Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company Goes Live with eDocs, Obtaining CSIO Certification for Personal and Commercial Lines of Business

Hubio, a provider of technology solutions for P&C insurers, is pleased to announce that Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company has obtained CSIO Certification for both Personal and Commercial Lines eDocs. They are now able to download Personal and Commercial Lines electronic documents to multiple broker management systems including Applied TAM/EPIC, Keal, CIMData, CSSI The Broker Workstation and PowerBroker.

Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company provides commercial, farm, personal property and liability insurance, as well as excess auto insurance. Exclusively broker-based, they have invested in a download solution in order to assist brokers in managing their customers’ needs. Now that CSIO has provided certification for Personal and Commercial Lines, Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company is now able to offer brokers eDoc capabilities across all their lines of business.

Laura Wiebe, President of Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company stated, “Over the past several years we have been making major investments to upgrade our technology, and promote broker ease-of-doing-business. We completed the upgrade to our enterprise system and now are able to deliver solutions to help our broker partners compete. eDocs download represents one element of our investment, and we are planning further efforts to ensure we remain competitive.”

Matina Kipouros, Vice President Underwriting & Marketing at Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company added, “Our team was able to take eDocs live quickly, and we are pleased with the effort from Hubio. They are a leader in broker connectivity technology, and we are very happy with the solution.”

The eDocs download meets CSIO standards and is CSIO certified. Catherine Smola, President & CEO at CSIO commented, “I am very pleased that Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company has successfully implemented an eDocs solution that follows CSIO standards, and provides eDocs for both Personal and Commercial lines of business.”

Hubio technology is in use in many eDocs projects across Canada. Hubio technology connects brokers with insurers to improve competitiveness, enhance policyholder satisfaction, and gain overall efficiencies.

About Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company

Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company is a federally licensed insurer operating successfully in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Head Office is located in Saskatoon, with service offices in Calgary, Regina and Winnipeg. As a mutual property and casualty company, Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance is owned by its policyholders and its profits are reinvested to help keep premium rates low. The Company has remained successful over the years and has never lost sight of its primary objective set out in 1908 – to provide the best service it possibly could to its policyholders.

About Hubio

Hubio digital solutions connect P&C insurers to the outside world, communicating with brokers, policy holders, and third parties through technology to drive growth, reduce costs and pursue improved customer interaction. Hubio has provided solutions to Canadian insurers for over 15 years.

About Centre for Study of Insurance Operations (CSIO)

CSIO is Canada’s industry technology association of property and casualty insurers, software providers and over 36,000 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 eDocs, Telematics, eDelivery and eSignatures. In addition, CSIO operates CSIOnet, a secure, industry-owned platform for the efficient exchange of policy information for the broker channel. CSIO maintains offices in Toronto and Montreal. For more information, visit

For more information about Hubio, contact David Gallagher:

For more information about CSIO Certification, contact Sarina Visram:

Broker-based insurers need to modernize and upgrade their portals

For the past few years, Broker Owners, Producers, and CSRs have made their insurer partners aware of their needs for new, better technology solutions that:

1. Enable them to start and end transactions within their broker management system
2. Provide a better portal experience

Upload and download solutions linking brokers and carriers have been the outcome of the first need. For personal lines including home and auto policies, most insurers have invested to better integrate systems.

Direct writers have invested a much larger percentage of their time and funding to create a better portal experiences creating new policyholder portals that are fast, intuitive, and connected to multiple third-party sources to pre-populate and accelerate much of the information collection process. This technology has been a critical element in their strong growth in recent years and has helped direct writers gain competitive advantage and grow their personal lines book. In particular, they have been able to secure new younger policyholders, and develop loyal, satisfied customers.

At the recent Insurance-Canada Technology Conference, Hubio spoke about how broker-based insurers can gain back lost momentum.

What are three essential steps for broker-based insurers to successfully compete?

1) Establish a Digital Strategy

Broker-based insurers need to clearly articulate how they can meet their business goals in a digital domain. It is much more than a response to brokers requests (although that is part of the answer), instead it is a need to establish how to meet their competitive, growth and profitability goals digitally.

