Broker technology presents opportunities for secure life insurance sales online
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the online sales of life, disability and funeral insurance has been significant. In particular, technical innovations driven by the pandemic positively impacted brokers in this industry, whose business models were threatened by lockdowns and restrictions placed on face-to-face meetings.
Simply*, a disruptive digital life company that sells affordable life, disability and funeral insurance products to the mass market, saw sales through its Online Broker Portal, which was only launched in 2019, grow five-fold during 2020.
This has been attributed to a major shift in consumer behaviour as well as widespread adoption of technology platforms, driven by the pandemic.
“Historically, brokers saw insurtech companies as rivals, a disruption and an attempt to cut out intermediaries,” says Simply CEO Anthony Miller.
However, when social distancing meant brokers could no longer meet in-person with clients, many established broker processes came to an abrupt halt.
“It was during 2020, that brokers realised that technology could assist them to continue secure, compliant, end-to-end customer sales and service in just a few minutes online,” Miller says.
Hence the exponential growth in platforms such as Simply’s Online Broker Platform during this time.
There have been other permanent knock-on effects that are helping modernise the industry. Processes that were traditionally slow have also come under the spotlight.
“Where workflows used to take weeks or days, they are now digitised and simplified. Data collection, accurate personalised pricing, sales and digital records of advice, can now be done through platform technologies that deliver results in minutes,” Miller says.
Consumer habits have also changed. South Africans are increasingly comfortable communicating online with WhatsApp and other messaging tools, as well as using online and app-based tools for banking, and shopping online using e-commerce channels. For most people, technology now feels safer and more trustworthy, including for financial services.
When moving to the Online Broker Platform, advisors are able to remotely complete all underwriting and personal questions with their client, make real-time adjustments to cover limits, see premium changes immediately and confirm with the client via a secure OTP link.
“This puts valuable information in the hands of the broker who can deliver an affordable, valued risk product instantly, closing the deal immediately instead of weeks later,” Miller says.
Brokers don’t need to change their entire operating model in one go. Accredited brokers can use the Online Broker Platform on a tablet, computer or mobile phone to sell and service new policies. They can digitally quote and sell policies for life, disability and funeral products for both individuals and small businesses. This empowers brokers to focus on the relationship with their clients and the advice they need, avoiding mounds of back office paperwork.
Simply has several partnerships with brokerages large and small, who are comfortable using technology to reach new markets to offer valuable risk products to individuals and small businesses.
“The Covid pandemic in 2020 had many serious consequences for South Africans, but, in the case of the purchase of life, disability and funeral cover, technology advances brought unexpected improvements for both brokers and consumers,” Miller concludes.
For more information, brokers can go to www.simplybrokers.co.za.