Due to the increased concern and escalating circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19, IBAS has and will continue to take appropriate measures to protect our members, partners, and staff. We strongly encourage brokerages to take similar precautions. A few important notes:
The Government of Saskatchewan has setup a central COVID-19 section on its website, complete with the latest updates, symptom and treatment information, a self-assessment tool, as well as additional resources and guidance. The situation is evolving by the hour, so please visit the site often and adhere to its advice.
Ensure you have and communicate to your staff an internal strategy to minimize risk in your brokerage. While every business is different, some members have chosen to consider remote work and relaxed sick leave policies, employee rotations (keeping the same employees together to decrease cross-exposure), and plans to work with neighbouring brokerages in case one needs to close unexpectedly.
IBAS remains fully operational in support of its members. Staff can be reached during normal business hours by e-mail and phone. The physical office, however, will be open only on a very limited basis until further notice, so please call ahead if you are planning to come in.
Effective March 16, IBAS will not be conducting in-person CAIB examinations in the IBAS office until at least April 1. Emergency accommodations may be made to help facilitate the continuity of brokerage operations by contacting me directly. Remote examinations through the use of a qualified proctor will still be facilitated.
Last week, we announced that IBAS was cancelling the 2020 Saskatchewan Summit of Young Insurance Professionals, which was set for April 2 in Saskatoon. We will be sending a separate notice out to partners and registrants today to inform them that the 2020 Saskatchewan Insurance Dinner (April 28) and BMS Vendor Learning Session (April 29) — both in Regina — will also be cancelled. All paid registrations will be refunded.
While no decisions have been yet made around rescheduling, we are working closely with partners to ensure brokers have ample options and opportunities to obtain the necessary CE credit hours. IBAS — in conjunction with the Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba — has webinars currently scheduled for April 30 and May 19 that are eligible for two CE hours each.
The upcoming intake of CAIB 1 Immersion (May 2 – 9 in Saskatoon), IBAS Golf Tournament (June 16 in Warman), IBAS Charity Challenge (September 11 in Saskatoon), and IBAS Convention & AGM (October 28 & 29 in Regina) are all currently scheduled to proceed as planned, although we will continue to monitor the situation and advise members accordingly.
Please do not hesitate to register for any IBAS event or education session — we will always provide full refunds if the function is cancelled or if you choose to withdraw due to COVID-19 concerns.
As with many of your businesses, there is no doubt that IBAS will be significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the early days of these challenges, however, we have already been inspired by the support and generosity of our partners.
For example, many of our vendors — the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel in Saskatoon and the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Regina in particular — have gone above and beyond to minimize the effect of event cancellations on IBAS. Please consider supporting these venues when you are able.
Our sponsors have been incredible, too. As part of their respective annual IBAS partnership agreements, many carriers and industry suppliers had deliverables attached to events that have been cancelled; yet, these fine organizations have been especially flexible and accommodating in finding alternate paths forward. A special thank you to them for their outstanding commitments.
Finally, I’d like to remind you that IBAS is here to help in any way we are able during this difficult time. You can always reach me directly on my cell at (306) 380-3765 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions, or if we can lend a hand.
We will be sure to share information — including from SGI and other carriers — as it becomes available. Thank you in advance for your understanding. Take good care and stay healthy!
Chief Executive Officer
Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan