How the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted the Insurance Industry

insurance agent talking to a couple

Although experts believe that life might be back to normal (or new normal) in a couple of years, we are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic. This is something we will not forget in the near future. It has proven to be the singular event in all our lives that has a catastrophic impact. Whether it’s losing a family member to the virus, closing a 25-year-old business, or watching your kids out of school, we have never felt as out of control as we do now.

The only thing people are sure of right now is this: they want assurance. They want themselves and their families to be safe and secure. They want tomorrow to be a sure thing. Of course, this difficult to achieve without insurance. The insurance sector has been one of the industries that benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic. While other industries plunged into negative growth, the insurance industry posted record-high numbers.

Put yourself in the shoes of the policyholders right now. If you did not have health insurance before the pandemic, you would want to have one now. You’ve questioned your judgment before, too. Why didn’t you make sure you have a policy that covers pandemics, for example? The high medical expenses you’ve heard COVID-19 patients have to deal with will make you want to protect yourself.

Protecting Assets

The number one reason why people are looking to insure what they can insure is because of the protection that insurance policies provide. They’re now looking at homeowners’ insurance policies as well, convinced that future natural calamities and man-made accidents will wreak further havoc into their homes. With shorter hours and the fear of companies closing, people are putting their money into things that will ensure they have a safe home in the future.

The health insurance industry has largely benefited from the uncertainty of the pandemic. People are now more concerned about their health more than ever. Annual checkups? A yes to that. Regular consultations with your primary doctors? Sure, why not?

In the past, employers had to demand to see your annual medical checkup results just for you to drag yourself to the doctor’s clinic. Today is a different scenario. Even if your company doesn’t cover your health insurance, you’ll most probably aim to afford one now.

managers making plans

Transitioning to Digital

This does not mean that the insurance industry didn’t need to make adjustments in their policies and the way they do business. They’ve also taken a hit during the pandemic. As much as there were a lot of inquiries and interests now, there were also a lot of claims last year — from unemployment to death benefits. Insurance companies cannot remain stagnant. They cannot sit idly by as they wait for people to sign a contract with them. Now more than ever, they have to be aggressive in persuading clients that getting insured is the best gift they can give themselves.

 

They’ve now gone digital. Insurance agents are reaching out to potential clients through social media and video calls. Instead of face-to-face meetings, they’re now holding Zoom conferences to convince clients of the practicality of getting insurance these days. Clients are only too willing to listen, of course. Both parties understand that they need each other to survive.

Plotting the Course for Tomorrow

Insurance companies need to make sure they are prepared for tomorrow. Any company that knows how to respond to a crisis can survive one. A plan helps companies stay the course.

At the core of every crisis management is communication. Companies have to communicate to stakeholders the risks they are facing and the strategies they must implement. They need to communicate not only with their clients and stakeholders but with the employees, too. Employees have to buy into these strategies; they need to believe that this is what will work for the best of the company.

The fact that businesses have the trust of the public more than the government and the media should not be lost on insurance companies. While people are naturally wary of insurance companies, they trust them enough to sign the policies. The industry should work on that premise — work to retain that trust and build on it.

The pandemic has been relentless in its attacks against any industry it can touch. The insurance industry, while deeply impacted, has also strangely benefited from the pandemic. It has been said repeatedly in the past that insurance protects lives, assets, and livelihood. Those who did not listen before will do so now.

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