Abundant opportunities lie in cyber insurance

By Talent Kasu

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has called on insurance companies in Zimbabwe to tap into enormous prospects offered by the era of digitised business through offering data protection for businesses and individuals.

Prof Ncube was speaking at the official opening of the Organisation of Eastern and Southern Africa Insurers (OESAI) Forum held in Victoria Falls recently.

“Insurers can cover the costs associated with cyber security issues, which can include, reputational risk, loss of business, loss of customers, cyber extortion and bullying among others.

“According to the Allianz Global Insurance Report, the insurance industry weathered Covid-19 with more resilience. Thus, the outlook for the industry post Covid-19 is very bright,” he said.

Against the backdrop of global health scourge Covid-19 and travel restrictions brought in place, most business have been forced to go digital. This has triggered as rise in cybercrime, a worrying development on a global scale. With information traffic on the upward spiral on digital platforms, unruly elements in society have seized every opportunity to fleece businesses and individuals of their income and the demand for data protection services is at an all time high.

Prof Ncube added, “Insurance has supported each different ‘industrial revolution’ by offering risk transfer and risk analysis services that enable innovators to have the financial safety net they need to pioneer new ways of doing things.”

The digital industrial revolution code-named the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ has brought wholesome changes to business methods across the world and some changes have been accelerated by the outbreak of the Corona Virus. Information communication technologies have become the order of the day across all sectors of the world economy, replacing traditional practices.

“There is a merging line of cyber insurance. With insurance, economic resources are allocated more efficiently so that individuals and businesses can be more confident in assuming developing risks and economic growth and job creation are stimulated,” said the minister.

Millions of jobs have been lost world-wide since the advent of Covid-19 late 2019. More jobs could be created in the cyber security drive if insurers are able to tap into the opportunities available.

The treasury chief’s sentiments were echoed by Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC) Commissioner Dr Grace Muradzikwa who chronicled some of the major lessons the sector has taken since the outbreak of Covid-19.

She highlighted that while the pandemic posed greater threats, insurers in Zimbabwe had managed to withstand some of the pressures. She applauded funeral assurance firms for timeous services to insured clients claimed by the pandemic.

“It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic also exposed cover gaps, particularly in Business Interruption Cover. I aware of litigations related to perceived ambiguity of some policy wording on pandemics in some countries including Zimbabwe,” said Dr Muradzikwa.

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