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The Insurance Sector: Leading the Way in Multi-Modal Test Delivery

September 2, 2020

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.

iStock-1156486392 (1)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: 

  1. Insurance is a market driver
  2. 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 licences and some issued extensions to existing licences, 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 evolvedmore and more regulators were shifting to this multi-channel approach. With the widespread closure of test centers during the COVID-19 outbreakmany 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.

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Jason McCartney Jason McCartney is a Director, Client Services at PSI Services where he is responsible for managing clients in PSI's insurance licensing market segment. He has over 19 years of experience working in the insurance industry, insurance regulation, and with PSI’s insurance testing and licensure clients. His responsibilities include the management of client relationships and the supervision of professional client services staff. In addition, his operational responsibilities include ensuring that delivery of services is consistent with both the scope of the client contract and PSI’s service culture; as well as new project implementation. Before joining PSI, Jason worked for nearly 9 years as a Licensing Administrator for the State of Nebraska Department of Insurance. In addition, Jason serves on the Securities and Insurance Licensing Association (SILA) Board of Directors as the Sponsorship Chair.