Canadian Underwriter

2023 Executive Outlook | Carol Jardine, Wawanesa

December 20, 2022   by Canadian Underwriter Staff

Carol Jardine

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Carol Jardine, president, Canadian P&C operations, Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company

Times are tough, and that’s when the insurance industry must show its strength and resilience.

For our customers, the price of everything is going up as governments’ financial tools to slow down inflation take their toll. For insurers, these pressures are compounded by climate change causing record losses, increased cost of repairs, as well as higher reinsurance costs. With the economic brakes being applied, the issues are complex. Add to this our talent shortage and we’re living through more than a perfect storm.

As an industry, we have survived big storms in the past. As a mutual, we will continue to invest in partnerships that enable us to serve families and businesses, while using our expertise and strength to make communities more resilient.

Investing in new technologies will make it easier for consumers to do business with us and we appreciate brokers who are making similar investments. We aim to create the simplest distance between insurers, brokers and our customers, enabling all P&C industry stakeholders to compete effectively and efficiently in a digital world. Developing APIs in partnership with brokers and creating digital links to help brokers meet our customers’ evolving expectations in all lines of business is expected. Brokers asked us to make small commercial business as easy as other lines of business; as an insurer, we’re obtaining CSIO Commercial Lines certification to deliver that technology.

Canadians need our risk management expertise to help manage their risk and reduce losses, especially those related to climate change. People may buy insurance for protection, but consumers also need our help before a disaster occurs. They want more value from the premiums they pay. We can provide that by:

  • Supporting local loss-prevention efforts, such as assisting wildfire prevention and mitigation activities
  • Working with municipalities to improve building codes, such as advocating for tornado straps to be installed in high-risk areas like Barrie, Ont.
  • Giving Canadians options to rebuild stronger homes following a loss, such as replacing roofs using hail-resistant shingles, as we have seen in Calgary

There is so much more we will do to give brokers and Canadians the information they need to prevent losses and protect their greatest assets. Now is the time for us to add more value to the insurance policies of Canadians, this means technology that enables better service, and helping Canadians increase their own resilience.