As I prepared to write this year’s annual wrap-up blog, I couldn’t help but look back to this time last year and note that I believed then that 2020 would be a turning point for the insurance industry. How could we have known then that this prediction would come true in ways unimaginable! Long before we heard the term COVID-19, our message for the industry was that disruption was hovering and getting closer. In 2020 disruption came right to our doors. But I’ve always believed that with challenges come opportunities. Here are just a few of the many ways we engaged with insurance carriers this year to grab onto those opportunities and transform the industry.
Tracking COVID Impact on Claims Processing
In March of this year, Frank Cesario, director, Claims, began sharing monthly claims data and analysis to help carriers learn about and track trends in the claims space. In that first blog post, we did not realize just how timely this blog series would become. Each month, we presented updated trends data that reflect how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the claims landscape, including the impacts on the bodily injury and auto physical damage severities, and how carriers are moving further into virtual claims processing.
A Changing Workforce Changes Home Insurance
The word “unprecedented” has been tossed around a lot this year. There was, however, no word more appropriate to describe the massive shift of the work force to home offices in early spring, changing the risk profiles for millions of homeowners. Dan Davis, director, IoT & Emerging Markets posed the question, “Is now the time for carriers to explore usage-based insurance for home”? This year, many people also sought to supplement or replace lost income with home-based businesses, blurring the lines between home insurance and commercial insurance. Erin Oswalt, director, Home Solutions, explains why it matters for home insurers to know when a house may be more than a home.
This year also brings the last Annual Home Trends Report that reflects home trends and data pre-COVID. You can read more about the newest report’s findings in George Hosfield’s blogs covering both weather and non-weather related loss costs for 2019.
Cybersecurity Remains a Top Concern
As I mentioned above, we witnessed an unprecedented move to home offices – and in some cases, the complete closure of some offices – of workers across the country. In addition to the changes in risk this presented, it also highlighted the need to keep data secure. As Jena Kennedy, director of strategy, Life Insurance, wrote in her popular blog on the topic, 2020 has created the “perfect storm” for cybercriminals as more and more transactions are now processed online and over the phone. Carriers are facing new challenges to protecting against identity fraud. Proma Ray, senior product manager, Identity Access Management, shared how tools from LexisNexis can help insurers protect their customers, without inconveniencing them.
For 2020, It Was All About Customer Engagement
One thing we’ve learned in 2020 is that while growing your customer base is important, it’s also important to have ongoing engagement with your policyholders. We’ve heard from some carriers that they are apprehensive about reaching out to their customers outside of the renewal period for fear of bothering or offending them. The good news is that you don’t have to wait! As Ian Griffin, director of product management writes in his series of blogs on customer engagement, your policyholders want to hear from you… just make sure you do it on their terms!
Looking Ahead to 2021
I’m sure you’ve heard the joke about staying awake until midnight on New Year’s Eve, not to see in 2021, but to make sure 2020 exits. Yes, it was a difficult year for many businesses and our industry faced unprecedented challenges. But we also all faced adversity head on. Disruption is not done with us yet, but I’m confident that together we will seize opportunity and 2021 will be our most successful year ever. Here’s to 2021…bring it on!