Canadian Underwriter

Paid Diverse risk management strategies are key to match Canada’s diverse economy

September 1, 2022   by Renato Rodrigues, Country Manager, AXA XL

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Having spent the past few months traveling across the country to, at last, meet in person with our team and clients and brokers, I was amazed not just by the beauty of the landscape and the warmth of the people, but by the vast diversity of the Canadian economy. Aside from the captivating cultural experiences that each province can provide, it is astonishing to see the uniqueness of sectors and industries all of which are facing uniquely evolving risks.

From the manufacturing industry of Québec to the tech and services upper middle market of British Columbia. From the agriculture and clean energy industries of Manitoba and Alberta to the shipping and tourism industries of Nova Scotia; Canada’s economy is as diverse as its’ people. And as the global and local economies recover from the Pandemic, C-Suites and risk managers throughout are looking for more and more specialized and adaptable insurance solutions.

Universal challenges

Inflation, talent shortages and all that these two challenges entail are top of mind for our partners across regions and sectors here in Canada.

After two and a half years of operating in a world of volatile logistics and growing inflation, companies are struggling to have a consistent valuation of their status in regard to supply chain, business interruptions, production and shipping timeframes, etc. Our own underwriters are finding it challenging to estimate costs of loss with ongoing evolving changes from inflation, covid and ongoing geo-political conflicts.

When it comes to finding and securing human resources, everyone agrees that competition for talent is unbelievable right now. Across the country I heard from businesses struggling to hire for all types of roles, be it construction workers or highly skilled tech professionals. Small and medium size companies are having to find creative ways to compete for what feels like a limited quantity of demanding candidates.

Specialized Solutions

As inflation and talent-related issues continue to evolve and impact businesses, we are finding that these key specialty insurance coverages are becoming essential:

Cyber: Cyber risk remains a major concern across companies and industries. More and more businesses are purchasing cyber insurance for the first time and increasing their limits as they become available in the market. From the news-grabbing cyber-attacks we all hear about to simple power outages that cause data loss and negatively impact business continuity. Risk managers from small and large companies alike are beginning to consider cyber related incidents a systematic risk.

Construction: As investments in infrastructure projects accelerate and the risks posed by supply chain disruption, climate change and talent shortage continue to impact project timeliness; companies are seeking creative approaches to mitigating risks.

Political Risk, Trade Credit and Commercial Bonds: With local and international banks and other financial institutions becoming more active, this niche coverage is gaining momentum with insureds seeking to move capital to invest overseas and to protect those investments.

Cautiously Optimistic

Despite pressing challenges posed across the board by inflation and talent shortages, my travels highlighted the resilient nature and overall health of Canada’s entrepreneurs, investors and communities.

It is clear to me and my team that the time to be out in the market, making the most of our expertise and data and analytics tools is now. And the way to do it is partnering hand in hand with our clients and brokers to continue evolving and adapting not only our insurance products but our approach to risk management. We remain optimistic about the possibilities for growth of this diverse economy and want to play an active role in helping Canadian organizations protect what matters most to them.