With the growing utility of remote work, it’s time insurers implement the same. Learn how operating remotely can enhance the working of insurance agencies.
Insurance is a highly complicated industry with numerous processes. In addition, the intricate interplay between insurers and their external networks, including as brokers and agents, adds to the complexity.
Consequently, it is not any surprise that the COVID-19 situation poses a huge-ranging series of demanding situations for insurers to preserve their operations as typical ways of operating grow to be seriously disordered.
So, how are insurers managing, what are the vital flashpoints, and what longer-time period changes to procedures may we see in the future as a result?
Implementation of remote work
Across all the insurers, one aspect immediately stands out: a significant shift to remote working. In maximum countries, anything drawing nearly 90% of workers operates from home, with only a fraction of workers on the field for crucial jobs that cannot be completed remotely.
The remarks are that there have been some hindrances in the start, but it’s now working well. Insurers have enough hardware – laptops and cellular devices – and far-off connectivity structures are standing up. Like anybody else, there is full-size use of video conferencing facilities.
In many ways, the scenario has extremely multiplied a fashion (and an aspiration) that already existed. Many insurers had been searching for methods of growing their operational digital footprint and connectivity, with a decreased reliance on bodily co-places of humans. That they have got positioned this in place in most effective 2-three weeks as opposed to 2-three years is a colossal fulfilment in itself in a timescale that maximum couldn’t have imagined.
This fast overhaul denotes that specific principles and checks are extra crucial than ever. Clear, compelling, and common conversation from leadership is critical to inform and apprehend the priorities as the situation develops.
Engagement is important too – from line managers arranging a ‘virtual coffee’ with their groups to catch up, hold team spirit high, and pay attention to any worries, to extra common ‘checkpoint’ calls on unique regions of labor to apprehend troubles affecting the overall performance and gauge progress towards deliverables.
Challenges faced by insurers in implementing remote work
1. Safeguarding employees from cyberattacks
When personnel work from home, the danger of cyberattacks and data breaches significantly rises. To shield your business and remote workers from cyberattacks like hacking, malware, or phishing, ensure that employees:
- Give the right of entry to employer programs and assets through an encrypted virtual private network (VPN).
- Have updated antivirus and firewall software programs on their computer systems.
- Use robust passwords and often change them.
- Lock their computers and cell devices when on breaks.
- Know the way to become aware of and keep away from phishing attempts and different scams.
- You can also integrate password managers or SSO (single signal-on) software programs to authenticate users and decrease vulnerabilities throughout your agency.
2. How to limit losses in case your organization is the sufferer of a cyberattack
If a malicious software assault or data breach does occur on a remote personnel’s computer, cyber liability insurance will cowl the damages. This insurance is available in types:
- First-party cyber liability insurance: It takes care of damages from a data breach on your very own system. This consists of the charges of notifying affected clients and purchasing credit and fraud tracking.
- Third-party cyber liability insurance: It provides protection when a data breach compromises your clients’ information. For example, suppose a client makes up his mind to sue your business over a records breach. In that case, third-party cyber liability coverage can pay for attorney’s prices, courtroom expenses, and any damages. The coverage applies whether it occurs at your place of work or remotely. For IT groups, maximum coverage carriers will contain both forms of cyber legal responsibility guidelines with mistakes and omissions coverage.
3. Commercial property coverage may not cover far off business assets
If you’ve got equipment, stock, or other property you need to shield, having commercial property coverage is a must. This insurance reimburses you for business belongings that are lost, damaged, or stolen out of your workplace. But does this coverage cover objects if you and your workers make the transition to remote work? It depends.
Many faraway employees aren’t protected when working from home. For example, standard commercial property insurance commonly covers property at the premises of your workplace or facility. But it could exclude or considerably lessen insurance for property away from the office. Similarly, an employee’s property owner’s coverage typically won’t take care of a commercial enterprise-owned laptop that became stolen or broken outdoor the workplace.
Thoroughly check that your commercial property insurance covers commercial enterprise belongings used off-site by your remote employees.
Methods for enhancing remote work productivity
1. Invest in software for virtual meetings
If you haven’t already, now is the time to analyze and invest in a virtual communication solution. Many tools exist, including Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Zoom, to name a few. While each tool has its own set of features, they all allow you to rapidly connect and host virtual meetings with your clients, prospects, and co-workers via video conferencing.
Also, it’s critical to think about your specific demands of insurance agency when assessing these platforms (e.g., the average number of people on a call, security concerns, costs, etc.). Choose the platform that best suits your needs, and then provide internal training to ensure that all agents and brokers understand how to set up, host, and manage communications on it.
Hence, by investing time in educating yourself and your associates regarding how to conduct remote meetings efficiently, you can enhance the workflow effectively.
2. Adopt the usage of digital signatures
While many agencies have introduced electronic signature platforms in recent years, now is the time to do so if yours hasn’t already. DocuSign, Panda Doc, and Formstack Sign are all popular platforms. E-signature solutions allow you to perform essential transactions from anywhere, allowing you to keep your business running.
3. Make security a priority
Another significant issue with a remote workforce is data security. Cyberattacks have increased 37 percent month over month since the COVID-19 outbreak began, according to Infosecurity Magazine.
After all, when an employee is at the office, their work is safeguarded by security protocols that keep the company’s network and data safe. However, when an employee works from home, it cannot be easy to implement the same safety procedures.
4. Search other areas for automation
In addition to the technology stated above, when working remotely, it’s necessary to think about what other procedures and workflows may be automated to save time and boost productivity.
Finding high-quality leads, providing timely compliance and risk management information to customers, and efficiently managing all your data resources are just a few of the new obstacles you’ll face when working remotely.
5. Establish Digital Connection
Last but not least, remember to communicate with your co-workers. It’s easy to feel detached and unengaged when working remotely and not seeing co-workers face to face. One simple strategy to promote digital ties is to balance emails with more interactive choices such as video chats and phone calls.
In addition, arranging a biweekly or monthly virtual event for your business or team can help to increase engagement and foster a more personal connection. Virtual happy hours and team lunches (using the virtual meeting platforms discussed above), trivia contests and games, and group yoga and exercise courses are just a few suggestions.
Survey your organization to find out what they want to do. Be mindful of when you plan these events, as many remote workers are likely juggling professional, personal, and family obligations (child care, homeschooling, etc.).
The Bottom Line
It makes sense to reinforce processes to handle remote work as more insurance agencies and organizations contemplate continued remote work, whether full-time or a hybrid of in-house and remote. In fact, developing a solid remote business model can help you improve your in-house operations as well. In any case, you lack the knowledge, or you want experts to handle things for you, you can hire insurance agency management services to make sure your operations are running smoothly.