News Coronavirus watch06 May 2020

GAIF:Historic opportunity to develop the sector

| 06 May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created fundamental changes in how insurers operate, revealing the sector's agility in adapting to the new market reality, said General Arab Insurance Federation (GAIF) secretary general Chakib Abouzaid. He called on the region's players to invest further in technology as a response to the changing operating environment.

The coronavirus crisis has created a radical change overnight in the way people work, said Mr Abouzaid. “It has revealed that insurers and reinsurers have the ability to adapt quickly to remote work through the utilisation of technology.”

He pointed out that companies’ preparedness to deal with the coronavirus crisis, the presence of proper business continuity plans and the use of interactive platforms will determine their ability to expand in the future.

“GAFA companies (the big tech companies) which have fully adopted technology and prepared themselves for a crisis such as this have acquired a larger share of the retail market. Moreover, their market value has become more significant than banks and insurance companies, which will further deepen the gap between some companies as it has done amongst countries. Today we are facing a critical point that will determine the fate of some countries and many companies,” said Mr Abouzaid.

Citing Swiss Re’s COVID-19 consumer survey, Mr Abouzaid noted that reliance on technology has become a top priority. “The survey emphasised that this is a great moment for the insurance industry to put the customer at the centre of everything they do and deliver solutions that would eventually show progress in closing the protection gap and making society more resilient,” he said, adding that nothing is holding the insurance sector back from continuing with the digitisation agenda.

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