The Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA) estimates 14 million South African income earners are facing a combined death and disability insurance shortfall of R28.8 trillion, despite the wide array of available life insurance options. This is because consumers struggle to find the right product.

Tech enterprise CompariSure, South Africa’s first independent online life insurance comparison platform, intends to make it easier for consumers to get the right product at the right price. Founded just over a year ago, CompariSure has already provided 10,000 people with over R500 million total life cover.

“Until recently, getting the best objective quote on life insurance meant endless phone calls, countless forms, and unnecessary headaches. Getting covered shouldn’t be that difficult today,” says founder Jonathan Elcock.

He adds that life insurance has a poor reputation in South Africa, something he hopes to change. “Scarred by years of poor customer experience and overly complex products that are impossible to compare, the life insurance industry has made the mistake of creating products to be sold, rather than bought,” Elcock says, noting that the local life insurance industry is also facing a distribution crisis.

“Major insurers are excellent at designing world-class life insurance products, but these are not always accessible for the majority of South Africans. At the heart of the problem is an ageing broker force. The average insurance broker being over 50 makes it hard for them to connect with younger, more digital and culturally-diverse South Africans.”

The thinking behind the independent platform is simple. “Before making major purchases, most customers look to educate themselves online,” Elcock says. “However, with complex products like life cover, they still appreciate being able to consult a human professional. CompariSure compliments the use of the latest technology with the traditional values of the human adviser. We are not trying to reinvent life insurance, but rather aiming to improve access to the big, well-established insurers who we believe provide world-class products.”