Low household disposable incomes is the biggest challenge facing the life insurance sector in the country, according to Thato Kubu, client service manager at Metropolitan Botswana.
Speaking to Mmegi Business, Kubu said pressure on disposable incomes is mainly due to inflation and non-adjustment of salaries, particularly among civil servants.
“As a result we are rethinking business processes and product ranges, in order to remain competitive under the harsh economic conditions to meet the evolving needs of our customer base,” he said.
Kubu said they have experienced situations whereby customers cancelled their policies due to lack of income. He said they always try to make those that cancel policies aware of the importance of long-term saving.
According to Kubu, the problem remains a challenge to Metropolitan, as is the case with most financial institutions.
“We have however observed that through customer engagement and education, customers end up appreciating the importance of long term savings and investment as well as life insurance,” he said.
Kubu noted that nowadays more customers are able to look into the future and take cognisant of the fact that even though they may not have enough disposable incomes today, its important that they save for the future.
“As indicated, we have found customer education to be the best tool to empower our customers and ensure that they have a financially secure future,” he said.
Kubu added that the long-term vision of Metropolitan Botswana is to provide unparalleled customer service to their customers, ensuring the highest satisfaction levels in the industry and customer retention through service excellence.
“Our holding company, MMI, last year introduced a client centric model, which seeks to put the customer at the Centre of everything that we do. We have fully bought into this model as we believe it will help us better serve our customers,” he said.
He said in order to align to the model, the company is engaged in a number of initiatives, which will see them reaching their dream of being the service provider of choice in the financial services industry in Botswana.
Kubu stated that the insurer has finalised drafting its service standards and that they have gone through the necessary internal approvals. An earlier report from BMI Research indicates that Botswana’s life insurance segment will hold the lion’s share of the overall insurance sector, accounting for roughly 70 percent of total premiums written in 2015.
“In terms of growth potential, we expect life insurance to consistently outpace non-life insurance in the next five years, as we see its market share increase to 74 percent in 2019,” the report stated.
The reports revealed that consumers would be better able to afford life insurance products since disposable income will increase steadily in the coming years. It underscored that there will be attractive opportunities for future investment both in the short and long-term.