What's Happening?

FIA Launches First-Of-Its-Kind FIA Market Intelligence Tool



The Financial Intermediaries Association has launched their new Market Intelligence Tool (MIT) developed for the financial services industry. The MIT can help financial advisers make better informed decisions and lower their clients’ exposure to risk, while also providing valuable data to the broader industry.

What it does

Developed by the FIA in collaboration with The Data Company and Linktank, the MIT is a web-based digital dashboard that displays market-related data on insurers and the wider industry. It incorporates data from multiple sources, including KPMG South African Insurance Data, Ombudsman Annual OSTI Publication Data and Global Credit Ratings, all conveniently located in one place.

The first iteration is focused on non-life insurers, with the goal of developing the tool to include all insurance disciplines with future updates.

An interactive interface allows users to analyse data at a glance on curated dashboards. Users can look at historical data for different insurers, compare up to five insurers simultaneously across categories such as premiums written, liabilities, assets, earned premiums, net investment income and more. They also gain access to an Ombud analysis, as well as credit ratings. These can be displayed as trends over time or as a data set for a specific reporting period.

“The MIT caters to multiple needs simultaneously,” says Bernard Lubbe, Head of Projects at the FIA. “Historically, information that financial advisers would have required to do a due diligence on where they place their business has not been readily available. The MIT makes this information available. It also helps advisers in their conversations with clients, as they can draw a report as part of their record of advice to show clients why they recommend a particular insurer, adding positively to their ever-demanding advice process.”

“All brokers are required to comment on insurer solvency, particularly as short-term insurance is a promise to pay in future,” says Seamus Casserly, Director at Lockton South Africa. “Premium differences may be explained by financial stability – cheaper is not always better if the ability of an insurer to pay is in doubt. Thanks to the MIT, clients will be better informed and can make better decisions. They can assume more risk if they wish to, but they will do so knowingly. Brokers will be empowered to help clients with these decisions.”

First of its kind

The FIA spent three years developing this tool, which went through a rigorous testing phase with a select group of FIA members and stakeholders before being released.

It is the first digital resource of its kind, and the first time this information has been readily available. “For several years, data regarding insurers’ financials, claims and specialties have needed to be collated from multiple sources, such as auditor market studies, financial statements (if and where available), smaller market research studies, and even company press releases,” says Arnold Van Der Linde, Chairman at IntegriSure Group. “This way of gathering information to compare insurers and ultimately advise a client carries a lot of risk.”

This modernised version of a historically paper-based tool allows for more regularly updated information at your fingertips. “Other industries have embraced technology, and we also need to push ahead and use data analysis tools more wisely,” says Van Der Linde. “The FIA MIT tool enables the adviser to analyse the latest figures, compare insurers, analyse trends, and check on various ratios, making the adviser better informed when presenting to the client. We must put the consumer in a position to make an informed decision, and that means being well-informed ourselves.”

How to gain access to the MIT

Access to the MIT works on an annual subscription basis, with FIA members receiving a free trial subscription. Non-members can contact the FIA about accessing this tool.

“We’re very excited about this – the MIT caters to different needs of the financial services industry as a whole and we believe there’s a lot of value in it, which is evidenced by the positive response we’ve received from our members and the industry already,” says Lubbe. “We’re looking forward to seeing the difference the tool will make in the industry. This is one of many proud initiatives by the FIA with the goal of empowering our members and the industry with relevant data and technology.”

For more information please contact fia@mit.co.za