Broker-based distribution strategy is more complex, with more moving parts so the digital strategy must support multiple audiences, multiple views and access points, and have efficient, streamlined integration between systems.

2) Align with your brokers

Digital strategies help to improve business operation and can positively impact insurers’ relationships with policyholders and distribution channel partners. Brokers will have greater flexibility and opportunity to change their product focus, and may want to change the basis of the existing partnership.

As policyholders expect digital access, any strategy must address these needs and technology solutions must work for all parties in an integrated manner.

3) Focus on your areas of strength

Direct writers have established dominance in commoditized lines of business. Broker-based insurers can challenge this dominance by focusing on their areas of strength that may include non-commoditized markets where:

  • pricing is variable;
  • coverages can vary;
  • multiple products need to be grouped; and
  • where end-users want interaction, assistance and explanation.

It also means focusing on areas where brokers are strong, and can differentiate insurers’ solutions. For instance, for many commercial and specialty lines in which the sales and customer service components are a priority, the broker-based insurers have a distinct advantage.

Digitization is an opportunity for all levels of the insurance supply chain, if you would like to hear about our presentation, please contact David Gallagher:

How portal adoption can accelerate your digital strategy #ICTC2017

Agent and Broker Portals are critical components in P&C insurers’ digital strategy. As insurers work to provide an enhanced digital experience across the entire distribution management life cycle, portals are at the centre of the experience.

While almost every insurer has an agent portal in place, we are seeing a rise in modernization as they now seek to replace and upgrade first generation technology that provided only a partial solution to their needs. As noted in EY’s whitepaper entitled Beyond the Agency Portal, “Agent portals have become a hot technology in P&C insurance circles after years of relative neglect.”

At the upcoming 2017 Technology Conference on February 28th, Hubio’s Phil Henville, the Head of Canadian Operations, will speak on the topic in What Lessons Can Broker-Based Insurers Draw From Direct Carriers?”. One of the key lessons pertains to the direct writer’s creation of a superior digital experience, anchored by a portal that responds to the needs of brokers, policyholders, and potential new customers.

What lessons can we learn from direct carriers?

In the North American market, independent agents and brokers have seen their market share steadily decrease over the past 20+ years as direct writers have invested heavily in their digital presence, and grown their market share.  Phil will expand on what are they doing right, and how insurers with an independent  broker or agent distribution channel can use technology to compete. He will explore how direct writers have created effective business processes that engage prospects, provide policyholders superior service, and offer the right policies to the right people at the right time and price.

Improve your digital experience

Digital insurance leaders are providing the broker channel with choices that fit with how producers, and CSR’s want to interact with them. This includes technology to handle uploads and downloads from their systems; the creation of staging and viewing areas for review and edit; and a user interface that is user-friendly, easily processed, refined and enhanced.

Our team will be exhibiting at the conference, ready to learn and discuss the importance of new portal technology. Come stop by and discover how Hubio is developing the next generation solution to deliver speed, integration, and an easy-to-use solution.

More than 70% of insurers are replacing or upgrading their portals in order to improve the ease of doing business for an agent [1] – stay ahead, speak to Hubio.

Contact us or call  +1 416 649 0305


[1] Celent report: 2016 North American PC Portal Solutions

How can Hubio help Guidewire Customers?

As a new Guidewire Solutions partner, we recently attended the Guidewire Connections 2016 conference in San Francisco, California. Everyone we met wanted us to explain what it meant to be a Guidewire partner, and how it could help them.

So what does it mean to be an insurance solution partner?

Alongside our core insurance solutions, we also have award-winning modular solutions that can surround core platforms and work to enhance their capabilities, making life easier and smooth for insurers. Our solutions empower insurers to drive their business growth and work effectively with third-party core solutions like Guidewire’s Insurance suite.

As a result, Hubio sought partnerships, so that these products and services could be used with other vendors. We recently partnered with Guidewire to develop pre-built accelerator solutions for two products – Regulatory Statistical Reporting and Usage Based Insurance (UBI) solutions.

