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COVID-19 insurance risks: What can we expect going into 2021 and beyond?

13 September 2020 Claude Hamman, Head of Specialist Risk Advisory at Indwe

This is part four in a series of six blog posts providing COVID-19 risk advice. In part three we unpacked what insurance and risk management advisers should be doing

Let us first regard the previous century before we imagine the next decade. Humanity has survived the Great War, the Great Depression, World War II and the Great Recession. Now, we are facing the Great Infection, as the COVID-19 crisis of 2020 sweeps across the planet. In a previous article (Unlocking a new future for South Africa) we looked at a post-COVID-19 crisis world and explored some of the opportunities and threats that may emerge.

History shows that organisations that emerge from a time of crisis, even with a slight lead, are generally able to maintain and strengthen their position in the period after the crisis period.

Technology has emerged as a key opportunity, specifically the use of high-speed internet services, drone technology, large scale online learning, artificial intelligence and virtual reality technology, to name only a few. The digitisation of business will be an essential part of the world economy as we transition into the post-lockdown period, especially when combined with communication infrastructure investments. In education for example, this means that the best teachers are able to deliver world-class content anywhere in the world.

Our perspective has changed as a result of the current crisis forcing people from different generations to embrace technology in order to keep their doors open. Our ability to adapt to our environment enables human beings to combine resilience with technological advancements to create a better future for generations to follow. What other opportunities will emerge from this crisis?

There are opportunities for those who are willing to invest time and energy to manage uncertainty and prepare for the future. At Indwe, the team continues to develop solutions using RiskTech® to harness the power of existing and emerging technologies like satellite, drone and machine learning. RiskTech® is applied across various industries to drive efficiency and growth. The agricultural sector for example can benefit from the combination of drone technology with traditional risk management techniques, in order promote precision farming practices that reduce risk and improve yield.  

As a leader, now is the time to connect people to a deeper sense of purpose and to lead by example, showing that even though it is tough times now and the future is still uncertain, with the right attitude and plan there will be a future for us all. We can create greater resilience by looking at the current challenges we face, harnessing technology and inviting people to join us on a path to a shared purpose.

Read part five in our risk advice series: How do organisations ensure resilience and business continuity management?

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QUESTION

The intention with lockdown was to delay or flatten the Covid-19 infection curve and give both the private and public healthcare sectors time to prepare for the inevitable onslaught. Did the strategy work?

ANSWER

No, the true numbers are not reflected. Almost a quarter of South Africans may already have been infected with Covid-19
It’s too soon to tell. We will likely get a second wave with stringent lockdown regulations in place again
Yes, South Africa bought enough time to make a significant difference. We saved lives and have passed our peak. The worst is over
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