Reaching the Uninsured: Access to financial products
Our vision as a business in focusing on this driver is based on the premise that for an insurer to be relevant in a changing market landscape into the future it has to be able to provide innovative micro insurance products that can be financially sustained. Products would need to be provided to previously uninsured and emerging markets using innovative distribution models.
Given the social and environmental challenges associated with for example climate change and social unrest, there is an increasing risk that the uninsured can in future include more affluent groups where the rising cost of insurance due to for example disaster risk, will make insurance unaffordable. It follows that affordable insurance and innovative distribution models will assist Santam in pursuing development into future markets. An additional focal point of reaching the uninsured includes raising awareness around Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues when providing insurance to groups that have not previously had access. In South Africa such awareness are guided by BBBEE financial Sector Charters Access Standards.
Initiatives we have implemented into 2014 have been:
Santam has focused its efforts on identifying appropriate Access products and enhancing business growth strategies to drive the market penetration of these products.
During 2014, 8 products were deemed partially compliant to the Access standards and these products form the basis of our BEE reporting against the Access element. The business owners of the 8 products continue to seek greater alignment between the Access requirements and their growth and distribution strategies. The relevant Executive members take responsibility for the achievement of the Access requirements.
To support business with the achievement of the Access requirements, we have focused our internal Consumer Education initiatives on the target market for Access, Santam also contributed towards the SAIA consumer education initiatives, which are aimed at educating and creating awareness for the benefit of the short-term insurance sector.
We continuously engage with SAIA and the FSC regarding the Access standards, to ensure that the most appropriate requirements for market penetration are in place, and that these are considerate of the commercial challenges and opportunities faced by business in meeting the Access requirements.