Life Insurance

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FSRA issues update on unsuitable agent reports

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) has released an updated report on its work to protect investors from unsuitable agents by investigating cases submitted by insurers.

“Insurance agents are required to treat consumers fairly and in accordance with the Insurance Act and its regulations,” the regulator said in a statement. “Insurance companies must monitor agent conduct and report unsuitable agents to FSRA. They may do so using a Life Agent Reporting Form (LARF).”

FSRA reported that in the past fiscal year from April 1 until March 31, 2021, it received and reviewed 57 LARFs. Of those, 23 (40%) were escalated for further investigation, including 17 that went to the Legal and Enforcement unit and 6 that were advanced to the Regulatory Discipline Officer.

“The escalated files included allegations of pervasive misrepresentation to insurers and clients, misappropriation of client funds, fronting for unlicensed entities, unlicensed activities, and trafficking4 in life insurance,” FSRA said. “FSRA will provide a status update on these LARFs in the next annual LARF report.”

Twenty-eight LARFs, representing nearly half (49%) of the 57 submitted and reviewed, were resolved and closed within the Market Conduct unit. Among those, 19 LARFs, representing a third (33%) of all those submitted last year, led to a Letter of Warning.

Such letters of warning are documented on the agent’s licensing file and given a red flag in the FSRA licensing system, the regulator said. Repeated misconduct in the future will prompt a review of the agent’s file, it added, and could result in potential licensing or enforcement actions. In case an agent applies to renew their active license or reinstate their lapse license, the Letter of Warning will be reviewed and considered a critical factor for the FSRA Licensing unit to make a decision.

Among cases that led to a Letter of Warning from the past fiscal year, FSRA determined that six were licensing violations, including unlicensed activity, solicitation in Quebec while unlicensed in that province, and false reports of continuing education credits.

Another two warning letter cases were categorized as forgery and fraud. One agent claimed total disability payments while he was employed by the same insurer. Meanwhile, the other named his father as the annuitant and beneficiary on a client’s guaranteed investment fund (GIF) application, and replaced the client’s address with his father’s.

Other types of misconduct found and addressed with a letter of warning included:

  • Three cases related to Replacements;
  • Two cases of undisclosed conflicts of interests; and
  • Four cases of other misconduct, including two unsatisfactory advisor practice reviews, one “signature of convenience,” and one breach of the insurer’s code of conduct.

The remaining six LARFs from the 57, FSRA said, resulted in No Action Taken. In all such cases, the regulator said it red flagged the licensing file of the agent concerned; if the agent is actively licensed, FSRA said it continues to monitor enforcement activities taken by other jurisdictions to determine the need for further action. The regulator also reviews the flagged file again when it is time for the agent to renew their license.

“In situations where the agent is no longer licensed, FSRA red flags the file should the agent apply to reinstate his/her licence,” the regulator said. “The flagged file will be reviewed and evaluated in order to determine the approval of the agent’s licence.”

Among the six No Action LARFs, two were determined to be outside of FSRA’s jurisdiction, two were closed as the insurers could not produce supporting documentation, and two were closed as the licensees allowed their license to lapse without seeking renewal.

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Global InsurTech investment reaches all-time high of US$2.55 billion in Q1 2021

Global InsurTech investment reaches all-time high of US$2.55 billion in Q1 2021

London, UK (May 5, 2021) – As fundraising activity in the global InsurTech sector continues to rebound from its brief COVID-19 related slowdown a year ago, global investment in the sector reached a new quarterly high of US$2.55 billion during the first quarter of 2021. The number of mega-rounds reached eight, more than any other three-month period, according to the new Quarterly InsurTech Briefing from Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company.

Total funding during the quarter grew by 180% when compared with Q1 2020, which suffered a deep decline due to fears surrounding COVID-19. The latest total grew by 22% relative to more comparable Q4 2020, while the number of discrete deals soared 42% higher than during the previous quarter. Investment was driven primarily by P&C focused companies, which represented 69% of deal share.

Eight companies accounted for more than $1.13 billion in funding during the quarter, 44% of the total raised. That marks a new quarterly high for the number of mega-round fundraisings of $100 million or more. Next Insurance, Coalition, Zego, Sidecar Health, Pie Insurance, Clarify Health, Corvus Insurance Agency, and TypTap all raised sums equal to or greater than the threshold, propelling Coalition and Zego to billion-plus “unicorn” status.

