IIG News

IIG Insights: Introspection, Adaptations and Innovation for Sector Fitness

The event kicked off with Tshepiso Chocho, Deputy President of IIG, welcoming all in attendance. The session was sponsored by Bryte and the theme is on par with the global events where introspection & innovation creates within us a movement for change.

The Bryte Team comprised of:

Sedick Isaacs – Sedick Isaacs is the Head of Business Support Services at Bryte Insurance and joined the company in June 2012, when it was still known as Zurich Insurance Company. Sedick is an Associate of the IISA and CII of London. He has completed several leadership and management programmes.

Zain Hoosen – Zain Hoosen is a Senior Product Technical Underwriting Specialist in Bryte’s Engineering team, where he provides expert underwriting, broker, governance and risk management support across the suite of Engineering Insurance products. He holds a tertiary qualification in both mining sciences and management.

Liza Morris – Liza Morris is the Bryte’s Regional Manager in Western Cape and the current President of the Insurance Institute of the Western Cape (IIWC). She is an experienced professional with more than 26 years in the insurance industry, having spent 18 years in the Claim’s arena and eight years in the Sales and Distribution space.

Sedick welcomed everyone  and introduced co-presenters: Liza Morris and Zaine Hoosen.

Liza thanked the IIG and expressed the enjoyment in being able to present on a platform such a this. She stated that everyone is attempting to figure the long-term impact of our current situation. Collaboration is often key and leads to dynamic solutions. This pandemic has led the spread of an infectious disease at a global level and we need to make ourselves sustainable digitally as well as assist in readying societies and hospitals to deal with the aftermath. The fiscal crisis affected many friends, family and customers. We’ve seen a situation of under-employment, whereby permanent employees have been converted to contracted work. Many maintenance plans on building had come to a complete halt. We no longer interfaced with customers and fraud and cybercrime are increasing at speeds and levels never before experienced.

There are 3 themes to ensure sustainability:

  • Collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Digitisation

Interdependence has been a great lesson going forward, collaboration is shifting, and customer needs have changed. Motor related incidents dropped as there has been less vehicles on the road. Fires have increased due to more people spending time at home as well as the switching on & off of power due to load shedding. Innovation around new products & touch points, IoT, AI and data are opportunities one can begin to maximise.

Zain touched on business fundamentals. He described that people tend to lose concentration only temporarily during a crisis. Business fundamentals have changed and we need to support and educate our customers how to better manage their risks. It is important to maintain clear effective and frequent communication with staff internally. Customer Experience (CX) through this pandemic will determine the quality of relationships.  New and potential clients need to be prioritised as much as existing clients and we must ensure continued high standards of service levels. Cyber and forensic teams must monitor unusual activities daily. Trust is a key component in what insurers offer their clients, reaffirming value, remaining truthful, practicing the highest level of ethics and acting in good faith. Reputation and credibility is crucial to the line of business to remain a trusted partner.

Sedick then outlined the importance of having a game-changing mindset to identify opportunities. Should we innovate with a specific intention to strengthen the customer engagement channel to increase CX, or must we add value to the customer by reinventing the CX?

Zain proposed that proactive and purposeful communication with customers is essential, so they feel continuously supported. The fundamental aspect of support, is agility and consideration to customer expectations. Affordability becomes key during this time and insurance must become accessible to a wider population via pricing and value. Financially, this is an extremely stressful time and people are spending with more caution. Our value proposition must be revisited.

Sedick then encouraged the notion of how do we reduce operational costs without reducing people, agile volume-shifting and future-fit workforce. One way would be to have claims processes exceptionally efficient and digital improvements will certainly enhance this efficiency. He also encouraged the audience to share their thoughts on how do we move forward into a digital future.

Liza then discussed the ‘fitness’ required for a digitally-charged future:

Digital solutions:

  • Require a faster turnaround
  • Sophisticated fraud prevention systems need to be in place

Importance of IoT and AI:

  • Invest in data analytics
  • Reliable underwriting
  • Privacy and security risks

People impact:

  • Redeploying employees to higher impact roles

Smart cities and buildings are driven via computers rather than people’s behaviour. Privacy must be balanced when dealing with private data. There is, however, a mild dilemma between bringing in digitalisation without contributing to unemployment. Our people need to be upskilled to become relevant to the changing climate.

Sedick expressed that upskilling is critical as innovation is only relevant together with an upgrade of skills to benefit the customer. Services must be tailored towards a digital future. There must be a balance between cost, service & product. We must listen carefully to the direct feedback as working from home is dictating future product design. Data analysis and pricing, sharing economies and time to market is key.

Disruption makes the insurance industry attractive as well as high risk for example receiving a hail threat warning via Whatsapp from your Insurer is usually welcomed. Tesla and Ford have invested in insurance for diversification to remain relevant.

We need to be attracting the right partners for sustainability to bring in holistic and composite products to the market. We must look at becoming crucial in order to provide compelling outcomes whilst also looking at how to be attractive as a preferred partner. Building talent within the organisation is therefore a step that cannot be neglected.

We must invest in partnerships; culture shifts and change as all of these impact personal lives of customers and key stakeholders and must be accounted for. Agility for future will give us the competitive edge.

Talent doesn’t just apply to employees but to partners as well such as brokers. Brokers remain enablers in the success of the insurance industry. The evolving insurance landscape provides amazing opportunities to intermediaries to enhance their own offering to customer expectations. The broker channel is significant to the insurance industry and therefore crucial, this remains a close partnership and collaboration.

We need to explore as to what is our organisation’s differentiator of the future for example in the situation of Android vs Apple products, price is not the factor but CX and relatability is. Red tape is costly and timeous and has no place in the future. What will the new customer need, perhaps even a 24hr access service.

The value of insurance products must be the prime target for one’s customers and data security is crucial. Consistency is also a critical component and many insurers are struggling with providing optimal services consistently.

Sedick then concluded the session and thanked everyone. One question was entertained due to the overrun of the session. This was handled by Liza and was themed around how to equip clients appropriately for the future in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Tshepiso wrapped up and once again thanked Bryte, ore sponsor as well as all in attendance.

By: Asiya Swaleh