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Takako Matsuo, Senior Manager at Tokio Marine Insurance UAE Image Credit:

Like every other industry, the pandemic took the insurance industry also by surprise. However, insurers in the UAE like Tokio Marine responded quickly by stepping up to the challenge, supporting local businesses and communities. From providing motor insurance discounts to healthcare and front-line workers to flexible payment options, we have stood by our customers. Those insurers who were already on the path of digital transformation have been able to adapt quickly and easily to the changes brought about by the pandemic. They have understood the importance of direct communication with customers and taken an approach of proactive customer-driven support. The pandemic has acted as a unique opportunity for insurers to rethink and innovate.

Customers now expect more value products and personalised offerings and communications. For policyholders, the top priority is to process policies and claims online anytime at their convenience. Enhancements such as digitisation of systems and processes, automation using robotics and AI, and cloud-based services will act as accelerators for all insurance companies. This is why we at Tokio Marine are further investing in digital technologies for all steps in the processes. From a customer point of view, they prefer speed, simplicity and convenience when it comes to processing claims and insurance policies and this acts as a top priority while selecting an insurer. The changes that would have normally taken years to achieve have been accelerated by the pandemic and are being achieved in weeks and months. The demand for certain types of insurance is likely to increase than in the past. Hence the insurers need to review their current strategy and products to meet the evolving demand.

Post-pandemic future

These are challenging times for the insurance industry. The future is hard to predict and the crisis is far from over. However, we hope that at the end of it, we will have an evolved industry with innovative operating models and processes. If we grasp the challenge and are quick to improvise and adapt, we will position ourselves for a new future. Those who don’t embrace more digital workflows and design new processes will find themselves at a huge disadvantage. Throughout the time of this crisis, the insurance industry has been at the forefront of supporting its customers and businesses. The role of insurance is becoming more vital and visible in this rapidly evolving and unpredictable world. The pandemic is likely to act as a catalyst for creating new products, digitisation of processes, and change in customer relationships.