As time goes by it will be hard to remember the year 2020 without recalling the C word. It has left in its trail unprecedented situations, and substantial despair. Unpreparedness for sudden unemployment or the loss of a family’s primary wage earner has people scrambling to protect themselves and their families should they be directly affected by this pandemic. COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of protecting one’s family with life and health insurance.
Iftikar Ahamed, the Managing Director of Softlogic Life Insurance PLC, stated that what is most important to achieve is a return to normalcy in 2021 and a recovery of the National economy. “The government has recently announced a business prone budget and plans for 2021 that should stimulate recovery that will hopefully have a positive effect on many industries. We feel that the arrival of a vaccine is critically important to improve business confidence on the ground.”
Despite a tough 2020 the life insurance industry has fared relatively well and Softlogic Life has benefited from the insurance positive environment as it surged ahead by providing Sri Lankans across all segments with valuable solutions in Life and Health insurance covering over one million lives. During the year one in every three policies purchased in life insurance has been a Softlogic Life Policy.
Speaking about the challenges posed by the pandemic, Iftikar stated that one of the greatest challenges brought about by the pandemic has been mobility with the additional dimension being psychological, a kind of fear factor. The inability to meet prospective customers has made selling of traditional Life Insurance more difficult as the product is sold by face-to-face meetings with clients.
Having said that, he emphasized the importance of digitalisation. “This is where digitalisation is of great significance. Without the need to physically attend a meeting, sales could be achieved by virtual discussions or by contracting over multiple digital platforms. Softlogic Life already has a superior IT advantage with its in-house capability that has kicked in to provide seamless ‘work from anywhere’ infrastructure.”
“Contactless transactions are not something new to us and has been part of our DNA for many years. Our multiple channel strategy enables our customers and partners to transact 24X7 providing great convenience. With the on-set of the pandemic we brought in COVID-19 cover to all our existing policies despite our Reinsurers not taking on pandemic risk.”
The MD further claimed that, the pandemic has greatly increased awareness for protection and thereby the need for health insurance and life insurance will grow providing great long-term prospects for the Industry in Sri Lanka’s under-penetrated market.