Darryl Grater, Executive Head of Distribution for Discovery Insure
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has increased levels of uncertainty for individuals and the economy as a whole. This has led to questions being asked as to what the future may look like, and whether the global elite is looking elsewhere for opportunities. Thankfully, national statistics show that this is not necessarily the case. While there has been some movement of people out of the country, there has still been an increase in the total number of high net worth individuals in South Africa. There are evidently still plenty of people who believe in our country’s potential and our own data supports this point.
Firstly, to contextualise our offering and by way of background, the Discovery Purple offering to high net-worth clients was launched as a value-add across the Discovery Group. The Purple Plan products offer clients a high-end solution, specifically tailored for this niche group of individuals (these Purple Plans were introduced across Vitality, Discovery Life, Discovery Insure, Invest and now Discovery Bank).
Our unique Discovery Insure Purple Plan offers the following bespoke insurance coverage and key benefits for our clients:
- We provide risk mitigation strategies, offering a uniquely tailored service to these clients, who often have complicated portfolios. These clients tend to be incredibly busy, and part of our service is aimed at providing them with financial advice, and specialised advisers, who are able to serve this need.
- The Purple Plan includes innovative features, specifically tailored to our high net worth clients (HNW), such as:
- Multi-vehicle benefits allowing for reduced premiums where many vehicles are owned but only one is driven at a time.
- Flexible, worldwide cover for portable possessions with high insured limits.
- Free annual mobile phone upgrades.
- Majority of non-motor claims being excess-free.
- Access to a dedicated Service Executive.
Additionally, all Discovery Insure clients qualify for the following innovative benefits:
- They can join Vitality Drive where they get access to up to 50% fuel cash back every month for driving well, safety innovations (Impact Alert, emergency assistance with the Vehicle panic button and Motion Alert) and up to 25% off Uber trips.
- More efficient claims process with online/smartphone claim submission, the fast tracking of claims, Xpress repairs and Auto claims. Clients also get access to the Claims view where they and their broker can enjoy real-time claim updates.
- The Legal Support Benefit provides clients with easy and affordable online or telephonic access to an array of top legal support services
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Q: How has the increased pressure on our economy, the devastating crime statistics and the emigration trend affected the high net worth sector in South Africa? A: According to BusinessTech, while there have been some people leaving the country, the total number of high net worth individuals (HNWI) in South Africa is still steadily increasing and is projected to continue doing so. Fundamentally, we see the market as continuing to grow steadily, and this is backed by our data.
Encouragingly data from Discovery Insure also reveals a decrease in crime-related claims from clients which hopefully is a sign that crime is also on the decline across the country.
Discovery Insure’s definition of a HNWI has remained consistent, with clients qualifying for the Insure Purple Plan where they have an insured asset portfolio of over R5 million. The number of clients on our book who qualify for our HNWI-product has grown by 12% over the last year, contributing to a 14% growth in this cohort’s sum insured. In terms of the take-up of our Purple product, we have recorded a 17% increase in the number of clients over the last year, with an 18.5% growth in the sum insured.
Q: Is this sector shrinking or are we lowering the criteria for high net worth? A: Our criterion for clients to qualify for our Purple Plan has remained the same (over R5m in assets to be insured, across property, vehicle, and household contents). As the data shows (both our own, as well as independent data cited in the media), the number of HNW individuals has grown over the last years. We see South Africa’s economic elite as a relatively stable market-segment, which by all accounts looks set to grow steadily, and who will continue to expect a sophisticated, comprehensive and bespoke insurance solution that gives them back time, and exclusivity, safety and security.
The value of the broker in tailoring this cover for the client remains imperative, especially in this market segment where assets can be more complex and require a structured risk management solution.