Business & Economy

Monday, 18 February 2019 09:45

Bringing innovation and entrepreneurship to the insurance market

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Providing entrepreneurs with alternatives to traditional and prohibitively costly 3rd party cell captive arrangements

With the implementation of recent insurance industry regulations requiring onerous capital adequacy limits for cell captives as well as delineating the types of businesses that may own a cell captive, GENRIC Insurance Company is focusing on providing insuretch start-ups, underwriting management agencies and entrepreneurs with more financially viable and practical alternatives to bring new insurance products to market outside of the traditional and prohibitively costly 3rd party cell captive arrangements. 

“At a time of rapidly changing customer needs, growing regulatory demands, capital pressures and technological disruption, GENRIC is focused on bringing niche insurance solutions to market by partnering with specialist underwriting management agencies (UMAs), start-up businesses, insuretech innovators and brokers.  Key in this partnership is that we encourage and support the retention of the entrepreneurial skills, customer centricity, and specialist knowledge that is typical of smaller yet highly focused businesses,” explains Cornel Schoeman, Chief Commercial Officer of GENRIC Insurance Company.

GENRIC primarily operates on the outsourcing model in partnership with a mix of wholly owned subsidiaries, partially owned subsidiaries and completely independent UMAs, focusing heavily on developing unique models of managing the integration of systems and data, ensuring alignment with regulatory requirements and future proofing shared business models for success.

“GENRIC provides risk financing facilities to start-up businesses and entrepreneurs with an insurance business or technology concept to participate in the insurance market.  Our partner model means that product innovators retain control of their business while participating in the economic benefits of insurance, at lower cost and with fewer compliance hurdles than having to secure a full insurance licence of their own or meet the onerous capital requirements to establish and operate a cell captive,” explains Schoeman.  “Our key objective is to provide growth and structured processes and operational alignment that facilitate the success of our business partners, retaining the individuality, unique skills, innovation mindset and customer centricity needed to provide an excellent service and more competitive premiums to brokers and clients.” 

Worldwide, small and innovative businesses are the backbone of healthy industries as they are typically less risk-averse and more focused on early stage development as a means of survival, compared to more risk-averse, larger companies. 

“We recognise this essential and much needed synergy between entrepreneurial outfits and established companies to bring new products and ways of doing business to market.   We also believe that the insurance sector can be a major driver of transformation and an incubator of black-owned and operated entrepreneurial insurance and technology businesses in South Africa. Typically, entrepreneurial businesses wanting to break into the insurance market require large capital investments to get established with the appropriate systems, processes and compliance requirements and the licenses to operate.  It’s here where they run the risk of being usurped into the large corporate structures of potential funders – and rattled larger competitors - and lose the entrepreneurial drive and independence that set them apart in the first place,” he adds. 

In a highly competitive market, speed to market and differentiation matters.  It’s a key reason why GENRIC has invested heavily in developing a business partner model that is fast and responsive, able to bring a specialist insurance solution full circle from conceptualisation to live in the market within three months.  

“The very existence of entrepreneurial businesses is premised on the fact that they are driven by people with highly specialist and expert skills who want to operate and grow their insurance businesses, without the distraction or red tape of large corporate environments and bureaucracy.  Our aim as GENRIC is to enhance both businesses through a partnership approach that establishes the necessary regulatory, compliance, capital and good governance controls necessary to differentiate in the market by focusing on niche and specialist insurance segments,” he adds.       

The combination of specialist skills, leadership and owner driven-responsibility with a like-minded and forward-thinking insurer makes for market-leading insurance businesses that can thrive in an environment of technological innovation and disruption.   

“It’s in embracing this innovation and disruption to traditional models that helps build stronger, more resilient businesses. GENRIC’s goal is to partner with companies to find ways to help improve the customer experience, develop new lines of coverage that meet the evolving exposures the market is facing and optimising and modernising traditional insurance distribution rather than completely disrupting it - a key reason why GENRIC is already well down the line in investing on this path,” concludes Schoeman.

For more information go to www.genric.co.za

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