Saturday, October 1 2022

Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry hasn’t done a great job of servicing, an industry CEO said during a panel discussion at the RIMS Canada conference in Halifax.

What’s the good news? Industry can achieve and maintain service levels through collaborative effort and technological advancements.

“Let’s be honest, this industry hasn’t done a great job of serving,” says Sarah Robson, president and CEO of Marsh Canada. “Let’s raise the bar. I think we still have – collectively, as an industry – a long way to go on this.

“Thinking about before COVID, there are certain problems that existed before,” recognizes Stéphane Lespérance, president of Aon Canada. “There are gaps in our industry that have happened before [the pandemic] and we just have to solve these problems together.

These statements can be supported by Canadian underwriter Trusted Advisor survey which in 2021 only found 36% of respondents (commercial clients of brokers) say they are satisfied or very satisfied that their broker “helped me through the claims process to clear up the confusion and get things done quickly.”

And while service levels have suffered recently, due to pandemic-related delays, claim volumes, consumer behavior, supply chain issues and staff shortages— Robson admits this is “without a doubt” a historic problem in the industry.

But how is Canada’s P&C industry raising the bar? Part of the solution may come from industry collaboration, panelists say.

“Insurers work differently, brokers work differently, customers work differently,” says Robson. “Let’s make sure we’re [coming] together to establish what these [service] expectations should be.

Digitization and automation will also go a long way to improving service levels.

“I think technology is going to help us in that area as well,” says Robson. “We have certainly increased our investments during the pandemic to be able to ensure that we can really offer a high-end digital experience to help us [respond to] service challenges.

The industry can begin its digital transformation by reassessing its legacy technology systems. Sixty-one percent of the 1,220 companies surveyed said legacy systems were their biggest obstaclesfollowed by 42% for budget approval issues and lack of skills, according to the results of a survey by digital intelligence firm ABBYY.

“We need to become much more efficient that way and create a much better experience [for customers]says Robson.

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