The Insurance Brokers Association of New Brunswick (IBANB) board has voted to suspend a longstanding sponsorship partnership with property and casualty insurer Aviva Canada over its direct-to-consumer distribution strategy, announced the association March 29.
The move follows the decision by The Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) in January to suspend its relationship with Aviva over the concern.
In its announcement, the IBANB says it believes Aviva’s activities are detrimental to both consumers and brokers.
IBANB says it first sent a letter to Aviva in August of 2015 to express its concerns and displeasure with Aviva’s announcement of its Digital Direct strategy. However, there has been no change in direction “with respect to the branding of their direct to consumers product,” says IBANB’s statement. “In fact, since 2015, Aviva’s acquisition and partnership with RBC and the more recent partnership with Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment (MLSE) have increased brokers’ concerns with the direction in which Aviva continues to go.”
The IBANB says multi-channel use of the same brand creates confusion among consumers “over what Aviva Insurance is and who services the account in the event of a claim. It is also of great concern to brokers who have been an integral part of growing the Aviva brand through their brokerages. Having a business partner compete against you, with the same brand you have helped build, does not sit well with brokers,” states the IBANB.
The IBANB says it is continuing an ongoing dialogue with Aviva in the hope of finding mutually acceptable solutions to this issue.