Accuro CEO Lance Walker has shared insight on how COVID-19 impacted the industry. Walker has noted that Accuro saw higher than usual levels of policy suspensions and lower claims during the second quarter of 2020, then higher claims towards the end of the year. Regardless, Walker highlighted that Accuro remained resilient because of the business continuity process in place. New business sales has been described as remaining at good levels during the initial COVID-19 period in 2020 and continuing into 2021. Walker has said that there has been very strong direct sales for individual policies and strong growth in group sales. Accuro has concluded that there is now a heightened awareness of the benefits of health insurance.
“The insurance industry took a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic last year, with many insurance providers and their people forced to quickly adapt to the unstable environment and address emerging risks.
Now that New Zealand has largely eradicated the pandemic, Accuro Health Insurance (Accuro) chief executive officer Lance Walker shared with Insurance Business how it impacted Accuro and the health insurance sector, the current challenges in the industry, and how to address risks.
Walker (pictured), who joined Accuro as a CEO during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, said the pandemic’s most immediate impact was that hospitals were not performing elective surgeries during the lockdown. As a result, Accuro saw lower claims during the second quarter of 2020, then higher claims towards the end of the year.
“We also saw higher than usual levels of suspensions due to financial hardship – although most of these are now reverting to paid policies,” Walker continued.
Despite the impacts of the pandemic on the sector, Walker shared that Accuro remained resilient, thanks to its business continuity processes.
“Like many organisations, the COVID-19 lockdown was a live test of our business continuity processes, and the team came through that with flying colours,” he said.
“We were able to conduct business remotely from day one with minimal impact on our levels of customer service (our levels of customer satisfaction remained above 90% for the 2020 year). This remote working model has continued post-COVID-19, with many of our team now choosing to work from home from time to time in line with our flexible working policies.”
Accuro’s new business sales also remained at “good levels” through both the initial COVID-19 period in 2020 and continuing into 2021.
“In particular, we have seen very strong direct sales in the individual space and strong growth in group sales,” Walker said.
“Our conclusion is that COVID-19 has heightened awareness of the benefits of health insurance – both for individuals and employers (who are even more focused now on employee health and wellbeing).” Click here to read more
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