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Wise tips from iWYZE CEO - Lessons for life and the festive season

Wise tips from iWYZE CEO - Lessons for life and the festive season
20-12-23 / Sisanda Ndlovu

Wise tips from iWYZE CEO - Lessons for life and the festive season

Johannesburg - Meet Nkazi Sokhulu, CEO of iWYZE, a leading non-life insurer, underwritten by Old Mutual Insure, who is as passionate about being an entrepreneur as he is about championing customers to help them understand their rights, and how they can improve their insurance outcomes or risk profiles.

"In my 15-year career, I identified the challenges faced by customers in the life insurance industry and felt compelled to make a difference. Motivated by this vision, I made the bold decision to leave my comfortable job, invest my life's savings, and embark on the journey of establishing an insure-tech business that aligned with my passion," shares Sokhulu, driven by an entrepreneurial spirit.

Sokhulu was the co-founder and CEO of Yalu, a credit life insurance insure-tech business developed to address the customer gaps identified in the market. Prior to this, he held senior roles at Old Mutual as well as banks.

"Back at Yalu, I went out knocking on doors, and that experience taught me some priceless life lessons. It really emphasised how crucial it is to connect with people who not only understand your vision but also stand by you – they're the ones who make the journey truly meaningful," he reflects.

Since entering the world of non-life insurance, he has been on a continuous learning curve.

"It's a bit like navigating the tightrope, especially when the profit margins are as thin as a wire. Starting my own venture was like boot camp, honing my skills to run things as smartly and profitably as possible."

He says that dealing with claims in the non-life space is not too different to life insurance, "almost like déjà vu".

"The script is similar, but here's the twist: in non-life, we're dealing with more action, especially with claims flying in from every corner—motor, building, contents. It's like the fast-paced sequel in the insurance movie franchise!"

Sokhulu expresses his fervent dedication to leveraging data-driven insights, a key element in ensuring iWYZE consistently delivers value to both shareholders and its customers—everyday South Africans.

"This laser focus on data-driven decision-making is integral to our vision of expanding into uncharted territories within the insurance market."

Sokhulu is confident that the iWYZE customer base stands as a strategic advantage. "Our customers truly mirror the diverse landscape of South Africa in every aspect. This alignment enables us to anticipate and price services more effectively, catering to the needs of the everyday South African. It not only positions us to explore new product offerings but also empowers us to make informed decisions in the realm of product design."

He highlights the inherent tension in insurance, driven by the commitment to safeguard all honest policyholders. This tension arises when honouring valid claims, underscoring the importance of educating customers on their rights and responsibilities.

"Claims face rejection when customers fall short of fulfilling their end of the agreement, such as instances of speeding." Sokhulu stresses the reality that if driving at 140km in a 60km per hour zone and the vehicle sustains damage, the insurer will repudiate the claim. "Contrary to common belief, insurers don't foot the bill when policyholders break the law."

Top three festive tips

His top three insurance tips for the holiday season are clear: avoid driving at night, resist the temptation to text and drive, and remember to slow down. Sokhulu says that speeding remains one of the major contributors to claims.

"Getting caught up in avoidable situations, like speeding, could jeopardise your insurance claim's validity," he says.

Beyond personal safety, reducing speed results in fewer claims for the insurer. This, in turn, he says, allows the business to offer more rewards and cashback incentives.

With the challenges of load shedding and the increased holiday traffic, Sokhulu stresses the importance of adhering to road rules. He cautions against disregarding right-of-way rules at intersections affected by outages, noting that witness statements can uncover the truth.

Sokhulu advocates steering clear of nighttime driving whenever possible, citing risks associated with diminished depth perception, visibility issues, and heightened criminal activity. He further advises drivers to adhere to road signs, perform thorough checks on tyres before embarking on holiday journeys, and avoid distractions like cell phones.

"As the festive season unfolds, I urge everyone to prioritise patience and safety, acknowledging the chaos on the roads. Taking unnecessary risks significantly contributes to a higher rate of claim repudiation," Sokhulu concludes.

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