By Gela Megeneishvili
Being one of the most renowned companies in the field, ARDI has been providing quality insurance to their policyholders since its establishment. In a country where Insurance lacks the mainstream appeal as a large part of the public neglects to choose such benefits, the pandemic has yet again highlighted its importance. To gain insights into their strategy against the pandemic, expectations and much more The FINANCIAL reached out to Michael Japaridze, the Executive Director.
Q. What are the primary goals of ARDI?
A. Since its establishment, ARDI has aimed to create the best insurance experience and contribute to the development of the Georgian insurance industry, help customers overcome challenges and manage insurable risks, thereby saving their most valuable resources – time and energy;
An endless process of constant development is our path towards this goal. We are always looking for ways to implement easily-accessible services and simple-to-understand policies as we try to avoid useless barriers and save customers time. Utilizing capabilities and effective management of resources is very important, however, people hold the key towards success.
Q. What are your expectations as of the year 2022?
A. Our expectations stand high for 2022. The most important task is to win against the pandemic that makes maintaining focus on strategy a lot more effortful, especially when our company is directly involved in this process.
In 2021 alone, we have served more than 15,000 Covid-infected patients, from virus detection till the post-infection period.
We also expect that the law on compulsory motor third-party liability insurance will be implemented this year, which will play an important role in the further development of the Georgian insurance market.
Q. How did consumer behavior change regarding insurance throughout the years? How would you estimate general public awareness?
A. From 2010 to the present, consumer behavior has changed positively. Today, a significant part of Georgian society understands the importance of insurance. We believe that ARDI has played an important role in raising awareness, however, the process continues as still a large part of the population has a piece of incomplete information about the importance of insurance coverage and does not prioritize it over other needs.
The most demanded insurance product remains health insurance, a large share of which is covered by corporate insurance. Purchasing health insurance is much easier for an employer, as the organization buys a service at a much moderate price, giving them a huge benefit to creating a healthy corporate environment within their company, especially when it comes to enabling employees to have access to quality insurance services. Offering this benefit to employees, year by year becomes an integral part of the company’s work.
There is much less demand in this field from individuals, however, due to sharp fluctuations in prices on medical services and insufficient/unstable coverage of universal health care programs, we have detected the growth in demand for individual health insurance services. From other types of insurance products – motor, property, and agricultural risks insurance are more appealing to a Georgian consumer.
The statistics indicate that the value of insurance is understood only by a few, therefore, it stands necessary to raise awareness, a goal on which our team is constantly working.
We often offer help to organizations and individuals to get insurance consultations, completely free of charge, regardless of whether it will be transposed in a contract.
We need to know that our partner or befriended company, has the right vision on the potential risks that they might face during their activities. The choice is theirs to make, whether to minimize these risks through insurance.
Q. How did the pandemic affect the insurance sector?
A. The pandemic had a huge impact on the insurance sector. The past two years have posed many challenges and financially difficult times. ARDI, while under no obligation, decided to take part in managing the challenge posed by the pandemic according to the protocols introduced by both the Georgian Center for Disease Control and the leading Western countries.
We have taken on the responsibility of managing the services to control the virus among the policyholders, as well as spending, including post-Covid complications and we were eager to find additional human and financial resources to do so.
ARDI’s virus management strategy was based on a new insurance ecosystem, involving not only family physicians but also a team of their junior doctor assistants, call center, administrative and hospital managers, responsible providers, and, most importantly, trusted insureds.
Dealing with the pandemic gave us immense experience and strengthened the belief that even in critical situations, we can remain a company that offers the highest quality service to policyholders.
Q. What were the hardest challenges to overcome in the Coronavirus pandemic?
A. The pandemic has posed a lot of challenges, which we overcame through well-designed strategy and flexibility. ARDI was quick and consistent in response and developed a detailed action plan. We instantly understood the expected development of the processes and at the beginning of March 2020, in 24 hours, we fully switched to working remotely.
Digitalizing the functionality of physical spaces into online channels was an absolute necessity, and we started investing most of the resources in the development of digital channels to maintain the quality of service and active communication with our policyholders.
The goal was to treat the infected and keep other services going. At the end of each day, we analyzed the results and planned the next day.
There are no minor details in service management. This is well understood by all at ARDI and through joint effort, we have been locally managing the global challenge. As was the case in the rest of the world, the medical staff was insufficient, however, we managed to mobilize the relevant resources with the Ad Hoc team and have been providing services to the insured.
Q. What are the benefits of choosing ARDI?
A. ARDI is associated with high-quality service, qualified professionals, and a conscientious business. Core competencies and customer attitudes differentiate us from our competitors. The product is a promise, and the service is the fulfilment of that promise.
We take care of the insured and try not to complicate matters and avoid delaying the provision of services. Consequently, ARDI has the least dissatisfied customers and over the years has become the go-to brand among the insured.
ARDI offers top-notch insurance policies and considers clients’ interests above all in any type of insurance. We do not offer a cheap product, but offer value.
We provide our customers with both services and intangible values such as support, friendship, and sharing of responsibility as we believe that righteousness is a choice, not an alternative.