Start-up company Naked Insurance is looking to quickly diversify its offering by launching household insurance.
Naked launched its car insurance product in April last year – its first foray into the local sector.
Alex Thomson, one of Naked’s founders, said: “We will be launching household insurance shortly. We’ll soon be launching a range of household products, including buildings, contents and an all-risk range.”
One of the curious things about Naked Insurance is that you can sign up for car cover in a couple of minutes on your smartphone using an app with a chatbot.
Naked Insurance was started by three people with actuarial backgrounds – Thomson, Ernest North and Sumarie Greybe – in November 2016.
“The three of us have spent our careers in the insurance industry,” said Thomson.
“We saw two main problems with the industry – the use of technology and ethics. On the technology side, the insurance industry was designed to support the broker market and, thereafter, the call centre-based market.”
“There is an increasing number of people – particularly in the young market, but not exclusively – who don’t want to spend 40 minutes on the phone buying car insurance,” he said.
“They would rather do it quickly and easily themselves on a website or an app.
When it comes to using the online channel as a means to sell products, the insurance sector was “a bit of an anomaly”.
“We have been doing online banking for some time. Yet when you want to deal with an insurance company you have to phone a call centre – there is very little that you can do on apps,” Thomson said.
Thomson declined to say how many clients the company had, but said that it was seeing good growth in customers.
Naked Insurance’s major shareholders are private equity firm Yellowwoods Capital and Hollard, which guarantees all of Naked’s claims.
Yellowwoods and Hollard have so far invested at least R50 million in Naked Insurance, which employs 17 people.