1. Regulatory Statistical Reporting:

Hubio has developed the number one solution for the Canadian market that works with core Policy and Claims systems, and transforms and manages the data to meet regulatory statistical reporting obligations. As market leader, the Hubio solution is proven, reduces risk, and allows insurers to focus on other core activities. Collaborating with Guidewire, Hubio is developing an accelerator that works with native Guidewire code to ensure accurate, timely, fast reporting. With the integration to Guidewire’s platform complete, customers need only worry about the data transfer to the third party system, something Hubio understands completely.

2. Usage Based Insurance:

Having been recognised by PTOLEMUS as a top global telematics provider, we are working with Guidewire to develop an accelerator that enables insurers with Guidewire PolicyCenter to take advantage of Hubio’s award-winning telematics platform.

Telematics is transforming the insurance industry

During his keynote speech at Guidewire Connections, David Stevens, Chief Executive Officer at Admiral hailed telematics as a game changer. He has already seen the impact of telematics data on pricing models and claims experience with Admiral’s UBI program and said: “Never have I come across anything as fundamentally transformative as this.” At Hubio, we understand that this technology has the ability to change every aspect of the insurance value chain as we know it – read our analysis here: Usage based insurance (UBI): a game-changer for insurers

Partnerships help us grow

At the conference, Marcus Ryu, CEO at Guidewire highlighted the importance of partnerships for Guidewire and Hubio is very excited to be working with them to develop solutions that help insurers better meet their needs. The partnership currently applies for North America customers but we have already gained interest from global insurers for broader coverage so watch this space!

If you want to learn more, why not get in touch? We’ll explain how the Hubio – Guidewire accelerators can provide enormous value to almost every insurance carrier. Contact us today.

Hubio is attending Guidewire Connections 2016

Having recently joined the Guidewire PartnerConnect program, we are excited to be attending our first Guidewire User Conference – Connections 2016 in San Francisco on October 24th-27th.

The conference brings together insurance companies who use Guidewire applications as well as representatives from technology suppliers such as Hubio, who provide solutions that complement and enhance the Guidewire core offerings.

Faster, smarter, easier for insurance carriers

This partnership enables Guidewire and Hubio to work together in two distinct areas:

The first addresses insurance carriers’ needs to complete their regulatory filing requirements using a pre-built accelerator integrating Guidewire PolicyCenter and ClaimCenter with Hubio’s reporting solution.

The second enables carriers to deploy Hubio’s award-winning telematics program through the development of a pre-built accelerator to integrate Hubio’s UBI solution with Guidewire PolicyCenter.

Integrating core insurance systems with the outside world is one of Hubio’s strengths, and we’re excited to be able to help Guidewire customers in North America develop faster, cost-effective, more complete solutions. We’re developing pre-built accelerators that will take Hubio’s proven technology and integrate it with Guidewire, to give insurance customers a tried and tested solution.

The first accelerator will provide measurable improvements to previous practices, and deliver insurers higher degrees of accuracy, completeness and reliability. As the accelerator is pre-built, and vetted by both Guidewire and Hubio, customers can rest easy that it delivers exactly as promised.

Talk to us at Guidewire Connections 2016

Phil Henville, who heads our Hubio Canada Group, and David Gallagher of our sales team, will be attending the conference. Why not get in touch and schedule a meeting? We’d love to talk to you about growth opportunities with this partnership and how we can make your life easier!



Phil Henville

David Gallagher

Port in a Storm

A reprint from Canadian Underwriter magazine, published June 2016

By Tracy MacDonald, Vice President, Corporate Services, Trillium Mutual Insurance Company. Trillium Mutual is a long-time Hubio client, and use Hubio  broker portal and connectivity technology solutions.

Farm portals are an example of an underserved market. Although the number of farms has declined, with the right investment in technology, including in portals, the farm insurance business holds considerable promise for mutual and general insurers alike.

For many Canadian insurers, particularly for mutuals, it all started on the farm. Mutuals, and even insurers focused on other markets, count farm insurance as an important part of their businesses.

However, over the years, as the country urbanized, and as other insurance markets grew, farm insurance shrunk in numbers and in priority.

