The world changed in 2020 beyond recognition, and many organizations struggled with the new normal — with social distancing rules, business and operations closure, and of course the inevitable economic impact. However, many industries were able to adapt quickly, allowing for business continuity and minimized economic impact.
One such industry that was able to adapt quickly to the new normal was that of insurance state licensure. There are two main reasons that insurance licensing was able to adapt quickly:
- Insurance is a market driver
- The nature of insurance exams
Here, we discuss how the combination of both these factors created the perfect storm and allowed the insurance sector to thrive.
Insurance as a Market Driver
In uncertain times, people and businesses need more protection than ever, so it’s important to keep testing readily available for regulators in order to continue to provide needed insurance resources to customers. States were able to adapt and come up with ways to allow the insurance industry to keep testing. Some states were forced to issue temporary licenses and some issued extensions to existing licenses, but those that had already adopted remote testing didn’t need to do so. Remote testing allowed many states to continue growing their programs even under these adverse market conditions, with Washington State OIC being one of those. Read more about their program here.
A.D. Banker and Company released a blog post that is updated daily as state regulators announce updates and changes, including remote testing.
The Nature of Insurance Exams
The main critical move that was adopted by regulators was to utilize a multi-channel approach to licensing. The test center mode of exam delivery has been at the forefront of the state licensing market, and for good reason. As online testing has rapidly evolved, more and more regulators were shifting to this multi-channel approach. With the widespread closure of test centers during the COVID-19 outbreak, many regulators were forced to stop testing. However, those that had already adopted an online method of delivering exams were at an advantage and were able to continue to do so.
Although all industries are suited to online delivery (or online proctoring), insurance licensing was an early adopter due to a number of reasons. First, insurance exams are suited to different modes of delivery because most of the exam is single stage, short in length, and the subject matter lends itself to online delivery. Although feasible, lengthier exams that are more practical require more design and customization to make them defensible, secure, and indicative of a great candidate experience. Other industries are also making the move to online proctoring. For example, we have seen many states adopt an online approach in real estate state licensure over the past few months.
All of these elements, combined with a solution that is ready and rapid to deploy in online proctoring, have aided the insurance industry to lead the way in online exam delivery in state licensure. If we were to face another global pandemic or a resurgence of COVID-19, those that have an online exam delivery method will be much more able to continue testing and protect their program.