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The innovative Insurtechs that’ll save you time and money in a post-COVID world

For years, South African consumers have been asking for insurance that is affordable, flexible and hassle-free. And the economic fallout of COVID-19 has only made these calls more deafening. Meet the Insurtechs that are making it happen.

COVID-19 has prompted many South Africans to take the potentially disastrous step of cancelling their insurance policies. But what if we told you there was a more efficient way of trimming your premiums while still keeping the essentials covered?

A May 2020 report entitled Global Insurtech Market – Growth, Trends, and Forecast notes that Global Insurtech Market revenue will jump from $5.48 billion in 2019 to more than $10 billion by 2025. Another research house predicts the Insurtech industry will experience year-on-year-growth of 41% between 2019 and 2023.

The same is true of Mzansi where a cluster of bold disruptors is leveraging data analysis and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to price products more competitively and to offer greater flexibility and convenience to consumers.

“A seismic, tech-driven shift”

Like it or not, notes McKinsey & Company, “the insurance industry is on the verge of a seismic, tech-driven shift.” A shift that has just been super-charged by a post-COVID world that is much more price-sensitive and far more open to tech-based solutions. The flood of innovative insurance products has made it possible to save money by quickly changing and customising your insurance…A far more responsible move than cancelling your insurance altogether.

While many big insurers are incorporating aspects of technology into their offerings, most of the biggest innovations are coming from native Insurtechs which truly put the power in the hands of the consumer. In practice this could mean being able to choose which home items to insure (yes to the UHD flatscreen, no to the redundant DVD player) or having the ability to switch cover ‘on’ every time you take your mountain bike out of the garage and ‘off’ when you get back home.

Insurtechs aren’t just more flexible and affordable, they’re also far more user friendly. Why would you ever put yourself through the hassle of phoning a call centre when you can sign up for a policy on your smartphone in under five minutes? Insurtechs have also made use of things like video testimonials to drastically simplify adding items and submitting claims. “We can manage other aspects of our lives on our phones,” says JaSure’s COO, Jaclyn Prior. “Why should insurance be any different?”

Meet the gamechangers

In South Africa, Insurtech names to watch out for include Simply Financial Services (life, disability and funeral cover), Nobuntu (employee funeral cover and community-based pension savings) and JaSure which started out by offering on-demand (you choose when to activate/deactivate cover) insurance for portable possessions like bicycles, cameras and cell phones. JaSure has recently widened its scope to include home items and word on the street is that they’re not stopping there…
This new addition is especially popular among “renters who do not typically have home contents insurance,” says Prior. But the ability to pick and choose what items to insure has also been embraced by homeowners who are now more price sensitive than ever. “Leaving some of your less cherished belongings off the schedule will save you money,” says Prior, “While ensuring that the things you love and need the most are covered.”

Which brings us to the crux of the matter. While most readers should by now be convinced that the new wave of Insurtechs does have something to offer them, those of you who are still inclined to dismiss it all as a fad should be reminded that Fintech – the finance industry’s tech-powered equivalent – has barely been around a decade and is expected to be worth $309 billion by 2022.

Talk about swimming against the tide.


Article by

Linda Graham CFP®

Post-GradDip FinPlanning (UFS)

B Bus Sc  (Marketing, Economics) (UCT)

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Minnie-lee Tagwirei
Minnie-lee Tagwirei
Minnie-lee Tagwirei, is the editor of Beetroot Online Magazine for professionals, entrepreneurs and businesses.

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