InsureTalk23 kicked off at 10am on 23 June across a chilly South Africa. Nonnie Mhlungu welcomed guests and introduced the theme: “Insurance in a changing world” and the sponsors Old Mutual Insure (OMI), Cover magazine and the IISA.

The first speaker was Soul Abraham of OMI, whose talk entitled “Industry update: Rising inflation”.

His talk focused on inflation trends, why they’re happening, their impact on the insurance industry and a brief overview of what we can expect going forward.

Inflation is a global trend at the moment. It’s not limited to South Africa.

“Something that cost a customer or an insurer to replace 12 months ago is now 15 to 20% more expensive,” he said. The rest of his talk focused on what that means for everyone involved – including the insurance industry – both in South Africa and on the global stage.

“Insurer margins are being eroded rapidly,” he said. “My concern is that the smaller, less strong balance sheet insurers in South Africa and the globe will likely exit or pull back over the next 12 to 18 months – and that’s never a good thing. We want a healthy insurance industry. We want competition; it’s good for the consumer, it’s good for the broker. Unfortunately we’re going to have licences coming under pressure in a year or two.”

Ryan Grove of Premium Finance Partners was up next. He spoke on continuity solutions for brokers – ensuring that brokers have a plan in place for securing their businesses into the future.

It’s best to start planning while your business is thriving, rather than waiting until a year before your planned exit to start making plans, he said.

He spoke about three types of continuity solutions for brokers, namely…

  • management buy-out/vendor finance
  • long-term shareholder
  • selling your book/brokerage

… as well as the pros and cons of each approach – as detailed in the slides below:

OMI’s Antonia Oakes followed Ryan on the agenda. She spoke on customer experience and the customer of the future.

“We have seen that customers’ expectations and behaviours have changed … expectations have been illuminated and highlighted – and with good reason. 72% of businesses say improving their customer experience is top of their agenda.”

Antonia discussed the difference between customer experience and customer service; the rise of CX focus across all industries, not just insurance; the customer of the future (turns out they’re a bit fussy); the impact of Covid-19 and digital engagement in the current insurance landscape.

The entertainment slot was magically filled by singer Jean Nangwala (above) and marimba band, Blackroots (below). The artists all produced top quality performances that were 100% African.

Thokozile Mahlangu (who celebrated her birthday on the day of the webinar) spoke about the upcoming African Insurance Exchange – what to expect from each of the sessions, from golf on Sunday, 24 July to closing presentations on Tuesday, 26 July.

If you haven’t yet reserved your spot at this year’s conference, you can do so by clicking here.

Tony van Niekerk of Cover magazine spoke about change and disruption.

“The reason why it’s so difficult for existing forms to capitalise on disruptive innovations is that their processes and their business models make them good at existing business, but becomes challenging for them when it comes to competing when there’s disruption.”

But where does this change leave us, personally and professionally? Tony says we have to be ready to spot change and opportunity and then take action to capitalise on them.

Nox Dlamini of XonRisk spoke on the topic “Opening the floodgates”. She posed and unpacked a number of existential questions:

She spoke on the need for inclusivity in the industry, using the Xon Risk experience as an example of how this can be achieved.

The last slot on the agenda was filled by motivational speaker Lifa Hlongwa, who chatted about overcoming life’s adversities… one step at a time.

Lifa was injured in a rugby match in 2017 and ended up spending most of his days in a wheelchair. He spoke of his slow road to recovery, his successive physical achievements, and his ultimate participation in the 16th Gavirate International Pararowing Regatta in Italy in May 2022.

And that was a wrap!

If you’d like to watch the recording of the webinar, click on the image below. And if you’d like to register for InsureTalk24, which takes place on 28 July, click here.