The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance of the insurance sector’s role in development and in the economic resilience of businesses and individuals. As of 14th may 2020, the entire Africa was spread with the virus and almost the entire global population is in the lock down.
Lockdown restrictions across the world have led to insurers across the continent working remotely. Regulators in many countries are similarly being required to supervise remotely in many countries. The insurance industry is generally well prepared for major loss events, including pandemics, but the financial impacts will take time to assess.
The big question is will insurers have covid19 covered?
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda (IRA) engaged all regulated medical insurance and reinsurance providers on the possibility of extending the existing medical insurance policies to cover cases of Covid-19 aware of the fact that majority of insurance policies exclude cover for pandemics due to their catastrophic nature.
IRA therefore informed the insuring public that the existing medical insurance policies will provide cover for Covid-19
(Source: Insurance Regulatory Authority)
Despite the challenges that came with covid-19, we have seen some positive implications;
Insurers have seen forced digitization due to COVID-19 as a major opportunity to drive public-sector and economic innovation as consumers are required to interact with insurance service providers through digital channels, thereby shifting behavior.
In this period we have also seen insurers come up with the concept of enhancing customer engagement, under the insurtech lab who are finding a solution for the gap between insurance service providers and their clients.
The covid-19 has not left the insurance industry the same, however the insurance industry has a key role to play in supporting customers and societies through the crisis and the recovery.