Australian Insurance Industry Faces Talent Crisis: Insurance Outsourcing Services May Address Labor Crunch
Over the last three years, the Australian insurance industry has faced many disruptions that may have forever changed the sector.
From the continuing effects of the global pandemic and “The Great Resignation” to the rapidly increasing demand for digitization, it’s no secret that the insurance sector is navigating a transition period. How Australian insurers react to the changes today will help determine how the industry will fare in the future.
Thankfully, there is a way for these companies to start increasing their flexibility and agility to respond to market changes and the overall global business environment: by utilizing insurance outsourcing services.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the state of the Australian insurance industry today, specifically the talent crisis insurers face. Then, we’ll dive into the specific tasks these businesses can outsource to qualified BPO professionals.
State of the Australian Insurance Talent Crisis (and How Outsourcing Insurance Services Can Be Beneficial)
There is a shortage of Australian insurance agents and brokers.
In the 2022 Skills Priority List released by the Australian National Skills Commission, insurance agents and brokers were found to be among the most in-demand occupations nationwide. Still, there needs to be more qualified talents for these crucial roles.
The same research found a moderate demand for other insurance positions, such as insurance consultants, investigators, loss adjusters, and risk surveyors. Industry experts suggest that the ongoing ripple effects of COVID-19 and the evolving economic climate are to blame for these talent shortages.
To address the insurance talent crisis, companies have begun reinventing their hiring processes, becoming more open to less experienced but adaptable employees, and investing in the training and upskilling of their existing workers.
Some insurance agencies have also found success through outsourcing administrative and support tasks, lightening the load of their core team while optimizing their overall operations.
The demand for digitization is fueling skills gaps in the insurance sector.
As digital transformation impacts all aspects of our daily lives, job roles are evolving alongside them — and the Australian insurance sector is no exception.
According to the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, many jobs in the insurance industry are changing because of the rise of new technologies. Tasks, once done manually, such as underwriting services, are being transformed by big data, automation, machine learning, virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI).
To stay relevant and competitive, underwriters and other insurance workers must upskill and adapt to the new business processes created by emerging technologies.
Today’s underwriters are expected to help clients with risk management and focus on higher-level challenges, provide strategic advice on preventing and avoiding risk exposures, and craft custom insurance policies that meet specific client needs.
However, true digital transformation will also require a change in organizational mindsets and cultures, with employers needing to invest in training and developing their existing workforce and upgrading their infrastructure.
These changes are fueling a skills gap in the Australian insurance industry. The challenge for the average insurance company is to find and hire the right workers, intentionally targeting those qualified to handle new technologies or at least capable of adapting to them.
Skyrocketing wages and IT talent shortages are creating problems for insurance carriers.
In addition to ongoing recruitment challenges and widening skills gaps, the Australian insurance industry is also dealing with skyrocketing wages.
Information Technology (IT) roles are in high demand. Still, they are in very short supply nationwide and globally, but they are necessary for insurance businesses to keep up with industry-wide digital advancements.
As such, companies have begun providing significant wage increases to attract top tech talent, offering salaries between 20% to 40% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
To compensate for the shortage of digital personnel, many Australian insurers have also internally moved workers from the operations side to the IT side, but these lateral movements have inadvertently created gaps in their core business functions.
How can insurance companies remain cost-effective while also filling in the gaps in their workforce? Outsourcing can be an excellent strategic option for addressing these ongoing challenges.
The desire for flexible work arrangements is contributing to the insurance labor crisis.
The Global War for Talent continues, and the Australian insurance sector is among the industries most affected by this phenomenon.
According to the Ernst & Young Global Insurance Outlook Report for 2022, workforce transformation is one of the three most important trends shaping the industry in the near future. The study highlighted the need for insurance companies to adjust their work environment and cultures to attract more top talents.
Check out these eye-opening numbers from the report:
- 90% of insurance workers say that flexibility in where they work is vital to them.
- 89% say flexibility when they work is essential.
- 54% say they will quit their jobs if their work flexibility preferences are unmet.
Australian insurers will benefit from adopting flexible, remote, or hybrid working arrangements to remain competitive in the tight labor market. Industry leaders must also be willing to change the status quo if they’re hoping to grow their workforce and capabilities.
The same Ernst & Young report highlighted the need for Australian insurance companies to expand their talent pool beyond their borders and welcome a more globally distributed workforce. In the era of hybrid working, companies can now hire and partner with qualified professionals worldwide, embracing diversity and fostering innovation.
What Insurance Process Outsourcing Tasks Can You Delegate to BPO Professionals?
Information Technology (IT)
As mentioned in previous sections, industry experts believe that many emerging technology trends are poised to change the nature of the insurance sector forever.
Technology is guiding the insurance industry’s current and future evolution from AI-enabled software that streamlines and optimizes systems to robotic process automation (RPA) that speeds up back-office processes.
