Last week we talked about how embracing technology during the Covid-19 crisis is gradually improving insurers’ image. This week we wanted to shine a further spotlight on how those in the insurance industry are doing good during the pandemic with special mention to those embracing technology in which to do so.
Who would’ve thought that the days where people could be treated from the comfort of their own homes would return? But they have. This week SAGA announced that it will provide access to clinical support services to clients to their homes.
They said they’re working with healthcare firms to provide customers with access to a panel of leading specialists and practitioners such as cancer, cardiology, ENT, gastroenterology and orthopaedic specialists to name but a few. The panel will be able to review diagnostics and patient records – all digitally of course.
They’ve also promised that any exceptional profits that may ultimately arise from Covid-19 are returned to its customers.
Giving credit where its due
Zego, the specialist insurer for delivery workers, is providing customers with up to 14 days’ credit against the renewal of their policy if they have a 30 day or annual policy and can’t work due to suspected Covid-19. They also introduced other measures such as scaling down cover to legally required minimums and offering flexible insurance.
Keeping staff happy
One direct insurer looked internally to see how they could keep up staff morale. It was reported that Direct Line gave their own staff a boost with a new comprehensive employee package, designed to help employees cope with the Covid-19 restrictions.
Besides giving female staff six-month maternity pay and men three months paternity pay, the package also includes access to 121 video personal trainer sessions, nutrition plans and exercise Q&A webinars. It’s certainly one way to retain talented staff.
Appealing for help for insurtechs
In recent days the government has dipped into its pockets to help workers, companies and now charities. But there’s still a void, some feel, when it comes to help for the start-up scene.
Insurtech UK are appealing for the creation of a new fund aimed at supporting start-ups. They point out that they’ve seen other governments across the world create liquidity packages designed for the start-up community and it’s urging the UK government to do the same.
They added: “Many Insuretech UK members are worried about the funding options for their businesses in the short to medium term if they cannot access any relief. There is flexibility around the model of the fund; whether it be a convertible debt model or an agreement for future equity. We would welcome a discussion with Government about the details of such a scheme, but it is vital that the Government takes quick action to protect a huge success story in the UK economy in recent years, pioneering the innovations we will depend on in the future.”
Lastly, and looking further afield, it’s been reported that two car insurance giants have announced they are returning a whopping $800 million (£646 million) to customers. The reasoning, they say, is that people are driving less (therefore not reliant on their insurance as much) and insurers themselves are therefore benefiting as there are fewer crashes as a result of there being fewer cars on the road.
As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads there are more companies distancing themselves from benefiting from the crisis and are instead offering a more passionate and understanding way of conducing their business.
Whether it’s giving back money to customers, offering payment holidays or creating packages to boost morale among staff, there are lots of things that the insurance industry can do to create a bit of comfort for those suffering mentally and financially during this crisis.
There’s no denying that the industry has garnered a lot of criticism from not paying out for things like travel and business interruption claims but it’s clear that the entire industry cannot be tarred with the same brush in how they deal with this crisis.