Your Insurance Agency's Emergency Team
You don't want problems in the world to impact your insurance business and insurance jobs, but the fact is that they will. Whether it's the COVID crisis or another type of emergency, your insurance agency needs to have plans in place for emergency decision-making. Who should be on your agency's emergency leadership team?
Management of Your Insurance Agency
As you develop emergency plans for your insurance agency, you must have management involved. According to Interstate, "a risk assessment and a corresponding business impact analysis are essential."
Your insurance agency must first approach emergencies proactively, planning for a time when an emergency could strike. This involves envisioning different scenarios and imagining how each one could potentially impact your business. Developing these higher-level plans and reviewing them regularly is best accomplished with management support.
Employees in a Wide Variety of Insurance Jobs
Depending on the size of your insurance agency, you may or may not have multiple people fulfilling each role in your company. Each of those roles will experience the impact of an emergency slightly differently.
For instance, your front line staff might be very busy answering phone calls and emails about changes in people's insurance coverage, while others may be extremely busy working with claims related to that emergency. Every large-scale emergency will have small-scale impacts on each individual's job.
When you're developing a business emergency plan, make sure that you gather feedback from people in each role to consider how that kind of emergency could specifically impact their role.
Technical and Information Support Staff
When you're working in a remote work environment, your information and technology support staff need to be involved in setting up processes and equipment to support people working from home. This includes helping people access the physical items they need to work from home, such as laptops. It also includes developing security protocols and the use of software such as cloud-based products.
According to the Insurance News Network, "chief information security officers may need to establish new cybersecurity protocols to permit the safe exchange of confidential information among employees connecting from outside the office."
Think about how the elements of your supply chain could experience impacts due to an emergency.
Consider Your Supply Chain and Business Associates
While they may not be official members of your business emergency planning team, your insurance agency relies on external organizations and businesses in order to run. What if they too experience an impact from an emergency?
For instance, you may not be able to easily get tech support for a specific service. You could lose power or access to specific supplies that you need for your agency. Consider your plan to address supply chain disruptions.
Refine Scenarios and Train Your Staff
As you consider potential threats to your business, continue to run scenarios, train your staff, and seek out their feedback. All employees of your insurance agency should be involved to at least a small degree in the discussion of different emergency scenarios so that you know that each individual is trained, on board with the plan, and can speak up regarding their individual questions or needs.
When you're striving to protect your insurance jobs, the American Agents Alliance is here to help. Talk with us about our many membership benefits and discover how we can help your insurance agency thrive, even in challenging times.