BrightRock need-matched products continue to provide certainty for clients, driving growth

BrightRock’s needs-matched life insurance

Key performance indicators

  • BrightRock ranked second in terms of new business annual premium written by independent financial providers in the second quarter of 2020 (COVID-19 lockdown) *
  • BrightRock, once again, was the fastest-growing insurer in our segment in this period *
  • 4% increase in new business annual premium income over the quarter (second quarter of 2019 versus the same period of 2020).
  • Total cover in force exceeds R309 billion
  • New business annualised premium income grows to R1.85 billion
  • Total claims paid of more than R2.1 billion since BrightRock’s inception
  • Lives covered grows to over 2.6 million

*According to NMG Risk Distribution Monitor: South African Underwritten Life All Channels_ BrightRock; August 2020. All other figures are as of 31 August 2020 and include BrightRock’s individual life, group life and life assistance business.


3 November 2020, Sandton – Needs-matched life insurer, BrightRock has provided an update on its business performance and growth during its annual product briefing session for financial advisers, where it also launched enhancements to its product.

Growth during the lockdown period

Speaking at a virtual presentation to over 1 000 financial advisers, BrightRock CEO, Schalk Malan, reflected over the last few months and the effects of the lockdown, saying that the impact for the business was significant, as with most financial sector providers. However, looking at the industry, it appears that BrightRock weathered the lockdown better than most, with a 4% increase in new business was written over the quarter (for the second quarter of 2019 versus the same period of 2020). More than that, BrightRock was the only life insurance company to show positive growth in new business premiums written, with the market declining by 38% on average over the same period.

According to the NMG Risk Distribution Monitor: South Africa Underwritten Life All Channels report from August 2020, BrightRock had the second-largest share of new business written by independent financial advisers in South Africa during the second quarter of 2020. The survey indicates that the life insurer accounts for an overall share of just over 16% of all new business sold by independent financial advisers for the same quarter, based on annual premium income.

“BrightRock has also rallied well after the hard lockdown period, with a record new business month in July and again in September,” said Malan. He said that BrightRock’s performance figures to the end of August 2020 affirm its growth in the market. The needs-matched insurer continued to deliver strong growth and new business annualised premium income grew to R1.85 billion, despite tough economic conditions.

“We are particularly proud of BrightRock’s track record in terms of paying claims. To date, we have paid over R2.1 billion in claims – in many instances paying out higher amounts and paying for claims that other providers wouldn’t cover.”

According to Malan, total cover in force now amounts to over R309 billion, with more than two and half million lives covered across BrightRock’s individual life, life assistance and group risk offerings.

Solutions to support clients and financial advisers

Malan attributes this performance to a variety of initiatives undertaken to support clients and financial advisers during the lockdown period.

“We were able to respond rapidly and offer solutions both for new and existing clients during these trying times. For example, we could offer our advisers and clients the opportunity to use the extra-cover buy-up to secure more cover.” The extra cover buy-up is a standard BrightRock product feature that allows qualifying policyholders to increase their cover with no medical underwriting if their needs change, up to a maximum amount. Malan said this was important in the lockdown period, as people could not go for insurance medicals.

“Through the capabilities, BrightRock has built over the past few years to streamline our new business processes, we were able to switch to a paperless environment immediately. This ensured that financial advisers and clients could still secure cover.”

Examples of this include BrightRock’s Advanced Underwriting option, which fast-tracks the underwriting process for clients who are healthy, and meet certain criteria, and made it possible for new clients to get cover during this time without a nurse visit or medicals. BrightRock further introduced underwriting concessions to defer medicals until after the lockdown period, as well as a premium relief option for clients facing income constraints at this time.

New product enhancements announced

At the financial adviser briefing session, BrightRock also announced enhancements to its individual risk product. This included a full-term premium guarantee to introduce more premium certainty. Malan notes that this new guarantee builds upon the principles of premium and cover certainty that BrightRock has advocated since its market entry. This addition ensures that qualifying death cover premium increases are guaranteed in full for the entire duration of the cover, up to the whole of life. 

“Certainty through a brand-new guarantee on all full premium increases for death cover means that BrightRock clients will know exactly how much their premiums on their death cover will increase by for the entire duration of their policy, even if the policy covers the rest of their lives.”

In addition, BrightRock also launched two change moment pay-outs, which add even more efficiency and value to the market-leading income protection benefits and provide clients with pay-outs for two Change Moments. These are the client’s retirement, and when they expect their children to reach financial independence – Change Moments where clients may need a little extra money to help with any unexpected expenses.

The retirement change moment pay-out gives clients an added pay-out for 10 years after they have reached their selected retirement age. The childcare change moment pay-out gives clients an additional sum of money when their children reach the age where they expect them to achieve financial independence. These pay-outs are only available where clients have protected their remaining pay cheques with needs-matched cover for household, healthcare, or childcare needs because its efficient structure allows BrightRock to deliver significantly more cover to clients.

“BrightRock has always been committed to changing the industry for the better. We’ve been able to demonstrate the power of embracing change and being adaptable within it – and certainly, over the course of this unprecedented year, it has been a critical tool both internally and among our clients,” concluded Malan.

About BrightRock

BrightRock is a disrupter in the South African life insurance market, offering clients and financial advisers unique solutions that better meet their needs. BrightRock’s world-first, needs-matched individual risk product precisely matches each client’s specific needs on day one of their policy, and over time. By dynamically shaping the trajectory of a client’s cover over time to match their changing needs, BrightRock prices cover accurately, eliminating inefficiency and delivering significantly more cover (up to double) for the same premium. It also operates in the group risk market, where it has extended its proprietary needs-matched product design to the employee benefits market. In the life assistance market, BrightRock partners with large funeral parlour businesses around South Africa, providing underwriting and other insurance services. BrightRock Life Ltd is an authorised financial services provider and registered insurer. Company registration no: 1996/014618/06, FSP 11643. Terms and conditions apply.

BrightRock fact sheet

  • BrightRock’s needs-matched financial services products can precisely match clients’ needs through every step of their personal money journey.
  • BrightRock is headquartered in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth with regional hubs in all the major centres of South Africa and a national distribution footprint through over 5 000 independent financial advisers, as well as a tied-agency force, BrightRock Financial Advisers
  • BrightRock’s needs-matched life insurance is a world first. It meets clients’ needs at the start of their policy, and changes with them as their life changes. Through its efficient structure, clients get an average of up to 40% more cover for the same premium.
  • In the group risk market, BrightRock has followed the same needs-matched principles offered by its individual risk product. BrightRock’s patented Trauma IQ assessment is available to group risk schemes and included with members’ additional expense needs cover or death cover. This gives them cover for injuries that result in unexpected expenditure, even where the scheme hasn’t selected critical illness cover.
  • BrightRock also operates in the funeral market, where it provides underwriting, administration and compliance services to independently-owned funeral businesses across South Africa.
  • Schalk Malan was awarded the 2013 Cover Excellence Award for product innovation as the main architect of BrightRock’s needs-matched product design. Needs-matched insurance is pending international patent registration and BrightRock has featured at international conferences in Australia, Singapore, Germany and the USA.
  • BrightRock is the associate sponsor to the DHL Stormers and Western Province rugby teams. BrightRock’s content-led marketing strategy, which centres on its Love Change brand message, is the subject of an international business school case study.
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