Podcast: Remote Working Technologies for Insurance Professionals


Insurance professionals must learn to navigate changes that have occurred almost overnight as a result of COVID-19 restrictions and conditions.

In this new episode of the Nat Alliance NOW!  podcast series, Mitch Dunford, Chief Academic Officer of The National Alliance, joins Kelly Surles and Steve Anderson for an in-depth discussion on the new reality of remote working.

Surles, CIC, CPRM, CISR, ACSR, is a very experienced personal lines insurance manager, and Anderson is a thought leader and bestselling author on insurance technology and related topics. They share practical tips to help agency owners, managers, and other employees thrive while working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

From the importance of daily team communications to specific technologies and tools, they offer solutions and practices that can be implemented immediately by both agency owners and team members. The participants also offer insight into the future of remote working as the industry emerges from the current crisis.

Anderson notes that while there has been a lot of focus on the technologies that make remote working possible (such as video conferencing), it’s equally important to learn how to manage and navigate these changes. Throughout this period of transition, frequent and steady communication among teams will be crucial to success.

“An agency owner or management team can’t communicate too much, especially now,” Anderson says. Video interaction with staff and co-workers is a necessity, Anderson and Surles agree. “Daily check-ins and face-to-face conversations are key for me,” Surles says.

Anderson and Surles cover several other challenges agencies now face, including:

  • Change management for both team members and clients.
  • Specific technologies, platforms, and software agencies can use to help facilitate a smooth transition to a remote work environment.
  • State licensing requirements for remote workers and how agencies can ensure they’re compliant. 
  • An emerging culture shift that may permanently change attitudes toward remote work among insurance agencies.

Surles also announces changes The National Alliance is making to expand options for online education, including:

  • Moving classroom courses online ahead of schedule, making the classroom experience available from either the home or office. 
  • Enhancing the corporate learning portal – employees can now benefit from a monthly subscription model for classes for designations including CISR, CPRM, and CIC. 
  • Debuting a CISR live instructor-led format in mid-April 2020.

In addition to implementing techniques and tools discussed in the podcast, agency owners and managers can advance their learning through the online CIC Agency Management course. 

When asked how the course will help agencies during this critical time, Mandy Whorton of The National Alliance’s Academic Development team says, “It all boils down to change management and how employees and employers manage change in a constant state of uncertainty. In the CIC Agency Management course, we focus on change management and how communication is key, along with the importance of conducting needs-assessment so you can plan, monitor, and adjust.” 

This program offers 4-hour topics such as strategic planning, technology utilization, talent acquisition, and more. Register today


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