Newsletter Archive

Issue 2006-31: August 1, 2006

This newsletter is for members of the Canadian Insurance Industry, and those who serve it. The newsletter is published weekly, and notes information mostly about the use of the Internet and related technologies in the industry. Some is international, where we feel it is relevant to Canada.

Policy and Product Management from ISI Launches with Rave Reviews from Initial Customers.
July 31, 2006 Toronto ON -, the first ever on-demand application which allows inspection firms and insurance companies to electronically manage the loss control inspection process from start to finish, today announced their official launch and acquisition of their first customers.


Xactware Launches into Software Agreement with MetLife Auto & Home.
Orem, UT - Jul. 28, 2006. Xactware, Inc. has announced that it has reached an agreement with personal lines insurer MetLife Auto & Home® to use Xactware's industry leading estimation software and services as part of its property loss estimating and adjusting process.

Insurers Turn To Satellite Technology for Help in Managing Wildfire Risks: ISO.
JERSEY CITY, N.J., July 6 - Property owners living in close proximity to forests and wildlands exposed to wildfire risk - and their insurers - have reasons to be concerned. Catastrophic wildfires cause extensive damage to property and significant disruption to the lives of property owners. In 2005, more than 8.5 million acres burned, nearly twice the 10-year average. With more people living closer to brushfire areas, which also happen to be preserves of privacy, the exposure has nearly doubled for insurers between 1970 and 2000.

eBusiness and Technology

Coty Cosmetics, City of Chicago, Novelis, VP Buildings, and 355 Other Organizations Leverage iWay Software to Put SOA Into Action and Yield Tangible Results - Information Builders.
New York, NY - July 17, 2006 - iWay Software®, an Information Builders company and an innovator of enterprise integration solutions, announced the inventive and unique ways its customers are applying service-oriented architecture (SOA) within their organizations, moving well beyond simply "understanding" how to implement SOA to actually achieving tangible, quantifiable results from their SOA projects.

Many Canadian Companies Tackling Security Risks Posed by MP3 Players and Mobile Devices: Ipsos-Reid Survey for Sun Microsystems.
July 17, 2006 - TORONTO - According to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Sun Microsystems of Canada, many Canadian businesses are recognizing the need to protect themselves from risk by monitoring and managing the portable storage devices their employees bring to work. In fact, half (49%) of senior leaders in mid- and large-sized businesses across Canada have established policies to prevent personal laptops and USB keys from entering the workplace and 30% have banned MP3 Players, such as iPods.

A Customer Experience Analysis of Insurance Industry Websites: Research by Vox Inc.
2006 - In analysis undertaken in the first half of 2006, Vox Inc. has reviewed homepages from a sample of twelve USA Insurance companies who collectively write a significant portion of the auto insurance in the United States. As homepages have evolved to a relatively standardized design, especially within industry groupings, this was targeted at auto insurance in the online channel.

Reference and Statistics

North American Life Insurance Activity Off 5.4% in June: MIB.
(Westwood, Mass. – July 21, 2006) North American application activity for individually underwritten life insurance was off -5.4% in June year-over-year, the largest change in the last four consecutive years of June declines, according to the MIB Life Indexsm.

Consumer Information

Protecting yourself during a hurricane: Safety tips from Royal & SunAlliance.
It isn't often that a hurricane severely impacts Canadians, however when the devastating storms maintain enough strength to hit north, they deliver quite a wallop. But, with a little preparation, you can protect your family, yourself and your home. Royal & SunAlliance, a leading home, auto and commercial insurer, has some advice on keeping safe.

Statscan General Social Survey: Time use patterns of older Canadians.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006 - More individuals aged 55 to 64 were working later in life and spending less time in leisure activities in 2005. Both men and women were spending roughly an hour a day more in paid work than they were in 1998.

Medical students biking across Canada for helmet safety to receive $20,000 boost from Canada's home, car and business insurers.
Four medical students who are cycling across Canada this summer to raise awareness about how to prevent brain and spinal-cord injuries could receive as much as $20,000 from Canada's home, car, and business insurers, who are sponsoring the cyclists as part of their Be Smart. Be Safe. Injury Prevention Program.

