South Africa's insurance brokers are using technology to respond to the challenges of lockdown
By: Simply Financial Services
Cape Town based Simply Financial Services, an Insurtech company selling life, disability and funeral cover online, has seen a five-fold increase in sales by brokers on their No-Touch Broker Platform since lockdown started. This mirrors international trends.
Simply's online broker platform launched in May 2019 and has come into its own during lockdown. Anthony Miller, CEO of Simply, explains, "Traditional life insurers and brokers have struggled during lockdown, with face to face players largely shut for new business. Fortunately, our No-Touch Broker Platform has enabled our brokers to sell Simply Products, which are underwritten by OMART and don't require medicals or blood tests, remotely in a secure way. They've grabbed the opportunity and our monthly broker sales have increased by more than 500%."
According to Piet Wolmarans of Iemas Insurance Brokers, "By digitising our products and ensuring they co-exist with our face-to-face service, we've been able to reach more people and offer them proper financial service and risk protection in a convenient way. This has been invaluable during lockdown, when digital sales have soared as a proportion of our overall business. "
Miller says COVID-19 has caused "a seismic shift in consumer behaviour in relation to life insurance. People suddenly see life cover as a must-have rather than a nice to have. And while people want advice from their brokers, they don't want to meet face to face. They don't want to go to a clinic, see a nurse or give blood. They want reliable life cover, remotely and right now," he adds.
But there is more to this story than just a temporary uptick in demand for digital insurance solutions. Experts predict that, post-COVID, the world will change permanently in many ways. Miller agrees. "We're going to see businesses that are well-suited to the new normal do better than ever. The world is going to be less face-to-face and more remote and online. In our industry, if you're digital, if you can adapt quickly, if you can target accurately, the future looks good. The time for digital life insurance has arrived."
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