2021 offers the promise of a renaissance from the dark clouds of 2020. The insurance industry will be a major enabler for a world longing for a return to normal. It is go time for the insurance industry.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on societies worldwide. It has changed the way we live and work. It has separated people from loved ones. It has decimated global travel.
And yet, science is now offering hope. This week, Pfizer announced excellent early results on a COVID vaccine. Other vaccines are showing promise. So at long last, the world can begin to imagine a time where this scourge is brought under some control. Soon, the movement of people can once more begin.
In April, I wrote an article about how New Zealand was handling the pandemic response. (Spoiler alert - brilliantly). So what has 2020 taught the entire world? The importance of managing risk.
Everyone in the world has formed new habits as a result of COVID. Whether that is work-from-home, video meetings rather than in-person meetings, use of personal protective equipment, or just a new awareness of potential hazards, we have all adjusted.
That means any change back from these habits will be accompanied by a generally heightened awareness of risks associated with any change. It's like we've all become the Ben Stiller character in Along Came Polly. All of a sudden, everyone in the world is an actuary.
What does this mean for insurers? Opportunity, responsibility, and a need to move nimbly to address the shifts that are looming.
The most obvious area is in travel insurance. Skyscanner and insurtech CoverGenius have recently announced a COVID-19 travel insurance product. Their research indicates travel insurance is one of the top 3 factors that people would consider as giving confidence in travelling again. Travelers will want more information and assurance than ever before.
Life and Health insurance is another obvious area. Consumers are already purchasing more life insurance. In group insurance, questions are already being asked about how COVID-19 might be treated as a pre-existing condition in group plans in the USA. All of these questions mean an increasing need for providing clear information and evolved products to an awful lot of people.
Some areas are less obvious. As people drive less, the emergence of 'pay by mile' auto insurers like Metromile are interesting. If your car is not being driven much, you might be overpaying for insuring it. Cyberinsurance takeup as a result of COVID could be a 'watershed' moment according to Swiss Re.
So what is the common denominator for insurers?
More change is coming, and your customers are looking to you more than ever to help them through it.
With Sentro, our group insurer customers are ready to meet these opportunities. Our cloud-native platform gives them the lowest cost-of-change in the industry.
So insurers - act now to prepare for what's coming. Are your systems and processes ready? Can you respond to your partners and customers quickly? If you have doubts, get in touch, we can help!
2021 offers us all the opportunity to re-connect. Let's all play our part and get our world moving again.