Winter 2020 edition

Martin Thompson

Career progression needs a strong base: IIC Chair, Martin Thompson shares his career success story

A successful insurance career starts with a good foundation according to Martin Thompson ACII, President and CEO, RSA Canada and Chair, The Insurance Institute of Canada. “Choose where you want your foundation to be and spend a couple of years specializing in that area,” says Martin. “Whether it’s claims, underwriting, marketing, pricing or something else, it’s important to get a solid footing.”

Like many people, Martin didn’t plan to have a career in the insurance business. “I saw an ad for a job when I finished university and thought I’d be better off finding a career from having a job than not having a job. So, I applied and started with RSA in Glasgow in 1997 as a Property Claims Handler.”

Although Martin didn’t spend a long time in claims, he says it helped him learn the ropes of the business. He also quickly discovered that he really liked the business of insurance. “I enjoyed the people and the customer dimension particularly from a claims perspective. You can’t handle a claim without knowing a product so claims is a great place to learn the policy wording and understand what you’re ultimately signing a customer up to.”

Looking for an opportunity to take on a more proactive role, Martin became interested in underwriting and applied to the graduate development program to expand his knowledge and skills. “The graduate development program opened up choices about where I could go in the industry. I took a series of underwriting placements including nine months in Leeds and two years in Liverpool then moved to London in 2001 to take on a Head Office role,” says Martin.

With a desire to learn about the business and understand how it worked and functioned, Martin says he was always on the lookout for new opportunities. He learned of a job opening through a friend that wasn’t yet advertised and decided to apply. He landed the job but didn’t tell his current boss that he had applied. “The first call my boss got was from his counterpart in London saying, ‘I would like to offer Martin the job.’ So, I was called in his office and was torn a strip. He was disappointed that I was going to move, but he also recognized it was a fabulous opportunity for me and ultimately ended up supporting me. I learned a valuable lesson through that experience. If people have invested time in you, then you owe it to them to make your intentions clear and not just run off and leave them in the dark.”

Martin eventually became Head of the UK Casualty portfolio and then the Packages portfolio when one day he was tapped on the shoulder by his boss saying the Canadians wanted to speak to him about coming over to help them with the commercial side of the business. “My first response was, ‘I’m not going to Canada.’ I was quite enjoying my life and career in London. But I reluctantly agreed to go meet with them and was quite surprised by the opportunity and thought Toronto looked quite good.”

Two years later Martin was told the group had another wonderful career development opportunity for him and he was off to Copenhagen where he became Chief Underwriting Officer and Chief Risk Officer for the Scandinavian business. Then, three years later, he moved his family back to Canada to join the executive team as Senior VP Commercial and Global Specialty Lines when his previous boss left RSA. He was appointed CEO in 2016.

He credits his successful career progression to having a keen sense of curiosity about how the business works, strong mentors along the way and his desire to look for roles where he needed to stretch. “I found it was good to feel slightly uncomfortable in a role where I had to learn at a fast pace. I’ve also been very fortunate, and most of the moves I’ve made have worked out well.”

According to Martin, the industry is going to see a huge shift in customer expectations over the next few years. “Up until recent years, the industry has not done what I’d call an outstanding job. In the past, we didn’t have to work that hard to get people to use our products and it’s been quite difficult for customers to do business with insurance companies,” he says. “We need to learn how to take the pain out of all of our processes and interactions with customers. Ultimately, if we don’t have solutions to customer problems, we risk becoming irrelevant.”

He says for young professionals, insurance is a solid business to build a career. “Insurance will always be around because there will always be risks.” He adds, “The industry is the cornerstone of the economy, and from that point of view, it’s an incredibly exciting place to be. Fundamentally, it’s about helping people get on with their lives and not worry about financial consequences. We should feel very lucky because many people don’t have jobs with a mission like that.”

Here are Martin’s top tips for a successful career:

  • First, understand what a product does and how we underwrite, price and manage that product. Learn the fundamentals and about how underwriting and claims work together.
  • Take your professional qualifications seriously. Give yourself a good foundation and then find opportunities to absorb a sufficient level of knowledge.
  • If you’re in a job and you don’t think you are learning, you have to ask yourself where can I go to add to my skills? It’s about having a growth mindset. For example, if you are in underwriting, learn a new line of business or apply your skills in claims or move into a business development role. If you’re not learning, you are standing still.
  • Always be curious. It’s like having a bag full of balls. The more balls you have in the bag representing skills, the easier it is for people to employ you and the better prepared you’ll be to explore the next opportunity.

