Canadian Underwriter

Q&A: Business Continuity in the Digital Age

May 20, 2020   by David Gambrill

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In a world of working remotely from home during a global pandemic, Internet bandwidth is of primary importance for brokers to be able to serve their clients.

But when the P&C insurance industry started migrating their workplace out of the office to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus, they immediately discovered that not all Internet access is created equally. Some rural Internet service provided slower connections, making digital solutions in the “no-touch” age of a pandemic frustrating for rural insurance customers.

We spoke about the issue recently with Steve Whitelaw, vice president of broker and industry partnerships at Applied, shortly after airing the first episode of our webinar series in mid-April, COVID-19: Business Continuity in the Digital Age. Our webinars examine how the pandemic has affected Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry. Steve answered a question from the webinar audience on the topic of rural digital services.

Q&A with Steve Whitelaw (Mar. 20, 2020)

Q:  Unfortunately in remote areas the Internet is not always the best. What do you expect consumers to do when they have poor or no Internet access?

A:  For brokers, know your team, and how they are comfortable engaging with customers, and know your customer regardless of location. Ensure that employees can access that customer policy file in their time of need without risking their personal safety by going into the office. Providing an omnichannel customer experience will ensure that both customers and employees remain safe. In the last couple of years, the adoption of secure SMS and text messaging has drastically increased to support interactions between your team and your clients.


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