This is the age of technology. Digital communication has permeated the entire fabric of social life. Business has not been spared either. Enterprises that will remain a going concern have no choice but to adapt. Liberty Life Botswana’s 2020 Strategy is conscious of this reality.
The insurance company strives to be a market leader in technology by continuing to launch more innovative, market leading insurance products, and increasing the quality and quantity of its omni-channel touch-points. In 2016 Liberty Online – a core insurance retail front end system through which sales agents can onboard customer information effectively and efficiently – was launched.
It can also be used similarly by the back end staff at various stages of the process. Recently, Business in a Box was launched- a ‘plug and play’ complete suite of a service especially useful in peri-urban areas, comprising of a laptop and other data capturing tools, for use by its agents remotely. These are amongst the few. Along with the rest of the world, Liberty is under no illusions about the technological future of insurance.
Last week it brought together key industry players for the 6th installment of the annual Insurance Business breakfast seminar. Greg Becker, Business Development Actuary for MunichRE and Parusha Partab, Senior Digital Strategist for Joe Public United both served as honorary guest speakers to share insurance industry insights under the theme: “Digital Disruption and the Impact of Technology on Insurance Underwriting.
”Opening the business breakfast seminar Lulu Rasebotsa, Managing Director for Liberty Life Botswana, testified of the increasing envelopment of technology in the finance industry. She acknowledged the increasing use of buzzwords such as ‘fintech’ in the industry.“InsurTech is a relatively recent buzzword in every discussion relating to digital insurance and underwriting across the world.
It is a term applied to the many segments of new technology that are disrupting the insurance space: these include technologies such as smartphone apps, consumer activity wearables, claim acceleration tools, individual consumer risk development systems, online policy handling, automated compliance processing, and more”, she expounded. She described how Liberty Life Botswana was adapting to the changing insurance landscape and the ways in which they have started adopting innovative technology, such as Business-In-Box tool, to launch market leading insurance products and increase the quality and quantity of their omni-channel touch-points.
Giving his presentation on the impact on a Healthy Lifestyle on insurance underwriting, Greg Becker outlined the various approaches that insurance companies will be likely to use in future to determine long term and short term insurance premiums. His presentation, “Fast Food and Fast Runners fitness or, just fitness trackers” explained innovative leads such as fitness tracker apps, genetics, and social media as ways in which insurance companies are now getting more information to place their clients in the right risk categories.
“People are on a spectrum- they have different underlying probabilities of claiming. Fitness tracker apps are therefore going to be revolutionary in insurance underwriting. Insurance companies are keener to cover fit/healthier people because we know they live longer. “The healthier you are the lower the risk and the lower the chance of claiming; the unhealthier you are the higher the risk and the higher the chance of claiming,” said Becker. In her presentation Parush Partab described the current technological landscape and how it is affecting the way in which humans are interacting with each other.
“The rapid progression of technology has changed our behaviour. The device in our pockets is an extension of our brains. Mobile access has fundamentally changed the way we think and it has given us voices and that is a very empowering thing”, explained Partab. She indicated that the current age of technology is disrupting a number of conventional financial models to the point that people have started participating in different ways and that through this empowerment, a powerful sense of democracy is prevailing that has never existed before.
OLOPENG HEAPS PRAISE ON BSE FINANCE CHALLENGE
Botswana Stock Exchange’s annual finance and investment competition for secondary school students has been applauded by the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng.
The initiative, a capital market awareness tool that has been running for the past seven years, is increasing financial literacy and a culture of investment among young people. The initiative will see the country raise future billionaires through the stock markets. “It is a breath of fresh air to have tertiary students who are financially literate, who can manage their finances,” said the minister.
He urged students to invest even the smallest allowances they earn and have a hassle-free life after university. “Investing on the stock exchange is not only preserved for the rich, but for anyone with a bank account,” said Olopeng.
The minister said the secondary schools finance and investment competition is participation of the private sector in bridging the knowledge divide.Olopeng said the private sector participation augments his ministry’s efforts of providing and building knowledge and innovation through the development and implementation of the policy on tertiary education, research, science and technology to transform the economy from a resource based to a knowledge based.
“In this connection, we will continue to empower our students in order for them to lead better and successful lives which can propel them into the innovation ecosystem,” said Olopeng. BSE Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole said the Senior Secondary Schools Finance and Investment Competition, first established in 2013 aims to sensitise and educate the student community about capital markets, with the strategic aim to increase financial literacy and promote a culture of investing at a young age.
The competition is open to all senior secondary schools across the country, including private and public senior secondary schools.
WE ARE NOT USING DIAMONDS TO KILL ELEPHANTS, THAT’S HOGWASH! – BOTSWANA MINISTER
Botswana is not using diamonds to kill elephants as alleged by some conservationists after the southern African country announced plans to lift a ban on elephant hunting to address growing conflict between humans and wildlife, a government official has said.
Minister of mineral resources, Green technology and energy security Eric Molale told a mining conference in Gaborone on Monday that the activists were tarnishing the image of Botswana. “That’s hogwash because we as Botswana are [good] conservationists and it is us who worked hard to make sure these elephants [are] brought to the numbers that we do have now,” he said.
“When conflicts arise, it is through consultation, [that we] find out how we can best manage our resources. The people have spoken and we are going to be managing the elephants in the best way that we can.
“We are not culling, we have re-introduced the trophy hunting and if you take 400 elephants per annum for trophy hunting against the 3-5% annual growth rate of the elephant herd that we have…[we are] just barely scratching on the surface.”
Botswana has about 130 000 elephants, the world’s largest population.Molale said Botswana will remain focused on things that are beneficial to the country and will not be distracted by issues spread by people that are not even privy to how things are done in the country.
“We have, however, invited them to come and learn more about what we are doing so they can better understand those important aspects of flora and fauna…”The conflict between humans and elephants had gone up since the ban was introduced in 2014.
Tourism is the second source of foreign income in Botswana after diamonds and conservationists fear that the former will be affected is the government cull elephant.
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