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The New Virtual Normal

We all had to rapidly adjust to a virtual world in 2020, and the importance of being able to harness technology and data to optimise the customer experience is unlikely to lessen this year.

Here are our top tips for performing in a challenging, changing and virtual insurance landscape.

  • Put a face to the name

Virtual does not have to mean you lose the chance to connect with your team and customers. Many workplace cultures were shaken by the rapid shift to working from home and both new starters and long-termers could be feeling disconnected from the human at the heart of their employer. Whether it’s profiling your leaders in engaging, organic ways, putting a face to your online chat-bot or sharing real customer stories – find ways to personalise and humanise your company from the inside out.

  • Drones, data and disasters

Natural disasters and severe weather events do not stop for a pandemic, and being restricted from accessing an insured’s property is no longer an excuse for a claims delay. We recommend exploring how you can take advantage of drones and virtual assessing techniques to keep claims moving in the event of a disaster. Whether it is getting an early look at a disaster site to identify damage from a bird’s eye view or connecting with insureds via a video walk through of their property, there are plenty of ways you can gather verified data to help your decision-making process. Take advantage of customer mapping and profiling to better understand how, and how many, insureds will be impacted by a catastrophe to adequately plan your surge outsourcing.

  • Personalised and private

We now have more access to our team’s homes and private lives than ever before, and we have a responsibility to help them make a distinction between when they’re “on” and “off” for work. Set clear rules and expectations around working hours for your team, provide wellbeing resources to set your team up for success and be ready to be truly flexible when it comes to a work environment that is, for some people, a little too close to home.

From a customer perspective, we also have an obligation to continue strict governance around storing customer’s personal and private data outside of the physical work office. There may be national legislation governing how you maintain customer privacy, so hold regular training sessions to keep your team on top of their requirements.

  • Plan to protect your team

Whether it’s a pandemic, surge event or business interruption, internal resourcing faces many risks. While working from home has made it possible for people to work through most circumstances, if a large portion of your team is impacted by an event or virus your reputation could be damaged as a result. Make sure you have a plan to protect your team and reputation through thorough workplace health and safety protocols, hygiene management and know when to call in the external experts to get your business through its own challenging time.

  • Exceed expectations

Finally, take stock of all the adjustments your team made to keep delivering in 2020. Celebrate what worked, refine what missed the mark and make a plan to go above and beyond for your team and insureds throughout 2021. The grace period for companies to adjust to the demands of our new virtual normal has passed and now is the time to stand out from the pack.


Reach out to Gallagher Bassett to find out how you can master the new virtual normal in 2021.

Pete Diskin

Chief Client Officer, GB Australia

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