Feature Day in the Life – Ernest Mashingaidze, MBA, CIP, ACS

Claims Adjuster, Strategic Products at HSB Canada

As industry professionals, we understand that insurance is integrated into virtually everything we do in life and in business. Whether you are driving a car, operating a business, or paying for your Amazon order with your credit card online, insurance played a role.

For many, the insurance industry is not on their radar as a possible career path, but it was for Ernest. And, in five years he has completed his CIP, earned his MBA, and was named an Emerging Leader as a part of the CIP Society’s National Leadership Awards.

Let’s learn more about Ernest and how he found his place in insurance…

Starting out and finding the right fit

Ernest’s close friend landed a job as an auto adjuster and would tell him regularly about the amazing day he had at work, and all the various claims scenarios he was working on. Ernest found himself thinking and talking about insurance more each day. “He would tell me about the different investigation techniques they used and how he helped different people in their time of need. This sounded a lot more fascinating than what I was doing at that time and that’s when I knew I wanted to join the industry,” he says.

He discovered that the industry has the potential to offer you a career path that is as unique as you are. “I actually started in life and health insurance,” Ernest tells us. He has held many roles in the industry; from billings to contracts, and then moving into adjusting. After completing his Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation, Ernest then moved over to property and casualty insurance or the ‘best’ side of the business’ as he calls it.

“What I can say helped me progress in my career is continued professional development and mentorship programs. There is a lot of support in this industry and all you have to do is ask,” he says. The insurance industry is always encouraging continued education and career advancement opportunities. There is room for growth, and the opportunity to find a role that aligns with your goals. Ernest has nearly completed his Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation and also the Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP) designation. “Professional development helped me understand the nuances and complexities of the industry, and therefore I felt I was ready to take on more responsibility. And, a mentor gave me the real world outlook and advice I needed to take action and make each of my career moves.”

Ernest got his start in claims as a property claims adjuster, and was responsible for the investigation, negotiation, and settlement of property claims. “The claims I dealt with were as simple as a bike theft from a backyard in the morning, to a complex water damage claim on multiple levels in an apartment building in the afternoon.”

His career always keeps him on his toes. There is never a dull moment for him in the insurance industry. His latest role (which he started in the midst of the pandemic) is focused on more technical and complex speciality claims with one of Canada’s biggest reinsurers.

Why insurance?

Ernest loves his chosen career path and all that it has afforded him thus far. “I enjoy being part of an industry that stimulates economic growth,” he say. He also enjoys giving back and has found alignment within an industry largely recognized for its contributions to the community. “My current role in particular is one that allows me to help the insured to rebuild and recover after risk becomes a reality. As an adjuster, I am the one who fulfils the promise to pay, and this promise could have been made 5, 10 or even 20 years ago. An adjuster must remain cognizant of the fact that he or she could very well be the insured’s first contact ever with the insurance company since the policy was put into place,” he says. “It is clear that customer service, empathy, negotiation, and interpersonal skills in combination with technical expertise are a big part of the toolkit an adjuster needs to be most effective.”

Ernest continues to nurture his passion for insurance each and every day. “I recently became a Career Connections Ambassador and, I have also been given a chance to represent my company at events like career fairs, Instagram takeovers, and panel discussions.” As an Ambassador, Ernest encourages students, graduates, and career changers to explore a career in the insurance industry. “The industry is stable and allows opportunity for individuals to grow and excel,” he explains. When he meets someone with an interest in insurance, he always tells them not to wait. “The industry is growing fast, and the sooner you can connect with your skills, interests, and experience, the sooner we can grow together.”

man covering mouth and eyes

We want to hear from you. What is your response to our latest ethical dilemma?

Through hypothetical examples we are engaging our members in a discussion to explore some of the grey areas inherent in ethical situations. In the last issue of The Pace, we published a selection of responses to a scenario related to the hard market.

In this issue, we present a new dilemma for your feedback. As in the past, 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 the next issue. Thank you in advance for your participation!

Email us at to get engaged.

