As the UK insurance market met in Manchester the president, UK & Ireland at loss adjuster Crawford & Co said the industry had to tackle the challenges posed by the new normal and solve the ongoing fight for talent.
As The BIBA annual conference opened in Manchester, Lisa Bartlett ,(above) told Emerging Risks that the industry had to meet the challenges that have been created in the post-COVID economy.
“As an industry we all face some universal challenges,” she explained. “I believe one of the biggest is the issues around talent. We are all fighting for the same talented individuals and the problem is more acute when it comes to those with more experience.
“Technology is having an effect. The entry level roles are now in some cases being replaced by technology, so it creates the challenges of how we not only attract but also develop talented staff. At Crawford we are keen to retain and develop our staff, but it is tricky.”
Bartlett added that the pandemic had seen a change in the attitude of both clients and policyholders.
“They are becoming more demanding when it comes to claims,” she explained. “They are expecting ever higher levels of service.”
The move to remote working has also had an impact according to Bartlett.
“It is interesting. As adjusters we were forced to use technology during the peak of the pandemic when the restrictions on movement were in place. What we have found is that as clients and policyholders have seen the benefits of technology, they are happy to have their claim managed from a desk and remotely.”
However, Bartlett said that she expected that there would be discussion over the emerging risks and how they can be better managed.
“The industry was forced to cope with COVID BI claims and those claims remain a challenge,” she said. “We have new risks such as cyber which require a response and risk profiles have changed for many businesses.
“These are challenges but they are also real opportunities for the industry if we can provide the right response. The question we have is how we can respond to them, to deliver the services expected by our clients and with it create those opportunities for growth.”
Returning to the issue of safeguarding the industry’s future Bartlett said the key was to put in place the systems which make your business a company of choice when it comes to the next generation of employees.
“We have five generations of employees at the firm and that creates the need to get the balance right.”
On the move to hybrid and flexible working Bartlett said for firms it was no longer a nice to have option.
“Flexible and agile working is here to stay,” she explained. “The challenge with those that are working remotely its getting them to feel the loyalty to the company and their fellow staff when they are not in the workplace throughout the week.
“We also have the issue of how we can shape the working week so it is a blend of technology and the transition back to the workplace for all or part of the week. We have all come to depend so much in technology so the transition will not be an easy one.
“There are many benefits that technology and a flexible working system can bring but only if that is successfully managed and systems are in place to ensure staff are able to continue to learn and develop their careers.”