Growth and Gain

November 2013 Editorial

The Canadian P&C marketplace is often described as “mature,” which means every person and business that can, or should, have insurance probably already does. The conventional wisdom about a mature market is that the only way to grow, whether you’re a brokerage or an insurance company, is to take away some of your competitor’s business, or take away your competitors by acquiring them.

Indeed, consolidation is still a major factor in the industry. As this issue was going to press, Travelers closed its deal to acquire The Dominion, and on the brokerage side, we received word of no less than four acquisitions in less than a week. Acquisitions have also been a key success factor for the brokerages in “The Growth Gang” feature on page 23, which highlights some of the fastest growing companies from the P&C space on the PROFIT 500 list of Canada’s fastest growing companies.

The consolidation trend, however, should not obscure the fact that the Canadian P&C industry is healthy and growing. Over the last five years, annual Canadian GDP growth has averaged around a tepid 1.7%. At the same time, inflation in Canada has averaged around 1.8% between 2008 and 2012. But as the chart on page 32 demonstrates, premium spend has risen almost twice as fast over the same period, with some of the traditional lines of business seeing tremendous growth. This suggests to me that there will always be opportunities for organic growth. The challenge is in figuring out what the right opportunities are for your business, and creating the elbow room you need in the marketplace to muscle past your competitors and seize them.

It was with these goals in mind that we developed the agenda for our third annual Top Broker Summit, taking place December 2 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto. Rather than program yet another conference around broad industry issues, we built a day of education for brokers who want actionable intelligence on the most important set of issues faced by every one of them: how to grow their business, how to differentiate themselves from the competition, and how to develop winning business strategies that are sustainable for the long term.

For those of you attending in person, I look forward to discussing the thoughts and ideas that we will be sharing. For those of you who can’t make it, follow along on Twitter under the hashtag #CITBS13.

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Copyright 2013 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the November 2013 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

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