While automobiles, new homes and new businesses have increased over time, the number of farms has decreased. This has had an impact on investments in insurance technology, with broker connectivity and portal solutions provider Hubio reporting that farm business has received less new technology than the more commoditized personal lines products, in which automation could be more easily replicated.

Farms have historically not received the same level of technology investment, Hubio notes. As a result, farms and agribusiness customers can face slower processing times to get new business quotes, incur delays in getting answers to their insurance questions, experience lags in updating their policies and renewals, and may see potential inaccuracies as a result of human errors.

While farm numbers are down, farm and agribusiness production is at an all-time high. Statistics Canada figures show that farm cash receipts were up 11.2% to $49.2 billion in 2011, attributable mainly to an increase in crop receipts that make up more than half of total farm receipts.

The Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies notes that in 1940, there were approximately 750,000 farms in Canada compared to 175,000 today. But acreage farmed per farm has increased from an estimated 200 acres in 1940 to 850 acres today. As well, income per farm continues to rise, with more than half of farms generating over $1 million in annual revenue in 2016.

Slightly less than 20% of the gross written premium (GWP) of Canada’s mutual insurers is generated by farms and agribusiness. For mutuals to succeed, they will need to make new technology investments to keep pace with user demands.

In many cases, new technology has been developed, and solutions are lower cost and more functionally rich than ever before. These solutions include upgrades to policy administration solutions to properly capture and manage the new types of farm assets, new liability coverages and the ability to handle agribusinesses.

For example, while hand-milking equipment used to cost hundreds of dollars and was captured as a general field on the policy, now computerized milking costs can exceed $500,000 per station, requiring specific policy treatments. Combines, tractors, seeders and sprayers, for their parts, are more specialized than the family car, and can each cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Other solutions include enabling brokers to evaluate new farm business and quote/secure new business online via mobile devices at a farm site.

At present, much of this activity is done manually. Unlike personal lines auto and home, much farm business relies on rating books and manual look-ups.

Portals that allow brokers to input complete underwriting details on a new farm policy – be that a family farm or a complex agribusiness – can be implemented quickly and cost-effectively. This helps to improve accuracy of data, generate faster response times and apply underwriting rules more consistently, while also providing wider access and ease of doing business.

Integrating these portals with a company’s policy system – and across the organization – is now affordable, and offers real-time interaction. Such integration is as relevant for farm insurance as any other line of business.

Trillium Mutual, for example, initiated its new farm portal project because brokers clearly indicated they needed better technology to meet their farm underwriting needs. While farm business has one of the highest retention rates for insurance companies, it was recognized that not only changing demographics within farm ownership, but also within the brokers serving farms, necessitated the move to new technology to maintain high retention rates and ensure customer satisfaction.

In terms of return on investment, this is an area where significant gains can be realized immediately. Investing in new technology could help brokers and farm customers have a more positive digital experience when interacting with insurers.

Beyond operational benefits, it is expected that improvements in broker and customer satisfaction would lead to increased business and stronger loyalty.

An additional plus may be the positive gains achieved within a company’s own underwriting team, since members will have access to more information, and be connected to agents, brokers and, in some cases, farm or business owners.

Getting Brokers Engaged

Some brokers may prefer to do business by starting and ending transactions within their broker management systems (BMSs). But for farm policies, most BMSs cannot handle the breadth of coverages and capture the overall information required. This means submissions are often done manually via paper forms.

As well, while a BMS can capture details on some farm buildings, the process is oftentimes disjointed and inefficient.

As such, brokers may view investing in a quote/new business submission/endorsement portal as positive, especially where partial upload from the BMS is also supported whenever possible.

Farm portals enable a broker to provide all the information necessary for a new business quote. This can be done in a broker office, but is much better at the farm location, via laptop or tablet.

Using refinements in questioning and data capture, the information presented can vary depending on coverages offered without bogging down the process.

The more intuitive and easy-to-use the system is, the higher the usage rates. Brokers would likely view an awkward system that is difficult to use and understand as worse than no solution at all.

