typical day like for an MGA?

NM: A typical day in an “underwriters market” means that an MGA’s office will see anywhere from 100 to 300 risks and every risk is different, even if they are of the same genre.

The Pace: Does this career path appeal to a particular type of person/professional?

NM: I think it appeals to anyone who is inquisitive, likes to solve problems and wants to have every day be exciting, interesting and full of surprises. It also means that you are not a mono line underwriter but must be able to look at every class of business.

The Pace: Is being an MGA professional an exciting career?  If so, why?

NM: It is very exciting and challenging. You see risks that are ordinary and extra ordinary, your day can go from trying to place liability for a Zipline manufacturer to a homeowner that has three mortgages in the course of your morning. You get to see jewellery and art collections, you would never know about. It is amazing to me how innovative Canadians are when it comes to the businesses they run and how they make a living. It is exciting to know all these wonderful things happen. Also, I believe every risk deserves to be able to have insurance and if the domestic markets cannot do it, that should not mean it cannot be underwritten. It just means we as underwriters have to be more creative and find a way to insure the risk. It is then up to the Insured to choose to pay the premium.

The Pace: If someone was interested, how would they become an MGA?

NM: I think the best way to start is working for a domestic company and find your niche within the industry. If that niche is underwriting, then learn everything you can at the companylisten to everyone in management, take the CIP courses and notice and watch the world around you all the time. Then, about five years into your career, find an MGA that is looking for staff. Your world will change in a heartbeat. You will now get to use all your knowledge and keep on learning. You will meet people from Lloyds on a regular basis and learn from them. You get to ask questions and talk to brokers not just in your area but right across Canada. And you also start to learn about how much “paperwork” there is behind every risk.

The Pace: Do you believe that the MGA field is growing?

NM: It is my firm belief that MGA’s will continue to grow and will have a larger percentage of the market over the next 20 years. Up until the late 1960’s most domestics did not have branches in all major cities across Canada and the cost of those branches is high. With technology, those companies can concentrate underwriters for personal lines in one or two major cities and write business across the country. However, commercial risks are different so it’s my opinion that while companies will pull back on their branches, more and more companies will give contracts to MGAs. This means that MGAs will need more qualified staff.

Cindy Yott

Feature day in the life – Cindy Yott, CIP

Insurance touches nearly everything we do in life and business

There are opportunities for career growth and to contribute in a meaningful way in nearly every corner of the industry. According to the Insurance Institute of Canada’s most recent Demographic Research report, 97% of industry professionals feel they contribute to their company’s success, and 94% are proud to work in the industry.

We recently sat down with insurance industry professional Cindy Yott, who works in Human Resources, Corporate Training with Crawford and Company (Canada). She shared with us how she started her insurance journey, how she evolved over the last 15 years working in the industry and her advice about how you can get your start in insurance.

The starting point

For many insurance professionals, the industry is not where they began their career journey. This rings true for Cindy. Before hatching her insurance career, she worked in finance and investments, but it wasn’t quite the right fit for her.

“My friends told me that I would enjoy a career in insurance and that I should give it a try,” she tells us. “I’m glad I did, because I’ve never looked back.”

The career journey

Cindy has worn many hats over the last 15 years – a true testament to the career mobility that the industry offers. She started off as an insurance agent, moved to personal lines underwriting, moved again to commercial underwriting, also to corporate finance and is currently in HR.

Today, Cindy is leveraging all of the expertise she has garnered over the course of her career in her work in HR, Corporate Training. “I’m responsible for creating and delivering all of the corporate training initiatives, people development programs, and support that Crawford provides across Canada” Cindy explains.

She works with her company’s internal staff teams and external business clients. “It keeps me engaged and busy, and meeting so many new people is an added bonus,” she says.

But Cindy doesn’t stop there!

“For the Insurance Institute, I am an instructor teaching Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) courses, and also advocate for others to join our industry as a Career Connections Ambassador,” she says. She also goes above and beyond by working closely with Wilfrid Laurier’s Lazaridis School of Business as a professional advisor for one of their student clubs – Laurier Insurance Risk Association (LIRA).

