The insurance business is a complex one and new facts and regulations influence the entire industry at least once a year. For insurance companies in the European Union, none has been more significant this year than the Insurance Distribution Directive, or IDD. Not only is adhering to this new regulation paramount for European organizations, but it also directly impacts anyone working with insurance companies in the U.S., as international partners will have stricter requirements for cooperation, data flow, and professional education.
The IDD has been in force since February 23rd, but continuous change and employee training is necessary in order for insurers to continue being legally compliant. E-learning is one of the most quickly implementable and reliable methods for this.
Why is E-Learning Relevant to the IDD?
One of the IDD’s central concerns is a training requirement for insurance brokers and agents as well as service employees. The EU stipulates 15 hours per year as the minimum required time to be invested in professional training. These must be corroborated and certified through performance assessments. E-learnings are an ideal means of fulfilling these training requirements.
What Are the Advantages of E-Learning for Insurance Companies?
Interactive e-learning is proven to be more effective than traditional web-based trainings (in which the user merely clicks through a long series of text-laden slides) and even gets more sustainable results than classroom trainings. There are a number of reasons for this:
- Videos that are enriched with multimedia materials convey knowledge using several sensory channels (visual & auditory, text & image), which speaks to multiple learning types, making knowledge easier to retain.
- E-Learning helps your employees be more flexible. They save time, since nobody has to travel, and the learners can watch videos at their own speed and on any device, even mobile. In addition, they can watch the content again and repeat any lessons they may need.
- Using quizzes and open rates, it’s easy to find out which of your employees took part in which training and whether or not they understood the content of the lesson.
There are many other good reasons for using video-based online trainings. For insurance companies, it’s especially important to answer the following questions before creating and distributing e-learning videos.
Things to Keep in Mind When Using E-Learning for the IDD
To Whom Does the IDD’s Training Requirement Apply?
Before you share your online trainings with your employees, consider who needs to see them. The IDD applies to insurance brokers and agents. In order to find out which training is relevant to which employee, you should seek legal counsel. It’s important to know that the IDD doesn’t just require training for people immediately involved in sales, but for all consultants as well, even if they don’t sell insurance policies themselves.
What Kind of Training Fulfills the IDD Training Requirements?
This is another important point to discuss with your legal counsellor. Not every kind of training counts towards the required 15 hours per year. It’s questionable that every product intro can be counted, even though they are useful when using the necessary level of abstraction. Another important question is which parts of any training are included in the 15 hours, especially if there are quizzes involved or if you’re using e-learnings in which the viewer can choose their own pace.
How Can You Maximize Learning Success with Minimal Input from Trainers and Viewers?
Insurance mediation is an enormously broad field, and not every information available needs to be included in every new training video. Create small, snackable learning packages and base them on the level of experience and knowledge that your employees already have. This can mean creating several short trainings for different levels of seniority. This helps you spend less time on lenthy trainings and enables your viewers to learn exactly what they need when they need it, saving time and energy. Remember that you don’t need a full professional setup in order to create good trainings. As long as you have a solid content structure, a normal webcam and some good PowerPoint slides are all you need.
E-learnings have a number of applications for insurance companies, above and beyond the IDD. Here are some examples:
- Presentations to increase clients’ comprehension of policies and updates
- Onboarding or even “pre-boarding” of new employees before their first day so they understand your company, products and market
- Insurance agents in your company can share tips and best practices for consultations and sales conversations with one another, letting knowledge circulate within your organization and enabling your employees to boost sales