South African businesses are navigating unprecedented challenges as the impact of global events and local headwinds such as persistent load-shedding and a weak rand create economic pressures that weigh on consumer spending. High FMCG inflation has also sparked a cost-of-living crisis, impacting spending and savings rates as consumers cut costs.
From a savings perspective, data from Deloitte shows that the current savings rate per South African is only 0.5%, which means that South Africans cannot maintain their lifestyles without taking on debt, and that 94% of South Africans won’t retire comfortably.
More worryingly, South Africans are grossly underinsured. The latest ASISA stats show that the life and disability insurance shortfall stands at R34.3 trillion, with a R1 million life insurance shortfall and a R1.4 million disability cover gap for the average local income earner.
In addition to these economic and financial challenges, the insurance and investment industry faces increasing risks from digital disruption, and a dynamic regulatory landscape. The unrelenting pace and scale of technology-led innovation and disruption will continue forcing businesses to reinvent how they operate and engage with customers while meeting evolving compliance and regulatory requirements.
In an effort to support independent financial advisers and insurance brokers, help these practices navigate the challenging landscape through better management, and empower them to respond to sweeping industry reform and digital disruption to unlock new opportunities, 1Life embarked on a roadshow across Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
During the roadshow, a host of industry experts and keynote speakers such as Michael Avery, financial journalist and host of Classic Business, Michael Jordaan, former FNB chief executive and head of private investment company, Montegray Capital, as well as John Sanei, innovation expert and futurist, unpacked the various challenges facing the intermediary market, shared insights on the importance of evolving to remain relevant, and offered solutions to help the industry close the existing insurance protection and savings gaps to help build wealth and reduce risk.
As keynote speaker, John Sanei shared insights into the financial impact that artificial intelligence (AI) could have on the broker’s business and demonstrated how to unlearn old patterns and embrace adaptability.
Building on the technology theme, the roadshow showcased cutting-edge tools and technologies that are revolutionising the industry and unlocking a new way of doing business through digitalisation, tech intelligence, algorithms and innovation.
1Life showcased how technology like digitalised platforms and robotic claims processing has helped the company simplify and reduce sales, underwriting, compliance and administration processes through improved onboarding, access to information and a reduced need for additional documentation, even across integrated product sales.
The result is that processes that traditionally took up to three weeks to complete are now concluded in only 35 minutes, which saves intermediaries precious time and empowers them to advise more, leading to more success.
These shorter sales cycles and more efficient processes also address key industry issues related to the ability to manage and service larger client portfolios in the face of a diminishing industry skills base, with the potential to uncover new partnership opportunities and target markets.
Attendees also received invaluable insights about how to grow a profitable and sustainable business and continuously improve with the right systems, tools, processes, and skills to achieve optimal results now and in the future.
Empowered by the insights and knowledge shared at the 1Life Unlock roadshow, intermediaries are better equipped to leverage the 1Life-Wealthport-Masthead ecosystem to unlock new opportunities despite the economic challenges, with technologically enhanced solutions that improve affordability and updated and relevant advice models to meaningfully close the protection and savings gaps, which benefits consumers and the industry alike.