Fighting fraud helps keep Autopac rates low: Manitoba Public Insurance.
July 13, 2006 - Manitoba Public Insurance saved ratepayers $12.5 million last year by fighting fraud, but the corporation thinks those savings could climb far higher if more Manitobans used the TIPS line to report suspected fraudsters.

The Drive Group of Progressive Insurance Companies Debunks Common Car Insurance Myths.
MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio July 25, 2005 - The color of a car influences how much it costs to insure it, Comprehensive coverage protects drivers in all situations because, after all, it's "comprehensive," and car insurance companies can charge whatever they want. Have you ever thought one or more of these statements to be true? You're not alone.

LCBO stores raise funds for the Traffic Injury Research Foundation.
OTTAWA, July 27, 2006 - Starting August 1, the public can make donations to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) at all 600 LCBO stores throughout Ontario. Donation boxes for TIRF will be displayed at LCBO checkout counters until August 31.

Business of Insurance

Investment Management Industry Faces Unprecedented Change: PwC Survey.
LONDON - 03 JULY 2006 - The investment management sector will confront enormous challenges in investment performance, distribution and the recruitment and retention of talent over the next few years, but despite these demands, investment managers remain bullish about their future revenue growth, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers 2006 Global Investment Management Survey.

Insurers Respond Well To Challenges of IFRS, But Experimentation Leads to Less Clear Reporting: PwC Survey.
Toronto, July 24, 2006 - Major global insurers have responded well to the enormous challenge in moving to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and many companies have gone beyond the minimum of disclosure required to comply. However, while the reports are considerably longer and provide valuable information, a new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that many of the financial statements are less clear and harder to follow than before as a result of the experimentation in implementing some of the changes and the different approaches taken in their presentation.


AUGIE Survey: Agency Technology Having Big Payback for Many Agencies - By Jeff Yates, ACT Executive Director.
The USA Independent Agency AUGIE survey results are in, and they provide a great resource for agents and the industry regarding the progress we are making with agency technology, as well as the areas of continued inefficiency that the industry needs to address. This month we focus on the positive impact new technologies are having for many agencies. Over 7,500 independent agents, brokers, and wholesalers took part in the survey, and 4,000 completed it, giving us a very comprehensive look at the issues.

Ranking the Vendors of Wealth Management Technology 2006: Data Consolidation - Report Published by Celent.
New York, NY, USA - July 11, 2006 - In a new report, Ranking the Vendors of Wealth Management Technology 2006: Data Consolidation, Celent compares five leading data consolidation solutions in the North American market. CashEdge and uMonitor lead the vendors serving the mass affluent segment (defined as less than US$1 million in investable assets), and Albridge Solutions tops the high net worth category, according to Celent.

Eastbridge Study Finds Employee Benefit Brokers Lead in Worksite Sales.
AVON, CONNECTICUT, USA (July 25, 2006) - According to Eastbridge Consulting Group's seventh annual U.S. Worksite Study, employee benefit brokers again claimed the largest percentage of worksite sales in 2005 of any single producer segment.

Marketing and the Market Place

IRC Estimates More Than 14 Percent of USA Drivers Are Uninsured.
June 28, 2006 MALVERN, Pa.- Across the United States, if someone is injured in an auto accident, the chances are about one in seven that the at-fault driver is uninsured. According to a recent Insurance Research Council (IRC) study, the estimated percentage of uninsured motorists increased nationally from 12.7 percent in 1999 to 14.6 percent in 2004. However, the magnitude of the uninsured motorists problem varied widely from state to state.

from Doug:

Around a Family Reunion (Hamilton, my wife's side) in Ottawa on the weekend we squeezed in a visit to the Museum of Civilisation for the Petra exhibit and to the Canadian War Museum. At the latter, we spent most of our time in the "Clash of Empires: The War that Made Canada 1754 - 1763" exhibit. It seemed strange to see George Washington fighting for the British in this Seven Years War, often called the French Indian War in North America. Winston Churchill said this War was really the first World War, as it spread across four continents. All aspects of the weekend surpassed our expectations - so much to see; so much to do.