Back in June I was pleased to present
at the annual IBABC Conference in
Whistler, where I shared Aviva’s views
on the future of our industry. It was a
lively discussion, and I continued to
receive many questions in the days and
weeks that followed; questions which
show we all care deeply about how our
industry will be reshaped and how these
trends can become opportunities for
At the conference I said, “The culmi-
nation of increasing customer expecta-
tions, emerging technologies and com-
petitors’ digital actions presents both
a threat to our existing business model
as well as an opportunity for us to gain
a competitive advantage”. I believe that
statement remains true today.
We’ve seen a lot of focus on the threats
to the traditional broker business model,
and we’ve talked a lot about the digital
innovations that will ‘disrupt’ our indus-
try; but where we’ve not focused enough
is on that first, and most important point
- increasing customer expectations.
Whether we like it or not, we’re in a
24/7 on-demand, social-media economy
and digital channels will continue to
rise. For example, a study by KPMG in
June 20171 found that overall, Canadian
online retail sales grew 15% in a year ver-
sus low, single-digit growth for offline.
The service experience offered by
digital channels is setting the standard
for all of us. In our industry a customer
doesn’t see the divisions between loss or
claims, or sales and brokers. To them it’s
about every touch point they have with
us. Did they get what they needed? Did
we waste their time? Did we give them
value for their money? How easy was it?
Was the information provided clear and
simple? How convenient? How helpful?
Delivering the best service and claims
experience – first time, every time – is
what matters most to customers. All else
is secondary. That moment defines our
industry; it is what we do best.
There will always be a role for sound
advice and guidance in this industry, but
we have to continue to evolve how, and
where, we deliver it.
At Aviva, we’ve been actively developing a more integrated insurer platform
and partnering with brokers to enhance
their own digital capabilities, offering
training, and a support network for
brokers as they become more digital
We have also strengthened our internal technology foundation to make it
easier for you to deal with us and process
claims, including opening up our own
API’s to better work with your systems.
We remain committed to support the
future through investments in emerging
While these activities are vast and
significant, they all come down to one
simple and straightforward motivation
– improving the experience we deliver to
Canadians. Because, ultimately that is
how we will win.
Every single one of us has a role to
play. We need to embrace a two-way
dialogue and recognize that we are in
this together. To me, this is the single
most important thing brokers and insurance companies can do today, work as
partners, to not only meet, but exceed
the needs of Canadians living in the
Insurers address issues brokers raised at this year’s conference
On June 16 at the 69th Annual IBABC Conference & Trade Show in Whistler, chief executives from Canada’s
leading insurance markets talked about their respective business models, the changes they’re making to keep
pace with technology, and their approach to their broker partnerships. The insurers have been invited to
further address in writing the questions brokers raised, and we will share those responses in coming editions
of BC Broker magazine. This month, we hear from Greg Somerville, president and CEO at Aviva Canada.
Greg Somerville was appointed president and CEO of Aviva Canada in 2013. Prior, he
was executive vice-president responsible for broker distribution, sales and marketing,
a position he held since 2010. He joined General Accident, now Aviva Canada, in 1992
as VP, claims. Greg is a member of the Insurance Bureau of Canada Ontario Committee, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario CEO Advisory Committee, and the
Toronto Financial Services Alliance Leadership Council.