Naked Insurance is able to run with minimal employees because of the innovative artificial intelligence system the insurer uses. Picture: SUPPLIED
Naked Insurance is able to run with minimal employees because of the innovative artificial intelligence system the insurer uses. Picture: SUPPLIED

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight we look how a new player in the insurance industry is attempting to reduce the cost and waiting times for insurance in SA through technology.

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza joins Ernest North, co-founder at Naked Insurance, the artificial intelligence (AI)-based insurance platform at their offices in Parktown, Johannesburg.

This is how the business works: 

In an insurance market dominated by large players such as Hollard, Outsurance, Liberty and Old Mutual, Naked has entered the home-cover market with its building and contents products as it continues its efforts to disrupt the traditional insurance business model.

In April 2018, Naked launched their car insurance offering that uses automation to offer savings on premiums and higher levels of customer control over the insurance experience.

Ernest North, co-founder of Naked Insurance. Picture: SUPPLIED
Ernest North, co-founder of Naked Insurance. Picture: SUPPLIED

In addition to North, Naked’s founding team includes Alex Thomson and Sumarie Greybe. All three are actuaries, each having worked in the insurance industry for more than a decade. North says this combined knowledge of how insurance policies are assessed, claims made and how insurers work has been fed into their algorithms to create Naked’s platform.

By automating many of the processes a person would normally have to spend about half an hour on the phone with a consultant to do, their mobile app can do the same in a few minutes, North says, adding that by taking much of the human interaction out of the process, the cost savings on labour can be passed on to the consumer. 

The discussion also explores trends that will likely shape insurance over the next decade, economic pressures currently facing consumers, the role of technology in changing how businesses work, and the advantages of using AI to detect fraud.

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Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production