COVID-19 Checklist: 10 Things Insurers Need to Be Aware to Safeguard Their Business
Jul 6, 2020

Leading insurers have refashioned their operations to meet the coronavirus challenge. Read on to discover the complete checklist for insurers here.

The insurance industry, much like other industries, is being forced to adapt or die during the coronavirus pandemic.

Leading insurers are ahead of the curve and will emerge as strong, if not stronger, than before this challenge because they're considering the long-term effects they'll have to safeguard against.

The future of the life insurance industry is changing, and if you're concerned but unsure how to safeguard your business future, read on to learn the ten things you need to consider.

 

10 things insurers need to know to safeguard their business

Insurers face many challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, but they're not impossible to deal with. Your business has a great chance to safeguard its future in the insurance industry if it hasn't already. 

Your current business continuity plan (BCP) may already account for some safeguards, but the following list encompasses some specific pandemic challenges it may not include. If you don't have a plan in place, here's your chance to get ahead.

 

1. Business Continuity Plan

If you're as yet unfamiliar with how a BCP works, it's not very complicated. If you already have a BCP, the rest of the checklist will provide you with the tools needed to update your plan for the current pandemic challenges.

A BCP results in a preventive system for recovery from potential threats to a company, such as a pandemic. The plan protects personnel and assets and their functionality in crisis.

When crafting a BCP, all risks which may affect operations are considered. Then, you'll determine how risks affect operations and use procedures to relieve these risks. If you have yet to draft a BCP, the rest of this checklist will help you assess risks or update your existing plan.

 

2. Management and Response

Whether in crisis mode or not, any insurer can agree on how vital communications are to maintaining business practices. Personnel and public attitudes are shaped by how you and your company respond to events like the coronavirus pandemic.

If you stay on top of internal and external concerns, you build trust with your employees and clients, simultaneously building your company's future beyond the crisis.

  • For employees: ensure they're on the same page for the company's message
  • For customers: define your plan of action to build loyalty and trust
  • For regulators: flag problems and risks you may have missed

Crises like this invite cyberattacks, which can impact your communications and confuse your personnel and the public.

 

3. Cybersecurity

With more employees working remotely, your company's cybersecurity is essential. Additionally, more customers will be communicating with your company online, and you want to make sure they're privacy is covered.

Protecting your business is key to survival. The following are a few things you can consider for cybersecurity:

  • Online requests for personal information
  • Check the email address or link
  • Email filtering
  • Internet proxy filters
  • Software updates
  • Multi-factor authentication

These are just a few things to beef up your company's cybersecurity. Gallagher Bassett Services has many other helpful suggestions to protect your business.

 

4. Workforce

Although protecting your business and communicating with your clients and personnel is important, maintaining your staff's productivity and wellbeing is important to your business, too.

The biggest adjustment for most in the insurance industry is the change in the office environment. Working remotely is a difficult adjustment for some employees. The isolation negatively affects productivity and teamwork.

Recognizing the need to change your supervision and show support for your personnel is critical. Some may take the pandemic worse than others, especially if they're struggling from any direct impact.

There are a few ways to adapt, though:

  • Explore video conferencing
  • Check-in more frequently with your employees
  • Adjust expectations for performance
  • Consider new goals, quotas, and incentives

These can help you and your personnel achieve the level of flexibility needed for thriving during the pandemic.

 

5. Policy Adjustment

When it comes to adapting your communication and supervision with employees, you should also consider the needed changes to your business management policy.

Aside from adjusting expectations, you'll have to consider local regulations for pay during a quarantine, as well as coverage of medical testing. You may need to consider a new liability policy for your at-home workforce.

 

6. Operations and Supply Chain

Third-party services may suffer as much as your company. Timely service may be disrupted as travel restriction stops data tracking or other financial reporting.

You'll also see a potential increase in service requests for claims in long-term care, life, and disability insurance. Workers' compensation and medical claims may also increase.

You review and consult your suppliers to determine if their services are disrupted. Certain systems will have a higher demand, such as online platforms and customer service systems. Make sure these are equipped for surges in demand.

 

7. Finance and Liquidity

You'll need to assess your financial condition as a business. To do this, consider the following:

  • Predict valuation difficulty due to market volatility
  • Address impaired assets and possible credit losses
  • Update your loss recognition testing models
  • Reassess the reliability and validity of your valuation
  • Stay on top of disclosure updates

With these aspects in mind, the financial assets and product liquidity of your business continuity plan are addressed.

 

8. Tax and Trade

You may need to sell investments to fund the surge of claims from clients and create taxable capital. Consider making staffing and operating model for the current crisis, in anticipation of the next one.

 

9. Customer Service

As an insurer, you're know how important high-quality customer service is. The best thing you can do for your business is to be flexible to maintain loyalty and trust.

A few ways you can enhance your customer service include:

  • Complimentary health coverage extension for COVID-19
  • Reimbursed expenses for hospitalization or quarantine
  • Indemnification in case of diagnosis, quarantine or long-term conditions
  • Medical staff to answer health policy questions
  • Guides for agencies and emergency information

Your customers and employees will thank you for your flexibility and efforts to thrive during the pandemic.

 

10. Plan for Tomorrow 

Keep in mind that a sound strategy for insurers is anticipating what the future will hold and safeguarding against it. A business continuity plan is your start to addressing today's crisis and the next one in the future. 

Your business's best option is to adjust as needed, with the future as a motivator and always in mind. For more helpful information on helping your business, now and tomorrow, consult more of Gallagher Basset's website on the pandemic.

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