There has been no shortage of articles on “the new normal” following the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, but many are short on specifics. How will coronavirus specifically affect property & casualty (P&C) insurers?

Carriers are already taking a hard look at operations that were impacted while they quickly adapted their business to a work from home (WFH) model. There are many potential remedies, but here are three specific measures that Sapiens clients are already considering.

1. Even More Digital

During this outbreak, people are obviously interacting less with other individuals. This is fundamentally altering claims processing and payment operations, for example. In terms of claims processing, assessing damages will require empowering the insured to quickly document and send evidence of the damages. Payment operations are also changing…people will need to make payments and disbursements online, rather than mailing in checks. Carriers will need to provide multiple ways to digitally make payments. That is one of many potential issues.

2. Untying Underwriting

Some regions occasionally experience unpredictable weather, such as tornados in The Great Plains or earthquakes in California. Insurers in those areas adapted long ago by adjusting their underwriting workflows and rules. Other insurers have benefitted from relative stability, but now COVID-19 has reminded them that weather isn’t the only unpredictable element.

These insurers are trying to figure out on the fly how to prepare for a new way to handle claims, change rules, add exclusions, etc. Innovative underwriting workflows and the ability to easily change underwriting rules have become crucial.

3. More Cloudy Days

Analyst firm Strategy Meets Action (SMA) found that 84% of all P&C core systems in 2019 were implemented in the cloud. That seems low even before coronavirus. Being in the cloud and utilizing managed services is critical to ensuring “business as usual” for P&C carriers. The cloud generates cost savings, future-proof technologies and a robust and flexible infrastructure. And during a crisis, managed services provide carriers with peace of mind, knowing their digital core platforms are running smoothly and that complete disaster recovery is available.

Stay at home orders are beginning to ease and businesses are opening back up, but prudence is advised, especially considering a potential second wave of the coronavirus. P&C insurers can benefit from considering the three measures outlined above.