Absa Life announced on Monday that it has received regulatory approvals, including approval from the South African Reserve Bank, to buy a controlling interest in the direct life insurer Instant Life. 

Instant Life, an online life insurance distribution platform offering life, disability and critical illness cover to qualifying customers, will be rebranded and operate as Absa Instant Life.

“The acquisition of Instant Life provides Absa with an advantage to scale its Life Insurance business for future growth and supports our continued efforts to provide a simpler and easier application process to improve our customers’ insurance purchasing experience,” says Jannie Venter, MD for Absa Life.

While competition in the life insurance industry has increased significantly, product differentiation remains relatively limited.

The acquisition of Instant Life however will provide Absa Instant Life customers with access to a range of other online products while providing them with the flexibility of insurance solutions that are tailored according to their unique needs.

“Absa Instant Life will leverage data, technology and automation to bring customers convenient, great value life insurance products with the backing of the Barclays Africa Group” adds Venter.

This acquisition also signals the Barclays Africa Group’s commitment to grow its Wealth, Investment Management and Insurance business in existing and new markets and in the process contribute to the success of the rest of the continent.

In June 2015, Barclays Africa procured a controlling interest in First Assurance in Kenya and was also granted a life insurance license by Kenyan regulators at the end of February.

Bryan McLachlan, CEO of Instant Life says: “Our philosophy is to help customers live a happy and healthier life and we will keep delivering an innovative, simple and competitive business that takes advantage of any opportunity that supports this.”

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