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Opening access to South Africa’s life insurance industry through technology

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Opening access to South Africa’s life insurance industry through technology
Jonathan Elcock, creator of CompariSure

Despite the existence of top-class local life insurance offerings, South African families remain grossly underinsured. The Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA) estimates that the country’s 14 million income earners face a combined death and disability insurance shortfall of R28.8 trillion. As a consequence, many South Africans are not adequately securing their family’s futures, whether they are buying their first home or becoming new parents.

It is against this backdrop that tech entrepreneur, Jonathan Elcock, launched CompariSure – South Africa’s first independent online life insurance comparison platform – created to address the lack of access to quality financial products, as well as the country’s growing underinsurance issue. Founded just over a year ago, CompariSure has already helped over 10,000 people shop around for life cover, and provided its customers with over half a billion rands’ total cover.

This is because CompariSure’s independent multi-quote platform enables customers to access these products with just a few clicks, says Elcock. “Until recently, getting the best objective quote on life insurance meant endless phone calls, countless forms, and unnecessary headaches. Getting covered shouldn’t be that difficult today.”

The current reality is that life insurance has gotten a poor reputation in South Africa – something Elcock says he hopes to change. “Scarred by years of poor customer experience and overly complex products that are impossible to compare, the life insurance industry has made the mistake of creating products to be sold, rather than bought.

“The local life insurance industry is facing a distribution crisis. Our major insurers are excellent at designing world-class life insurance products, but these products are not always accessible for the majority of South Africans. At the heart of the problem is an aging broker force, with the average insurance broker being over 50, making it hard for them to connect with younger, more digital and culturally-diverse South Africans,” explains Elcock.

Having helped establish two successful life insurance startups, and equipped with an actuarial science background, Elcock saw this challenge as an opportunity. As a tech-enabled platform, CompariSure aims to open up the market of quality, affordable, life insurance products to all South Africans – all while remaining entirely independent.

The thinking behind the platform is simple, explains Elcock. “Before making major purchases, most customers look to educate themselves online. However, with complex products like life cover, people still appreciate being able to consult a human professional. CompariSure compliments the use of the latest technology with the traditional values of the human adviser.

“We are not trying to reinvent life insurance, but rather aiming to improve access to the big, well-established insurers who we believe provide world-class products. Our easy-to-use platform does all the hard work for you, by sourcing quotes from the most trusted and established life insurers in South Africa, such as Old Mutual, Sanlam and Momentum. It ensures that each and every customer gets the cover that best suits their needs,” he explains.

“CompariSure is here to help South Africans easily compare top-of-the-range products, while providing tailored professional advice to educate and empower the customer. We want to make the process of buying life insurance as convenient and positive as possible,” Elcock concludes.

Edited by Daniëlle Kruger
Follow Daniëlle Kruger on Twitter
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