Why insurance?

Cindy is glad that she took her friend’s suggestion and has truly found her place in the insurance industry. “I’ve stayed for over 15 years, and that is not by accident,” she tells us. “I love that I get to work with people from very diverse backgrounds and business experiences. Whoever says that insurance is boring does not truly understand our industry.”

According to Cindy, she is challenged daily to be her best self, and continue to take opportunities for personal and professional development. “Insurance is about what we can do for our community and people – being impactful and adding value. I feel lucky to be a part of that, so what’s not to love about what I do?”

Advice and insights

When we asked Cindy what advice she would give to those looking to advance their career in insurance, she offered these nuggets:

For her, she places a great importance on staying connected and engaged with the industry because you never know what will result from the network you have cultivated. “Everyone you meet has an interesting story, so keep an open mind and surround yourself with people who positively challenge you,” she says.

For Cindy, the learning never ends. She urges people to get involved in the industry and to make an impact. She also recommends obtaining your CIP (and… and beyond!) along with regularly attending seminars and events so you can learn from and build relationships with other individuals in the industry.

Member services team

The Insurance Institute’s Member Services team – at your service

“Thank you for calling the Insurance Institute. How can I help you?”

When you call the Institute’s Member Services team, your conversation begins here. Based at the Institute’s national office in Toronto, the Member Services team provides guidance and support to Institute members across the country.

As you’d expect, the Member Services team can help you renew your membership. Between May and August 2019, the team of eight (including three bilingual associates) processed some 30,000 membership renewals.

But Member Services does much more than process memberships. The team is dedicated to providing guidance and support for all of the Institute’s service offerings, to all members, in a consistent, concise and informative manner. Every team member is equipped to answer inquiries and process payments related to a wide range of Institute products and activities, including:

  • all Institute academic programs – learning options, general inquiries, course information, etc.
  • study materials
  • website and e-learning guidance
  • examinations – rescheduling, timetables, deferrals, etc.
  • registrations for courses, seminars, events
  • transcript orders
  • the CIP Society (the professional community representing the graduates of the CIP and FCIP designations)

For members who are licensed in Ontario, the team can also help with enquiries about licensing. (Outside of Ontario, licensing enquiries are handled by our local Institute offices.)

"Is there anything I can help you with today?"

The team works collaboratively to resolve member concerns, issues and inquiries, striving for first-call resolution wherever possible. As anyone who has worked in a call centre can attest, you never know what the next call will bring, and associates may find themselves going above and beyond to help a member. Here’s an example from a Member Services associate:

“I was working a late shift and the rest of the team had already left. I received a call from a member looking for the venue of an IIO [Insurance Institute of Ontario] networking event. I had to find the seminar online to locate the venue. Once the member was able to remember the title of the networking event, I found the event and identified the venue as Joey’s [restaurant in Toronto] at Yonge and Dundas.

“I found the number for Joey’s online to get in touch with the hostess. She was able to confirm that the IIO networking event was taking place at their location. I acquired her name and returned to the member on hold. I then verbally directed the member from Yonge and Dundas Square to the venue and advised to speak with the hostess to be directed to the networking event.”

"I'm sorry, but …"

Enhancing value to our member base is a priority, and we seek to help whenever we can. However, there are a few things the Member Services team cannot do:

  • Provide or reset passwords – For privacy reasons, associates do not have access to members’ passwords
  • Provide examination marks – As a matter of policy, the Insurance Institute does not release these
  • Process withdrawals for classroom or virtual classroom courses, seminars or events – Please contact your local Institute office for these
  • Negotiate over fees – As a member-based association, we publish our fee schedules for the information of all members, and these are not negotiable
  • Register callers for OTL exams – But our separate IIO team can help with this:
  • Confirm your licence status – Please contact your provincial regulator about this (AIC, FSCO/FSRA, RIBO, etc.)
  • Provide member information to third parties without consent (for example, confirming designation status or other education)

A day in the life

Face of the CIP

The Pace recently spoke with Amanda Martin, CIP, CRM, Northbridge Insurance about her “CIP pride.” Amanda’s story is the first in our Face of the CIP campaign which will be featured on social media highlighting the reasons and the career rewards that come with a CIP designation.

