Making Sense of COVID-19 | Dash and Actuarial Society of South Africa

Comotion Dash is a product that helps the market deal with data visualization, management, and cloud storage. This enables businesses to make better decisions based on the data their company generates, but it also offers this solution to their clients – providing businesses with a stronger product offering.

A significant feature of Comotion Dash is that it can work with large amounts of data from various sources. This makes it a handy tool for anyone who needs to collect, organize and provide conclusions from large data sets.

The Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) has found that COVID-19 provided them with more information than usual that they needed to dissect and interpret. The death rate in South Africa increased significantly from March 2020, and it remained high during 2021. As a result, the number of life insurance policy claims has increased. Underwritten policies are awarded to individuals found to have no significant comorbidities after undergoing comprehensive health and lifestyle assessment. These individuals tend to maintain better health, as they have access to better health care.

Comotion Dash was able to assist the ASSA with sorting this data. The data pool was collected from five different life insurance companies, notably the largest companies in this sector in South Africa. This data pool represents about 90% of the South African individual life insurance premiums. In the 15 months between March 2020 and May 2021, there were 15 343 deaths.

The actuaries from ASSA were able to use Comotion Dash to analyse and present this data. The information is presented in dashboards that automatically refresh when the information sources send new data. This enabled ASSA to take a look at what was happening with the increase in death claims. The system has cloud storage, so they didn’t need to set up a data warehouse to be able to pull this information together, saving investments into their infrastructure for this project.

The platform enables easy sorting of the information so that different sets of data can be easily compared and analyzed, so that conclusions can be made. ASSA was able to discern that there was a larger increase in the death rate from what was expected. The insured sector saw more than 4 times greater deaths than what was expected at the peak of the second wave. It was interesting to note that this increase was higher compared to the excess deaths experienced by the population. The data also showed that only 15% of deaths associated with these claims were reported as COVID-19 deaths. In total, there was an increase of 65% in deaths above the average that was seen for 2018 and 2019. They did note that some of the other deaths reported could be COVID-19 related, but had been reported as cases of pneumonia, natural causes, and organ failure. The data and research have shown that between 85 and 95% of the unattributed natural causes of death could well be COVID-19 related.

The ability to dissect this information easily after collection gives the ASSA decision-making power going forward. Using this information, actuaries in South Africa can determine accurate premiums that should be asked for life insurance policies to help make sure that there are sufficient capital reserves available for these claims. This is an important aspect of consideration for the life insurance industry so that they can keep their offering in line with the times, and service their clients when they need to claim.

ASSA continues to use Comotion Dash on this project as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so that they can publish up-to-date information so sorely needed by the industry.

Anja Kuys from the ASSA had this to say about her experience with Comotion Dash:

“Comodash is the innovative tool we used to publish the COVID-19 dashboard to the South African life insurance industry. The ease at which we can now combine monthly data from the various insurers and derive insights at an industry level is commendable. The insurers that contributed data can rest assured that their data is safe and protected. It was a pleasure working with the team at Comotion, they were as committed as us to the end result, their work ethic is second-to-none and great to work with.”

For more information on how Comotion Dash can work for your business needs, request a demo from our website.


Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA)