Metropolitan Botswana hosted the Annual Disability Workshop to enhance understanding of rehabilitative efforts that can be undertaken to improve health of client before submitting disability claims without exhausting appropriate channels. In a climate of predictive analytics, CAT modelling, telematics, and structured solutions, the fundamental risk principles remain.
The combination of technical training, practical experience, judgment, and ethics are as relevant today as at any point in time. Botswana is evolving at breath taking pace. These catalytic changes require definitions of risk that are now only being anticipated and evaluated.
Organizations like Metropolitan Botswana prompted by feedback from clients and stakeholders are therefore delving into broader definitions of enterprise risk to build new skills set. New skill sets and backgrounds are necessary and insurance education through workshops on vulnerable groups like the disabled are being considered critical to confronting changing risk and landscape dynamic.
Nomsa Motsumi, AON, Deputy Director Group Risk and Bank Assurance, said “It is important to have workshops like these and have experts like occupational therapists and claims specialists to unpack policies and benefits. It helps understanding of our own disability as per insurance policy and respective company process. We needed to understand for example, the difference between disability and impairment.”
She said, “Employees often think temporary ailment is claimable. It has to be permanent disability and not temporary where corrective measures can be taken. Breaking my arm is temporary because I can get plaster and go back to work. This is not claimable.”
Established in December 2010 after the unique merger of Metropolitan Holdings and Momentum Group, Metropolitan Momentum International(MMI) is a sister company of Metropolitan Botswana and is currently registered on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange(JSE) and is one of the largest insurers in South Africa with over 122 years of underwriting history.
“It operates in 12 African countries and has offices in United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Indonesia with a credit rating - Aaa.za in line with Moody’s Standard notching practices. Metropolitan Botswana however was registered in July 1996 and commenced operations in 1997 – and has been in existence for 19 years,” said Masego Tsalaesele-Mokgolodi.
Its ownership structure consists of Molope(25%) and MMI(75%) and provides an astronomical 120 schemes alongside a wide array of products and services like Group Life Assurance, Occupational Disability Benefit, Group Funeral Benefit, Credit Life, Individual Risk Benefitsand Individual Investment to name but just a few.
Metropolitan which boasts over 60,000 clients in Botswana has 4 offices spread across Botswana, which are complimented by 2 satellite offices and is rated A- by Non-Bank Financial Services Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA).
Insurance provides benefits to an individual, family, businessman as well as society because it provides economic protection against unexpected losses. This often happens because a person who was previously working finds themselves unable to function properly.
Boitumelo Phutegelo, a Police Officer at Broadhurst Police, was one such story. Involved in a terrible car accident in Dibete, she lost both legs and was not given any such of recovering.
“There was nothing for me to do. They said it is better for me to go home to Molepolole. I refused to listen to people who are negative. I know my rights and I wanted assessment from medical experts,” said Phutegelo, who was speaking at a workshop sponsored by Metropolitan Botswana to provide support services for the disabled.
Ashe said, “People manage to go to work after being told they cannot go back to work. Always get a second opinion”
Phututegelo maintains that the only thing i do not have is my legs.
“I am still functional. My disability is not inability. I drive myself for shopping. It gives me moral to do things for myself. When somebody is disabled do not say agh shame. Do not give them a package and tell them that they will see what to do,” revealed Phutegelo.
She said, “If I sit behind a table you cannot see I have a problem.”
Metropolitan Botswana provides financial protection to dependents in case of pre-mature death of insured. The insurance company also covers the loss of properties due to theft, fire, accident and other natural calamities, in an effort to help them maintain the same lifestyle.
People are exposed to various kinds of risks and uncertainties. It is impossible to eliminate risks and uncertainties altogether. Insurance is a co-operative device, which helps to share the risks among the insured. The impact of risk can be reduced to the minimum through the distribution of risks among many insured members and further cultivates a culture of saving.
The local insurance industry is facing pressures to invest in emerging risks like disabilities and service capabilities. Risk selection and claims efficiencies will be critical to help differentiate one company from its competitors. Insurance education can be such a differentiator.
One of the participants stressed this point when saying that often service providers did not read the fine print on policies or properly understand the critical role they played in relaying information to stakeholders and failed to understand that apart from addressing claims the could help with rehabilitation, for those who did not suffer debilitating accidents.
Gaofaona Tladi, Alexander Fobres, Employees Benefit Consultant, said “I think we often fall between cracks of preventions and rehabilitation. We need to know what we can do to help people go back to work. We often do not look at disability projects.”
She said, “We do not focus on disability needs like the permanent health insurer and occupational disability. As insurers and brokers we need to be on the same page.”