Disruption offers an opportunity: Laura Langone, RIMS President

Disruption from Covid-19 will create opportunities for organisations navigating the new normal, according to Laura Langone, RIMS President, and head of insurance operations at Airbnb.

Langone, the first speaker at this year’s RIMS Australasia 2020 Virtual Conference, said companies in different sectors had the chance to capitalise on the post-Covid environment.

She said this year’s disruption had “created tremendous opportunities” for her company and others, prompting a rethink about the way it delivered services to hosts and guests on its platform.

“We have been able to adapt to make sure we have health and safety protocols in place, meeting the needs of travellers, and making sure we are communicating effectively,” she told the conference.

Langone said the virus “has forced organisations to make shifts and be strategic in the way they are delivering their services”. There was an emphasis on “making people feel secure”, she said.

She believes the outbreak will change consumer behaviour permanently: “Things will stabilise, and customers will return, but in a totally different way….When people are willing to come back, they won’t be shopping the same way,” she added.

Langone said companies would need to “think outside the box” to understand customer behaviour in the new environment.

Airbnb has seen more longer-term bookings on its platform, and greater demands for home-working capabilities at homestays, Langone added. 

Langone and RIMS chief executive Mary Roth spoke about the importance of involving risk management in board-level discussions.


Langone said it was important for risk managers to “be able to communicate” risk issues “to a different audience” and “not to lose” other executives in the conversation.

“Communication skills are critical,” Langone added.

Roth added risk managers on company boards need to “show leadership skills”, “and demonstrate that they can lead conversations.

Link to presentation slide