Canadian Underwriter

Q&A: Business Continuity in the Digital Age

June 2, 2020   by David Gambrill

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Many insurance professionals in the Canadian property and casualty insurance industry are taking a long-term view of the global novel coronavirus pandemic, seeing a world beyond the point at which a vaccine is developed and the virus no longer presents a major health threat.

As many have noted, the industry reacted quickly when the novel coronavirus was declared to be a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Mar. 11, 2020. To help slow down the spread of the virus, most industry employers sent their workers to work from home remotely.

After months of this arrangement, many P&C organizations have started to discuss which of their interim, makeshift arrangements may actually become permanent, based on their success. The topic of innovation came up in a question following the first episode of our webinar series in mid-April, COVID-19: Business Continuity in the Digital Age. Here’s how webinar panellist Steve Whitelaw, vice president of broker and industry partnerships at Applied, tackled the question.

This will be the final Q&A in our series, Business Continuity in the Digital Age.

Q&A with Steve Whitelaw (June 3, 2020)

Q: Will the post-pandemic world result in a culture shift in the P&C insurance industry? Will there be adaptability and receptiveness to change or innovation?

A: COVID-19 forced us to react, and the industry is proving that it can respond to policyholders and employees. Brokers are no longer competing to meet a customers’ specific expectations of insurance: They are in competition to meet all of a consumer’s expectations about product and service delivery. The same goes for employees’ beliefs about what constitutes a successful working environment. This forced culture shift has resulted in significant change management that is redefining customer and employee experiences.



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