There’s a corporate meme circulating that smartly captures how many companies are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The meme reads:
Who led your digital transformation?
For many insurance brokers and third-party administrators (TPAs), the answer is… “C.”
For years, the insurance industry has lagged behind other industries when it comes to digital transformation. In 2015 McKinsey ranked healthcare near the bottom in their McKinsey Industry Digitization Index; since then, the industry has begun spending more on digital innovation, but there is still a long way to go for many healthcare entities.
The COVID-19 crisis is rapidly highlighting whether industry stakeholders were prepared to digitize — or not. Companies who had already embraced a culture of digital innovation and had begun exploring, if not implementing, technology are much more likely to successfully navigate the sudden and dramatic shift in the way we do business.
It’s unclear when this crisis will end, and what the full extent of the repercussions will be on our health, our economy and the ways we interact with one another. Insurance industry stakeholders will need to implement new technologies and accelerate plans to digitize to keep business running smoothly through the crisis and prepare for business in a post-COVID world.
Here’s how we are already seeing insurance agencies and TPAs digitally adapt during COVID-19.
1. Communicating with clients and prospects looks different.
While the industry has made the move to digital, the value proposition for clients remains the same. Employers want a trusted advisor to help them navigate an uncertain time. They are looking for someone to guide them through ensuring employees are cared for while also mitigating costs.
The challenge for brokers will be continuing the client relationships that are critical for doing their jobs while also offering digital services to help clients navigate what they need on their own terms. For instance, many agencies differentiate themselves with strong customer service, often through on-site and/or in-person meetings, and will need to learn how to translate that over digital tools.