Insurance Industry News & Views - September 22 2020
Stephen Applebaum is Managing Partner, Insurance Solutions Group and a Senior Advisor to Waller Helms Advisors. An insurance subject matter expert, thought leader, author, and frequent speaker at insurance industry conferences, Mr. Applebaum provides consulting, advisory, research and strategic M&A services to participants across the entire North American property/casualty insurance ecosystem. We connected with Stephen to ask a few questions about managing digital transformation and organizational change in P&C insurance and the impact of COVID-19 on Insurtech investment and adoption.
Stephen, you recently wrote that, “There is a general perception that the insurance industry is doing surprisingly well in the face of a global pandemic.” You give the industry kudos, but you also argue that, when it comes to innovation and transformation, this glowing picture is only partially true. Where do you see gaps or areas of concern in how the industry is managing the ongoing impacts of COVID-19?
One critically important aspect of COVID-19 that does not get nearly enough attention is the impact of work-from-home on people’s morale and mental health. This may be because it happens gradually and is not something that is easily identified on a video chat or email. People are basically social beings and the loss of human contact with friends and colleagues will take a dramatic toll. This will also impact the health of the employer, more so over the long haul.
In addition, corporate health is suffering because remote working gradually erodes corporate culture – the very soul of a company.
The third gap I see is the decrease in overall innovation and experimentation. While insurers are refocusing almost exclusively on innovations to address the demands of the pandemic – mainly contactless underwriting, claims and payments and virtual customer support and services – many other promising areas of innovation are being ignored or set aside. The lost momentum of these initiatives will take time to restart and may even be left behind until long after the pandemic ends.