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MUA’s Path to Sustainability in the Insurance industry paved with Innovation

01 February 2013 Christelle Fourie, MUA

In an insurance landscape that has seen much legislative change over the last five years, MUA Insurance Acceptances is forging ahead through the clever use of innovation while also constantly reassessing its business model, Christelle Fourie, MD of MUA.

"It is critical for any business to innovate and revise the business model on a regular basis in order to stay at the forefront of their industry. Following a reassessment, strategic decisions need to be made to improve and update the existing business model,” says Christelle Fourie, managing director of MUA. This constant revision of business practices will enable the company to overcome any challenges as and when they arise.

Major challenges

"Two of the major challenges currently threatening the longevity of businesses operating within the insurance industry are rapid advancements in technology and the wave of recent legislative changes,” Fourie says. She says it is vital that businesses continually reassess their current strategy to ensure they can better support technological developments to improve operational efficiencies whilst also ensuring active compliance with legislative changes.

Improved customer satisfaction

In order to proactively meet these challenges head on, MUA has centralised its claims and underwriting operations so as to focus on marketing, grow market share and delivering the best service to its clients. "The primary objectives of the centralisation process are intended to increase shared accountability for outcomes, reduce end-to-end processing costs, improve customer satisfaction and enable operating units to focus on revenue-generating activities,” Fourie says.

Broker-centric model

Fourie says a new shared services model enables MUA to treat its brokers as partners, with the primary focus being service excellence, driving high performance and continuous improvement. "We have now created a truly broker-centric model with the responsibility for service delivery being shared by head office, branches and the shared service team alike,” she says.

Technological advances

Continued investment in technology will ensure a business becomes faster and better at what it does while also remaining up to speed with business trends. Fourie says management at MUA realised that technological advances have reduced the importance of a physical presence in the form of company branches, enabling a company to operate more efficiently via one main location with a strong, fast and innovative IT network.

The right partner

"Naturally, it is difficult for smaller businesses to compete with large corporates when it comes to technological innovation, so for MUA it was important to provide brokers and clients with tools that really matter,” Fourie says.

When embarking on a significant IT project that requires a shift in the business model, it is necessary to thoroughly research and plan for all eventualities. She says it is also critical to partner with a company that not only develops technology that can compete with the best in the market but also understands the industry you operate in. MUA has chosen to partner with DVT, one of the leading IT companies in South Africa.

New mobile application

"We are very excited about a number of technologically related initiatives we will launch this year including a new motor pricing system, online quick quote option and a mobile application that provides brokers with instant access to MUA anytime, anywhere, with a number of features from immediate emergency assistance to submitting claims on behalf of clients,” Fourie says.

Sustainable business model
 
"All of the steps we have taken are aimed achieving one objective: ensuring that MUA remains relevant to its brokers and clients and has a truly sustainable business model that will ensure it is around for many years to come,” she says. Fourie points out that for businesses to thrive and remain successful, it is critical that they respond to changes by embracing new ways of doing business. "It is important to begin to lay the foundations now by anticipating future changes in order to be a leader in the market and not merely react to challenges,” Fourie concluded.

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