From the ordinary to the complex,
we are experienced and effective in
providing coverage opinions.
WE’LL LET YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE EXPOSED.
ers will feel understood, important and
cared for. As an insurer, we are proud
of the billions of dollars that we return
to Canadians every year in the form of
claims payments and/or indemnity that
allow them to rebuild their lives after
With an aging population and a broader
demographic of customers with different expectations, how do we evolve the
customer experience to meet the needs
of ALL customers while maintaining
Maintaining simplicity is difficult
when we sell a product that insures the
greatest assets of Canadians and protects them from civil liabilities every day.
We do need to be more transparent to
consumers to assist them in understanding our value proposition. This is something Wawanesa is actively working
towards. We’ve invested millions in new
technology, and further investments in
process improvement – all with the goal
of improving customer experience for
our policyholders. We are actively talking to brokers and insureds every day to
improve communication as well.
What about the future of our industry
keeps you up at night?
These are turbulent times for the
insurance sector in general. Climate
change is causing the greatest catastrophic events in our history, putting
our customers at unexpected risk. Consumer expectations are increasing and
technology is disrupting our value chain.
The regulatory landscape is becoming
more complex. Significant change is
underway, and insurers need to keep up
with this rate of change better than ever
before. For 2018 our strategy theme at
Wawanesa is “accelerating our transformation.” The rate of change and our
ability to get so much done so quickly,
while meeting customer and brokers’
expectations every day, is what keeps me
up at night.
Can you comment on how technology
and data is being used in pricing?
The amount of data that Wawanesa
has access to has increased significantly
over the last few years. We are leveraging
additional data to transform our organization, and have tasked a team of data
scientists to work with our underwriters
to improve our sophistication in pricing
and data analytics.
Wawanesa is a mutual owned by our
policyholders; they are at the heart of
our company, and our role is to pro-
vide the best price we can for them.
Wawanesa doesn’t insure things; we
insure people, and help people take the
financial risk of purchasing cars and
homes. Putting people at the centre of
our decision-making process allows us
to provide the better customer experi-
ence, driven by our investments in
technology and data.
How do you decide where to invest
dollars (marketing, advertising, technol-
ogy, etc.) between your broker channel
versus your direct channel?
It is easy for us. Wawanesa does not
mix distribution channels in any Cana-
dian province. We are committed to the
broker channel. We only have a small
direct-writing business in Quebec. By
not competing with multi-distribution
in any one province, we simplify our
investment decisions. We invest where
we expect to see the greatest benefits
and today that is in support of digital
distribution with our brokers. Our
growth and profitability are tied to the
success of our broker partners and that
is where we are investing our time, ef-
fort, and money.
Addressing brokers’ concerns
As insurers pursue options to sell direct,
my concern is that insurers will “
cherry-pick” simpler customer transactions,
leaving brokers to deal overwhelmingly
with challenging clients. Comment.
Wawanesa is fully committed to the
broker distribution channel. We value
the support of our brokers and we do
not compete against our brokers with
our products through direct distribution
in any province.
How do we win the trust of customers
through transparency when so much of
the new technology available to insurers could be viewed as “big brother” in
We believe that it involves four very
transparent guiding principles: share the
information with our customers whenever we can; protect the data with robust
privacy and security protocols; inform
customers how we are using the data;
and let them know who, if anyone, their
data is being shared with.
My concern is that clients will use
brokers for advice, and then buy direct
for convenience. Similar to the challenge “bricks and mortar” retailers are
enduring in face of the “Amazon effect”.
We do not consider buying insurance
similar to buying a “manufactured product” from Amazon. We think insurance
is a complex financial protection purchase for Canadians, and our research
shows that the majority of Canadians
wish to buy insurance from a trusted