The Actuary at the Kraal

The Actuary at the Kraal

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It is time for the actuary and the insurance industry to review and redefine the strategies employed to enabling access to the uninsured markets in South Africa. With the client being the core of the strategy and we must start engaging with our communities at a different level to build trust and understand their needs better.

The kraal, “Ubuhlanti”, in isiXhosa, is a central place where the communities meet and engage on important issues. It’s also a place where celebrations are held. A stranger cannot just enter the kraal as it’s a sacred place so getting your seat at the kraal means that you are regarded as family and there is a trust relationship between the parties.

We share thoughts on how the actuary can get a seat at the Kraal.

South Africa has a significant funeral policy market – largely influenced by the cultural significance of funerals within a number of communities. We discuss the value of the offerings for the consumers of these products and also highlight some of the issues experienced within the funeral market. Some of these issues have been brought to ASISA’s attention by the Black Insurance Advisors Council (BIAC).

Disability income products are currently not sold in these markets yet there seems to be a need for such products. We look at how the communities have identified a gap and end up using other available products to meet this need.

An important principle in product design is understanding the needs of the customer, however, the industry has created products which leave some of the relevant needs unaddressed. We therefore propose a way in which we change the face of the product development team so that the actuary can collaborate with these individuals to develop concepts further and drive insurance solutions.

Lastly, we look at product distribution by introducing the concept of “Trust Leaders” to educate, promote financial wellness and meet the needs of the respective communities. This will enable companies to grow their brand, build trust relationships and influence the various RSA cultures thereby allowing the actuary to take a seat at the kraal.

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