December 21, 2021 by Canadian Underwriter Staff
Renato Rodrigues, CEO, AXA XL, Canada
Resiliency, global connectivity and the impact of non-operational risks are some of the top lessons from this second year of the global pandemic. Overall, businesses have shown real resiliency, particularly amid incredible uncertainty, mandated shutdowns, changes to operations and variations in consumer behaviour.
This year certainly showed the extent of connectivity from a supply management perspective, but also how well many nations were able to work together to address the pandemic. As for non-operational risks, we have all seen the impact that a global pandemic can have on industry, but we also see socio-political impacts of decisions surrounding labour supply/availability (wage support), and border control (supply management). These all impact our industry and it is not something that is contemplated in our day-to-day underwriting, which tends to focus on operational risk.
After adjusting to operating in a fully virtual environment over the past 20 months, we are hoping to begin working toward a hybrid operational model while keeping our steady path of meeting growth objectives. In Canada specifically, clients will see more investment in strengthening local operations and in expanding our head count to continue to provide outstanding support to partners.
We have seen clients retain more risk over the past two years. This is sometimes driven by choice and sometimes necessity. With this move, there is a heightened need for services and coordination with insurers – a trend we expect will continue. A large part of underwriting is knowing the needs of your client. This can be done virtually, but I believe it is much better served with in-person interaction and we will likely see more of this in 2022. Finally, complex emerging risks such as climate and cyber pose an evolving challenge for risk managers and will require in-depth data analysis and coordination among the clients, their brokers and insurers.