Canadian Underwriter

2023 Executive Outlook | Valérie Lavoie, Desjardins

December 21, 2022   by Canadian Underwriter Staff

Valerie Lavoie

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Valérie Lavoie, president, COO, Desjardins General Insurance Group

Streamlining interactions with clients and effectively managing talent in our organization are both essential to ensure our clients’ experience with us remains positive and meaningful — those are our top priorities in 2023.

Our clients’ expectations couldn’t be clearer: they want to interact with us efficiently through the channel of their choice. They want to come away from those interactions with excellent, competitively priced products and services. But the inflationary environment can’t be ignored, and innovation remains essential for the industry to thrive and attract talent in the current labour market.

From quotes to claims payouts, incorporating creative, flexible approaches and solutions that respond quickly and efficiently to clients at every stage of the relationship is key.

Digital is an essential channel in our strategy and using artificial intelligence to streamline processes offers intriguing possibilities. Technology also enhances the long-term relationships we’re building, by getting honest and open client feedback. We can then use this information to facilitate client interactions, whether they are on the phone, online or in person, making our products and services further accessible.

User-friendly apps and prevention tools will continue to gain relevance. Other digital initiatives such as user-based insurance will keep benefitting our clients, particularly as inflation continues to impact pocketbooks in the housing market, at the gas pump and in the grocery store. Consumers and insurers alike are feeling the impact of these higher costs.

Supply chain disruptions have affected the price and the speed at which suppliers and clients can find auto parts and building materials. We’re working hard on short- and long-term adjustments that will make the auto-repair process easier for our clients and help reduce longer wait times based on supply and labour constraints.

The labour market is a challenge across the industry, as unemployment rates remain low. Attraction and retention strategies need to include challenges new talent may wish to tackle, while also signalling our commitment to act on societal issues, which younger cohorts view as an organizational asset.

Employee experience is key. We need to understand our employees’ expectations and demonstrate flexibility in meeting them where we can.