According to Lee Bromfield, the CEO of FNB Insurance, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.
Though without challenges, he asserts bancassurers have cost advantages, diverse channels, much richer data sources as well trusted brands and customer bases which they continually leverage to improve the lives of clients– more so than most traditional insurers can.
Bancassurers, however, are not immune to some of the challenges observed in the traditional space – they are subject to increased regulatory scrutiny, and penetration is more challenging given the advice entrenchment. Barring these challenges, bancassurers have still managed to dominate new funeral policy sales in South Africa, making up 58% of total net sales according to the 2021Q1 NMG SA Funeral Distribution Monitor, as well as not compromising on servicing with two bancassurers placing in the Top 3 according to the 2020 Life Insurance SA-CSI results produced by Consulta. Lee goes on to state that bancassurers are best placed to facilitate and embed holistic money management given the mounds of data they house and access to a client’s balance sheet.
To build on the successes bancassurers have observed, Lee honed in on FNB Insurance and how the Pillar has won several accolades for product and claims excellence since its inception – the recent ones being the Celent Model Insurer Award recognising the best insurer in the Innovation Execution Category as well as the BAI Global Innovation award.
In closing, Lee recognised the need for financial education to remove some of the product and process angst that exists in the market and that potentially act as a barrier for inclusion.