COVID-19 showed insurers need e-commerce; WiPay launched in B’dos
Managing director of Tradewinds International Insurance Brokers, Kiernan Kelly, says that e-commerce, and digital payment measures need to be integrated into the insurance sector.
Kelly was speaking during the press launch of online payment service, WiPay, when he disclosed that during the seven-week shutdown, the Barbadian insurance industry was forced to defer immediate payments as the country responded to a public health emergency. He shared that insurance premiums declined by approximately 15 per cent due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The insurance market in Barbados had to come together and offer clients a respite period until they can make payments again and we honoured coverage without payment. We continue to provide payment plans for those also that have been laid off or having financial difficulties due to COVID-19,” said Kelly who emphasized the need for an efficient e-commerce industry in Barbados during this evolving climate.
“It is crucial that we provide clients with many easy and cost-effective, digital options to pay their premiums. E-commerce is vital for the insurance industry to survive and grow. I think now the ability for insurers to offer insurance coverage online which the consumer is also able to pay for digitally is the way forward and especially during this pandemic as social distancing becomes the new norm,” he added.
The Tradewinds mangaging director went on to state that due to the national shutdown and quarantine restrictions, the island’s insurance sector was at a standstill, until May 4 when Barbados entered Phase 2 of the Emergency Management Directive.
“Insurance payment came to a standstill for a week or two as people had other concerns like buying food and preparing for the unknown. Under normal circumstances, timely insurance payments are vital to ensure coverage remains in place in case of claims,” the managing director remarked.