5 Experiences Worse than Buying Life Insurance

Peter Castleden
March 26, 2018

A few days ago, I decided to write a post with the purpose of illustrating how bad the existing experience of buying life insurance is. The best way, I thought, of making the point would be to show how few other experiences are actually worse than buying life insurance.

Once I’d established that, yes, dealing with life insurance sucks, I would point out that Indie has arrived on the scene — making everything about life insurance better. Job done.

My problem, however, arose when trying to think of 5 everyday experiences worse than buying life insurance. Coming up with a list was easy. Having root canal, for example, is worse. Hell, even a regular visit to the dentist is worse. Getting stuck in an unanticipated traffic jam is worse. Queueing in any government department is worse (my driver’s license renewal date looms large). Paying traffic fines is worse. Dealing with Telkom’s call centre is worse. And so on.

Giving this topic more thought, and trying to get the tone and message right, I realised that this list of “worse” things, while accurate in my context, is insensitive to millions of others’. And here, I realised I needed to check my privilege.

Having access to a dentist, and having the means to pay for it, is a privilege.How many millions of people in South Africa don’t have reliable access to basic healthcare, let alone dental treatment?

Having my own car in which I can get stuck in traffic jams is a massive privilege. I don’t have to wake up hours before dawn to make use of public transport. I am not at the whims of a failing Metro Rail (in Cape Town, at least) which, by all accounts, is constantly delayed if not cancelled.

Similarly, complaining about getting a new driver’s license once every five years is pathetic, in the context of South Africa. The same goes for traffic fines. Phoning Telkom and dealing with a less-than-perfect call centre operation when my fibre is malfunctioning is a privilege too. Having fibre in my home, the means to pay for it, and the technology to access it, is a luxury.

So, coming out of the bubble made me realise there are hundreds of things worse than buying life insurance (in its current form).

What did I learn, though?

For those of us in the bubble of middle-class privilege in this country (not judging… I’m in that bubble with you), Indie has vastly improved the experience of buying life insurance. From making the entire process digital (no paper, ever) or getting you underwritten and covered in minutes, to helping you get the right kind of cover for your needs through our Indie planning algorithms, and everything in between, we have improved life insurance on every front.

Before Indie, the process of buying life insurance could span weeks, involving multiple meetings, seemingly-endless paperwork, even more confusion, and likely a bitter aftertaste.

Yet, life insurance itself is a privilege

Just like the car you might own, which sometimes gets caught in traffic jams, or the fibre in your home which is sometimes not up to speed — life insurance is a privilege.

Protecting myself from tragedy is a privilege.
Protecting my loved ones from tragedy is a privilege.
Getting paid on the diagnosis of a serious illness is a privilege.

And we’ve built Indie so that this privilege can spread

Working for Indie, I’m often most excited about the fact that we have improved so much on existing life insurance. That’s super cool, and very rewarding. Not to mention that, in our plans, we’re going to exponentially improve on our own offering as well.

But this excitement is because I’m looking at Indie from the context of my own bubble.

What’s even more exciting, is that we’ve created something which makes the privilege of life insurance more accessible to all. We’ve done everything we can to simplify life insurance, making it easier to buy and easier to understand. We can do better still, and we will, because we care about it. We’ve also achieved all of this while maintaining the quality of the products we sell.

For everyone who gains the privilege of high-quality life insurance because of Indie, we know that we’ve made a small but meaningful difference in their lives. Sure, we’re pretty chuffed when people swap their existing cover for ours, but the real impact we can make is when people gain access to insurance for the first time.



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