Johannesburg: The short-term insurance market is abuzz following the launch of Acuideas, an innovative provider of services to independent insurance brokers, product providers and underwriting management agencies with a short-term insurance focus. The official launch activities, which include countrywide broker roadshows, coincide with the 2018 Financial Intermediaries Association (FIA) Awards, an event that celebrates the value of advice and role of the broker in ensuring sustainable financial outcomes for consumers.
Acuideas’ broker support model is designed for brokers who are passionate about structuring risk solutions for their customers and is designed to free up their time for the face-to-face interactions that are necessary to grow an insurance book. “We have spent the past 18 months customising an innovative support offering for small- to medium-size independent brokers that addresses the triple threat of time intensive administration, the limiting factors of insufficient scale in the market and the need to offset shrinking income through a focus on new business,” says Daléne Delport, accounts executive at Acuideas.
Scale is a growing issue and there is a risk that small- to medium-size brokers could lose access to the wider insurance market as insurers find it prohibitively costly to service small books. This means that smaller independents have some tough choices to make. They can throw in the towel and see decades of hard work go down the drain; or they can partner strategically to restructure their operations into sustainable client-focused risk advisory practices fit for the 21st Century customer.
Acuideas engineered their broker support model to address the major pain points that brokers experience with existing franchise models. “Our partners retain their ownership structures and brand identity and keep all of the commission and advice fees on their book,” says Delport. “We do not interfere in your key relationships with your primary insurers; but we can help to lighten your administrative workload so that you can spend more time on interacting with and learning more about your clients”.
Acuideas is the brainchild of Peter Olyott, CEO of Indwe Broker Holdings, who is pushing the boundaries in insurance innovation through new collaborative partnership models. “We are moving towards solution-based selling and away from product-based selling which requires brokers to change generations-old of approaches, mindsets and cultures,” says Olyott. He challenged independent brokers to pay close attention to the strategic positioning indicators from the social, technological and economic environments and to repurpose their businesses to deliver face-to-face risk solutions to their clients while outsourcing the time consuming non-sales and non-advice functions.
The perfect match for the innovative and collaborative risk-based solutions that Acuideas’ broker support model offers is a broker placing 70% to 90% of its book with a single insurer and spreading the balance of its business thinly across the market. “We understand what a broking business is, and the value of having critical mass in terms of premiums in the market and a sound business reputation,” concludes Delport. “And we are keen to partner with brokers who want to remain independent and therefore have no interest in becoming part of a typical franchise operation, selling out to a larger broker or going the tied agent route.