Insurers target SA with apps

2012-12-11 11:03
Apps have attracted the attention of insurers keen on maximising their reach to a new generation of mobile consumers. (Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP)

Apps have attracted the attention of insurers keen on maximising their reach to a new generation of mobile consumers. (Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP)

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Cape Town - Apps have attracted the attention of insurers keen on maximising their reach to a new generation of mobile consumers.

On Tuesday, Liberty announced that it had developed an application for the iPad that would allow users to assess risk and manage their insurance form the mobile device.

"South African consumers are increasingly turning to tablet PCs and smartphones to gather the information they need in a simpler, more interactive way," said Nicholas van der Nest, a divisional director at Liberty.

Mobile smart devices have taken off in SA and banks and retail institutions have moved fast to offer app-based services to clients.

FNB has not only launched apps, but the bank has also begun actively marketing iPads and other mobile devices to customers.

Mobile generation

Liberty said that the app would help consumers better understand insurance options.

"The app simplifies the often-complex world of life cover and income protection - and in the process, we hope it will help people to appreciate that insurance products are not something to be feared or misunderstood, but rather explored and ultimately, embraced," said Van der Nest.

Insurer Santam is also looking at an app to be launched in 2013 after experimenting with one.

"We did a trial of one for a promotion we did at the end of last year, but we weren't happy with it so we're back to reconfiguring," Donald Kau, head of Santam corporate affairs told News24.

He said that the app, due out in late next year across platforms, was essential to expanding how insurance companies communicated with a more mobile generation.

"From a risk-management point of view, it's an opportunity for us to put something in people's hands that helps them at least, but it's still in process," said Kau.

The Liberty app delivers risk assessment in four categories and can also provide a quote, though the company stresses that it is an estimate only.

"This market simply cannot be ignored. It was extremely important to us that we engage consumers and our sales force in the manner they are most comfortable with," Van der Nest said.

FNB has sold more than 100 000 mobile devices on its banking platform and Van der Nest said that the penetration of Apple devices made iOS an attractive technology platform.

"With an impressive penetration rate and astounding domestic sales figures for both the iPad and the iPhone, the decision to launch Risk Explorer via the App Store was the most logical."

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