Automation of this stage in new business standardizes what is collected, and greatly assists in pre-qualifying risks. When compared to paper-based options, the speed of processing is improved, the accuracy is upgraded, the underwriting rules are applied more consistently, and the experience is much improved.

“The technology allows us to save time in our quoting process, alleviates pressure on our (Trillium Mutual’s) underwriters and, most importantly, delivers new business to our clients at an accelerated rate,” says Jeff Gerber, agriculture manager for Zehr Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“From quote to new business submissions, the transfer of data is accurate and time-efficient. Nice touch on being able to save the quotes for an extended period of time. This saves enormous time on re-quoting,” Gerber adds.

But farm portals are not simply about introducing new technology; their success will depend on both promoting and generating usage.

As such, it is essential to design proper roll-out plans that include frequent communication, training and a support desk to handle any broker concerns.

Technology does not replace the face-to-face interaction between a broker and farm customer. Instead, portal technology offers the promise of complementing the interaction, providing a tool to complete a transaction more accurately and efficiently. The popular “what-if” scenarios, which were impossible to address in manual systems, can be queried and modelled in real time.

Importance of Underwriters

Underwriters cannot be forgotten in discussions around the need for technology. Providing underwriters with complete, accurate information enables them to more efficiently underwrite new farm business. A farm portal can help facilitate this, and depending on the insurer processes, can be used to enable underwriter/broker and underwriter/customer interactions.

Portals can allow underwriters to enter new business using technology provided by technology partners. By capturing more data and more detail, for example, this data can be analyzed to improve offerings and the accuracy of ratings.

Portals can further be used to collect greater detail than that required by a company’s policy administration system.

This information could be captured, stored within the content management system and be available to help with underwriting issues, thereby allowing underwriters to better understand the market and be able to better determine what new coverages can be offered.

Current manual systems cannot guide brokers about what to look for. One Ontario-based mutual insurer indicated that as older brokers retire, gone is the vast amount of information they have collected over the years.

That information has proved key for accurately underwriting risks on a farm property. As the guard is changing in the sector, newer brokers will require online tools to help them identify risks.

It is time for insurers to invest in technology solutions to make sure that farm customers receive the best solutions the insurance industry can offer.

Farm insurance grows through Hubio’s portal

Farm insurance can make a seriously profitable book with long-term, repeat customers – but the price of loyalty in this competitive market is quality service. Hubio’s Farm Builder portal has been developed to provide insurers with the tools to quote and bind agribusiness with new levels of speed, ease and accuracy.

Trillium Mutual can attest to the benefits – this Canadian insurer has seen its farm portfolio grow by more than 15% last year alone since it gained the ability to record data and generate quotes quickly and remotely. The implementation of the solution, on time and within budget, also resulted in recognition at the Insurance Canada Technology Awards.

Hubio began working with Trillium – which writes personal, automotive, home and small commercial lines, as well as farm insurance – when the insurer recognized that its agriculture business needed a technology boost: much was still being done on paper, which resulted in delays, errors and omissions.

Farm Builder has revolutionized the way insurers like Trillium do business, and was developed after Hubio asked insurers what benefits they would most value from a portal solution. They listed:

  • Speed – the ability to quote and close the deal in person, on location, in minutes
  • Ease of use – making life easy for policyholders and employees/brokers
  • Accuracy – based on formalized underwriting and data requirements
  • More business – a solution that would help generate real commercial growth

These benefits and more are now available to farm insurers such as Trillium, as the company’s Angela Smith confirms: “Our underwriters now start farm transactions in the portal, as it is easy-to-use, easy-to-learn, and stores a complete record of the farm accounts.

Suitable for multi-site agribusiness policies or family farm insurance, Farm Builder’s flexibility helps widen its effectiveness, with implementation possible straight out of the box or following customization to meet specific needs. It can be integrated with your core systems, while brokers can use it alongside other providers’ operating portals.

Trillium’s use of the Hubio farm portal has helped to significantly grow its portfolio and gain prestigious award recognition alongside much larger providers – contact us today to see how we can help to build your farm insurance proposition.