December 21, 2021 by Canadian Underwriter Staff
Rob Marsh, President, Liberty Mutual Canada
The last 18 months have been an incredible test in resilience and they’ve certainly been interesting from a risk perspective. We’ve seen how a significant event can cascade negative impacts across regions and industries in real-time. There are daily news stories about supply chain disruptions brought on by COVID-19; the impact of increasingly frequent and more powerful weather; and devastating cyberattacks on key infrastructure. The interconnectivity of risk is apparent, and as an industry, we need to adapt.
It’s also become clear we are in the midst of a labour shortage. There is a widening talent gap in the insurance industry as experienced professionals, whose expertise we depend on, retire. We’ve been watching this develop over recent years, but it’s been expedited by the pandemic. Our industry needs to think critically about how to attract, retain and develop a diverse talent base, and how to better share knowledge and expertise with one another.
The most important asset in our industry is our people. Technology will continue to change the business of insurance, but my priority in 2022 will be to foster and evolve a culture of collaboration and innovation in a post-pandemic world. We’ll determine how to best work with one another in a hybrid and flexible environment where we leverage the specialized expertise that exists across all functions.
There’s a stereotype that our industry is slow to evolve, but insurance has been quietly supporting innovation for years. A lot of the innovation we see in the news today – the emergence of autonomous vehicles, the transition to a carbonless economy, commercial space travel, and more – wouldn’t be possible without the insurance industry providing creative solutions. We have a purpose and a responsibility to lean in, rather than step back, and continue to support businesses that are taking risks, tackling big challenges and most importantly, innovating.