Message from the Chair

Speaking of sharing . . .

I’ll share three themes that seem to be prompting change in the industry.

With the release of the Institute’s new Emerging Issues Research Report on the sharing economy in April, it’s interesting to see the concept of sharing being discussed. How much sharing is actually happening in the sharing economy?

I encourage you to download a copy of the Sharing Economy: Implications for the Insurance Industry in Canada. The report looks at the sharing economy through the lens of our industry, answering questions such as: “Why is the sharing economy important?” and “What drivers are shaping the sharing economy?”

And it is important for our industry: many Canadians participate in the sharing economy, either as consumers or providers of services such as rideshares, home rentals and food delivery, and the insurance industry will need to adapt. The industry will need to be open to new opportunities as they arise, and will need to prepare for the possible threat of new competitors.

The CIP Society, on behalf of its membership and for the benefit of the industry, contributed to the development of this research and publishing of the report. I hope that you value this contribution, read the report and share it widely.

Another question that has come up in relation to the sharing economy centres on innovation and disruption. How much are the players in this new on-demand economy actually doing either?

If all disruption is innovative, but not all innovation is disruption – how ripe is the industry for disruption or innovation? How do we think the industry will change? Or be changed?

And change seems to be the imperative. Not surprisingly, that was the theme for this year’s really informative annual one-day Symposium presented April 6th by the GTA Chapter’s CIP Society, which I had the pleasure to attend.  This year’s theme echoes what our industry must be more greatly focused on. Most of the speakers this year helped to remind us that the ultimate test is not coming from ourselves, but from what our customers are experiencing interacting with other services and providers of goods – digitally or in person.

I am excited about the pace of change that’s taking place and I believe that under the right circumstances, our industry can adequately respond to the challenges. In order to make sure that we are not left behind, we must proactively address what’s happening around us, we must keep informed, be open to new ideas and new technologies, and we must once and for all remove “we’ve always done it that way” from our vocabularies.

I will share with you that I’m fascinated to be part of changes at my organization that are evolving how we work, how we manage information, how we interact with coworkers, and how we analyze data. Space and time, as well as data and analytics, are being factored in like never before.

What are the drivers for all of this evolution? That would be the consumers – the persons or businesses being protected by our policies of insurance. They are the ones wanting us to move more quickly, with much less friction in everything we do for them. Immediacy in most everything we are doing should and will become what we are all striving towards. Insurance consumers are demanding this like never before.

The disruptors to come will be more enabled for delivering exactly what the customers’ preferences are for interactions. Technology, of course, will be the linchpin to this. Going mobile will become our business’s new normal, just as it is across many other traditional business sectors. And, as it is fundamentally already the foundation of the sharing economy, we have to leverage the power of the app.

At the same time, new jobs and roles are emerging in our industry, including many linked to new technologies and data, with other roles diminishing or even becoming extinct, with job analysts predicting that low-level repetitive tasks are most likely to change first.

So, how are we going to be ready for these changes as an industry? To help inform the discussion regarding talent and the workforce changes to come, the Institute has begun replicating the demographic research it previously conducted in 2007 and 2012. For this current study, the Conference Board of Canada has been contracted to conduct data collection, research changing workforce issues, and benchmark the industry compared to other sectors using the latest Census Canada data. The full report of the demographic study is scheduled for publication fall 2018.

And to accompany the publication of this research, the Institute will publish an Emerging Issues Research Series report on all the other factors, besides demographics, that might have an impact on organizations and the industry’s workforce – issues like domestic and international economic trends, industry consolidation, advancements in technology and data analytics, consumer driven influences and more. This research report on the changing workforce will be published concurrently with the demographic study.

With all of these emerging issues and changes happening, it may seem overwhelming to try and keep up. Hopefully, as members, you can appreciate that the CIP Society is working hard to keep you informed. A national webinar on the sharing economy, featuring the research report author, Paul Kovacs, is scheduled for June 14. In addition, our May ADVANTAGE LIVE webinar on terrorism risk is open for registration. Upcoming trends papers are being published monthly, on topics including cyberbullying (June), mergers & acquisitions (July) and environmental insurance (August).

We hope you take full advantage of these insights and research and share with others. And I encourage you to take every opportunity to join the important conversations happening at the Institute and elsewhere on emerging issues and changes in the industry.

Mike Kosturik, BA, FCIP

Chair, National CIP Society