COVID-19 contributing to increase in consumers who take up insurance via digital platforms

COVID-19 may be contributing to the growing number of consumers who are using digital channels to take up or maintain their life insurance. This is according to FNB Life, which reported a 22% year-on-year increase in customers who take up or maintain their life insurance via FNB’s digital platforms.

FNB Life Chief Executive, Lee Bromfield says, “COVID-19 has triggered questions about health and financial security among many families. As a result, since the beginning of this year, the number of customers showing interest in life insurance has been on the rise. We are particularly encouraged by our customers’ use of digital channels because this is core to our strategy as we aim to provide platform-based, cost-effective and convenient solutions for our customers. Similarly, we have also made good progress in becoming the life insurance provider of choice for FNB customers.”

FNB Life was named as one of the country’s leading life insurers with satisfied customers, for the third year running, in the 2020 South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SACsi).

In the last 12 months to June 2020, FNB Life has made strides in sustaining strong growth with their underwritten portfolio increasing in-force APE (annual premium equivalent) by 41% and their funeral and core life portfolio growing in-force APE by 11%. This was largely driven by the great advances made in digital channels resulting in the total number of policies now reaching over 4 million with 6.3 million lives covered.

“We believe that the integration of our insurance offering into FNB’s industry leading platform has allowed us to better help and service our customers over this time. In the same breath, it has given us a competitive edge. While our target market is still very much the FNB customer, we continue to gradually scale our capabilities across our product range to demonstrate the true value of our ecosystem,” says Bromfield.

Earlier this year, FNB announced Cashflow Relief measures which offered customers a 3-month payment break through a separate credit agreement and assistance with credit insurance claims where relevant. As of June 2020, R300 million worth of Credit Life (ITE and Retrenchment) claims were approved to offer relief to customers who had valid claims. In addition, FNB Life provided extended benefits for customers who opted for the Bank’s cashflow relief plan on credit agreements in which FNB Life is the provider of credit insurance.

In line with our ongoing efforts to assist our clients, 487 000 Credit Life policies taken out before August 2017 (Pre-NCA Credit Life Insurance Regulations Policies) now include the Inability to Earn an income (ITE) benefit in addition to the Retrenchment Benefit, at no additional charge to the client. Furthermore, 871 355 clients are eligible for automatic cover on their debt-relief debt, at no additional charge.

“The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating to many households, and we have remained firmly committed to supporting our customers over this difficult time. Our commitment to providing innovative solutions, supported by our platform-led ecosystem has allowed us to continue providing real value and meaningful support to our customer’s insurance journey, while ensuring that the business continues to uphold growth,” concludes Bromfield. 


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