Access to financial services in the long term insurance industry

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dc.contributor.advisor Krige, Niel en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Eksteen, Ruwaida S. H.
dc.contributor.other University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Graduate School of Business. en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2010-05-07T14:18:52Z
dc.date.available 2010-05-07T14:18:52Z
dc.date.issued 2009-12
dc.identifier.other 12524263 en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/914
dc.description Thesis (MDF (Business Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die langtermynversekeringsindustrie het voorheen slegs finansiële produkte en dienste ontwerp, wat gefokus was op die middel tot hoër inkomstegroepe. Die armes was dus uitgesluit, primêr as gevolg van die laer inkomstegroepe wat nie lewensversekeringsprodukte kon bekostig nie. Inteendeel, arm huishoudings is, en was, meer kwesbaar vanweë die feit dat hulle geredelik blootgestel word aan meer diverse risiko’s – mensgemaakte, sowel as natuurlike risiko’s - terwyl hulle juis diegene is wat minder middele het om dit bestuur. Hierdie toedrag van sake het egter drasties verander gedurende die afgelope paar jaar. Die onderskeie partye, insluitend verteenwoordigers van die langtermynversekeringsindustrie, het konsensus bereik ten opsigte van die ontwikkeling van die Finansiële Sektor Handves wat in ooreenstemming is met die nasionale swart ekonomiese bemagtigingstrategie. Die oogmerk van die Finansiële Sektor Handves was nie net om mense in die laer inkomstegroepe te bemagtig nie. Dit het ook ten doel om finansiële insluiting te verseker, en mettertyd, die aktiewe deelname van die armes in die hoofstroom van die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie. ’n Stel toegangstandaarde was gevolglik ontwikkel en geïmplementeer, wat die langtermynversekerings-produkaanbiedinge aan LSM 1-5 reguleer (met ander woorde vir die doeleindes van hierdie verslag, huishoudings wat minder as R3 000 per maand verdien). Die doel van die standaarde wat ontleed word in hierdie verslag, is om te verseker dat die langtermynversekeringsindustrie geskikte produkte ontwerp wat die minimum standaarde soos beskryf in die Finansiële Sektor Handves, nakom. In beginsel word die toepaslikheid en geskiktheid van die toegangstandaarde in hierdie verslag geëvalueer, met die oogmerk om te bepaal wat die standaarde inhou vir beide die verbruiker asook die lewensversekeraar van ’n verslaggewingsperspektief. Die eerste deel van die toegangstandaarde wat goedgekeur is deur die Finansiële Sektor Handves in 2007, het slegs begrafnisdekking ingesluit, terwyl die tweede deel gefokus het op nie-begafnisprodukte en sedert 2008 geïmplementeer is. Laasgenoemde het die volgende dekking ingesluit: lewensversekering, dekking vir fisiese ongeskiktheid, kredietlewensversekering en gewone lewensversekering. Die toegangstandaarde wat van toepassing is op verbandlenings is egter nog nie gefinaliseer nie en is gevolglik nie ingesluit in hierdie verslag nie. ’n Fundamentele vraag ten opsigte van die daarstelling van toegangsprodukte vir die laer inkomstegroepe, is wat die rol is van die publiek vergeleke met die privaatsektor en dié van die regering. Terwyl die regering optree as die wetgewer, moet dit ook daarteen waak om nie te veel van ’n rigiede proses vir die privaatsektor daar te stel nie. Die wetgewer moet die relevante reëls en regulasies stipuleer en sekerheid verskaf ten opsigte van die inhoud daarvan. Terselfdetyd moet die wetgewer ook die privaatsektor asook `n klimaat van innovasie ondersteun, sowel as die daarstelling van ’n stabiele regulerende atmosfeer. Behalwe die ontwikkeling van geskikte, bekostigbare en minder komplekse produkte, berus die verantwoordelikheid op die privaatsektor om vertroue te skep in die langtermynversekerings-industrie asook om die noodsaaklikheid van risiko-dekking te propageer. Versekeraars het verder nodig om die laer inkomstegroepe as ’n winsgewende segment te beskou, terwyl die armes versekering as ’n noodsaaklike vereiste moet beskou. Hoe meer vertroue geskep word deur die versekeringsindustrie, hoe minder sal mense in die laer inkomstegroepe hul geld belê in die informele sektor wat gekenmerk word deur die afwesigheid van regulering, minder sekuriteit en hoër risikos. Dit is verder noodsaaklik vir die sukses van die verskaffing van toegang tot finansiële produkte, om in gedagte te hou watter impak dit op die verbuiker sal hê. Met betrekking tot die produkte wat ontwikkel en bemark word deur die lewensversekeringsindustrie: spreek dit werklik die behoeftes van die laer inkomstegroepe aan en dra dit positief by tot transformasie? Die privaatsektor is as gevolg daarvan grotendeels afhanklik van