However, to make this digital transformation happen, Australian insurance businesses need IT professionals to help them design, implement, and manage their technology infrastructure. This is where having a BPO services partner can come in handy.
The right outsourcing provider can handle everything from software development and programming to technical support and help desk services.
Insurance Back-Office Services
For the insurance industry, administrative and support operations can often be as essential as client-facing roles. By delegating essential back-office services to a capable BPO provider, your company can help drive all other departments toward maximum efficiency and productivity, especially your core team.
You can outsource insurance back-office management services such as:
- Accounts Receivable
- Accounts Payable
- Forensic Accountant
Good customer service is a must for the insurance sector. After all, insurance professionals often deal with sensitive and complex cases, servicing clients navigating highly stressful and emotionally charged situations.
Imagine discussing with one client who may be trying to claim the health insurance of a terminally ill loved one. Meanwhile, another client is distressed because their family home was destroyed in a hurricane, and they need the insurance money to rebuild their lives.
Through insurance agency customer service outsourcing, you can make sure to provide your clients with the empathetic and humanized service they deserve. The right BPO partner can offer 24/7 support capabilities, allowing clients to reach out to your company no matter the hour or day.
Insurance Claims Processing
Insurance claims are the formal requests clients file to receive compensation for losses or damages covered by their policy. And verifying, investigating, and releasing the claims is the backbone of every insurance agency’s business. It is the primary purpose and drive of your organization.
Insurance claims processing is one area of your business that you should always pay attention to, but it can sometimes be a draining and time-consuming process for your in-house insurance agents. Thankfully, when you work with a BPO that offers insurance claims outsourcing services, you can ensure that claims are verified and processed promptly without overwhelming your core team.
Insurance Data Entry
Insurers collect a wealth of data from their policyholders because these are necessary for calculating the probability of a particular event happening to the client (for example, how likely it is for your property to be destroyed by an earthquake or for you to get involved in a motorcycle accident) and determining how much their premium should be.
However, before data can be used to create an accurate picture of a client’s life, insurers must ensure that their data is adequately logged, well-organized, and reliable. This is where outsourcing insurance claims data entry services can come in handy.
Certificate of Insurance Services
A certificate of insurance (COI) is a document that verifies the existence of an insurance policy, highlighting its key aspects and conditions, including the type of coverage, date of effectivity, policy limits, and more. Issuing this document is an essential part of the insurance claim process, but it also adds to the already heavy workload of your in-house insurance agents.
If you want to lighten the workload of your core team without sacrificing performance, why not outsource certificate of insurance services? A dependable BPO partner can take over organizing essential documents and issuing COIs to policyholders so that your in-house team can focus on other aspects of the insurance claim process.
Insurance Endorsements Processing
Insurance endorsements happen when there are alterations to existing insurance contracts, whether these are coverage additions, changing addresses, removed beneficiaries, or any other changes that amend the scope or terms of the original policy.
When you outsource insurance endorsements processing services, a team of capable BPO professionals will take care of any policy alterations, ensuring all documentations are well-organized and providing clients with the insurance contract that best serves their specific needs.
Insurance Eligibility Verification Services
The first step of the medical billing process is insurance eligibility verification. It is the process of checking a patient’s health insurance coverage and verifying its authenticity, ensuring that the hospital or other medical facility will receive payment for services rendered and that the patient’s needed procedures will be covered by insurance.
Many healthcare providers choose to outsource insurance eligibility verification services. Doing so enables them to simplify and streamline their medical billing processes while reducing their medical staff’s workload.
Insurance Policy Issuance Services
In simple terms, insurance policy issuance services refer to creating an insurance policy for a client. From carefully reviewing the client’s documents and verifying all provided information to generating the final approach, the issuance process must be performed accurately and efficiently from start to finish.
Many insurance carriers outsource insurance policy issuance services to a reliable BPO because it helps their core team save time and effort on paperwork and instead focus on elevating their client experience.
Insurance Policy Management Services
Policy management can include everything from proposal generation to policy issuance and renewal. Insurance agents make sure to stay in touch with their clients, keep all essential documents updated and organized, and avoid customer churn by notifying policyholders whenever it’s time to renew their insurance contracts.
Outsourcing insurance policy management services streamlines this end-to-end process for companies. Using top-notch policy management software, the right BPO provider will improve efficiency for all policy management processes while simultaneously prioritizing customer service.
Insurance Underwriting Services
Underwriting involves evaluating and analyzing the potential risks in insuring clients and establishing the cost of premiums. By outsourcing insurance underwriting services, you can work with experienced underwriters who use state-of-the-art tools and software to review applications, assess risk factors, and establish pricing.
Partner With a Reliable Provider of Insurance Business Process Outsourcing Services
As the Australian insurance industry faces widespread talent shortages, outsourcing has become an excellent strategic option for many companies.
SuperStaff offers a wide range of insurance outsourcing services, including claims processing, customer support, data entry, and other crucial back-office solutions.
Contact us today, and learn more about our comprehensive and scalable outsourcing solutions!