Meet Legacy’s go-to-man Christo Crafford

By: Legacy Underwriting Managers (LUM)

Legacy Underwriting Managers (LUM) has been providing custom-designed information technology and broker administration solutions to the short-term insurance industry since 2003. It has partnered with some of the biggest names in the South African insurance industry – Santam, Hollard, Bryte and Old Mutual Insure – and its long-standing business relationships with them allows the company to offer the ultimate in broker policy administration.

We talk to Legacy’s go-to man Christo Crafford.

Tell us a bit about your background?
I studied accounting/auditing at the University of Pretoria and did my articles at Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers – PWC), before starting my insurance career at Hollard. During my tenure there I managed a number of select brokers and then set up new offices and businesses for the company in India and China before returning to the newly formed commercial company, Etana. I then assisted Zurich (now known as Bryte) with consolidations and acquisitions in the UMA space as well as developing and establishing the Tied Agent channel. I joined Legacy a few years ago and my role includes focusing on strategic projects, system development and innovation as well as business partner relationships.

What do you think gives Legacy the edge over its competitors?
Definitely Legacy’s in-house developed IT system which was developed by brokers for brokers. Legacy On Line (LOL) incorporates a high level of automation including numerous administration and compliance tasks which typically keep brokers from what they should be doing: client service and marketing. At the same time Legacy provides brokers and clients access to the top insurers with full underwriting and claims mandates on the binders we operate which includes personal and commercial products at Hollard, Old Mutual Insure, Santam and Bryte.

What is your view on the importance of technology when it comes to the insurance market?
It provides compliance with a host of regulatory requirements and allows a broker to be able to focus on what is really important (client service and marketing) and not be bogged down with administration and paperwork. It enables independent brokers to compete with direct insurers with access to client APPs.

Why do you believe that having a broker is important?
Having a broker with a state-of-the-art IT system gives clients “the best of both worlds”’ compared to buying insurance direct. Clients benefit from the broker’s experience and advice whilst also having access to information and functionality of an APP, the Legacy Client Service Centre etc. Brokers assist and act in their clients’ best interest when they take out a policy, make amendments, have a claim and at annual renewal.

What is your advice to brokers or anyone wanting to get into the short-term insurance space?
Ensure that you are adequately qualified and have all your compliance in place; partner with reputable service and product providers with solid reputations and well-established brands.

What affect did load shedding have on short-term insurance?
Apart from business interruption we’ve seen a marked increase in equipment damage. South Africans and SA businesses are resilient and resourceful which means they take it in their stride but it is important to take the necessary precautions to protect your assets (and business), these might include UPS facilities, surge protection and your own back-up power options.

Anything else you want to add?
Legacy Underwriting Managers was named the Best Portfolio Administrator at the 2019 Santam National Broker Awards, marking the third time in six years that this prized accolade has been awarded to the Legacy team. What makes an award such as this even more special is the fact that Legacy specialises in a field where we are measured by the same yardstick as the insurers themselves.

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