Society of Insurance Research Survey Reveals Impact of COVID-19 on Insurance Professionals

The Society of Insurance Research (SIR) held its annual conference virtually in October, and, as expected, the impact of COVID-19 on the industry was at the top of the agenda.

SIR conducted a survey of insurance industry professionals in May to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the business climate. The survey asked how the pandemic was impacting staffing, budgets, work-from-home arrangements, business travel and professional development.

At the time of the survey, 97 percent of carrier respondents said staffing levels have not decreased. When asked about work-from-home arrangements, only 10 percent of respondents said they plan to return to the office full-time once restrictions are lifted.

Travel restrictions will remain in place indefinitely for most respondents. Even when travel restrictions are lifted, nearly everyone will remain cautious of traveling nationally, and nearly three-quarters expect their travel budgets to be reduced.

Micheal Myers, Lead Competitive Intelligence Analyst at USAA and President of SIR, said, “This was an extremely insightful and timely survey of industry professionals. SIR put the insights into action by quickly pivoting from planning an in-person conference to meeting virtually (with record attendance). We also published COVID-related research reference library to help researchers solve business problems. As is consistent with SIR’s mission, we provided these resources to members and non-members alike to advance the industry.”

Over 180 professionals responded to the survey; 67 percent were carriers and 33 percent were suppliers/vendors. A variety of lines and businesses were represented, including commercial, personal, life and health.