Insurance remains a paradox in the insurance sector in Tanzania. While it remains one of the key areas of focus and interest for insurers due its potential to attract new customers, it is blighted by fraud, uncontrolled value chain and trust deficit. Tanzania has a traditional insurance distribution model primarily dominated by agents and brokers selling both Medical and General (Non-medical) traditional products. Conventionally, the sector has been dominated by general insurance and the long-term (life) market only recently started to develop in earnest. This fact, combined with inconsistent service delivery, young population, new entries and mergers, and speedy technology penetration makes the industry highly prone to disruption. Disruption exploits pain points to drive change, and at the heart of disruption lies technology. Insuretech solutions will focus on the weak points in the value chain e.g. Digital Onboarding Process, Mobile Distributions, Claims Payment Systems, Medical Claims Automation Systems, as they seek an insurance equivalent to MPESA or so. The major challenge in how to sell insurance products can be solved by technology i.e Self-service Mobile app or portal. These innovations can make both medical and non-medical insurance digital and available 24/7 through reductions of face-to-face interactions, increased access to remote locations, and faster claims processing amongst others. Data analytics constitute a crucial role in supporting an effective value chain to manage costs and to align with apps so that insurance providers can deliver improved lifestyle products and unlock risk-based pricing. This is already a reality in the emerging markets where insurers create lifestyle insurance products based on data and social medial profiles. This will disrupt how insurers price insurance products,potentially cracking the medial and none medical insurance space. Change brings resistance and challenges. However if the insurance sector is going to prosper as a long-term sustainable class of business, all the stake holders including regulators, assessors, agents, brokers right up to the insures have a role to play. Collaborations, sharing of data and technology will help in solving this paradox. This will result in higher access as innovation and disruption take flight while at the same time realizing efficiencies that will benefit the whole sector.
The days of traveling to the hospital, queuing for hours, being refereed for multiple tests and waiting for months for claims reimbursements will be a distant memory. Such change in distribution and technology are inevitable, the question for insurance l players is how they respond. This requires strategic decisions to be fast moving or fast following and agility in thoroughness and reaction. Traditionally, the sector has been dominated by general insurance and the long-term (life) market only recently started to develop in earnest.