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‘Insurance firms should up their game to survive’

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Insurance companies need to adjust to the current trends of doing business if they are to ward off competition from new players such as mobile operators that are offering similar services, Insurance Institute of Zimbabwe president Edward Gomba has said.

BY TINOTENDA MUNYUKWI

Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of an Insurance Institute of Zimbabwe winter school programme in Nyanga, Gomba said failure to adapt to the changing trends in market demand, including adaptation of technological innovation had left most insurance companies trailing behind emerging players that include banks and mobile operators.

“Failure to embrace change has slowed down business and, to be fair, on our part we are not moving as fast as we should be doing. The insurance industry must be very innovative in coming up with solutions and strategies to try and move with the times, we are being forced to do what is required by the market, not what we want,” Gomba said on Monday..
“Time has come that we accept change and move away from this old way of doing things than to remain dormant.”

This comes at a time when some Zimbabwean citizens are opting to use insurance policies being offered by banks and funeral insurance cover from some mobile operators, which many feel are efficient and subscriptions can be made through various internet and mobile network platforms.

Gomba revealed that IIZ’s plans to set up a standalone insurance school were at an advanced stage with land already acquired in Harare’s Mt Pleasant, adding that this would groom future practitioners in the insurance industry to adjust to the ever-changing market needs.

Seasoned marketer, Memory Ndoro-Mandiya said most insurance companies were losing revenue to emerging players because they had failed to satisfy the emotional appeal of their clients as many have an indirect interaction with their clients through agents.

“The insurance companies are so comfortable and they have no relationships with their clients, they rely on agents and as such, they have missed out on a lot of opportunities,” she said.

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