UAP Old Mutual Group has projected that SMEs and uninsured tech savvy consumers will boost the uptake of insurance as the economy recovers from the negative economic effects of COVID-19.

Seconding the economic projections, UAP Old Mutual General Manager Health and Innovation Japheth Ogalloh stated, “One of the key learnings out of the COVID-19 disruption is the paramount need for continuous innovation and devising ways to engage with customers virtually owing to prevailing health restrictions. This has meant re-imagining how we work and deliver insurance to consumers so as to keep our employees and clients safe.”

According to Mr. Ogalloh, individuals and businesses have become increasingly conscious of the value of insurance in protecting lives and assets. This is expected to contribute to the growth across underwriting segments including health, property, motor and life.

He singled out the small business sector as being crucial to the recovery of the insurance sector given that 98% of businesses in Kenya fall into that category.

“SME sector is critical to the insurance industry as it provides a growth area. It was one of the hardest hit by the initial impact of the pandemic. However, we are working with SME sector stakeholders to redesign products that are unique based on their specific needs, for instance, flexible premium payment plans to accommodate cash flow challenges,” said Mr. Ogalloh.

On digital insurance, the insurer has launched several products mostly targeting tech-savvy consumers seeking affordable and easily accessible insurance. This includes a last expense digital cover retailing at as low as Ksh. 50 per month.

The firm has also partnered with an IT provider to set up an electronic data interchange system that facilitates fully electronic claims processing, eliminating the need for paperwork.

“Investing in our digital capacity has enabled 90% of operations to be conducted online. With almost all our staff now working remotely, we have to ensure business continuity and a seamless customer experience, even as we scale up other innovations to make our products attractive to consumers,” added Mr. Ogalloh.

Old Mutual also introduced a digital wellness app that allows users to track key healthy lifestyle metrics like physical exercise and telemedicine solutions to deliver medication to clients.