1Life disrupting the insurance market again through first-of-its-kind prepaid funeral proposition
1Life’s patented prepaid funeral boasts key business opportunities for South African entrepreneurs and provides consumers with simple access to affordable flexible funeral cover
1Life, the number 1 South African direct life insurer, launched a prepaid funeral cover and distribution model – the first of its kind in South Africa. This patented model is aimed at giving budding South African entrepreneurs the opportunity to access the sales opportunities within the funeral market, through an easy-to-use handheld device that includes monthly top-up purchases. The benefit of this innovation for the client is that it removes the burden of complicated application forms and empowers them to manage his/her policy at their convenience, in the same manner as topping up airtime.
“We have seen a significant need for this type of product – especially in the emerging consumer market where clients are demanding products that they can trust and that meet their specific financial requirements – which can change month on month,” says Kobus Wentzel, Executive Head of Sales and Distribution at 1Life.
South Africa has a massive market of individuals that have the scope and drive to become entrepreneurs, or to increase their entrepreneurial ability – especially if we consider the Kasi market where a number of South Africans already form part of the informal trade through Spaza shops and airtime vendors, for example. The prepaid funeral model enables entrepreneurs to enhance their business and offer their current customers a new product – all while expanding their business viability and profitability.
“We are extremely excited at the opportunity that this provides us in boosting entrepreneurship within the sector, where the model we have developed enables any South African to manage their own prepaid funeral business with ease – whether it be a spaza shop owner or funeral parlor with a current client base, or even someone who has never run a business before,” says Wentzel.
The 1Life prepaid funeral model is based on a simple to use and manage business principle. Those that want to take this career path, or supplement their current jobs with additional income, simply need to purchase a Business Starter Pack, sign a distribution agreement and undergo training on using the device, to ensure effective implementation. Following this, they will distribute prepaid funeral product vouchers which entitles the customer to cover from R5 000 up to R15 000 a month.
Customers get access to a funeral product from as little as R35/month and is activated similar to topping up prepaid airtime. A client purchases a 1Life prepaid funeral voucher from a distributor, this voucher includes a PIN and the Ts & Cs. The customer activates the policy and loads premiums, like loading prepaid airtime. If a vendor has a device that dispenses airtime vouchers, the 1Life software may be loaded onto the existing device.
We make use of USSD technology to eliminate the need for complicated application forms, removing delays in processing and capturing errors. For the client, activating a policy is simple. All that is required is the customers ID number and PIN. It’s an easy process that provides cover within 90 seconds and the client is in control of their policy at all times in terms of topping up cover and increasing or decreasing cover automatically – depending on their affordability. The client may also buy multiple pins for future cover and, what’s more, the client does not even need a bank account or to supply any banking details in order to ensure cover.
“This is a game changer for the budding entrepreneur, where we are not only empowering distributors to drive their businesses forward, creating a recurring income and a repeat client base, but so too are we enabling them to provide a service that is uncomplicated and provides the financial flexibility required within this target segment,” continues Wentzel.
“There is no doubt that the way in which insurance is sold is drastically changing, the market is evolving and South African consumers have very different requirements – depending on their lifestyle and financial needs. As insurers, our business models need to adapt too – providing room for different ways of thinking and opening up the market to those that may not traditionally have been able to make a living in this sector. We are proud to lead this, where we have been granted a patent in this regard, and we look forward to witnessing new distributors and entrepreneurs making a success in the local insurance market, and changing lives.” concludes Wentzel.