Lulu Rasebotsa (CEO) at Bidvest Life
In 1995, FMI was one of the first insurers in the country to specialise in income protection for business owners and the self-employed market. We’ve been helping South Africans achieve financial peace of mind for the past 27 years by insuring their most important asset: their monthly income.
In March we rebranded ourselves to Bidvest Life. It’s a huge moment in our business. In time we believe it will be the catalyst for a step-change in the life insurance industry towards protecting the paydays of ordinary South Africans.
There are several reasons for the rebrand. For one, we don’t want to be the ‘best kept secret’ in the local life industry anymore. As Bidvest Life, we want to build a brand in the market by making our product more accessible to all South Africans and continue to provide cover that is easy to understand and talks to the specific needs of our customers.
We’re confident we can achieve this with the backing of the bigger Bidvest Group, who we’ve been part of since 2016.
Some things won’t change. As Bidvest Life we remain a purpose-driven business that’s 100% committed to making a difference to our people, our customers, our independent financial advisers (IFAs) and our stakeholders.
What will change is our ability to unlock growth opportunities and raise our profile in the consumer market almost immediately. It will better connect us with our important audiences, and help us reach previously underserved segments of the market. It will help us drive greater awareness of our Income First approach, and get ordinary South Africans rethinking what life insurance means.
The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of income protection, especially for business owners and self-employed. FMI paid 92% of all claims in 2020. And according to FMI’s 2020 Claims Report, 87% of all claims paid in 2020 were for Income Protection benefits. The pandemic continues to show that income protection is still the most effective insurance against the risk of injury or illness.
We were one of the first financial services providers to offer income protection to previously uninsurable market segments, like business owners and the self-employed, at a time when only professionals could qualify for cover.
Today we provide cover to more occupations than any other insurer. We cover not only high-risk occupations like oil rig workers, but also those sensitive to claims, like musicians, and non-traditional work statuses such as freelancers, multiple income earners and contract workers.
Time to shake up the industry
As Bidvest Life we aim to change the way life insurance is talked about and sold in South Africa. We want to shift the old focus on traditional life cover to a new focus on what really matters: protecting yourself, your business and your family when you can’t earn an income.
We want Bidvest Life to become synonymous with income protection – and for income protection itself to offer a better quality of cover to more customers, giving customers and advisers more claim certainty.
More than that though, as Bidvest Life we will be guided by our values of bravery, empathy and excellence in everything we do as a company. What does this mean? We will persistently challenge norms and push boundaries in search of better ways to change lives. We will act with compassion and care deeply. We will understand South Africans’ realities and ambitions. We will put people first. We will hold ourselves accountable, and stay true to our word.
We’ve always been a feisty challenger brand that punches above our weight in the local industry. Now, we’re a business with huge growth potential. As part of a broader Bidvest offering, we will be part of a Group that can offer consumers a wide range of financial services under one umbrella, including banking, short-term insurance and life insurance.
Welcome to our world. When life happens, we show up.