The group insurance industry is undergoing a massive shift. Driven by the snowballing adoption of wellness practices and artificial intelligence (AI) engulfing the industry, businesses are rapidly improving their employee benefits offerings as they fight to stay ahead.

A study by McKinsey & Company predicts that there will be 1-trillion connected devices (cars, fitness trackers, home assistants, smartphones, smart watches, etc ) by the end of next year — and the data they produce will be a gold mine for insurers.

Jaco Oosthuizen, MD of YuLife South Africa, forecasts that: “Insurers who can leverage AI and convert the mountains of data it can sift through into meaningful benefits will be the ones who thrive in the years to come.”

AI is set to change the world in profound ways. Here are just some of the ways it will change insurance:

* Simplifying administration and boosting capacity: According to, less than 10% of the South African market speaks English fluently and 75% are more likely to communicate better in their native language. AI chatbots allow insurers to effectively interact with their client base in the language of their choice. What’s more, a study by McKinsey & Company found that AI-powered process automation can reduce administrative costs by up to 30% in the insurance sector.

* Providing invaluable health insights: Each year we lose billions to burnout, absenteeism and mental health concerns. AI is playing a pivotal role in helping insurers and employers to predict and mitigate these risks proactively. Oosthuizen doubled down on this point saying, “Our own research has found that the ROI on preventative wellness measures is off the charts.”

* The power of personalisation: AI-powered recommendation engines and data-driven insights enable insurers to design customised packages tailored to specific customer segments. This, in conjunction with gamified benefits platforms, is supercharging engagement.

Oosthuizen adds, “For businesses seeking to optimise their employee benefits offerings and stay ahead of the curve, the integration of AI technologies is no longer an option but a necessity. Those who fail to adapt will risk falling behind. Those who adapt quickly on the other hand, have a chance to fundamentally change the industry.”