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King Price grows UMA book as part of commercial strategy

King Price grows UMA book as part of commercial strategy
08-08-23 / Chris Smit

King Price grows UMA book as part of commercial strategy

Johannesburg - Insurer King Price says its focus on the underwriting management agency (UMA) sector as part of a broader push to develop key partnerships is paying off. The insurer has recently onboarded several new UMAs and has seen strong revenue growth from the sector.

UMAs – which are also known as managing general agents (MGAs) elsewhere in the world – are independent insurance agents who deal in specialised lines of coverage, like agri. They are mandated by insurers to take risks on their behalf, and underwrite risks, collect premiums, and even settle claims on behalf of the insurers.

Rochelle De Lucia, the CEO of King Price’s commercial and broker division, says UMAs remain an important channel for insurers to reach niche markets, and are key to the company’s ambitions to growing its commercial book.

“King Price started life with a direct-to-market model back in 2012, but we have grown our broker and UMA relationships exponentially in recent years as part of a strategy to harness the power of partnerships to reach new markets,” said De Lucia. “UMAs provide deep expertise in their select niches. They’re agile and have good relationships with brokers and can help insurers reach a wider market very quickly.”

UMAs are also often at the forefront of product innovation in rapidly evolving areas like cyber and insurtech, where they help create growth opportunities for the entire sector.

De Lucia says strong partnerships and open lines of communication are the bedrock of successful alliances between UMAs and insurers.

“The key to good UMA relationships lies in mutually rewarding remuneration structures, and providing the wide mandates they need to operate independently. As insurers, we’re trying to bring our expertise and knowledge to bear, to help them manage their risks, streamline their administration and processes, and help them grow through better technology, branding and products,” she said.

“We’ve improved our service level agreements and processes dramatically in the past couple of years, and we’re seeing increased activity through our UMAs and an improvement in our loss ratios as a result.”

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