The multi-lines, Quebec City-based insurer, SSQ Financial Group announced escalating revenue in insurance sales (up 18.6%), insurance net income (up 19.8%) and insurance volume (up 7.9%) last week and its CEO believes brokers and agents must be prepared for the future if they want to enjoy similar success.
Jean-François Chalifoux, SSQ Financial Group’s chief executive officer, admitted it’s challenging to keep up with the pace of transformation in the insurance world.
“(Customers) expectations have risen more rapidly in the past few years than they have in the past few decades. We need to live up to what their expectations are in the era of Facebook, Airbnb, Amazon,” Chalifoux said.
“As an industry, we ought to become more customer-facing, listen to customers’ needs. That’s the challenge we’re all facing. Technology is developing quickly, we have to be prepared for a major shift in how we interact with our customers.”
The business, personal, life and health company made $289.5 million in insurance sales in 2016.
Chalifoux said SSQ Financial Group saw major growth in Ontario and Western Canada with its universal and term life products, with those regions now making up more than 50% of its life-product revenue.
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Despite that, there’s no plan for SSQ to expand its P&C products outside of Quebec anytime soon, according to Chalifoux.
As for the company’s success, Chalifoux argued it was an investment in reputation now paying dividends.
“It’s a combination of partners, loyalty built over time, we have a great reputation in terms of customer service. We develop a lot of tools to improve and facilitate ease of doing business and I think we’re reaping the benefits of those efforts,” Chalifoux said.
“We’ve grown successfully over the past five years, we’ve diversified a lot - we already launched in 2016 a major transformation of our organization. We’re shifting from a line of business model to a more integrated and customer-centric organization. We want our members and our clients to enjoy a consistent, simple and coherent customer experience.”
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