Altrisk and Motorsport SA Tie-up Brings Affordable Cover to Racing Enthusiasts

13 January 2011 Altrisk
Craig Harding

Craig Harding

Altrisk has stepped into the driver’s seat by taking up the challenge from the motorsport industry to provide reasonable life and disability cover for racing enthusiasts without the hefty loadings usually imposed by insurers.

“Altrisk is well known for our entirely new age approach to underwriting – where other insurers call a racing driver a high risk, we call him adventurous. Through our underwriting approach we always consider the individual and their unique circumstances, so racing enthusiasts perceived to be high risk by the broader industry but who are otherwise healthy and hold a valid motorsport licence, may well qualify for affordable cover with no exclusions,” explains Craig Harding, Managing Director of Altrisk.

“When discussions started with Motorsport SA, Altrisk was impressed with the level of skill and qualifications of our members, the fact that they all have to have a valid licence to race, as well as the fact that they abide by a professional code of conduct. In many respects, a qualified motorsport driver is no greater a risk than your ordinary motorist, if not better trained and disciplined,” explains Francois Pretorius, Managing Director of Motorsport South Africa.

Altrisk started out by specialising in life, disability and critical illness cover for impaired lives, offering cover to those who previously couldn’t get any. “We founded our business on a philosophy of simplicity and a moral code based on ‘doing the right thing’ in a conservative and traditional industry. Through the products we have created, our underwriting approach and our general business ethos, we have set a standard. Daring to be different is part of our DNA and one of the reasons why Altrisk was the first provider to regularly cover people with severe impairments, those with dangerous or unusual hobbies and even those working in territories regarded as high risk areas,” adds Craig.

Motorsport SA is the sole governing body of all forms of motorsport (cars, karting and motorcycles) in South Africa and is recognised as such by both the International Federation of Automobiles (FIA) and International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) internationally and the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), Ministry of Sport and Sport and Recreation South Africa.

Francois adds that the move by Altrisk to provide reasonable cover for motorsport enthusiasts is welcomed by the industry. “There will always be an element of unpredictability in motorsport racing and it can be dangerous, and fatalities and permanent disability as a result of an accident still happen. The safety standards have improved dramatically over the years not only in terms of practice, but also in terms of track conditions and management, vehicle design and protective wear.

“Having said this, it is essential that participants insure themselves for injury and disability and the potential loss of income and career that could occur as a result, while drivers with families and dependents should take out death benefits. An accident is exactly that – no one intentionally goes out to look for one. It’s particularly rewarding to see a company such as Altrisk adopting a different approach to our sport and industry,” says Francois.

With these considerations in mind, it is still the individual that is underwritten so the client’s health and lifestyle still remains a key factor. Their membership of MSA as a licensed driver or participant enables Altrisk to give less onerous loadings and no exclusions, rather than counting against them,” explains Craig.

Founded in 1999, Altrisk currently services more than 80 000 clients and provides total cover in excess of R160 billion. Altrisk’s underwriting approach for the motorsport industry is yet another in a string of firsts in the traditionally conservative life industry, including:

· First to adopt ASISA’s SCIDEP definitions

· First to regularly cover people with severe medical impairments who traditionally would not be able to get cover in the market place.

· First to offer new-generation life cover to people living with HIV.

· First to regularly cover people working in high-risk countries.

· First to introduce a suicide exclusion that recognises previous periods of life cover.

And the first to adopt a different approach to the value of the skill and training behind motorsport participants!

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