CONTRIBUTORSElite AgentEPM: Best Practice & Legislation

The COVID-19 lessons we can all learn from

It’s hard to believe we are entering our third year under the ever-looming shadow of COVID-19.

As the pandemic progresses, its effect continues to be felt across the globe and in our own backyards.

The insurance industry has been riding the waves of the pandemic’s social and economic impacts.

There have been some terrible lows, but also some green-shoots for the industry as the situation evolves.

As each new challenge is met head on, we also learn along the way.

And there have been some key lessons that apply to the real estate industry as well. Here are a few:


It would be fair to say that insurers are not known for being champions of change.

The fact is, the insurance industry has been in operation for over 500 years and some cynics might say the processes have changed little over the centuries.

But the onslaught of the pandemic means the industry has had to adapt to survive.

Amid physical distancing, self-isolation, lockdowns and other health mandates, insurers haven’t been exempted from radical change in the work environment, such as working from home and online communication and collaboration.

The industry has moved quickly to adopt technology and embrace innovation to make its systems easier and more efficient.

The real estate industry has also had to change.

Suddenly, everyone was working remotely and business-as-usual took on a whole new look.

Inspections couldn’t be performed, viewings couldn’t take place, in-person auctions were banned.

For an industry that is very much one-to-one, people and relationship-focussed, it’s been a bit of a shock to the system.

But unlike insurance, the real estate industry has always been agile when it comes to meeting the prevailing social, political and economic climate.

Tweaks to the business model, changes to operating procedures, adoption of technology and a new approach to marketing are some of the ways that we have noticed real estate businesses are tackling the challenges.


With COVID generating a tidal wave of news, government announcements and industry updates, it is vital to keep a finger on the pulse and to effectively communicate with clients and colleagues.

Customers and clients rely on professionals to provide them with up-to-date and accurate information so they can make informed decisions, after all.

Saying the right thing, to the right audience, at the right time, using the right communication channels is something the best insurers and real estate agents have learned to do.


Keeping up with legislative changes, news, government policy and the like has always been imperative for both the insurance and real estate industries, but never more so than as we deal with the pandemic.

There have been many changes that have come into effect because of COVID-19 that impact our industries, like the government-mandated eviction moratorium and introduction of new legislation (both tenancy and financial services).

As a result, we’ve all had to be extra vigilant and make sure we know what’s what when it comes to legal matters.


Businesses and industries across the globe have had to deal with the social and economic strains wrought by COVID-19. The insurance industry has also had to meet the challenges dealt by Mother Nature.

The onset of COVID followed in the wake of devastating bushfires during the summer of 2020.

More natural disasters followed in quick succession – bushfires, cyclones, storms, floods – and have not let up.

Always challenging, these events were compounded by COVID.

It got more difficult when insurers only had remote teams, assessors were not able to perform their duties due to restrictions and trades became even scarcer.    

Adaptability and innovation, coupled with resilience, is enabling the insurance industry to keep on keeping on.


Having the right landlord insurance in place has been invaluable for many property investors and their agents throughout the pandemic.

Being protected against risks that could impact the rental (from damage to loss of rent) is a financial safety net.

Every investor – and their agent – wants a secure investment.

But not everything always goes to plan. And some events cannot be controlled.

What can be controlled is whether your investment property owners are protected by landlord insurance. 

If COVID-19 has taught us nothing else, it’s that we never know what is coming.

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Sharon Fox-Slater

Sharon Fox-Slater is the Managing Director of EBM RentCover, which protects more than 165,000 rental properties across Australia. For more info, visit