Here is our ethical scenario:

It had been quite a year with a hard market and Covid-19. Our broker had struggled to obtain insurance that his clients needed, only to have to explain why his insurers would not be paying business interruption losses and having to calm his clients’ concerns in the economic crisis of the pandemic. Keeping up with revised and new insurance coverages being offered by insurers was becoming more than he could handle.

As many of his commercial clients scrambled to find the resources to enable employees to work remotely from home and carry out business online, the broker knew they might not have the insurance coverage they required for these new business activities. Cloud storage and third-party contracts exacerbated the situation. Regulators required more security and meaningful permissions to collect, use and store personal information. One provincial regulator had introduced a new bill, which if passed, would enshrine high fines in law in addition to the reporting requirements when there was a security breach. Meanwhile, cyber attacks using ransomware and social engineering were on the increase.

The broker was not savvy with technology and did not fully understand the terminology of cyber activity, let alone the coverages needed to protect the specific needs of his clients such as nursing homes and businesses which stored personal information. He was overwhelmed with different policies and endorsements offered by his carriers and competitors, but believed that fundamentally, one insurer’s coverage would be comparable with others and meet his clients’ needs.

To service his clients, he decided that on renewal he would offer the current insurer’s cyber policy; for new business he would quote cyber cover if it was part of the existing policy or wait for the client to request coverage. If he did not understand underwriting questions generated by the insurer, he would simply pass them along to the client to answer. He was reluctant to consult with a more knowledgeable broker or outside expert for fear of losing the account or his reputation as a broker.

The broker believed that the insurers would be updating their policies in the future to reflect the ever-changing nature of privacy and cyber needs, developing similar coverages and limits. What harm could come to his clients in the meanwhile?

Seven tips for creating a professional looking headshot at home

Having a good headshot is an important asset to have in your professional brand tool kit. It’s essential for your LinkedIn account and you may need it for your company’s “About Us” page, conferences you are presenting at, or even as your Zoom or Teams profile picture.

In our current climate, this could be the photo that introduces you to a colleague, an interviewer, or the image you project when being profiled in one of the Insurance Institute’s latest social media campaigns. It allows those in your professional network to identify you and get a sense of who you are. It may be someone’s first impression of you.

Not everyone has access to a photographer (especially right now), and with the demand for having a professional headshot in the absence of face to face contact, we’re providing a few tips for capturing your best professional self at home.

  • A selfie won’t do. Your photo doesn’t have to be formal, but it should project professionalism. For our industry, that means no bathroom mirror selfies. Instead, consider asking a relative, friend or roommate to hold the camera/device so you can focus on your pose. If you don’t have anyone to take your photo, consider using a tripod, or setting your device on a solid surface and using a self-timer. “Selfies make for an awkward or emotionally blank face, and you won’t be making a positive impression. You need a live human to interact with, a person who can keep your brain spinning while pushing the button on the camera.”
    Source: BeauPix
  • Think about what you are going to wear. Ask yourself what you would normally wear to the office, what your company’s dress code is, or what our industry typically expects you to wear if representing your company at a conference, participating in an interview or meeting with executives. How do you want to present yourself to your colleagues, some of whom may be seeing you for the first time?
  • Choose your background and consider your lighting. According to Naylor Association Services, “Find a solid background that’s clutter-free. This could be a solid-colored wall in your home or office. If taking the photo indoors, set yourself up next to a window and turn off any lights in the room. Pick a time of day where non-directional light pours into the room (or use a north- or south-facing room). If you’re outside, choose shade, stay away from direct sunlight or spotty light, and find a place with a simple background.”
  • Pose Like a Pro. According to Executive Search company, Kirby Partners, you should practice your pose and use these tips to ensure you are poised and project confidence. Each body and face is different, so use the most flattering poses for your unique look. Find your best angle, try different poses and consider your arm placement. Don’t just capture your face, make sure your shoulders are visible, and try a few shots with your entire upper body in the frame to see what looks most natural.
  • Have fun with it and take a lot of photos. Try having someone ask you questions, make you smile, or laugh. When you are done, have a friend or colleague help you review them to figure out which one best represents your professional persona.
  • Keep the original, high-resolution photos handy. If requested, send the highest quality photo via email or share drive. Always send the original photo files.
  • Update your photo every year to keep it current. People want to know who you are now, not who you were 5, 10 or 15 years ago. Be confident in who you are, and what you have to offer at this stage in your professional journey.

