Virgin Money South Africa (VMSA) today announced the launch of Virgin Money Insurance (VMI), a short term insurance venture in partnership with global insurer American International Group, Inc. (AIG). The launch follows an intense journey to understand the consumer’s motivation for purchasing insurance and aims to revolutionise the customer’s experience of insurance in South Africa.
“We have set out to redefine insurance in the South African market with our ultimate goal being to place the customer at the heart of our insurance offering,” says VMSA CEO, Ingrid Veysie. “In so doing we will evolve from a brand that merely ‘sells’ their insurance cover for cars, homes and funeral to one that offers insurance solutions for people, who are at the heart of everything that we do”.
Virgin Money South Africa is no stranger to insurance having entered the domestic market in 2010 in partnership with the Telesure Group. “When the agreement came to an end we had an opportunity to totally reengineer the business,” she says. “We have now concluded a strategic partnership with AIG South Africa which gives us the capacity needed to develop customer-centric insurance products and services.”
The partnership between these two global giants is a strong one built on a motivation to make sure customers are adequately insured and that they have a transparent and open relationship with Virgin Money Insurance throughout the life of their policy.
To become truly customer-centric requires an understanding of the customers’ time and needs. Virgin Money Insurance will meet the first requirement through the digital environment they have developed for customers. Customers will be able to apply for and receive a binding quote in under 5 minutes. Added to this, all Virgin Money Insurance policy holders will have access to Virgin Money Insurance Assist, a call centre service that will help customers out of motor and home emergency situations regardless of which cover they have with Virgin Money Insurance.
“We keep our products and processes really simple and easy to understand, while making sure our customers know exactly what they’re getting for their money,” says Veysie. “A level of transparency, straightforwardness and simplicity in the products and processes is true to the Virgin way of doing business and removes frustration, enhances trust and will change people’s feelings towards insurance”.
Customer-centricity is enabled through the right mix of technology and skills. “We hire proactive people – train and infuse them with the Virgin ethos – and empower them to create authentic relationships with each of our customers,” she says. Virgin Money Insurance is intent on matching insurance solutions with customers’ life stages and will strive to create positive customer experiences at every touch point in the insurance cycle, from policy inception to claims stage.
“The short term insurance market is highly competitive, especially in the direct insurance segment, where Virgin Money Insurance will play,” concludes Veysie. “We have identified a gap in the domestic market and believe that our purpose, Virgin brand values, tone of voice and innovative approach are ideal to appeal this segment.”