Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Ctrl insurance app
Cool factor 4/5

Digital banks have become a big talking point, with TymeBank, Bank Zero and Discovery Bank all vying for our attention lately. But another financial services-related space that is being disrupted by digital interventions and start-ups — thankfully — is insurance.

The grudge purchase that is consumer-facing short-term insurance is so overdue for a rethink that battling with your insurer and its terms and conditions and confounding ways is an utter cliché.

We’re seeing "insurtech" coming in, with digital-first insurance firms like Naked (underwritten by Hollard) and Pineapple (underwritten by Compass Insurance) promising competitive rates, simple documentation, and mostly app-based interaction. Add to the picture an app-based comparison site called Ctr, "SA’s first independent car and household insurance advice app" (takectrl.co.za). Its full name is Ctrl Financial Intermediaries, an authorised financial services provider.

This home-grown app was awarded the best financial solution title at the 2018 MTN App of the Year awards in October.

Ctrl is still in the test phase, so you can sign up to be kept in the loop and download the app from Google Play or Apple’s App Store, but you will need an invite code to access it properly.

Insurance partners announced on the site to date include Santam, Old Mutual Insure, Momentum Insurance and King Price.

Ultimately, you will be able to request and compare quotes from providers directly on the app — with the bonus of only having to enter your details once — as well as lodge and manage a claim on the app, and communicate with an adviser via text (hallelujah for skipping the dreaded call centre). It has simple graphic pages for the comparison tool and your insurance portfolio so you can see what you’re spending on which category at a glance.

Ctrl also promises to keep your data and transmissions encrypted.

Based on the early information and the promised functionality, this is a local app I’ll be watching closely; I’m counting down to the public launch.