Guardrisk breaks new ground: insurance policy sold via WhatsApp chatbot

8 November 2019

One of the biggest challenges the traditional insurance market faces is getting products to market quickly enough to stay ahead of the pack. The launch of what is arguably SA’s first non-life insurance WhatsApp chatbot, took just two weeks from concept to launch, heralding an exciting new frontier in the local insurance market.

Guardrisk – part of Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited – has partnered with Root, a Fintech start-up, to extend its CarSure product, which essentially offers insurance to people renting cars for when their vehicle is damaged or stolen. The latest chatbot offering provides excess buy down cover to protect against often astronomically high excess payments for car rental.

This on-demand insurance cover was one of the first products launched on Root in 2018. Back then, Root helped the CarSure team materially increase its call-centre efficiency and extend sales beyond its traditional call-centre channel into a brand new CarSure website. The website allows users to get covered in less than two minutes.

Now, CarSure has taken its commitment to quick and easy access to products a step further with the WhatsApp chatbot, which negates the need for clients to log onto the website. Getting insurance cover has never been simpler, or quicker.

According to Dewald Müller, Root’s Operations Manager, “the latest Root/Guardrisk collaboration was inspired by the launch of the WhatsApp Business API, which allows companies to deliver better customer support and sales through WhatsApp.

CarSure was confident that WhatsApp, South Africa’s most widely used messaging platform, could deliver fast, simple excess buy down insurance. Using WhatsApp as a distribution channel allows CarSure to better capture its target market by optimising the customer’s journey and taking out the “pain points” of insurance buying.

“The extraordinary speed with which our new WhatsApp Bot, using the Root insurance APIs, went from concept to launch was impressive! Now we can focus on marketing and driving more sales through this exciting new channel,” says Richard Eales, Non-Life Managing Executive at Guardrisk.

Root provides the relevant building blocks that make it possible for insurance innovators, like Guardrisk, to re-imagine and radically improve customer experiences.