We’ve recently started working with XonRisk, a new intermediary focused on helping SMEs manage risk, and on making insurance accessible for businesses and individuals at all levels of the economy. XonRisk is backed by Econorisk.

Noxolo Dlamini, aka Nox, is the managing director of XonRisk. She and Tony van Niekerk, of COVER Publications, took some time to talk about insurance, transformation, SMEs, and growing the economy in South Africa and the rest of Africa. The conversation begins with Tony asking Nox to share how she got into into insurance and why she works in the insurance industry. She highlights that she has chosen to stay in insurance because she believes in what it can do.

“I chose to stay [in the insurance industry] and what drove that is the belief in the value of what it is that we offer as an industry in its entirety,” says Nox.

“When catastrophe strikes and, due to the pervasiveness of risk, it will, we really are here for you and life can continue with little or minimal hinderance and financial impact,” she says.

She highlights that she is passionate about driving economic growth on the African continent.

Insurance penetration around SMEs is “around 2% and no more”, she says. She explains that when looking at South Africa the stats show that SMEs contribute around 36% to 40% to our GDP so it was a “no brainer” for her and the team behind XonRisk that we need to ensure that this “vital sector of the economy [is] protected, [is] served in terms of making sure that the [businesses] have financial resilience to the risks that they take and that automatically translates into sustainability.”

Nox and Tony further discuss transformation and representation in the industry.

“It really is about inclusivity: we all have a place and we all have a role to play,” Nox says. She highlights that we have a diverse nation with diverse needs and life experiences “and without this diversity represented in every sphere of the insurance value chain it hinders our ability to really serve all of South Africa across all these differences,” she says.

“More than just transformation it needs to be called representation,” she adds.

The long-term goal, says Nox, of XonRisk is not only about driving insurance sales; it is “about ensuring that we have a South Africa and a small to medium enterprise sector that is well-protected and well-poised for financial and economic success and sustainability.”

LISTEN to the full podcast here.

Our chiefseñor Carel Nolte was also on the COVER podcast. He was the first to be featured in a series called “Insurance people not talking insurance” discussions. Read more and listen to it here.