Standard Bank Insurance, through its Direct Life Insurance Services division, is now offering consumers the option of purchasing life insurance online.

Consumers can now purchase Life Cover, Salary Protection, Disability Cover, and Serious Illness Cover by answering a few questions on the Standard Bank Insurance website.

“There has been a growing need for a seamless online experience when it comes to life insurance,” says Chris De Klerk, head: life insurance innovation and solutions. “Our clients are increasingly interacting with us digitally, so building a solution that allows them to buy life insurance online was the next logical step.”

The online, seven-step underwriting process only takes about 15 minutes to complete. It is an extension of Direct Life’s phone offering which is delivered through its proprietary underwriting tool.

The process runs from an introduction to the terms and conditions of the service, through a set of questions about the applicant’s personal details and some underwriting questions. Then a quote is generated and if the applicant accepts the first quote, they are directed to a second set of underwriting questions.

Based on the answers to these questions an official quote is generated which the applicant can accept. They are then furnished with the complete terms and conditions of their insurance contract and once they have read and accepted these they can proceed to the checkout and pay for their new cover. Upon competition of the application process Standard Bank will dispatch a nurse to draw blood for a standard HIV test.

The new online offering demonstrates Standard Bank’s commitment to empowering its clients through digital solutions, says Peggy Sue Khumalo Head of Standard Bank Wealth South Africa.

“Online and mobile platforms allow consumers the convenience of being able to choose when and how they interact with a service or product. For us innovations such as these embody our belief in putting choice in the hands of our clients every day and giving them the power to shape their financial future through digital platform.”

Says De Klerk: “Our process is convenient, quick, and easy to understand for our clients who are fully underwritten without the need for a full medical. We are proud of how dramatically we have managed to shorten the underwriting process and make long-term insurance available to more consumers. Now they can purchase the cover they need whenever and wherever they want to.”

In the event of an applicant being unable to answer one of the questions or the system flagging an issue in the process the applicant will immediately be contacted by a call centre agent for a more extensive interview.

“As consumer needs change and consumer buying behaviour changes, we need to meet them where they are. This new offering allows for us to do that and it puts us in the position to be agile and shift our offering as our clients’ future needs shift,” De Klerk concludes.