9 Posing Rules for Headshots
5 Simple Steps to a DYI Professional Headshot
Do it Yourself Headshots
How to take a Great Professional Headshot with your Phone
How to DIY a Respectable Headshot with your Phone

Your membership dollars at work

Your annual membership dues enable the Institute to provide innovative, high quality education programs relevant to today’s insurance industry. But are you aware of the many other benefits that come with your Institute membership?

As a graduate member of the Institute you maintain your designation and letters behind your name whether it’s CIP, FCIP, ACIP, or CMGA.

You also have access to the following:

  • Ground-breaking research reports and trends papers that cover timely and important topics including Climate Risks, Cyber Risks and the Sharing Economy.
  • Career resources and tools to help you maximize your career potential.
  • Savings on a variety of products and services through our MemberPerks program.
  • The Pace newsletter published three times a year bringing you practical, useful information you can use in your day-to-day job.
  • Opportunities to connect with your community of industry professionals through networking events
  • Continuing education credits through our seminar program offerings

For a complete list of member benefits visit: /en/about-the-institute/membership

Membership has its rewards. Be sure to keep your membership in good standing.

The real people behind the CIP ad campaign

The Institute’s latest ad campaign, All Pros, was designed to highlight the incredible array of people who study with the Institute.

Award-winning illustrator Jacqui Oakley (whose clients have included The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, and Rolling Stone magazine) was commissioned to create portraits of IIC graduates from across the country.

The portraits have appeared across digital media and in trade publications. This has allowed industry professionals to see their peers recognized and celebrated, while insurance consumers get a glimpse of those who work behind the scenes to deliver a vital service.

Here are the stories behind the four faces featured in our campaign.

Sarah Tung

Sarah Tung graduated from UBC with a BCom in Finance. After several years with a large financial institution she made the leap to P&C Insurance and found it to be an excellent fit. She has worked in a number of roles including Personal Lines Underwriter and Commercial Manager and is now a Senior Casualty Underwriter at AXA XL. She is passionate about her work. “I appreciate that what I do contributes to the economic infrastructure of our world. It allows policyholders to focus on what they do best and worry less about losing their livelihood from an insured peril.”

Sarah attained her CIP a few years into her career then decided to follow up with an FCIP. “The FCIP showed that I was serious in my dedication to the industry. It gave me a better understanding of real-world issues affecting the insurance marketplace and tools to assess those challenges in a constructive way.” It also opened doors and helped drive her career forward, a momentum Sarah continues to maintain. “The great part of this industry is that there is always more to learn because coverages and settlements continue to evolve.”

Jean-François Parisien

Jean-François began his insurance career as a commercial underwriter at L’unique insurance company. He’d been looking for work when a friend told him about LARAQ, an association for young insurance professionals, and invited him to a talk. “I had lots of good discussions and started to think that it was a good career possibility.” He registered for the AEC in Damage Insurance and the course cemented his interest.

During his time at L’unique, Jean-François embarked on his CIP. “Pursuing the CIP really developed my knowledge, my understanding and my vision of the insurance business.” He found the program exposed him to subjects that he didn’t see at work but that were crucial in understanding the insurance landscape.

He followed up the CIP with a Risk management certificate and is now studying for the Advanced CIP. He also joined the LARAQ board. “I got involved and wanted to do better as I climbed the ladder.” He is now the Provincial President of the association.

This winter Jean-François begins a new role as a commercial underwriter for Liberty Mutual Insurance. He says, “the CIP accelerated my development and that's what got me the job at Liberty.”

Thea Baird

When Thea Baird scored a receptionist role with a local brokerage, she had no inkling the job would launch an insurance career. However, she found the work interesting and soon moved up to Head Cashier and then Personal Lines Sales.

Since those early days she has covered further industry ground, working as a Personal Lines CSR, training coordinator and small business account rep. She is now a commercial broker for Aon. “I like to refer to myself as the negotiator, arranging competitive pricing and coverages, comparing and reviewing policy wordings for our clients while maintaining and developing strong relationships with our insurers.” Working in commercial insurance has been an ideal fit. “You get to know your customers and what keeps them up at night. You’re never bored!”

