As insurance brokers, it’s within your best interest to closely monitor our economy and our cultural climate’s overall feel. Keeping a keen eye out for significant change, changes that may affect how customers shop, live, and work; can be the difference between your success and your failure. There are sometimes changes within the industry that no one could anticipate, such as a worldwide pandemic. However, we can adapt to the best of our ability. We can take steps to evolve within our industry. In doing so, we can keep up with the times while bringing the best possible products and experiences to our valued clients.
If you said that day to day life had drastically changed in the last several months, no one would argue with you. The entire world was thrown into quarantine, trying desperately to protect themselves and others from a pandemic that had swept every nation. The whole globe began wearing masks, and handwashing had hit a new level of diligence. Social distancing became a mandatory norm, and millions of Americans began working from home. Unemployment rates rose, and we as people needed to adapt. Resilience soon kicked in, as it usually does. Our lives have changed, but we continue to take steps forward. Our economy has also seen changes, and therefore, so has the insurance industry.
If people are working from home, unemployed, ill, or are attempting to prepare for disaster; those aspects affect everyone, Insurance Brokers included.
In What Ways Has COVID-19 Set Change into Motion?
The implications of COVID-19 are vast, and every person has felt some level of consequence. Our way of life has seen fundamental fluctuations, but how has the insurance industry been affected?
Familiar Cornerstones of Employment Have Been Thrown Out
Many employed Americans have worked the standard nine to five, Monday through Friday, for decades. Thanks to COVID-19, millions of citizens have been instructed to work from home to avoid the spread of the virus. Sending employees to work from home has set a new precedent for how we work and interact together. Conference meetings have turned into virtual video meetings, breaks have become sporadic instead of scheduled, and many people’s priorities and expectations have changed.
Numerous Approaches to Life Have Shifted
We have come to rely on the internet as our primary source of information for the last two decades. However, the year 2020 has advanced our reliance on online resources like never before. We now depend heartily on the internet for school, work, news, communication, and even shopping. The internet has eased the pandemic strains and made the transition to distance life much more manageable.
New Businesses and Companies Have Become Well Established
The birth of the smartphone established a platform for new companies to emerge onto the market. Instagram, Uber, and Pinterest are just a few mega giants that gained success thanks to smartphones. COVID-19 also paved the way for new businesses to become a necessary part of our lives. Zoom, Google Classrooms, and Medical Telehealth have become crucial tools. Employees who feel the weight of working from home have come to rely heavily on all of these companies. It’s easy to say that they’ve transformed from luxuries to essential tools.
What Do These Changes Mean for Insurance Brokers?
The insurance industry, like countless others, has been thrown into a whirlwind of the unknown. The term “business interruption” has become a standard definition, one filled with risk. Many people can no longer afford their insurance policies, and therefore have begun dropping them. Other people who have contracted the COVID virus through their jobs due to their essential workers status are trying to file Workers Compensation claims. It’s also notable that many policyholders dial down their car insurance due to a lack of vehicle use. Car insurance feeling the effects of the economy has previously been unheard of. In fact, over the past 50 years, the U.S. auto insurance market has been virtually untouched by the ups and downs of the economy.
COVID-19 has inspired many Insurance Agencies to try and evolve their practices to maintain its commitment to policyholder’s needs. Insurance Brokers who have primarily relied on face to face business connections, or those who push the utilization of a storefront may need to change the way they focus their business. Policyholders now use self-serve options to file claims more than ever. Customers can document damaged property without physically meeting with an adjuster. Even once the threat of COVID has eventually simmered down, times may never change back to what they used to be. Insurance agencies who don’t have an updated, user-friendly app and website may find themselves in financial danger during these uncharted times within the insurance industry.
Although these changes have occurred abruptly, insurance brokers will evolve with their industry. The ramifications of COVID-19 have been nearly impossible to predict, but it’s safe to say that our economy, culture, and industry have all been hurled into a brand-new day and age. The way we do business now is likely to continue changing, and we need to evolve accordingly.