The current thrust of the insurance industry in the digital age is fraught with gaps driving the insurance professionals decision to review their scoresheet at this year’s Professional Forum held today at Abeokuta and the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas (pictured), minced no words in his keynote address that the industry is on admission on the less digital ward.
Mr. Thomas outlines the industry state of affairs, “The insurance industry is currently lagging behind and needs to reassess its business model, re-evaluate her strategy and make the digital agenda a high priority.”
The National Insurance Commission helmsman points the operators to the fault line that might dislodge customers to new digital disruptors if the industry continues on the stretch less digital presence. His comments, “If this is not done it will be difficult to deliver on customers’ expectations and new entrants, Insurtech companies and leading digital competitors will take advantage of this weakness. It is time for insurers to evolve and do the needful.”
Looking at the bigger picture Thomas, sees areas of exploration, “Without unpacking all the contents of the big box called digital age, there are contents yet to be explored such as Automation, Block Chain Technologies, Artificial Intelligence Internet of Things, Big Data, and such like. Coming up close he said “the only explorable option for us as an industry is to maximise our positioning in the digital age… waiting with our arms folded is not an option.”
Citing several examples where digital disruptors have dislodged traditional competitors all over the world and proceeding on a wide front including insurance, NAICOM CFI asked the attendees, “are going to wait to do catch-ups with Insurtech start-ups before we disrupt our models that suits the digital age.”
Not downplaying the acceleration spurred by Covid-19 in the adoption of digital technologies in the Nigerian insurance sector, Thomas said the Commission is desirous of a fully digitised industry and expressed optimism for a forum takeaway that that will encourage disruptive growth “through reordering of priorities and cultural change from traditional products offering to customer-centric biases.
Aiming for disruptive technology (cloud computing, mobile technology, artificial intelligence, block chain, internet of things) at the minimum, that will blank out traditional business model he said the focus should be matching “current workforce with future needs because the skills that will be critical in the future will likely be quite different.”
Asserting the need for a quick catch up that will drive developments and changing customer expectation, Thomas said, “It is time we developed talents for disruptive innovations, that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network.”