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Is COVID-19 accelerating the digitalisation of SA’s Long-Term Insurance Industry?

The COVID-19 pandemic, and its associated lockdowns, has had a predominantly negative impact on global industries. However, the Long-Term Insurance Industry has been experiencing positive and negative side-effects from the pandemic. Factors such as increased numbers of claims, lowered interest rates, and policy cancellations have hit the industry hard.

Simultaneously, it has made consumers acutely aware of the possibility of death, and with it, the necessity of Life and Funeral Policies. Consequently, players are accelerating their digitalisation efforts, not only to cater to demands for safety and efficiency but also to reduce costs for cash-strapped consumers, and capitalise on the increased demand for Long-Term Insurance products.

Insight Survey’s latest South African Long-Term Insurance Industry Landscape Report 2021, carefully unfolds the Long-Term Insurance landscape in South Africa, based on the latest information and research. It describes the relevant global and local market trends, drivers, and restraints to present an objective insight into the South African Long-Term Insurance industry environment, market dynamics, and its future.

Globally, Long-Term (or Life) Insurance premium income decreased by 4.4% to reach approximately €2.3 trillion in 2020. Regionally, advanced EMEA represented the largest advanced regional market in the Long-Term Insurance market, reaching approximately US$972 billion in 2019. This was followed by North America (USA and Canada) and Advanced Asia-Pacific, with approximately US$682 billion and US$645 billion, respectively.

Regional Advanced Long-Term Insurance Market Sizes 2019

Source: SwissRe_Sigma4_2020. Graphics by Insight Survey

Similar to the global situation, the SA Long-Term Insurance market also suffered during 2020, declining by approximately 1.7%, in terms of total assets, from 2019. This was primarily due to the significant negative economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on both players and consumers.

At the same time, the onset of the global pandemic in South Africa has accelerated the rate of the digital transformation in the local Long-Term (Life) Insurance industry, as part of industry efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. This is occurring through the adoption of technology and innovation, particularly through partnerships with local InsurTech companies, to reduce costs, improve customer experience, and raise profits.

As part of efforts to enhance customer experience through technology, whilst also ensuring access to Long-Term Insurance products and services amid social distancing regulations, several key local players have introduced the ability for consumers to purchase Life Insurance policies online.  As an example, 1Life and Standard Bank are both prominent players that have already introduced online Long-Term Insurance product purchases.

Digital funeral coverage is another example of the accelerated utilisation of digital technology by local players, as part of efforts to remain customer-centric, whilst adhering to COVID-19 regulations. These offerings typically allow for the live streaming of funerals, which have become difficult to attend due to restrictions in terms of travel, capacity, and physical contact. Interestingly, an online Virtual Grieving platform was also launched by Sanlam, known as ‘The Memory Collection’, allowing individuals to upload photos and share stories of departed family and friends. As part of this offering, the company also helps in the planning of these virtual tools, as well as equipping mourners with the devices necessary to attend.

The SA Long-Term Insurance Industry Landscape Report 2021 (145 pages) provides a dynamic synthesis of industry research, examining the local and global Long-Term Insurance industry from a uniquely holistic perspective – from market size, industry trends, industry innovation and technology, industry drivers and challenges, to competitor and product analysis.

Some key questions the report will help you to answer:

  • What are the current market dynamics (overview, market environment, COVID-19 impact, and key regional markets) of the Global and South African Long-Term Insurance industry?
  • What are the latest Global and South African Long-Term Insurance Industry trends (including Insurtech), innovation and technology, drivers and challenges?
  • How did Long-Term Insurance companies perform in 2019/20, what is the strategic focus and expansion plans?
  • How is each Long-Term Insurance company positioned and what products do they offer?
  • What is the latest marketing and advertising news for each of the Long-Term Insurance players?

Please note that the 145-page report is available for purchase for R37,500.00 (excluding VAT). Alternatively, individual sections can be purchased, from R15,000.00 (excluding VAT). For additional information simply contact us at or directly on (021) 045-0202 or (010) 140- 5756.

For a full brochure please go to: South African Long-Term Insurance Landscape Brochure 2021

 About Insight Survey:

Insight Survey is a South African B2B market research company with more than 10 years of heritage, focusing on business-to-business (B2B) and industry research to ensure smarter, more-profitable business decisions are made with reduced investment risk.

We offer B2B and industry research solutions to help you to successfully improve or expand your business, enter new markets, launch new products or better understand your internal or external environment.

Our bespoke Competitive Business Intelligence Research can help give you the edge in a global marketplace, empowering your business to overcome industry challenges quickly and effectively, and enabling you to realise your potential and achieve your vision.

From strategic overviews of your business’s competitive environment through to specific competitor profiles, our customised Competitive Intelligence Research is designed to meet your unique needs.

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