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Insuring like it’s the future

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Johan Fourie is professor in economics at Stellenbosch University and author of Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom (Tafelberg, 2021).
Johan Fourie is professor in economics at Stellenbosch University and author of Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom (Tafelberg, 2021).

The days of a man in an oversized, dreary grey suit, sitting at his desk in a smoke-filled office selling stock-standard insurance policies are long gone. Insurance is now the sexiest industry on the block. 

Just ask those who head up the Naspers* Foundry, which in early August announced another investment in the insurtech space: R120m into Naked, an AI-driven insurance firm. This follows a R34m investment into Ctrl, a digital short-term insurance advice platform, in July.

The excitement makes sense. Insurance is generally a fast-growing sector as people in developing countries accumulate assets like houses and cars. The shift to digital, buttressed by lockdown measures, and new technologies like machine learning have accelerated both the demand for and supply of new kinds of insurance services.

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