The Short-term insurance (STI) industry in South Africa is a multi-billion Rand industry, and
despite economic conditions it is still growing year-on-year. There are currently 22 million
short-term policy holders in South Africa (SA), responsible for a R80 Billion gross written
premium (GWP). The GWP represents the total premium before commissions for
reinsurance and resigning are subtracted. These policy holders are serviced by roughly
19,000 intermediaries (advisers and agents) representing the insurance providers (insurance
companies) and insurance underwriters (assessing the risks of the clients) across SA and
Due to the expansion and growth in the STI industry, governance and legislation have
followed suit and stricter measures are put in place to protect all stakeholders in the value
chain. This includes the clients, the advisors, the intermediaries and eventually the insurers
or product providers. One such legislative measure was put in place to ensure that client
data is freely shared between insurers and intermediaries / brokers.
Short-term insurance companies in South Africa need to exchange customer information
between different insurance companies whenever a customer requests it, or as per
legislation prescription (monthly, quarterly, etc.). This is not always possible because of the
various processes and systems each insurance company uses.
Due to complex and non-integrated systems and user-defined formats that are not
compatible between all stakeholders, data is sometimes lost or incorrectly transferred
Each insurance company (i.e. Santam, Absa, etc.) rely on a specific standard or data format
that allows their client and product data to be translated in between their front-end (quoting)
and back-end (administration) systems. This is in most cases unique to a specific company,
and would greatly differ between company 1 and company 2. In short this makes any form of
data standardization and conversion almost impossible. With the emergence of 3rd party
administration software has this been reduced slightly but still requires the insurer or
intermediary to migrate all data to this 3rd party system.
In the Life and/or Long-term Insurance (LTI) Industry, a similar concern had been addressed
many years ago with the establishment of the Astute service. Astute is also an exchange
service for information that’s done electronically to improve the distribution of data between
the relevant parties involved (Astute, 2012). This allowed long-term providers to standardize
data so that a uniform lookup could be done across the industry.
To solve this problem, ACORD, a data standard for insurance companies were designed to
help companies standardize their systems in order to simplify the exchange of data. To
implement the ACORD data standard in South Africa, a data transformer entity called
STRIDE was created. STRIDE was established to customize the international ACORD
standards for use in the South African STI industry. STRIDE was also established to ensure
the technology platforms and interchange engines in order to facilitate data transfer between
various parties in the STI industry. And lastly STRIDE manages the membership, the
standards and the processes behind STI data sharing in the industry.
This in itself a daunting situation and many short-term insurance providers are not really sure
how to embrace these changes and new technologies.
During the execution of this project a blueprint will be designed for companies to clearly
understand the consequences and benefits of such a data transformer. The insurer or the
intermediaries will be able to use the blueprint to identify a more simple way between the As-
Is position and the To-Be states.
Thesis (B Eng. (Industrial and Systems Engineering))--University of Pretoria, 2012.