#IMT2022: Experts Share Views on How Technology is Disrupting the Insurance Industry

Experts at the just concluded Insurance Meets Tech (#IMT2022) shared their views with regards to some of the things insurance companies are trying to do in order to increase accuracies around property claims, customer profiling, unified customer experiences and building resilience into systems.

In her submission, Ola Williams, Country Manager, Microsoft believes that while the global players have been a lot more aggressive in this area of creating capabilities to build a kind of file automation for passive management, automation associated with heavy transaction processes on both the customers’ side, and the policy managers’ side.

“In our region, this has not been the case; not for a lack of intent from the insurance providers but more of a misalignment between those who provide the main insurance services and those who provide technology services.

“There has never been a focus effort to co-invent, co-build and co-innovate”, she said.

Executives speaking during the panel session

Jonah Adams, Managing Director, Interswitch Systegra, said the industry reminds him of where retail banking was in 2002.

“The insurance market is fragmented, not operating at scale and lacks collaboration internally and eternally.

“The market is ripe for intervention, but the question is, what type of intervention is necessary at this time to begin to make the market operate at scale?

“One of the things that a lot of people don’t realise is that when you’re trying to intervene in an industry or market, either the regulator, private sector, or someone that has an interest in the market needs to deliberately make the effort to build a core system that enables that industry to thrive.

“When you look at what is going on in the insurance space, in Nigeria and across Africa, fundamentally, what is missing is that core infrastructure that allows everybody to talk to each other, interact and allow outside players such as fintechs, banks and others, to collaborate with that industry.

“If the market size is about 68 billion, it means someone or a group of people need to take 10% of that potential opportunity and invest in that market”.

According to Adams, the language across the industry needs to be standardised. There must be standardisation around distribution, access, and collaboration to allow people that operate at the periphery to innovate and thrive.

Samuel Ogbu, Group CEO, Old MutualWest, Africa also shared his views thus:

Talking about collaboration, partnerships and ecosystems, we are recognising that we have a common interest in solving problems like any other industry, delivering outstanding customer value.

In getting there, we need to give a lot of value to our partners, the business itself, capital providers, the society and community at large to protect our franchise to operate with.

Fundamentally, the problems have changed, the way they need to be addressed, the way people perceive those problems and the way customers receive those problems have changed. Innovation and technology can help us do two things:

  • A process of evolution
  • A process of revolution

Evolution is about doing things better. With existing promises that we need to deliver on. We need speed, efficiency, effectiveness because time has moved on, expectations have changed, what was found yesterday is not found today.

The question we all should have in mind is: how can I face the future with greater financial confidence? How can I mitigate risk and solve problems? How can I make better decisions?

In the evolution of that, innovation and technology has a big part to play in helping us be faster, more effective and also helping us know how big the market is.

The second is Revolution. For me, it’s the creation of wealth.

The world that I’ve lived in says I have to be part of an average; how can you make me feel special? How can you sell me user-based insurance? These information come from data and knowing the behaviour of clients. So, partnership is important.

We shouldn’t try to compete, we should collaborate.

IMT 2022 | Insurance Meets Tech
IMT 2022 | Insurance Meets Tech

Sola Ajayi, Executive Head of Sales, Leadway Assurance had these to say:

If you take a look at the history of the insurance industry, you’d find that in most countries where the industry has had a leap, there are factors involved:

  • Situations where there are significant catastrophic impact
  • Government regulations

In Nigeria, one of the key issues we have in the economy at this point is the economic situation itself. The customers need to be able to afford insurance.

There’s room for growth but insurance fundamentally requires the big players to collaborate with those who are bringing the needed skill to the table.

We need to be able to understand exactly what the customers need. If the customers see value, they will shove out cash.

The reality is that people are not buying insurance as much as we would like them to, not because they are ignorant or can’t get it. The question we need to address is; why do we not have it?

Mayowa Owolabi, CEO, PaddyCover

Focusing on what has been done to tackle the low penetration of insurance, Mayowa Owolabi, CEO, PaddyCover said:

The key thing in insurance is that not everybody wants it, not everybody wants to buy it because of our spiritual mindset especially in Nigeria, no one wants to bring out money.

What we’ve done to bridge this gap is that we are working with industries, stakeholders and regulators to make insurance more affordable, pushing in market education, insurance benefits and ease of payment.

TechEconomy.ng was the official media partner of #IMT2022 | Insurance Meets Tech

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