South Africa’s Jowyk Muller, Kosie Jansen van Rensburg, and Jacques de Waal have launched Hero Life, an insurtech to help young parents save money on digital insurance products in the country.
According to Kosie Jansen van Rensburg, “Life Insurance is generally seen as one of the most outdated, analogue consumer services out there. There is so much paperwork and comparisons to be done. You’re exhausted before you even start, especially with life insurance when you also need a medical examination most of the time. We wanted to bring it into the 21st century, where time is of the essence and technology enables us to simplify processes.”
Unlike traditional insurance, Hero Life is starting with simple life insurance for new parents by offering an upfront fixed term of five years that they will help you extend and expand when you need to at the best price.
Hero Life has online signup and an upfront price to create a great user experience with no medicals or paperwork as well as access to expert support all through. Applicants only need to be between 20 and 40 years of age, have not been declined life insurance, have not been in hospital in the last 5 years for longer than 2 days, and do not need to see a specialist in the next two weeks or take chronic medication.
“With a second one on the way, my insurance needs are changing again and I need to update my life cover for my family,” said co-founder Jowyk Muller, who has worked in financial services for eleven years, working for one of SA’s biggest insurance players, MMI Holdings, among others. “Our needs actually change continuously and with the current process, life cover is arduous to get and again arduous to change. I believed we could make it so much easier.”
Though insurance works the same way like in the old days when communities used to take care of each other by pooling their resources, low transparency, conflicts of interest and profit motives have broken people’s trust in the system. In South Africa, the archaic back-end and middle man can gobble up anything from R35 to R60 of each R100 paid by clients. This means that typically R50 of each R100 is paid to its intended cause – claims!”
Apart from being complex, expensive and inflexible to adjust to user’s needs, Van Rensburg says people pay for what they don’t need in future and there’s need to create much better value and more transparency than the current reality which Hero Life is about.
The life insurance market in South Africa is currently worth around R600 billion (ASISA Life Insurance Statistics 2017). InsurTech allows Hero Life to get closer to customers so that it can meet their expectations.
“It offers agility, speed, creativity, digital know-how and insights, so that we can be responsive to what customers really need,” said Jacques de Waal.
At Hero Life there is no middle man that needs to be paid, which ensures that their model is much more cost effective. The firm engages clients directly to provide simple, quality cover that most people need and can afford.
Hero Life allows clients to change their cover themselves as their needs change and only take the cover for as long as they need it.
The initial contract period is five years to keep the product simple. Hero Life, a MMI Group initiative, is underwritten by Guardrisk Life Limited.