GOVERNMENT says it is worried that the insurance sector does not have a shared database for claims, making it easier for policyholders to jump from one insurer to another.
In recent years, the country has witnessed an unprecedented growth in technology and its profound impact on various sectors including insurance.
While the digital revolution that has brought forth a wave of opportunities challenging traditional insurance models, local insurers still seem to lag in adopting these newer technologies.
Speaking on the last day of the four-day Insurance Institute of Zimbabwe annual conference being held in Victoria Falls on Tuesday, Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion deputy minister David Mnangagwa said technological innovation was important for insurers.
“Now, before we challenge the traditional insurance models and bringing innovation technology, I would hope that as an industry we are introspective to make sure that our foundation is solid, our principles are solid. You know if you introduce technology on a weak population, it becomes a typical case of garbage in, garbage out,” he said.
“I once gave a proposal way back. I found this a bit weird that as an industry in Zimbabwe, we don’t have a shared database for claims, for participants in the market and people can just jump from insurance to insurance after having an accident and run around in circles in the whole market.”
He continued: “It was a cocktail of a claims depository database that also had an option to allow different insurance companies to share risk that one company might not necessarily be able to take on.”
“So, it is apparent that there’s a disruption that awaits us if we choose to ignore the realities of innovation and technology advancement. The former CEO of Cisco, John Chambers, warned that at least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years as a result of failure to accommodate new technologies,” Mnangagwa said.
He said it was thus apparent that a disruption awaited the industry if it chose to ignore the realities of innovation and technological advancement.
Mnangagwa said that the industry was at the cusp of a remarkable evolution, where innovation and technology are reshaping the landscape of the insurance industry in Zimbabwe, including globally.
He implored insurance companies to embrace innovation, envisioning a Zimbabwe where insurance claims are settled in a matter of minutes based on predictive analytics and sophisticated algorithms.
This, the deputy minister said, would enable insurers to accurately assess risks, prevent losses and offer proactive advice to their customers thereby fostering a culture of prevention rather than just protection.
“Furthermore, the future of Zimbabwean insurance lies in embracing the concept of “insurtech” — the intersection of insurance and technology. Insurtech start-ups are revolutionising the industry, introducing disruptive concepts such as peer-to-peer insurance, micro-insurance and usage-based policies,” he said.
“These innovations are not only expanding the reach of insurance to the previously underserved populations, but also create new revenue streams and business models for established insurance companies.
“Unleashing this new era of innovation in insurance requires you to foster a culture of collaboration and openness, embrace partnerships with technology companies, start-ups and other stakeholders.
Through collaborative work, we can co-create solutions that leverage on cutting-edge technologies and cater for the unique needs and aspirations of the Zimbabwean market.”
The conference is being held under the theme The Future of Zimbabwean Insurance: Unleashing a New Era of Innovation in Insurance.