Deloitte Report: Impact of COVID-19 on the insurance industry


The COVID-19 crises is having a profound effect on individuals, businesses and the wider economy across the world.

Deloitte recently published a paper on the impact of COVID-19 on the insurance industry and the key actions which have been taken. We have captured a number of these findings to shed some light on the new working environment many Insurers have found themselves in.

The vision of enterprise teams working remotely has been realised

Insurers have implemented new ways-of-working plans and staff are working remotely to support their customers and operations. High demands have been placed on technology and remote-access particularly across call centres.

In addition managers now need to focus on team connectedness and socialisation to ensure cohesiveness and motivation, particularly with workers across the business being dispersed.

Cross-functional teams are now critical for success

Insurers have to now realign resources across the enterprise to adapt to changes in customer interactions, for example, redeploy staff from claims to contact centres. Many are now establishing cross-functional crises forces and command centres to respond to the ever changing situation. These teams need to be highly connected and actively align their priorities with the executives and board of management. They also need to be empowered to make decisions at both a global and local level.

Integrating technology, talent and business models essential for change

Insurers should be upgrading their technology systems and operating models, alongside their talent capabilities and workplace policies to avoid remaining in a change-resistant legacy environment. Having the right tools in place to manage and distribute workload effectively, communicate with team members and engage with customers are essential in times like these. There will be more impact events in the future and Insurers need to be ready and prepared to meet these head on.

Customer behaviour has changed significantly

In most countries, face-to-face interaction has effectively ceased with many customers opting to use digital channels for information, service and queries. Insurers that have already adapted their digital capability before COVID-19 are in a better position to respond to the customer and intermediary self-service. The increase in customers working from home may reduce the need for certain policies and therefore, Insurers need to consider providing customers the opportunity to reduce coverage amid financial difficulty.

Larger volume of claims in certain areas

A larger volume of claims can be expected in certain areas such as business interruption cover, travel insurance, complex specialty coverage in transport, events and the hospitality sector. It is therefore imperative that Insurers carefully manage their resources and re-direct them to areas with higher expected volumes. Close review and trend analysis is required to spot key triggers for fraud. Many are looking at robotic process automation to speed up manual claims processing where required.

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