Post-COVID-19 Insurance Industry Challenges, OpportunitiesBy Salvador Arceo Franco | Tue, 10/27/2020 - 09:47
Without a doubt, 2020 will go down as an exceptional year in the history of insurance, not only because the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has emphasized the importance of health protection and financial support against this type of contingency, but also because it has revealed certain areas of opportunity for the insurance sector.
Since March, the challenge for the insurance industry, and in particular for the health insurance sector, has been to make plans available to its customers that offer broader, more inclusive and accessible coverage, that allow access to timely healthcare and maintenance and, where appropriate, recovery, as well as disease prevention and detection services.
With respect to this last idea, we are talking specifically about programs that provide access to medical consultations with specialists who provide a timely diagnosis and follow-up in the event of a case of COVID-19, first-level hospital care if required, and medical and psychological counseling via telephone for the resolution of doubts and conflicts, to mention a few services.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Many insurance industry analysts have commented that it has a specificity that lies in marketing a product that has undergone few changes for decades. However, this claim has lost value due to the pandemic, as this year the ability of insurers to respond has been brought to light.
Major coverage adjustments had to be made in a matter of days to develop plans to respond to current policyholder requirements and to digitalize processes to serve our clients and sales force. When combined with a broad knowledge of the market and listening to the new needs of people, having the ability to respond and adapt is essential.
According to data from the Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions (AMIS), we must remember that the average age of Mexicans diagnosed with COVID-19 is between 40 and 59 years old. So, most of them are people of productive age who will be more aware of the need for good health and the best mechanisms to finance it after suffering from the environment caused by this pandemic. This is one of the challenges and opportunities in the sector.
On the other hand, it is increasingly important for the financial sector, specifically the insurance sector, to maintain connections and be well-positioned in the digital arena to publicize their services and enable new options for customers. In recent months, websites, social networks and applications for mobile devices, more promotional and positioning tools, have become the main channels of communication with policyholders and a link with people seeking health protection.
Related to this point, the next challenge for the insurance companies will be to continue strengthening their digital strategy regarding the type of actions that can be carried out online or remotely. The purpose is to make life easier for the insured (for example, with the subscription, payment of policies and benefits) and to be present in the minds of the new consumers, who take as a reference a company’s position in digital media (mainly social networks) before contracting a financial service.
We are convinced at Plan Seguro that we have to concentrate on the needs of people in relation to the time and stage of life they are in, and more so now that healthcare has become a priority.