Lagos - A prominent insurance technology analyst warned that lack of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure was holding back the African insurance market.
Rhys Collins, Head of African Operations for SSP, said the additional challenge of getting legacy systems to provide improved risk management and mobile services, was forcing insurers to rethink their systems strategy.
Collins, whose company is a leading provider of insurance technology to insurers across the continent, said modern technology overcame these challenges, and this was increasingly drawing new players into the African insurance market.
He mentioned South African insurers, Hollard and Sanlam, for example, had had good success in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana and Nigeria and are believed to be eyeing other opportunities across the continent.
“The tighter regulatory and governance requirements are good for the industry but the flipside for insurers is that many will need to make major changes to their administration systems.” Collins said in Lagos.
He believes that to deliver insurance products and services effectively on the ground, insurers and managing agents need a strong core insurance system and ICT infrastructure in place.
“There’s no denying that Africa has entered the age of mobile. Insurers and managing agents need to consider and embrace this and use the many advantages it offers to enhance their offering, or stand the risk of being left behind. To do this they need a modern, flexible insurance solution.
Obviously this is easier for new start-ups, but for firms with existing legacy solutions, complex and risky transformation projects are not always popular in boardrooms,” said Collins.
“However, by adopting a gradual approach to legacy modernisation, such as SSP’s Enhance and Evolve approach, insurers can address their most urgent business priorities proactively. They can extend the life of their existing systems and only replace when the time is right, in line with their long-term strategic priorities,” he added.
– CAJ News