Santam has been voted the leading short-term insurer in South Africa by the intermediary community in the Personal insurance category at the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa’s (FIA) annual Insurer of the Year awards ceremony held in Johannesburg last night.

On celebrating the achievement, Santam’s Executive Head of Commercial and Personal Lines Edward Gibbens, said: “I am proud to say that our service delivery in the personal lines category has been clear and most importantly, consistent. We recognise the valuable role insurers and intermediaries play in the lives of individuals and we know it is our task to demonstrate that value in the work we do every day.”

“This award is a testimony to our commitment to the value that intermediaries offer our business,” said Gibbens adding that intermediaries play an important role in the administration and payment of short-term insurance claims. “The latest results from the Ombudsman for short-term insurance (OSTI) shows that Santam has maintained its leadership position, paying more claims than any other insurer in South Africa,” said Gibbens. In the previous financial year, Santam paid out claims to the value of R13 billion.

“We are proud to have been chosen as the leading short-term insurance company in the relevant category by South Africa’s independent intermediaries.”

“We believe the significant investments we’ve made into our claims processing model and technological advancements to contain the cost of claims is also paying off,” said Gibbens. In the past year, Santam showed its commitment to policyholders by introducing a number of initiatives aimed at improving its value proposition and helping South Africans lead safer lives. One example is the introduction of a digital marketing ecosystem designed to provide both consumers and intermediaries the best advice about insurance-related matters.

Says Gibbens: “We live in a digital world where people choose to engage with us on their own terms. This is why we’ve introduced several forms of social media in order to engage with intermediaries, policyholders and the public about their personal safety and the value of insurance.

Recently, Santam introduced a first-of-its kind app with ‘Be Safe’ and ‘Incident and Accident Reporter’ functionalities. The ‘Find a Broker’ search function is especially useful for both intermediaries and consumers, with nearly 2000 searches logged since the app launch in March 2015.

The Santam app has proved popular with South Africans and has already been downloaded by more than 20,000 people. In the past year, the company further established solid easy-to-use online platforms for intermediaries, a dedicated category on the Santam blog and a targeted LinkedIn page to share relevant advice and to make doing business with us easier.”

Caroline Woudberg, a broker representative from Browns Insurance Brokers in Gauteng, said their brokerage has always received excellent service from Santam: “We perform the majority of our business online and working with Santam in this respect is a pleasure as they provide efficient escalation channels for us to use.”

Jacques Reinders, an intermediary from Vinsure Brokers in Paarl, Western Cape, said the largest proportion of their business has been placed with Santam specifically because the value of Santam’s insurance product. “We highly recommend Santam, specifically because of its value offering. The changes the business is making on the technological front will also stand it in good stead,” he said.

Wybrand de Kock, a broker consultant from Elsie da Silva and Associates in Gauteng said he has always been in a position to escalate matters quickly and efficiently at Santam. “We’ve always had a good relationship with our broker consultant and management,” he added.

“The annual FIA awards present us with an essential yardstick to determine whether we are effective and meeting the demands of the market. We have retained our position through diversification, investing in our intermediary model and constantly adapting to social, environmental and economic shifts. We continue to work hard at providing good and proper insurance by introducing initiatives aimed at improving our offering and providing a client focus delivered through intermediaries,” concluded Gibbens.

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