Originally Published by Canadian Underwriter, December 23, 2020.

President and CEO, Chris SekineChris Sekine, President, CEO, Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company

COVID-19 has affected most businesses, and the insurance industry is no exception. Businesses are operating in a more uncertain environment than ever before. Insurers and reinsurers have adjusted underwriting appetites, which has influenced portfolios, available capacity, and pricing. Given current hardening conditions, we expect industry results to gradually improve. For many businesses, near-term results will be contingent on government support in response to the pandemic and the potential for further lockdowns.

Insureds are navigating challenging industry dynamics. The pandemic, combined with the hard market, amplified the need for brokers and their value. This is true for both insureds and insurers, and especially those with complex commercial risks. Trisura is a broker-driven company and we are working closely with our broker partners to navigate these turbulent times.

We expect the risk tolerance of businesses/insureds to evolve. Cyber risk is a good example of an exposure that businesses may not have appreciated. As cyber attacks have increased through COVID-19, businesses are looking to the insurance industry to help manage this risk.

We expect many business trends established before COVID-19 to return and business operations will resume much as they were pre-pandemic. For example, we anticipate a return to working in-office and in-person interactions with our brokers and partners. Although most companies successfully transitioned to working remotely, we don’t believe that is sustainable in the long run. Businesses rely on personal relationships. Virtual meetings are a great temporary measure, but they simply can’t replace in-person meetings.

That being said, the success of remote working arrangements will provide a broader tool set to employers and employees. For those with appropriate job functions, employers should offer flexible working arrangements.

Embracing technology will enhance productivity and collaboration of established operating norms. What hasn’t changed is that good people are the very core of a successful business.