Companies that offer employee benefits and various incentives for their staff stand to boost morale and promote their retention. This is as applicable in the SMME sector as it is in the corporate sector, although much tougher for business owners to address. One company that is doing something about this is Simply.
When founders Anthony Miller, an engineer and tech entrepreneur, and actuaries Simon Nicholson and Shaun Dippnall, started the insurtech company in 2016, their focus was to provide life insurance products for market niches currently underserviced by traditional insurers. These included tech-savvy individuals earning between R5 000 and R30 000 a month, domestic workers and employees of SMMEs. All Simply policies are underwritten by Old Mutual Alternative Risk Transfer Limited (OMART), a registered long-term insurance company in the Old Mutual Group, and reinsured by the Reinsurance Group of America (RGA).
Simply’s SMME product, called Group Cover, offers owners of small businesses affordable and accessible life, disability and funeral cover for their employees. The product is believed to be a first for the local market and provides benefits of up to R2-million life cover, up to R2-million disability cover and up to R50 000 family funeral cover (also covers the employee’s spouse and kids under the age of 21). The benefits may be taken as a combo or separately, depending on employer preference. SME employers can purchase Group Cover online, quickly and simply, and at a price they can afford. Policies currently start from around R20 per employee per month.
“Often businesses assume that their employees will take the necessary steps to insure themselves, but in reality many people don’t. By covering your employees you’re not just insuring their financial futures if something happens, you’re covering your business too,” says Anthony Miller, CEO of Simply. “Group life cover is also far cheaper than most employers or employees expect. It’s a great way to show your employees that you care without breaking the bank,” Miller says.
Since launching Simply Group Cover, the business has insured over 2,000 employees via their employers, with the number increasing to nearly 4 000 if you include non-standard groups they’ve covered.
We speak to Miller about how Simply Group Cover works and its benefits.
It is said that group cover can be much cheaper than an individual life cover policy. How is this made possible?
Insurance premiums are a function of risk factors, and when a group of people are covered under one policy, the risk is spread, thus allowing the premiums to be lower.
What’s the difference between a group cover versus a individual cover?
Group cover with Simply provides life, disability and funeral cover (or whatever mix of these benefits that the employer chooses) for all staff at a very good rate. It is often cheaper than what the individual would pay for individual cover and all staff are covered, no matter what their health status is (within certain limits, e.g. must be actively at work, must be a minimum of 5 employees).
For the employer, it’s a great way to show your employees you care; it also gives you peace of mind your employees’ families would be cared for if they were to die or become disabled.
You provide accidental death and disability cover for Sweepsouth’s domestic workers. What does their group insurance entail?
People who work in our businesses are an important part of our daily lives. They are often family breadwinners and if tragedy strikes, their dependants may be left destitute. As their employer, you may be the one left with a moral responsibility towards their family.
With Sweepsouth, active Sweepstars get R10,000 of accidental life cover and R10,000 of accidental disability cover from Simply at no charge to the Sweepstars. Quite a few of them have also bought Simply’s standard Family Cover product, which includes life, disability and funeral cover in one simple policy.
Small businesses often have to deal with fluctuations with their income and revenue. How are you able to work with business owners so they are still be able to access your service?
This is a good point and something we have dealt with on an exception basis until now. In other words, we’ve allowed employers to pay for cover a year in advance, but it’s not one of our standard options. We plan to make the process far easier to navigate in the new year.
You are an online digital life insurer – what is the shift you are seeing in the way customers interact with financial services products?
Customers are increasingly trusting of online interactions and transactions. They increasingly trust the opinions of friends and strangers over the promises of brands – social proof is key to success in the digital economy.
In the financial services industry, many people are comfortable to do their own research, and make choices and purchases online, without long conversations with a call centre or intermediary. Another big shift is the very rapid transition to mobile devices. More than 85% of our traffic and 90% of our online purchases are on mobile. If your design is not mobile first, you may as well hang up your keyboard.
What are some of the ways that you make use of technology to interact with customers.
We’ve had a chatbot for approximately two years. We also have a chatbot on our Facebook Page. It’s a great way for people to communicate with us directly on our site if they have questions or concerns, without having to wait for a phone call or an email. These features are pretty standard, though. What makes our chatbot unique is that users can get an accurate quote from the chatbot – and complete the purchase online if they like what they see.
For more details, check out www.simply.co.za/packages/group-cover.