Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, every insurance firm is looking for different and innovative methods to maintain work productivity and profitability and one of the biggest solutions in this regard is that of remote working. This is a viable option for sure as an insurance firm is able to get its work done easily through employees or freelancers who work remotely.
This is the reason remote working has increased by 173% since 2005. Insurers who were already prepared for natural crises had a remote working program ready for its employees, with proper tools in place and flexible working hours.
As per the report by Global Workplace Analytics, almost 80% of employees are willing to work from home or part-time remotely, and 56% are working for companies that offer remote working compatible jobs through the internet.
As of 2019, almost 43% of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions were specifically designed for underwriting with the purpose of not only reducing the related risks but increasing profitability as well. However, with remote working coming into the picture, insurers need to re-establish the key business areas that need attention using AI and its collaboration with other technologies like automation and machine learning.
Apart from this, the increase in usage of applications like conversational interfaces and enterprise search is also expected. So, the question now arises, is your insurance firm prepared for remote working? If not, how to leverage remote working in the present coronavirus pandemic? Let’s dig deeper into the same!
Remote Working and Cybersecurity in Insurance
Cybersecurity holds immense importance in the insurance industry as sensitive client information is at the sake. With lockdown coming into play, the Cybersecurity teams have been asked to work remotely as well, increasing their chances of getting exposed to new potential risks.
Digital communication is on the rise due to remote working, and teams are needed to work in collaboration to strengthen the applications used to detect emails of social engineering and internal communications anomalies via email, chat, or other channels.
Apart from this, new applications and protocols for detecting suspicious behaviour within their own digital space need to be developed. Unlike past, where insurers knew that a person accessing the database or a certain program must be in one room, they now require new identity verification modules to ensure their genuineness.
Also Read: How can Insurers Leverage Opportunities that Arise out of Challenges?
10 Insurance Business Practices for Enhanced Security
The following practices will help in boosting the overall security of your insurance agency:
1. Monitor every remote access event using tools like SIEM/UEBA.
2. Supervise your VPN, Box, DLP, O365, and data exfiltration points to detect malicious attempts of exfiltration.
3. Record and monitor transactions and access events on vital applications.
4. Observe user rights (user access privileges) on Crucial Applications and Active Directory for anomalies like:
– Dormant accounts’ usage
– Active terminated user accounts’ usage
– Unexpected privilege escalations
5. Watch out for credential sharing, especially for land-speed irregularities like:
– Simultaneous login by a user from numerous locations
– Remote login by a badged user
6. Observe remote access devices like internet-facing RDP/VPN for malicious attacks.
7. Make sure to update your internet-facing VPN/RDP servers.
8. Be cautious of the coronavirus-related fake health advisories/ alerts and phishing schemes.
9. Implement maximum multi-factor authentications.
10. Impose Separation of Duty (SOD) and peer-based and checks.
The Road to a Successful Insurance Remote Work Program
The following 8 steps will help you devise a successful remote work program for your insurance company:
1. Decide whether a part-time or full-time shift is apt for your insurance agency.
2. Figure out who can be a part of your remote team (part or full time) as per their preference or position.
3. Provide guidelines to experienced agents, letting them know of your expectations and their limitations.
4. Evaluate which technology you would require for remote working; video calling services such as Skype, GoToMeeting for team and client meetings, or Instant Messaging services.
5. Have a trial group in place for backing remote working situations.
6. Communicate with the remote team to talk about eligibility, guidelines, flex-working arrangements yourself, or through managers.
7. Conduct training on the use of any new equipment you have for remote working.
8. Evaluate the program at every step and communicate regularly regarding any changes or improvements that need to be done.
Also Read: Insurers on How the Coronavirus Outbreak could Impact their Business
How Remote Working Benefits Insurers and Help Increase Sales Efficiency?
Remote or virtual platforms help the sales team of insurers to collaborate, instruct, and gain insights into the activities of employees just like a traditional call centre, leading to enhanced efficiency with the following:
- Bigger Access to Structured Data: It is achieved after converting recorded conversations through machine learning to understand agents’ concerns through reports, getting rid of initial sales’ difficulties.
- Greater Agent Availability Rate: With remote working, insurers get a greater agent availability rate as the traffic hurdles and social interactions get eliminated, allowing them to take more calls and make more sales.
- Reduced Overhead: Remote working enables a maximum reduction in overhead cost related to the internet and other essential utilities required by the in-house team. This allows you to use the same money on marketing, which, in turn, brings in leads for making sales.
- Access to the Best Talent: When you are going to hire remote workers, why only limit yourself to local searches; instead look around the world for the best talent. When you have the best people on board, you maximize your potential of converting a prospect into a client.
- Polished Hiring Practices: There is no need for insurers to worry about remote insurance agents. For instance, during Clearlink’s hiring process, 600 people applied for on-site job locations while 6000 applied for remote working. This gives insurers the chance to pick the best talent amongst maximum options; best people on board means the best sales numbers!
- Enhanced Employee Satisfaction: The reason most of the people applied for remote working is due to the fact that they are more comfortable working from home. So, with remote working, they get enhanced satisfaction, leading to more productivity and sales.
This concludes the fact that remote working is the need of the hour since coronavirus is not looking to slow down at the moment. Insurers have to rely on remote working amidst the COVID-19 outbreak to maintain work productivity and profitability, along with ensuring uninterrupted customer services. Remote working comes with a lot of benefits and insurers can prepare themselves strongly against coronavirus with its help.
Now, when it comes to going for the remote working option, some insurers find it difficult to have their own employees work remotely for them due to a lack of equipment and technical setup at the home of its employees. During such a situation, they can go with the insurance agency outsourcing services option to outsource their insurance back-office processes.
With so many outsourcing firms out there, it can get difficult to search and select the best one for your firm. However, with Insurance Support World (ISW) available to serve you; you do not need to search anywhere. ISW for Insurance Leaders is a 12-year old renowned outsourcing company providing top-notch and affordable outsourcing services to firms worldwide.
Get in touch to start your 14-day free trial now to evaluate its remote working potential!
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