BY NKECHI NAECHE (ACCRA, GHANA)—–The President of Ghana, Mr. Nana Akufo-Addo, has charged insurers accross Africa to leverage on technology to deepen insurance penetration, acceptance and profitability across the continent.
He spoke at the ongoing 45th African Insurance Organisation (AIO) in Accra, Ghana, yesterday, added that, African continent represent the next phase of world economic growth, charging players in African insurance industry to try as much as possible to retain risk businesses on the continent rather than taking them abroad.
He urged African insurers to absorb its risk to full capacity before taking the remaining abroad, regretted how most insurance businesses are being lost to foreign insurers on a consistent basis because African insurers have low risk retainment capacity.
In developed economies, he said, insurance companies own banks, but that reverse is the case on the continent, calling on government across African countries to support their respective insurance industry to succeed.
The President, who was represented by Senior Minister of Finance, Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo said: “Insurance industry has lots of long term fund that can be effectively utilised to bring about the needed economic growth and development on the continent.”
While calling on operators to increase their risk retention capacity, he believes African continent, will, in the next 10 years, develop to ‘its full capacities as foreign investors continue to see potentials and opportunities in the African insurance market.
The Chief Executive Officer(CEO), Lloyd’s of London, Inga Beale, urged insurance outfits to embrace the latest technologies to fasten claims process, noting that, policyholders must be served through latest technology that will make claims process seamless and timely.
According to her, “with the latest technology, you should have records of claims and be able to track it. We need to provide the customers with necessity to track their claims.”
On his part, the Special Advisor, LeapFrog Strategic African Investments(LSAI), Mr. Doug Lacey, said, customers remain the most asset of any business, charging African underwriters to cement a better relationship with policyholders to the extend of understanding their personal life.
Through this, he said, products would be tailored towards meeting the needs of individual customers, rather than a stereotype approach of assuming what the customers need.
“For effective service delivery to customers, insurers must adopt human-centric approach rather than product-centric approach in product delivery. The human aspect is very important to the industry. We must be ambitious to provide the best services to our customers.”
“We don’t need to assume that everybody has the same needs. So, use technology to determine what each and every individual wants. Technology reaches more people than the traditional means of service delivery” he pointed out.