LeapFrog’s first investment was in AllLife, a South African company that is quietly turning the life insurance customer model on its head. AllLife has built a profitable business by offering affordable life cover to people living with HIV, people who once were automatically excluded on the basis on carrying the virus that leads to AIDS. More than this, AllLife actively helps clients manage their health. LeapFrog has worked closely with the business, in underwriting, product design and operations.
“We contact our clients every month,” says Ross Beerman, the irrepressible CEO of AllLife, “reminding them to stay healthy, do their blood tests and take their medication. Our clients get healthier just by being our clients.” This is not just a claim. AllLife clients average a 15% improvement in their CD4 count (an immune system marker) within six months of being insured.
Where other life assurers might decline or avoid insuring people with dread diseases, AllLife backs their clients to live – and then helps them to do so. The practical, psychological and social impacts of this are profound. People with HIV are now able to take out loan finance, build their lives and participate in the community. And a significant side effect is the reduction in the stigma around HIV/AIDS.
While AllLife’s social impact is considerable, this is a profitable business, one that has seen 50% growth year-on-year, since being founded in 2004. Its sustainable business model was recognized in July 2015, when AllLife won the Prince of Wales Unilever Global Development Award for Business in the Community.
Neither Ross nor any of the founders came from the insurance world. “Otherwise we would have known that what we have accomplished was impossible.”
“AllLife has created a remarkable sustainable business model from providing life insurance for those living with HIV… and has demonstrated how this can be…replicated in other geographies.”
Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever