12 Oct 2020
Who Provides Certainty During Uncertain Times? We Do!
Estimated read time: 3 minutes, 58 seconds
Sometimes the insurance industry gets a bad rap. But when the future is uncertain and people feel personally vulnerable, they find reassurance in their life and health insurance. They take comfort knowing their insurance companies have their backs. Our industry was built for uncertain times like these. Sadly, this is our time to shine.
No one expected the world to turn upside in 2020, but it did—assailed first by a deadly pandemic, then by a global financial downturn. To date, we’ve seen more than 35.7 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including more than 1.05 million deaths and 25 million who have recovered.
Suddenly, people understand firsthand that life and health are fragile gifts. If you’re like many agents or brokers, you’ve been fielding more questions from clients. They not only need the reassurance that their protection is in place, but want to know more details of their coverage. Consumers are educating themselves. Furthermore, and although money is tight for many now, they continue to invest in life and health insurance.
According to a recent LIMRA consumer study, 68% of people who purchased a policy in the last two years say they’re likely to purchase more due to COVID-19. Among those who haven’t bought life insurance recently, 22% say they’re more likely to because of the pandemic.
Furthermore, according to EY Parthenon’s October 2020 survey, consumers’ top concern remains the welfare of their families. More than half of respondents say COVID has changed their values and perspective, with 62% confirming that they are now more conscious of the importance of physical health.
Those findings are backed up by LIMRA quarterly sales surveys. In July, 2020 life insurance policy sales increased by 12% over July 2019, marking the largest increase in some time—and providing more evidence that the insurance industry is filling a very real, immediate need.
Protection Against the Greatest Possible Losses
Insurance isn’t a new idea. Mankind has recognized the need for risk mitigation going back in time. For centuries, communities banded together, forging agreements of mutual aid should one of their members hit a crisis. Should a member’s house burn down, fellow members would band together to rebuild it. Should a farm family need help with the harvest, neighboring farmers would pitch in.
Over time, third parties began to assume that risk in return for payment—and thus, insurance contracts were born. People have long understood that they can’t necessarily prevent bad things from happening, but they can take steps to protect themselves against the unforeseen.
Think about some of the ways Pan-American Life’s life, health and personal accident insurance products are helping people right now:
- Health plans are helping people pay for their medical care and even seek preventive care.
- Life insurance policies are helping families pay their mortgages and make ends meet after the loss of the breadwinner.
- Whole and universal life policies are helping individuals and families survive periods of unemployment by accessing their cash value.
- And on the employer side, valuable group coverages are helping employers retain talented workers, despite the upheaval. At some point, these will help them attract new talent.
The insurance industry is unique in providing this service. And although we may have been called “boring” and “dull” on occasion, we are the true risk-takers—the ones stepping forward to deliver on a promise.
Our Responsibility: Stand Strong—and Find New Ways to Help
COVID-19 has disrupted every industry, including insurance. However, during the initial chaotic shutdown, carriers worked fast and hard to adapt, finding new ways to work with policyholders, agents, brokers and employees.
For example, we’ve all become more adept at using technology in the last six months. Instead of meeting your current and prospective over the kitchen table, you’re meeting them over videoconferencing platforms. And it’s working just fine!
We’ve even learned to do business without handshakes—a centuries-old custom that marked the sealing of every agreement.
At Pan-American Life, we’ve taken a number of actions to help our policyholders, from waiving grace periods and waiving COVID exclusions to providing telemed options in many countries..
In addition, we’ve accelerated our technological development, implementing a virtual sales process in many areas, and working toward it in others. We’ve shored up IT security, too. We’ve launched fraud awareness campaigns to benefit consumers and the PALIG Cares Safe Return Initiative for small businesses in the Caribbean, helping them reopen safely.
Last but not least, we’ve continued to reinforce Pan-American Life’s enduring financial strength and stability. This is our core responsibility always—but especially during times of upheaval. Needless to say, we’re pleased to have reconfirmed our consistently high ratings with A.M. Best “A” (Excellent) and Fitch Ratings “A” (Strong).
This year, it means more than ever.