The rise of the gig economy (freelancing and/or contractual), remote workers that use personal property for commercial purposes, the growing startup scene, IoT and connectivity has changed what insurance could look like; expanding beyond classic health or car insurance procedures and red tape.
Although the insurance industry positively affects GDP internationally, according to the Oxford Business Group’s 2019 report, “the sector’s impact on the lives of ordinary Egyptians has been limited, with 1% of the population covered, compared to a global average of over 6% and an African average of nearly 3%”.
Despite recent economic growth, the industry is still facing a lot of challenges, but a new insurance platform hopes to break through barriers with a brand-new hackathon.
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Barriers to Insurance Industry Growth
There are several barriers holding the industry back, but the considerable potential of this open market is an important point as, unlike other more saturated industries, the local insurance industry has less competition and is ready to be disrupted due to old procedures and models.
In an interview with Enterprise, Basel El Hini, Chairman and managing director of Misr Insurance Holding Company (MIHC), suggested that some of the main barriers are a lack of consumer knowledge to grow demand and the battle for market share in a small market rather than expanding it.
A lack of consumer knowledge answers the question of how to expand the market; growing the audience and stakeholders through awareness campaigns and etc.
Through awareness and growing social trust could also improve ease of access for many Egyptians, many of which hold a deeply rooted social suspicion of the insurance, by using technology and modern social listening techniques to understand today’s consumers and their needs.
Hacking the Insurance Industry: InsurTech
To promote the possibilities of the local insurance industry, an open call was launched by new insurance platform “InsurTech Egypt,” Egypt’s first platform that tackles insurance industry challenges.
The open call invited over 100 applicants from innovative designers to coders, innovators in FinTech and insurance fields as well as entrepreneurs and established startups, to participate, ideate and disrupt the insurance industry at Egypt’s first Insurance Hackathon.
“InsurHack,” the first insurance technology hackathon in Egypt, hopes to tackle the challenges facing the local insurance industry.
“We’re pleased to launch the first InsurTech Hackathon in Egypt, calling on the participating teams to address four main challenges that face the insurance industry from developing data analysis tools for insurance companies to transform the insurance agent; to reaching low-income insurance segments, as well as creating a competitive edge for SMEs through insurance,” said Hayder Al-Baghdadi, Head of Programs and the Promotion of Financial Inclusion in the MENA Region and SME Finance in Egypt at the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
GIZ, alongside platform partners AUC Venture Lab, Insight Impact, the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority and the Insurance Federation of Egypt, aims to gather entrepreneurs, techies, and designers to formulate ten teams to work on developing ten business ideas and solve specific challenges.
Through the four-day event, ten participating teams will compete for a cash prize of 100K EGP through a challenge framework developed by insurance companies.
The challenge framework includes developing data analysis and assessment tools for insurance companies, transforming the insurance agent, reaching low-income insurance segments, and creating a competitive edge for SMEs through insurance.
Closing the hackathon, a Demo Day will be held at the American University in Cairo on the 1st of December, celebrating and showcasing the ten teams’ projects and displaying their progress over the hackathon duration.
Three winning teams will champion the hackathon, receiving the cash prize of 100K EGP. The teams will also receive additional benefits such as a flight to Germany, physical space for two months, and fast selection to AUC Venture Lab’s bootcamp.
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