In response to COVID-19, insurance companies made short-term and long-term changes that affected society, customers, agents / partners and employees. In our previous blog, we described our data-driven strategy for identifying initiatives and talked about each category at a high level. This time we will dive deeper into how insurers supported their communities and customers. Let's get started.
Insurers Supported Their Communities Under COVID-19
In addition to keeping the business going, one of the first things insurers did was provide support to their communities. New York Life and Cigna raised over $ 100 million for frontline healthcare professionals through their Brave Heart Fund. Insurance companies such as John Hancock, Chubb and many others partnered with governments and non-profit organizations to provide food, face masks and other essentials to frontline workers.
Other insurance companies went even further. MassMutual provided free life insurance to frontline healthcare professionals in Massachusetts and Connecticut, while MetLife offered 250 free hotel rooms to healthcare professionals battling the pandemic. to the communities where their employees and customers live and work. Through help and other community-related measures over the past year, many insurers were able to support those in need while strengthening existing community relationships.
Insurers offered financial relief and launched new products for customers
A major theme in the way insurance companies responded to COVID-1
Overall, short-term messages focused on financial relief for customers, but which customers received relief depended on the type of insurer. Non-life insurers focused their financial relief mainly on car customers due to reduced driving. Many announced reduced premiums and offered insurance credits for car insurance, including Allstate, Farmers, Geico and Liberty Mutual. Other canceled cancellation policies due to non-payment, such as Geico, Allstate and MetLife. Farmers offered flexible payment plans.
On the other hand, life insurance companies focused on their pension customers. Metlife extended the due date for premiums and Aflac offered flexible payment options. Transamerica similarly extended respite periods while adding a new option to submit documents securely.
Of course, retailers are not the only customers. Commercial customers saw similar short-term initiatives:
Technology was the core of customer-related long-term initiatives. And like the short-term initiatives, P&C and Life insurance companies responded differently, depending on the segment's needs.
- P&C Technology : Many P&C insurance companies used technology to offer contactless claims during the pandemic. Farmers are an example of using photos, videos and virtual inspections to keep customers safe while speeding up and improving claims use. Similarly, Allstate leveraged its Virtual Assist capability for car requirements, enabling a body to create an initial estimate and obtain approval for additional coverage when repairing a vehicle.
- Life Technology : Lincoln Financial Group conducted a survey in which half of pension savers said they were more concerned about future market volatility than they were before the pandemic. As a direct response to this, Lincoln launched a new pension solution with guaranteed income in the plan. Related to retirement, Transamerica launched a low cost with variable annuity to help its customers with financial security. Finally, John Hancock launched two digital tools for financial professionals in the wake of COVID-19: a resource center on board and a planning manager.
- Health Technology : We would be hesitant not to mention the main focus of the physical and physical initiative for mental health launched under COVID-19. For example, Prudential launched NeuroFlow, a tool for managing behavioral health and care to improve the mental health of its disabled.
Partnership was a crucial strategy to go faster and do things that insurers could not do on their own. Aetna worked with MAP Health Management to expand telecommunications support services and Progressive launched Flo Chatbot with Microsoft's Azure AI features. John Hancock and Amazon collaborated to help customers create connections between their fitness, sleep and other lifestyle habits, while TIAA collaborated with Notarize.com to develop an online notary service.
Again, commercial customers can not be forgotten. There were three main focuses for insurers in the commercial space.
Takeaway : It is not surprising that most of the initiatives launched by insurance companies under COVID-19 were customer driven. Within this category, however, there is a wide range of different technologies, platforms, financial support and partnerships. This indicates that while the overall goals of insurers to support their customers and tailor products and offers to meet their needs are the same, each insurer insures its own path. The long-term initiatives, in particular, will help insurers move into the post-pandemic world more resilient and digitally driven than ever before. It is also particularly important that so many of these initiatives would not have been possible without partnerships, especially commercial customer initiatives.
Overall, insurers made significant changes to support their communities and customers under COVID-19. These changes have drastically changed the way insurers interact with their customers – and vice versa. COVID-19 has ushered in a new world for the insurance industry, one that is flexible, digital and personal.
In our last blog post in this series, we will take a similar in-depth dive into how insurance companies moved to support their agents / partners and employees and what that means for the future.
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