Insurtech QC: Propelling the digital transformation of Canada’s insurance industry in Québec City

Panel at Insurtech by Québec Numérique
Québec Numérique

Insurtech QC, an event dedicated to bringing together insurance industry leaders in Canada, insurance companies, and technology experts, was held on April 15, 2021, as part of Québec City’s Semaine numériQC, which are week-long conferences organized each year in April that focus on the latest innovations and best practices in all things digital.

The 2021 Insurtech QC was a resounding success,” explained Carole-Ann Labrie, Marketing Communications Advisor at  Québec numérique, the driving force behind Semaine numériQC and Insurtech QC. It was the perfect platform to help insurers strategize for the next steps in their digital transformations.

Insurtech QC: One virtual event. Multiple tech sessions.

Insurtech QC 2021 was chockful of conferences dedicated to a variety of on-trend topics that address the pressing needs of insurers across Canada, including cybersecurity resilience, artificial intelligence (AI), how connected self-driving vehicles are changing the insurance landscape, and strategies to building a culture of innovation.

According to Ms. Labrie, these types of sessions are critical for the insurance industry in 2021 and beyond. “Insurance companies around the world are grappling with numerous challenges,” she explained.

“Whether its dealing with new competitors, such as Amazon, improving data analytics practices, using AI and automation to fight commoditization, or staving off cyberthreats, insurers have a lot work on their hands to ramp up their digital transformations to overcome these challenges. We believe events, like Insurtech QC, bring compelling solutions and ideas to the table.”

The proof? Insurtech QC has been hosted annually for several years in Québec City. It is a testament to Québec City’s tight-knit ecosystem between its insurance/financial services and high-tech sectorstwo of the city’s key industries that bring together cutting-edge expertise and world-renowned performance.

In addition, during Insurtech, time was allotted for a pitch battle—a contest between insurtech start-ups to present their businesses and technology to insurers. The jury, made up of renowned names in the industry, awarded prizes of up to $10,000 for the best pitches. 

Québec City: An insurance capital in Canada

Québec City has developed a strong insurance and financial services sector, ranking top among Canadian cities. Companies and organizations have opted for Québec as their headquarters, creating a thriving ecosystem that allows innovations to take root and events in this sector to be held in the heart of a dynamic destination.

Despite Insurtech QC being virtual in 2021 due to the pandemic, Québec City has always been the ideal host city for conventions and conferences related to the global insurance industry.

Québec City is a leader in the insurance and financial services sector, second only to Toronto on a national scale. Many major health and life insurance companies are headquartered or have major satellite offices in Québec City and Lévis, employing nearly 12,000 people in the region alone—or 48% of all employees in the country. This inevitably means that decisions made in Québec City ripple across Canada. It is also the reason why the Greater Québec City Area is fondly known as the “Hartford of the North.”

“While insurance companies in Québec City may compete for customers, there is nevertheless a lot of cooperation between them,” added Ms. Labrie. “Québec City’s insurance hub, so to speak, is exceptionally innovative and based on a very entrepreneurial mindset. This coopetition is driving significant investments and business in the area. It is also attracting international events as Québec City is deemed by the worldwide insurance industry as forward-thinking player.”

Another factor that comes into play when organizations select Québec City as the host destination for insurance conferences and conventions is the extensive research and thorough programs in finance, insurance and real estate at Université Laval. There are actually 25 unique and modern programs, which are available at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level. All are continuously upgraded to remain on the leading edge of the industry’s ever-evolving landscape.

Ann Cantin, Director of Marketing and Communication, Québec City Business Destination believes that Québec City will continue to be an important host city for insurance events for years to come. “Québec City has developed a strong insurance and financial services sector, ranking top among Canadian cities. Companies and organizations have opted for Québec as their headquarters, creating a thriving ecosystem that allows innovations to take root and events in this sector to be held in the heart of a dynamic destination.”

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