May 19, 2020

How Challenging is the Canadian Insurance Market?

insurance markets
Canadian Insurance
Bizclik Editor
3 min
How Challenging is the Canadian Insurance Market?

The July edition of The Business Review Canada is now live!

By: Adam Groff

Different insurance markets across the globe come with their own unique challenges and such is the case with Canada’s insurance market.

Taking into consideration the various factors that are involved with insurance providers in The Great White North and the types of coverage they offer, the stability of the market is in constant fluctuation.

What are some specific challenges the Canadian insurance market faces and what types of insurers are leaders in the field?

In Transition

As with any type of transition, the Canadian insurance market is experiencing certain areas of significant change. With change comes challenges, specifically challenges that arise from slow market growth, a softening economy, and certain regulatory adjustments.

To overcome these challenges and successfully follow along with the transition, Canadian insurance companies must optimize  operating costs, adapt to ever-changing consumer needs, and find new ways to standout among the insurance marketplace.

Risk Factors

For an insurance company, there is a certain amount of risk involved that is an inherent part of the insurance game. Although Canada’s insurance market is similar to that of other countries, namely the U.S., there are risk trends unique to Canada.

  • Agricultural Insurance – Certain disease risks for livestock associations across Canada are becoming more prevalent.
  • Financial Institution Insurance – Due to poor investment income opportunities, rate increases are taking their toll on the financial sector.
  • Catastrophe Risks – Because of Superstorm Sandy, marine underwriters are forced to take a deeper look at the risks involved with claims and deductibles associated with cargo, hull, and flood damages specific to higher risk regions in Canada.
  • Cyber-Risk Insurance – Many Canadian companies dealing in online transactions are shifting insurance from business interruption coverage to insurance coverage specific to online credit card transactions and customer data protection, giving insurance underwriters a specific challenge.

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Leaders in the Market

In terms of major forms of coverage, there are some types of insurance that are leading the Canadian market. With renewal rates and risk management in mind, here are some of the front runners:

  • Property and Casualty – As usual, property and casualty insurance are top priority for insurers all across Canada. General liability, automobile, and both catastrophe and non-catastrophe insurance have some of the highest renewal rates with little to no rate change.
  • Employee Health Benefits – Premium adjustments and coverage for employee healthcare saw favorable renewal rates in the areas of basic life, health, and dental benefits.
  • Small Business – Because of an increase in reported losses due to slip and fall coverage, small and midsize business renewals for property and general liability insurance are in fair standing.
  • Construction – With the recent upswing in infrastructure growth of both commercial and residential construction in Canada, general liability, excess casualty, builders’ risk, and owners indemnity insurance are keeping steady in terms of renewal.

When it comes to insurance challenges, the Canadian market does have its fair share, but it still seems to thrive.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health, no exam life insurance, and business.

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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