With the pandemic disrupting lives and livelihoods, it has never been more vital to focus on the importance of insurance. Avinash Babur, CEO, InsuranceMarket.ae, the flagship digital brand by AFIA Insurance Brokerage Services, tells Friday Lite what are some of the key challenges corporates and individuals are faced with, the role of technology and what needs to be done to deal with the impact of Covid-19.
With Covid-19 disrupting lives and businesses, what kind of a paradigm shift do you foresee?
The current “Covid climate” has seen a real shift in the way people think and feel. We’ve all been living against a backdrop of greater uncertainty. Ironically, that’s where having insurance can help – whether you’re a private individual that wants to take care of their family or an entrepreneur that wants to take care of their business.
Restrictions in how we live our daily lives have meant that many have been forced to “go virtual” for the first time. This has posed some real challenges. Those individuals and companies that are well used to digital solutions have continued to “trade” whilst others have somewhat struggled. It’s not just about the “know how” though. Psychologically there are many who will never prefer a computer to a conversation, and due to increased anxiety, there are many who look for the reassurance that only a knowledgeable human can provide. Empathy and pragmatism have never been more important than now. Successful companies will need a blend of smart humans and smart technology to cater for everyone.
What should individuals and businesses keep in mind while shopping for insurance?
Insurance is a hugely “personal” product, whether buying for an individual or business purposes. Everyone has their own “purchasing philosophy” and will have differing degrees of “need”. It’s important for any buyer to recognise and understand what will work for them and to factor that into their “investigations”. For some, complete coverage is everything and there is no price for “protection peace of mind”, whilst others see the price as the key factor and will compromise some aspects of cover for their premium budget. Whilst each approach is valid, in my view insurance shopping should be a blend of the two: the best cover you can secure at the best possible price.
Always bear in mind that a few extra dirhams spent on premium can protect you against the loss of thousands more. It’s also important to value your exposure correctly: re-appraise the cost to replace the items you have, the value of your car or the extent of your legal liabilities. In my experience, people underestimate the value of their assets and liabilities and only realise just what they’ve lost when it’s too late: i.e. when they need to make or defend a claim.
What advice would you give to those planning to travel soon, as far as travel insurance is concerned?
Travel insurance has traditionally been one of the least purchased policies but offers so much coverage. There is a wide range of products out there but at the core of all of them is protection for people and possessions. For example, travel policies typically cover you for losses and/or damage to baggage, loss of money, loss of passport, trip cancellation and curtailment (trip being cancelled or cut short): as well as medical expenses, injury and/or death benefits and hospitalisation and repatriation costs.
Above all, travel insurance gives you peace of mind, allowing you to sit back, relax and enjoy your trip knowing that you’ve packed more than sun protection!
Avinash Babur elaborates on the company’s corporate journey and the milestones on the way
InsuranceMarket.ae is the flagship digital brand by AFIA Insurance Brokerage Services and was established in 2010. Over the past decade the company has experienced growth not only in its customer base, market share and profile but also in its team size. “We now have over 400 employees and are still growing,” says Avinash.
What are some of its biggest achievements?
We’re proud of our journey and every day sees us reaching new heights and achieving more. It’s important to be continuously improving. It’s that mantra that has seen us recognised as a market leader in the UAE for great service: perhaps one of our biggest and proudest achievements is reaching more than 11,000 reviews on Google and a 4.9/5 rating.
– Mrinal Shekar