A bird by any other name

26 July 2006 Angelo Coppola

Indwe launches onto the local market and is the name for the Prestasi and Thebe Risk Services business.

CEO Giel Muller and Chairman Vusi Kanela were on hand, with Kanela elected less than a week ago by the Indwe board, while Giel is a well-known industry stalwart.

Muller posed three questions in terms of the state of the insurance industry

Does the industry offer value for money; secondly is it exciting and challenging enough to attract new talent; and thirdly is it sensible to cut out the broker and deal direct.

So what about the value? He maintains that there is no value for money. There is too much duplication between all the parties from broker to underwriter. The processes aren't efficient enough and added to which government and the communications authorities directly contribute to the cost of doing business in South Africa.

According to research conducted by one of the larger players in the UK, Norwich Union who have 16% of the UK market, and which accounts for premiums of three times value of the entire SA market.

Norwich Union was caught off guard by two things: the effect of deregulation of commission, and secondly the introduction of broadband internet access.

Norwich Union clients now trade 80% via the internet, and 50% of all new motor insurance is sold via the web, and as a result the small independent broker sector has all but disappeared. There are only 480 of these brokers left in the UK today.

In terms of the second question - SA has some way to go in terms of making the sector exciting and challenging enough to attract talent. There is a knowledge revolution. Industries are competing for the top talent.

The SA industry is not exciting enough. Industry has not done enough to raise the standards, integrity and professionalism of the sector.

We still a long way to go - the real question remains as to whether we are able to enforce the regulations.

In terms of the third question Muller argues that it's as sensible to cut out the broker as it would be to be a patient and listen to his or her GP as he or she gives the patient instruction via telephone to amputate a limb.

Note - Indwe is the Xhosa name for the country's national bird the blue crane.

Editor's thoughts:
* A new incarnation and we will watch them with interest. It will be interesting to see if they get into the amputation business or not, in one form or another.

Quick Polls


We have watched with interest as each of the country’s large life insurers report their 2021 life claims statistics, with soaring claims and claims values. That got us thinking: how do the big life insurers compare against one another, from an IFA perspective?


An insurer is an insurer is an insurer
All are excellent: would not deal with them otherwise
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