The president of INTER Polska, Janusz Szulik, talks about the changes caused by the pandemic on the market of employee benefits and insurance.
Employees are no longer only interested in gym passes or discounts on cultural events – now they also expect their bosses to provide them with solid health insurance. The pandemic made health the most important issue for all employees – regardless of the industry or position, and health insurance ranks high among the most desired non-wage benefits. Is this interest going to grow?
Janusz Szulik, President of INTER Polska: The epidemic violently exposed the fragility of human health and life on an unprecedented scale, rebuilding our perception of what is really important, so it is not surprising that employees are now asking primarily about products related to health and safety. INTER Polska, as a leading insurance company in the medical industry, also offers health insurance packages for companies. We have been cooperating closely with private and state health services for years, so we are able to offer our business partners excellent insurance packages, for example, guaranteed unlimited access to specialists, a wide range of remote advice from specialists in over 20 different fields of medicine, and the broadest package of Medical Assistance insurance. The services included in the packages are provided in reputable private medical centers throughout the country. Coming back to the question, I am convinced that this interest will continue to grow.
What new solutions does INTER offer?
The pandemic significantly accelerated the process of digitization in our lives, also in INTER. In February we sold 30 percent of our policies in the dual model, while in March we doubled this result. In short, the model looks like this: the insurance offer is prepared by an expert in the system and sent as a link by e-mail to the client, who can make the payment electronically, and then our system sends them the policy by e-mail. This is not new, but the definitely scale is. We have also made many changes to our products. For example, under our life insurance INTER Medyk Life, since August 1 we have been paying benefits to COVID-19 patients from the first, not the thirty first day of incapacity for work due to illness. Today, this package is chosen by nearly 90% of clients.
You have been insuring the health service for almost 30 years. This professional group is particularly exposed to the disease. What help did you provide to them during the most difficult months after the outbreak of the pandemic?
We have just completed the first stage of donating surgical and respirator masks to students of medical universities throughout Poland. We reacted immediately when we received information about the lack of masks for students taking practical classes in clinics. University authorities and students thanked us for this “gift of the heart”, which was very touching.
At the beginning of the pandemic we signed an agreement with the President of the Supreme Medical Council, under which all doctors and dentists can receive legal assistance in cases related to the pandemic on a 24/7 basis since March 20. By calling the telephone number provided, they can receive legal advice free of charge, also in writing with a signature of a legal advisor. The interest has been great – on the first day nearly 80 doctors called for assistance.
We provided masks to the National Council of Nurses and Midwives and doctors of the Zielona Góra Agreement. These are just selected examples, but we will continue helping.
What has the pandemic taught INTER as an organization? What has it taught you as its president?
Humility, we realized that overnight the world around us can change in ways we have not known before. The pandemic made us aware of the need to have tools and skills in the organization that allow us to flexibly respond to such changes. It was also an impulse to introduce innovative actions at an unprecedented pace. It showed us that digitization is not just the only right direction of development, but that it should be much faster than before.
What are your wishes for your employees for the coming year?
Most of all, good health and overcoming the situation related to the pandemic, so that in 2021 we can return to relatively normal life and work. However, I am aware that the pandemic has changed the world and I wish our employees to learn as much as possible from this lesson, which we will continue to draw on to shape the new reality, so that we can find our place as best as possible.
Last Updated on December 23, 2020 by Karolina Ampulska