According to the Apple App Store, downloads have doubled over the past year alone to reach 40-billion downloads in January 2013. In line with this shift, local underwriter MUA Insurance Acceptances has now launched a new mobile app that enables instant communication for clients – a first of its kind for the South African executive short term insurance market. 
According to Christelle Fourie, MD of MUA Insurance Acceptances, clients – especially those in stressful, executive positions – need to be able to access their details and update their requirements at a time that is convenient for them.
“The MUA app breaks down the traditional communication restrictions between consumers and their insurance providers or underwriters by offering an easy and quick way to interact at any point of the day or night.
“Importantly, the app also allows MUA to react immediately to its clients’ needs – whether for emergency assistance or just submitting a claim – all they need to do is push a button.”
In most cases the need to report or submit an insurance claim typically follows a traumatic experience such as a home break-in or motor vehicle accident, says Fourie.
“The app removes the hurdles of confusion of finding the right contact details and policy numbers and provides a simple way for clients to report an incident straight from their mobile device.”
Fourie says one of the most important functions of the new app is the ability for users to locate the nearest police station or hospital in the event of an emergency.
“At the touch of a button, the user can locate and call the closest police station, hospital or be put through to the MUA emergency hotline to acquire immediate assistance.”
In addition to the emergency features, users will be able to report motor or home claims directly to MUA using a wizard that will guide them step by step as to exactly what information they need to capture in order for the claim to be processed successfully, says Fourie.
“Clients submitting a motor claim will be able to report motor vehicle accidents, including those involving a third party, as well as report thefts or hijackings.
“When it comes to home related insurance claims, clients will also be able to report incidents including thefts or burglaries, damage to personal possessions, fire, burst pipes and geysers, storm damage and other household claims. There is even the option to submit photographs for evidence when submitting a motor or home claim.”
She says clients will also be able to receive a copy of their policy schedule, update their policy to add or delete an item, change their banking details, update their contact details or even cancel their policy through the app.
“Users of the app will also be able to access MUA’s social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as the MUA newsfeed.”
The app is dedicated to the smartphone market and will run on both Android and Apple iOS and will be ported to BlackBerry and Windows operated phones  later this year, says Fourie.
“MUA constantly strives to remain at the forefront of the industry by providing innovative solutions that makes the lives of its clients easier. Ultimately we want to make the communication process between MUA and our clients and brokers as seamless as possible and we believe the new app provides the ideal platform,” concludes Fourie.