We began 2020 by launching our Next Horizon business plan, the most ambitious strategy we’ve ever undertaken. With Next Horizon, we’re essentially rebuilding Gore Mutual and transforming our organization in a way that will redefine our place in the industry.
The economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has made some organizations change paths, but straying from our Next Horizon plans has never been an option. In many ways, we’ve accelerated our investment in strategic initiatives to innovate our way out of the crisis. The pandemic has shown that digital connectivity is more important than ever. Over the next two years, we’ll invest the equivalent of what we previously would have spent over a decade to replace all of our platforms and create best-in-class broker and customer connectivity.
The pandemic also influenced our thinking about attracting and accommodating talent. We’ve now adopted a hybrid work model that embraces both physical and virtual environments, enabling us to strengthen our teams with specialized talent from across the country to scale our business.
The upcoming year will be challenging for the P&C industry because of historically low interest rates, rising reinsurance costs, and political and social influence placing downward pressure on pricing. Certain segments will be hit harder as economies reopen and governments manage localized outbreaks. The industry will have to balance profitability initiatives on underperforming lines of business with political and public perceptions.
Longer term, the pandemic will have lasting effects, including greater emphasis on wording and underwriting risk management for unprecedented events. It may also accelerate public-private partnerships for catastrophes. New coverages are already emerging, while existing coverages are being challenged by increased pressure for further regulation of certain classes of business.
We’ve made a deliberate decision to lead with purpose throughout the pandemic. We’ve made historic donations to our communities, proactively led the industry on consumer relief initiatives, all the while putting employee safety and wellness at the core of everything we do.