Saturday, July 24, 2021

BIC looks to protect market share as it turns 40

Botswana Insurance Company Limited (BIC), the country biggest short term insurer said on Friday it wants to cement its status locally before thinking of setting shop outside the country.

 

Its Managing Director, Johann Claasen added that they want to exploit the domestic market where there are still many untapped opportunities and limited penetration.

 

“There is still potential for growth in Botswana as penetration is 1 percent (for short term insurance) compared to South Africa’s 3 percent,” Claasen told the 40th anniversary BIC celebratory press conference.

 

“We do not want to be the biggest…but if you think of insurance you have to think of Botswana Insurance Company,” said the MD.

 

BIC, which is a subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange’s AIM listed Masawara Plc, has maintained the number one spot in the short term insurance marketÔÇöwhere it competes with other 11 companies.

 

The P3billion a year insurance industry has a penetration of 3 percent; split between 2 percent for life, which is controlled by Botswana Life, and 1 percent penetration for short term insurance. 

 

In a bid to cement status in the market, BIC last year purchased the general lines insurance book of BIHL Insurance Company Limited.

 

“The transition has brought on board additional skills from BIHL Insurance Company Limited to the BIC head office,” BIC said in a statement.

 

“Stakeholders can be rest assured that the highest standards with regards to continued service delivery and product quality will be maintained through BIC’s robust service delivery model.”

 

Claasen said their competitive advantage is that BIC is a local company, and ‘what you see is what you get’ meaning they do not need to refer a query to outside the country as they have solutions locally.

 

The company which provides services for both the commercial insurance clientele has 17, 000 clients on its books. Revenues come from a number of sources (a combination of our brokers, agents and direct clients), but Claasen said brokers probably cater for 70 percent of the revenues.

 

Claasen added that to adapt to what the customer wants, they are embracing technological industry changes, utilising software & mobile apps aimed at creating client convenience and using technical devices for measuring data, capturing information or assisting with risk analysis.

 

He said they are also tapping into innovation to reengineer ‘our processes and simply to stay ahead of the game are all the technologies we will be integrating into our business growth strategy.’

 

“Short term Insurance in Botswana, has so many untapped opportunities, in terms of enhancing the customer experience, and that is our aim for the future, for our customers, our Agents, Brokers, Suppliers, Strategic Affiliates and all other critical stakeholders!”

 

The company was originally divided between two parties, with Botswana Development Corporation holding 51 percent of the shares and J.H. Minet & Company Limited of London the remaining 49 percent.

 

In 1985, J.H. Minet sold its 49% holding to St Paul (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary company of the St Paul Incorporation of Minnesota USA. In 1991, Botswana Insurance Company, to comply with the Botswana Insurance act of 1987, was subsequently restructured to provide only short term market solutions.

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