3 Areas Insurance Agencies Should Focus On as They Adapt to the Reopening Process

Like most businesses, your insurance agency is having to learn how to best adapt to a number of pandemic-related challenges and changes. And while every insurance agency has different processes and priorities, it’s important to identify areas you should be focusing on first and what you’ll need to do to make it all happen. 

When putting together a plan of action for managing your agency’s day-to-day operations, consider starting with the following three areas.

Claims processing

Whether you are a provider of property and casualty insurance and/or life and health insurance, your agency is likely to experience an increase in claims activity — including risks that are related. According to research posted in an article by PwC,[1] pandemic-related claims are likely to include large losses across a variety of business lines, causing a type of “cross-accumulation” risk event. Simply put, this event occurs when a company files multiple claims, such as business interruption for lost revenue, workers’ compensation claims for ill employees and general liability claims from customers. Some questions to ask when considering how your agency will handle these types of cross-accumulation claims include:

  • Do you have certain business lines in your agency that you anticipate will require more attention and staff to process and monitor than other lines? Do you need to assign a specific point person/task force for each line?
  • Do you have a system in place for documenting and tracking multiple claims throughout the claims process from start to finish? 
  • Do you have a plan for handling a possible surge in claim-related phone calls that could result in an operational bottleneck and/or agency disruption?

Workplace protocols

As part of the reopening process, you will need to develop a safety plan that outlines office policies, guidelines and procedures to help reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. This can include establishing a safety committee or point person to identify issues and enforce proper agency protocols. Questions to consider include:

  • How are you going to conduct client meetings for those who don’t want to come in to the office? Do your clients know they have options such as videoconferencing and chat?
  • Is your office set up for proper social distancing for staff and clients? For example, have you removed extra office chairs from common areas and posted appropriate signs and posters?  
  • Have you established new office cleaning and disinfection processes that follow guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Does your staff know to include all workstations, office supplies and furniture?

Regulatory and legislative changes

COVID-19 reopening guidelines are continuing to evolve. This includes new regulations, restrictions and guidelines that are being rolled out by state, federal and local governments. According to PwC, state and insurance regulators and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners are likely to coordinate efforts in creating guidelines as to how the industry should proceed with reopening procedures. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that what is protocol in one state is the same in another. As part of your reopening plan, it’s critical to stay informed on the latest updates, changes and expert recommendations to ensure you are operating in compliance and keeping employees and clients safe. Be sure to:

Not everything about getting back to business is going to be easy. In addition to paying attention to the above key areas, you still need to focus on things like marketing, sales and the general running of your agency. When the time comes to complete your continuing education credits, this task can feel like just another thing on your to-do list.

At FastrackCE, we make completing your continuing education credits fast and easy, and at a time when it’s convenient for you. We offer online courses in most states covering a broad range of topics, including most of the state-mandated courses such as ethics, flood, long-term care and annuity training. For more information, call 800-544-3605 or visit us at fastrackce.com.

[1] PwC, COVID-19 and the Insurance Industry: Practical Steps for Responding to the Coronavirus Crisis, 2020.

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