Insurance in our post-Covid world
Covid-19 has changed our world forever. And, as hyperbolic as that statement is, it is fundamentally true. We have all been forced to embrace adaption, to find new ways to press forward and preserve in the face of extreme restrictions and increased risks. This is true for each of us as individuals, and it is true for us as business leaders and organisations.
For the insurance industry, the challenges posed by the pandemic are complex and multi-tiered. But if there is a silver lining to this crisis for the insurance industry, it may lie in the renewed push to digitalise the insurance experience from top to bottom.
Full speed ahead
Prior to Covid-19, the insurance industry was already moving toward full digitalisation, but the speed at which digital adaption is now being embraced has been hastened by the pandemic. What was seen as a luxury yesterday is now a necessity, and what is now a necessity will soon become the new standard: fully digital insurance solutions and ecosystems that are built to be flexible and accessible.
A digital race to agility
It is no secret that insurance providers are feeling the squeeze during Covid. Many business lines have been negatively impacted across the industry and may not recover for some time to come – be it a large drop in holiday insurance coverages as the world is forced to forego foreign holidays, or the financial difficulties and uncertainties facing existing customers, forcing them to curtail their investments in coverages and insurance services across the board.
“More insurers are now looking beyond the immediate pandemic and assessing how their strategy needs to be re-shaped in light of the impact of COVID-19 and lessons learned in the crisis.”
Deloitte – Impact of COVID-19 on the Insurance Sector
Those providers that are the most agile are best positioned to adapt quickly, to reinvent their offerings in a way that better reflects the needs and financial spending power of post-Covid customers.
But what does this actually mean in practical terms?
Develop flexible payment options
Providers must recognise the pressure their customers are under financially, and develop more flexible and dynamic methods of pricing and billing. If a customer is unable to meet payments for a period of time, terminating the relationship and provided services would be ill advised and callous. A better, more empathic approach would be to reach an agreement with the customer to allow the deferral of payments, thus strengthening – instead of destroying – the customer-provider relationship.
Communication is the key
Insurance providers need to get serious – and creative – with how they communicate with their customers in a world where face-to-face consultations already feel antiquated. Now is the time to double-down on customer communication. Slow adapters and poor communicators will undoubtedly suffer in our post-Covid world.
But what about those customers who are not digitally savvy, or lack access to certain technologies or the ability to use them? Here too, is an opportunity for providers to step in and support such customers with outreach initiatives and flexible solutions.
Because, for digital experiences to truly work, communication is still the key to success.