Worsening global situations have pushed most of the population indoors, at home, with only stepping out for essential items. Even with the lockdown and curbs being eased, people are dreading moving outside due to the virus being prevalent everywhere.
During this course, everything has moved online. From education to buying groceries and work. Digital life has become the norm.
People initially were forced to adopt the digital means, but soon, it became a part of life, just like it happened with online payments. Technology has taken centre stage and is dominating the way we live while continually changing it as well.
The shift can also be seen in the way the insurance industry operates. Just like any other sector, insurance companies also took a few days to set up the infrastructure needed to enable remote working for their employees.
In fact, the speed with which the insurance sector has adopted technology in its working is remarkable.
Insurance industry remains one which has seen a rise in its daily tasks. With thousands of people daily filing for health insurance or term insurance claims, insurance workers are super worked-up.
In fact, this period has also seen a rise in insurance inquiries due to the pandemic and phones have not stopped ringing.
Of course, nothing can replace the excellent old ‘face-to-face’ communication that we are used to. However, insurance companies are accelerating the adoption of technology in their working. Here is how.
Many insurance companies have already got self-service health insurance portals up on their websites. This facility is available for present policyholders as well as new customers.
Any inquiry that has to be made by a current policyholder can be made via the self-service portal without needing a telecaller. In cases of claims and premium payments, self-service portals are presenting themselves as a boon.
Being completely independent of a paper trail in a sector like insurance seemed like a task which was next to impossible. However, it was something which had to be done since offices were shut almost overnight.
Taking the entire paper process online was perhaps the biggest challenge. Nevertheless, with the help of experienced and technically sound software engineers, specialised software was designed to help achieve this feat.
It is not a surprise that insurance companies are encouraging their customers to pay their premiums using online payment means. Payment via cheque, cash or collection by agents have strictly halted, keeping in mind the hazards of viruses.
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People calling up the insurance company for any problem they face is an instinct. They know that calling the toll-free number will give them an immediate solution by a person.
And so, insurance companies began remote working for their call centre employees. This way, companies save a lot on infrastructure and electricity costs, and their employees stay safe as well.
Shifting the entire operations of an insurance company poses its own risks. One of the significant dangers is being hacked and losing all the investor’s and customer’s money.
Hence, before shifting their functioning online, insurance companies invested heavily in cyber risk management services. Ethical hackers came handy during this operation who told them what potential risks were. However, cybersecurity and privacy concerns are still rampant.
With no one coming through the doors to buy an insurance policy, insurance companies lost a good chunk of their customers. Of course, they can telecall and cold-call customers who might be interested in purchasing an insurance policy.
But, insurance companies made the best use of the internet and targeted people while they were at home, busy on the internet.
Insurance companies had to hire digital marketers, content strategists and subject matter experts to help them boost their digital sales. The goal was to try and sell insurance plans online and try it to make it the new cool thing to do. Surprisingly or not, many companies succeeded with this.
With the ongoing crises, insurance companies have been forced to look out for future operating models if they want to stay afloat and make profits at the same time. The current ones are far from over. Alas!
The only thing we can do is be prepared. That is why insurance companies have started to brainstorm ideas about how to move forward with technology at the focus of it.
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Employees from insurance companies, like any other employee, indeed had to start working from home. However, they had to be skilled and trained for it.
There were much new software and new protocols in place that people had to get comfortable with. Zoom calls initially weren’t easy, but with time, things ended up working out!
It will be safe to say that it will take a long time for life to get back to ‘normal’. And even when we get back to the healthy life in a post-COVID world, there will always be the threat of some other epidemic or pandemic knocking on our doors.
Digitization is here to stay and will become a focal point of our lives. It has proven to be efficient, time-saving and highly innovative. Digitization will spread its wings into other spheres of life.
The life insurance sector as a whole has embraced the online gig with most of the process being fast-tracked. And it will revolutionise every day to become a well-structured and methodical system.
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