Are you #CIPProud?

If you would like to be featured in our Face of the CIP campaign on social media, or you would like to nominate a fellow CIP/FCIP, share your story with us by emailing We will ask you to answer a few questions via email and will require a professional or candid photo. Your story will appear on IIC’s LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Be part of a campaign meant to inspire p&c industry professionals and inform the public about the 18,000 CIPs who already put training, knowledge, and high standards to work every day.

Amanda's story

The Pace: Why did you decide to take the CIP?

Amanda: When I first joined the insurance industry, I was accepted into Northbridge’s training program. A large part of this program is focused on class room learning and continued education. To support this, I was enrolled in taking my first four CIP courses to learn the fundamentals and help set me on the right path for success.

The Pace: How has the CIP helped you in your day-to-day job?

Amanda: The courses in the CIP introduced me to key concepts and created a foundation of insurance knowledge to build on. This has helped in my role as an underwriter and manager in understanding key insurance risks as well as coverages that our customers need to be properly protected.

The Pace: Have opportunities opened up for you since earning your CIP? If so, please elaborate.

Amanda: Without my CIP I would not be where I am in my career today. This designation is a relevant and recognized designation in the insurance industry. I feel that the concepts learned throughout the CIP are applicable on a daily basis, and it is great to see your designation being put to use. In addition to the courses, there is continued learning and development after taking your CIP, with the on-going CIP news letters as well as research papers that help keep me up to date on industry trends.

The Pace: What message do you have for anyone in the industry considering getting their CIP?

Amanda: This designation is relevant for a wide range of careers in or related to the insurance industry. Taking the time to study and earn this designation will help develop your understanding of insurance and help support your career development.

The Pace: What makes you feel good about the work you do?

Amanda: I am proud to be part of an industry that serves to protect and educate our customers. Insurance is a vital part of our economy, and I am happy to be on a team that helps others as well as provides customers with industry expertise. In addition to work, the insurance industry plays a huge role in volunteering and giving back to the community. I am fortunate to be on several committees and participate in multiple charity events which makes me feel very good about the work that I do.

The Pace: What do you like to do on your day off?

Amanda: I love to get outside and enjoy the day! On my day off you will find me either going for a hike or bike ride with my family. When the weather is a little colder, I always enjoy reading a good book.


Our members respond to the small town ethics scenario

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 that may occur in a smaller community. We were very pleased to receive your responses and are including a selection below. We thank all of our contributors!

Want to join the discussion? Email us at

Watch for another scenario in the next issue of The Pace

The scenario again:

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?

Kerry Diehl, B.Comm, CIP, CAIB, DAPM
Licensed Insurance Broker
(Former Regulatory Inspector for the Insurance Council of BC)

Any regulatory body would certainly want to investigate this scenario. Although there is no certainty that extra supplies are being billed to the insurance company, to a regulator, where there's smoke, there's fire.

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Conflict of interest principles dictate that even perception of misconduct should be avoided. A broker, adjuster and contractor should have an arm’s length relationship, even in a smaller community. There are other contractors in town, and business should be spread around. The fact that certain benefits are going to the broker and adjuster for choosing only one contractor is a conflict of interest. Both the broker and adjuster are personally benefiting from a professional relationship.

Despite the reputation of the selected contractor, a lack of transparent quotation or bidding process among the local contractors should be a concern for the insurer. And if a claims audit reveals that the insurer has paid for materials delivered to the broker and/or adjuster, then that would be enough, in my mind, for suspension of their licenses.

