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Handling Catastrophic Risks: Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic for the Insurance Sector

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The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented slowdown in the insurance industry, forcing stakeholders to change the way they conduct business. Insurers were clearly unprepared for such a brutal crisis and had to pay for it in terms of opportunity loss, revenue loss, and workflow disruptions, and even halting of operations. The crisis has underscored the need for insurers to brace themselves for more such unexpected setbacks and catastrophes in the future. And to do that, one of the keystone factors is the expertise of insurance BPO services.

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About 85% percent of insurance CEOs admitted that COVID-19 has accelerated their digitization process. Further, 78% said the crisis has turbo-charged their progress on developing a digital customer experience.

4 Striking Lessons from the Pandemic

The Future is Data-driven

With the Covid-19 crisis redefining customer expectations and business workflows, insurers can no longer afford to rely on the limited insights drawn from demographic data. The need of the hour is to set up processes for harnessing the massive flows of relevant data that largely go unused. Insurers would need ways to discover and act on the critical stories that data can reveal about customer behavior and expectations. Sourcing relevant data and analyzing it the right way gives them actionable insights to delight their consumers.

The Sync Between Humans and Machines to Drive Sales

The role of the human workforce in the future of the insurance industry cannot be overlooked. However, the new normal induced by the pandemic has made it indubitable that the efforts of insurance teams would have to be backed by relevant technologies. The projected growth of the industry in the near future also makes the use of digital channels across consumer segments a non-negotiable requisite for insurers. The proliferation in the application of technologies such as AI, ML, and big data to drive insurance sales is inevitable in the coming days.

Remote Work is Challenging but Will be Prevalent

The biggest disadvantage for most insurers during the crisis was their unpreparedness for shifting to the remote work structure. Consequently, most teams had a nightmare trying to manage processes such as underwriting, policy checking, claims administration, and customer service. There’s no denying that a remote work setup is accompanied by its own set of challenges around cybercrimes, connectivity issues, user training, and more. However, it’s equally true that remote working is the answer to the operational hiccups caused by crises like the coronavirus. 

About 78% of employees in the property/casualty insurance industry say they worked remotely 50% or more of the time during the pandemic.

The Need for a Disaster Recovery Plan

For insurers, a well-laid disaster recovery and business continuity plan must be a priority as they step into the post-Covid age. They need a clear-cut approach to pursue operational resilience and shield their workflows from all future crises. For that, they must identify the processes to be maintained at all costs and have a clear view of the critical resources (including technology and BPO services) supporting important processes. They should also ensure they strike the right balance between employee flexibility and productivity and not just overburden the teams with work.

The Role of Insurance BPOs in Making Insurers Future-proof

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Back-office Support

For almost every successful insurance carrier, the secret to efficiently handling the widening customer base is their decision to delegate the back-office processes to an insurance BPO firm. When tasks like policy management, commission management, claims management, underwriting support, and financial reporting are taken over by a competent partner, the client can focus on optimizing their resources for future challenges.

In 2020, the U.S. accounted for more than 28.8% of the global insurance BPO market size.  

Technical Support and Data Security 

A tech-savvy insurance back-office firm would help its client to set up a robust remote working structure and train the in-house team to leverage and maintain it. The firm would take it on itself to ensure the security of the client’s data, making it safer for the client’s side to work from home. A competent BPO services provider would deploy the right resources to reduce the average handling time for errors while upgrading the service quality for the client. 

High-end Customer Support

All successful insurance carriers understand the role that customer service plays in determining the fate of the business. Be it a pandemic, recession, or any other crisis, the customer must receive the best service all the time, and there’s no substitute for that. Insurance service outsourcing firms employ well-trained specialists who provide the best experience to the client’s prospects and existing customers, enabling the client to establish rewarding business relationships.

The current dynamics of the insurance industry have underlined that for insurers to stay in the race and pursue profitability, investing in technology and joining forces with the right business partner is the best bet. The new normal that insurers are stepping into promises explored avenues along with a few roadblocks. With a competent BPO services provider by their side, insurers can be certain to efficiently negotiate those challenges and set the platform to cash in on the plethora of opportunities.

The global insurance market is estimated to rise to $5050.31 billion in 2021 from $4474.49 billion in 2020, a CAGR of 12.9%.

Who We Are and Why Our Expertise Matters

At this challenging time, we at Insurance Back Office Pro, are calling on our industry expertise, rich resources, and custom workflows to enable insurers across the US to keep operations running and honor their commitments to their customers. Our time-tested solutions are turning out to be a game-changer for clients who are realizing immediate and positive business outcomes. We practice strict adherence to confidentiality agreements to assure our clients that their data is safe with us. By incorporating our back-office services into their workflow, our clients are in a much better state to weather the Covid-19 storm and position themselves for higher growth.

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