Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  09 Nov 2010

INSURANCE: First Direct Life Investment Company


Recent Western Cape Business News

SA’s first direct life investment company, FRANK.NET launched yesterday in Cape Town with its own life license, creating a new category in the financial services arena, with simple products and a frank, direct approach, that is set to change the way people think about buying life insurance, investments and health insurance, the company claims.

FRANK.NET’s leadership team have researched the insurance market and simplified the multitude of available offerings into four products for launch, namely: life cover, serious illness cover, disability cover and salary protection. Thereafter plans are in place to launch simple investment products followed by health products, giving people direct access to investments and health insurance.

This is according to FRANK.NET CEO Lenerd Louw, who has an eighteen-year track record in successfully building both short and long term direct insurance businesses, locally and internationally.

He says that life investment is about maintaining the quality of a family’s life, should you die, get seriously ill, be injured, or lose your job.  “Over the last two years we have focused on developing products that are straightforward and plainly serve the needs of consumers. Simple processes and easily accessible, standalone products, backed by world class technology, a comprehensive digital and mobile strategy, and the support of a dedicated contact centre, will enable consumers to get cover within minutes over the phone.”

Research has shown that South Africans are underinsured* and Louw attributes much of this to the usual complexity of the customer promise. “Generally people do not understand how life insurance products work,” he says.

Louw goes on to say that there is a gap in the market for a life investment company that speaks simply, honestly and directly to consumers and points out that FRANK’s approach will be one of ‘telling it like it is’.

“The essence of FRANK is to be open, transparent and forthright, tackling subject matter that others might find uncomfortable or unpalatable,” he says. “If you are dying you are dying not passing away or expiring, we call a spade a spade and cancer, cancer. Our consumers will know exactly what they get and where they stand and will be able to make an informed decision based on the transparency of our products.”

He continues that the benefit of taking out life insurance with FRANK is simplicity. “You pay FRANK a monthly amount which buys you an amount of insurance and it is as simple as, if you die, we pay; If you get seriously ill, we pay; If you get retrenched we pay.”

FRANK is one of Liberty’s new diversification businesses and whilst it is owned and capitalised by Liberty Holdings, it operates as a completely independent business, with its own board, brand, life license, technology platform and customer base.

“It seeks to service the needs of a very different market segment to Liberty,” says Louw. “FRANK will capitalise on the life investment market by addressing a gap in the growing market that comprises people who don’t want or need advice, but are looking for a simple and immediate solution to an insurance need.”

FRANK is also positioned to service the needs of the X and Y generation, which Louw says will be addressed by adopting a digital strategy, via social media networks like Facebook and YouTube and search engines like Google and Yahoo, and in the mobile arena, by capitilising on the growth and penetration of mobile networks in South Africa and across the African continent.

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