Industries worldwide have a lot to learn from the unprecedented global pandemic that first hit the U.S. in early Spring 2020. The virus’s impact will be widespread, and the insurance industry has been hit just as hard as any other market.
Below are a few findings that speak to what we know about the state of the digital insurance market almost six months into the pandemic hitting U.S. shores.
See how SIS and the Partner Platform community responded to the pandemic
The Global Pandemic’s Effects on the Insurance Industry
Since the U.S. shut-down in mid-March, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the insurance industry in the following ways:
- Increase in work-from-home: A recent Gartner survey showed almost 75% of CEOs said they plan to permanently shift at least 5% of employees to permanent remote work. Similarly, 59% of U.S. workers told Gallup they want to continue work-from-home after the pandemic ends.
- Loss of capital: In mid-March, Accenture found the average insurer lost 35% of their market capitalization, in large part due to falling premiums.
- Demand for digital automation: Software provider Sapiens and Lightico found almost 50% of businesses plan to increase digitization and automation of customer interactions.
- Growth in cybercrimes: An FBI Press Release found over 1,200 COVID-19-related cybercrimes complaints were lodged in March alone.
Find out how to get your agency back up to speed when facing a sales slump
What do These Effects Mean for Your Agency?
Business owners know gathering information is only the first step. Once you see the problem, what do you do about it? We suggest insurance agencies consider the following.
- Get on the cloud. A rise in work from home means you need secure, anywhere access to your agency systems. When your data and systems are on the cloud, employees can access them wherever there is an internet connection.
- Provide mobile access. Both employees and clients need mobile access to your management system and agency website. State regulations are changing daily, and you must keep clients and employees alike informed. Mobile access means they can get the daily information they need instantly.
- Diversify your markets. If you haven’t yet, it’s time to widen your service sphere. One thing the pandemic taught us is life is unpredictable. You need to have multiple market sectors to keep a steady income flow. Agencies servicing primarily travel or other hard-hit industries are feeling the pain. Don’t let your agency experience the same.
- Leverage Artificial Intelligence. With more questions coming in due to the uncertainty of the pandemic’s impact, you’ll need more help prioritizing and addressing them. A.I. can provide answers to commonly asked questions, quickly decide who in your office should take a call, and provide an immediate response so the client or prospect feels heard.
- Invest in paperless processing. When agencies moved to work at home, printing, and mailing, or even scanning and faxing, forms became near impossible. Those that invested in paperless were set-up to continue business as usual.
- Bulk up cybersecurity. As more employees access systems at home, you need to increase your cybersecurity protection. Redundant back-ups, multi-character encrypted passwords, and regular staff training are all essential factors to keep your agency safe.
Hear from our cybersecurity partners on how to securely work from home and protect your agency
Be Ready with the Right Partner
The Partner Platform team has worked to prep client agencies and partners for the unexpected since the beginning. We strive to equip Partner agencies with the best tools and systems to stay ready for any change and provide the community and service they need to weather any storm.