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Carlotta E. Bown, CIP, CRM
Assistant Vice President & Account Executive

The broker is not acting ethically and although not directly involved in the claims awarding, is influencing the claims process by leveraging her position in the community to favour a particular contractor.

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The agreement between the broker and claims manager is not ethically acceptable and the broker should not be involved in selecting, making recommendations or favouring a contractor.

With respect to the gifts, both from the contractor to the broker as well as from the broker to the claims manager, these are prohibited, especially considering the high value. To serve her clients better in a claims situation, the broker should instead follow up with clients on their satisfaction with the claims handling and answer their questions or concerns about coverage.

To serve her community better she should maintain her various positions and develop better relations with those few contractors and suggest they contact the claims manager to ask for opportunities to bid on claims work. This would make awarding work by the claims manager to be fairly given to the best qualified. Some contractors may already be aware of the favouritism as it is a small community and that may be why they are not pursuing the opportunity.

The claims manager is also not behaving ethically by the agreement to give work to one contractor. Since he is not tendering work, how does he know he is getting the best value? There should be a least one other quote for work and it should be awarded to the best price combined with the contractor who has the best ability to perform the work.

Regarding the extra supplies, who’s really paying for those extra supplies which are given as gifts to the broker and claims manager? I would say in the end it is the insurer paying for the extras and ultimately, on the back of clients. This looks really bad on the claims manager and his superiors should be scrutinizing the claims manager rather than applauding him. These superiors are also behaving badly if they don’t have a process in place to award work fairly and to discourage gift giving or receiving.

Again, with respect to gifts the claims manager is receiving from the broker, in any form, this should not be accepted from the broker and is prohibited for these values.

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Glenn Howe, FCIP, CRM

If I read this right, I hope everyone in the industry had the same reaction as me. You’re kidding right? An adjuster taking paint from a contractor for their own benefit? This is completely unethical.

Larry Hay, B. Comm, CIP
Marsh Adjustment Limited

I believe that the broker, adjuster and claims manager (you can also throw the contractor into the mix) are not acting ethically.

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Based on the description of the situation, all involved seem to believe that the results justify the means. I disagree.

I grew up in a small town and I certainly understand how important relationships are within those communities, however, if anyone in the service chain needs to benefit above and beyond in order to deliver the service they should ethically provide, it is wrong.

Working backwards, the contractor who delivers a quality product, for a fair price, in a timely manner, should not have to deliver building materials and services to anyone else in the chain to get the work. They will be the chosen contractor based on their own merits.

Similarly, the adjuster who does a good job for both the insurance company and the insureds, in a timely manner, should be confident that they will get the call from the insurers because they deliver a good work product.

Independent brokers, particularly in small communities, will obviously benefit from positive community involvement. Actively serving their communities raises their profile and undoubtedly serves them well in attracting clients.

Most, if not all insurers in the Canadian marketplace, have a Code of Conduct that would prohibit accepting gifts in exchange for patronage such as described in the scenario and expect their brokers and vendors to adhere to similar standards. The claims manager would be bound by this Code of Conduct and I am not aware of any such code that includes a provision that waives the need to adhere to it “as long as everyone is happy.”

In any community, small town or otherwise, the integrity of the claim process is critical. If at any point in the service chain there is even the perception of impropriety, that integrity is undermined. Imagine an insured in that small town who knows about the paint or building materials. Why would they not be led, by those actions, to believe that claim decisions could be blurred for some sort of consideration?

You can always ask yourself if the excellent service received by insureds when they need it, would be compromised if anyone in this service chain was not deriving an “extra” benefit from the side deals that are in place. I would certainly hope that it would not.

I would add that it need not be a small town for these types of relationships to develop but the small town scenario may make it easier for the participants to justify it.

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Karen Gilpin, CIP, CRM
Global Insurance Manager

I don’t think this is ethical. The broker and adjuster should not be benefiting from claims. If the contractor had extra materials left over after certain jobs and he donated them to the community that would be a different story. In this circumstance, it looks like he is bribing them to hire him for all their claims repairs.

