INNOVATION

Sanlam banks on digital savings tool to boost insurance penetration

The product’ allows customers to adjust their savings limits.

In Summary

• Flexi Hela customers will use the mTek app to save and access their savings in real-time.

• Sanlam Kenya CEO Patrick Tumbo noted that the innovation is in line with the organisation's commitment to improving its product offering.

Sanlam Kenya Group CEO Patrick Tumbo. Image:Courtesy
Sanlam Kenya Group CEO Patrick Tumbo. Image:Courtesy

Sanlam Kenya is banking on its newly launched digital savings tool dubbed "Flexi Hela" to grow its underwriting business, while giving customers flexibility.

According to the firm, the product’s flexibility allows customers to adjust their savings limits and the life cover via the Sanlam customer portal.

It offers them the flexibility to adapt the product to their changing lifestyles, the firm notes.

A report by EFG Hermes indicates that Kenyans save the least in East Africa and the saving rate is below the continent’s average of 17 per cent.

Although the savings ratio grew from 5.4 percent in 2019 to 12 per cent in 2020, Kenya is still lagging behind as compared to its Uganda and Tanzania counterparts, which have already crossed the 20 per cent mark.

Flexi Hela has an open-ended term that allows customers to enjoy the policy’s benefits and continue to save as long as the policy remains active.

It also allows savings contributions to grow at the declared interest rate over time, with withdrawals viable at any time and subject to no penalties.

Kenya's insurance penetration has remained low over the years and currently stands at 2.43 percent, in a market that has Sh216.26 billion in gross premium income.

it is however ranked top four in Africa where South Africa is leading with a penetration of 13.4 per cent.

According to the African Insurance Organisation, the total insurance penetration in Africa stood at 2.78 percent in 2019, far below the global average of 7.23 percent.

Today, the Millennials and Generation Z are more tech-savvy and are forcing insurers to rethink traditional policies and incline toward new emerging technological trends.

Lami Technologies, for example, uses an API that has about 25 insurance companies plugged into its platform according the customer a one-stop shop for the entire insurance ecosystem.

Lami has been able to make the end-to-end process entirely digital.

Sanlam Kenya has partnered with mTek-Services to provide an end-to-end digital distribution of Flexi Hela.

mTek-Services is a local digital online insurance platform that provides an entirely paperless ecosystem for the insurance industry.

Flexi Hela customers will use the mTek app to save and access their savings in real-time.

The life savings product to be administered by Sanlam Life Kenya features a life cover for up to four dependent children, with access to accrued savings within 24 hours at a zero-surrender cost.

Speaking during the launch, Sanlam Kenya CEO Patrick Tumbo noted that the innovation is in line with the organisation's commitment to improving its product offering.

The firmn is also keen on digitising its distribution channels and delivering services more effectively to the market.

“Flexi Hela is our response to the developing needs in the market driven by customer-centricity," Tumbo said.

He added: "Through this strategic partnership with mTek, we aim to increase insurance penetration to the customer by allowing them the choice to exit at their will."

He also said that FlexiHela is unique as compared to the conventionally available products in the insurance industry.

“One can purchase a cover today and in the event, the unfortunate happens, it responds today meaning there is no waiting period,” he said.

Other features include accessing money at the time of need as one saves as long as the policy is active.

The policy also does not have a limit to when it expires as it only does so when the main member dies.

During the launch, mTek’s CEO, Bente Krogmann, said that Flexi Hela’s digital interface will create multiple touch points that will specifically enable ease of use and more transparency.

This is with the use of the digital system contributing to the affordability of the product.

“With mTek’s digital platform, Flexi Hela customers will be able to make affordable and flexible insurance payments without having to fill in any paperwork," Krogmann said.

The platform will also provide customers with security and peace of mind at their fingertips, she said.

Customers should also expect personalised services.

 mTEK allows customers to purchase insurance directly from providers.

It also offers policy comparisons and filing claims directly from the customer’s smart devices.

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