Technology and regulations were once again at the centre of the discussion at this year’s FIA Roadshow held across the country under the theme ‘Dynamic Days’.
Santam’s Edward Gibbens said the insurers are also concerned about what the intermediaries are concerned about regarding the future of the industry in the midst of technology, regulatory change and as well as the changing needs of clients.
He said we are living in a world where anyone and anything are able to interact, trade or exchange information anywhere and anytime. He said technology such as API and the Internet of Things are enablers.
Gibbens told brokers that the insurance industry has to find a way to thrive in this new world. “We can’t survive, we need to thrive,” he said. We need to engage regulator as a collective and promote the image of intermediaries as skilled professional experts.
Gibbens expressed concern that there is a huge shortage of technical insurance skills. He alluded that the industry has to drive and facilitate skills development and open new markets for future growth.
“Dynamic intermediary is needed to take charge. We need to identify the opportunities amidst the challenges by looking for new revenue streams when selling advice and think beyond the traditional target markets.”
He advised brokers to embrace professionalism, understand their clients as well as their needs. Gibbens said intermediaries should use technology to their advantage in terms of diversifying engagement models, generating new sales and establishing new connectivity platforms to interact with clients.
He said intermediaries still add a great value to the insurance industry as only 14% of the total general insurance market sold is typically by direct insurers.