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Many financial services firms, including insurers, are being challenged to rethink their roles and reimagine how they might keep up with changing needs and expectations, whether involving their customers, regulators (domestic and global), rating agencies, or their own socially-conscious investors and employees. (Frank Peters/Adobe Stock) Many financial services firms, including insurers, are being challenged to rethink their roles and reimagine how they might keep up with changing needs and expectations, whether involving their customers, regulators (domestic and global), rating agencies, or their own socially conscious investors and employees. (Frank Peters/Adobe Stock)

Over the years, I’ve often heard insurance company leaders characterize the industry’s primary role as being the economy’s financial first responders, helping individuals and business owners recover, rebuild, and hopefully thrive after catastrophic losses. That’s why a recent clarion call for financial services companies to aspire to “a higher bottom line” should naturally resonate with this sector, both in terms of adapting to a rapidly changing economy as well as in addressing several vexing societal problems.

Insurers are already the economic linchpin for many policyholders and even entire communities at times of severe stress, covering millions of claims from climate-related disasters, civil unrest, cyberattacks, and workplace discrimination, among many other emerging exposures. Insurers have also been proactive in keeping people and properties safe, working with individual customers to bolster loss mitigation while uniting to support society-wide risk management projects via groups such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

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