Alongside the unicorn-making rounds was a 13 percentage-point increase in early-stage deals compared to Q4 2020. 60% of investments in Q1 2021 were Series A or B fundraisings. The global footprint of InsurTech also increased during what was the most geographically diverse set of early-stage start-ups in a single quarter, representing 24 countries including Bangladesh, Estonia, Brazil, Nigeria, and U.A.E.

Dr. Andrew Johnston, global head of InsurTech at Willis Re, said: “The record level of activity this quarter reflects our industry’s ever more widespread willingness to engage and adopt technology, which continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Technological innovation gains ground only when a community emerges to support it, and COVID-19, more than any other factor, has rapidly accelerated the change that was already well under way. COVID-19 has helped strengthen the narrative, and demonstrably illustrate the results technology can deliver, which are now being achieved at scale.

“That said, the solutions offered by InsurTechs must make intellectual and commercial sense to their target users, whether they’re insurers, brokers, or insurance buyers. For them, the technology itself is the least interesting part of the initiatives. Unfortunately, a failure to understand these realities, in addition to the general difficulty of entering our industry as a nascent business, means that many InsurTechs will most likely never achieve the grandeur of their aspirations.”

The latest Briefing, which focuses on the future of products and services, opens with a detailed exploration of the area, including usage-based, on demand, and embedded insurance approaches. The issue includes case studies of the InsurTechs Buckle, which targets rideshare drivers and fleet operators; Sure, whose tools enable insurers and consumer brands to distribute and service policies; Thimble, which insures small businesses owners, freelancers, and independent contractors; Zego, a commercial motor insurer; Collective Benefits, which designs insurance products and services for independent workers; and Pikl, which insures the sharing economy.

In this quarter’s The Art of the Possible, the Briefing presents a discussion with MTech Capital partner and co-founder Kevin McLoughlin, who shares his perspectives on embedded insurance, technology, and the role of consumer demand. This issue also introduces a new section, Alternative Risk/Alternative Capital. The first instalment is a conversation with John Butler, head of Cohen & Company’s U.S. Insurance Asset Management Platform and its Global ILS Program, about the role of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) in the InsurTech space, highlighted most recently by the $1.4 billion SPAC acquisition of QOMPLX. The Transaction Spotlight features Porch’s $100 million acquisition of Homeowners of America.

Finally, we hear from Willis Towers Watson’s Dr. Magdalena Ramada, who shares her perspective on the transition to dynamic, modular insurance products, and the process of optimizing them from an underwriting, pricing, and product design perspective. Ramada, EMEA InsurTech Innovation Leader, Willis Towers Watson’s Insurance Consulting and Technology practice, said: “The design and deployment of modular products that allow for a decomposition of coverages requires sophisticated technology capabilities. While I firmly believe that this is the future and some multinational insurers have already started experimenting with this idea, lots of thinking is still required to understand the implications of this approach in personal lines: whether it will be sustainable; how to avoid discrimination; and to determine the right balance between personalized products, risk mutualization, and the solidarity principles of insurance.”

View the full report.

About Willis Re

One of the world’s leading reinsurance brokers, Willis Re is known for its world-class analytics capabilities, which it combines with its reinsurance expertise in a seamless, integrated offering that can help clients increase the value of their businesses. Willis Re serves the risk management and risk transfer needs of a diverse, global client base that includes all of the world’s top insurance and reinsurance carriers as well as national catastrophe schemes in many countries around the world. The broker’s global team of experts offers services and advice that can help clients make better reinsurance decisions and negotiate optimum terms. For more information, visit

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 45,000 employees serving more than 140 countries and markets. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimise benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas – the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential. Learn more at

SOURCE: Willis Towers Watson

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What is no medical life insurance

Mitchell & Whale announces bold new strategy to grow into a top-20, $1 billion national brokerage

Whitby, ON (May 10, 2021) – Broker distribution continues to adapt and evolve in response to industry consolidation, customer expectations, technology, digitalization and more. To remain competitive in this fast-changing environment, Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers has announced a bold new strategy to grow into a top-20 national brokerage with $1 billion in gross written premiums by 2030.

Since 2009, the Whitby, Ontario-based brokerage has grown from $2.5 million in gross written premiums to over $41 million and is now regularly seeing 30% year-over-year growth. Mitchell & Whale has never been stronger as an organization, making this the right time to take ambitious steps to scale the business.

As part of its multi-year transformation strategy, Mitchell & Whale will make significant investments in technology, data and marketing while working to build innovative, new platforms and improving workflows and processes to create industry-leading customer experiences.

“By 2025, customer experience will overtake price as a key brand differentiator,” said Adam Mitchell, president of Mitchell & Whale. “While competitive intensity rises through mergers and acquisitions, our ambitious growth strategy is based on improving our overall marketing and service sophistication, technology, analytics and data-driven insights to deliver the experience our customers want.”