It was after moving into commercial insurance that Thea felt she needed to deepen her education. She found that studying for her CIP gave her a greater understanding of the products she regularly encountered, helped her better evaluate the risks to her clients and helped her develop her negotiating skills. She feels ongoing education is vital for industry professionals. “We are the security blanket for our clients. We are always adapting to change, always looking for better solutions to serve everyone’s needs.”

Kamran Afshar

Kamran Afshar has spent 14 years in insurance after picking up a part time job with a broker that turned into a passion and career. He currently works as a commercial lines manager for Intact in Ontario. “I work closely with a team of underwriters and I take pride in watching their careers grow and playing a role in their professional development.”

He took the CIP program while working as a sales and service broker with Grey Power. A manager suggested he sign up and when he did so he felt like he’d planted a flag in the sand regarding his career. Though the course was challenging he relished the experience. “I really enjoyed the variety of topics and content available to students. Whether you’re a broker, in underwriting, or in another area within the industry, there is valuable information available to you.”

Over the years Kamran has managed various sales and service teams, held a business development managerial role, transitioned to personal lines and then commercial. In 2019 he was named the Young Insurance Professional of the Year. He co-runs a charity that awards scholarships to young people pursuing continuing education.

Ten steps for a successful semester

Are you thinking about taking a course this winter? Are you hesitant because of the online format? Whether you’re new to online learning or a seasoned expert, it’s useful to think about the steps you can take to make the most of your experience. Here are ten steps you can take to set yourself up for success this semester!

1. Keep using effective study habits
Think about how you’ve been a successful student in the past (including in a traditional classroom setting): What study habits did you use? What did you do when you faced a challenge? Just because the learning format is new doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the way you study. Tip: To help you in the virtual class setting, continue to use strategies you’ve used in the past, like creating unique acronyms or methods to remember information when taking notes or having a study partner/group.

2. Reflect on your learning goals Staying motivated is an important part of learning, so it’s worthwhile to reflect on what you’d like to achieve during the term. Tip: Write one or two goals on a sticky note and place it in the middle of your textbook. When you reach the note, consider how well you’re progressing toward your objectives. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you accomplish a goal!

3. Navigate logistics Virtual learning means you’ll need to interact with the online platform where your course is delivered. Don’t wait until your class starts to familiarize yourself with IIC’s eLearning page. Tip: Once you have access to the eLearning website, watch the video on navigating an online course (available in the Student Resource section).

4. Choose a study space where you can focus Whether you’re participating in a live class or reviewing your course materials, study where you can minimize distractions. Pick a spot that’s quiet and well lit and put away any items that might distract you. Tip: Unless you need your phone for studying, put it in another room.

5. Schedule your study time Set aside a specific time for studying. Let others know you’ll be unavailable at this time and that you shouldn’t be disturbed. You’ll need time to attend your live session, read the textbook, and do study activities. Tip: Break your studying into shorter sessions rather than having one long session. For example, spend 30 minutes studying each morning before work or at lunch.

6. Track important deadlines Take note of all your assignment deadlines as well as your midterm and final exam dates. Tip: Add these dates to a calendar that you reference frequently and include a one-week reminder to ensure you stay on track.

7. Connect with your instructor and peers Connecting with others can be an invaluable part of the learning experience. Building relationships with your instructor and classmates may not be as straightforward in a virtual learning setting as it is in person, but don’t let this stop you from reaching out and introducing yourself. Tip: See if you can find a virtual “study buddy.” Even if you only connect online, you can help keep each other accountable throughout the course.

8. Participate actively Virtual learning technology allows you to engage with your instructor and peers in ways that are like the traditional classroom. Show up to class like you would to your job. The experience becomes more valuable for everyone when you actively participate. Tip: Depending on the platform, you can raise your hand, engage in chats or polls, or even share your reactions through emojis.

9. Provide feedback Most classes send out an end-of-course survey. Share what worked well and what you’d like to see done differently. This information helps the IIC to improve its courses to better support your success. Tip: If you have a concern about your learning, reach out to your instructor or your local chapter/institute right away. Early and open communication is a key part of ensuring your success.

10. Stay healthy Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to take care of yourself! It’s hard to be a successful student if you’re feeling physically or mentally unwell. Tip: Get enough rest and take breaks when you need them.

Learning through an online platform is a great way to continue your professional development. This format offers many benefits, like flexibility and the comfort of studying from home.

