Formerly a Member of Parliament for Kitchener–Waterloo, Peter Braid now serves as the CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC). The organization acts at the national voice for 38,000 insurance brokers across the country, representing the interests of both insurance brokers and their customers to the Government of Canada.

We caught up with Braid to get his review of IBAC’s achievements from last year, IBAC’s vision for 2019 and the opportunities he sees for insurance brokers and their customers for this year and beyond.

2018 was a busy year for our industry – what were some of your personal IBAC highlights from the past 12 months?

Last year was a monumental year for IBAC with a number of important achievements. We unveiled a more contemporary and refreshed logo, launched our new creative platform ‘Before the Quote’, embarked on an update of the Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) program, and advanced the goal of standards-based connectivity between insurers and brokers.

We also navigated another successful review of the Bank Act. In Canada, IBAC leads the fight to maintain the separation of the pillars of insurance and banking, benefitting consumers, brokers and insurers. We leverage grassroots and national political relationships to ensure decision makers uphold our position in successive Bank Act reviews. The next mandated Bank Act review will take place in 2023.

What are some of the challenges IBAC worked to overcome in 2018?

In 2018, IBAC worked hard to become a more prominent voice on important public policy issues. To that end, we increased our engagement with government and expanded our advocacy efforts to ensure that the perspectives of insurance brokers and consumers are heard.

As a result, we have raised the profile of our organization and developed new networks for consultation and collaboration. This is an ongoing priority and will continue throughout 2019 and beyond.

What are some of IBAC’s goals for 2019?

The insurance industry is based on trust and relationships. Collaboration is the key to our collective success. We will continue to strengthen our relationships with our important Member Associations across the country, our insurer partners, and other industry stakeholders.

We also have some specific program goals for 2019. We want to continue to be at the forefront of emerging public policy issues such as open banking, fintech and insurtech, and the impact of catastrophic events.

With respect to catastrophic events and climate change, we will be launching an innovative public education program to help raise consumer awareness, and will partner with other organizations who are working to achieve the same goal.

The world of insurance is changing. What new opportunities do you see for insurance brokers (and customers) in 2019 and beyond?

The central tenets of the broker value proposition – choice, advice and advocacy – have never been more important. From climate change to cybersecurity, we recognize that the world around us, as well as insurance itself, is getting more complex. The advice component of the broker benefit will only become increasingly magnified. The broker plays a key role in ensuring that their client has the right coverage. They also educate their clients about ways to mitigate risks to decrease their risk profile. In a world of constant change and disruption, insurance brokers are a solid and stabilizing force.

If you could give one piece of advice for 2019 to all the brokers across Canada that IBAC represents, what would it be?

The ultimate goal of the broker is to ensure that their client’s insurance needs are met. From my perspective, I would suggest that brokers continue to seize the opportunities of new communication channels and technologies to strengthen the bonds of the customer relationship. In addition, never underestimate the strength and importance of the broker value proposition to consumers and to communities.

Have you made any personal or professional New Year’s resolutions?

To continue to create the conditions for success for IBAC employees, member associations, stakeholders and partners. Oh, and more exercise of course. And read more books.

You can learn more about IBAC at their official website here. You can follow Peter Braid on Twitter here

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