South African Insurance Association

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Consumer Education Update

 The SAIA Consumer Education Fund has seen a successful implementation of its 2017-18 projects, thanks to the support from members and the Financial Inclusion Committee.

Short-term insurance products have for too long been viewed as a “grudge purchase” for there is no assurance to policyholders that they may ever benefit from them. This rhetoric has somehow become accepted by all including some parts of the industry itself. Many studies argue that insurance products form part of a consumer’s risk mitigation strategy, to protect a household against shocks to their income or consumption. Such shocks are caused by unforeseen events such as death of a breadwinner or household member; loss of assets through damage or theft; etc. Our Consumer Education Strategy employed the following steps in asset ownership to create awareness wider than just insurance products:


Figure 1 - Owning an asset, risk mitigation and insurance products

The above steps are not complete but are a good starting point. As one can see, insurance products only feature as part of Step 6, after the property owner has ideally identified risks and implemented risk mitigation strategies. For us to create awareness about our products and their benefits to consumers, we need to be part of their decision-making processes when they buy assets by reminding them of all costs that are important to owning an asset, including insurance.

We need to empower consumers to look after their properties. Insurance is not an answer to everything, but it forms part of a wider risk mitigation strategy. Once a consumer has purchased a policy, how does he/she ensure that it is maintained in such a way that at time of claim, the benefits of the policy are realised?

Taking all the above into account, we created a framework which assisted our members through the Consumer Education and later the Financial Inclusion Committees, to identify topical issues that we could focus on. The following were identified:
Step 1. We focused on Motor Vehicles;
Step 2. We sourced content on budgeting for motor vehicle owners;
Step 3. This step was included as part of budgeting;
Step 4. We focused on risks such as veldfires; road safety; theft & burglaries and
             technical aspects of a motor vehicle.
Step 5. Our content experts produced content on the above topics which was
             distributed via face to face interventions, radio and television media and
Step 6. We identified different types of motor and home insurance products and how
            they assisted consumers to reduce risk exposure;
Step 7. We covered policy ownership rights and responsibilities including the new
             Policyholder Protection Rules;
Step 8. We covered what consumers had to do when an accident occurred and how
             to lodge a claim.

The above framework will continue to evolve to incorporate steps such as avenues policyholders may follow to lodge complaints and other risk management topics like isolated fires, flooding, etc.

Our radio and television programmes together with the supplementary newspaper articles in the Daily Sun have a wider reach and therefore we endeavoured to cover as many topics as possible on these platforms. The veldfire programme focussed on five communities that are vulnerable to wildfires, such as Matatiele, Richmond, Swellendam and Knysna. As such our strategy for these communities was to engage with them on a face-to-face basis.

Our partnership with the Department of Basic Education continues to grow with the addition of Technical Mathematics for Entrepreneurs which will be written for the first time by the matric students this year. We are proud to be part of this initiative and of our collaboration with the Department of Basic Education.

*Pictures below:


Figure 2 - Zanele at the Swellendam Veldfire Risk Reduction Campaign


Figure 3 - Zanele at the Matatiele Veldfire Risk Reduction Campaign


Figure 4 - The SAIA Technical Mathematics Initiative for School Teachers

For more information contact:
Zanele Gigaba, SAIA Transformation Manager