The year 2021 was shaped by a challenging talent shortage, an agile and evolving workforce, and cyber threats, with many organizations feeling the effect on their growth and development.
So, how do we wrap up the year that was and ensure 2022 is stronger? Here are the three trends that we believe carriers should consider this year:
1. Prioritizing people
2021 was an undeniably challenging year for insurance carriers wishing to retain and acquire new staff while maintaining focus on their customers’ experience. In 2022, it’s going to be more important than ever to set clear expectations and standards for how employees should treat policyholders, resolve claims, and externally promote their employer.
Setting these expectations will ensure that your team is always poised for success and will be a great predictor of business growth. Diversity, equity, and inclusion measures will continue to be a core part of every modern business operation, and a carrier’s ability to acknowledge, support, and recognize every member of the team is a key component to retaining talent.
Another tactic that you can employ to overcome talent challenges is to form strategic partnerships. Whether it’s a third-party claims administrator (TPA) for claims management, risk advisor to assess your operating environment, or recruitment specialists to search for the best talent for your future, partnering with the right organization can alleviate much of the friction in your business and provide long-term stability.
2. Preparing for when, not if
The past 18–24 months have proven that anything can happen, and your risk radar is not a hypothetical list but a predictor of the future. Every business must have contingency plans for its workforce, operating processes, and technology. While some carriers were ready for employees to work remotely or in a hybrid manner, many were not and did not have the processes or boundaries in place to maintain talent in line with business expectations.
In 2022, the shifting work environment already has many Americans not wanting to return to the office and actively seeking out employers who can accommodate their lifestyles and preferred way of working. If you’re unable to adapt, this could lead to an even tighter pinch on resources, and in the face of increased severe weather and other catastrophic events, carriers need a contingency plan to support their policyholders in their time of need. By engaging a partner who can support your business before an event occurs, you can set yourself up for success.
Furthermore, the strain of evolving technology and operational disruptions could create new, complex scenarios for carriers throughout 2022 and beyond. Without a clear strategy for navigating these headwinds, it will be difficult to find a way through.
A strong risk profile includes a thorough, tested plan for which partners, teams, and resources are required to manage these situations when they occur.
3. Protecting valuable data
We all saw the rise in ransomware and cyberattacks in 2021, with the effects of these disruptions including ambulances being rerouted, medical records being inaccessible, and other serious business and claimant impacts that compounded the issue for insurance carriers.
Cybercrime is a challenging issue to confront, but it does not have to be dealt with alone. Many cybersecurity vendors specialize in negotiating and responding to these incidents, and they should be a valuable part of your business continuity planning.
I hope I was able to offer you some insights into the opportunities that await you in 2022. It’s set to be an exciting year for us as an industry, and I look forward to connecting with you throughout the year.