Insurance leader’s lessons learned from 2023, and strategies for 2024

Do increased mergers mean greater exposure?

Insurance leader’s lessons learned from 2023, and strategies for 2024

Commercial Solutions

By Desmond Devoy

This article was produced in partnership with CNA Canada.

Desmond Devoy, of Insurance Business Canada, spoke with Krista Clair, assistant vice president, commercial lines underwriting, for CNA Canada, about the lessons to be learned from 2023, what brokers can look out for in 2024, and insurance tools necessary to weather the storm.

It’s been a year of technological change – but, as 2024 looms on the horizon, that doesn’t mean the need for the human touch has been lost according to one insurance leader. 

For example, the year saw demographics change, not only with new Canadians arriving, but also an aging population overall, meaning developing and engaging talent from all backgrounds became a top priority.

Learning the lessons of 2023

One of the lessons that Krista Clair (pictured), assistant vice president, commercial lines underwriting, for CNA Canada, has taken away from the last year is the continued need to manage talent resourcing by ensuring skill sets meet the needs of the company portfolio and growth targets.

Clair noted that since Canadian clients and offices have settled into the hybrid working environment, there is a need to remain flexible. This means that there needs to be “ongoing and intentional, in-person engagement with our business partners,” she said.

She suggested that for larger meetings, having an understanding of business partner anchor days will ensure valuable attendance while in other circumstances looking for the most convenient location for both parties can be sufficient to take advantage of the opportunity to meet in person.

What to keep an eye on for 2024

So what does she see the market doing in 2024?

Not surprisingly, she sees continued investment in data analytics and AI, “making meaningful impacts on the operational efficiencies of the industry.”

There will also likely be an increase in mergers and acquisitions activity, leading to larger controlling entities. The impact from this activity could be larger revenue producing entities holding greater accumulations of assets and the potential for more significant business interruption risks.  

This is a risk the insurer is determined to get ahead of.

“At CNA Canada, we offer an industry-leading business income form that combines profits and extra expenses, utilizing a period of restoration rather than an indemnity period,” Clair explained.

How can brokers adapt in 2024?

So what should brokers be focusing their attention on heading into 2024?

Clair pointed to business resiliency planning for policyholders, taking into consideration supply chain management, diversification, and climate change, as well as staying abreast of the impact of inflation, and ensuring insurance brings value. This could mean the diversification of client portfolios, knowing that one-size will not fit all needs as clients grapple with financial constraints; or guiding clients through risk mitigation as they look to minimize any fallouts should the worst happen.

The cost-of-living crisis has had an impact on insureds, with an inflation rate of 6.8% in 2022 (compared to 3.4% in 2021 and only 0.72% in 2020. It sits at an estimated 3.62% as we end 2023 according to Statista.)

Clair is aware of these impacts, and offers this advice for brokers looking to help their clients.

“As the costs of goods continue to rise, it’s natural to look for ways to bring expenses down,” she said. “This brings the opportunity for carriers and brokers to sit down with our mutual clients to understand what questions they have about their coverage, what keeps them awake at night and ensuring our clients see the value of having appropriate coverages in place for their operations.”

CNA Canada has a wide variety of products and services to help clients deal with the year ahead, through its comprehensive OneWorld+® solution, designed to be combined with automobile fleet, its modular management and professional liability policy, Epack 3®, marine and international admitted capabilities.

It also has a robust PrepWise® program, a suite of impactful tools and actionable risk management resources with customized service tailored to policyholders’ unique exposures and opportunities. The company also has its own dedicated risk control team, which helps policyholders identify exposures using cutting edge technology and deep insurance expertise. To find out more click here.

“As clients grow and diversify, CNA Canada’s risk control professionals will provide valuable resources to support their risk mitigation efforts,” Clair said. “We continue to evaluate changing marketplace conditions due to external factors, as well as broker feedback we have received, and to adapt our products and services.”

Clair reiterates the need for insurers to apply the lessons learned this year to plan ahead for 2024. The importance of remaining flexible and malleable to new changes while supporting brokers and clients through deep expertise and knowledge looks to remain prevalent moving forward.

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