Canadian Underwriter

2018 Outlook: Jean-Francois Blais, President, Intact Insurance

December 29, 2017   by Jean-Francois Blais

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*Editor’s Note:  Jean-Francois Blais retires as Intact President effective Jan. 1, 2018. His contribution to our 2018 CEO Outlook pre-dated his retirement announcement.

The insurance industry is facing potential disruption. Insurers are tackling several longer-term trends including the sharing economy, more connected consumers and products, the development of autonomous vehicles, the growing threat of cyber attacks, and the reality of changing weather patterns. This presents insurers with unique opportunities to do things differently, from transforming their operations and becoming advocates for change, to redefining the customer experience.

Insurers are leveraging technology, big data, and artificial intelligence to revolutionize underwriting, pricing, claims, and new product development. Looking ahead, it will be important to explore how these tools can be applied across their operations, including sales and service as well as social media. Taking this holistic approach will help the industry and its employees work smarter, improve agility and foster innovation.

The technological tools mentioned above should also be used to strengthen the customer experience. The experience we provide customers should be fast, simple, effortless and empathetic, whether it’s through mobile, in person or on social media.

Crucially, insurers and brokers must demonstrate the value they can provide at every point of the customer journey, from helping customers break down the complexity of insurance to providing them with support where and when they need it.

Read More: Jean-Francois Blais speaks at Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) 2017 Convention

Current challenges in auto insurance provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase broker expertise through consultation. Insurers have an opportunity to introduce new solutions such as usage-based insurance to personalize the experience. By helping customers understand the value of insurance, we can strengthen our role as trusted advisors and help customers manage these changes.

Looking at 2018, our operating environment will continue to become more disruptive and present new opportunities. Insurers and brokers must design new ideas and solutions to leverage these changes, and remain committed to enriching the customer experience.