MUA Insurance Acceptances
Insurance products have had to adapt and change in response to the dynamics that accompany the pandemic.
Søren Kierkegaard once said that “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” which describes the approach to which MUA Insurance Acceptances (Pty) Ltd (“MUA”) has evolved since being established in 1988. From being a motor-only underwriter, MUA has become South Africa’s leader in tailoring insurance risk management solutions for the discerning consumer.
“The fact that we were pioneers in the field of specialist underwriting of high-valued, classic and exotic cars has really enabled us to evolve with the needs of our clients and an ever-changing environment.” Dawie Loots, CEO of MUA comments as he reflects on the changes that the industry has gone through, more especially in the recent months with the economic turbulence and consumer behaviour changes because of the pandemic.
At the start of the pandemic, MUA came to observe that the pandemic resulted in changes to consumer behaviour and business operations, from the use of technology to drive sales and service clients to the use of vehicles. With a lot more people working from home, the need for business travel was significantly reduced which presented the industry with an opportunity to explore a reduced premium due to the reduction in the associated risk.
“In discussions with our brokers we have come to appreciate that customers favour simplicity in addition to flexibility which is why we were careful in understanding how our motor insurance product needed to evolve,” comments Lindsay Roberston, Regional Manager of Gauteng for MUA.
MUA’s response to brokers and the needs of their clients prompted them to offer support and allow the insured to change their “use type” from the traditional “Private Use” to a new “Work from Home Use”, still allowing social, domestic and leisure trips with a reduction in allowance to travel to and from the office. For those insureds with vehicles covered for “Business Use”, they allow the change it to “Limited Business Use” which allows social, domestic and leisure travel and includes reduced business travel.
In return, they offer clients a fixed percentage discount on comprehensively insured vehicles and motorcycles. This unique offering means the total km’s are not restricted and there is no administrative burden placed on the broker’s client to report odometer readings, but a mere restriction on the number of days used for business travel or travel to and from the office. They have kept these changes simple, yet flexible in response to and need for their motor insurance product to adapt to the changing environment and client needs in times of lockdowns and work from home policies implemented by organisations around the country. While conventional motor insurance has adapted, the need for changes in the classic insurance sphere remains relevant.
One’s car is typically covered for replacement cost minus depreciation. By contrast, classic car insurance usually covers the collectable vehicle for an agreed (often called “guaranteed”) value that is mutually agreeable to the client and the insurer. By their very nature, collectable cars generally increase in value, especially if they are well cared for and/or restored. Everyday cars usually lose value over time and do not require agreed value-type coverage. For more information on insuring your classic car with MUA, contact your broker and click on the link to read more about investing in these treasured collectables. (https://www.mua.co.za/news/mua-classic-cars)
“The fact that we were pioneers in the field of specialist underwriting of high-valued, classic and exotic cars has really enabled us to evolve with the needs of our clients and an ever-changing environment.”
“While we notice little change in the classic car insurance industry with consumer behaviour, other trends are starting to emerge which is concerning.” Comments Lynda Brown, Regional Manager of KwaZulu Natal for MUA. A growing concern is that consumers are not comparing the insurance product and the cover provided. “They are primarily focused only on premium which is a concern especially at the claims stage,” points our San-Mare Van Zyl, Director and Operations Manager at MUA.
This observation highlights the increasing need for brokers to provide perspective and support to ensure that clients make an informed decision that is not a costly one later which further adds to the trauma of an unexpected loss or claim.
The pandemic has also raised awareness around data privacy with consumers. “We have noticed that many insurance clients seek to avoid sharing data that might trigger a rise in their premiums which we have addressed with the simplicity of our policy changes with the Limited Business use and Work from the home concession,” adds Ronelle Taylor, Regional Manager for the Western & Eastern Cape for MUA.
While insurance firms continue to monitor trends with motor insurance due to the social and economic developments linked to the pandemic, insurance clients are encouraged to engage with a broker who understands the complexities of motor insurance and is skilled in navigating the risks to ensure that clients are given the best advice that not only suits their budget but also their lifestyle within the context of the risks to which they are exposed.