We’ve had to contend with some of our largest insurance events ever in the past two to three years, including the Insure Group Managers debacle, COVID-related business interruption, COVID-19 death, and disability on the life insurance side, and of course the rioting of July 2021.
Amid these enormous challenges, we’ve all had to learn to work from anywhere, embrace digitalisation and ensure business continuity throughout. Insurance has certainly been a tougher game of late, but we’ve persevered and emerged stronger and wiser – and we’ve demonstrated the critical role of insurance in our economy.
Our work in 2022 will no doubt be challenging once more – South Africa’s growth and infrastructure issues, climate change, expected COVID-19 waves and disruptive technology spring to mind – but our response will, to a large extent, be driven by the recent lessons we’ve learned. What’s important is that we understand and proactively respond to the risk environment.
With new risks and challenges come fresh opportunities. That means new forms of insurance; clarity of intent in the advice process; clearer, simpler policy wordings; harnessing technology to engage with customers in omnichannel ways; making insurance more affordable, and exploring value-adds.
On this last point, value-adds are built upon clear policy wordings and finding the right solutions for customers, with a focus on (and understanding of) client segments. In the Hollard Insure stable, a great example is the Hollard Trucking Driver Rewards Card Programme.
The rewards card, a spin-off of the Hollard Highway Heroes truck drivers’ competition, was created out of the Highway Heroes lesson that incentivising truckers to drive well delivers powerful positive results, as well as the need to support year-round good driving habits.
The rewards card has improved loss ratios, reduced customer risk, lessened claims, creating safer roads for us all – and given a financial boost for the people who matter in the trucking equation: drivers. It’s a winner, as evidenced by its recent win in the B2B category of the South African Loyalty Awards.
Vitally, we have to make use of the possibilities before us. For example, brokers must harness digital channels to service their smaller customers more cheaply and easily; we must all work at improving and reducing risk; and insurers must drive affordability by bringing the uninsured and underinsured into the fold, greatly increasing the size of our market.
Hollard Insure won another award recently: the short-term insurance category of the Ask Afrika Orange Index Awards, for excellence in customer experience. For us, the message from our win is that beyond getting the basics right, we need to focus on the human aspect: empathy, accessibility, care and exercising good judgment.
This brings me back to my initial point. The key to our success in 2022 is people: insurers and brokers alike. Together, in an integrated value chain, we will achieve things – no matter what the year throws at us.