Finding a Silver Lining in the Pandemic: How Insurers Can Modernize Operations to Stay Current

Finding a Silver Lining in the Pandemic: How Insurers Can Modernize Operations to Stay Current

Virender Jeet, Senior Vice President - Technology, Newgen Software, 0

Holding a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Savitribai Phule Pune University, Virender has been associated with Newgen for about 26 years and manages the overall strategic and operational responsibility of the entire portfolio.

Insurance is one of the few businesses to see opportunities emerging out of the global economic downturn. COVID-19 is pushing customers towards purchasing term life insurance and health insurance policies.

Additionally, the pandemic has also accelerated the digital transformation initiatives across the sector. Insurers need to act now to modernize their operations and keep up with the evolving demands of the market.

Here are six things insurers can do to stay current and relevant during and after the pandemic:
1. Accept remote operations as the new norm
Insurance processes, including underwriting, claims management, and policy servicing, require a wide range of participants, from agents and underwriters to fraud investigators. The absence of a traditional, centralized setup, demands the involved stakeholders to quickly shift to a remotely distributed environment.

Insurers need to be agile and flexible to respond to these changes. Enterprises must be ready to allocate resources dynamically based on varying requirements and differing skillsets of their employees. This is not a short-term structure. Rather, the emergence of the new reality calls for a modified operating model to future-proof operations.

2. Build a connected enterprise with a digital automation platform
Insurance companies need a well-integrated IT infrastructure to provide easy access to information and maintain data integrity. Leveraging a digital automation platform, with low code and cloud capabilities, will enable insurers to run their businesses remotely and securely without impacting the speed and quality of their services. A connected ecosystem will streamline communication between departments, ensure seamless collaboration, and enhance productivity and business outcomes.

3. Deliver superior customer experience across channels
Many customer care centers are overloaded with
requests and queries fueled by the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. A self-service portal, powered by omnichannel customer engagement, can provide customers with one-touch access to manage onboarding, complaints and queries, and post-policy sale servicing.

A consistent experience across multiple channels can enable improved customer interactions and faster resolution of customer requests. For reviving the topline and attracting new customers, exceptional customer experience can become a major differentiator.

The absence of a traditional, centralized setup, demands the involved stakeholders to quickly shift to a remotely distributed environment

4. Leverage cutting-edge capabilities for a digital-first approach
Modern insurers need to look beyond the current scenario and prepare for the digital-only world. Leveraging emerging technologies, including robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, and mobility, can enable insurance companies to automate mundane and repetitive tasks, deliver contextual communications, and ensure faster onboarding, policy servicing, and claims processing.

An important use-case for this will be for the claims inspectors. With the pandemic dictating our interaction with the rest of the world, a claims inspector would not be able to physically inspect a site for damages and would rely heavily on digitally augmented processes to conduct a virtual evaluation.

5. Facilitate business continuity with cloud
Insurance companies must overhaul their business models and invest in cloud-based automation to deliver uninterrupted customer services remotely. Cloud enables seamless collaboration, virtual productivity, and flexibility in day-to-day operations by bridging silos across an enterprise. Insurers can shift their operations onto the cloud to build resilient and scalable processes, support business continuity, and optimize operational costs.

6. Focus on cybersecurity to maintain data integrity
As digital becomes the new normal, selecting a secure platform is the key to ensuring data integrity and confidentiality. It is imperative for insurers to allocate a higher budget for IT infrastructure and cybersecurity to avoid any potential risks or information leakages.

Insurers must respond to the demands of a dynamic market by prioritizing their digital initiatives and investing in cloud. Enterprises need to act immediately to address their customer’s growing concerns and benefit from the resultant opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a unique opportunity for insurance companies to drive digital transformation and reinvent their business models to stay ahead of the curve.