To talk about communication of the insurance sector is to speak, among other things, of studies, rankings, investments, sector events, results, appointments, CSR initiatives and products, many products. At least, these isthe information that proliferates in the specialized media on a daily basis. Although it is true that, since the onset of the pandemic, CSR matters have become especially relevant in the communications of the different companies in an effort to ‘humanize’ their relationship with employees and customers. It was a golden opportunity for a sector that does not usually arouse much sympathy among the population to show the importance of its contribution to society. And it can be said that it was quite up to the task. Among other things, just three weeks after the state of alarm was declared, when the first wave of infections and deaths was in full swing, insurers contributed 37 million euros to a solidarity fund to create group life insurance for health workers. In addition, in all this time, those responsible for Communication of the different companies have taken, if possible, more care when transmitting their news and messages in these times in which uncertainty has crept into the lives of people and companies .
Precisely, a study published at the beginning of the year by Unespa, the insurance employer’s association, entitled ‘COVID-19 redefines the guidelines and the future of insurance’, estimates that the three challenges of the sector for the coming years are the impact and the consequences of the increase in life expectancy, the use of technology and artificial intelligence and the development of new forms of communication with the customer. In fact, it considers that the development of technology places information and data as the main elements. “People want to have trusted sources that offer truthful, up-to-date and impartial information,” says the extract posted on their website. At the same time, the sectorial employers’ association warns in the same piece that “users are increasingly suspicious of transferring their data to third parties and wish to be able to limit the use made of the information they generate.” This requires strict protection of the sensitive data available to insurers.
Therefore, we can say that communication has become more important as a result of both the pandemic and the increase in the presence of digital in our lives, intensified in the last year because of it. We are increasingly connected and receive more information, both through traditional media and social networks, often from sources that are not sufficiently verified. This forces the insurance sector to be increasingly scrupulous with veracity and to exercise transparency to a high degree, something that fully affects communication both with its own clients and with society in general.
In these circumstances, the efforts of the Communication departments should also focus on being much more cautious to avoid hurting sensitivities that are on the surface after the pandemic, but, above all, they will have to make an effort to do pedagogy, to show the value of insurance as a service to society and argue why it is necessary. It is the great weapon to win the battle against that concept of imposition or obligation that you still have. On the other hand, a fundamental aspect will be knowing how to explain what are the new risks that threaten society and how insurance can help to face them. And, of course, show the reforms and novelties of the products in line with these new risks. Within this pedagogical function, the simplification of the language used is of special importance. What is the use of communicating if the audiences we are addressing are unable to understand our jargon. There it is also necessary to provide a touch of humanization, both in the official documents with which you work with customers and when transmitting information about new or existing products.
In line with this search for humanization and closeness to clients and society in general, it is of the utmost importance to report on the initiatives and activities organized by companies related to Corporate Social Responsibility, especially the real policies in favor of diversity. and sustainability. Citizens are increasingly aware of these aspects and willing to ‘punish’ companies that do not care about these issues or do so as pure make-up. A gaffe in this regard can lead to a barrage of criticism on social media and, therefore, a reputational injury.
And we cannot forget the challenge of communication to attract talent to the sector. For this reason, it is essential to involve society in the Human Resources policies of insurance companies and highlight the social and economic benefits offered by a sector in which, as I have heard many times from an executive, few recent graduates aspire to work .
The tools used by the Communication departments to face these challenges should combine, as the Unespa report cited above explains, the virtues of digital with the advantages of traditional. It is essential that the most analogical people do not feel discriminated against and forgotten. Getting it right is simply a matter of applying common sense and having the advice of those with experience.