Canadian Underwriter

Executive Outlook 2022: Saad Mered, Zurich Canada 

December 21, 2021   by Canadian Underwriter Staff

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Saad Mered, CEO, Zurich Canada  

Insurance professionals showed great resilience in 2021 and we cannot take that for granted. We need to continue to help them focus on well-being, mental health and managing their work-life balance.

As the industry continues to struggle with attracting talent in a hypercompetitive labour market, keeping employees engaged, challenged and connected has been key to the retention paradigm.

We learned the underlying trading conditions, especially in commercial insurance, remained challenging for a third consecutive year. These challenges call into question the conventional wisdom on hard and soft market cycles.

We’re learning the capital requirements of the Canadian risk environment may be far greater than estimated. As the industry has increased the pace of natural catastrophe model updates and takes on the challenge of modelling new or heretofore non-modelled risks, it’s becoming clear the capital gap is widening. This is further exacerbated by the rapid increase in economic values at risk.

Zurich Canada has invested heavily in the middle-market segment, and we plan to serve those customers with a proposition that is industry specialized, backed by a more digitalized operating platform and led by a strong team of industry specialists. We’re also working to make it easier for brokers and customers to do business with us through automated processes and cognitive tools to respond more quickly to their needs.

The insurance industry does not do big bangs year to year, but it will most certainly continue to evolve. The biggest challenge in 2022 will be managing work in a hybrid environment, with employees working from home, in the office and at the offices of our customers and partners on staggered schedules.

We will need to support our employees in this new way of working. There will be a focus on learning how to deepen relationships with brokers and customers, as well as how to ensure the apprenticeship of our new insurance professionals is augmented and made more attractive.

See all the 2022 Outlooks here.