The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on every facet of our lives – and it’s likely that we will be dealing with the aftereffects of COVID-19 for some time to come. With some countries and US states taking their first steps toward opening up their economies, we wanted to know how the insurance industry is rising to the challenges of COVID-19. We asked John K. Tiene, an executive consultant for Strategic Agency Partners and a 30-year insurance industry veteran to share his perspectives on the short and long-term impacts this crisis will have on insurance and insurtech.
John, in a recent interview with Property Casualty 360, you noted that, “The challenge with operating in the current condition of a lockdown is that it forces everybody to operate in a manner that they’re completely uncomfortable with doing.” How well would you say the insurance industry as a whole is doing in adapting and rising to the challenges of COVID-19?
Generally, I would say the insurance industry is doing very well. Insurance companies have adopted quickly. Their challenge has been dealing with and responding to state regulators who are issuing orders and bulletins before consultation with the companies. It’s great to tell consumers that refunds are being ordered but that creates undue expectations with consumers. Insurance companies need time to program changes into their systems etc. But generally, insurance companies have done a great job adapting to the challenges the COVID-19 crisis created.