Remote work arrangements are so common now, but just a few years ago, many companies did not support work-from-home accommodations. And while most people enjoy the flexibility of this new working reality, there are some drawbacks. One new consideration for insurance agents and brokers is how remote work has changed E&O risks.
Read on to learn more about this trending issue.
How Remote Work Changed E&O Risks for Insurance Agents
Many insurance agencies are now operating under a hybrid model, with some staff working remotely and others working in the office for part of the week. This arrangement has become necessary since the pandemic for many people, so remote work is here to stay.
But with flexible working situations come new risks to consider:
It is more challenging to keep every employee updated.
One of the major benefits to working in an office is the ease of communication. From informal chats in the cafeteria or over coffee to the ease of calling an impromptu stand-up meeting to disseminate new information, communication is easier when everyone is working in the office together. This is key to ensuring important messages get passed along to everyone — and for checking understanding. When people work remotely, leaders must work more diligently to share messages.
One way to combat this challenge is to schedule daily virtual huddles during a time in the day when most people can join. Having this quick check-in call allows leaders to share updates and gives employees time to ask questions. Being sure everyone understands changes, updates, and policies is one way to lessen E&O risks.
Agency technology plays a key role.
This is a critical time for technology in the insurance industry as innovations are continuously introduced to the market. With SaaS designed to make workflows faster and easier, customers and agents alike can benefit from the new technology. But with new technology comes risks, as well. Agencies need to train their agents and staff thoroughly on the programs to help avoid mistakes. For example, an agent working within a new pricing system might miss a step or fail to shop the business around to find the best rate.
Agencies can help their agents fight E&O risks brought about by new technology by ensuring thorough training when introducing new tools. Most SaaS providers offer ongoing support and training so agents can seek help. Knowing how to use the technology properly is one way to reduce the possibility of an E&O loss.
People may follow different workflows when working remotely.
One key way to reduce your E&O risk is by following the same workflows and procedures for every client. Using checklists or other tools to help you remember each step is a best practice — but sometimes, these workflows changed or were missed when employees moved to remote work.
Remedy this by reminding agents and brokers to follow usual workflows. Update checklists and tools to digital versions and ensure everyone sticks to the process. One way to help lower E&O exposure during remote work is to avoid errors by following the standard operating procedures at all times.
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