South African insurtech startup Simply has partnered Iemas Insurance Brokers to extend the reach of its tech-based products using the brokerage firm’s strong grassroots distribution network.
Launched in November 2016 with the goal of shaking up South Africa’s mass-market life insurance space by serving as many people as possible, Simply designs and sells great value, simple life insurance products.
The startup, which secured a round of funding in October, uses the rapid acceleration of various technologies and the seismic changes happening in consumer behaviour to give people the cover they need at a price they can afford, and has now partnered Iemas Insurance Brokers to widen its reach.
“We shook up the life insurance sector in 2017 when we launched fully online life, disability and funeral combos to the South African market. Suddenly people could buy great value cover in a matter of minutes – for themselves or their domestic employees. We followed that up in 2018, when we added life, disability and funeral combos for employees of small to medium sized businesses – a global first,” said Anthony Miller, chief executive officer (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.”
Traditionally, brokers have not been focused on this market, with Miller saying Simply’s next distribution disruption was the launch of a digital platform that enables brokers to sell the various Simply products in minutes via a user-friendly interface. Iemas Insurance Brokers is the first partner on this platform.
“It’s a win-win. 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,” Miller said.
According to Piet Wolmarans, managing director of Iemas Insurance Brokers, which is a subsidiary of Iemas Financial Services, the life cover market in South Africa holds tremendous potential. A recent survey by ReportBuyer confirmed that 40 per cent of South Africans do not have a formal life insurance policy, leaving their families vulnerable in the event of death.
“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,” he said.
“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. People need cover, however many don’t have the right products according to their specific needs. Distribution, product and sound advice are key in closing this insurance cover gap, hence our partnership with Simply.”