By: Sedick Isaacs, Head of Business Support Service
Globally, climate change will continue to make a profound impact on society. These impacts will be felt by businesses and communities alike, affecting food security and infrastructure stability and bringing unexpected weather events like floods, severe storms, and drought. The more proactive governments will continue to invest in measures to mitigate, or at least create resilience against, the impact of changing weather patterns. Businesses and people will need additional insurance protection for impacts that cannot be mitigated at a governmental level.
Regrettably, the “protection gap” means that most of the risk – and cost – will again be carried by people and businesses without insurance protection. For those with insurance, the cost of protection against damaging weather events will increase further during 2024.
Other global trends like social inflation and cybercrime are expected to continue unabated.
On the positive side, global inflation is expected to stabilise and perhaps even reduce. This will assist with the cost of living crises experienced in many parts of the world, including our country. However, ongoing and unforeseen conflicts could disrupt supply chains again, increasing inflationary pressure.
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Locally, the outlook continues to be challenging:
- The lack of infrastructure maintenance is likely to persist, with consequential challenges for residents, businesses and insurance. While some improvement initiatives are underway, the ongoing electricity shortage, water supply disruptions and problems at the railways, ports, roads and heavy haulage industry will not be resolved during the next year or so.
- Although local inflation is expected to reduce in 2024, economic growth and job creation remain deficient.
While many of these trends are not positive, they are broadly similar to the challenges we experienced in 2023. Bryte and many other insurance companies have effectively protected clients and their businesses throughout a very challenging period. Our industry is remarkably resilient, as was proven by COVID-19, the political violence, and the 2022 KZN floods. With elections scheduled for 2024, we are probably in for a few surprises next year, too! I’m confident that we’ll be able to step up once again and provide clients with the protection and guidance they need in 2024.