Intact focused on being an “international player”: IBAO 2017

The insurer acquired U.S.-based OneBeacon last month

Intact Insurance president Jean-Francois Blais discussed the company’s acquisition of U.S.-based specialty insurer OneBeacon at the IBAO Convention in Ottawa on Thursday.

“The theory when we were trying to build a vision for Intact was that we wanted to build a Canadian flagship company, and that means being a world-class insurer and also an international player,” Blais said.

He added that Canadian brokers could benefit from the cross-border business, particularly if they have locations in the U.S.

Related: Intact welcomes new exec, specialty products with closing of OneBeacon acquisition

“Over the long term, we believe there are significant growth opportunities and ways to deploy our expertise,” Blais said. “We’ve decided at Intact that we would focus on P&C. Some people say we could have stayed in Canada and diversified into other lines of business, but we believe in keeping our P&C expertise and using it in other countries.”

Blais also discussed the technological disruption happening in the insurance industry. He acknowledged that while the way brokers do business will change in the years ahead, brokers will continue to be a key business partner for Intact.

“There is room for a human being to be part of the business, and be as core [to the business] as technology going forward,” Blais said. “But let’s not fight technology. Let’s leverage technology, and maybe reposition what we do every day to create that customer experience.”

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