Daniel Stevens was the president of the IIG in 2018 and currently an Exco member of the IIG Education Portfolio. Daniel has contributed greatly to the IIG and comes with a wealth of knowledge and skill. Daniel shared with us some of his insights on how the insurance industry has been impacted by COVID-19 and some tips on working from home.
Daniel, in 2018 the theme for your presidential year was “striving for excellence”, how do you think the IIG has evolved and continued to demonstrate excellence?
The IIG continuously evolves and demonstrates excellence through the various events and programmes that it offers to the industry. Educational and network opportunities are renewed every year in order to remain relevant. We have taken insurance professionals around the globe, provided professional networking and learning opportunities and provided thought leadership engagements with insurance professionals from global insurance companies.
We are living in unusual times, how do you see the global COVID-19 crisis affecting the insurance industry in South Africa?
Covid-19 has affected us in the insurance industry, as with many other industries. Non-essential businesses have been shut down and for the insurance industry business interruption policies has received renewed scrutiny. We are also having to adapt and make provision for increased financial strain on policyholders which the industry has responded to in order to alleviate some of the stress being experienced.
How are you experiencing working from home, any tips for your colleagues in the insurance industry?
Working from home has its challenges. However, I have managed to adapt and continue to be disciplined in my work regime. My company has adapted well to working remotely and with the upscaling of collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, we continue to be effective. We’ve had to pull together with our broker partners and manage a situation new to all of us and have done reasonably well under the circumstances. My advice is to try and maintain as normal a routine as possible. Stick to your working hours, eat well and try to get some form of exercise. Stay in contact with your colleagues daily and have team meetings as often as you can. Our team has also had a virtual wine on a Friday to stay in touch after a rough week!
How do you think the current situation facing the country will impact the way we work in the future?
We will definitely see an increased reliance on technological innovations and working remotely. The social contract will see a significant overhaul and businesses will be forced to ensure that they contribute meaningfully to the communities in which they operate in order to improve equity.
Daniel, as this is your last year on the IIG Council what do you hope to achieve to commemorate your contribution to the IIG and insurance industry?
I’ve had an amazing opportunity to give back to the insurance industry and at the same time meet many smart people both on council and within the industry. It’s been great to see the IIG bring new entrants into the industry especially through the IIG Academic program. I want to encourage insurance companies to play a more active role and engage with the IIG.
The IIG thanks Daniel for his significant contribution to the IIG throughout the years.