The world is grappling with disruption of business in various sectors since corona virus pandemic came to the fore. The virus being highly infectious necessitated Governments like Kenya to come up with a raft of measures that would help slow down infections and flatten the curve. The directives put in place like social distancing, working from home, no gathering of a number of people more than 15 even in funerals and weddings; severely affected businesses and insurance industry was not spared either.
The industry depends on daily interaction of its financial advisors with prospective clients to disseminate various products and procure sales. These advisors are in turn paid a commission from the business the sales closed from businesses procured. Some of these agents earn very good commissions compared to salaried workers because in sales work, there is no limit to what you can earn. The efforts put in place and working smart determines the growth of income one stands to earn every month.
Due to mass loss of jobs and businesses closed down either from Governments directive to do so or just because proprietors could not afford to run the businesses anymore because of declined revenue, many insurance policies have been cancelled or deferred for later dates while many of those who did not hold insurance policies previously choose not to spend their heavily reduced income on insurance covers because they feel that it is among the things they can do without until the pandemic is over unlike food and shelter which is mandatory to spend on. Some motor vehicle owners have chosen to park their vehicles at home and use public transport to avoid buying the mandatory motor insurance policies and spending on repairs in case of damage.
Social gatherings having been banned in Kenya and the directives for people to work from home has impacted negatively on insurance industry. Before Covid-19, most financial advisors preferred to book appointments in various institutions like schools, hospitals and police camps then gather the staff or officers together and hold a forum to disseminate various products in the offing. During the forum, they would later identify individuals who need to fill up the forms for various insurance policies depending with their needs. With this gatherings suspended and many people working from home and even the directive in place for curfew together with cessation of movement from Nairobi metropolitan and mombasa, it is not easy for the insurance practitioners to procure sales. Selling insurance was difficult even before covid-19 because it is not easy to convince a person to buy a service and pay for it for several years. You can imagine how much more difficult it is during this pandemic.
Despite these challenges, the insurance practitioners have devised ways to interact with prospects online through various social media platforms. They create well articulated packages to attract their target clients and make sure to post them on their social media platforms with their contacts addresses on the footnote for those interested to learn more about the products to contact them. Although it is not easy, this new tactic has helped some to procure good businesses. It is said desperate times calls for desperate measures.
The industry has also made it easy for clients to secure various services online without necessarily visiting the offices physically. Clients can apply for loans, seek to be paid their benefits, raise a complaint or even request to cancel a policy online. This gives clients peace of mind knowing they can stay at home safe from corona and still get the services they require.
We all hope covid-19 pandemic will be vanquished and life get back to a good normal. We keep hope alive.