By Brendan Wycks, Co-Executive Director, CAFII.
CAFII hosts a number of webinars each year that allow us to share insights into a range of insurance topics that are of interest to our stakeholders. These stakeholders include leaders from the insurance industry, regulatory authorities, research companies, the legal community, insurance associations, and government.
Over the past two years, our webinars have included presentations, chats and panel discussions about:
- Best practices in the digitization of credit protection insurance;
- The impact of the pandemic on mental health challenges in the workplace, at home, and in society;
- Consumers’ insurance and financial services preferences and related product development insights;
- How principles-based regulation and rule-making authority can work together;
- The ins and outs of life insurers’ health and wellness incentivization programs;
- Provincial insurance policy and regulatory priorities and issues arising as Canada emerges from COVID-19;
- Climate change and its implications for life and health insurance; and,
- Future travel trends and issues as the world emerges from COVID-19; and more.
The objective of our webinars is to provide a forum where important issues can be discussed, new information shared, and different points of view expressed. As an Association, we believe our stakeholders benefit when they have a common appreciation for the challenges facing our industry, are exposed to a range of perspectives, and have a good understanding of how we can all work together to meet the evolving needs of insurance consumers.
Since mid-2020, we have hosted more than 20 webinars, and have been attracting between 60 to 120 participants to each session. This represents a healthy increase in attendance over CAFII sessions held prior to the arrival of COVID-19, when all of our presentations and panels were held in-person, which made it more challenging for people outside of Toronto to attend. By staging more webinars, we’ve also been able to address a wider diversity of topics in a shorter time frame.
For example, our webinar in May about how principles-based regulation and rule-making authority can work together attracted more than 100 people, including over 20 regulators and policy-makers from federal and provincial regulatory authorities across the country. They were treated to an excellent panel discussion that included two leading Canadian experts on the topic: Dr. Cristie Ford, who is a full-tenured Professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC; and Stuart Carruthers who is a partner at law firm Stikeman Elliott. Among other things, the panelists discussed how principles-based regulation (PBR) could be viewed as a “changed approach” to regulation, how it makes sense in an environment where this is more change or complexity, and where one set of rules will not cover everything. Mr. Carruthers said Canada was fortunate to have a very sophisticated group of regulators who have strong and transparent relationships with the industry, which he felt led to better regulatory outcomes.
The presentation in June by Deloitte Partner Melissa Carruthers and her colleague Marc Lewis about their study on best practices in the digitization of credit protection insurance in Canada was also a hit. More than 100 people attended the session, including excellent representation from regulators and policy-makers from B.C., Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, the Yukon and Nova Scotia. This session explored research undertaken by Deloitte which found a growing need for underwriters and distributors to digitize and improve the end-to-end Credit Protection Insurance client experience in order to keep pace with evolving consumer expectations.
And our webinar in November about post-COVID travel trends and issues also attracted over 100 participants, and featured several experts including Elliott Draga from the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada, Sheila Burns from the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, Katia Umutoniwase, Head Of Sales Operations and Digital Enablement for Travel Insurance at Manulife, and David Moorcroft, a travel blogger. The panelists opined on a range of issues, including whether travel levels had fully recovered since the arrival of COVID-19, what if anything had changed about travel, and how travel health insurance, trip cancellation and baggage loss insurance had changed and improved in response to the pandemic and resurgent travel.
Many of our webinars also include opinion polls which give participants the opportunity to weigh in on relevant issues.
Finally, an additional benefit of our webinars is that they have been easy to record and post on our CAFII website so that people who missed the original webinar and poll results can go online and see them. You’ll find a catalogue of these webinars on the website under “Events”.
So, while we have returned to holding some in-person events at CAFII as COVID-19 restrictions have eased, our webinars have become and will remain an integral part of how we share insights and information with our stakeholders.