There are lots of big insurers with innovation labs, hubs and foundrys. Groovy baby. Then there are MGAs and brokers who have their own apps, platforms and partnerships with insurtech start-ups. Razzle dazzle. But it is rare that you find an old school broker who went out and developed their own white label gadget insurance product – and then offers it to any broker to customise with their own unique stamp.
Insurance Edge chatted with Snap-It founder Coert Knoetze
IE: How are things changing in the world of insurance across South Africa right now?
CK: There are about 17 insurance companies active in SA, so it’s a relatively small market. Plus it has some unique features, such as storage unit insurance difficulties. Lots of people don’t store their valuables at home but prefer to rent a unit, however the risk is fairly high so insurers often will not cover the items in storage. The situation is changing however- in fact Snap-It is looking to launch an app-based solution very soon.
I’ve worked in insurance here since 1992 and seen a huge change since then of course, but SA is still moving quite slowly to online platforms. There’s a mix of traditional insurers and newer online only brands.
IE: How does Snap-It work?
CK: It’s really simple. You take a few photos of your bicycle, smartwatch, camera or laptop etc, making sure you get a shot of a serial number, and then the app offers a quote. It runs on Salesforce, brokers can take the white label app and put their own branding, logos, colours, unique T&Cs and so on. Best of all, this lets the broker make money via their own app, not utilise something a big insurer provides and then receive a small percentage as commission.
IE: Sounds similar to Buzzvault, the UK app that lets consumers photo their home contents and get an immediate quote.
CK: Sure there are similar products out there, and in SA we have Pineapple, Naked and so on. But the reason I wanted to do this was to empower brokers, as much as policyholders. Why let the bulk of the online business go to the big underwriter, when you can offer something truly unique as a broker, a specialist in the gadget cover market?
IE: We wouldn’t know where to start with app development, has it been difficult starting from scratch?
CK: It isn’t easy and it has taken a few years because we wanted to get it right, test it thoroughly, make it something useful for brokers anywhere in the world. The development costs in SA were quite high, so we have partnered with a superb company over in India who really are on the ball with all things online.
IE: Is it available for UK brokers now?
The Snap-It app launches very soon in the Google Play store and it’s going to be exciting seeing brokers use it for the first time. You know I get invited to all kinds of insurtech conferences and events all the time, but the way I look at it is straightforward; brokers want to sell insurance online and the easier the process is, the more you sell. What we have created is a platform that brokers can build upon and Snap-It intends to branch out in the future with even more smartphone & chatbot based products.
IE: That’s how the market is going, Coert, thanks for your time and good luck.