Fun facts

Fun Facts about insurance

#FunFact - Actress America Ferrara had her smile insured for $10M by a toothpaste company she was doing commercials for after her time in her iconic role with braces, “Ugly Betty.”

#FunFact - When the US President travels to Australia, the government purchases an insurance policy for up to $50K in compensation in the event of a crocodile attack.

Notice Board

2020/21 Board of Governors

Chair: *Martin Thompson, ACII (RSA Canada Group)

Deputy Chair: * Heather Masterson, BA, BEd, FCIP (Travelers Canada)

Governor-at-Large: *Raymond Chun, MBA (TD Insurance)

Past Chair: *Patrick Van Bakel, BA, CIP (Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc.)

Regional Vice Chairs:
*Suzie Godmer, PAA (Gouin, Perreault, Cloutier, et Associés) (Quebec)
*Ken De Decker, CIP, CRM (Wawanesa Insurance) (Western Provinces)
*Joe Colby, CIP (Echelon Insurance) (Ontario)
*Robert Byrne, BComm, CIP, CD (Newfoundland & Labrador) (Atlantic Provinces)

The chairs of the standing committees in 2020/2021 are:

Executive Committee: *Heather Masterson, BA, BEd, FCIP (Travelers Canada)

Academic Division:*Anna McCrindell, BA FCIP (Travelers Canada)

Professionals’ Division: *Rosalind Staples-Simpson, BComm, FCIP (RSA Canada)

* = 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:
Lola Inman, CIP (Huestis Insurance Group)

from Nova Scotia:
Matt Robblee, CAIB, CIP (Caldwell Roach Agencies)
Stacey Purcell, FCIP (Aviva Canada)

from New Brunswick:
Richard Ravn, FCIP, CRM (Asurion)
Marie Clifford, FCIP (Aviva Canada)

from Quebec:
Lisa Desgagné, PAA (Northbridge Assurance)
Alex Stringer, FPAA, CRM (BFL Canada)

from Ontario:
Ross McDougall (McDougall Insurance and Financial) Dave Smiley (Unica Insurance)
Dominique Walker, HBComm, FCIP (Cambrian Special Risks Insurance Services)
Jennifer Virley, MBA, FCIP, PMP (Crawford & Company (Canada))
Victoria Hanson, BA, RVP, RRP, CVP, CRM, ACS, CIP (Crawford & Company (Canada)
Jason Foroglou, MBA, FCIP, CRM (Ivantage Insurance Brokers)
Hilary Scaffidi, FCIP, CRM, CAIB, CSIP (Rhodes and Williams)
Debbie Van Eyk, CIP (Lambton Mutual Insurance Company)

from Manitoba:
Jennifer Tougas, FCIP (Intact Insurance Company)
Emma Middleton, MA, CIP (Delta Claims)

from Saskatchewan:
Lee Marshall, CIP, CPA, CA (SGI Canada)
Debra Bachek, FCIP (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)
Ingrid Butler-Sieben (Aviva Canada)

from British Columbia:
Kelly Krakonchuk, CIP (RSA Canada)
Sarah Tung, BComm, FCIP, CRM (AXA XL, a division of AXA)
Malika Mosseddaq, B. Actuarial Sc, FCIP, CRM (Intact Insurance Company)

Again this year, your Board of Governors comprises members from all parts of the country and all sectors of the industry; it would be difficult to imagine a more representative group.

Recognize the governors who represent you and let them know of any comments you may have about the Institute’s programs. Members must be active in a membership association. We need to hear from you.

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 were elected this year:

Chartered Insurance Professionals

Steve Boucher
La Capitale Assurance et services financiers

Nathalie Boulanger
Intact Assurance

Olivier Gagnon

Mikaëlla Dubé
Intact Assurance


Jonathan Squires
Intact Insurance Company

British Columbia

Lester Ng
Canadian Northern Shield

Yuki Xueqi Wang
Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Co.

