Insurance executives are expecting significant permanent changes within the industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, results of a new survey by BlackRock said.
In the money manager's ninth annual Global Insurance Survey, which gathered the opinions of 360 executives from the global insurance industry between June and July, 73% of respondents said they believed the COVID-19 pandemic will necessitate fundamental changes within the industry.
Most insurers (78%) believe that COVID-19 is accelerating their focus on ESG, with an increased emphasis on the social and governance aspects. More than half of respondents have invested in specific ESG strategies in the last year, while 52% have made ESG an essential aspect of assessing investment risk assessment for new investments. Nearly one-third of insurers (32%) have declined an investment opportunity in the past 12 months over ESG concerns.
When asked what "permanent changes in investment team operations, technology platforms or working patterns" they foresee in a post-COVID world, 69% said they expected to see enhanced investment in technology. Meanwhile, 66% of respondents expect to see an increase in working from home, while 59% expect an increased focus on business continuity and resilience with third-party vendors and distribution channels.