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Celebrating 20 Years of Insurance Innovation

Monday, August 18, 2014

Short term insurance underwriting manager CIB is celebrating 20 years as one of South Africa’s leading financial services brands. The firm was established in 1994 and has been offering short term insurance solutions through its national broker network since 1999.

What separates CIB from its peers? CEO and founder of the business, Douglas Donnelly, singles out partnerships, service, relationships and innovation as crucial factors for success in today’s fast paced insurance market.

Over the past two decades the firm has established strong relationships with brokers, clients and product suppliers thanks to the strong financial backing from its underwriter and shareholder, RMB Structured Insurance Limited (RMBSI).

“We value the partnership that we have with RMBSI which is both a subsidiary of the JSE-listed Rand Merchant Insurance Holdings Group and a shareholder in our business,” says Donnelly.

CIB is also proud to have one of the world’s leading reinsurers, Hannover Re, to back its various reinsurance treaties. This gives brokers and clients the peace-of-mind that policies are in safe hands.

These solid financial underpins have enabled CIB to develop visionary insurance products that are distributed nationally through its dedicated broker distribution channel. Today the company services more than 650 brokers countrywide – from large corporate brokers to small independent operations in outlying areas.

“While innovation allows us to separate our product offering from that of the crowd it is thanks to the relationships that we have nurtured with brokers, clients and product suppliers that our business has grown from strength to strength,” says Donnelly.

The group’s product portfolio includes personal lines insurance, bespoke insurance solutions for high net worth individuals and a wide range of commercial insurance products. CIB also offers niche insurance products such as franchise and buildings insurance.

Brand is extremely important in the private household and motor insurance segments and CIB has invested heavily in high profile branding initiatives to improve awareness. Today the group’s logo and brand are associated with world-class service and record turnaround times.

The group’s logo captures the dynamic essence of its brand and communicates how energetic, passionate and driven its people are. “Service is an important differentiator and our people are committed to good service,” says Donnelly. “They understand that they must make every encounter, whether with broker or client, an exceptional one.”

“Our vision is to be the preferred choice for professional brokers, when considering their clients’ business or personal insurance needs. To achieve this we will continue to build our brand around our reputation for honesty, innovation, great response times, reliability and trustworthiness.

Technology has played a major role in elevating the CIB offering above that of other industry stakeholders. “We have leveraged technology to streamline our business processes and secure an edge over our competitors,” says Donnelly. Technology goes hand-in-hand with innovation, which in proper combination greatly enhances the value proposition in the product offering to both broker and insurance consumer.

In recent years the firm has re-engineered its business processes by, for example, implementing a custom policy management system which is accessible via ‘cloud’ technology. By placing policies in the ‘cloud’ CIB can offer seamless policy administration to brokers in the most remote regions of the country.

“When CIB opened its doors in 1994 we set off a chain of events that has seen insurance standards pushed to new heights,” says Donnelly. “We never settle for ‘good enough’ but rather strive for excellence by repeatedly raising the standards against which we measure ourselves.”

“It is indeed a great honour to look back on how far CIB has come since our early days and to reflect on the contribution that we have made to the greater insurance industry.”

What do the next 20 years have in store? CIB will remain true to the principles that have contributed to its success to date and will continue to apply these principles as it expands geographically and diversifies into other financial services areas.

“We have learned many lessons over the past 20 years and welcome each milestone along the way as an opportunity to improve our overall value proposition,” Donnelly concludes. “By listening to and engaging with our business partners and remaining open to change we will ensure our competitive edge into the future.”

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