Absa buys an online life insurer


Absa, one of SA’s big four banks, is in a process of buying a controlling stake in an online life insurance distribution platform, Instant Life, for an undisclosed amount. By Gugu Lourie

The transaction will give Absa a 75% stake in Instant Life, online life insurance distribution platform offering life, disability and critical illness cover to qualifying customers.

The online insurer was established in 2008 to address a growing market for pure-risk life insurance sold online.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals (including approval from the South African Reserve Bank).

“The acquisition of Instant Life will provide Absa with a scalable platform to grow our Bancassurance business as we will now be able to deliver automated and efficient life insurance through all our customer accessed distribution channels,” says Jannie Venter, MD for Absa Life.


“By leveraging Instant Life’s existing digital platform, customers will have access to a self-service function that will allow them to acquire insurance and easily update and manage their policies online” adds Venter.

The acquisition also complements Absa’s recent launch of the first predictive underwriting solution in Africa, and one of the first globally.

“Instant Life has developed a tele-underwriting methodology that caters for 99% of lives to be underwritten online or through a telephonic interview that is backed up by an interactive underwriting decision tree” says Venter.

Absa’s acquisition of Instant Life follows the procurement of a controlling interest in First Assurance in Kenya in June.

“We are confident that the Absa and Barclays culture and brand fits well with what has driven Instant Life for the past eight years across our business model and we foresee it increasing both our customer base and our offering through significant opportunities going forward,” says Bryan McLachlan, CEO of Instant Life.



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