Alaa El-Zoheiry, Chairperson of the Insurance Federation of Egypt (IFE), has revealed that the country has successfully made the move to issuing and collecting micro insurance policies online.
El-Zoheiry noted that making the move towards greater digitalisation has been one of the main challenges for the insurance industry as a whole.
He also said, however, that transformation has already happened, as many insurance companies now have the approval to issue digital policies for micro insurance.
This ensures that the entire process takes place online, even down to the availability of e-signatures. With the insurance documents not needing printing and delivery, it is now no longer necessary for clients to physically present themselves at insurance company offices.
El-Zoheiry’s remarks came during the “Virtual Country Workshop: Moving the Needle – Egypt”, on Tuesday. The event was organised by MiN, in cooperation with the IFE and its SPI HUB, an IFE-run platform responsible for providing the market with workshops, webinars and the like.
He explained that one of the positives to come out of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)-related lockdown, was that people really invested into the digitalisation and digital transformation aspects of everyday living.
“The IFE has done a terrific job in digitalisation, through the micro insurance committee and the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), who have really helped us a lot to accept the fact that we can start issuing micro insurance policy digitally,” El-Zoheiry said, “We have also started up collections, which is very important, because we have some insurance companies that have already undertaken some dealings with collection companies who are collecting for them, and this has reduced the cost of micro insurance.”
He added that there is now a hope to increase the number of policies issued via digital platforms.
El-Zoheiry said that Egypt has several opportunities for the growth of the micro, small, and medium enterprises insurance segment. This is due to the large percentage of youth present in Egypt and who are going into this segment of entrepreneurship, in addition to the state’s support and interest in these enterprises.
The government support has come in the form of issuing and developing legislation and laws related to financing for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and efforts to integrate the informal sectors into the state’s former sector.
This is in addition to building many industrial zones, targeting youth, and also supporting MSMEs nationwide.
“The FRA has issued many decisions regarding compulsory micro and small insurance, which have impacted on the lives of borrowers in the small and medium categories,” El-Zoheiry said, “This is along with working on developing the electronic issuance and distribution system in general, and focusing on micro insurance in particular.”
Among the other opportunities that have become available, El-Zoheiry said that the state’s strategy is aiming to increase the rates of financial inclusion in Egypt.