In SA, safety is both a reality and a feeling. More than 70% of South Africans feel unsafe most of the time. As a result, more than one in four people suffer from anxiety and depression. During the unprecedented times posed by a global pandemic, South Africans need a sense of certainty more than ever before.

However, even with certainty, human behaviour is seldom rational with most behaviours strongly driven by emotions. Our response to a person, place or situation is often as much about our emotional state as our rational one – sometimes even more so. Perception is often reality, which is why it’s so important to acknowledge and understand human behaviour and create solutions that accommodate it and help South Africans feel safe. Only then does concern convert into confidence. It is when this change flows that momentum truly grows.

The recent Business Day Dialogues, in partnership with Momentum Insure, unpacked the ‘Science of Safety’. Momentum Insure’s new campaign, the Science of Safety, was developed on the back of the successful acquisition of Alexander Forbes Insurance, which provided the business with a unique opportunity to think very carefully about why consumers should choose Momentum Insure. In partnership with UNISA it conducted an extensive study which considered the major drivers of insurance purchases.

“We learned three things,” revealed Brand Pretorius, CEO of Momentum Insure. “Firstly, we learned that affordability is a key driver. Secondly, we learned that clients want an insurance company that cares about them and is empathetic towards them. Lastly, we learned that personal and home safety is critically important to them. As a result, we decided to build the business around these three pillars and build a business that has a culture of empathy at its core.”

As such, he explained, Momentum Insure’s purpose is to ensure that its clients have peace of mind so that they can live their lives fully in the way that they choose. In order to distinguish its offerings from competitors, the company is providing solutions that extend beyond traditional insurance products, including a personal safety product with a panic button; a telematics offering which provides clients with assurance that they are protected while on roads; and a safety at home feature which checks on things like security and geysers, all of which are underpinned by offering the client financial security that they are protected in the event that something goes wrong.

Clinical psychologist, Bradley R Daniels, explained that peace of mind provides a sense of safety. Safety scores highly on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, scoring straight after physical needs and before love and belonging, esteem and self-actualisation. “It’s only when we feel safe that we can live full lives,” said Daniels.

“For most people insurance is a grudge purchase and does not typically register as a need – until it is needed when a loss occurs,” said financial journalist Londiwe Buthelezi. Most clients also buy insurance purely on price, but this can be a double-edged sword, particularly if they are then faced with a high excess.

“The ‘Science of Safety’ is far more than just a campaign for Momentum Insure. It will be what provides the business with a competitive edge,” concluded Pretorius.