Mark Godson: Impact of Covid-19 remains a concern

Published in: Risk management, People, Covid-19

Companies: EY

Mark Godson, partner, EMEIA insurance - risk and actuarial services, EY, reviews the key ERM developments of 2021 and his outlook for 2022

What steps have you taken to return to the 'new normal' working pattern?

Mark Godson

Like many others, our working patterns continue to evolve. We are operating a hybrid model, whereby time is split between working in the office, working at client locations, and working from home. The long-term pattern will very likely be based on some version of this. One thing to have come from this new model of working, which I love above everything else, is being able to spend much more time with my children. What the business world hasn't really cracked is semi-virtual meetings – definitely something for 2022.

What was the most positive ERM development of 2021?

I think we should be incredibly proud of the resilience that the industry has shown over 2021. There have been so many challenges which have impacted both claims and operations, the overarching macroeconomic factors, political upheaval, and the list goes on!

And what was the biggest disappointment?

Probably that so much time and effort is still being put into the regulatory driven agenda. Between Solvency II reform, the post-Brexit UK regime, and IFRS 17, the industry is focusing its most valuable people towards compliance-based activities.

What is the biggest ERM challenge in 2022?

Navigating the difference in understanding between what is covered under a policy, and what is expected to be covered by the insured. There is still too much ambiguity around coverage, exclusions, claims processes. This often leads to bad press and bad customer experiences, when the reality should be the reverse.

What trend is going to have the biggest impact on the insurance industry in 2022?

Unfortunately, I think it will still be that of the pandemic. Longer term some of the bigger societal impacts will play out through the industry, and in particular climate risk will come to the fore. However, in the immediate term we're still a long way from being out of the pandemic, and it will continue to dominate on the economic and health fronts.

What emerging risks are you most concerned about?

Concern is the wrong word I think. The role of insurance is to understand and manage risk, and then provide the right products and protections to customers. That said, I think we remain somewhat nascent in our understanding of some of the larger inbound future risks. I'm in particular thinking about cyber risk and ESG-related risks.

Much better risk monitoring and risk modelling will be required for us to really understand and therefore cover these risks.

If you could have one wish for 2022, what would it be?

That we, as a progressive global society, can work better together across the world to tackle the really big challenges that we face, and do so in ever more constructive and collaborative ways.

Christopher Cundy