Following extensive research that looked deep into the future macroeconomic and societal landscape of both Canada and the world, ICMIF member Gore Mutual launched its Next Horizon strategy at the beginning of 2020.
Next Horizon is Gore Mutual’s 10-year vision and strategy that sets a new path for the mutual insurance company, driven by fast-changing customer expectations and technology. This involves a complete transformation for Gore Mutual, with an ambitious plan to grow the company into a purpose-driven, digitally-led national insurer.
“Our new strategy is bold and will radically transform our business at a magnitude and scale that this company has never experienced before,” said Gore Mutual CEO Andy Taylor. “Ultimately, our transformation journey will take Gore Mutual from a mid-size, regional carrier to a national scale insurer underpinned by world class technology and operations in just a few short years.”
Over the next two years Gore Mutual aspires to create best-in-class digital broker and customer connectivity, dramatically improve workflows, underwriting capabilities, pricing sophistication and deliver an industry-leading claims experience, the initial stages of which were launched in 2020.
On its transformation journey, Gore Mutual also aims to change insurance for the good of its customers, brokers and communities by being a better choice: designing technologies that make buying insurance easier and using profits to create social good and a better future.
“We’re completely transforming our operating model and modernising every piece of our technology to deliver a world class, high-performance business anchored in broker distribution,” Taylor said. “Embedded in the foundations of our identity and everything we do will be purpose and social good. Giving is in our DNA and Gore Mutual has a long history of stepping to the plate in times of adversity and national emergency.”
Progress made in year one
The first year of Gore Mutual’s Next Horizon strategy has been a success according to the organisation, as it accelerated the pace of transformation in its core business while producing solid growth and underwriting results.
In its 2020 full-year results, Gore reported a revenue growth of 8.3% in 2020 with gross written premiums of CAD 515 million before Covid-19 customer relief initiatives.
Its core business generated a combined ratio of 96.6% before strategic investments in its Next Horizon transformation. The significant investments made in the company’s transformation programme, including talent and technology, along with on-going customer relief initiatives, added an additional 4.5 percentage points to the combined ratio, ending the year at 101.1%.
At the outset of the pandemic, Gore Mutual made the deliberate decision to lead with purpose and quickly responded to the unprecedented and unforeseen challenges presented by COVID-19 with a series of customer relief initiatives and the largest donation in the history of the Gore Mutual Foundation to support Canadian healthcare workers and communities.
“Our overall growth resulted from a combination of rate strengthening in commercial lines and policy growth in personal lines, both of which exceeded our plan,” said Taylor. “Gore Mutual is well capitalised and resilient, and our results position us well as we confidently move forward with our ambitious transformation while continuing to support our brokers, customers and communities throughout the pandemic.”
2021 and onwards
The coming year represents the largest period of transformation in Gore Mutual’s Next Horizon journey, and the company will be investing more in its people and core capabilities than ever before. In the months ahead, Gore Mutual will increase its workforce by 25% as it continues to strengthen its teams with industry-leading talent. The insurer is also implementing new technology platforms and operating models that will create improvements in service, response times, pricing and appetite.
“We are already off to a strong start in 2021 with first quarter results trending positively and a strong pipeline of growth initiatives,” said Taylor. “This will be a landmark year for Gore Mutual as we unlock our potential to scale our business together with our broker partners across Canada.”
Gore Mutual is a Canadian-owned and operated mutual company with over CAD 500 million in premiums and over CAD 1.1 billion in assets. It employs over 450 people and is known for its investment in people, technology and innovation. Gore Mutual was voted the #1 insurance company by the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) in 2014, named a 2019 Best Workplace in Financial Services and Insurance and certified as a 2020 Best Workplace Canada. The Gore Mutual Foundation strengthens Canadian communities by supporting local initiatives and has donated more than CAD 12 million to over 650 charities over the past 20 years.