Len Bosch, CIP
Darlen Ventures

The scenario is a clear example of unethical actions by the broker, adjuster, claims manager and contractor. The ordering of extra materials which are given to the broker and adjuster are actually fraudulent acts which could result in criminal charges.

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The donation to charity does not negate the fraudulent actions but only serves to assuage the conscience of the individuals. It is not unusual for a broker to ask for a particular adjuster but that is usually due to the adjuster’s ability to adjust claims in an efficient and fair manner regardless of the relationship between the adjuster and broker.

A good working relationship would not foster unethical practices.

The difficulty in sourcing contractors in certain areas is not unusual and there are alternative ways to deal with this situation. Authority could be given for repairs up to a certain limit with full estimates and scope of work for anything beyond that limit. There are many control contractors that could monitor and check the work of a single contractor.

The rationale of not bringing in outside contractors due to extra costs is questionable. Given the extra materials situation, it is not beyond reason that additional costs are being incurred in any event. The claims manager’s decision here is flawed.

The use of the cabin in a normal friendship situation is not unethical, however, given these scenarios it is and compounds the situation. While friendships often develop between insurance professionals who share each other’s interests and lifestyles, these professionals need to know the boundaries of ethical behaviour and act accordingly. The individuals in this scenario are acting outside these boundaries.

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Dominic Roy, FCIP
Damage Insurance Analyst
Insurance Bureau of Canada
This text reflects the personal opinions of the author only.

The agreement between the broker and the contractor is tantamount to collusion, even if all parties involved are acting in good faith and doing so without malicious intent. To be more transparent and to avoid the appearance of collusion, calls for tenders should still be published when searching for a contractor. The scenario says that there are "few" general contractors – not just the one. This could even create jobs and boost the local economy. If the same contractor is selected in the end, at least the process will have been clear, open to all and public.

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Also, if the contractor offers materials to the broker or the claims adjuster, it is akin to a bribe. Even if, again, there is no malicious intent behind these gifts, all parties involved could find themselves in a very uncomfortable situation if, for example, an insured who received compensation and the services of the said contractor was very dissatisfied with the work and were to sue the contractor. Such appearance of a bribe, even on the surface, could be very embarrassing for everyone.

In ethical matters, I always ask myself: what would happen if such a story about me made the headlines? Would I be comfortable with the story being made public? And even if there is only the appearance of collusion, would my reputation be damaged? If the answer is yes, then we are clearly dealing with unethical behaviour, and I think this is the case in the scenario described in the article.

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Heather Cornelis, FCIP, CRM
Registered Insurance Broker
HMS Insurance & Financial Services Inc.

On the surface it appears that the hard work and great networking skills of the broker are paying off, and the individuals have created a harmonious relationship where everyone benefits and no one is on the losing end. The perks are a result of a symbiotic relationship.

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However, beneath the surface, if we chose to be entirely honest, we should be asking, who is paying for the frills that the broker and claims adjuster are receiving? The insurance company? The general population? Could they simply take pride in the positive results of the network they have created and eliminate the frills? The decent business relationships, good reputation and smooth flow of the scenario should be rewarding enough. The insurance company paying the price quoted by the local contractor may seem appropriate – the clients are local, it is a reasonable way to give back to the town to use a local contractor. However, should the company not allow all of the local contractors the opportunity to quote?

The contractor and broker should not receive acknowledgement for their generosity for the donated items – the insurance company is paying for these, so if anything, the insurance company should receive the acknowledgement. But aren’t the clients of this company truly the ones footing the bill? The donation should come in a different way – directly from the insurance company for the purpose of donation to the community, and not in this roundabout way which results in the wrong people getting acknowledgement.

The broker should not be offering a gift to the claims manager. The reason the claims manager has agreed to the arrangement should not be muddied by any sort of gift from the broker – whether the gift came before or after the arrangement began does not matter. The broker should not be offering and the claims manager should not be accepting the gift of the free cottage stay.

