iTOO unveils SureThing – a unique offering specifically aimed at SME market

30 June 2022 iTOO

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are vital to economic development and job creation, with South African SMEs representing more than 98% of businesses and employing between 50% and 60% of the country's workforce across all sectors.

Despite this, SMEs are also some of the most vulnerable types of businesses, in most cases lacking the funding and resources of bigger enterprises yet facing the same operational and environmental risks that larger companies are exposed to.

Hence, SMEs are more likely to fail and go out of business when faced with liability claims and exposures that have an adverse and disruptive effect on their operations, says Melita Thurling, Product Champion: General Liabilities and SureThing at iTOO Special Risks (iTOO).

In response to this challenge, specialist insurer iTOO has unveiled a mechanism called SureThing to cover SMEs with turnover of less than R20 million a year and who employ fewer than 20 people in their business.

“Designed specifically to assist SMEs, iTOO SureThing is South Africa’s first and only all-in-one, all-risk third-party legal liability policy for small businesses. All the cover you need, all wrapped up in one,” says Thurling.

Blanket cover
SureThing is a blanket cover for a range of risks, aimed at any type of small business, operating in any industry sector. Thurling notes that what makes SureThing a unique instrument is the fact that it does not take into account a company’s individual risk exposure rating, but instead considers group qualifying criteria. In other words, any SME can be covered by SureThing, as long as it falls within the qualifying group criteria, regardless of its individual risk circumstances.

“SureThing is a special risk innovation from iTOO and the first of its kind in terms of structure in South Africa. It is designed this way to specifically help SMEs, considering the key role they play in country’s economy and job creation,” says Thurling.

“The instrument was piloted earlier this year and received a huge amount of interest from brokers and the small business sector. The response has been overwhelming, especially that SureThing is an offering that essentially allows SMEs to operate on an equal footing with big businesses.”

Thurling points out that another unique feature of SureThing is that it includes Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) regulatory enquiry legal costs, including legal assistance with notifications and legal costs for workplace vaccine disputes, as well as legal representation costs for the contravention of any law related to the conduct of the business.

Covers any third-party claim
“Simply put, regardless of the nature of the third-party claim alleging a legal liability, the policy covers legal costs to defend the claim and pays up to the limits for legal liability,” she says.

In addition, because SureThing groups different types of cover under one end-to-end legal liability trigger, so that injury and damage (including pollution) third-party claims are covered even if caused by a cyber-Incident, directors and officers liability or Professional Indemnity liability. Typically, these covers exclude bodily injury and property damage, often leading to gaps in cover.

To make the process easy and hassle-free for SMEs, iTOO has provided a digital platform for its brokers to engage with and onboard small businesses who want to take up SureThing, making the entire journey seamless and efficient.

While SureThing is currently available to businesses that are based in South Africa and looking to only insure South African operations, iTOO plans to roll out SureThing in the other markets where it has a presence.

“SureThing is truly a gamechanger as it is South Africa’s first and only all-in-one, all-risk third-party legal liability policy aimed at mitigating the risks for SMEs. This key business sector must be protected and supported given the crucial role it plays in our economy,” Thurling concludes.

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