Zim Selector, an online aggregator for insurance products in Zimbabwe feels the nation takes online insurance products with a pinch of salt due to myriad of reasons.
At a media briefing last Friday, Zim Selector Business Development director Zelina Francis said they discovered in their regular analysis that people are generally skeptical about dealing with a “virtual” provider. A virtual provider, in this context is an insurer with products found online.
“So people are generally skeptical about virtual dealers. Every week we do our analysis of sales on Zim Selector aggregator.
“We look at the number of posts and questions and none of them have actually converted to a sale. Quite a number of times we have feedback. We call the customer because we want to follow up. And a lot of time they tell you we actually purchased.
“So they are happy to make that coach journey but when it comes to paying on line with their card details they are like Im not sure,” she said.
She also said market conditions hamper the uptake of online insurance products.
“Why is online insurance distribution in Zimbabwe so low? Its very very low. First thing we find there we’ve got market conditions.
“When times people get cautious, they err on the side of caution. Same old generally When you have developed economies like UK, USA the whole market is online. When Im in England I do my groceries online it is delivered to the door.
“I do shopping on Amazon, you find all the gadgets online. So that side there is a culture of buying online. So when you think of buying insurance online it’s like buying everything else. So there some sort of comfort that you going to get something you bought online,” said Francis.
Francis noted that Zimbabwe unlike first world countries has people unconvinced with making online payments.
“So in Zimbabwe we don’t have that. We still have to go to TM Pick n Pay, Food lovers Market. If you wanna buy something you still have to go to the shop. We have an environment where people are not accustomed to buy online.
They are still new to buy online. There is a level of mistrust. They are not willing to take an extra step. It’s something that’s too new to them,” she said.
Insurance and Pensions Commission analyst Fidelis Kagura said they have facilitated service level agreements between insurers and other service providers like Aggregators, Mobile Network Operators.