marknavorsing en analises oor verbuikerstendense gemeet oor tyd. Die impak wat finansiële produkaanbiedinge het op die laer inkomstegroepe, kan gevolglik nie onafhanklik beskou word nie want die behoeftes, verwagtinge en profiel van die onderste deel van die piramide sal met verloop van tyd verander. Mededinging dra as sulks ook positief by tot die daarstelling van toegang tot finansiële produkte en dienste. Dit dwing die privaatsektor (die lewensversekeringsmaatskappye) om vorendag te kom met innoverende wyses om effektiewe toegangsprodukte en dienste te kan lewer aan die armes. Die bring mee dat die verbruiker waarde vir geld kry wanneer finansiële produkte en dienste aangekoop word van lewensversekeraars. Met verwysing na die toepaslikheid van die langtermynversekeringsindustrie se toegangstandaarde en of dit die behoeftes van die armes bevredig: die lewensversekeringsindustrie het inderdaad baie bereik gedurende die afgelope paar jaar, deurdat konstruktiewe geleenthede geskep is vir die laer inkomstemark. Gegewe die minimum-vereistes soos uiteengesit in die Finansiële Sektor Handves, kan die armes nou ook langtermynversekeringsprodukte bekom wat uitdagings soos fisiese beskikbaarheid, toegang tot transaksies, bekostigbaarheid, diskriminasie en kompleksitiet aanspreek. Dit is daarom noodsaaklik vir die doeleindes van effektiewe finansiële insluiting, om vir verbruikersopleiding ook voorsiening te kan maak. Finansiële geletterdheid sal in beginsel die laer inkomstegroepe in staat stel om hulself te kan bemagtig en terselfdertyd die teikengroep in staat stel om meer ingeligte besluite te kan neem ten opsigte van hul finansies. Laasgenoemde kan egter nie in isolasie geskied nie. Finansiële geletterheid en dus verbruikersopleiding, is minstens net so belangrik. Dit is juis daarom dat, bo en behalwe die regering wat die rol as wetgewer vertolk deur die toepassing van die reg, al die betrokke partye veronderstel is om ’n gemeenskaplike oogmerk te hê. Met ander woorde, dit verwys direk na transformasie en die doelwit om mense in die laer inkomstegroepe te bemagtig – nie net om finansiële insluiting te bewerkstelling nie, maar van meer belang, om te verseker dat die armes oor die vermoë beskik om meer ingeligte besluite te kan neem oor hul finansies. Hierdie aspek sal veral bydra tot effektiewe toegang tot finansële dienste in die ware sin van die woord - as die armes ’toegelaat’ word om meer aktief deel te kan vorm van die hoofstroom van die land se ekonomie. af_ZA
dc.description.abstract ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Previously, the long-term insurance industry only developed financial products and services that were mainly targeted at the middle to high income groups. The poor have thus been excluded, primarily due to them not being able to afford financial products and services offered by life insurers. However, poor households are, and have been, more vulnerable because they are often exposed to more diverse risks, both ‘man- made’ and natural, whilst having fewer instruments to manage them. This state of affairs has drastically changed during the past couple of years. The respective stakeholders, including representatives from the long-term insurance industry, reached consensus with regards to the development of the Financial Sector Charter which is aligned to the national black economic empowerment strategy. The objective of the Financial Sector Charter is not only to empower people in the lower income groups. It also aims to ensure financial inclusion and, eventually, the active participation of the poor in the mainstream of the South African economy. A set of access standards that governs life insurance products and services offered to LSM 1-5 (i.e. for the purposes of this report, households earning less than R3 000 per month), were developed and implemented accordingly. The objective of the access standards, analysed in this report, is to ensure that the long term insurance industry develops appropriate products that meet the minimum standards defined in the Charter. In principle, this report evaluates the feasibility of the access standards with the aim of ascertaining what the standards imply for both the consumer as well as the life insurer from a reporting perspective. The first set of access standards, approved by the Financial Sector Charter in 2007, included funeral products only, whereas the second phase, which focused on nonfuneral products, came into effect in 2008. The latter is applicable to the following financial products: life cover, physical impairment cover and credit life cover. The access products standards relevant to mortgage protection are not yet finalised and have therefore been excluded from this report. A fundamental question in terms of providing access to the low income groups is the