Changes brought by digitization, artificial intelligence, and the sharing economy are core reasons that motivated Jean-François Chalifoux to give SSQ Financial Group an integrated structure.
“Whether we like it or not, the world is changing.” Change takes longer in the insurance industry, however, it is coming, he says. “Traditional industries like taxis and hotels have seen such change and we are not sheltered from this trend. It won’t happen overnight. But new players will emerge, as well as new business models.”
Chalifoux does not believe, however, that SSQ will become a fintech as a result of such changes. “We have to simplify our procedures. We have to be more agile and more innovative. We should be inspired by what we see happening with fintechs and insurtechs.”
He adds that as a mutual insurer, SSQ was a pioneer in the sharing economy trend. “We did not initiate the sharing economy, but we were among the first to help create it. At their foundation, mutuals are a type of sharing economy in its purest form. They share risks, just like the startups in the sharing economy do. What we did not do, was use new technology in our interactions with clients.” Going forward, he sees a great deal of potential in that regard.