The end of every year is a time for contemplation. It’s a period that offers us the opportunity to remember events of the last 12 months and learn the lessons they imparted, but at the same time, to look ahead and use those lessons to propel us towards growth.
2022 has brought immense challenges to the insurance industry. Economic uncertainty, rising costs, and lengthy supply chain delays impacted every line of business in different ways. Acute talent shortages, adjusting to hybrid or fully remote work models, and attaining better diversity and inclusion (D&I) were some of the issues that organizations grappled with.
But if there’s any industry that can take risks and downsides and turn them into opportunities, it’s insurance. Chief executives of several insurance and insurtech organizations that have spoken to Insurance Business are mindful of the work ahead but are also bullish about the future, acknowledging the creativity, resilience, integrity, and compassion of its professionals.
A few leaders from the US and Canada have shared the word they think best encapsulates the unique mission of the insurance industry in the year ahead:
“There have always been times of economic uncertainty, catastrophes, turmoil, consolidation, and evolution. The industry, and specifically the independent agent channel, has always come through. They have adapted and succeeded by keeping the customer at the forefront. They’ve always focused on how to best serve their customers, and they've been able to use that resiliency to overcome hurdles over the long history of this industry. I think they have always been resilient and going into 2023, they will continue to be.”
“Climate risk is going to be a huge focus next year because it affects even traditional insurance. Hurricanes like Ian have revealed tremendous interest for parametric coverage. Next year is about the insurance industry embracing new types of coverage, new technologies to close the growing coverage gap for floods and other catastrophes. If there's one trend that the insurance industry needs to focus on, it’s climate risk. But it’s falling behind in meeting that coverage gap using just traditional methods.”
“Through all the uncertainty in the marketplace, the industry is evolving to best meet our consumers’ needs and evolving to better fill in those protection gaps. We are evolving as we seek diversity and inclusion, to be the place where people want to work.”
“We’re experiencing a lot of pressure right now from inflation and natural catastrophes. As a result of those issues, insurers will find challenges with reinsurance pricing and availability. I think companies need to anticipate what those pressures might do to their business, because we can't necessarily turn on a dime. It's incumbent on carriers to anticipate how their company is going to perform under certain levels of stress from some of these pressures, and to ensure that you're fine-tuning your organization to be successful.”
There is an abounding amount of opportunity across the spectrum and in every part of insurance. Whether you're looking to work in claims, be an underwriter, or if you're great at sales, there is opportunity in our industry for everyone. For every company, there's opportunity to get better and grow.
We all want to believe we are post-COVID, and I think to a certain degree we are. But I don't think [the pandemic] is fully in the rear view. We need consumers to start to seeing travel insurance the same way as car insurance or home insurance, where it just becomes a natural part of their planning. It’s necessary for anybody to protect an asset, and the trip is an asset. It's something that you've that you've invested time, money, and high emotion in.
But also, travel insurance is less about sending our people into the world; it’s about how the world will receive them in their travels. Some markets were debilitated by the impacts of COVID-19. They're just rebuilding their service elements. So, it’s necessary for US and Canadian travellers to be insured to take the burden off the medical programs in those countries.