Zimbabwe insurance companies urged to digitise business models

By Staff reporter | 07 Mar 2019 at 08:51hrs
Zimselector boss
Zimselector, the country's first online aggregator for financial services, says local insurance companies should digitise their business models and find innovative ways to service their existing customers and create new business.

United Kingdom-based financial expert, Zelina Francis, the business development director of Zimselector, which was launched in 2015, and has partnered with Zimbabwe's most trusted brands such as Old Mutual Group, Zimnat Group, NicozDiamond, CBZ Bank and Insurance, CABS, CIMAS and NMB Bank, said the scale and reach of digital innovation, which is beyond what we see in the local market, would ensure that insurers remain relevant and thrive.

A Zimselector survey, conducted recently, found that local insurers do not have online selfservice, something which is posed to change the dynamics of the industry.

Insurers would improve their underwriting processes and expand their access to new customer segments. Francis said insurance companies that do not craft a strong digital strategy, will likely see weak growth in their customer base. In addition, she said digital players would shaveoff slice of the margins, the traditional insurance players earn from distribution.

This means, the Zimbabwe insurance sector is under threat from the emergence of on-line aggregators which have disrupted the traditional insurance distribution models, tech savvy customers who are demanding better services at low cost, bancassurers with strong customer relations, the internet of things, nifty new customers who exploit digital to avoid expensive brick and motor structures and telcos' with dominant and easy access to customers.

The new path, chartered by new digital players, stands as a critical challenge to traditional insurance players.

Francis said the rewards are significant for insurance companies that create a strategy that uses digital channels.

"Zimbabwe's leading insurers are slow in adapting on-line services unlike their global peers," Francis said.

"Traditional insurers, do not have innovation in their DNA, despite significant opportunity to capture value in the short-term insurance sector. There are many reasons to that including limited competition that has given them no particular need to do so, costs and lack of experienced local personnel, the size of their inforce-books and capital requirements makes it difficult for new incumbents to compete, inflexible legacy applications that don't lean themselves to customer facing services, and complex processes that have historically required human intervention such as risk assessment, underwriting and loss assessing," she added.

Francis also highlighted that Zimbabwe's insurance companies have an opportunity to write cover for new risks that have emerged in this digital age, such as cyber-crime, the sharing economy and the global supply chains.



WhatsApp Newsletter

Follow us

Latest Headlines