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On-line life insurance arrives in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG

Start-up financial services company ‘Instant Life’ has become the first company in South Africa to offer consumers fully underwritten life insurance online.

The website, launched through a newly created insurance brand ‘Instant Life’ is the first website in South Africa to offer on-line life insurance with electronic underwriting. The website utilises the same technology as New Zealand insurer Pinnacle Life (launched 'first-in-the-world' in 2007) and Once Life (launched in Australia in 2008).

Instant Life opened in September 2009 with six online products covering life, critical illness, cancer, workplace disability, accidental death and funeral costs; all underwritten by Guardrisk and reinsured by Hannover Life Re.

HOW IT WORKS

The entire process from application to policy approval is fully electronic with consumers receiving their policies online, instantly.

Visitors to the simple immediate-fulfilment site are greeted by an intuitive interface, which leads them through a series of typical insurance questions regarding age, health and occupation. The process takes less than ten minutes, by the end of which full and immediate cover up to R6 million is granted without the need for a medical examination, unless certain specific conditions are highlighted. You even get to see a draft of your customised policy document before you decide to buy. The online business model is so efficient that Instant Life are able to offer life insurance policies at up to 50% lower cost than their much larger competitors.

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