COVID-19 and BCP in Insurance

Unfortunately, right now our world, and I mean the entire world, is being put to the test. People are being quarantined, working diligently to stay healthy and protect their families. Streets are empty in an attempt to contain the serious virus that causes COVID-19, and yet the world still goes on around us. It has to, right?

Senior analysts at Aite Group are nearly all remote workers and travel quite a bit, and our business is designed to work in the cloud and without depending on a brick-and-mortar location. Even I, within this remote environment that Aite Group has developed, have felt the pain of the increased number of remote workers in the form of degradation in the online web and teleconference tools we use. As the volume of users in these teleconference tools increases due to more companies pushing work-from-home, I hope that this isn’t impacted more than I have already witnessed.

But how are companies, and more specifically insurance carriers and their supporters (tech vendors and service providers), handling the increased threat of the new coronavirus, and what are they doing to ensure that business obligations will continue to be met? Many companies within the insurance industry (carriers, tech vendors, service providers, and the like) and out, have been developing business continuity plans (BCPs) for years, only now to put them to the test. Can their VPN or cloud networks stand up to this very real threat, and what are they doing to make sure their clients, policyholders, and communities know how they are responding, what to expect from them, and that they will be there to support any needs?

Companies across the globe are communicating in different ways to provide peace of mind to their customers and helping to settle their nerves. Some examples include:

  • American Airlines sent out a video on how the company is addressing the challenges with the virus, including how it cleans planes and handles itinerary changes and cancellations.
  • My local mall (Westfield Citrus Park) sent an email notifying locals of how it plans to limit the spread of the virus through cleaning and changes in the food court area.
  • Sam’s Club sent emails to all its members covering cleaning, out-of-stock items, and how to skip checkout lines.
  • Andrew Hubbard, the CEO of Ai-London (a life and pensions core system vendor supporting Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), along with other leaders, posted a two-page document on LinkedIn to assure us that they are watching the problem closely and that their focus is on their staff, the health and welfare of their clients, and their ability to support their clients.
  • Insurance carriers such as Axa in the U.K. are sending information to employees on how to stay well and prepare.
  • EIS Group, a tech provider of life and P&C core systems, is sending direct emails to clients and posting a blog from its EVP of Worldwide Professional Services (Jim Caruso) speaking in detail about its BCP and its short- and long-term steps to ensure business continuity for clients and staff.

These steps to settle the anxiety of clients, prospects, and consumers are necessary. Being transparent in times such as this is key to being there for your customers. If you haven’t made a decision to share your plans, take the time to do so in order to minimize the anxiety the world is feeling.

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