Heath Ritenour is the current CEO of Insurance Office of America (IOA). He assumed office in 2008 when his father, John Ritenour, who founded IOA with his wife, Valli Ritenour, stepped down from active management. Heath is also its chairman from 2018. Guiding IOA to its current eleventh position among private insurance brokers in the U.S., Heath has amassed critical experience to advise on the current changes in the insurance industry, particularly following the COVID-19 hiatus.
Considering the effects of the pandemic, Heath Ritenour outlines specific criteria that insurance firms need to implement that last long with no further interruptions. Heath calls for more innovations to enable remote working, which has been the case since COVID-19 hit. Previously, customers, agents, and brokers organized meetings to discuss insurance terms, but he recommends that the current remote system continues as it benefits all parties. For instance, IOA and other brokers save on transport, whereas customers effectively access their service providers with no logistics disruptions.
Heath Ritenour recommends process reforms among insurance firms to save on time and energy. In the current era of information digitization, people have their insensitive information on public platforms, which insurance firms can use in application processes. Previously, insurance firms required clients’ physical presentation during application for insurance solutions. However, Heath gives the example of IOA’s SimplyIOA, a digital platform to collect some client information from public platforms and only involve them for verification. He recommends that such reforms continue to avoid a similar business relapse in the future.
When the pandemic hit, people’s personal and business cultures changed, involving less traveling and meetings. People changed their subscriptions from insurance policies that no longer fit their demands. Therefore, Heath Ritenour advises that insurance firms develop new products that suit people’s changing demands. Lastly, he recommends using modern technology, such as AI and drones, for more effective service delivery.