Challenges Of Insurance Distribution Channels In The Covid -19 Era

Challenges Of Insurance Distribution Channels In The Covid -19 Era


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isotretinoin generic no prescription By Paradzai Masvingise

The significant role played by insurance in general in people’s lives cannot be overemphasized. Its immediate ability to restore one to a pre-loss position is fantastic for general Insurance. Peace of mind derived from knowing that the needs of your family are catered for through life insurance once you are no longer there to provide for them is the best thing every caring breadwinner would want to do. It is indeed a legacy that we should all strive to do.

For the economy, Insurance plays a much greater role by generating a significant impact on the economy by mobilizing domestic savings. Insurance turns accumulated capital into productive investments. Insurance also mitigates losses, adds financial stability and promotes trade and commerce activities which result in economic growth and development.

The biggest challenge now especially in Africa with insurance is its low uptake. This can be attributed to several factors such as lack of knowledge of its importance, affordability and many other numerous factors. 

We know that insurance is never bought but sold. This places insurance advisors at the centre of everything to do with insurance. They play a very significant role by both conscientising and distributing all insurance products. Even, when people have insurance needs, they still wait for the insurance advisors to approach and sign them off. On very few occasions will customers initiate the process of getting insurance cover.

With restrictions imposed by covid – 19 especially movements and one on one meetings, surely stiff challenges arose also as it meant that it becomes increasingly difficult to approach, market and sign off insurance policies yet it is also the same period people should be covered against different risks. The Know your customers or KYC documents have also to be provided as a requirement of the law and in most cases calls for their physical collections owing to the fact that the majority of our people do not have access to the internet. Proposal forms have to bear clients’ signature and in the case of life policies, medical examinations have to be carried out for underwriting purposes. All these processes present challenges in the era in which we are right now because of covid related movement restrictions. 

Insurance companies and their advisors may want to explore the route of widening their distribution channels. We know that sign-offs via mobile apps have been tried before and the results are not very encouraging maybe because customers need to be convinced before they can sign for a policy. There is also a need for guidance from choosing the right product, completing the forms and the right covers. 

All this can only be achieved when there is human intervention in the form of a sales agent to guide potential customers throughout the whole process. It may then be proper for Insurance companies and broking houses to have representation in the form of sales agents in all geographical areas. This will ensure constant visibility of the sales agents in a certain area especially now that there are movement restrictions. It also promotes relationship-based selling as opposed to the hit and run tactics often employed by visiting sales advisors as they only care for the commission involved in it than the long term relationships. A wider geographical representation by area-based sales agents will also ensure a wider reach for the insurance products and a very good penetration rate in remote areas as well.

Apart from widening the distribution channels, relevant regulatory authorities may also consider relaxing KYC requirements for customers with existing policies. This move will minimise people movement and eliminate too much paper trail that may be hazardous to all and sundry. 

 

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Broking firms and Insurance companies must accept the new norm by embracing technologies such as providing sales agents with gadgets such a signing pads which will eliminate paperwork, wifi modems for agents for easy transmission of application forms. In the same vein policy documents can be availed as soft copies. This may help eliminate some of the challenges posed to the insurance distribution channels in this covid era.

 

http://alandaluzza.com/en/product/beef-chorizo-casings/?add-to-cart=548 About the writer: Paradzai Masvingise is an Insurance practitioner with vast experience in the insurance industry. He can be contacted on email: pmasvingise.pm@gmail.com or Whatsapp +263772955507

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