This relationship could be more acceptable if there was no personal aspect to it, and it remained strictly professional and business-related. The relationship should be a bit more transparent and no one should be accepting gifts. The results could still be considered positive with none of the people involved receiving extra benefits, but with the way it is now, the positive results of the relationship are out-weighed by the dishonesty and questionable ethics of the people involved.

If I told my friends this story, they would find the insurance world even more cloudy and dishonest than they already do. We do not need to add to the confusion and general dislike that already exists in the public eye when it comes to the insurance world. Someone in the position of the broker in this story could use their position in a positive way to improve how the public sees the industry.

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Edna Wong, FCIP, CAIB, CRM
Vice President | Consumer Practice

The decision to give all business to just one adjuster can be considered an unfair trade practice. If there are good reasons to support this decision, such as cost savings to engage someone from other parts of the province, the insurance company and claims manager should go through a selection process. Every third-party provider relationship must be managed carefully and approved by the business leaders.

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The broker serving on a few boards should be cautious about protecting confidential information from one board to the other, and she needs to ensure that she is not using the information for her benefit.

The adjuster needs to obtain various quotes from the contractors to avoid unfair trade practices and to ensure that services and pricing are justifiable. They need to ensure that they focus on goods and services, rather than connections or relationships.

The contractor giving away free materials for the personal benefit of the adjuster and broker may be viewed as engaging in a form of bribery. Special care should be taken not to accept benefits of any kind from a third-party provider or vendor under circumstances where the benefit might influence or appear to influence the actions or decisions of the broker or adjuster.

A modest gift can be a thoughtful gesture, but the materials given away, in this case, are in such an excessive amount that the broker and adjuster can even donate them to the community.

The claims manager’s superiors’ ethical standards seem unprofessional. They should have the ability to oversee, control and monitor inappropriate actions, especially with respect to bribery and fraud.

The broker allowing the claims manager to use her cottage likely violates the anti-bribery standards for the claims manager and will usually require approval by the company’s management before acceptance of the “gift”.

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Fun facts

Fun facts

Do you love museums? Artifacts are often owned by third parties and insurance coverages may be multifaceted! All need to be protected from damage, theft during transportation and while on display, and others included in limits for other perils (e.g. flood, fire, etc.) Coverage can range depending on the item but can reach as high as $400 million Canadian!

Notice board

Notice board 

Insurance Institute elects new Board of Governors

At the 66th Annual General Meeting on October 29, 2019, The Insurance Institute of Canada elected its new Board of Governors for 2019/2020.

Chair: *Patrick Van Bakel, BA, CIP (Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc.)
Deputy Chair: *Martin Thompson, ACII (RSA Canada Group)
Vice-Chair—Governor-at-Large: *Heather Masterson, BA, BEd, FCIP (Travelers Canada)
Past Chair: *S.J. (Jeff) Goy, BComm(Hons), ACAS, CIP (The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company)

Regional Vice Chairs:

*François Jean, CIP, CRM (HUB International Québec Limitée) (Quebec)
*Ken De Decker, CIP, CRM (Wawanesa Insurance) (Western Provinces)
*Heidi Sevcik, FCIP (Gore Mutual Insurance Company) (Ontario)
*Robert Byrne, BComm, CIP, CD (Newfoundland & Labrador) (Atlantic Provinces)

The chairs of the standing committees in 2019/2020 will be the following:

Executive Committee: *Martin Thompson, ACII (RSA Canada Group)
Academic Division: *Anna McCrindell, BA FCIP (Travelers Canada)
Professionals’ Division: *Mike Kosturik, BA, FCIP (Intact Insurance Company)

* = Executive Committee members

The balance of the Board of Governors comprises representatives of local institutes and chapters:

from Newfoundland and Labrador
Norine Taylor, CIP, CAIB (Wedgwood Insurance Limited)
Denise Roche, CAIB, CIP, CRM (Anthony Insurance Inc.)