The company will also be investing more than ever before in its leadership and talent. Mitchell & Whale will expand its workforce by more than 30% in 2021. Over the next decade, the company will grow its workforce to 1200 employees and become one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers.

Mitchell and Whale will officially launch its new strategy with the start of its fiscal year on August 1. In preparation, the organization will soon be announcing new executive appointments, strategic partnerships and a brand redesign.

“We’re implementing a talent strategy to drive growth,” said Mitchell. “We’re seeking the best in the industry to join our talented team as we take huge and transformative steps to lead the market through the development of disruptive innovation and an exciting new brand and value proposition.”

About Mitchell & Whale

Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers is a family-run business operating since 1948. An insurance brokerage based in Whitby, the company serves tens of thousands of customers across Ontario. Mitchell & Whale was voted the #1 insurance brokerage in the province by the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) in 2018 and named one of the country’s fastest-growing companies by Canadian Business Magazine in 2019. For more information, visit

Source: Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers Ltd.

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What is no medical life insurance

CSIO Celebrates Innovation Through Standards at Virtual AGM

Toronto, ON (May 6, 2021) – On Wednesday, May 5, CSIO hosted its 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) virtually, bringing together industry partners across Canada. The meeting included highlights of CSIO’s 2020 accomplishments and celebrated the innovations achieved through standards to develop the next generation of digital solutions.

Cam Loeppky, Chairman of the CSIO Board of Directors, applauded the industry for a transformative year, remarking that “I’ve been very impressed to see how quickly the P&C insurance industry was able to pivot to the digital space and make great strides despite the unique circumstances caused by the pandemic.” He went on to say that, “I am proud to be Chairman at CSIO, where we continued to be agile and support members.”

2020 Highlights

Catherine Smola, President & CEO of CSIO, spoke to the 2020 key achievements and how innovation, collaboration and determination were key to deliver these accomplishments.

Smola recognized the tremendous progress made by the Innovation and Emerging Technology (INNOTECH) Advisory Committee.

“A notable example of collaboration is the work accomplished by the Advisory Committee and its Working Groups. The three digital solutions they identified reflect the next generation of eDocs for billing and claims notifications, and the development of API standards. These solutions are designed to improve operational efficiency and enhance customer experiences in the broker channel,” says Catherine Smola.

The first two solutions, billing and claims eDoc notifications, can be built by leveraging CSIOnet and the CSIO eDocs Standard, existing infrastructure already in place and used by more than 2,200 brokerages and all major insurers. The third solution for API standardization is moving forward with advancing a security model and identifying the specifications required.

In delivering leading edge technology standards and solutions, Smola highlighted the achievements of the Commercial Lines Working Group to further the implementation of Commercial Lines (CL) Data Standards. Questions were finalized for small retail and professional services in order to better underwrite and rate these two segments, which complements the small contractor segment completed in 2019. To support the implementation of CL Data Standards, CSIO launched the Commercial Lines Data Standards Certification program, which has six members now certified and many more in progress.

The continued success of the My Proof of Insurance solution was also featured as its adoption increased with accelerated consumer demand for more virtual, digital experiences in 2020. My Proof of Insurance proved to be an integral solution for members. Smola was pleased to report a 400% increase in eSlips and documents sent through the solution, compared to 2019.

Lastly, Smola reported that the Digital eLearning Program expanded in many ways to meet the growing demand for online and on-demand learning, given the cancellation or postponement of conventions and in-person learning the industry faced last year. CSIO was there with its eLearning program to meet member demand for free, accredited distance learning and brokers obtaining continuing education (CE) credits.

New Board of Director Appointments

The following new Director appointments were also ratified at the meeting:

  • Joseph Carnevale, Managing Director of Sales/Partner at Brokers Trust
  • Aly Kanji, President & CEO of InsureLine Brokers Inc.

For more information on the 2020 highlights, please read CSIO’s 2020 Annual Report.

About Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO)

CSIO is Canada’s industry association of property and casualty insurers, service providers and over 38,000 brokers. CSIO is committed to improving the consumer’s ease of doing business within the broker channel by overseeing the development, implementation and maintenance of technology standards and solutions such as My Proof of Insurance, eDocs, and eSignatures. In addition, CSIO operates the industry-owned mail network service, CSIOnet. CSIO maintains offices in Toronto and Montreal. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO)

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What is no medical life insurance

Quadient launches cloud-based Customer Communications Management solution

Quadient Introduces Inspire Evolve, a Cloud-based Customer Communications Management Solution, and Continues Software Strategy of SaaS Footprint Expansion

Inspire Evolve introduces digital-first cloud communications built for the future, giving enterprises the flexibility to produce omni-channel communications across every stage of a company’s growth virtually overnight

Milford, CT (May 4, 2021) – Quadient, a leader in helping businesses create meaningful customer connections through digital and physical channels, announced today the global launch of Inspire Evolve, a high-performance, software-as-a-service (SaaS) customer communications management (CCM) solution. The solution supports rapid enterprise transformation by empowering all employees, regardless of technical expertise, with the ability to control customer communications with little reliance on IT. With Inspire Evolve, customer communications can be maintained and delivered in the cloud by individual lines of business in the moment they are needed.

Inspire Evolve addresses the growing demand for a powerful cloud-based customer communications solution that easily integrates with and streamlines existing technology, requiring minimal implementation lead times and helping teams rapidly design and deliver secure, personalized human-centric communications.

“As recently unveiled in the presentation of the second phase of our strategic plan, Quadient is firmly committed to bring to market more subscription-based cloud offerings, as businesses are confronted with the need to accelerate their adoption of digital solutions to ensure business continuity,” said Geoffrey Godet, CEO, Quadient. “Quadient has been recognized by the industry for having a strong vision and execution track record in the Customer Communications market. With Inspire Evolve, we continue to rapidly expand our Intelligent Communication Automation portfolio, bringing to market another strong innovation that helps our customers across multiple segments and countries manage their customer communications with flexibility and agility.”

The Quadient Inspire suite of solutions is the only customer communications solution on the market that offers on premise, fully SaaS and hybrid solutions. Inspire Evolve is a stand-alone solution in the Inspire Suite, which includes Inspire Flex (an on premise and hybrid cloud CCM solution); and Inspire Journey (a SaaS customer journey mapping and orchestration solution).

“As Quadient continues to execute on its Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS) strategy, it is working toward bringing a full end-to-end, omni-channel digital experience platform to market enabling organizations to produce omni-channel customer communications at scale across every lifecycle stage,” said Kaspar Roos, founder and CEO of Aspire, a technology strategy firm specializing in CCM and digital customer experience. “CCM buyers are shifting to cloud in order to reduce operational cost while improving productivity and gaining scalability.”

Inspire Evolve is comprised of four integrated components — content author, front office, generate, and archive — that work together to deliver a secure, seamless customer experience. Inspire Evolve empowers enterprises to:

  • Transform communications in record time. Inspire Evolve makes even the most complex experiences simple by enabling intelligent communications, including one-to-one SMS and emails on-demand.
  • Empower line of business users to design human-centric content. Inspire Evolve guarantees that customers receive personalized messages any time, day or night. Content authors design communications according to branding and personalization rules and use approval workflows to ensure compliance with front office employees.
  • Safely and securely connect-in-the-moment. Inspire Evolve pulls data from any source, handling scalability and security needs to create personalized, one-to-one communications. Built-in compliance and security certifications include HITRUST v9.1, SOC2 Type 11, HIPAA, GDPR and more.
  • Reserve IT resources for high-value efforts. With hosting in Quadient Cloud, recurring software upgrades are no longer needed, releasing key IT resources to support wider transformation programs.

“In the wake of COVID-19, it has become widely apparent that industries of all sizes need to increase the ability to have more digital, in-the-moment interaction with customers. It is a growth opportunity, as well as a requirement, that cannot be ignored,” said Chris Hartigan, chief solution officer of CXM at Quadient. “Quadient’s full, end-to-end Intelligent Communication Automation portfolio enables organizations to respond to this demand with the capability to produce omnichannel customer communications across every stage of their company’s growth. It is providing today’s agile businesses with powerful solutions that easily integrate with and streamline existing technology with minimal implementation lead times.”

Quadient Inspire Evolve

A full overview of Inspire Evolve is available at

About Quadient®

Quadient (Euronext Paris: QDT) is the driving force behind the world’s most meaningful customer experiences. By focusing on three key solution areas, Intelligent Communication Automation, Parcel Locker Solutions and Mail-Related Solutions, Quadient helps simplify the connection between people and what matters. Quadient supports hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide in their quest to create relevant, personalized connections and achieve customer experience excellence. Quadient is listed in compartment B of Euronext Paris (QDT) and is part of the CAC® Mid & Small and EnterNext® Tech 40 indices. For more information about Quadient, visit

Source: Quadient via Sterling Kilgore, Inc.

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