New insurtech platform digitises insurance sales

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Anthony Miller, CEO of Simply Financial Services.
Anthony Miller, CEO of Simply Financial Services.

Local insurtech start-up Simply Financial Services has developed a digital platform that enables insurance brokers to sell products in minutes via a user-friendly interface.

The Cape Town-based firm was founded in 2015 by three partners: engineer Anthony Miller and actuaries Simon Nicholson and Shaun Dippnall, and started operating officially in 2016.

It provides life insurance products, including life, disability and funeral cover, through its online platform.

To put its new platform to the test, the insurance firm partnered with Iemas Insurance Brokers, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iemas Financial Services.

Through the partnership, Simply provides the insurtech digital platform that enables brokers to service their clients more easily, and Iemas provides a network of brokers who have established relationships with their clients and a trusted brand.

“The partnership brings together innovative life insurance products and a strong grassroots distribution network. Through this partnership, we can reach far more customers than we could independently,” says Anthony Miller, CEO of Simply.

“While our direct online model offers cheap, easily accessible and dependable insurance cover, we recognise it’s not for everyone. For many people, the advice of a trusted advisor is helpful when buying life insurance or other financial products. There’s no doubt brokers reach many customers.”

Simply shook up the local life insurance sector in 2017 when the company launched fully online life, disability and funeral combinations to the South African market, enabling clients to buy insurance products in a matter of three minutes.

In 2018, the company added life, disability and funeral combos for employees of small to medium businesses, which Miller claims is “a global first”.

In August, Simply partnered with cleaning services start-up SweepSouth to provide its domestic workers with accidental death and disability cover.

“Traditionally, brokers have not been focused on this market. So our latest big disruption in distribution is launching our digital platform that enables brokers to sell the various Simply products in minutes,” notes Miller.

“The platform allows partners to focus on sales and advice, with Simply taking care of much of the admin. We’re excited about how the platform could open up new markets and revolutionise the way brokers work, and we couldn't be more thrilled to have Iemas Insurance Brokers as our first partner on the platform.”

According to Piet Wolmarans, MD of Iemas, the life cover market in SA holds tremendous potential, with over 40% of South Africans not having a formal life insurance policy, according to ReportBuyer research.

“Around 75% of this business is in the small policy (mass) market, which essentially includes funeral policies, credit life policies and life and disability policies providing cover of up to R350 000.

“Although around 18 million adult South Africans have funeral cover, few of these people have life cover and even fewer have disability insurance. Most households will be worse off if the main breadwinner becomes disabled without having disability cover. The Simply platform makes it easy to choose the right cover for a person’s unique needs with the assistance of an Iemas Financial Advisor who can guide and advise them on the details of the policy,” explains Wolmarans.
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