from Prince Edward Island:
Jennifer Pilkington, CIP (PEI Mutual Insurance Company)

from Nova Scotia:
Jane Richardson, FCIP (Aon Risk Solutions)
Matt Robblee, CAIB, CIP (Caldwell Roach Agencies)

from New Brunswick:
Denise Babin, CIP (Assist Plus Claims Services)
Richard Ravn, FCIP, CRM (Asurion)

from Quebec:
Suzie Godmer, PAA (Gouin, Perrault, Cloutier, et Associés)
Lisa Desgagné, PAA (Northbridge Assurance)

from Ontario:
Joe Colby, CIP (Echelon Insurance)
Surender Sekhon, FCAS, FCIA (Desjardins Insurance)
Dominique Walker, HBComm, FCIP (Cambrian Special Risks Insurance Services)
Jennifer Virley, MBA, FCIP, PMP (Crawford & Company (Canada))
Victor Hanson, BA, RVP, RRP, CVP, CRM, ACS, CIP (Crawford & Company (Canada))
Jason Foroglou, MBA, FCIP, CRM (Ivantage Insurance Brokers)
Susan Farrell, BA, FCIP, CRM, CAIB (Risk Balance Inc.)
Debbie Van Eyk, CIP (Lambton Mutual Insurance Company)

from Manitoba:
Joanne Hampson, FCIP
Jennifer Tougas, FCIP (Intact Insurance Company)

from Saskatchewan:
Val Penner, BAC, FCIP (Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance)
Lee Marshall, CIP, CPA, CA (SGI Canada)

from Southern Alberta:
Randy Fulton, CIP, CLA (Longdown EIC)
Christa Cole, CIP (The Cooperators)

from Northern Alberta:
Ryan Yarmuch, FCIP (Wawanesa Mutual Insurance)
Morgan Boyle, CIP (SGI Canada)

from British Columbia:
Kerry McLaughlin, CIP, CRM, ACS (Hub International)
Kelly Krakonchuk, CIP (RSA Canada)
Melissa Stedman, FCIP, CRM (Christie Phoenix)

The Honour Roll

A CIP designation is impressive enough in its own right. Even more impressive is an Honours CIP—eight of ten CIP courses passed with honours. The following Honours graduates elected this year received their diplomas at convocation ceremonies this fall:

Ahmed El Ashmony, Desjardins General Insurance Group (Southern Alberta)
Savannah Burley, Intact Insurance Company (British Columbia)
Brent Elliot, Intact Insurance Company (British Columbia)
Tripti Gosal, Insurance Corporation of BC (British Columbia)
Morgen Grove, The Co-operators (Southern Alberta)
Morris Ho, Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. (British Columbia)
Robyn Hall, Intact Insurance Company (Nova Scotia)
Jennifer Huebl, Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. (Northern Alberta)
Gloria Irkal, Insurance Corporation of BC (British Columbia)
Stacey Johnson, Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. (Manitoba)
Warren Lalonde, Intact Insurance Company (Ontario – Ottawa)
Jennie Leslie, Belairdirect (Ontario – Ottawa)
Bichtar Mahal, Williams & Partners Forensic Accountants Inc. (British Columbia)
Alexandros Papakonstantinou, SGI Canada (Saskatchewan)
Chanh Nhut Pham, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Company Ltd. (British Columbia)
H. Henning Rieske (British Columbia)
Blake Shiaro, Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co. (Manitoba)
Katherine So, Intact Insurance Company (British Columbia)
Kennedy Hunter Wilde, Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co (Northern Alberta)
Leah Wright, Allstate Insurance Co of Canada (Southern Alberta)

Congratulations to these outstanding graduates!

Convocation Ceremonies

The season of awards dinners and luncheons is well under way. Our graduates have worked long and hard for their designations. They deserve our full recognition. Mark your calendar and take part in a special occasion. Let’s support our local graduates!

