Canadian MGAs launching directory

Jan. 18, 2021 — THE CANADIAN Association of Managing General Agents is set to launch a portal to connect brokers and MGAs this month.

Its ‘Bridge MGA’ gateway will include all CAMGA members and will be the first comprehensive directory of Canadian MGAs.

MGAs will be able to update their product listings as often as they like, so brokers will have the most up-to-date information about what products each MGA is offering, CAMGA managing director Steve Masnyk told Thompson’s.

The portal is part of CAMGA’s efforts to create structure in the Canadian MGA sector, he said, and ensure that all members are operating at a gold standard level.

CAMGA has created a code of ethics, which is intended to set the tone for all of its members. The association has also partnered with the Insurance Institute of Canada to create a set of courses and a comprehensive exam that provides an official MGA designation.

The goal of those measures is to give insurers more incentive to deploy their capital with MGAs, Mr. Masnyk said.

“Once there’s more structure to the sector, the confidence and the trust factor will increase.”

Last year was a growth year for Canadian MGAs, and he said 2021 will likely continue in that direction.

Hard markets are generally positive for MGAs, as when insurers exit some lines of business, those lines are picked up by MGAs.

“I have a very positive outlook, and I suspect this is different from most other commentaries,” Mr. Masnyk said.

“Historically there is a dip in business written by MGAs after a hard market. However, I suspect this one will be different, because the more structured nature of the market and years of low interest rates will mean insurers will think twice about re-entering lines of business they had exited.”

Therefore, he believes business will stay with MGAs after  market conditions begin to soften.

“MGAs will become the natural home of some of these lines of business,” he said.

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