African insurance firms urged to embrace digitization to curb fraud

African companies should collect and digitize their data with a view to ending fraud, improving product designs and offering tailored premiums, a Kenyan expert said on Tuesday.

Kenya’s former ICT Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo told the Africa Insurance Summit underway in Nairobi that there is no legal fragment in Kenya to protect individual data from abuse/misuse.

“As much as we want to collect and digitize data within the insurance sector, we must also lobby the government and Members of Parliament to hasten the passing of the Data Protection Bill to protect individual data,” Ndemo said.

He said collecting and digitizing data will not only help in ending fraud but also help in the development and distribution of insurance products in the country.

Isaac Ngaru, Insurance Information Bureau Founder and Director, called for the need to collect and digitize data, saying it would help insurance companies in product development, claims, pricing of products and underwriting.

Ngaru said the local insurance industry is lagging behind in terms of digitization and urged for the need to move with speed to ensure that the sector is in line with other financial services processes.

“Just like in developed markets, we need to get to a level where customers can receive real-time services that include end-to-end purchase of insurance products without any human intervention,” he said.

He noted insurance firms have numerous sources from where they can collect data and help create important and personalized products for clients hence helping them in the management of risk.

Ngaru said insurance companies stand to benefit a great deal by tapping into blockchain technology, artificial intelligence and cloud computing technologies.

“By 2020, it is estimated that there will be more than 20 billion devices connected to the internet. Insurance companies that will strategically position themselves for this transformation will reap big in the home, health and car insurance sectors,” he said.

Industry stakeholders said Kenya needs to move with speed to enact the necessary laws as there is a heightened push to protect individual data globally.

Editor: Shi Yinglun

Xinhua

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