As medical underwriters race to embrace digital technology, they have allayed fears that agents will lose jobs, but better still, play a valuable role in attracting and retaining customers.
AAR Insurance Kenya Managing Director, Nixon Shigoli said, contrary to the perception that insurance brokers and agents will be rendered redundant in the digital era, they will play an integral part by ensuring the delivery of services between insurers and customers
“The shift to digital insurance creates opportunities for intermediaries to play an even bigger role in delivering an enhanced customer experience, thus creating a win-win situation for all parties in the value chain,” said Shigoli.
Shigoli urged agents to keep abreast of emerging trends in the industry so as to remain relevant to their customers.
He, however, cautioned that agents could be a weak link if they are not quick to adapt to the rapidly evolving landscape shaped by technology innovations and an increasingly tech-savvy, sophisticated clientele.
“Today, consumers are more empowered with better access to information thanks to digital innovation. This has increased the need for efficiency, transparency and accountability in the insurance value chain. Intermediaries need to stay ahead of the curve,” explains Shigoli.
On March 2 this year, AAR launched a new mobile application in its revamped strategy to carry ut 80 percent of its transaction online.
AAR said its revamped digital suite was part of the company’s move to become a branchless and paperless underwriter.
The firm said it was focused on creating value for customers through a digital-led business model.
“Our DNA is to empower our customers to take control of the things that matter most to them including health. Our digital transformation strategy is aligned with this goal. The mobile app is part of our quest to be a branchless and paperless insurance provider and create a lean and efficient business,” said AAR in a statement.
However, insurance brokers and agents will still be required to facilitate critical processes like on-boarding clients onto digital platforms, managing claims and other processes, and educating consumers on the benefits of digital insurance.
According to AAR, agents generate about 70 percent of the underwriter’s business. The firm launched a programme in 2016 to train 1,000 agents annually to equip them with skills to operate in a fast-changing environment.
Data by the Insurance Regulatory Authority shows that in 2020, there were 11,138 licensed insurance agents and 204 insurance brokerage firms in Kenya.
AAR Insurance is among the leading medical underwriters in East Africa and has over 200,000 customers in Kenya.