• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Navigating the intersection between faith and facts in the digital age of insurance

Olumide Olajolo

Nigeria’s insurance industry has faced critical challenges, including low penetration and regulatory challenges, that have hindered its full potential. The need for innovation and adaptability is more pressing than ever, and the industry is rising to the occasion and undergoing a remarkable transformation propelled by the forces of digital innovation.

One unique aspect of Nigeria’s insurance sector is that it is one of the few sectors where competition goes beyond the boardrooms. It competes with faith and prayers, which, for many, are considered the ultimate insurance policy. It’s a unique challenge that demands not just strategic thinking but a nuanced understanding of the cultural fabric in which we operate.

Read also: ARCON mandates ad bodies to provide N1bn insurance cover for members

In the retail sector especially, faith often takes centre stage. Many of our retail customers lean on their spiritual beliefs, believing that prayers alone are sufficient protection against life’s uncertainties. As a Christian, I recognise the comfort and reassurance that faith provides in navigating life’s unpredictable journey. However, it’s equally crucial to recognise that faith, while a source of strength, may not be a comprehensive safeguard against the tangible risks and financial uncertainties that life presents.

While for some, faith may suffice, for others, especially our corporate clients, the narrative is different. Corporate clients’ businesses with everyday operations and financial responsibilities, approach insurance with a pragmatic mindset. They understand the tangible implications of being inadequately covered when the unexpected strikes. For them, insurance is not just a legal requirement; it’s a shield against financial volatility, a lifeline in times of crisis. The ability to keep operations running is not a matter of faith alone; it’s a matter of strategic planning and tangible risk management.

 “However, it’s equally crucial to recognise that faith, while a source of strength, may not be a comprehensive safeguard against the tangible risks and financial uncertainties that life presents.”

However, the industry is undergoing a digital transformation that has the potential to reshape the way insurance is perceived, accessed, and managed. The intersection of technology and insurance, often called “InsurTech,” has become a driving force behind this transformative journey.

In Nigeria, the adoption of technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and data analytics is not just a strategic move; it’s a necessity. It’s a recognition that innovation is the key to transcending the challenges posed by tradition and faith and a fundamental trust deficit that exacerbates these challenges even further.

One of the primary dividends of tech has been the enhanced customer experience facilitated by digital platforms. Insurers are leveraging technology to streamline and personalise their services, from online policy purchases to AI-driven chatbots for customer support. The days of lengthy paperwork and time-consuming processes are fading, making way for instant quotes and real-time policy management.

At Coronation Insurance, we have witnessed great success stories where embracing digital transformation has led to streamlined processes and personalised customer experiences. These stories serve as beacons, illuminating the path for others who might be hesitant to step into the digital realm. Trust, a delicate currency in the insurance world, is also a by-product of this increased transparency and personalised processes.

Read also: AIICO Insurance moves to boost market penetration

For us, the decision to embrace digital transformation was not just a response to market trends but a proactive measure to stay ahead in a rapidly changing landscape.

As I contemplate the future of Nigeria’s insurance industry, the trajectory is clear—the key to unlocking success lies in a digital revolution that embraces innovation, builds trust, navigates regulatory challenges, and fosters collaboration.

In this dynamic landscape, where insurers compete not just with each other but with prayers and faith, the time is ripe for a transformative journey that ensures financial security for all in the face of life’s uncertainties. The future of insurance in Nigeria is not just a business proposition; it’s a societal imperative that demands a bold and progressive approach.

Innovation is the calling card of the future; we must embrace it.