role of the public versus private sector delivery as well as that of government. Whilst government acts as the lawmaker, it also needs to be sensitive towards not creating too much ‘red tape’ for the private sector to comply with. The regulator should therefore stipulate and clarify the relevant rules and regulations, but at the same time support the private sector and encourage a climate of innovation as well as creating a stable regulatory environment. Apart from developing appropriate, affordable and less complex insurance products, the private sector’s responsibility is to create trust in the insurance industry as well as to promote the need for risk insurance. Insurers thus need to see low income earners as a profitable segment, whereas poor people need to see insurance as a necessity. The more trust is created by the insurance sector, fewer people in the low income groups will invest their money in the informal sector which entails no regulation, less security and higher risks. It is furthermore pivotal for the success of access to financial services to take into account how this will impact on the consumer. With respect to the products developed and marketed by the life insurance industry: does it really meet the needs of the poor and does it contribute positively to transformation? The private sector is therefore heavily dependent on research and analyses of consumer trends measured over time. As a result, the impact that financial product offerings have on the low income earners cannot be dealt with on its own, because as time passes so will the needs, expectations and profile of the bottom of the pyramid change. On its own, competition tends to also contribute positively towards access to financial services. It forces the private sector (i.e. life insurance companies) to come up with innovative ways of providing effective access, products and services to the poor. This ensures that the end user gets value for money, when procuring financial products and /or services from life insurers. In respect of the viability of the long-term insurance industry’s access standards and whether or not it speaks to the needs of the poor: the life industry has indeed achieved a lot over the past couple of years, by creating constructive opportunities for the lower end of the market. Given the minimum requirements as per the Financial Sector Charter, poor people can now also obtain long-term insurance products that address challenges with regards to physical accessibility, transactional access, affordability, non-discrimination and the level of complexity. However, more important for the low income group to participate effectively in the mainstream of the South African economy, is the fact that the need for financial literacy is even bigger. It is one thing to have the right of entry (i.e. access) to the financial services sector in terms of life insurance product offerings, but it is different if that same target audience does not have the ‘know-how’ to use and implement the products developed. It is hence an imperative for the purposes of effective financial inclusion to also make provision for consumer education. In principle, financial literacy will enable the lower income groups to become more empowered and at the same time, ensure that the target audience is equipped to make more informed decisions about the finances. Given the latter, it can however not happen in isolation. Financial literacy and thus consumer education, is equally important - if not more. It is therefore critical that, apart from government fulfilling its role as regulator by upholding the rule of law, all the stakeholders should have a universal goal. In other words, this directly addresses transformation and the objective of empowering people in the lower income groups – i.e. not only to ensure financial inclusion, but more importantly to enable poor people to make more informed decisions about their finances. And only this will contribute to effective transformation in the true sense of the word - if poor people are ‘allowed’ to become more actively involved in the mainstream of the South African economy. en_ZA
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch en_ZA
dc.subject Dissertations -- Business management en_ZA
dc.subject Access to financial services en_ZA
dc.subject Empowering people en_ZA
dc.subject Theses -- Business management en_ZA
dc.subject Dissertations -- Development finance en_ZA
dc.subject Theses -- Development finance en_ZA
dc.subject.lcsh Working poor -- Insurance requirements
dc.subject.lcsh Poor -- Insurance
dc.title Access to financial services in the long term insurance industry en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA
dc.rights.holder University of Stellenbosch en_ZA


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