Insurance group Hollard has made a strategic investment in SA-based insurtech, Simply Financial Services.
In a statement, Hollard says the move is poised to shake up the South African mass-market life insurance landscape.
The Simply deal follows Hollard’s seed investments in Naked and Dotsure, also insurtech market disruptors in their own right, and ties in with Hollard’s growth aspirations in the field of digitally-driven insurance solutions, says the group.
Simply is a registered financial services provider and insurance software developer founded in 2016 by two friends – entrepreneur Anthony Miller and actuary Simon Nicholson – aiming to shake up the South African life insurance mass-market with fit-for-purpose cover and innovative payment solutions, it adds.
Starting with direct life, disability and funeral cover for individuals and domestic workers, the Simply team made a significant move into the SME and broker spaces in 2020, says Hollard.
It adds that its model redefines the traditional approach to life insurance for lower- and middle-income earners, using proprietary technology and intuitive design to deliver retail and group policies.
Says Simply co-founder Anthony Miller: “The current model for long-term insurance in the mass-market is unsustainable – there’s an oversupply of expensive, standalone retail products, especially funeral cover, with high policyholder churn and, ultimately, low value for money for customers.
“Simply turns that model on its head by offering customers a combinations of benefits – such as life, disability and funeral cover – and getting employers to pay the premiums where possible. Thanks to good retention rates, our solutions deliver good customer outcomes when it counts - whether it’s our novel group option, which is typically cheaper, or our retail option, which allows for more flexibility.”
Miller adds that Simply’s business model has the ability to scale through white-label partnerships with brands looking to accelerate their digital trajectories.
The business currently has three white-label partnerships in South Africa, and has its sights set on expanding this offering internationally.
Hollard Group CEO Willie Lategan comments: “Hollard has always been an active supporter of innovative and disruptive insurance models, and has a strong track record of investing in insurtechs to keep ahead of industry trends, while meeting consumers’ real insurance needs.
“We particularly like that Simply is already at critical mass and has a strong track record of delivery to customers.
“We believe Simply’s ‘superpowers’ – their proprietary technology platform and end-to-end insurance capabilities – will be a valuable addition to Hollard’s stable. Simply’s business enables rapid deployment of new products and features, which will both fuel Simply’s growth and further enhance Hollard’s partnership offerings.”
Miller concludes that having the backing of South Africa’s largest privately-owned insurer will enable the business to export its model to other markets and deliver on its mission “to protect the financial futures of millions”.