It’s hard to believe that it’s more than 30 years since MUA opened its doors.
MUA was started by an entrepreneur with a passion for classic and exotic cars and a passion for building relationships with the broker market. That same passion still sits within the business today, which is the key to our success. However, there has been a lot of evolution over the years.
While we still have a soft spot for the classic and so called “special” cars, we underwrite those on a standalone basis. For the last 15 years we’ve also been offering the full range of personalised insurance to our target market of affluent or high net worth individual clients. Our clients typically have more assets to insure that require special considerations than the average consumer. Besides owning high valued vehicles and homes, our clients are also keen collectors. These collections range from supercars and classic cars, antique furniture, fine wine, jewellery, art, and then really everything in between.
We see the same passion that our people have for our own business in our clients. Most of our clients live very interesting and exciting lives. They are business owners, leaders in the industry, professionals, sportspeople, and so on. Many of these clients have careers or serious hobbies that require them to consider specialised insurance cover. For example, we were recently approached by a broker to provide cover for one of their clients who is a wildlife photographer. The client wanted to live in a tent for a couple of months to do some research and wanted to take some home content within this tent. Another client, who takes big pride in their garden at home, decided to purchase lawnmower equipment to the value of almost half a million Rand.
It’s these fascinating types of clients that we get to deal with on a daily basis. Over the years we’ve learned from them what they require and we’ve adapted our products and our service offering to give them exactly what they need, and to ultimately deliver on our promise of insuring the individual.
Broker relationships – When you talk about the passions that people have in their lives, these are usually shared with like-minded people in clubs and societies, etc. It certainly helps where brokers also share some of those passions, or to at least have a common interest and understanding. Experienced brokers naturally understand how that works.
That said, I think what’s more important maybe, is clients knowing that a broker has the experience to deal with whatever asset class it is that they need insurance cover for. An experienced broker, that’s versed in a wide range of insurance topics, is well positioned to deal with any of those varied passions. When it comes to these products and services that you have to provide to discerning people, your unique value proposition is the ability to connect with them and actually satisfy the particular need.
From an MUA perspective, our product speaks for itself having been in the market for a couple of years. It provides very wide cover on an all risk basis and makes it quite easy for a consumer to get that sense of comfort that they do enjoy the best cover that their lifestyle requires. Coupled with that is the fact that we only provide our insurance product via brokers. For me, that’s key to the whole equation here, because we really rely on the brokers to be the trusted risk advisors to their clients and to understand the client’s needs based on proper risk assessments.
Typically, we do business with experienced brokers, who have been in the market for a while, looking for a partner to serve their VIP clients. All our clients are treated as VIP clients and our brokers share our philosophy that it’s not just about the product, but about the relationship as a whole. If that’s what is important to a broker and how they typically build their business, then there will be a good fit for us. Most brokers in South Africa are small to medium enterprises themselves, with a good understanding of what it is to run a business in this day and age. That puts us in almost the same position, with the same priorities.
When we started the business back in the 80s, it really was with the small independent broker in mind and, today that’s a fairly large component of our broker base. Many of them are still with us. They require a personalised service, with access to senior management and decision makers in the business Though that is still our bread and butter, we also deal with large corporate national brokers. Size is not the thing that matters here, but rather the trust to partner with us to assist them in delivering on their promise to their clients. It really is about having that support in the background, knowing that your discerning client can rely on the best when it comes to insurance requirements.
The affluent market is still a very attractive market, as we have experienced these clients to not be scared of challenges, knowing how to adapt and survive. We typically find that our clients have not canceled policies, reduced cover or not paid premiums. Quite the opposite. These clients realise the importance of having proper insurance cover, making this a resilient market, very rewarding and offering a lot of opportunity for brokers out there.