How embracing technology during the Covid-19 crisis is helping insurers to gradually improve their image

2nd April 2020

Who would’ve thought a couple of months ago that we would find ourselves practicing self-isolation as we go into international lockdown to fight a virus raging across the earth, threatening our very existence.

But here we are, fighting an unseen killer bug that has changed life as we know it and forced many of us to live and work remotely as medical practitioners join the frontlines to save thousands of people who’ve become ill from the Covid-19 strain of the coronavirus.

Since lockdown measures have become stricter, more questions about how we should go about our daily lives have arisen. How do we work? How do we maintain our cars? How do we pay our bills (and keep them at minimum) – especially as some work on a reduced income or rely on the government for funding.

How do we survive financially? Who will help us if we can’t meet our financial obligations as businesses are furloughed and people are made redundant?

It’s resulted in entire industries changing the way they operate. When it comes to the insurance industry, it’s had to relax certain rules and innovate in order to stay relevant for customers.  

Just this week there was a report on Insurance Times referring to a telematics provider which has introduced a self-installation device since lockdown measures have become more stringent. Usually, insurers recommend that a qualified technician install such devices on vehicles.

Companies are also trying to adapt the way in which they communicate with customers while aligning their communications and products with government guidelines.

Take Carrot for example. It’s a car insurance provider aimed at the youth which uses black box technology to record driving patterns and reward safer driving. It’s now incentivising thousands of young drivers to continue to leave their cars at home during the coronavirus lockdown by giving them double rewards.

Director Andrew Brown-Allen said this was in response to worrying news of a recent sudden increase in the number of miles driven, which has led to Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director for Public Health England, to urge people not to drive in their cars.

The insurance industry has come under fire recently as many business interruption insurance policies have fallen short of helping business customers in their time of need as they shut doors to comply with lockdown measures as the pandemic spreads.

But technology is slowly enabling insurers to do some right by their customers as they search for reassurance and advice.

Brown-Allen highlights: “There is intense scrutiny on the insurance industry including criticism of the way it has responded to the Covid-19 crisis, but this new Carrot initiative is just one of a number of important contributions we are making on an ongoing basis to put technology to good use and keep road users safe, and at home.”

We have no idea how long lockdown measures are set to last. But it’s resulted in many people going online to search for answers and try and communicate with companies as brick and mortar offices are no longer accessible.

As people get to grips with working remotely, recover from illness and as customers demand answers from services 24/7 from the comfort of their homes it’s created an opportunity for insurers to test and enhance their online services like never before.

There’s a good chance that if digital services are not improved upon that customers could become even more disillusioned with the industry. But for those that embrace technology and improve their services there’s an equally good chance that they’ll be able to retain customer loyalty.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

 

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