• Wed. May 18th, 2022

Digitalisation, engine of growth in the insurance sector – News

Intensive efforts for digital transformation and investment in information technology infrastructure have helped drive business innovation in the health insurance industry



Published: Wed 16 Feb 2022, 21:21

Digitalization is driving transformational change in the insurance industry, and companies that fail to meet the needs of a new era of customers, who prefer digital interactions to branch visits, will be soon to be left behind, experts said at the second edition of The Future of Insurance Congress.

Organized by Khaleej Times, the event brought together a number of government officials and industry experts who examined the state of the industry today and the changes it is undergoing.

Alan Griffin, Managing Director of Khaleej Times, described the event as a great opportunity for managers and experts to meet and discuss key trends in the insurance industry, as well as highlight the challenges facing the sector will face in the near future.

“Technology and automation; developments in Human Resources in terms of flexible working; And even customer data and privacy are all challenges and opportunities that we face,” he said in his keynote address at the event.

Fareed Lutfi, Secretary General of the Emirates Insurance Association, noted that the environment is clearly changing and the insurance landscape is becoming more challenging. One of the main reasons for this is the Covid-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the digital shift.

“I think the pandemic has helped the insurance industry break out of its acceptable complacency in market practices, as companies have been forced to actively jump into the present and start looking proactively forward. Covid-19 has accelerated the transformation of the insurance industry in several ways,” he said.

“New expectations for industry leadership in driving transformational environmental, social and governmental change will continue to grow across all geographies, including our region,” he added.

Hamad Al Mehyas, CEO of National Health Insurance Company – Daman, also highlighted how innovation is changing the industry, and the use of a digital-first mindset across businesses is what has given companies an advantage.

“The companies that have weathered the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic the best are those that had already started investing in digitizing their operations and embraced the digital transformation process,” he said. “During the pandemic, customers increasingly demanded digital services and preferred digital interactions over face-to-face or in-branch visits.”

This digital reality, he said, is here to stay. “It is our responsibility as business leaders to meet these demands by insisting on a digital first policy. At Daman, we are long-time advocates of digitization and are committed to putting digital at the very heart of our business. »

Technology, lifestyle and investment

Carole Khalife, Managing Director of Strategy and Innovation at Al Futtaim Willis, pointed out that in the future, insurance solutions will need to focus on residents’ lifestyles and use artificial intelligence to create a pay-as-you-go model. In this regard, she described the insurance industry in the region as still “a bit timid”.

“When talking about insurance, the conversation should revolve around the person and their behavior,” she said. “Products should revolve around their lifestyle, rather than a one-size-fits-all solution. For example, if a person eats healthily; if they go to the gym regularly; these are all aspects that will impact how their risk is perceived and their premiums set.

Regarding investments, Neeraj Gupta, CEO of Policybazaar.ae, advised companies to divide their investments into different segments and then prioritize those that will facilitate their day-to-day operations. A key factor in the future evolution of the industry will revolve around cloud solutions.

“Technology will not give you results overnight; it’s a long-term investment that companies need to make,” he said. “The cloud is becoming very important because it makes it possible to reduce the burden on companies, while protecting all the data with which they deal. It has become much easier to scale the cloud than it was a few years ago. »

Jerome Droesch, CEO of Cigna MEA and SEA, also drew connections between technology and its role in monitoring our health and lifestyle in the future. He noted that the number of people over 60 will double by 2050, reaching over 2.1 billion people. Furthermore, he revealed that health expenditure is growing faster than GDP; in most mature economies, it is growing at a rate of 5.3 percent per year.

With all of this in mind, he said finding solutions that support our physical and mental health will be a priority for businesses in the years to come. “Every day from the UAE you have 160 people reaching the hospital and you are on hospital care due to stress related illness; And every day you have about 4,200 people connecting with doctors due to stress-related illness. In the future, pharmaceutical innovations, the links between mental and physical health and access to care are three main trends that will have a significant impact on health care.

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