East Quebec
Saturday, January 11, 2020, at the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City

West Quebec
West Quebec: Thursday, March 19, 2020, at Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel in Montreal.


Greater Toronto Area
Thursday, January 23, 2020, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto

Kawartha/Durham Chapter: Friday, February 7, 2020, at Deer Creek Golf & Banquet in Ajax

Hamilton/Niagara Chapter: Wednesday, February 26, 2020, at Michelangelo Events and Conference Centre in Hamilton

Conestoga Chapter: Thursday, February 27, 2020, at Bingemans in Kitchener

Congratulations to all graduates, including those who have already received their certificates.

Pay your dues, get your grades

Many students are not aware that they must pay their annual local institute membership fees to obtain their final grades. Students with unpaid memberships who go to our website for their grades or student records will find they have no access to them.

If you are unsure whether your membership is current, go to, then click “Login” and follow the instructions. Once logged in, select “my Profile” from the top menu and then “My Membership Information” from the left-hand menu. If your membership fee has been paid, you should see an expiry date of May 31, 2020 (or later). If your membership fee has not been paid, click “Purchase/Renew Membership” to renew your membership for the current year. To see your grades, click “Education,” followed by “My Courses.” Don’t be disappointed—remember to renew your membership each year.

’Tis the season—exam season, that is

As of spring 2017, all courses in the CIP and General Insurance Essentials Programs have computer-based examinations.

Computer-based exams (CBE) will be offered at proctored exam centres on select dates from December 2 through December 20. Once registration is complete, the examination date schedule is available online.

Three hours are allowed for each CIP subject and two hours for GIE subjects. Good luck!

CIP Society Corner

CIP Society National Leadership Awards

The 2019 National Leadership honourees have been recognized by their peers for their contribution and impact on the P&C community. Congratulations to Established Leaders, Paul A. Croft, CIP, and Monica Woldring, CIP, and Emerging Leader, Ernest Mashingaidze, CIP.

“Paul is the first person to recognize individual achievements (on his team) and for this has earned the respect and admiration of his peers,” wrote Paul’s nominator. “He is passionate about the industry and proud of his teams. He meets all challenges head on with integrity and inspires those around him.” Get to know Paul here

“It takes an amazing leader and someone who truly cares about raising the quality of lives and careers through community, education, and professionalism to be able to achieve what Monica has in her decades of giving back to our industry,” wrote Monica’s nominator. You can get to know Monica here

Working the front lines of our industry to help claimants recover from their losses, Ernest maintains a positive, happy and optimistic outlook. “Those that know him agree,” wrote Ernest’s nominator. “To know him is to respect him.” Get to know Ernest here

Each year, National Leadership Award recipients take centre stage at Insurance Institute convocations across the country. Paul was recognized at the Insurance Institute of Nova Scotia convocation in Halifax on November 6th, and Monica was recognized at the Insurance Institute of British Columbia convocation in Vancouver on November 20th. Ernest will walk across the stage at the Insurance Institute of Ontario GTA Chapter convocation on Thursday, January 23rd.

To find out more about the awards, and to nominate a leader for 2020, please visit

ICYMI: 2019 Cyber report

The risk of malicious cyber attacks continues to grow in severity and complexity as we become more interconnected with the Internet of Things, cloud computing and 5G in the future. The nature and volume of the attacks continues to evolve and escalate, representing a threat to society at large, including the operations of the insurance industry in Canada.

This fall, the Insurance Institute, with the support of the CIP Society, published a new report, Cyber risks 2019: Implications for the insurance industry in Canada. The report analyses the risks in today’s market and draws three key conclusions:

  • “It’s really bad out there. Protect yourselves!” The insurance industry is susceptible to attacks.
  • “We can sell this!” The market is relatively young and there’s a lot of opportunity out there.
  • “We need a seat at the (policymaking) table” The industry is currently paying about 1% of total losses, and policymakers are relatively unsure of the role insurance can play.

You can read the full report here.