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Top of Mind: Challenges & Future Opportunities in Insurance in the Era of COVID-19, according to Lecturer Alejandro Zarate Santovena

Many workplaces have been forced to quickly transition to remote operations due to social distancing, shelter in place and quarantine regulations resulting from COVID-19. 

The Top of Mind series discusses a variety of impacts of COVID-19 through the lens of insurance management. With direction from the M.S. in Insurance Management program’s Academic Director, Teresa Chan, our second discussion reveals what lecturer Alejandro Zarate Santovena thinks about COVID-19’s hard push towards remote business functionality.

What are the short and/ or long-term effects of this pandemic on each of the key operational divisions within insurance companies, intermediaries and reinsurers?

The insurance industry is responding to COVID-19 on multiple fronts and technology is becoming the strongest ally of insurers in order to achieve business continuity to serve clients.

The current lockdown has made physical location irrelevant, and it is probable that two essential operational assets for insurers will be talent and technology. The use of API's, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and data exchange platforms should enable this change

The office will become an optional space for occasional business interactions. This new reality will accelerate digital transformation resulting in operations being increasingly virtualized and automated."

Alejandro Zarate Santovena, Lecturer - M.S. in Insurance Management Program

In order to achieve this, the insurance value chain will have to learn to break information and operational silos and integrate operation seamlessly. Additionally, emphasis in training and cybersecurity and privacy will be essential to successfully implement these capabilities.

The previous Top of Mind installment features lecturer Marguerite DeMartino’s emphasis on stepping away from antiquated to technology-supported processes in insurance. You can view the full article here. Learn more about Columbia University's Master's in Insurance Management