Instant Life pins growth hopes on Absa clients
Insurance company Instant Life is hoping that having Absa as its controlling shareholder, and having access to its distribution channel and the bank’s millions of customers, will allow it to achieve exponential growth over the next five years.
Bryan McLachlan, Instant Life CEO, said that the company, which focuses on selling life insurance over the internet, was looking to grow its customer base from 15 000 to 240 000 within five years.
“We are looking to double in size every year for the next five years,” he said.
As a result of such significant projected expansion, Instant Life is forecasting its staff numbers to grow from 70 to between 200 and 300.
Absa, which has 9.2 million local customers, bought a 75% stake in Instant Life for R100 million last year, and the competition authorities approved the acquisition with effect from April 1. Venture Capital Works holds the remaining 25% stake in Instant Life.
Jannie Venter, managing executive for Absa Life, which is one of South Africa’s largest insurance companies, with 4.5 million local clients, said Absa bought a stake in Instant Life because its technology included a “very smart decision tree” that included 55 000 question permutations.
Absa Life, which already sells life insurance, makes up about 7% of Absa’s total business.
Instant Life’s swift online process provided for a quality underwriting outcome that cost less than other channels and was convenient for clients, Venter said.
“Instant Life has a well-developed online platform,” he said.
Absa also bought into Instant Life because of the synergies between the company and Absa’s insurance business.
Absa would continue to operate Instant Life as a stand-alone business, and the bank has an option to buy out the remaining 25% over the next five