IBAH October Luncheon Report

Posted Nov 7th, 2016 in Educational Seminars, IBAH News, IBAH Report, Luncheon

IBAH October Luncheon Report

To begin our 2016 IBAH luncheon season, we welcomed Doug Heaman, President of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario. For the last four years, Doug has served on the IBAO Board of Directors, three of which as an Executive member and brings over 34 years of experience in the insurance industry.  



Doug touched on a number of trending issues within the insurance industry, in particular, he stressed that future of this industry is not what it used to be. Brokers must re-think and re-strategize the upcoming years of this business in order to be successful and depict our positive broker image.

Over the last several years there has been a large increase in mergers and acquisitions within the broker channel. This rapid change is driven by Canada’s sluggish economy, the current interest platform and excess capital. Insurance companies are seeking brokerages that are successful and growing their books. We must be mindful of the increase in M&A’s while planning for the future and in developing “wise strategic alliances.”

Doug referenced Deloitte’s findings that “six out of ten customers receive no particular service from their broker beyond shopping for coverage”. Doug stressed that changes are necessary for the customer service sector of the insurance industry. Brokers must find a way to differentiate themselves as a broker and “wow” their clients.

In addition, Mr. Heaman focused on a poll completed by Accenture who surveyed over 400 senior executives at medium to large- sized life, P&C and multi-line carriers in 20 countries. Thirty of those responses came from Canada. He specified that the future of the insurance industry must be a technological one. “Marrying talent with technology” is an important success factor in our business. Doug quoted from the Accenture report that “insurance companies are accelerating the shift to a radically different distribution model where digital plays an increasingly important role” in the “majority of actions” of brokers and agents.

Doug relayed that we need to include the millennials into the future plans of the insurance industry. A 2005 Deloitte study found that 75% of employees are born before 1983 – the industry is aging. Seventy percent of principle brokers are over the age of 55. Brokers must bring on young talent to mentor them and also let them teach the previous generations.  

Maintaining a strong value proposition is crucial in succeeding in this industry. The insurance world tends to be ‘cookie-cutter’ and if you are unable to articulate it, your brokerage is in trouble.  

Doug left us with a guideline on long-term business success found in a book titled The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think, by Michael E. Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed.  The first rule is “better before cheaper.” Doug noted that these prosperous companies rarely compete on price, “if your value proposition is price, you better reconsider.”  The second rule is “revenue before cost.” Cutting cost and trying to maintain margins is not going to help a business grow. The third rule is “there are no other rules; everything else is up for grabs”. We seem to be reluctant to change and need to let go of the past and change in a way that serves us going forward.     

In closing, Doug quoted Abraham Lincoln “Create your future – the best way to predict the future is to create it.” Doug believes there is an optimistic future for brokers who share the disposition to evolve and continue to utilize the benefits of “advocacy, advice, and relationship”. Brokers are entrepreneurial and those who are committed will “win the battle.”

To extend our appreciation for our guest speaker for his exceptional presentation, the IBAH donated $125.00 to the Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region. We would also like to thank all of our guests for attending the luncheon. We encourage everyone to join us on November 24th for our Annual Mix and Mingle Christmas party! Our next luncheon will fall on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. seminars.


This article was written by IBAH board member, Program Chair, Milena Lewandowski.

Milena Lewandowski, CIP, CRM
Dan Lawrie Insurance Brokers
Phone: 905-525-7259 ext. 1421
Fax: 905-521-7989
E-mail: mlewandowski@danlawrie.com 

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