Hoda Azouji
South Western Insurance Group

Tanya Ludwig
Insurance Corporation of BC


Joseph Brunton
Intact Insurance Company (Southern Alberta)

Humera Ansari
TD Insurance (Southern Alberta)

Hillaine McCaffrey
Rogers Insurance Ltd. (Southern Alberta)

Adrienne Kuziek
Alberta Motor Association Insurance Agency Ltd (Southern Alberta)


Aviva Kaufman
Desjardins General Insurance Group (Ontario – Greater Toronto Area)

Melinda Menezes
Desjardins General Insurance Group (Ontario – Greater Toronto Area)

Annie Ng
Intact Insurance Company (Ontario – Greater Toronto Area)

Megan McFarlane
Intact Insurance Company (Ontario – Greater Toronto Area)

Gozde Unel
ClaimsPro Inc. - Granite Claims (Ontario – Greater Toronto Area)

Alina Burkova
belairdirect (Ontario – Greater Toronto Area)

Gregory Clark
TD Insurance (Ontario – Hamilton/Niagara)

Brian Long
Sedgwick (Ontario – Hamilton/Niagara)

Eun young Han
Unique Risks (Ontario – Hamilton/Niagara)

David O’Leary
CGI (Ontario – Kawartha/Durham)

Amanda Wabro-Pape
Intact Insurance Company (Ontario – Southwestern)

Katelyn Hodgins
NAL Insurance (Ontario – Southwestern)

Stacey Johnson
Economical Insurance (Ontario – Conestoga)

Tiia Planert
Halwell Mutual Insurance Group (Ontario – Conestoga)

Marisol Mortimer-Proulx
belairdirect (Ontario – Ottawa)

Congratulations to these outstanding graduates!

Convocation Ceremonies

Our graduates have worked long and hard for their designations. They deserve our full recognition. Watch for details on our website of the virtual convocation ceremonies being planned by your local institutes and chapters. Mark your calendar and take part in a special occasion. Let’s support our local graduates.

Congratulations to all graduates.

Congratulations to this year’s scholarship winners

John E Lowes Scholarship

Thomas Clayton
Wilfrid Laurier University

Mackenzie Oldfield
Wilfrid Laurier University

Taylor Petricevic
Mohawk College

Jasmine Sun
Humber College

Lloyd King Scholarship

Leah Batten
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Grace Munro
St. Francis Xavier University

Toronto Insurance Council (TIC) Scholarship

Thomas Clayton
Wilfrid Laurier University

Taylor Hare
Dalhousie University

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, 2021 (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

Since spring 2017, all courses in the CIP and General Insurance Essentials (GIE) Programs have had computer-based examinations. In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, examinations for the CIP and GIE Programs are now also virtually proctored.

Virtual proctoring works by a live virtual proctor observing you taking your exam through your webcam. The virtual proctor will also help you troubleshoot any technical issues if necessary.

Computer-based, virtually proctored exams will be offered on select dates from November 28 through December 13. You should schedule your virtually proctored exam immediately after registration.

For more information about virtual proctoring, please visit our website.

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

CIP Society

CIP Society Corner

New to the Society? Welcome to all of our 2020 grads

As a graduate of the CIP Program, you just recently became a member of the CIP Society, the professional division of the Insurance Institute and a community of over 18,000 members.

As members of the Society, you can now use your professional designation, the CIP, following your name. We encourage you to use these three letters in your email signature and on your LinkedIn profile and to engage with us on social media using the hashtag #cipproud.

Benefits to you and the industry

Your membership in the Society provides you a broad range of benefits, which we invite you to explore online.

In our membership surveys, our members have told us that they particularly value our daily industry newsletter, featuring news stories covering both the Canadian and global landscape. If you haven't started receiving The Daily News in your mailbox, please contact our Member Services team at

Your membership in the Society supports our various research initiatives, including our Quarterly Review papers, now available widely to the industry. In our most recent issue, we look at how overland water coverage has evolved, as well as how to protect yourself from social engineering attacks.

The CIP Society also commissions the Emerging Issues Research Reports, a series of annual reports on topics including climate risks (2020), the changing workforce (2018), sharing economy (2017), automated vehicles (2016) and cyber risks (2015). These reports have become an important resource for stakeholders involved in conversations on these emerging topics within and without our industry, including regulators and various levels of government.

And the Society continues to engage the industry in a discussion of business ethics. Through our ongoing columns in Canadian Underwriter and our scenarios in The Pace, we highlight the tough decisions industry professionals face on a day-to-day basis and explore ways to navigate the grey areas by providing perspectives, resources, and strategies to ethically address them.

We recognize the hard work it took to get to this important milestone in your career and the value you bring to the industry through your dedication to professional development and commitment to learning.

Congratulations and welcome!