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June 1, 2020

10 Tips for Moving Online in COVID World

Summary:

As cyberattacks on small to mid-size businesses escalate, cyber insurance presents an opportunity to rebuild an agency book of business.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

In the retail industry, O2O “online-to-offline” signifies an online trigger, such as an ad, that prompts consumers to go to a physical location to complete their purchases, but it can also occur in the opposite order.

In the insurance sector, over 100,000 independent agents in the U.S. depend on high-value networking, customer references and direct carrier relationships. For insurance professionals, interacting with customers face-to-face has been vital.  But in the wake of the coronavirus, it is critical to move insurance agencies from an offline to an online model, O2O, where almost all tasks that agents were accustomed to on a day-to-day basis need to be done completely remotely.

This change can offer considerable benefits if executed correctly: higher productivity, greater scale and a high degree of accuracy that allows agents to continue to build trusted relationships. As risk management advisers, agents are responsible now more than ever for equipping policyholders with unbeatable risk transfer strategies. As cyberattacks on small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) continue to escalate, cyber insurance presents an opportunity to rebuild an agency book of business when done right. 

Here are 10 tips on jumpstarting your O2O transformation:

1. Focus your efforts on insurance lines with growth opportunity

Cyber insurance is relatively new, with substantial opportunities for adoption in the SMBs market as cybercriminals exploit people’s vulnerabilities using sophisticated social engineering attacks during COVID-19. In fact, phishing has increased by over 600% since the end of February, according to security provider Barracuda Networks.

2. Prioritize industries for which cyber insurance is vital

Organizations have begun using SaaS applications and operations in an effort to digitize online but will likely be left vulnerable to cyber incidents. Recognize which industries are either required to obtain cyber insurance or are paving the way for digital transformation.

See also: Will COVID-19 Be Digital Tipping Point?

3. Select partners that operate exclusively online

Now is the perfect time to reassess the insurance carriers and programs that you’re working with for capacity to shift online. Today’s technology allows businesses to deliver a vertically integrated insurance solution that ties together insurance requests, risk assessment, underwriting and policy and claims management in one system enabled by a common, relevant dataset. 

4. Search for admitted, standalone programs

This is directly related to your carrier of choice. The shift toward standalone cyber insurance programs is occurring because cyber insurance provided as an endorsement to other intricate coverages only creates more complexity. Standalone cyber programs outline what incidents are and are not covered, and the policy’s aggregate limit and sub-limits for each coverage, along with precise cyber criteria. 

5. Align risk to coverage, as your go-to sales pitch 

Cybersecurity aims to safeguard a business’ use of technology and the web. Each business uses different applications and operates in its own way. In turn, each business has drastically different risks that should be recognized by policies. Policyholders must be able to account for the coverages, aggregate limit, sub-limits and deductibles that best fit their risk assessment. 

6. Learn as much as the customer about the risk, if not more

Cyber risk exposures and attacks are constantly evolving. Evaluating an organization for cyber risk yearly is a risky and obsolete cyber strategy. Being able to regularly reevaluate risks and coverage on a continuing basis is necessary for cyber and shields all parties from coverage gaps.

7. Collaborate with carriers on prospecting

Transform your website to a producing site, not just a lead generation platform. API integration of your website into the carrier’s quoting and underwriting platform is instrumental in delivering a constant stream of potential cyber insurance consumers.

8. Educate policyholders on claims experience and loss control

Your customers should be equipped with security awareness training, generally administered by the carrier. Phishing simulation and basic InfoSec training are key education tools. Regular updates to policyholders on providing their risk insights and remediation guidance provide effective risk mitigation and loss control.

9. Educate yourself on what events activate which coverage

Outline for your policyholders what exactly is covered by the carrier’s insurance program by sharing your claim scenarios. Demand a list of cases for each incident that would activate specific coverage paired with concrete use cases.

See also: COVID-19: Implications for Business Models  

10. Don’t spend more than a few minutes on a submission, application or binding

Moving to an online operation can feel unsettling at first but, if done correctly, will produce real results:

  • Faster and more precise applications
  • Quicker turnaround time on quote and bind when working with a program that is also deployed online
  • Ability to offer additional services to policyholders as part of the online experience – risk assessment, training, notification of critical updates. Consistent communication online boosts customer satisfaction and opens the door to lasting relationships
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About the Author

Jack Kudale is founder and CEO at Cowbell Cyber. With deep operational experience in the DevOps, cybersecurity, IT Ops and big data spaces, Kudale leads Cowbell to execute on its vision of bridging the cyber insurability gap.

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