South Africa’s Bi-me is Making Business Insurance Easier Via Online Platform

Since launching 2022, Bi-me – business insurance made easy – has strived to make business insurance processes much easier and smoother through its online platform, which makes insurance easy, instant and transparent, as well as affordable for SMEs.

Founders of Bi-me: Deon Louw (GM), Tanaka Malaba (head of engineering), and Francois Potgieter (MD).

Bi-me built a platform that directly connects to multiple leading insurers, such as Discovery, Holland, and iTOO to help clients get the best cover and rates.

With the platform, businesses have the opportunity to choose from 4000+ industries and occupations, and also the ability to customise insurance that meet their needs.

Managing Director at Bi-me, Francois Potgieter, claims the process from first clicking to getting a full cover, can take as little as 10 minutes.

“We allow a customer to obtain actuarially calculated premiums for complex business insurance online from multiple insurance companies and then allow the customer to purchase the cover without human intervention – all real-time,”

“Our purpose is to make insurance simple and accessible for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Your business faces risks ranging from theft of delivery vehicles or office equipment and business interruption due to machine breakdowns, through to liability claims for cyber breaches or injuries on your property. We help you mitigate the financial losses and legal risks of such incidents.”

The company’s suite of business insurance solutions includes cyber liability, public liability, comprehensive business insurance, and professional indemnity. The main goal is to increase uptake of business insurance products on a general basis.

“The majority of formal small and medium businesses in South Africa are uninsured, underinsured or underserviced, and the customer experience is often lacking. SMBs have struggled with expensive products that are not customised to their needs and encountered a substandard quoting and claims experience,”

“It is not uncommon for SMBs to need to engage with multiple brokers and insurers to get all the cover they need, especially in more specialised industries. In other instances, they depend on a single broker, who can’t get them a range of competitive quotes. And the paperwork can be overwhelming.”

Because of that, very few of SA’s 750 000+ small businesses are insured.

“That leaves them vulnerable to a range of unforeseen events that could damage their balance sheets or their ability to operate. We founded Bi-Me to address this gap. We see no reason why SMB insurance cannot go digital in the same way as personal lines insurance,”.

Bi-me was funded through capital from the country’s corporate investors.

“One of our major investors, BizCover Australia, was founded by South Africans and has become a household name in Australia. We’re leveraging off their technology and experience. We have, to date, launched four bespoke products on our platform and are starting to gain traction,”

“We have seen exponential growth since launch in March 2022, with one in five customers that get a quote continuing to purchase insurance via our platform. Our success lies in being customer obsessed and continuously developing, enhancing and simplifying the customer journey in partnership with our underwriters.”

Bi-me offers cover to small businesses that range from sole traders and startups to well-established SMBs.

According to Potgieter, they are constantly adding new products and occupations to the list, with plans to launch contractors and event liability insurance in the future.

“These products enable us to reach industries that may not had access to the specialised cover they require,”

“We are also growing our distribution network by partnering with fintechs, retailers and ecommerce websites, company registration portals, platform players and other registration bodies. They can help us to reach new customers and earn commission. We plan to allow them to sell insurance as a white label product or register as referral partners in the future.”

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