Insurtech startup to provide affordable insurance for farmers
Insurtech startup World Cover has continued to expand its services across Africa. The insurance provider has announced that it will provide services in Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya.
World Cover is an insurtech startup which provides satellite-enabled climate insurance to smallholder farmers. The company was originally founded in 2015 as a fintech marketplace for climate insurance, and has consistently grown since then, providing support to many areas of Africa. Unlike traditional insurance companies, which require lengthy in-person evaluations, the company consolidates data on weather and crop yield obtained from satellites
Across the globe, smallholder farmers lose between $50 billion and $100 billion annually, often from natural disasters, but reportedly only 1% is insured from these accidents. As an example, in Feburary 2019, the company made several payouts to farmers in Kenya as poor rainfall caused large amount of crop failure.
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Jason Schapiro, WorldCover Lead Engineer, said “Our algorithms are specifically calibrated to rainfall events by region and crop type, automatically triggering instant payouts to insured farmers through mobile money services like M-Pesa.” Schapiro went on to explain the benefit of this technology, as cuts down the length loss assessment process.
Christopher Sheehan, CEO and co-founder of World Cover emphasises the importance of technology-enabled insurance in strengthening smallholder farmers' businesses.
“WorldCover has uniquely combined technological advances and developed a solution that allows us to support smallholder farmers caught in conditions that are worsening due to climate change," Sheehan said.
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”