• Editor

We're celebrating 10 years of #lovechange

When we started our change-loving company a decade ago, it was in the aftermath of the 2008 recession. A crisis that called into question the invulnerability of financial institutions. The global corporations tasked with protecting people's money had failed to do so. It was also a time when new technologies enabled people to take control of their lives.

BrightRock saw an inherent opportunity to use technology and people's desire for control to be the architect of their needs-matched money products – thus helping them navigate change in their own lives. We’re proud to say that, thanks to your support, we have been able to do just that.

In 2018, we brought this needs-matched thinking to the group risk market. We set out to deliver change for good to employee benefits by using technology never applied in group risk products to date. We’ve been able to provide more efficient, more flexible products while also improving certainty for group risk clients at claim-stage. We pay claims that other product providers wouldn’t be able to pay, and where they can, we often pay out more than they would pay.

Here are just 10 of the many memorable milestones we’ve reached over the past 10 years.

1. Launching the world’s first-ever needs-matched life insurance in 2012 – After starting the business in 2011, in April 2012, BrightRock launched its needs-based life insurance product to Independent Financial Advisers. Schalk Malan received the Cover Excellence Award for product innovation in 2013 as the main architect of BrightRock's needs-matched product design. BrightRock has featured at industry conferences in Germany, Australia, Singapore, and the USA.

2. Helping people navigate change in their lives – In February 2014, we launched The Change Exchange, a digital platform that drives consumers' most important financial decisions. Consumers can use it to share their thoughts and get information and support as they navigate through life's major ‘Change Moments’: Starting a family, Tying the knot, Making a home, and landing a job.

3. Diversifying our product offering into funeral parlours – In 2015, we expanded our offering by providing funeral parlours with a comprehensive solution for their insurance needs.

4. Exceeding the R100 billion cover mark – BrightRock’s cover in force exceeded R100 billion mark in late 2015. This came at a time when the South African insurance industry had remained stagnant, while BrightRock was seeing an 89% increase in year-on-year gross premiums billed.

5. Playing the bounce – In 2016, BrightRock announced its sponsorship of the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province. December 2017 marked the inaugural BrightRock Players Choice Awards – the only South African rugby awards for professional rugby players by professional rugby players. And in 2021, we announced our associate sponsorship of the Vodacom Bulls.

6. Expanding horizons with Sanlam – In September 2017, Sanlam acquired a majority stake in BrightRock, which provided a stronger platform for growth and expansion.

7. Changing the group risk market – In May 2018, BrightRock introduced a group risk product that provides schemes with up to 40% more cover for the same premium.

8. Paying out R1 billion in claims – In July 2019, BrightRock announced that it had reached the R1 billion mark in claims paid, covering more than two million lives, this number has since increased to R2,4 billion.

9. Enhancing temporary expenses cover – In October 2019, BrightRock added some enhancements to its temporary expenses cover products. These included the addition of new conditions to its list of clinical conditions, increased claims certainty for clients in specific occupations, and claim-stage choice between a lump-sum or a recurring pay-out – a market first.

10. Claiming 14.3% market share during COVID-19 – BrightRock’s new business market share increased to 14.3% in 2020 from 10.8% in 2019 – whereas the market declined by 16.5% on average.

Now covering more than 2.8 million lives and more than 5 000 contracted independent financial advisers and more than R350 billion total cover in force, BrightRock has grown into a financial services institution of scale over the past decade through our needs-matched approach to insurance. With your support, BrightRock is poised to continue growing and innovating, to find better ways to meet clients' financial needs throughout their lives, and to change our industry. We’re excited about what the next ten years will bring.