Dev Maitra, Managing Director of Savington International Insurance Brokers Image Credit: Supplied

As the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, the central objective of insurers is now shifting to what the competitive landscape will look like following the end of the initial scares, what it means for their businesses, and how to get ahead. As insurance leaders, choosing to focus on key priorities will enable people to be stronger and more resilient in the post-crisis world.

Crises such as Covid-19 tend to affect all business sectors but it places particular emphasis on insurers who can expect to be flooded with general enquiries and claims across multiple lines, regardless of whether it is for health, life or non-life coverage. Trying to balance the need to respond to this flow of activity in call centres with rapidly shifting work-from-home culture is an area that the country’s insurance sector had on-boarded and adapted to very well.

Covid-19 persists to cast a large shadow over communities, economies and businesses around the world. As an insurance provider, business continuity and customer and employee assistance have been our immediate imperatives. In general, the industry is responding well, facilitating remote work and addressing immediate capital issues. Achieving good growth during the pandemic while working towards digital transformation was key to successfully managing remote working this year.

Digital transformation is a journey that can be different for each resource, and our management is working towards understanding and enabling each member of the staff based on their individual needs.

The management engages with team members to gain a clear understanding of the conditions under which they perform best, their concerns about workflow and emotional response to situations. Managers in strength-based businesses have a huge asset — they can predict employees’ reactions even digitally through Zoom meeting, WeChat, or you name it. Whether that means a driving need to complete projects, keep promises, maintaining relationships or any other motivator, our management understands that these traits are powerful and different for everyone.

The industry’s approach to the problem has been quick, mirroring the need to strengthen market positions. Numerous measures have already been put in place in Middle Eastern markets, such as premium discounts; extended terms; extra coverage; and exemption from restrictions on certain products. Authorities have offered to extend the regulatory time limits or reporting requirements.

The UAE’s insurance industry has already proved to be successful in effectively handling this crisis while stabilising operations with the focus finally shifting to profitability and strategising for the long term.