Rebound on the wayTony van niekerk
We are well into January as I write this, and the year definitely started with a frenzy of activity, fuelling my excitement for a strong revival of our economy. Prediction is that we will see a 2,7% growth in GDP but I hold a more positive view and am building my strategy around an upward trajectory for the next five years.
Looking back at 2020, I think the industry responded exceptionally well. Firstly, the instant move to serving clients from home, followed by the rapid introduction of premium discounts and holidays. Without much of a hiccup, the industry paid millions of claims under completely new circumstances. We can be proud of an industry that met the challenges head-on and performed beyond expectations.
The BI challenges can be viewed from various angles and with numerous opinions, but the bottom line is: Insurance is complicated and most certainly, nobody could have predicted the year that was. More so, nobody could predict how people, business and government would react to the threat of a pandemic, especially due to the fact that multiple governments were involved. Personally, I believe the industry got a raw deal in how our actions were viewed. After all, we have a fiduciary responsibility to millions of clients, to manage their premiums efficiently and prudently, ensure premiums stay as low as possible and all valid claims are paid. In this regard, the jury is still out as to what it will mean for the future of insurance when our industry can be held liable for decisions taken unilaterally by governments, without any consultation around the fallout for industries, such as Insurance. These sort of actions could threaten the sustainability of an industry, with devastating long-term consequences.
Question is, how do we manage this into the future? With a hyper-interconnected world, we now know that disaster can strike within days – across the globe!
Things on my radar to monitor over the next 12 months:
- BI insurance fall out and industry strategy changes with
regards to future coverage
- PI developments following COVID and especially the BI challenges
- CYBER risk increases and the reality that this could be the next pandemic
- Data security, data sharing and the cloud ecosystem
- Amalgamation, especially with smaller players in search of efficiency and sustainability
- Professional advice in the broader financial services industry
- Maturing of the move to digitisation
Opportunities abound in the shift to digital
For COVER, 2021 kicked off with a bang, with large numbers of our clients collaborating with us on campaigns to build their business. We are excited about the lessons we learnt in 2020 and how that has shaped the value we are adding to our clients. We were well prepared for the shift to digital and increased our digital magazine reading exponentially during the lockdown period. We have exciting campaigns to drive this further over the next 12 months.
Thanks to the industry as a whole for the much needed support during 2020. Long live relationships!