Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Why It’s Time For The Insurance Industry To Live Up To Its Promise. This week we’re bringing you:
The unique advantage of independent agents in a pandemic*
Independent insurance agents have a unique tool in their toolkit when it comes to helping small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. They have the advantage of true empathy. Why? Because the vast majority of agencies in the United States are small businesses themselves. They’ve had to weather the same storms as their small business clients; they’ve had to make the same transitions to enable remote working; and they’re all facing the same concerns and considerations about bringing people back to the workplace and safely ramping up in-person business.
These similarities, and the potential camaraderie they produce, are going to be vitally important as insurance agents help small businesses through the reopening and return-to-work process, according to Dan Killins (pictured), loss control program manager at EMPLOYERS, a small business workers’ compensation provider. He told Insurance Business: “From my experience thus far with policyholders and agents, I think this is a huge opportunity for agents to deepen and solidify their relationship with their clients. The events that have happened are tragic, and, unfortunately, they’re ongoing – but this is an opportunity for agents to really bond and become a valued partner with their clients. Read more in-depth here.
What impact is coronavirus having across the political and credit risk insurance market?*
It’s fair to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a widespread impact on the insurance market – but what about the credit and political risk sector, specifically?
Brokerage giant Gallagher has attempted to address this issue through new research it carried out in early July.
Speaking to insurers in the market it asked about claims trends and discovered that just one in three – 29% – reported claims that they considered to be attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. However, it highlighted that this is likely because much of the credit risk underwritten in the segment typically comes from Governments and companies they own, as well as sizeable corporates. It believes that their exposures are easier for those firms to deal with – and, as such, it may not be until the fourth quarter of this year and beyond that we truly grasp the full picture.
There were concerns expressed among current portfolios, however. In particular, underwriters pointed to aviation and oil and gas (both highlighted by 27%), as well as tourism (highlighted by 10%), as the main areas of concern. Read more in-depth here.
Firms consider COVID waivers before bringing workers back onsite*
As employers make plans to bring their employees back to the workplace in the fall, questions over liability and responsibility are leading some to require workers to sign waivers or acknowledgments concerning COVID-19. However, experts question whether these documents may be necessary, advisable or even enforceable.
Companies are “absolutely” concerned about the liability issue of workers coming down with COVID-19 after returning to the workplace, said Matt Zender, Las Vegas-based senior vice president of workers compensation strategy at AmTrust Financial Services Inc.
“I think the reason people are concerned about it is it’s not always 100% clear whether or not you have taken all the steps you might need to (to protect workers from COVID-19),” he said. “We see businesses feeling more comfortable having employees sign a waiver that indicates that they’ve done everything they possibly can imagine. But I’m not entirely convinced that the waivers will actually have any legal standing.” Read more in-depth here.
How pandemic insurance can be available to businesses in the future*
As businesses continue to see forced closures due to the pandemic, insurance company Chubb has created a partnership with the government to provide business interruption insurance. Evan Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Chubb, joins “Squawk Box” to discuss the initiative.
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