The entire insurance profession adapted to the challenges of Covid-19 by showing “an incredible amount of intuition and entrepreneurship”, according to Jeremy Trott, non-executive director of the Society of Claims Professionals.
Reflecting on the events of the last 12 months, Trott, who is also claims director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said March’s operational challenges due to the Covid-19 lockdown drove new ways of remote working and saw the insurance industry face the minefield that was business interruption claims themselves, with the Financial Conduct Authority taking the unprecedented action of challenging insurers in court.
Throughout this time, Trott said he has been immensely proud of how individuals and businesses have tried to keep their employee and customer base supported.
He said: “That included the changes that a number of insurers made to recognise additional activities that businesses need to do to stay afloat—for example, restaurants becoming takeaways, taxi companies turning to delivering food—and more generally, support for any humanitarian work that individuals were taking on.”
“Most of this, insurers automatically covered from the various insurance angles, as well as offering their own employees different and varied ways of keeping in touch, with a particular focus on mental wellbeing.”
Trott continued: “Gradually, during the summer, things started to return to some kind of normal, with offices starting to open up and the wider customer base also trying to make sense of what it meant to work during a pandemic. As usual, an incredible amount of intuition and entrepreneurship enabled an uptick in activity that was showing real promise until the first tiered approach was followed by another lockdown.”
“The advantage this time is that outside the hospitality and retail sectors, most businesses have remained open, with lessons learned from the first lockdown being fed into solutions to enable both customers and employees to remain safe.”
Trott said lessons have been learned from Covid-19 and the events of 2020.
He said: “We need to ensure we take this learning into the challenges of the future—culturally, we can be confident that we can achieve what we might not have thought was possible, with the right attitude and approach. We might initially fail but this is often the way we learn the most; and to seek perfection at the first attempt is rarely possible and often restricts progress in the long run.
“As we go into 2021, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty that we need to deal with—and my advice would be that we are just going to need to get more comfortable dealing with that uncertainty, rather than trying to change it.”
The Society of Claims Professionals is a dedicated professional body, which was launched by the Chartered Insurance Institute in January 2019 for individuals who work in claims.
The society provides good practice guidance and a forum for the advancement of new ideas, career development and professional qualifications.